Friday, 10 February 2012

Mozy Shuttle - Cloud Backup for Servers, Workstations and Laptops

Mozy continues to offer great Cloud backup solutions. The new Mozy Shuttle helps address the issue of thousands of files needing to be backed up off-site. Often 1T or 2T could take a week or even longer to copy off site. Mozy Shuttle speeds this process up. Contact Cloud Solutions for more information on Mozy. A great solution for any size organisation wanting to backup their data and keep it off-site and online.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Call Tracking with Google Apps Calendar

A nice little application for your Android phone is CallTrack. The application logs your phone calls and then sends the activity back to your Google Calendar as a history archive. Download for free, login to your Google account, select your target calendar and select if you wish to track all call types, including incoming, outgoing and missed calls. I recommend setting up a calendar just for your phone so it does not clutter up your main appointment calendar. The sync process is manually performed from the phone menu.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Meraki - The First Cloud Controlled Switch

I am currently waiting on delivery of the first Cloud Controlled PoE Switch in Hong Kong.

The Meraki MS is the industry's first cloud managed switch. What a great idea!

With cloud based management, hundreds of switch ports can be configured and monitored instantly from any browser in the world.  A company can now provision remote sites without on-site IT, deploy network wide configuration changes and easily manage large and distributed networks without training or dedicated staff.

Meraki is winning awards for their innovation bringing Cloud management to hardware devices. The company started with wireless access points and has moved into security and switches.

Configurations include PoE, 12, 24 and 48 ports. Pricing from US$1999.

Keep tuned as I report back on how my test drive went.  If you are also interested to evaluate please let me know and I will arrange.

Which PDF solution?

There are a number of PDF solutions on the market, not just Adobe. Many are free and offer viewing of PDFs, annotations and  editing. Some features require the license to be purchased.

The PDF solution I use is PDF-XChange Pro from Tracker Software. Their corporate bundle offers great features and for the price is well worth it.

The latest add-on includes full-OCR or character recognition. This allows an image PDF, or a scanned PDF to be converted to a fully searchable PDF so you can cut and paste text from the document into an email or a word processor. The ability to merge another PDF document at printing time is also cool. This allows a letterhead to be merged with a document when it is printed so you have a perfect letter ready to be emailed out. No more printing! This can be sent as a zipped PDF file or simply a PDF.

The PDF Viewer is free but upgrading gives you a load of features include editing of the file so pages can be removed or added. The viewer can plug into your browser for default viewing of PDF's on-line.

For a full list of product comparisons visit:

The licensed PDF-XChange Viewer 'PRO', is a PDF creator in it's own right, allowing users to create PDF files directly from scanners, image files and can even take a .txt or a .rtf file and convert it to PDF or build your PDF document from scratch.

OCR functionality supports a base language set of English, French, German, Spanish and Chinese (S&T).

You can download the free viewer but recommend upgrading to the Pro Viewer. Pricing for 10 users starts US$45.15 per use or US$58 including 3 year's of upgrades. Contact me for further information or to buy.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Postini vs Backupify - Which one to use?

Customers evaluating Backupify for Google Apps product often ask me to compare a feature list to Postini, specifically Postini Message Discovery (also known as Google Message Discovery). The answer is simple:
  • Backupify for Google Apps is a backup solution
  • Postini Message Discovery is an archiving tool

Archiving and backup are two very different use cases, and it’s important to understand the distinction when evaluating products designed to meet each demand.

The rule of thumb: Archiving is for discovery, backups are for recovery.

More broadly, archiving tools are for expediting auditing and compliance tasks, backup tools aid in error correction and disaster recovery. While you can use most backup tools to aid discovery tasks, and it’s possible to employ some archiving systems as recovery solutions, neither are ideal for those use cases.

Why You Need An Archiving Tool
Because you have to know where your data has been, and have to be able to prove it.

Archiving tools are designed to make compliance audits and legal discovery requests simpler. Archiving systems create copies of data that are intended to illustrate who had access to emails and documents when, and who made which changes at what time. Their interfaces and data exports are designed to satisfy regulators and investigators.

If you ever get sued, you’ll be glad you deployed an archiving tool beforehand. However, if you try to restore an email or document with your archiving tool, you’ll be upset you didn’t have a backup system instead.

Why You Need A Backup Tool
Because you can’t live without your data and, if it’s ever lost, you want to get it back as fast as possible.

Backup tools are designed to keep your business data secure and intact in the event of natural disasters, security breaches or good, old-fashioned user error — the latter of which makes up nearly one-third of all data loss, and two-thirds of data losses within Google Apps. Backup systems create copies of data that are intended to maximize speed of recovery, such that you can restore any lost items or accounts with the absolute minimum delay. Their interfaces and data exports are designed to satisfy I.T. professionals.

If your system ever gets hacked or someone maliciously deletes your data, you’ll be glad you deployed a backup tool beforehand. However, if you try to piece together an audit trail with your backup records, you’ll be upset you didn’t have an archiving system instead.

Backupify vs. Postini
Backupify and Postini are not competing products, they are complementary solutions. Archiving is a best practice in regulated industries, and backup is a best practice for any critical system. It is entirely possible, and often best practice, to deploy both Postini and Backupify on your Google Apps domain. That said, there are specific differences between the two products, and you should know beforehand exactly what functionality you require — and are legally obligated to possess — before deciding whether Postini and/or Backupify is the right solution for you.

Contact me for more information... Backupify starts from as little as US$3 per month per user.