OCTOBER 2013

IN THIS ISSUE


Software Updates

The following ASI software solutions have been recently updated. Please contact ASI Support for more info or for instructions on updating your software:

VCKSQL

VCKweb.NET

Coming Soon:

Veri-Shred


Tana's Tech Tip:

The Benefits of Veri-Shred Are Even Easier to See

Veri-Shred users can now increase font size or modify fonts. To access,

Click on the Modify View button (magnifying glass with lightning bolt) in the top left corner of the Service Order screen.

Click the ellipsis button for Grid Font.

Select the desired Font and Font Size

Click "Save"

It's the perfect solution for those days when your eyes are crossing from too many hours staring at the computer screen!

Upcoming Events


PRISM European Info. Management Conference
Nov. 10-12, 2013
Amsterdam, Netherlands


Useful Links

ASI Learning Center

Loads of educational and support information available online and onsite
.

24/7 Software Support

Have an issue you need assistance with? Get help today by visiting our online Support Center with FAQ's and more.

Don't see an answer to your problem? Create a support trouble ticket.

One of our support staff will respond within 24 hours, plus you can view the status of your support question at any time simply by logging in!


Are you using
ASI Mobile Yet?

Email to find out how you can benefit from arming your drivers with technology.

Sales@AndrewsSoftware.com


THE 411 ON ASI

Please send any payments, hardware and other correspondence to:

Andrews Software, Inc.
6900 W. Snowville Road
Cleveland, OH 44141

Toll-Free: 800-807-2093
(North America)

Phone: 440-546-9771

(Worldwide)

Fax:
440-627-2089

www.AndrewsSoftware.com
www.InfoKeeper.com

 

 

 

An IT Blueprint for DR Success
Scott Bidwell, President/COO

Winter came early to Ohio this year with 6 to 8 inches of wet heavy snow on October 24th and 25th, knocking power out to nearly 50,000 homes and businesses located in the snow belt east of Cleveland.  I’m sure a few businesses had to rely on their DR Plan during this time period to keep their businesses open, as it took several days to restore power in some areas due to the downed trees taking out power lines. A special Thank You! goes out to all of the generators sitting there quietly waiting to come to life.

A snow storm is what we call a natural disaster. Much more common are those pesky manmade ones – the ones that are usually avoidable.  For example, a client recently contacted ASI Support to report problems with his software. Further investigation revealed that the issues pointed to impending hardware failure related to his dated server. Unfortunately, his server gave up the ghost before he was able to replace it. Not the ideal situation but no problem, right? He simply needed to restore his backup files, except…he didn't have a piece of hardware to restore to, nor was there a clear direction as to all the applications residing on the server. He was down for four days.  Fortunately, this is not a common occurrence; however, it’s not as uncommon as one might think, given that these are companies whose business is helping clients protect and manage information.

Ensuring your data files are backed up is important. Equally important is to make certain your computer systems are mapped for quick restoration as well. Just like you create a blueprint for your warehouse, you want to create a blueprint for your computer systems. Generating a computer system blueprint involves diagramming your network and documenting what applications are on what servers and how they interact with one another. You may need to do two: one for your public (DMZ) side and one for private side applications/processes.
You can do it manually, but there are app's available to make the process a bit easier. The more detailed you are on the front end with creating your blueprint, the less time you will spend if and when something happens.

At ASI, we’ve found Spiceworks to be a good choice. Spiceworks is a free network monitoring and inventory software application that enables you to quickly inventory the hardware, software, and patches that reside on your network.

Where data is concerned, you want to determine what data should be backed up and how often. Typically there are 3 levels:

  1. Critical
    These are files that would be business debilitating if not restored/available.
  2. Vital
    Data that is important, but not business debilitating.
  3. Minor
    Company memos, closed accounts/inactive accounts, personal files

I’d also suggest that you regularly challenge your IT staff/provider to perform ad hoc restores to be sure processes are working.

Another option to assist in this regard is a managed backup service vs. online backup. We discussed this in last month's edition of The ASI Archive. The most significant difference between managed vs. online backup is in service and support.  A company that invests in an online backup service (especially a cheaper one) will find that they have to manage the backup. A managed backup service implements and sets up your company’s online backup. IT experts provide systems monitoring your systems to make sure that your data is protected at all times.

In the event of a disaster, using other options, you’d have to restore all that data by yourself if you’ve been using a basic service. It could take days (in some cases weeks or months) for you to get all your data back. With a managed backup service provider, they handle the restoration and are usually able to do so within a few hours.


Interested in Managed Backup? Email us!

We asked whether you'd like ASI to provide a managed backup service for your software applications and got some great feedback. We'd like to continue the discussion and invite you to email Scott directly with your thoughts. Please know that all response are confidential.

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Halloween Arrives Early at ASI

The competition was tough at this year's ASI Pumpkin Carving Contest with entries that ranged from frightening to funny. At the end of the day, it was Andrea Villasenor who took the prize with her Black Cat Pumpkin.

pumpkin 4

pumpkin 3 pumpkin 2

pumpkin 3 pumpkin

Congratulations to Andrea and a BIG thank you to all who participated and helped make it a fun day for all!

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