Virtual Servers

Which is best? A physical server or a virtual server?

There are several pros and cons to each. Let us take a deeper dive…

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We often hear from chief information officers (CIO’s) that recovery and business continuity, cloud services and cost management are key areas of focus for many IT programs.

As we move into recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, IT managers are tasked with finding cost effective solutions for data processing and storage all while managing risk mitigation and regulatory compliance. The landscape of the typical office working environment will be grossly different as we move into the new post-pandemic norm.

IT managers are weighing the pros and cons of a physical vs virtual server on a regular basis as companies open back up and rely more heavily on a remote workforce.

Physical servers:

Pros:
Typically, physical servers are owned and managed by an organization’s staff where the IT team has full access to the organization’s dedicated server resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With full access, the IT staff can fully configure and customize the server to the businesses’ requirements. The server location is generally onsite or at a convenient facility not terribly far from the organization.

Cons:
A physical server can be costly to purchase, maintain and replace in the event of hardware failure. A dedicated space that is climate controlled is also required for a physical server. In the event you are not confident with the skill of your IT department you will need to hire a contractor or vendor to help with configuration and maintenance on a regular basis. Storage capacities can also be a challenge. When purchasing a server, you want to buy smart, so you have enough storage for current and future growth.

Virtual servers:

An organization using a virtual server will typically work with a hosted vendor for secure cloud services.

Pros:
With all virtual servers being cloud based, organizations automatically save on the actual purchase of server hardware so there are fewer upfront costs. The potential for decreased overall costs of configuration and maintenance in the lifetime of the server are also significantly reduced in a virtual server environment. Staffing costs are greatly reduced as organizations will not need an on-site/in-house IT expert. There is also the benefit of potential server consolidation and increased efficiency with workload. The hosted vendor would provide expert assistance with setup, configuration, software licenses and maintenance.

Cons:
A virtual server has a higher potential for recurring monthly costs as opposed to the higher up-front investment with a physical server purchase. Depending on the size of the organization, the vendor may not be able to customize their service level agreement to meet the needs of the organization. With a virtual server environment an organization is essentially no longer in control of their physical server and the applications running. An organization may run into issues with application compatibility when transitioning to a virtual server. These issues are best discussed with a knowledgeable virtual server vendor.

Before making the switch, managers should take a closer look at additional factors such as:
1)Performance – this is key as certain applications may require more dedicated server resources. Understanding an organization’s performance needs is extremely important for having the best experience. A virtualization vendor can consult on what exactly is needed.

2)Cost – virtual servers have reoccurring expenses, but organization’s save on human labor/talent, hardware, deployment, and several others. A virtual server offers more flexibility, an organization can easily scale up or down depending on their needs.

3)Risk mitigation and business continuity – failure can be devastating. Hardware failures, theft, water damage, all of these can easily cripple an organization. A virtual vendor can offer appropriate safeguards. Work can continue, decisions can be made even in the event of a natural disaster where mother nature takes its toll on a business.

4)Environment and space – square footage growth in a building typically adds to overall hard costs. As an organization’s need for additional servers grows so does the need for more climate-controlled space to store the servers. Adding more physical storage space for additional equipment can be a costly endeavor.

5)Staff knowledge – as an organization grows, does its current IT staff have the knowledge and experience to properly manage server acquisition, security, maintenance, and configuration? This growth may be better handled by a virtual vendor.

We highly encourage organizations to take a deeper dive into their server needs as they evaluate their expenses and look to make expense reductions. At Complete Communications we offer virtual servers. We offer customized solutions for an organization’s current and future needs. If you are looking to reduce your expenses while not jeopardizing security and increasing productivity, we invite you to give us a call at 407-512-5086. We look forward to serving you!

Desktop As A Service (DAAS)

Are you a business owner with employees working from home?

Are you considering having your employees work from home for the long term? Do you need additional tools to increase their productivity while not risking security? Desktop as a service (DAAS) can help your employees stay productive if working remotely may be a long-term solution for your business.

What is desktop as a service (DAAS)?

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Desktop as a service, also known as DAAS, is a cloud-based service that separates the desktop environment and associated programs (i.e., Microsoft

Office, non-web-based applications, etc.) from the physical device accessing it. What this means is somebody working remotely can access their work desktop environment using another desktop computer or portable device. Without losing security, this system allows employees to access their work desktop files and applications from any device that uses the internet. People working from home or another remote location can use their desktop computer, laptop, tablet and even some smartphones to access their work desktop environment. The end-user experience is as if they were working directly on their work computer in their “normal” office environment while maintaining the integrity of their network security.

Prior to DAAS, organizations would be limited in allowing employees to work remotely, primarily because of the potential for security breaches. Programs would need to be installed on an end user’s machine which is typically outside of the security network of the organization. Often a program or reporting tool is not web based and requires direct installation on a computer. In such a case when there are multiple people working remotely and needing non web-based applications installed, this further drains human resources at a business. People are needed to do the installation on each individual machine. A DAAS solution saves installation time and keeps the integrity of the network security.

How does DAAS help improve productivity?

With DAAS, the infrastructure, network resources, and storage are provided by the cloud service provider, which helps to streamline the management of the desktop. With DAAS, data can be backed up and updated on the cloud instead of on each individual computer, laptop, or tablet. This system also allows employees to share data and access no matter where they are located. This is a huge time saver for any employer. In addition to being accessible anywhere there is an internet connection, the DAAS option offers employees to have the freedom and flexibility of accessing their desktop from whichever device they are comfortable using.

How can DAAS help a business in the case of seasonal or temporary staffing? person wearing suit touching a screen for desktop as a service

DAAS also allows a business to add or subtract employees to their DAAS plan with a few clicks of the mouse. Many of our clients hire temporary or seasonal workers who need access to files, reporting tools and other programs, using a DAAS solution will greatly enhance workflow and reduce overall costs. Employers no longer need to furnish short term workers with computers as they can use their own device and simply tap into the needed documents and files using desktop as a service. Billing for the DAAS solution allows employers to “pay as they go”. This means temporary or seasonal staff can be added and subtracted from an employer’s monthly billing very easily. As a provider of the desktop as a service solution our clients pay per user each month.

Security is paramount for any company. The desktop as a service solution provides enhanced security. The information being received by the employee is stored in the cloud, there is less risk of a security breach. Also, if an employee’s laptop or computer is stolen, the information is not compromised as it is not stored on an individual’s device. Updates and patches are also easier to install as it can be administered from one location and all devices can be updated remotely at the same time.

What will happen to information if an employee is affected by a natural disaster?

In the event of a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tornado, DAAS does not have a security risk or the threat of losing of information as this is a cloud-based solution. Should a business’ physical location be in harm’s way, workflow will not be interrupted if users have internet access. In this situation productivity will continue and data will not be lost.

When you are looking for the best desktop as a service provider you will find there are many. Some of those providers include Azure, Citrix, Amazon, and VMware. Each of these have a different price point, operating system compatibility, integrations, and number of apps offered. At Complete Communications we do the research for you and create a customized solution based on your needs and budget. We not only set your business up with the desktop as a service solution, but we also manage it. When you need to add or subtract users, need technical support, wish to add additional applications, or upgrade your operating system we provide the complete support.

woman working remotely on laptop

While many businesses continue having their staff work remotely, we find business owners are looking for additional ways to maximize employee productivity while not jeopardizing their security. We highly recommend the desktop as a service solution, its flexibility, low-cost and security make for a very viable solution.

For more information on how DAAS can integrate with your business, please call us at 407-512-5086.