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TeckPath - Calgary Managed IT Services, Consulting & Cloud Experts
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What to keep in mind when hiring a managed IT services provider?

Critical questions you might want to ask when considering on hiring a Managed IT Service provider:

Do they have a proven track record?
Do they have the resources to meet your business needs?
Do they offer 24/7 support to immediately address your issues or concerns?
Are they focused on security and do they make your IT security their top priority?
Is customer service their top priority?
Are they competitively priced in comparison to other MSPs?

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Migrating to the Cloud.
The transition from the physical environment to the cloud has seen phenomenal progress, in recent times. As companies strive to augment the pace of migration, new challenges arise.

_To bridge the gap between physical and cloud infrastructures.
 _To manage over- provisioning of cloud infrastructure and runaway costs.
_A lack of knowledge and visibility of what assets an organisation has and uses. 
Companies need to adopt new approach to applications, delivering infrastructure and end user access. Given the fact that migrating to the cloud can be, to many, a daunting task; a couple of key points can guarantee a smooth ride.
1. Begin by using cloud for net new workloads.
2. Moving workloads will help acclimatise to the new way of working, thus ensure that IT understands the environment of working.
3. Prioritise the applications that are considered most important to be hosted in the cloud.
4. Access and tier according to business criticality, demarcate the virtual and physical zones of your environment.
5. Identify critical components such as specific networking requirements or physical systems.
6. Understand the assets you have before moving.
7. Select a provider best posed to address your needs.
8. Use cloud- based disaster recovery, particularly if the cloud service provider enables self- service DR management and testing.
9. Moving legacy systems which are remainders of an older time, to the cloud can be beneficial to the businesses.
10. Ensure transparency and visibility of systems so as to keep costs within normal budgets. Try to understand additional costs and SLAs.
11. Get advisory and architecture advice before transition.
12. Check and understand on- boarding training and support and customer support. 

Although managing cloud workloads can introduce fear with respect to costs and performance, it undoubtedly, enhances freedom to widen strategic initiatives. Cloud Migration provides digital transformation across the business.

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Microsoft in 2016- Offsite or Onsite Exchange?

To host exchange onsite for security and control reasons has been the traditional preference. However, today's cloud technology and services offer precise key points that facilitate informed choices.

Onsite Exchange:

What you get upfront:

• A complete control over your system (inclusive of backups and security)
• You will be responsible and accountable for managing your own data.
• Data is backed up and made available to those who need it. Outside company access is limited.
• Limitless outgoing emails, no monthly costs, any internal unusual configuration does not require any hosting company's assistance for set up.

On the flipside:

• Expensive- Licenses and hardware are triple the cost of a hosted solution.
• Reliability- Hosting companies can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a reliable system than a normal company.
• Accountability-Host can be contacted from anywhere.
• Security- Hosting companies have better reliability, backups and recovery process. 

Offsite Exchange - 


• Hosted Exchange Server is getting less expensive on the cloud.
• Expensive licenses and hardware needn't be bought, migrating to new exchanges is easier and has no energy costs.
• Email provides enterprise license and updates, 24x7 exchange, windows and networking staff available.
• Dedicated security, high reliability data centres with multi- regional failover.
• Smart hosting is included and so is 'Support' right through escalations to developers. 
• Pricing is linked to direct usage. With Capex spending and no license management, you simply pay as you go!


• Outgoing email per day is limited and when it goes down it's out of control.
• You have to be dependent on the security and infrastructure of another company as there is no full control over systems.

• Incurs monthly costs and you end up being the middle man.

A review of these facets of exchange can help widen our spectrum of preference. Teckpath will enable you identify the best exchange option on Microsoft 2016. Back-up, security and recovery you get the best of it all!

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Critical things you must know when choosing a Network Monitoring tool.
Read on before you make a buy!
Well a network monitoring tool is a software-based or hardware-software combination that keeps a watch on the network. Its functions include the collection of data on performance metrics like latency, use of hosts and bandwidth. 
An inclusive network monitoring tool tracks the network’s performance and alerts the admin during times of unreasonable dips in network traffic, and when traffic reaches threshold. Complex or enterprise network monitoring tools offer visibility and monitoring on WAN and software defined network and architecture. It further provides monitoring of the different network- based applications and the mobile devices that are connected to this network.
A good network monitor apart from keeping a tab on the overall health of the network, must enable proactive strategies that justify the cost of upgrade or maintenance of hardware which are important for eliminating critical bottlenecks in a network.  Ultimately a proper functioning network is one that is high on user satisfaction.
Quite a lot of free network monitoring tools are available when it comes to built – in or open source networks. For example the Ping utility is just the right solution for detecting simple host connectivity issues. The Microsoft Network monitor troubleshoots network problems and is widely used by network administrators. The Nagios although not a set-up friendly monitor provides critical and accurate metrics for troubleshooting. 
However, free tools are narrow in their approach towards diagnosis and troubleshooting, and may not be the required robust network monitor a business needs. 
What are the important features a Network Monitor must have?
Real time Analysis : A comprehensive network monitor must be able to diagnose, analyze and monitor  network and its connected devices in real time, thereby enabling the admin in responding to alerts and faults.
Implementation and Configuration: The network monitor must be a simple one to configure and set-up and must support multiple vendor devices at any given point of time.
Interface : The network monitor you choose must be inclusive of a node, auto discovery, device inventorying, trouble alerts and warnings that are configurable. All of this must be integrated on a centralized management interface that is Web-based.
Choices are a plenty, when it comes to choosing a network monitor either free or commercial. However, practice caution and choose a network monitor that will meet your needs today and at the same time scalable in the future when business demands a network expansion. 

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Migrating to Office 365? Quick watch out tips

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Four exciting new Features – SharePoint Online, Office 365
Traditionally Microsoft releases an updated version of SharePoint every 4-5 years. Changing this approach for SharePoint Online and Office 365, Microsoft now uses a rolling release model. This is nothing but the release of new versions and improvement in features on a regular basis, free of charge and most importantly without any need for installation.
Microsoft has simply made all improvements a part of the product. This very important feature is something that will benefit many businesses when they migrate to Office 365. Well, let’s look at some exciting new updates in SharePoint for Office 365.
Document Conversations:
Get a fully functional Yammer conversation that is based on the document while opening a document from OneDrive. This feature also allows users to comment through mobile devices or Microsoft Dynamics from outside OneDrive or SharePoint. Previously this feature was restricted or difficult for SharePoint users and was an important demand from customers who were on SharePoint Projects which involved Knowledge Management Repositories. Document conversations now deliver on this demand and show a greater integration between the online services.
“At Rest” – SharePoint Online Encryption:
“At Rest” is an advanced encryption technology which encrypts every document and subsequent updates of files stored in SharePoint Online or One Drive for business with a distinctive key. With an increase in the demand to provide access to employees to documents and files there is also a need for security, and “At Rest” is an important step by Microsoft to fulfil this demand.
Site Folders in SharePoint and OneDrive
A new feature “View” in OneDrive allows the user to view and follow files across sites. By creating libraries that the user would like to follow from time to time “View” enables easy access to the user’s preferred files.  Given the growth in data in a typical SharePoint application users may start wanting to follow a whole list of libraries that may interest them. “View” enables them to access these libraries while speeding up on usability and navigation
SharePoint Online – Data Loss Prevention
Security is always in question with the amount of data and the number of users who need access to it. Data Loss Prevention in SharePoint Online uses a content analysis algorithm to identify and segregate or classify files and documents that are stored online. Businesses will now be able to protect data on SharePoint Online without significant IT overheads.
SharePoint and Office 365 Solutions from Teckpath, are designed to give your users better usability and navigation while significantly reducing cost and providing greater data security for the organization.

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Check this one out from this techie. Absolutely cool on why you must go OFFICE 365!

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A Network Assessment is based on an effective strategy. At Teckpath we define the primary elements of the strategy before we set out to make and execute it.
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