The options are endless, but are provided ala-cart. You choose the level of redundancy that is important to you.
Everyone gets 4-3-2 backups
Everyone gets redundant internet in case one goes down, you’re automatically routed through a 2nd provider.
Optional: Redundant servers. We can set you up with auto-failover or manual. It just depends on your requirements. Maintaining dual servers increases your cost, but improves reliability in case one server fails. We have different levels of redundant servers. Full redundanct to guarantee 100% uptime or something in between. Let’s discuss our options and which make sense for your firm. Fill out the contact form below and we’ll give you the full details.
We always have excess capacity and spare servers online so even if you choose not to pay for auto failover, we can get you moved to a spare server quickly in the event of a server failure. It’s the difference between immediate failover (no downtime) or a manual failover where your server is moved onto another server (requires an hour or so of downtime).
3 copies of your data (your production data and 2 backup copies) on 2 different media (disk and tape) with 1 copy off-site for disaster recovery.
We go beyond that.
4 production backups. Two are stored locally for quick access. One backup is taken every 15 minutes, the other taken twice per day. Two others are stored offsite.
3 different types of media. We use three different methods to backup the data in case one method is breached. We don’t use tape, it’s too slow. Everything is to a disk somewhere.
2 offsite backups that are firewalled and cut-off by the outside world. Accessible only by us. Why two? In case one is breached, corrupted, or fails for any reason.
We also give you the option to staore an offsite backup at a location of your choosing. Maybe a NAS at your office, maybe your own AWS, Wasabi or Backblaze account. We think it’s important for our clients to have a copy of their data that is accessible by them at anytime.
We think it’s important for clients to have access to their data regardless of the situation. Perhaps a hurricane or tornado takes your internet out for days or weeks. Maybe it’s a terrorist attack that takes the internet down for an entire region. Maybe it happens on April 12th, 3 days before tax season is over.
We put a server at your office that stays in sync with your cloud server. It’s not a backup, it’s a hot server that is always up to date and ready to boot. This can be a cheap server capable of handling a small user load, it could be an old clunker or even a cheap desktop. It’s a spare just in case. We hope you never need to use it, but it’s an insurance policy in case of a widespread internet outage during a critical time. This server can be booted, your desktops directed to it and everyone can go back to work. The server will be in sync within 15 minutes of the cloud server so data loss will be minimal.
It depends on what you have in place at your office. We like to set up a fulltime VPN between your office and the cloud server so there is two-way communication. That makes it easier to access your office equipment for printing and scanning. It also allows your scanner/copy machine to access the server for scanning documents into your document management application (e.g. FileCabinet). It also ensures there is a secure tunnel between the remote computer and the server. We have multiple options for VPN and we’ll determine the best option after we discuss your environment.
Work from home users will use a VPN to connect to the server.
It’s fair to say, we are faster than anything you’ve tried. How do we know that? We’ve encountered users on AWS, Azure, Virtual Office (VO), Rackspace, you name it. Clients that have new Dell servers that are not performing as they thought. Clients have come to us with files that take 45 minutes to open, will now open in 2-3 seconds on our server.
We build our servers for performance. You can’t buy these servers, our system architects designed them from scratch. Our servers are optimized for your accounting programs and easily support 25 users. If you have more than 25 users, we’ll spread you across multiple servers, it just depends on your environment. You will never be concerned with performance issues again. We will add resources before you feel the impact. We can quickly scale your server(s) to support any number of users.
This is not a one server fits all operation. Once we understand your needs, we’ll have our system architect put together a proposed configuration. After we agree on the configuration, we’ll work with you to establish a timeline.
We can get you moved within a few days of setting a move date. We can do 100% of the work offline while you continue to work on your current server. We’ll install your programs, setup the VPN, the printers and scanners, and move your data for you. The next step is to have a few users test it out. Open your largest files. Scan and print from all of your programs. Once you agree that the setup is complete, we’ll schedule an outage where we take one more backup of the data and move it over. We want users off during this final incremental backup so nothing changes while we move the final backup of data. This final backup/restore can usually be done in a couple of hours and typically we schedule it to happen over a weekend or evening.
We’ve performed these migrations for clients during their busy tax season with minimal disruption. Once they see the performance improvement, they’re ready to move ASAP.
Never transfer data, email, or login credentials without the use of a Secure Tunnel like VPN.
Accessing a cloud server requires that traffic flow from your private office (or home) network, over the unsecure internet and finally through the cloud private network. If your office (home) connection to the cloud server is not secure, a bad actor could watch and capture that traffic as it flows over the unsecure internet. VPN provides a secure tunnel that your traffic flows through so that even if someone is watching the traffic, they cannot read it because everything flowing through that tunnel is encrypted.
Furthermore, a “fulltime VPN” between your office and the cloud server allows your office printers to also communicate with the server and visa versa. It also provides faster printing over the VPN vs through the RDP redirected printer protocol. It also allows you to scan directly from your printer/scanner to the server or document management system.
VPN also provides a second level of protection required to connect to your server. Someone accessing the server first needs to get past the VPN login credentials (certificate and login) and then they must get past the Microsoft Windows credentials.
We’ll first backup all of your data from Ultratax, Practice CS, Filecabinet and any other programs you’re running on VO. We’ll request the database backups from Thomson Reuters, but the others we can perform ourselves. The database backups from Thomson Reuters can take a few days, so coordination is key.
We’ll restore that data to your new server in the same day. We’ll have you test the new server with the data we transferred and then schedule a go live date.
You can work in VO while we do the initial transfer, then, before the go-live date, we’ll schedule a quick outage (typically 2-4 hrs) to get the last backup off VO and onto the new server.
It’s not a difficult task, we just need to coordinate it with you and Thomosn Reuters.
We’ve done the transfer with no downtime, it’s just a matter of coordinating what data is changing where. We’ll have you work on VO until we get all of the data transferred, then move you to the new server where you can continue working while we transfer the remaining “changed” data from VO.
Our basic fully managed plan, which is sufficient for most firms is $130/user per month. That’s a FULLY MANAGED environment where our engineers maintain the server hardware, operating system, backups, networking, connectivity issues, security and system updates at no additional charge. This plan is sufficient for most accounting firms and the environment is guaranteed to support all of your programs and provide the performance you are looking for. We’ll setup a VPN for you and your firm will be hosted on dedicated server hardware, using state of the art NVME flash storage and 4.3Ghz processors.
Don’t worry about server sizing and pre-selecting memory, disk space and CPU- we’ll make sure your server always has the resources to handle all of your programs and users without slowdowns. No other firms will share your server hardware.
If you’re the only user looking for just a single cloud desktop that will run all of your programs, a place where you can store all of your data, accessible from anywhere and fully maintained by our engineers, the cost is $130/mo.
Some firms have special requirements, and we can handle all of those too. We offer several high availability and data storage options to meet the needs of every accounting firm. We offer these as addons, because some firms just don’t require them. Contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs and offer our solution.