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Bedford, Texas 76095
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  Best Practices
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Best Practices
Tech Support Now has developed a best practices methodology that is based on experience and research. Following these best practices and integrating them into your day-to-day business operations will dramatically increase the reliably of your network, provide the proper level of protection for your business, and improve the overall effectiveness, and efficiency of your organization.

Backups

Backups have three major purposes: To permit restoration of individual files, permit wholesale restoration of entire file system, permit off-site storage of data for disaster recovery.

Every type of backup should be tested on a periodic basis to make sure that data can be read from it. It is a fact that sometimes backups are performed that are, for one reason or another, unreadable. The unfortunate part in all this is that many times it is not realized until data has been lost and must be restored from backup.
The reasons for this can range from changes in tape drive head alignment, misconfigured backup software, and operator error. No matter what the cause, without periodic testing you cannot be sure that you are actually generating backups from which data can be restored at some later time.

 

Firewall

A firewall is typically a hardware device that filters the information coming through the Internet connection into your private network. Without it your business network is open to anyone at anytime to freely obtain or compromise your private data. Hardware firewall's are very secure and not very expensive to obtain. Any business with a Internet connection must have one.
 
Anti-Virus

Anti-Virus protection is critical to protecting your organizations servers and pc's. The down time and expense from a virus can be detrimental to any business. Experts estimate that the Mydoom worm infected approximately a quarter-million computers in a single day in January 2004. In March 1999, the Melissa virus was so powerful that it forced Microsoft and a number of other very large companies to completely turn off their e-mail systems until the virus could be contained. Do not play wait and see with Anti-Virus solutions. It is better to maintain protection on a budget than have to pay for removal, recovery, downtime, and protection after the fact.

 
Anti-Spyware and Adware
Spyware and Adware is far more harmful than ever before, placing business information, privacy, and perhaps even your identity at risk. Spyware is also the cause of lost productivity in most businesses today. With a combination of a good Internet usage policy, followed by Anti-Spyware/Adware software, and Internet filtering you can eliminate about 98% of all spyware and adware related issues.
 
Windows Updates and Hot Fixes
Keeping your pc's and servers up-to-date is crucial. There are new vulnerabilities to your operating systems discovered every day .Fixes for bugs, vulnerabilities, and upgrades are available free of charge to keep your pc's and servers as up-to-date as possible. Microsoft offers a web site that provides updates for Windows operating system software and Windows-based hardware. On Windows 2000 and above you have the option to turn on Automatic Updates. Windows Update can deliver high priority updates to your computer as they become available. You can decide when and how updates are installed. We highly recommend this is done for all Windows Operating Systems. Servers require a special solution depending on your environment.  
 
Disk Fragmentation
Over time we have discovered that disk fragmentation causes crashes, slowdowns, and system failures. A cause performance bottlenecks is fragmentation. The disk drive is by far the slowest of the three main components of your computer: CPU, memory and disk. If the drive isn't defragmented the fastest CPU in the world won't improve your system's performance, because information from the disk simply can't be delivered fast enough. We highly recommend that a third party product such as Diskeeper be implemented on you servers and critical pc's. You can configure the software to run on a schedule and will it dramatically improve and maintain the performance of your pc's and servers.
 
UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)

A UPS generally protects a computer against several different power problems: Voltage surges and spikes, Voltage sags, Total power failure,and Frequency differences.

There are two common systems in use: Standby UPS and Continuous UPS. A standby UPS runs the computer off of the normal utility power until it detects a problem. At that point, it turns on a power inverter and runs the computer off of the UPS's battery. Standby UPS systems are far more common for small-business use because they tend to cost about half as much as a continuous system. In a continuous UPS, the computer is always running off of battery power and the battery is continuously being recharged. Continuous systems provide extremely clean, stable power, so they tend to be used in server rooms and mission critical applications.

Tech Support Now recommends that every computer and server in a business or home environment should be on a UPS. Servers have the ability to use a UPS to gently shutdown in the event of a power outage which will aid in the prevention of loss of data or damage to the hardware.

 
 
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