Written By: Joseph Bridges, Pre-Sales Engineer

One of the common challenges organizations face today is how do they ensure that their systems are available during a catastrophic failure. A catastrophic failure could be a server dying, a fire, a power outage, weather related, or any number of things that would make the systems inaccessible. This is something that all organizations should be concerned with. In most cases if a company does not have access to the systems that run their business, they are losing money.

Companies have been addressing the need for Disaster Recovery (DR) several different ways. Below is a list of some of the more common solutions.

Contour sees the need for redundancy and having a solid DR plan in place as being critical for all businesses. Contour strives to offer the best of breed DR as a Service (DRaaS) to meet their customer’s varying needs.

Contour’s DRaaS offering provides true replication of the customer’s server environment to the Contour Cloud. This provides customers with a piece of mind that if there is a failure they will be up and running within minutes not hours or days. Depending upon the customer’s specific requirements this service is provided using either Veeam or Zerto. Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is what drives the decision about which solution will be fit the client’s needs.

Below you will find a list that outlines the value Contour brings to the table as it relates to DR.

  1. Contour is providing DR as a Service (DRaaS). This takes the day-to-day tasks of monitoring and managing the DR solutions off the customer’s plate.
  2. Replicating the customer’s environment to the Contour cloud is significantly less expensive than it would be to replicate it to another location.
  3. Contour’s DRaaS provides full remote replication with a couple of mouse clicks ensuring rapid failover to the new environment.
  4. This is an operational expense as compared to a capital expenditure making it a little easier for customer to acquire.
  5. Contour’s DRaaS also using a “consumption” based model which means they only pay for what they use when they use it.

In closing, DR should be top of mind for all companies who have mission critical solutions that drives their organization’s business. Also while there are other more expensive and slower options for DR out there, Contour’s DRaaS offing provides a fast, economical, and secure approach to solving our customer’s DR needs. Make it a great day and thanks for reading this.

Written By: Chuck Mirarchi, CIO

Everything you need to know about a Managed Services – right here, simple condense, for the readers on the go, with a need to know!

At Contour we take pride in delivering these services, not just as a business, but as protections for your business.

BaaS (Backup-as-a-Service):

I’ve had many conversations with our owner, Rocco Guerriero, and our solutions architects, as we review the reports of companies as they experience devastation, financial loss and heart ache from the effects of a breach, hack, malware, or computer viruses.

We then revert to one singular thought – we have to get the word out to our customers, that the only quick recovery from any of these IT attacks, is to have a recovery plan. A recovery plan with current and available data backups.

I have worked in numerous industries and to a fault, everyone put a plan and a premium investment into a strong backup and restore strategy. If you lose your data, the solution is simple when you are utilizing Contour’s BaaS strategy. It is quick and easy and will give you peace-of-mind. At Contour we are experts when it comes to BaaS (Backup-as-a-Service).

Did I mention no egress fees? Pay for what you consume!

DRaaS (Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service):

Disaster recovery is only as good as your business continuity plan. Continuity to keeping business operating through natural disasters, storms, blizzards, breaches, viruses and more. Strategy and action are different for each scenario – recovery is the action you take to address anyone of these scenarios. It can be as simple as a “fail-over” to an alternate active-active site, or the fail-over to a site configured to emulate your infrastructure. It can be data restoration. It can be load-balancing traffic.

Whatever the disaster is, are you prepared for it? Trust the experts who can help you with this planning. Our thinking is to help you ensure you have geo-diversity, the ability to move your processing seamlessly. Ensure you have an environment where in the event of catastrophic failure, you have planned to limit the failure size and its spread. Plan around software deployments with pilot environments. This way you can flush out new releases, containing a flaw in design and the ability to failback to a cleaner version without hesitation. Lastly, have the best copies of your data, with a restoration process that has been tests frequently.

Look to the experts to help you with business continuity and disaster recovery methodology. Contour Data Solutions can provide workload mobility across a fully redundant, highly-available infrastructure, in our secure, private network with MLPS or VPN.

Written By: Joseph Bridges, Pre-Sales Engineer

One of the many things I have learned over the course of my 20 years plus career is that the only constant in this world is change. Think about how much technology has change since you were a kid. TVs, Cell Phones, and computers to name a few have changed by leaps and bounds over the last 30 years. I have found that companies are having a hard time keeping pace with all the changes in the technologies they use to support their business. Below are just a few challenges companies face when trying to keep up with the ever-changing technology.

1. Talent shortage in IT – regardless of what the current unemployment rates are with the pandemic it is still very hard to find qualified IT personnel. When you are lucky enough to find that qualified person it is getting more expensive to attain them and then there is the challenge of retaining them. This can be even more challenging for some of the smaller organizations that may have tighter budget constraints.

2. Lack of training – this is another challenge companies face with their current staff. IT has always been asked to do more with less and the staff is simply just too busy in many cases to take the time needed to retrain. Now, if the employee takes it upon themselves to train on their own time that may be a different story but what does that do for one’s quality of life? In most cases that is just not practical, and it is setting the stage for their departure as I mentioned previously about retaining the talent.

3. Time – because IT organizations are spending so much time keeping the lights on and dealing with the day-to-day tasks within the environment, they do not have the time to focus on the project work needed to deploy the new technologies that will enhance and benefit the business. Not deploying these new technologies in a timely fashion can impact the business’s ability to be competitive.

Challenges like these drive companies to seek help from Managed Service Providers (MSPs) outside their organizations. Not to replace their staff, but to augment them at a much lower monthly price point. This frees them up to focus on the more strategic work needed to further enhance the business. Not all MSPs are created equal, some focus on a limited set of services, others tend to be very rigid in how they deliver their services, while some prevent you from accessing the equipment that you may own but they are managing.

Contour Data Solutions (Contour DS) differentiates themselves by addressing many of the shortcoming outlined above. Below are just a few of the ways Contour DS stands above the rest.

1. As an MSP, Contour DS offers several complimenting services all geared to make our customers lives easier and provides them with a high quality of life knowing that we have it handled. Some of these services include but are not limited to.

2. At Contour DS we consider ourselves to be a “boutique” MSP because we are very nimble in delivering custom services to meet our customer’s needs. While following best practices in everything we do, Contour DS adds a very personal touch to the services we provide addressing all our customer’s needs.

3. Contour DS is here to partner with our customers acting as an extension of their IT staff. As partners we do not lock our customers out of the systems, we are managing for them. This empowers them to make changes on their own as they see fit while making them feel safe knowing that we are here to help as needed if things go wrong.

In conclusion, businesses have a tough time keeping up with the ever-changing technology landscape. The have always been asked to do more with less, it is tough finding qualified IT professionals and keeping them trained while retaining them, and on time completion of strategic projects often suffer due to the lack of available time and resources. Working with a MSP that can provide a host of IT tasks as “a service”, who is nimble and who will go the extra mile to ensure the customer is happy, while being a true partner and not prevent them from managing their own infrastructure as needed is key to being successful.

Written By: Chuck Mirarchi, CIO

When you Google search BaaS, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just a back-end service. There is more to it. In this article I will explain how Contour’s BaaS (backup-as-a-service) strategy is all about safeguarding your data with highly flexible, fast and efficient cloud-based backup and recovery for mission-critical data and NO EGRESS FEE.

We are experts! In today’s technology there is nothing sexy or dramatic about backups – but backups are a lynch pin for business. Any IT shop – all IT shops in this case, should be performing the simple but necassary process of daily, weekly, monthly and incremental back-ups perfunctory as having a spare gasoline tank in your shed.

Is your business aware of the #1 resolution for a company who has experienced system disruptions, hacks, viruses, malware, data breaches or sabotage? Contour has the solutions – the ability to restore your data. Your data, the life and blood of any business.

If your back-ups are frequent and your restoral process has been tested, you can easily overcome incidents. Yes, easily. At Contour Data Solution it is even EAISER.

As a first step, Contour will ensure we efficiently utilize storage and network resources as well establish crisp cadences to meet backup windows and recovery time objectives. Our team of experts will provide the analytics and subject matter expertise for your operational performance and compliance.

Common challenges:

Today’s business is more interested in artificial intelligence, RPO or transformation.  But today’s challenge is having your IT Level 1 teams on a swivel – watching every alert and every ticket to ensure nothing is missed. The goal is to build trending, in order to predict an anomaly before it happens.  That is my mission! That is Contour’s mission!

How Contour helps:

This how we help –  We customize a solution that fits your needs. We use or technologies and expertise to provide solutions, whether they are private cloud, public cloud, on-premises or off-premise in our geo-diverse data centers.

What about recovery times?  We got that too! We factor into the design process to minimize recovery times as well as your point objectives. We will implement and manage these solutions to fit your schedules and needs.

Check out our process here.

How we have helped current customers with BaaS:

The best part of working at Contour, is when a customer has dire needs, we can help, when all else is lost.

This year alone, fortunate it was only three but unfortunate three companies were either breached, compromised, sabotaged or affected by malware. In each case data was either corrupted or lost.

Because of Contour’s Backup-as-a-Service strategy we knew we could restore the data in a short period of time. In one case a matter of a couple hours. In the more severe incidents, a half of a weekend. But Contour was able to restore 100% of the loss.

Like I said, ’the best part of the job’ – helping others!

Written By: Chuck Mirarchi, CIO

 

Contour IT Managed Services crosses the spectrum of customer needs in both industry and technology.

In our private cloud we can help you move away from outdated legacy technology, un-useful data archives and onsite limitations. Because we are a boutique provider, we customize solutions to companies with limited IT staff, or with commodity solutions to companies who IT needs an enterprise class data center.

Because the landscape is changing in order to fit each customer’s needs, the challenge is staffing or partnering with the right technologist, and technology.  Our tools are the best in the industry and fit industry standards. The trick for us is close customer contact and intimacy around their needs and specifications.

Although some providers may view Managed Services as an issue or even as a strategy, but for leadership at Contour, it is part of our fabric. It is our way to delight the customer – our ability to be diverse and stray away from the game-plan or margin or common solution. This is what sets us apart from the competition. It might not generate the best synergy or for capability maturity models, the best repeatable process, but there is always common ground to build repeatable menu driven processes.

For starters, Contour spends a lot of time around the customers profile, requirements, and of course old fashion customer contact, calls, video conferences and site visits. It is important to build these into the front of the process, in order to have it flow from Sales to Delivery throughout its lifecycle. Because we use effective and versatile technology we can fit a standard playbook to match the customer needs.

The goal is to delight the customer. Alleviating them from that day to day, business as usual vicissitudes of IT.  That’s what we do!

Security #Builtforthewild

Do you know what our Managed Security Solutions and YETI have in common? 

They are both #BuiltForTheWild.

Contour’s Managed Security Solutions powered by Cisco –  are built to protect you from any untamed troubles your business could possibly encounter.

Join us on May 20, 2021 at 1pm EST as we discuss the best-in-class security strategy to protect your business from unexpected predators, natural disasters and threats.

Because both YETI and our managed security solutions perform best when it matters most – we will be sending all attendees a YETI tumbler – along with a chance to win a small (24), medium (35) and large (45) Hard Yeti Cooler after the webinar has taken place.

Don’t miss this chance to not only save your business from the wild, but to claim your YETI that will help you and your business stay out longer, travel further and live harder.

Virtual Happy Hour

There is no excuse to be 'Old Fashioned' in a modern cloud & growing digital era.

Join us on May 6 @ 4:00 PM (EST)

Your cocktail kit will include:


*Bar tools and glassware are not included

Topics of discussion & Take Aways:

Flavors of dark berries and complex smoke are offset by a pop of bright citrus. This unique blend in this Old Fashioned riff is like a backyard BBQ in a glass. Kick back and enjoy!

Fill out the form below to register for this event and to receive your Old Fashioned cocktail kit that will be shipped directly to your home office a few days prior to the event. At the start of our virtual happy hour we will prepare our cocktails together and then get started!

Register Here

Register by 4/23 to ensure your kit arrives!

Rocco Guerriero, Founder & President, Contour Data Solutions and John Gentry, CTO, Virtana
Feb 25 2021 1:00 pm EST
Proactively managing cost, performance and continuing the modernization of on-prem, hybrid and multi-cloud environments is vital to transformation.

The combination of on-prem and public cloud infrastructure adds complexity. Being able to examine forecast costs, applications and weighing the right cloud service providers vs. private infrastructure is challenging. To meet this challenge, Contour and Virtana are leveraging innovative strategies and capabilities to drive decision making processes quickly.

Join the conversation between Rocco Guerriero, Founder & President, Contour Data Solutions and John Gentry, CTO, Virtana explore the pain points many IT professionals face by examining:

• Key factors that drive a successful digital transformation with scalable results
• Objectives, approach, and detailed infrastructure and application requirements
• The digital tools, methods, and technologies used to execute transformation
• Ongoing confirmation that every migrant transformation works as expected

Whether you are exploring on-prem and public cloud infrastructure initiatives or have existing strategies in place, transforming services and business is paramount to competitive effectiveness.

If you are having trouble seeing the registering, please use the following link: https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/17224/466883