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Understanding IT support services in Sacramento
The IT support services industry has grown massively over recent years. This is great news for SMBs, which can now have all their basic IT infrastructure needs met without the pain of having to recruit, retain and manage an in-house IT ops team. Navigating your way through everything on offer can, however, be rather confusing, so here is a quick guide to what you need to know about IT support services in Sacramento.
Managed hosting services give you convenient access to essential IT infrastructure
Managed hosting has now become a huge industry on its own especially if you include all public cloud platforms which are essentially just one specific niche of managed hosting.
At a basic level, managed hosting services allow SMBs to lease serviced infrastructure. In a classic managed hosting arrangement, the managed services vendor will take care of everything up to and including the operating system on the servers. In other words, the client just needs to manage their own applications and data.
This approach to managed hosting is often used for private clouds, but it can also be used to keep legacy infrastructure running until cloud migrations can be completed.
Public cloud platforms
Public cloud platforms are essentially just managed hosting services that are shared between multiple customers, known as “tenants”. Some of these platforms can go much further than traditional managed hosting services and take care of applications (software as a service) and these can often even handle certain aspects of data management such as automated backups.
The shared nature of public cloud platforms brings both benefits and challenges. On the one hand, public cloud platforms are robust (at least if you stick with a mainstream provider), flexible and scalable. They can also be massively cost-effective. There are, however, challenges that need to be addressed.
The headline challenge is security. First of all, anyone who uses a public cloud platform is completely dependent on their provider to secure the platform against external threats. In practical terms, this is usually a non-issue since the mainstream providers will typically do a very good job of this. The real security challenge is securing company data effectively without full access to the back end.
This challenge is far from insurmountable. It can however mean both that SMBs need help from external vendors such as managed IT security services and that they need to keep at least some of their data out of public clouds.
The other major issue with public cloud platforms is that flexibility of pricing works both ways. SMBs can indeed get themselves some great deals with public clouds, but they can also end up paying a whole lot more than they expected. The onus is on them to manage both their use and their spend. In the public cloud, these are effectively the same, which can mean that staff need to adapt their behavior. In particular, leaving resources “idling” is often perfectly sensible in a data center, but will basically eat money in a public cloud..
Managed IT support service vendors are the people who look after regular maintenance
A large part of taking care of IT infrastructure is simply making sure that essential “housekeeping” tasks are performed promptly and effectively. Whether it’s applying patches and updates or monitoring systems to check for any signs of trouble or any of the many other jobs which need to be done just to keep an IT system ticking over, managed IT support services can do any or all of it.
The key point to understand, however, is that although managed IT support services is a huge industry and does a lot, it only undertakes maintenance tasks, not projects and not break/fix work. Essentially, managed IT support services is all about providing predictable services for a set fee. It is great as far as it goes but there is a limit to how far it goes.
IT support helps with projects and break/fix work
Technically, IT support provides short-term help for specific needs. In practical terms, however, this generally translates to projects and break/fix work. Basically, IT support is the IT service that picks up where managed IT support services leaves off.
Project work can and should be scheduled in advance and many IT support providers encourage SMBs to do so by providing discounts on the advance purchase of services. Break/fix work is, however, reactive, which means you can never really know in advance how much you are going to need to spend on it. This is exactly why a good cyber-insurance policy can be a great investment.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced IT support services in Sacramento, please click here now to contact Salient IT.