Julie Winger – Director, Business Development
1755 Old West Main Street
Red Wing, MN 55066
Minnesota Based Service Firm
A local company with six remote office sites needed reliable communication between the remote offices and the server located in Red Wing, Minnesota. One of the challenges faced was that some of the remote offices were located in Minnesota and some were in Wisconsin. They had been working with an information technology company located in the Twin Cities area. Frustration was increasing as the provider would promise service and then not be able to make it to their site to get things functioning for them. This was becoming less acceptable as the company was growing. They needed to have a provider they could depend on to provide the support they needed to allow their remote offices to be able to access the server. Their business critical application was housed on the server in Red Wing, Minnesota and when staff in the remote offices could not access this, they were not able to be productive. Thus profitability was hindered.
The local company contacted StarTech Computing and a meeting was set up to discuss their needs. Ken Arneson, VP, Business Operations met with the local company to discover their needs and to present the services StarTech Computing, Inc. could provide to them. One of the services he presented was the FlexNet™ agreement.
After the initial meeting the local company determined the FlexNet™ agreement would help them budget their IT expenditures and give them priority service. These two things were very important to them. They signed an agreement for 10 hours per month.
At the same time they were considering the FlexNet™ agreement, network engineers from StarTech Computing, Inc. visited the local office and the remote sites to determine what their current technology infrastructure consisted of and created documentation that both organizations could refer to in the future. While they were gathering this data they were developing a plan for the best way to move forward to improve the performance of the local company’s infrastructure.
After all the data was gathered and future requirements gathered it was determined to move forward with the recommendations provided by StarTech Computing, Inc.
The local company was pleased when they were able to focus personnel resources on their business versus struggling with technology issues. Productivity was increased as the remote offices were able to access the data they needed when they needed it. The system was much more stable. When there were issues, StarTech Computing, Inc. was able to provide the timely response they needed in order to keep their offices functioning during business hours. The FlexNet™ agreement helped the local company smooth out their technology costs each month. All of these added up to a win-win situation for the local company. A successful business partnership!
Markus Hoesli, Network Specialist
1755 Old West Main Street
Red Wing, MN 55066
Averting a Technology Disaster
A potential client called StarTech Computing, Inc. with a very serious problem. Much of their critical information appeared to be lost in an instant! This information had been stored in their business specific application. This data had been collected over the course of many years! Information such as accounts receivable, scheduling information, etc. seemed to no longer exist.
When our field engineer was dispatched onsite to evaluate the situation, he indeed confirmed that the data in question was no longer available. It appeared as if the server hard drive had bad sectors. The client requested that we restore the latest backup from their backup device. The backup that the client thought was there actually was not, due to the method in which the backups were being made. They had no hard drive redundancy and their drive had bad sectors. The only remaining method to potentially retrieve their data was a drive recovery attempt by a third party. Quite often a data recovery company can retrieve “lost” data, but in this case the only data they could find was the same data that StarTech Computing had already retrieved! Our potential client was left with the cold, hard reality that their data was, in fact, absolutely gone and there were no alternatives.
The StarTech Computing engineer immediately recommended that a set of mirrored hard drives be installed into the server to protect against data loss with their line of business application. Once that was completed, a more robust and certain method of data backup was recommended and installed. That solution was a tape backup drive with plenty of capacity to grow with them into the future. A backup program was also installed that will ensure backups take place even when corrupt files exist and will do a better job of notification when and if problems arise with the backup routine. With permission from the customer we also installed a remote monitoring tool that will alert StarTech Computing to any problems with the server.
The key takeaway in this case study is that with routine maintenance of the server, proper drive redundancy, and a solid backup, this situation would have almost certainly been averted. Four months prior to the day we were called, the server was producing system alerts relative to impending drive failure. If these alerts had been noticed and acted upon, a good backup could have been made and the drive replaced. When clients contract with StarTech Computing for Scheduled Technology Management (STM) we monitor their systems to ensure that these types of alerts are acted upon. This type of routine maintenance would have made all the difference to this client and would have saved them many labor hours of data entry and the revenue they lost due to the schedule being lost. Not to mention the worry and sleepless nights.
If you are not sure if your data is secure or confident that you are getting good backups, call StarTech Computing, Inc. and have us evaluate your situation for improvements that could be made before disaster strikes! We look forward to hearing from you! StarTech Computing: 888-385-0607.