When you set up your own business, the details of the network and servers might not be something you even begin to think about. However, it can make or break small businesses, especially if they have their own websites and online services. An MSP can help you manage with network management and server management so that you don’t have to worry about losing customers due to security issues or slow networks. Keep reading to learn more about what server and network managements are, as well as what an MSP is and how they can help you.
What is Server Management?
Server management is the way that servers are handled to have ideal optimization. This means that it helps prevent slow loading times, ensures the site is safe and secure, and that it can grow and expand as needed. So essentially, server management should handle four main things on a fundamental level.
- Hardware. Monitor CPUs and RAM for good performance from the server.
- Software. Keep track of software, firmware, and operating systems and make sure they are regularly updated.
- Security. Make sure antivirus software, firewalls, encryption, and access control are available and up-to-date.
- Backups. Make sure your data is constantly backed up, no matter if you use physical or cloud storage as your preferred method.
There are many different kinds of servers out there, and you may end up using a few of them at once while setting up your business. Some examples of various servers include:
- Web servers. As the name suggests, this server is what helps web content get to clients. A slow server could cause the website to load slowly or even only partially. Also, personal information like addresses and passwords are at risk of being stolen without proper protection.
- Email servers. Email servers allow mail to be sent. Usually, they can be paired with websites.
- Database servers. These servers rarely work alone, as their primary job is to store data. Data also must be carefully protected, so having server management handle that is very important.
- Proxy servers. Web proxy servers are pretty variable and can do a lot. However, they all take in requests by users and process movements for the user themselves.
Your business depends on critical IT infrastructure in order to keep it running every day. Edge Networks has been managing and maintaining IT systems for over a decade, and we’re meticulous about failure prevention.
Our support team is here for you 24/7/365 to help keep your systems performing optimally. We can also help you decide whether choosing a virtualized or cloud-based infrastructure would make the most sense for your individual business’ needs.
What is Network Management?
Unlike server management, which is mostly handled on one computer, network management handles a whole set of data on the same network. Like with server management, you can store network data either in a physical server or via a cloud system.No matter which way you decide to store it, however, you still need proper network management. Good network management handles a few different steps for you.
- Automation. A proper network management system sets up the network to handle configuration, management, testing, deployment, and operation of both the physical and virtual devices.
- Assurance. Your management system’s assurance measures will help you track and enhance performance, user experience, and security. This keeps your data safe and makes your clients happy with a smooth network. This is done by working with the analytics.
- Analytics. Network analytics measures data coming in against the models that are set up and help make decisions about network performance. It usually works with the assurance feature to make sure the system is working securely and smoothly. Some analytics include policy, application, and analytics.
By having network management, you can make your network better in a variety of ways. Some of the main benefits include:
- Reduce network disruptions
- Improve security
- Increase productivity
However, you may find that you get even more benefits from a well-managed network.
When it comes to Network Management, let Edge Networks relieve the burden. We’ll keep your IT environment safe and secure, and we’ll ensure that it’s fast, efficient, and reliable. Whether you need help choosing new hardware, software, or cloud-based solutions, we can offer guidance and personalized support, or help you maximize the lifespan and usability of the IT investments you’ve already made.
What Is an MSP?
MSP stands for Managed Service Provider. Their job is to manage information technology (IT) infrastructure and end-user systems. Many different companies hire MSPs, whether large or small businesses. Those that don’t hire MSPs tend to have their own in-house instead of using a third-party group. MSPs are tasked to handle jobs such as management of networks and infrastructure, security, and monitoring. Some Managed Service Providers will do broad jobs, while others handle more specialized sections.
Some examples of specific segments include:
- Remote firewall administration
- Financial services
- Vertical markets
- Data storage
There are three main types of MSP. There are the pure-play MSPs, who are smaller and focus on networks and applications and how those both perform. Sometimes, they may even offer their services to improve security and reports. Next is the staffing legacy MSP. These work for larger companies usually, though they may go down to more of the more mid-level groups. They do a lot of different services at once, which can include things like reporting, software upgrades, and monitoring. Finally, there are high-level MSPs. These providers outsource a lot of their client’s IT processes and offer a wide range of services.
Sometimes, MSPs can additionally be categorized by which services they offer. There are six general categories you may find an MSP falling into.
- Remote support
- Proactive support
- Simplified billing
- Scheduled maintenance
- Centralized management
Why is it beneficial to hire an MSP?
There are many benefits to hiring an MSP. Six of the most important ones are:
- Lower technology costs
- Efficient service delivery
- Experienced people helping
- Can scale up or down quickly
- Application of emerging technology
- An idea of future trends
Simply put, it is beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses to hire an MSP because that way, you can focus primarily on your business growth. The security benefits alone are well worth it. With a good MSP, you don’t have to worry about server or network security. This is incredibly important for small businesses as over half of all small businesses targeted and attacked by cybercrimes go out of business from that attack.
Also, since many small businesses don’t have security measures, and that knowledge is well-known, many cyber attacks target smaller businesses. An MSP can help you with security measures, 24-hour monitoring services, and other management and monitoring tools.
However, you get a lot more than just security with a Managed Service Provider. They are people and companies that are knowledgeable in areas that might be a bit murky to you, and they are there to provide their expertise. Not only are they experienced in their work, but they have access to expert resources to help you out.
MSPs can also provide you with data loss security measures. Things happen, and data gets lost. Even though you can have preventative plans and take steps to reduce issues, they can’t plan for everything. Thankfully, MSPs can help ensure you have up-to-date backups when something goes wrong, so you still have everything recorded somewhere.
In the long run, a service MSP can also help you save money. If something does go wrong and you need a lot of repairs or updates, then you can pay a fixed monthly income to your MSP instead of hiring another organization hourly wages to do the same work.
However, the most significant benefit of an MSP is that it allows you to focus on what’s important. You don’t have to stress and monitor parts of your business you don’t understand and constantly worry about your network and server safety.
Instead, you can keep moving forward with your business and focus on the things that matter the most to you, such as keeping up-to-date with your customers and creating new and exciting products.
How to choose a Managed Service Provider
After looking at all of the benefits of an MSP, you may want to just spring on an MSP so that you and your organization can take advantage of these benefits as soon as possible. But not all MSPs are created equally, and some can do just as much harm to your organization as the benefits they could and should be providing.
Below are some of the most important aspects of an MSP and how they operate that you should look for before beginning any business relationships. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list, and you should always perform proper research into any potential business partners.
1. Request and use references
If you’ve already shortlisted a couple of MSP candidates, you might be able to learn about some of their current clients and business partners. Reach out to these clients to better understand the MSP’s expertise with organizations of your size, as well as the type of industry you work in. If an MSP has a great reputation, it should also have a track record across the years it has been operating.
2. Look for MSPs with experience in many different work environments
We’ve seen a lot of change in how we think about work in recent years, mostly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote work, whether from home or a separate office, has exploded in popularity across many industries. An organization that needs an MSP will have to meet these technological demands with an appropriate MSP. MSPs that understand the unique challenges of getting a remote computer onto a managed network or server and the potential for new cybersecurity breaches are vital in our new work paradigm from 2022 and onwards.
3. Can the MSP feasibly scale with the growth of your organization?
As businesses ebb and flow, so should their needs from an MSP. You need to find an MSP that can keep up with your organization’s growth, otherwise, you’ll soon find the IT department to be your limiting factor. If an MSP has the right toolset for your needs, scaling up and down appropriately will be easy.
Choosing an MSP can take a lot of time, but it is well worth it. Not only can they keep your network and server running smoothly, but they can help protect your data and allow you to focus on your business’ growth and brand.
While it may not seem like a necessary expense at a glance, it is a security measure and safety net you don’t want to be without. So start looking for a Managed Service Provider as soon as possible to have peace of mind! Want to find out if Managed IT Services is right for your business? Contact us today for a free, 30-minute consultation or get started with a free, self-guided IT Security Risk Assessment.