The Value of Maintenance

There are times when you have a piece of software that is not behaving, a PC that is throwing errors, update kills your systems, and security breaches among other things.

There are two main types of Server or Desktop issues.  Computer issues can be mitigated with maintenance, but can ever be completely eliminated due to manufacturer software changes, hardware aging, user’s needs, or perceptions changing. If you’re a subscriber to our UTM, Antivirus, and disaster recovery foundation and maintenance services, you are well ahead of the game. Our foundation subscribers have hardened systems, that are fully documented and easy to follow.  This make support easier, less expensive and less likely to be needed in the first place.

1. Things that happen repeatedly, less often for maintenance subscribers, more often for other people:

  • Apps that do odd things
  • Apps that will not launch
  • Apps that can’t be removed
  • Sluggish apps due to internal networks and systems (but PC’s and servers need complete shutdown weekly to keep them fresh.)

The best thing to do in these cases, is shut the PC down completely, bring it back up and see if everything is good before calling us. That will save you money. Often that’s all that a PC needs to be work properly. If this does not work, we can perform a maintenance routine, if that helps we look at running applications and remove what you no longer need, and lastly we may ask you to upgrade your machines.

Like people, computers get tired. This is because computers though electronic, are still mechanical just like a car, or any other device. They are just a series of very small switches and storage compartments being triggered and rearrange at speeds close to that of light. They like all things are subject sub-par performance due to heat, and clutter.  Our weekly subscription maintenance services are designed to help with this. Our antivirus service do not just prevent viruses; it is  automating the ordering of the drives, and general cleanup while you work. Still no computer can run 24/7 without having to be shutdown and restarted from time to time. This is the nature of computers.

Security and Internet issues

Security is always mission critical and without it, no company connected to the internet will survive. If a company holds any kind of personal information, there are laws that govern their security practices. Data breaches that allow the evil person to steal your data can result in civil penalties, and possibly criminal prosecution. Usually, things don’t get that bad, but are most certainly an annoyance. This is one place one can’t afford anything but the best, and we can’t afford to supply anything but the best.  Just as the doors and windows in your office must be locked, computer resources have to be protected even more vigorously. Security will always be an issue, the best systems will be compromised if they are on the internet, but you don’t have to be the easy target. We will attempt to patch security holes no matter what protection you have. Our subscribers will be fully taken care of by a team of engineers if they subscribe to our UTM solution. We will keep your systems strong, and up to date 24/7. If you have not investigated our internet and network security systems, you are really missing out.

 

2. Failures Small Biz PC can’t prevent but we try to predict and mitigate

Your PC, the hard drives, SSD drives, printers, modems, routers, they run a ton of software that you never see to make them accessible. Heat, age, and type of use, determines how smoothly they run, as well as how long they last. Hard drives will die from time to time, laptop main boards quit, printer rollers, latches, and what not, do not last forever. There is little one can do to extend their life but keep them between 65 and 80 degrees, 40 to 60 percent humidity, and on good clean power for optimal life.  Sometimes we can see a part failing ahead of time in the PC or server logs, but often the part just dies, placing a hardship on everyone who needs it.  The only solution here is replace the part.

On mission critical PC’s, Servers, Printers, or whatever you might have, the only real solution is to have another unit or key parts in house, on the shelf, and ready to go. In most cases we can’t get you back up and running right away if we have to order parts at the time of failure. We have found it best to replace mission critical equipment about once every three years, there is no hard rule here, but we start getting more calls about poor operating performance around year number three. Sometimes we can replace the operating systems to get more life, but the time between failures is not enough to justify the effort. PC’s are usually still serviceable but are best moved to less intense rolls. In case you are wondering, we don’t sell computer equipment.

This brings us back to disaster recovery. Most businesses can’t wait days for their business critical applications to be restored. Even with an additional server or workstation on site, it still might take a day to get the data restored onto the backup server, get the end users on and everything tested. For many businesses that is too long. Even small clients usually have about a terabyte of data, three to four proprietary applications running on SQL, and other technologies. To get up and running, they would have to put up a Windows Server, and update the OS to the last update that the down server had. That typically would take two hours on good internet to complete. The tech would have to restore the last backup and system state. This is typically done over USB  and would take 6 hours to do. At this point the third party software needs to be tested and tweaked to get it fully operational. Each desktop with printers and other peripherals would need to be validated as operational. One server, 10 users, 5 printers, and internet connection testing would easily cost a company $2,000 just for the I.T. More if we have to go back to an internet backup provider to get that data rather than an in house backup. Once this is done, the company still would be looking at more money yet, to rebuild the old server. This server outage does not just cost the business in I.T. time. You also need to factor in each employees wages during the outage. A $20.00 an hour employee * 10 employees can set you back $16,000 in wages per day, not to mention lost revenue, and reputation. Have Small Biz PC do create a disaster recovery / continuity plan, and a security audit. This up front planning may feel expensive, but is only pennies compared to an outage that occurs without a solid and tested plan in place.

Can Small Biz PC restore your server? Yes we can! and we do it more often than we like. It does not have to be this way though. We can have a virtual server option that allows us to bring up a virtual copy of your server letting you work while your dead server is rebuilt!

In the end if you have a support need, we are here for you. We try to minimize your support needs, but we can only work within what your environment allows.

Our Guarantee

If you call with virus / Malware issue and you buy our antivirus solution we will remove the same virus again at no charge if it returns in 15 days. If you buy our premier virus support package, there is never a charge.

Whatever you support need is, we plan to fix it right the first time.

All of our support options are month to month and can be cancelled at any time.  We do not lock you into contract. We want you to retain us because we are the best.

Some contracts for some services such as UTM and Disaster Recovery are multi-year. These are imposed on us by our vendors.  Over time we will swap technologies requiring long contracts, favoring companies that want you to come back because they are the best, rather than contractually obligated.

Call Small Biz PC today! 503-798-0422