New employee joins virtualDCS as it celebrates ten years of success

Michelle Guthrie joins the Cloud Computing Experts as a Business Support Assistant, with the appointment acting as another significant step in the organisation’s growth strategy.

Michelle has over ten years’ experience in administration and customer support, and her new role will utilise these skills, where she will be working directly with customers to complete a range of tasks from managing transactions, to sending invoices and answering account based questions.

virtualDCS

The new position has been driven by the company’s fantastic growth and success in delivering quality cloud solutions, such as Veeam Cloud Connect Backup & Replication, with the team capitalising on its reputation as one of the largest Veeam Cloud Connect providers in Europe.

Emma Cunningham-Booth, Business Support Manager at virtualDCS, said: “when we look to recruit any new employee, we look towards our company values as a guideline.

These are to be dependable, innovative, collaborative and easy to work with. Michelle has all of these qualities and more, so she is a fantastic fit for the company, and we are looking forward to seeing the positive impact she has.”

“I was delighted to be offered the chance to work with virtualDCS as I have always been interested in technology, with my academic career focused around it. Not only is the work rewarding, but it is also a great environment to work in, everyone is accommodating, and everyone cares about the customers, and the quality of service provided” said Michelle.

Interested in joining the team?

The award-winning cloud computing experts are also looking to expand their sales department and are currently searching for a new Business Development Manager to join the team.

If you are driven, enthusiastic and passionate about sales, customer service and cloud computing, then you could become part of the virtualDCS family.

For more information or to apply, view our full job description or contact the team on 03453 888 327.

 

Infographic: 6 reasons to backup Microsoft Office 365

Why backup microsoft office 365?

Accidental deletion

Human error is one of the biggest causes of data loss. The recycle bins and version histories in Microsoft Office 365 only provide limited protection from data loss. This can turn a simple recovery into a big problem after Office 365 has geo-redundantly deleted the data forever.
 

Internal security threats

Security threats don’t just come from outside the
organisation, businesses also experience threats from the inside and it’s happening a lot more than you think.
 
Human error and malice will always pose a threat without safeguards, such as offsite backups in place.
 

Retention policy gaps

Microsoft Office 365 has limited backup and retention policies and is not intended to be an all-encompassing backup solution.
 
A Microsoft Office 365 backup solution offers a longer accessible retention policy to protect and store all data in a single location. Simple, fast & reliable.
 

External security threats

Malware, Phishing attacks and viruses, such as Ransomware are on the rise, doing serious damage
to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
 
It’s not just your data at risk, but also your reputation. Regular backups can help prevent the damage from these attacks.

Managing deployments

Organisations adopting Microsoft Office 365 usually need a window of time for transitioning between on-premise Exchange and Office Exchange online.
 
The right backup solution should be able to handle hybrid email deployments and treat Exchange data the same.

Legal requirements

Legal obligations and compliance requirements vary between industries and countries, but you may be tasked with retrieving mailboxes or historic data, well beyond the retention policy of Microsoft Office 365. With virtualDCS and Veeam you can recover files at your fingertips.

Veeam and virtualDCS

We’ve partnered with Veeam to offer a unique solution, putting Microsoft Office 365 backup and recovery at your fingertips.
 
If you already use Veeam, just enable Veeam Cloud Connect from your console and in the event of a data problem on your site you can access the virtualDCS hosted repositories and retrieve your data at any time.
 

Find out more and access your free trial.

 


 

Thinking about application hosting?

Considering application hosting? Preparedness is everything.

Application hostingMore enterprises are leaving traditional software behind and seeking the benefits of cloud software. So naturally, developers are now looking for reliable application hosting providers in order to utilise Software as a Service (SaaS) technology as their primary method of deployment.

In addition to customer drive, there are a number of other reasons encouraging developers to move to SaaS, some of these are discussed in one of our previous blog posts ‘SaaS just makes sense’.

Transitioning to the cloud doesn’t have to be overly complicated and planning for potential potholes can mitigate any issues. With this in mind, we’re going to cover a few key points that are often forgotten, in order to help identify any gaps you may have.

Day to day operations

How would your business work as a new SaaS service? You’ve got the ideal product, but how will it translate to the cloud? Does it need to be redesigned?  Will it require more end user assistance? Can your company manage more contact? How will your staff handle this shift?  Do they need training? These are all things to consider.

Budgeting

Its typically more cost effective to work with a third party cloud provider than to create and manage your own private cloud. Unfortunately, clouds aren’t free and you need to anticipate any operational costs. You may also have to invest in new customer service operatives, training, research and marketing material in order to ensure the new model runs smoothly and to guide your current customers through changes.

The long-term

What’s on your company road map at the moment and how will it translate to the cloud? Are these priorities what your customer’s want? Who is your business going to target? It’s vital that you have a strong business case for migrating to the cloud in order to make your journey a success.

We can help every step of the way with our software hosting proof of concept, where we offer free business advice on your new model, free evaluation servers and marketing assistance to help your move to the cloud as simple as possible.

 

How do I connect to a Veeam service provider?

It’s incredibly simple to connect to a Veeam service provider and configure your Veeam Cloud Connect solution.

This blog aims to give you a brief guide on how to complete the configuration.

 

 

Before you begin you need to have the following information to hand:

A full username and password for your tenant account (speak to your service provider to register these details). A full IP address or DNS name for the Service Provider you’ll be communicating with.

Stage 1: Find your Veeam service provider

In the wizard open up the background infrastructure view, click on the ‘Service Providers’ and then ‘add a service provider’. In this section enter your IP address or the full DNS name for the Server Provider. You can also add any information for your Veeam service provider.

Stage 2: Cloud Provider configuration

  • Using the port element, specify which port your tenant backup server will use to connect to the gateway. The default port is 6180, but your service provider should be able to specify this if it’s different.
  • If the service provider is managing the tenant’s backup, you should check the box that states you “Allow this Veeam Backup & Replication installation to be managed by the service provider”. This enables the Veeam service provider to be able to manage the backup server through the Availability Console.  System Domain Credentials are needed for the Service Provider to access your console.
  • Click ‘next’.

Step 3: TLS Certification

Veeam service providerIf applicable, in this section you can view and verify the TLS certificate received from the service provider. To view this, just click the link.

  • From the credentials list, select the details for the tenant account, as provided by your Veeam Service Provider. You can also manually add them in this section. When completed, click ‘apply’.

Stage 4: Repository and Replication resources

  • In the resources tab of this screen, the system will automatically calculate the amount of resource given to the tenant, then display the results. After this has completed, click ‘next’. Please note that it may take some time.
  • Within the hardware plans category the wizard will calculate storage, computing and network assets that are available and allocated to the tenant, by the Veeam Service Provider.

Stage 5: Managing Network extensions

In the network extension tab, the wizard will detail extension appliances for the network that will be deployed on the side of the tenant. The network extension appliance is used for maintaining and initially establishing connections between production Virtual Machines and virtual Machine replicas after a partial site failover has been initiated.

Here, using the Network Extension Appliances list, you can also view the default extension settings, add new network extensions (if you have multiple IP networks in production) or edit current ones.

Step 6: Configuring network extension appliances

This window gives two options, where you can edit the existing appliance by selecting and clicking ‘edit’, or offering the facility to add new extensions.

  • Navigate to ‘choose’ and select the host which the network extension needs applying to. This is the source host where your production Virtual Machines will be replicated to the host.
  • This step differs, depending on what hardware plan you have.
    • For VMware Hardware plans, in the ‘resource pool,’ section click ‘choose’ and select the pool where the extension appliance Virtual machine is to be placed. In the Datastore section, click choose and select the store where you would like to keep the files of the network extension appliance VM.
    • For Hyper-V hardware, in the Folder section, press ‘choose’ and select the path and folder where you’d like to keep files of the network expansion VM. In the network section, select the Virtual Switch that the production VMs on the host is currently connected to.

Step 7 (optional): IP clarification

The next step is to confirm the appliance’s settings. If you’d like to assign this automatically (you have DHCP configured in your environment), simply keep the ‘obtain IP address automatically’ selected.  Please note that Veeam Cloud Connect does not currently support DHCP for replication. Further information on the current limitations can be found at  https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backup/cloud/cloud_replication_limitations.html?ver=95

To manually assign the IP address to the appliance, enter the information into the “use the following IP addresses” section, specifying the IP address, Subnet mask and default gateway. Click ‘ok’ to proceed.

Stage 6: Summary of results

At the apply stage of the wizard, you’ll be able to view and save resource information, as well as deploy the specified number of network extension appliances to your host. After this process has completed, just click ‘next’. You’ll then be able to review the configuration and close the wizard.

If you’d like any further advice or information, feel free to leave a comment below, email enquiries@virtualDCS.co.uk or call +44 (0)3453 888 327.

Happy birthday to us! virtualDCS celebrates 10 years of cloud innovation

virtualDCS will be celebrating in style on the 1st September, looking back at a decade of success in the Cloud.

A blog by Richard May, Managing Director.

The Cloud was born here in Leeds. In 2005 the virtualDCS team, working at the ICM Computer Group, built the first ever VMware cloud platform. We also signed the first ever UK lead initiative to provide rented VMware resources. This model is now the cloud as we know it today.

happy birthday virtualDCS - cloud computing expertsAfter many Coffee shop meetings after work, we decided to create virtualDCS and focus on this new IT explosion. Today, we’re still acting as catalysts for change within the industry, with benchmarks such as being the ‘first VMware Service Provider Enterprise partner’ to being one of the largest Veeam Cloud Connect providers in Europe.

Our UK hosted cloud platform now spans multiple sites and is arguably the most mature UK owned cloud platform in the country. This is another accolade we are very proud of.   

With many of our first employees still at the company, our recruitment approach of employing apprentices has been great for us. 10 years and we still have every single one of them. This is why we see our company as a shining example of how the Apprentice Scheme can help people reach their full potential.

Looking toward the future

Now we’ve hit this milestone, we’re not planning on sitting back with our feet up. We’ve just welcomed Colin Meakin as a new non-executive director into the team. We’ve also expanded our support department and are currently recruiting for new business development managers and administrative assistants.

We’ve also just recertified our ISO 27001 status and are working hand in hand with Veeam to launch a new service that the industry hasn’t seen before.

So, how do we do it all, you ask? Looking back it’s safe to say we owe a lot of our success to our fantastic employees. Our strong business values also play a part.

What are our values?

If you split virtualDCS in half like a stick of rock, these values would be right down the middle:

Be dependable – to do what we say we will when we say we will.

To be consistently innovative – We’re always looking to improve, both in business and technology.

Be easy to do business with – Any action that we take makes our customer’s lives easier.

To be an awesome place to work – We want our employees to enjoy coming to work and our customers excited to visit us.

10 years on we’ve still got our first ever customer, and yes, they still enjoy visiting us. As well ensuring our high standards, these values have seen us supporting the community doing many weird and wonderful things, from 7 seated charity bike rides to bring your pet to work week.

With so few businesses managing to hit this milestone, we’re delighted that we’ve reached our 10th birthday. We’re now looking forward to the next 10.

If you’d like to speak to us in more detail about our solutions and our company, we’re always on the other end of the phone. Just call 03453 888 327 or email enquiries@virtualDCS.co.uk.

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