question for support people

closed account (iw0XoG1T)
My wife works for a small non-profit and in about a year and a half it will be time for them to upgrade their server. They would like to go to a "cloud" and have someone else be responsible for the server.

They would like to know--what questions should they be asking?

Does anyone recommend any companies?

How would you go about looking for a company to host your server?

They are as a group (about 15 people) fairly computer illiterate, so they would need support that is use to people like that.

There are no databases (they are already managed by someone else)?

Security is important, but they don't keep information like credit cards or bank information so nobody would be very motivated to see their data.
I've had good luck with Staminus in terms of snappy customer support. What exactly does the server need to be capable of? I can vouch for their attack protection service, as not one of my clients that I've set up with them have complained about being taken offline by a competitor yet.

http://www.staminus.net/CLOUD-OVERVIEW
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closed account (iw0XoG1T)
@Luc Lieber

Thanks.

I was surprised that I didn't get more responses. I really thought that more people would have advice and opinions on what to look for.

You say you have done this for your customers, are you still providing them support?

At my wife's organization they replace their server about every 5 years (cost approximately 8000) and spend another rough 3000 each year on support, that's about $23,000 or $4,600 annually.) Do you think it is possible for them to do better (cost-wise) with a cloud?

I should also say I am not completely sure sometimes what others mean when they say "cloud". I used the buzz-word because my wife used it. What they really would want is just a secure server somewhere where they can assess and store files.
You say you have done this for your customers, are you still providing them support?


It varies, but most of the support that I do provide is working with their development staff as a facilitator (making sure that nothing breaks while they make their changes). There have only been a few times that I've had to work with Staminus with a problem on their end.

Do you think it is possible for them to do better (cost-wise) with a cloud?


I can't really answer that accurately. Your best bet would be to get together with a 'cloud' representative and find the lowest-end system that would work for you. They'll need a fairly comprehensive list of what the organization's current server does in order to give you an accurate quote.

* If all that the organization needs is a file storage box, then I'd say with 99% certainty that Staminus could cut their costs by quite a large factor.
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I'd say rent out a building and invest a few thousand into servers. I know its a bit expensive, but if you want security, you should really take matters into your own hands.
Fredbill30 wrote:
I'd say rent out a building and invest a few thousand into servers. I know its a bit expensive, but if you want security, you should really take matters into your own hands.
The cost of this would likely be FAR more than a small non-profit could afford. I would look for a local IT firm that will host a server and provide support.
Whoops, I didn't see the non-profit part.
The key term was small.
They never defined "small".
I'd say rent out a building and invest a few thousand into servers.


I'm not sure how that would qualify as "small" by any definition of the word...
Some companies I know consider themselves small but can afford this.
@chwsks First of all you need to describe the functionality they get from their current server, and what functionality they expect from a future solution.

If they're using it solely for file storage, then I'd suggest going to something like DropBox using a company account.

If they do more involved things like email, then they can look at getting a product like Google Apps (incl Gmail for work email).

If they use the server as a network proxy, then unfortunately they need to still have some kind of server onsite to continue this role.

Going to the "cloud" is not something you should do because it's a buzzword, or because you think your data is going to be magically safe there (it won't be).


Reference: I was development manager, hardware manager and used to do this kind of stuff for a job. Nowadays I design solutions for companies including software, hardware and infrastructure design (onsite, data centres and cloud)

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