Essential solutions to keep your creative files and assets secure

Essential solutions to keep your creative files and assets secure

We’ve been supplying leading creative technology solutions for more than 25 years now, and we’ve worked with some of the UK’s top creatives for just as long. We realise that lots of creative teams manage with the basics when it comes to storage, security, servers, and the other less glitzy IT stuff, but it’s essential to ensure that your assets and files are protected against the unknown.

Of course, nobody ever expects massive data loss to happen to them. And while it may sound dramatic, it’s probably worth asking yourself what you’d do if your premises went up in flames overnight. If your team are working from a shared hard drive on the office floor, saving assets and files to internal hard drives on your computers, or backing up to a server sat on the floor above, you could be putting all your work at risk.

Reportedly, 58% of small business aren’t prepared for data loss, with a further 60% closing down within six months of losing critical data. And while you may even be storing duplicate copies of your files on separate hard drives, there’s still a risk of those failing too. By slacking in the backend, you could face losing years worth of clients’ work, your company’s entire history of creative branding and marketing collateral, and more. Fortunately, there are solutions out there that’ll help prevent a file-related disaster before it happens, and will have your back on the off-chance one does occur. Here are a few of our top recommendations for keeping your precious work out of harm’s way…

For data backup…

If your business currently handles over 1TB of data, our very own Backup24 is perfect for keeping your files safe. It offers secure, offsite protection for all your digital media assets, and you can leave everything with us so you don’t have to bother with the management headache. Backup24 is scalable, meaning you can increase or reduce the amount of data you backup quickly and easily, with pricing starting from just £40 per terabyte per month. Users will also benefit from professional over the phone support, anytime access to data, fast and simple data retrieval, and much more. Unlike when you go with bigger providers, we can physically check your data everyday and don’t charge you to access your backups. You can find out more about Backup24 here.

For data security…

Security should be a top priority for every creative team. It’s important to consider what protection you have against hacking and infiltration, and to have a plan in place in case your data is compromised. Lots of teams use services like Dropbox or Google Drive to store files and assets, and while they may be cheap and convenient, this can leave your data wide open to malicious attacks.

If this is something you’re concerned about and want to ensure that your files stay private and secure, or if you’re a larger organisation that needs complete control and visibility over lots of assets, we’d recommend Acronis Access Advanced, which addresses common file security and privacy issues. It’s ideal for businesses who need a safe method for users to access and share content both internally and externally across a range of devices. The solution allows users to work with business files anytime, anywhere, bolsters content security and privacy, increases IT control and ensures compliance, boosts end user productivity and improves collaboration between colleagues. It also offers comprehensive security functionality and controls to better manage and protect users, apps and data, and the whole solution is easy to install, administer and use.

To receive a 30 day free trial of Acronis Access Advanced, head over to their website. In the video below, the Acronis team asked business people where they think their data is being stored and what would happen if it was lost or stolen…

For data transfer…

If you’re going to start regularly backing up your creative files and assets, you’ll require connectivity that’s well-suited to handling bandwidth-intensive processes and applications. For this, we reckon ATTO’s ThunderLink devices are ideal. Basically, they act as external adapters for Thunderbolt 2 to Ethernet, Fibre Channel and SAS and Thunderbolt 3 to Ethernet and Fibre Channel. They connect all-in-one systems and laptops to storage devices while delivering high data transfer rates, as well as link aggregation and failover, redundancy and increased availability for critical network applications to protect against potential system failure.

ThunderLink devices provide optimised, scalable connectivity and are designed to integrate seamlessly into existing infrastructures. ATTO’s latest ThunderLink lineup boasts superior throughput to meet modern bandwidth requirements – respective devices deliver 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 to Ethernet and scalable 16Gb/s and 32Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 to Fibre Channel connectivity – perfect for speedy data backups and transfers of large creative files and assets. You can find out more about ATTO hardware here.

If anything we’ve discussed has got you thinking about the way your team secures, stores, shares and transfers creative files, get in touch with our specialist team on the details below and they’ll be happy to discuss any of the products mentioned above and any workflow requirements you may have.

If you’d like to find out more about our essential solutions for creative teams, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Video: Easy client backup and archiving

Video: Easy client backup and archiving

In this presentation, Jigsaw24’s backup specialists Tom and Phill show us step by step a fast, efficient and worry-free way to back up and archive, featuring CrashPlan by Code42 and YoYotta ID.

Want to know more about backup and archiving? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 288, email solutions@Jigsaw24.com or visit www.Jigsaw24.com/solutions.

Your guide to better backup: RPO and RTO explained

Your guide to better backup: RPO and RTO explained

There’s nothing this blog likes better than jargon-busting, and today we’ve got two key backup acronyms in our sights: RPO and RTO. 

First off: what do they stand for?

RPO stands for recovery point objective. It refers to the last point in time you can afford to restore to. So for example, if one of your systems relies on a static database, the RPO for that database could be hours or even days – you can work as well from last week’s data as from yesterday’s. If you run an online store, though, your RPO will be to the last transaction, which could be seconds ago.

RTO stands for recovery time objective. This is the amount of time your key systems can go down for without your business being adversely affected. For example, if your server crashed on Thursday and you could afford for it to stay offline until the end of Friday without losing any business, your RTO would be a day. If you can’t afford to ever have your systems go offline, then your RTO is zero.

Why should I worry about them?

RPO dictates how redundant your storage, infrastructure and backup need to be. The lower your RPO, the more redundancy you need to build into your organisation.

Your RTO dictates the type of backup and data replication that you need. For example, restoring from a tape archive can take days, so if your RTO is less than that you may want to use disks for archive storage instead, and make sure you have a good offsite data replication solution you can work from.

Data replication is just another word for backup, right?

Not quite. Data replication is a mirror copy of your data that you can access instantly in the event that your primary system goes down. Data stored there is in a format that end users can use immediately. One customer of ours, for example, has a copy of their main server hosted in the cloud, and if their internal network goes down, key members of staff can just log into the cloud version of the server and keep working. Replicating your data is expensive as you need twice as much storage, but massively reduces the time it takes you to get back up and running.

A backup is a copy of your data that is unconnected to your live system, is probably kept in a format that your end users can’t access immediately, and needs to be restored before it can be accessed. There is no instant access to a backup copy.

Glad we cleared that up. How do I calculate my RPO and RTO?

Well, your RPO is simply the amount of data you can afford to lose and still function as a business, so you’re going to to need to sit down with a copy of your backup schedule and make sure that it gives you access to the data that you need. One thing to bear in mind is that where your backups are is almost as important as when they were done – if you make backups every day but only take them offsite at the end of the week, a flood would destroy a week’s worth of backups, not a day’s worth. If keeping your RPO down in a priority, it’s better to invest in more media and move your backups offsite every day (you might consider using the cloud rather than physical drives to control the cost of this).

Your RTO is based on a range of factors, including: how quickly downtime will lead to you losing money; how quickly downtime will cause a loss of customer faith and see you lose customers to rivals; which business practices are dependent on which systems (the RTO for systems with a lot of dependants is less than that of systems with few dependants); how critical those dependants are (the RTO for critical dependants is lower that that of non-critical ones).

If I’m backing up a lot of data, how do I make sure I maintain my RTO?

This is an increasingly common question. Rich media files can be huge, which means you can end up with multi-terabyte file and email servers to back up every day, which can actually take longer than a day to do. This backup deficit is, obviously, deeply bad from a data recovery point of view.

What you want to do is take a tiered approach. Get everything you’re keeping ‘just because’ or which isn’t used regularly over to an offsite archive, and back this up as infrequently as is safe (every month, for example). Then, you’ll only need to do daily/hourly backups on current files and live projects, which will be far faster and be less likely to have a negative impact on day to day user experience.

You can also use a tiered system to reduce overall costs. Rather than keeping everything on the most redundant possible storage, identify your critical systems, medium priority systems and low priority systems, and build in appropriate levels of redundancy and data protection for each.

Want to know more about ensuring you can meet your RTO and RPO? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email solutions@Jigsaw24.com. or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Why you need backup for your devices AND your server

Why you need backup for your devices AND your server

We’re always bigging up backup for business, but nowadays, just having a device-based backup strategy won’t cut it. If your server suddenly went down, would your teams still be able to carry on working? 

Backing up your server gives you disaster recovery, or the ability to recover data if disaster strikes, be that a system crash, hard drive failure, or if any files get corrupted or accidentally deleted. Having resilient infrastructure with data stored in multiple places also gives you business continuity, meaning you can keep up and running.

Client/device-based backup lets end users restore their machine back to its pre-disaster state and recover any files you need, so you can get your laptop back quickly and hassle-free. If you’re already using Macs, you’ll be familiar (or if not, you should be) with Apple’s Time Machine tool, which automatically backs up files to an external hard drive so you can restore them later or revert to a previous version of your desktop. But for a more enterprise-friendly solution, we suggest Code 42’s CrashPlan. CrashPlan works in the background on your computers to silently and continuously back up all distributed end-user data so you have complete visibility and control on a single, secure platform.

All your end users should be working from the server, and your server data should be backed up on a regular basis. Even mobile workers should ensure they’re saving back to the server rather than locally to their devices, and if they can’t access the server temporarily, should sync back to it once they do have access.

If you’re looking at improving your backup, get in touch with our expert storage team to talk backup strategy and business continuity, based on your current business requirements. We can discuss:

– The size of your current data set.

– How your data is stored.

– What type of files you’re dealing with – large HD video files or lots of smaller files.

– Data turnover rates so we can determine the bandwidth needed to backup your data effectively.

– Data growth rate.

– Retention period – how long you require historic snapshots of the data to be kept for.

– Bandwidth – the speed of your internet connection

– Security – whether encryption is required.

Want to know more about backup? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email solutions@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

 

Your backup glossary

Your backup glossary

While the perils of not having a proper backup solution are widely known (you’ll lose a lot of time and money if you suddenly can’t get at your application or files, basically), not everyone out there is clear on how to start implementing a plan, or what kind of backup strategy they need.

Even if you know your options, choosing between them can be a challenge – especially if you don’t speak the lingo. Backup and archive is as full of acronyms, abbreviations and just plain odd terms as every other area of IT, and it can make working out what you actually need a bit of a minefield. With that in mind, we asked our consultants to define some of the most common buzzwords, just to help you get started…

3-2-1 A popular backup strategy that suggests you have three copies of your data. Two copies should be onsite but on different devices in case one fails. One copy should also be kept offsite in case anything happens to your office. We recommend following this model.

Backup A copy of a file or application saved in case the original is lost. You can perform incremental backups or full backups of your systems and devices.

Backup rotation strategy Competing strategies that suggest how and when you should back up your data in order to maximise data retention but minimise the resources needed to maintain and implement backups. Common strategies include FIFO, GFS  and the Tower of Hanoi (all below).

Backup window The period of time in which it is most convenient for you to back up your data and applications. For example, if your business is open from nine to five Monday to Friday, your backup windows are from 5pm to 9am the next day, and all day over the weekend, as workers are not in the office so it doesn’t matter if systems are slowed down by (or inaccessible because of) an ongoing backup, and there are no open files (many solutions do not back up open files). Knowing your backup window has a big impact on your choice of backup system, as different kinds are able to back up different volumes of data in given timeframes. If your setup is designed to perform an automated backup at a specific time, this is also sometimes referred to as a backup window.

Cloud backup Cloud backups are a form of offsite backup. Your backup is kept in cloud storage (hence the name). The cloud can be private (run on hardware that is reserved just for your company’s use, regardless of where it’s hosted or if you manage it yourselves) or public (in which you share storage with multiple other users, and it is managed by a third party). Factors to consider when choosing between the two include your budget, data security requirements and retrieval time targets.

Disk Usually, backing up to disk will refer to backing up to hard drives (HDDs) instead of tape storage. This has the advantage that it is generally faster to back up to and retrieve data from disks than it is tapes, but on the other hand the cost per TB is higher and they have a shorter shelf life.

FIFO First In, First Out or FIFO is a backup rotation strategy in which you constantly rewrite your newest files over your oldest and least useful files. For example, if you had seven disks or tapes and did one back up every day, every Monday you would write over the previous Monday’s backup, lose the iterations of your work it contained and replace them with new ones. While this is simple and easy to organise, it does mean that if someone accidentally deletes a key file and doesn’t notice until a week later, all the backups containing the file will have been overwritten.

Full backup A complete backup of all data on a machine or system, regardless of whether the data has changed since the last back up was performed. Usually performed a regular, fairly spread out intervals (e.g. weekly or monthly) and supplemented by incremental backups.

GFS (Grandfather – Father – Son) A tape rotation strategy that suggests you have three levels of backup, for example monthly (grandfather), weekly (father) and daily (son). To give an example, you might use drives 1-4 to back up Monday-Thursday. Friday’s drive, 5, would be archived and replaced with a new drive, 6. The next week you would use 1-4 to back up Monday – Thursday, then archive 6 and replace it with 7. At the end of the month, you would archive the final Friday’s tape. This system would mean that at any time, you would have access to a back up from every day in the last week, every Friday in the last month, and every month for however long you care to keep those backups for. Some systems also include an annual ‘great grandfather’ backup.

HDD A hard disk drive, sometimes called a hard disk. Common storage media.

Hosted backup A form of offsite backup in which your data is kept on storage that is hosted (i.e. housed and maintained) by a third party. For example, our Backup24 solution allows you to back up your files to a Tier 2+ UK datacentre which we maintain on our clients’ behalf.

Incremental backup A backup which only copies files, applications or data which has changed since the previous backup. Quicker and easier than full backups, incremental backups are often performed hourly or daily in order to supplement full backups, which are carried out less frequently.

LTO Linear Tape Open is the standard format for magnetic tape storage. You’ll hear tape storage referred to as ‘LTO tapes’ and tape libraries as ‘LTO libraries’ – all this means is that they are made up of tapes which use the LTO standard to store their data. The current version of the standard is LTO 7 (capacity: 6TB per tape). LTO 7 technology can write to LTO 7 or LTO 6 media, and read from LTO 7, LTO 6 and LTO 5 media.

Offsite backup A backup which is stored somewhere other than your primary location. These are useful in case your main office is affected by fire, flood or power failure, and are often an insurance requirement. Data can be copied to a drive or tape in your location and then removed (for example, if you were to save everything to a drive that was then couriered to a data centre), or transmitted to another location and backed up there. Cloud backups are a form of offsite backup.

Onsite backup A backup which is stored on your premises, rather than offsite. They are generally quicker and easier to retrieve from than offsite backups, so are useful if, for example, someone accidentally deletes something.

Snapshots A snapshot backup captures how the entire architecture of an application, device or system looks at a particular moment in time. Restoring a snapshot backup that was taken a week ago will restore the system to the settings, content, etc that was in place when the snapshot was taken; users will lose any content created since the snapshot, and any changes to their settings they’ve made in the past week will need to be made again. You can also mount your file system as it was at the time of the snapshot and retrieve individual files.

Tape Magnetic tapes have been a staple storage medium for donkey’s years. Tape is ideal for backup and archive as it has a low cost-per-terabyte and a shelf life of up to 30 years (although it is generally slower to write to and retrieve from than disk storage). Tapes are written and read in a tape drive, and housed in tape libraries, sometimes referred to as LTO libraries after the standard used to store data on the tapes.

Tape library A piece of hardware designed to hold a large number of tapes, and which includes a robotic arm for reading and retrieving disks.

Tape rotation strategy Often used interchangeably with backup rotation strategy. Just means planning how to rotate your tapes so that you don’t end up spending your entire budget filling your entire office with storage media.

Tower of Hanoi A backup rotation strategy based on the Tower of Hanoi puzzle. You take a series of tapes – let’s say five, and let’s say they’re labelled A – E. Tape A is backed up every other day, B is backed up every fourth day, C every eighth day, and D and E are backed up on alternate 16th days. This gives you a range of restore options, while minimising the number of tapes needed.

Want to know more about backup? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email sales@Jigsaw24.com. or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

How does Backup24 stack up against other backup services?

How does Backup24 stack up against other backup services?

If you’re looking for a way to look after your digital assets, and get the peace of mind that your work is protected against human error, air conditioning failures, hardware faults, computer viruses and the like, a hosted backup service is the way to go.

We offer our own service called Backup24, which is durable, reliable and – crucially – affordable. But how does it compare to some of the other solutions out there? One popular option is Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), part of Amazon Web Services. But there are a number of reasons we believe Backup24 is more suitable than Amazon S3 for users who work in the creative industries and have large digital files.

Simple pricing

Taking a look at Amazon’s pricing structure, you can see it’s rather complex, with charges for number of requests, type of request and the duration of data being held (Standard, Standard Infrequent Access and the more long-term Glacier package). Backup24, on the other hand, is priced on a simple £40 per TB stored per month model. As part of this, we provide help with restores should it be required, or there is also a self-service option available. There are also no bandwidth costs.

For larger businesses, we can also provide dedicated connectivity, which gives you a secure VPN connection to the data centre with ring-fenced bandwidth for your backups and restores, at £500 per 100Mbps dedicated connectivity per month.

Fully managed

With Backup24, one of our engineers will check your backup each day. With Amazon S3, the onus is on you to check that your backup has worked each day. You also need to complete online training on Amazon Web Services, whereas you don’t need to learn anything with Backup24 – we set it up, run it for you and will perform restores for you (or we can show you how to do this for yourself).

Designed for creatives

We’ve designed Backup24 specifically for creative users, whereas Amazon lead on being backup for business customers. And because creative work like video, audio and image files are high capacity and very valuable, we price our service per TB, rather than per GB.

Customer-focused

As with all our services and solutions, we like to put you, the customer, front and centre, and make sure we talk to all our customers regardless of size. You get a dedicated point of contact for your account, plus engineers available on the end of the phone during normal business hours.

They can advise on all things backup and storage, check in on the state of your backups and help you find files too. With Amazon, only the largest customers have someone to speak to about the service.

And the rest

As well as all that, here are a few of the other benefits of choosing Backup24 from Jigsaw24:

Someone on the end of the phone to give you advice and guidance, and to see how your backups are doing.

No file recovery costs so there’s no limit to your file access.

Fast, simple retrieval of your mission-critical data – if you lose your data, we should be able to retrieve it.

Secure connections initiated by you, making for safer transfer of data.

Live mirror copy of your existing data structure.

Daily snapshots of data, so any version of a file can be retrieved.

Physical checks of the integrity of the backup every day.

Physical pre-stage of data. Imagine you have 20TB of data – to get that into  cloud backup over the internet would take forever, so this eliminates that.

Restore of data onto physical drives if required (at an additional cost).

Want to find out more about Backup24? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email solutions@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Would you be better ditching desktop drives for Backup24?

Would you be better ditching desktop drives for Backup24?

We all know that it’s important to back up your files, particularly when you’re working to deadline and for clients. Traditionally, the best practice for this has been to use an automated service like Apple’s Time Machine to back up your files to a local desktop drive. But would you be better taking things to the cloud? 

Using desktop drives for backup has long been popular because it’s immediate, your data is on hand to restore from in an emergency, and there’s something reassuring about having your backup within arm’s reach. However, as resolutions keep increasing, file sizes balloon and clients demand more versions of projects for different platforms, finding space for backup copies of all your files is increasingly challenging. Which is where Backup24 comes in.

How does Backup24 help?

Lower costs

Backup24 costs a flat rate of £40 per TB, per month. A 1TB, professional quality drive is likely to set you back significantly more than this – a rugged LaCie drive is £115 ex VAT, for example. You also have to pay for power to run then, find space to store them, and spend time setting them up, checking the backups have worked and checking the drives are still hearty, hale and haven’t failed.

No management needed

Our engineering team will check your backups daily, and you’ll get regular reports confirming that everything’s OK, or alerting you if there was a problem. There’s no extensive setup process, there’s no need for online training to learn how to back up your files (as is the case with some other cloud storage systems), and there’s no need for you to spend time checking all transfers have worked and no drives have failed.

And if you need to access older data, there’s no risk that a file stored in Backup24 will have become inaccessible, whereas a hard drive left to collect dust for a few months may well fail on startup, and any data on it will be lost.

Capacity and scalability

If you’re buying drives on an ad hoc basis, it’s difficult to predict when you’re going to need storage and how much you’ll want, meaning an unpredictable spending cycle and no solid plan if you ever need to scale up. With Backup24, you pay a flat fee of £40 per TB per month, and all it takes to increase the amount of storage available to you is a phone call to our sales team (number below).

Data security

Your data is being backed up to our UK-based Tier 2+ data centre, which means not only is it secure in the sense that it’s unlikely to fail, but we can also provide dedicated VPN access to your data. We’ll provide dedicated connectivity, which gives you a secure VPN connection to the data centre, with ringfenced bandwidth for your backups and restores (this is an extra £500 a month per 100Mbps of bandwidth you use).

Physical space

Moving to the cloud will allow you to free up all the space on your desks and in your offices that’s currently occupied by desktop drives, giving you more room to work.

Want to know more? Take a look at the details here, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email solutions@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

3-2-1 backup solutions for photographers

3-2-1 backup solutions for photographers

To mitigate against the ever-present threat of disk failure, a corrupted card or accidental deletion, backing up should be a major concern for any professional shooting images and video. Luckily, there’s a whole array of products that can help you follow the golden rule: always have three copies of your data, on two types of media and keep one backup copy offsite.

Backing up in the field

It’s best to ingest dailies and rushes as soon as possible after a shoot, then start making multiple copies straight away. You can ingest and duplicate straight on to mobile drives – we recommend a ruggedised one (i.e. one that’s got at least some drop and shock protection) like the G-DRIVE ev RaW Rugged 1TB hard drive. If you find yourself working in a particularly exotic location where water, sand and dust pose a threat to your backup copies, then choose drives with the added protection of an all terrain case.

Even the most rugged and reliable mobile drives can still fail, so a nifty way to make two simultaneous copies to disks is by using a RAID, and for backups in the field there’s nothing better than the Rugged RAID from LaCie. It’s even bus-powered over Thunderbolt too, so there’s no need to lug around an external power supply with you.

rugged_graid_drive

Backing up in the studio

Depending on your field backup strategy, you might want to make additional copies when you’ve back in the studio. If you’ve backed up onto G-DRIVE ev modules then you can drop the mobile drives straight onto a RAID-protected storage array like the G-SPEED Shuttle XL ev, which adds further protection for your data against disk failures. If you only need one additional copy, you could drop backups on to a straightforward external drive. While there’s no redundancy built in should the drive fail, this is a popular fuss-free solution, and with external drives now sporting capacities of up to 10TB you get plenty of bytes for your buck. Take a look at our range of external drives here.

Backing up to other types of media

m_tape

Maxing out internal storage, cards and drives can get expensive, especially if you’re keeping multiple copies of your data. Offloading to lower cost media like LTO tapes or centralised NAS storage is a good strategy once you have an initial copy sorted. While it takes longer to recover data from tape than from other media, the cost per TB is exceptionally low and you don’t even need a centralised LTO tape library to benefit. The M-TAPE Thunderbolt Tape Drive is direct-attach over Thunderbolt, and this bundle comes with YoYotta software to index, backup, archive and restore all your camera ingests and track assets from production to post.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

How Apple and Acronis are making Mac integration easier

How Apple and Acronis are making Mac integration easier

There have been times in history when Mac computers and PC servers were less than friendly, but with iOS devices overrunning offices and people outside the design department asking for Macs, those days are long gone. OS X offers you tools to make integration easier than ever, and there are some great third party tools available, too.

Let’s start with the basics

It’s a myth that you can’t integrate Mac computers into a Windows environment. The latest version of OS X, Yosemite, even supports SMB 3.0, so everyone’s on the same file sharing protocol and integration is even easier.

However, to deliver the best user experience, your servers still need a little help…

While huge strides have been made, SMB 3.0 is only supported by Windows Server 2012 and OS X Yosemite, and Mac users in a Windows environment can still experience issues like seeing certain files as ‘greyed out’ and inaccessible, or be denied certain permissions that their PC counterparts have. There are also Mac-only features, such as Spotlight search, that aren’t supported if you’re just using Apple’s built-in integration tools, but which contribute a considerable amount to your Mac users’ productivity and the hassle-free user experience they expect from their Apple kit.

Acronis Access Connect (formerly known as ExtremeZ-IP) is a tried and tested solution for solving these issues. By allowing Mac computers to connect to Windows servers over AFP, it re-enables instant search and indexing, and allows Mac users to integrate their files with volumes and file structures on your Windows network. It also returns support for Time Machine, Apple’s built-in backup technology, to the Mac.

Part of Access Connect’s appeal is that it installs quickly, and automatically integrates with Active Directory accounts and NTFS permissions. It then allows end users running any version of OS X to connect using AFP. This results in better performance from their core apps (which are all optimised for AFP) and gives parity of functionality between users.

It also makes life easier for IT admins – not just because they don’t have to deal with incompatibility-based help desk queries, but because Access Connect supports key features like single sign on through Kerberos,  DFS/network reshare, home directories, clustering, quotas, file name policies and advanced logging.

And don’t forget to back up…

If you need to back up your servers (hint: you do) but don’t have the money, capacity or desire to store all your backups locally (perhaps your office is a flood risk, or the office dog likes to gnaw through wires, or you’re just incredibly professional and thorough), then we can help there too.

Our Backup24 managed backup service allows you to back all your data up to our tier 2+ data centre. It’s based in the UK, so you know exactly where your data is, and we physically check that all backups have been successful every day. And if you’re feeling particularly worried about any particular day’s save, our team are only a phone call away. You can find out more here.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email business@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Is this the classroom of the future?

Is this the classroom of the future?

By now, most schools are familiar with Apple technology. Teachers and students have always loved Mac for its creative solutions, while iPad and iPod have changed the way pupils access information and resources.

But the Apple ecosystem is about real learning benefits; it’s about helping schools find new ways to enhance the experience students have on a daily basis, to embed IT into lessons in a way that wasn’t previously possible and to level the playing field when it comes to accessibility.

To find out more about how Apple can help your school, and ways that our team can make the transition to new technology a smooth one, get in touch with us on the details below and ask about our training sessions.

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Anytime, anywhere learning

There have been 8 million iPad devices sold to schools. From the small and mighty iPad mini with Retina display to the full-sized and powerful iPad Air, there are different models to suit different needs. Whichever you use, iPad lets students learn in the classroom, the corridor, at home or even on the way to school.

Notebook and desktop computers

From the lightweight and portable MacBook Air and Mac mini desktop to the powerful MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac Pro, there’s a Mac for every classroom function. As well as supporting creativity, Macs are intuitive and do everything (and much more) that’s possible on a PC.

Support for every type of learner

Whether watching video, listening to audio, reading, writing or using physical movement helps students best, there are solutions available to help.

Accessibility built-in

Mac and iPad include built-in features for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), plus support for up to 21 languages.

iPad as a study aid

90% of students believe that tablets help them study, while 43% of teachers currently allow students to use iPad in lessons.

Parents love iPad too

According to Kid Industries, 77% of parents believe that tablets can help children’s learning and creativity, and Apps In my Pocket reported that 88% of parents who use education apps with kids support the use of iPad in primary schools.

The content your students need

iTunes U includes over 500,000 free lectures, videos, readings and podcasts, and iBooks is an interactive library that has both free and paid-for textbooks from leading publishers, such as Collins, Hodder Education, Pearson and Oxford University Press.

Over 100,000 education apps

There are thousands of education apps aimed at children available in the App Store. Many of them are completely free, and through Apple’s Volume Purchase Programme, even more are available with a 50% discount.

Presentation tools

Mac and iPad can both be connected to a classroom display using Apple TV, which lets you wirelessly stream the device screen in HD for presenting to peers. And go for a touch screen display to take interactivity and group work to the next level.

Storage in the Cloud

Photos, videos, documents, music and apps all saved in iCloud against each Apple ID for access on any device.

Safe backup and wireless

Make sure your students always have access to the resources they need and that their work is never lost. Whether backed up through Apple’s Time Capsule, WiFi rolled out across the whole school or dynamic web filters to keep students safe.

Want to know more? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and FAQs, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook
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