Month: April 2013

Replace On-Site Servers with a Hosted Desktop Infrastructure

Replace OnSite Servers w HD OTNO Blog

There are more ways to build an IT infrastructure these days than with just on-site servers and storage devices. An option that many businesses choose is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). A hosted IT infrastructure provides the same computing resources (CPU, RAM, long-term storage, and bandwidth) as a traditional server. At the same time, a hosted IT infrastructure is more cost-efficient and convenient because it doesn’t require businesses to purchase any on-site servers or hire any on-site IT personnel and can be accessed from anywhere via the Internet.

In addition, a hosted desktop infrastructure is also a suitable replacement to an on-site IT infrastructure. Hosted desktops are web-based computing environments that appear and perform exactly like Windows desktop operating systems. It isn’t common to view them as a form of IT infrastructure—most people classify them as a category unto themselves (Desktop as a Service or DaaS) or as a platform or application further down the cloud “stack” from IaaS. Nevertheless, a hosted desktop infrastructure has all the essential features of an IT infrastructure, including:

Application hosting. The primary purpose of an IT infrastructure is to host applications. Most companies prefer the efficiency and centralization of hosted applications over having each employee install the applications on his or her own device. Similarly, the applications in a hosted desktop infrastructure are centralized, multi-user solutions that are accessible from any of the HDI’s hosted desktops.

File storage. To support the output of their hosted applications, IT infrastructures need the ability to store documents and data. Another reason that IT infrastructures have to be able to store files is that many businesses use their infrastructures as a central database. Fortunately, there are multiple ways that a hosted desktop infrastructure lets its users store their files: first, they can store their data in the private folders of their assigned desktops; second, each hosted desktop infrastructure has a common folder where documents and data can be shared; and third, file storage platforms such as document management and project management systems can be integrated with a hosted desktop infrastructure.

Flexibility. IT infrastructures support all files and applications. Infrastructures aren’t limited to hosting one application at a time, either; using a single virtualized server or several virtualized servers, they can host multiple applications at once. For their part, hosted desktop infrastructures can also support any file or application and can install and give users access to as many applications as they want.

Though a hosted desktop infrastructure has many of the same useful features as an on-site IT infrastructure, it’s also more cost-efficient, accessible, and dynamic due to these unique features:

-Doesn’t require any on-site servers or storage devices

-Has a familiar, easy-to-use interface

-Can be accessed from anywhere, at any time

-Is scalable

-Has a centralized architecture

To make the switch from an on-site IT infrastructure to a hosted desktop infrastructure today, contact an IronOrbit sales representative. All of our hosted desktop infrastructures come with 24x7x365 technical support, Atomic Speed Technology, Orbital Security and automated backups. In addition, our hosted solutions cost only a low, flat monthly fee. Sign up here for a 30 day free trial of the best-performing and most secure and reliable hosted desktop infrastructure.

Effortless Business Continuity with a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Effortless Business Continuity OTNO Blog

There are several benefits to switching from an on-site IT infrastructure to an IronOrbit Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. With a hosted VDI, businesses don’t have to purchase or manage any expensive on-site IT hardware such as servers and storage devices. High-end, well-maintained PCs aren’t required with a virtual desktop infrastructure, either. Any Internet-connected device—including low-cost, zero-maintenance devices such as thin client, tablets, and smartphones—can be used to access a hosted VDI. In addition, businesses don’t have to waste any of their time or resources managing an IronOrbit Virtual Desktop Infrastructure; their hosted VDI will receive around-the-clock monitoring, protection, and technical support from IronOrbit personnel. An IronOrbit Virtual Desktop Infrastructure not only removes many of the costs and hassles associated with a self-managed, on-site IT infrastructure, but it’s also more secure and reliable due to our comprehensive Orbital Security System (including firewalls, antivirus, and IPS/IDS) and dedicated support team.

It isn’t just under ideal circumstances that an IronOrbit Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is better than a self-managed, on-site IT infrastructure, however. Even when an IT disaster occurs, an IronOrbit Hosted VDI is much better at preventing data loss and mitigating downtime. The business continuity features of our hosted VDIs include:

Durability. Businesses with on-site IT infrastructures are susceptible to power outages and natural disasters. Without power or with their on-premise hardware physically damaged, these companies have no way to access their files and applications. Our datacenters, on the other hand, have been designed to withstand power outages and natural disasters with backup generators, fire suppression systems, and geographically-separated facilities. Even if a business’s office has been destroyed by a natural disaster, employees can still access an IronOrbit Virtual Desktop Infrastructure from anywhere via the Internet.

No hassle data backups. Setting up your own data backups requires the purchase of additional hardware and software. You will also have to spend multiple hours per week configuring and monitoring the backups. With an IronOrbit Hosted VDI, however, you won’t have to purchase any new hardware or software or complete any tasks. Our personnel will back up your virtual desktop infrastructure on a daily basis.

Absolute-minimum downtime. Our personnel work around-the-clock to uphold our 100% uptime guarantee. We strive to limit downtime as much as possible, but we also make sure that when it occurs we are prepared for it. We utilize disaster recovery best practices to deliver a remarkable Recovery Point Objective of 4 hours and a Recovery Time Objective of 12 hours. Our personnel also have the ability to respond to any problem at any time due to their 24x7x365 availability.

Whether it’s a normal day or you’re in disaster mode, it’s always wisest to host your files and applications with an IronOrbit Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. To learn more about hosted desktops and how they work, check out some of our previous blog posts on the subject. If you’re interested in signing up for a hosted solution besides a virtual desktop infrastructure, direct your attention to our Hosted Applications, Hosted QuickBooks, Hosted SharePoint, or onthenetPhone (VoIP) services. Our hosted solutions all include 24x7x365 technical support, Orbital Security, Atomic Speed Technology, and automated backups and cost only a low, flat monthly fee

The Benefits of IronOrbit Small Business Hosting

Small Business OTNO Blog

Most small businesses have on-site IT infrastructures, but can’t afford to hire any on-site IT personnel. Small businesses in this situation usually respond by assigning employees with limited IT training to monitor and manage the infrastructure when they aren’t doing anything else. Occasionally, small businesses will hire a freelance IT specialist to deal with problems or projects that are beyond the knowledge or ability of anyone inside the company.

Unfortunately, replacing on-site IT personnel with untrained employees and freelancers isn’t as cost-efficient or effective as it might seem. Undoubtedly, the initial costs of assigning untrained employees to manage an infrastructure are much lower than hiring on-site IT personnel. However, the ineffective management of amateur IT workers usually transforms the infrastructure from a productivity-enhancing asset into a high-cost liability. For example, a poorly-managed infrastructure reduces productivity by delivering slow and unreliable applications. It also increases costs through its lack of security (leaving the business vulnerable to expensive data breaches) and its inefficiency (which leads to less reliable hardware that has to be repaired or replaced more frequently). Freelance IT specialists don’t help to lower costs or raise efficiency, either; they only fix and repair aspects of the infrastructure that have stopped working.

Small businesses attempting to lower their IT costs and improve the security and performance of their IT infrastructure should sign up for small business hosting from IronOrbit. Our small business hosting services include hosted infrastructure, hosted applications, hosted desktops, and onthenetPhone (VoIP). These solutions can all be customized to fit the exact IT requirements and preferences of the customer. IronOrbit small business hosting services all come with 24x7x365 technical support, Orbital Security (including firewalls, antivirus, and IPS/IDS), Atomic Speed Technology and automated backups. The costs of our solutions are also predictable, stable, and extremely-affordable—even with all of the services and support included, users of IronOrbit small business hosting only have to pay a low, flat monthly fee for their accounts.

Other benefits of IronOrbit small business hosting services such as hosted IT infrastructure and hosted applications include:

-Limited hardware costs. Doesn’t require any on-site servers or storage devices

Worry-free IT. Fully-managed; doesn’t require any on-site IT personnel

Extremely accessible. Can be accessed from anywhere with any Internet-connected device

AST Speed-enabled. Performs as well as or better than on-premise IT solutions

Ultra-secure. Protects a company from malware and hackers and prevents data loss

To get started with a 30 day free trial, businesses should contact a helpful IronOrbit sales representative today!

Why Hosted Desktops Are Better Than PCs

Hosted Desktops Are Better OTNO Blog

Businesses are increasingly choosing hosted desktops over PCs. Last week, IDC reported that worldwide PC sales had declined 13.9% in Q1 2013 compared to Q1 2012. It also said that this was the largest reduction in PC sales since it began tracking the statistic on a quarterly basis in 1994. Meanwhile, experts predict a 15% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) market. In addition, more than 50% of businesses expressed interest in migrating from PCs to hosted desktops in a 2012 poll.

A hosted desktop has the same appearance and all the same features as a Windows operating system installed on the hard drive of a PC. In contrast with a PC operating system, however, virtual hosted desktops reside on the servers of a hosting company and are accessed via the Internet. In a typical deployment, each user receives his or her own unique, permanent virtual desktop. These virtual hosted desktops aren’t newly-generated environments without any of the files or settings from the user’s previous sessions, and they aren’t even “sandbox” environments that contain the files and settings of multiple users that share the hosted desktop and access it at different times. A user’s hosted desktop will retain all of the same files, settings, and applications from all of the user’s previous sessions. Changing one’s device doesn’t alter anything about the hosted desktop, either: a user’s hosted desktop will remain the same whether he or she is accessing it, for example, from a Mac, iPad, or iPhone.

In addition to sharing all of the best features of PCs—including the familiarity of their interface and the ability to support any application—hosted desktops are less costly and more secure, accessible, scalable, and eco-friendly than a traditional server/workstation environment. They don’t require the purchase of any expensive on-site IT hardware or the hiring of any $50,000+ per year on-site IT specialists. Their centralization (being hosted on a small number of interconnected servers) makes them easier to secure and manage than individual PCs. They’re also web-based solutions that can be accessed any time, from anywhere, and with any device. Due to the scalability of hosted desktops, businesses can quickly and easily add processing power, storage space, and users to an existing deployment. Devices used to access hosted desktops such as thin clients, tablets, and smartphones also create less e-waste and consume less energy than PCs and servers.

To take advantage of these benefits, businesses with PCs should switch to Ironorbit Hosted Desktop Solutions today. We offer the fastest, most secure, and best-supported Virtual Hosted Desktops in the world. Sign up for our 30 day free trial to get started!

Cut Costs by Switching to Hosted QuickBooks

Cut Cost QuickBooks Blog

Accountants with locally-installed versions of QuickBooks can save a lot of money by signing up for Hosted QuickBooks from IronOrbit. With hosted QuickBooks, accountants don’t need to purchase any servers, storage devices, or desktops PCs for their office. Accountants also avoid the upfront costs of QuickBooks software licenses with QuickBooks hosting. Additionally, they don’t have to spend any of their own time protecting, updating, or fixing the software. Instead, an accountant only needs an Internet-connected device such as a laptop, tablet, or smartphone to be able to access and utilize their IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks.

QuickBooks Hosting from IronOrbit works like this:

-IronOrbit installs the QuickBooks software on a server in one of our datacenters. We can host any version of QuickBooks, including QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, and QuickBooks Enterprise. Though hosted solutions are sometimes stripped-down or “lite” versions of their locally-installed counterparts, IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks (whether Pro, Premier, or Enterprise) is the same as the desktop version, with all the same features and capabilities.

-The accountants let IronOrbit know how many users and how much storage space they will need. The hosted QuickBooks will be built and deployed according to these specifications as quickly as possible. There’s no need to purchase QuickBooks licenses separately; IronOrbit will handle the software licenses, as well as apply updates to QuickBooks when needed.

-Accountants access their IronOrbit Hosted QuickBooks via the Internet. Hosted QuickBooks looks and performs the same as a locally-installed version of QuickBooks.

-IronOrbit’s Orbital Security System will protect the hosted QuickBooks from malware and hackers using firewalls, antivirus software, data encryption, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and content filtering.

In addition to cutting the hardware, personnel, and licensing costs of a locally-installed version of QuickBooks, hosted QuickBooks from IronOrbit also saves money by:

-Providing superior protection from costly malware infections and data breaches

-Working around-the-clock to prevent outages and uphold our 100% uptime guarantee

-Maximizing the productivity of accountants by letting them access their web-based hosted QuickBooks from anywhere and at any time; and also by permitting them to focus on completing their work rather than monitoring and maintaining their IT infrastructure

-Providing the scalability to allow accountants to add users and storage capacity to their hosted QuickBooks at any time

Other IronOrbit Hosted Solutions include Applications Hosting, Hosted Desktop Solutions, Managed Hosted Servers, and VoIP. All of our Hosted Solutions cost a low, flat monthly fee, despite coming with 24x7x365 technical support, advanced IT security, and automated data backups. Visit our main site at to learn more.

Efficient Bookkeeping with Hosted Desktop Solutions

Efficient Bookkeeping OTNO Blog

Accountants can always expect an increased workload during Tax Season. According to Abha Bhattarai of the Washington Post, however, financial professionals have been even busier than usual in 2013. Many taxpayers were overwhelmed by the “wave of new tax laws that took effect in early January” and have hired accountants to help them with their tax returns, Bhattarai says. The IRS also didn’t begin to accept tax returns until January 30, which compressed the Tax Season even further. Accountants also have to take extra precautions to protect their clients’ personal identifying information (PII) from hackers and scammers who, according to FOXBusiness, are more active this time of year.

For accountants looking to maximize their efficiency and minimize their costs, both during the hectic Tax Season and year-round, adopting IronOrbit Hosted Desktop Solutions can be a big help. Our Hosted Desktop Solutions are efficient in that they can be accessed from anywhere; don’t require any cumbersome, difficult-to-maintain, and expensive on-site IT hardware such as servers or storage devices; and are managed and protected by IronOrbit. So as a result:

-Accountants can access files and do work from home, a coffee shop, or anywhere else with Internet access. During Tax Season (and other busy periods), they can file tax returns from their kitchen table or their La-Z-Boy instead of being cooped up for 10 or more hours per day in their office.

-Accountants can access their hosted financial applications when traveling to meet with clients and when performing bookkeeping tasks at the customers’ offices. In addition, an accountant can provide his or her clients with access to the accountant’s hosted financial applications (and vice versa) to exchange financial documents and information electronically.

-With virtual desktops, not only do accountants not have to purchase or manage IT hardware such as servers and storage devices, they won’t even need anything as advanced or expensive as a desktop or laptop PC. All an accountant needs to access his or her web-based IT solutions is a thin client, tablet, or smartphone. Imagine having a full desktop version of QuickBooks or Peachtree and terabytes of scalable data storage on a single iPad, iPhone, or other mobile device! It’s possible with IronOrbit Hosted Desktop Solutions.

IronOrbit Hosted Desktop Solutions appear and perform just like a Windows operating system installed on a PC. They have the typical Windows graphical interface (with a desktop, start menu, and taskbar); they can be used to launch applications (hosted along with the virtual desktops); and they are designed to be the private virtual workspace of a single user. Unlike a locally-installed operating system, IronOrbit’s hosted desktops are located on the servers in our datacenters and are accessed via the Internet. Users are routed to their assigned, personalized hosted desktops when they log in with their unique username and password.

All IronOrbit Hosted Solutions cost only a low, flat monthly fee and include 24x7x365 technical support, around-the-clock performance monitoring, automatic data backups, performance-boosting Atomic Speed Technology, and a PCI- and SOX-compliant Orbital Security System. In addition to Hosted Virtual Desktops, Ironorbit also offers Managed Hosted Servers, Application Hosting, Business Productivity Tools, Hosted Microsoft Exchange, and onthenetPhone (VoIP). Accountants can make their life easier during the Tax Season as well as lower their costs and increase their overall efficiency and productivity by signing up for IronOrbit Hosted Solutions today!

Hosted Accounting Applications from IronOrbit

Account Apps OTNO Blog

IronOrbit Hosted Accounting Applications are flexible, secure, powerful, and reliable. We can host any financial application, including QuickBooks, QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, QuickBooks Enterprise, Peachtree Accounting, Sage 50, AccountEdge, DacEasy, and Simply Accounting. All of our Hosted Accounting Applications feature 24x7x365 technical support, a Orbital Security System (with firewall, antivirus, IPS/IDS, SPAM blocker, content filtering, and patch management), and Atomic Speed Technology.

These features of IronOrbit Hosted Accounting Applications benefit all companies equally. At the same time, there are some aspects of our Hosted Applications that benefit some companies more than others:

Small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs). IronOrbit provides enterprise-level IT security and support at SMB-level prices. Application Hosting from IronOrbit also reduces costs for SMBs by not requiring any expensive on-site servers or IT personnel.

Enterprises. Large businesses can lower their IT costs by outsourcing their application hosting to IronOrbit. We are more efficient than in-house IT departments because of our multi-tenant datacenters and economies of scale. IronOrbit’s centralized Hosted Accounting Applications also keep the files and applications in a large business up-to-date and consistent.

Accountants. An accountant doesn’t have to worry about IT management tasks with Hosted Accounting Applications from IronOrbit. We take care of acquiring and managing the servers and software; we also offer IT security, data backup, and technical support. In addition, we provide accountants with mobile access to their applications and files.

Financial services firms. IronOrbit Hosted Accounting Applications benefits accountants and financial services firms in similar ways. The multiple employees of a financial services firm can also use IronOrbit Application Hosting (a centralized and anywhere-accessible solution) to compile and share data, however.

Signing up for Hosted Accounting Applications from IronOrbit is easy. Contact one of our helpful sales representatives today to get started. An IronOrbit engineer will assist you with designing, building, and deploying your Hosted Applications. All of our Hosted Solutions cost only a low, flat monthly fee. It doesn’t take a CPA to do the math on this one—select IronOrbit Hosted Accounting Applications for the best combination of quality, customization, and cost-efficiency!

Increase ROI with a Hosted VDI

Increase ROI Blog

A Hosted VDI from IronOrbit delivers a better ROI than a traditional on-site IT infrastructure. A hosted desktop infrastructure has all the same capabilities of an on-premise infrastructure of servers and desktop computers: it can support applications, store files, and provide users with a virtual workspace. A hosted VDI also has two important advantages over a traditional infrastructure:

1) a user can access it from anywhere with any web-enabled computing device (including a desktop PC, laptop, or smartphone);

2) it’s easier to secure, manage, and change.

The increased accessibility of a hosted desktop infrastructure raises the productivity of workers by letting them access their files, applications, and emails outside of the office; it also enhances collaboration by making it easier for off-site workers (telecommuters, project partners, etc.) to use the same files and applications as on-site workers. Similarly, the superior efficiency and security of virtual desktop hosting ratchets up the performance level of the infrastructure and gives on-site IT personnel time for more advanced or important projects. At the same time, a hosted VDI costs much less to implement and maintain than a traditional IT infrastructure. According to Citrix, a virtual desktop infrastructure costs 40-45% less than a traditional on-site IT infrastructure and pays for itself in only 6 months. A hosted VDI is even more cost-effective because it doesn’t require any on-site servers or on-premise IT support personnel.

Companies can get an even higher ROI from their hosted desktop infrastructure if they sign up with IronOrbit. A Hosted VDI from IronOrbit costs only a low, flat monthly fee. Our Hosted VDI, like all of our solutions, comes with a 24x7x365 technical support, around-the-clock monitoring, automated backup, comprehensive data security (firewall, antivirus, spam blocker, etc.), and performance boosting Atomic Speed Technology. That’s a lot of return for a modest investment!

Hosted desktops are web-based computing environments that appear and perform just like a Windows desktop operating system, except instead of being installed on a PC they are located on the servers of a hosting company and are accessed via the Internet. Each user receives his or her own designated hosted desktop, which maintains the specific user’s files, settings, and applications permanently, no matter how many times the user logs in or out (just as a desktop OS stays the same even after the user turns off his or her PC). Multiple hosted desktops can be housed in a single server, resulting in a more cost-efficient and easier-to-manage IT infrastructure. Contact IronOrbit to get your own hosted desktop infrastructure today.