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Series 3 - Making Your Server Migration Happen

Softway Solutions 3D Development

So you’ve gotten your head around cloud lingo, and you’ve identified which type of server migration works best for your company’s needs. (If you’re here and you haven’t yet considered these things, check the blog posts hyperlinked in the preceding sentence). All that’s left to do is prepare your company for the migration. This is, of course, easier said than done and unique to every office. NSK is here to offer some general ideas and considerations for your move.

Series 2 - Three Options for Migrating to the Cloud

pavis cloud

First: if you haven’t already done so, we highly recommend reading our blog post on Cloud Lingo before continuing. Things get hooey if you don't have the cloud-vocabulary nailed down.

Series 1 - The Cloud Lingo and What it all Means

Cloud Clients

Companies today have a confusing array of choices when it comes to IT services, from public to hybrid to private clouds and all different types of virtual environments.  With all these choices, how can you understand if the cloud is for you?  This series of articles will try to explain some of the lingo used for cloud services and give you an idea on whether or not you or your company is ready to move to the cloud.

Meet NSK Help Desk Support Team Member Hakeem Nance


Hakeem began working at NSK Inc. this past March as a member of the Help Desk Support team. He has many years of experience in the Support field in various Support/Service Desk positions, but this is his first for a company so closely involved with clients’ individually: at NSK, he considers himself working for the clients. It’s a challenging approach to Support, and Hakeem is proud to take it on.  

The End-of-Life for Small Business Server is Coming: What Can You Do?

Nail in the proverbial coffin

As you may or may not know, the end-of-life date of Windows Small Business Server 2003 is July 14, 2015. This means Microsoft will be terminating services for the line, services that provide crucial security updates and patches. This termination will be akin to the Windows XP termination this past April: XP can still run on desktops, but the product is off the shelf both commercially and in terms of Microsoft’s internal support; vulnerable, it is a security disaster waiting to happen and generally will not pass regulations. The problems in upgrading a server are similar but far bigger, and the popular mad-dash-switch strategy is not feasible for companies relying heavily on fully-operational 24/7 server activity. The whole infrastructure of a system, in many cases carefully built up over years, needs to be reworked – and this takes time, time that can be born only out of ample foresight. Though the end-of-life for the Small Business Server 2003 is a year away, the question must be asked now: what are we going to do about upgrading?

 (Image courtesy of blog.zensoftware.co.uk) 

The popular option has been to pack up the old, on-premises server and switch to a milder cloud service, and for smaller virtual businesses this might be a good option. At NSK, we are expert with Office 365, Microsoft’s newest all-cloud offering. It’s a fully virtual Microsoft Office system with unprecedented access flexibility from desktop, mobile, and tablet. It’s got 25 GB of storage per user, full Microsoft office suite, and security features galore. Cloud offers like this generally charge a monthly per user rate, and Office 365 is no exception. You can find more information about price-scales here. And for more details regarding 365’s offerings, check out NSK Inc.’s Office 365 page: http://www.nskinc.com/it-services/office-365/

Meet NSK's Technical Client Service Representative Nicole Mix!

describe the image

Nicole began working at NSK on February 10, 2014 as our Technical Client Service Representative. She brings with her a wide variety of IT and customer support skills developed over her many years in the industry. She has worked at small companies, for which she personally managed all facets of computer installation and maintenance, was a key website developer and managed all equipment orders for the medicine company Lhasa OMS, and was an integral member of Granite Telecommunications’ coding/software maintenance team. At each of these jobs she had a crucial role in managing office tasks and was an outstanding member of customer service teams. 



The following is excerpted from an important blog by AppRiver on a new and highly dangerous Malware campaign

Apple's Continuity and the Internet of Things

handoff resized 600

Apple’s keynote at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference confirmed (as if it were really ever in doubt) their spot at the top of tech. CEO Tim Cook spoke first, followed by Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi and his eighty-minute presentation of attractions packed into the coming OS X 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 8. There’s improved operating system aesthetics, huge application updates, and something they call “Continuity”. The first two of those are nice, improve on an already-nice, industry-leading product, but the third part is a big deal. Continuity is Apple’s push for complete and seamless integration of OSX and iOS, of its desktop and mobile platforms. With Continuity, you can search Safari on your desktop and pick up the search exactly where you left it with your iPhone with a feature called handoff; with iCloud Drive, you can easily work on projects, be sure any project-edits will save and hold across platforms, pick up on them whenever, and you can organize the cloud space however you like; Continuity allows you to pass a call from your iPhone to your computer. Working on one is working on the other.


This is amazing technology, but complete and seamless integration – Continuity – isn’t really a new idea: Windows launched Windows 8, their version of Yosemite-iOS 8-type connectivity, in 2012, and marketed it then as cross-platform cloud-based OS, exactly what the “new” Continuity is. Apple’s Continuity is just the Windows concept with significant design and performance improvements; they’re just doing it better. Part of better is harnessing available technology better. Apple rolled out “HomeKit” and “HealthKit”, services that interact with third party tech to control a home’s many devices and provide accurate health information, respectfully. This type of device-to-device communication is steadily becoming more important as wearable technology becomes more feasible and affordable, and of course, as mobile-platform usage continues to explode, a trend recognized by many analysts like Mary Meeker. As mobile gets more powerful, desktops have to keep up – it’s really the desktop that has to become more mobile-biased. A future in which mobile is the dominant method of computing/cloud access is totally possible, and Apple’s elegant products are leading the way by every commercial measure. What this all means, though, and HomeKit and HealthKit are indicative of this, is that the cloud, too, is evolving. In Apple’s hands, it’s becoming a way to get devices and applications speaking in the exact same language and speaking all the time. It’s asking the cloud to do more.

Net Neutrality: Where Did It Come From and Why Might It Go?

express lanes resized 600

You’ve likely heard something about net neutrality at some point in the past few weeks; if not, it is, simply, the concept that all Internet traffic should be treated equally, that no one entity, however large or small, should have more or less access to data transfer than another. This is so intrinsic to the way we expect the Internet to work that it’s difficult to imagine the opposite, an Internet in which data transfer speed – Internet speed – is bought into instead of de facto had. Imagine that a favorite site, ran by an entity of lesser, say, economic stature, is many times slower, takes many more seconds just to load than a site ran by an economically superior entity. Imagine that your favorite political blog, written by an intelligent, responsible person from their desk, has to match what Huffington Post pays to have their data load just as quickly. Of course, the favorite blogger could never compete with this buy-in “fast lane”, as it’s been called. This, a version of non-neutral net, is what the FCC’s new regulations would institute, and it’s going to dramatically change the way the Internet works. As Lawrence Lessig and Robert W. McChesney, co-founders of the media reform group Free Press, describe in their 2006 (yup, this has been around for a while) Washington Post article “No Tolls on the Internet”:

Cloud Providers vs. Cloud Solution Providers

Cloud Solution Providers

 In today’s world companies are turning to cloud computing as a way to cut down on expenses, simplify management, and decrease hardware on-site. Companies (customers) often turn to third parties to provide cloud computing; cloud providers. While enlisting the cloud providers for their services, companies may think that their cloud providers will provide solutions to their businesses. However, this is NOT likely to be the case. When it comes to cloud computing, companies should be aware of the difference between cloud providers and cloud solution providers.

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NSK Inc. IT Services