Support

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Storcom Offers Peace of Mind with Advanced Technical Support


Storcom’s customers never have to worry about dealing with frustrating call centers or automated response systems in order to get support for technical issues. Whether a client needs help during the week, on weekends, or overnight assistance, then one of Storcom’s highly-trained engineers will be available to resolve any of your problems 24/7/365!

Storcom’s technical support staff is unparalleled. We only hire the best! Storcom does not employ entry-level engineers to field our clients’ technical issues and only solve entry-level problems that delay the necessary escalation process. We staff routinely-trained engineers who maintain certifications in all relevant technologies. Storcom’s support team is based entirely in the United States, and we have a vested interest in understanding your company’s infrastructure, hardware, software, and overall business needs in order to address concerns promptly and efficiently.

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Increase Efficiency

Modern technologies help increase the efficiency of your IT department.

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Reduce Risk

Storcom reduces clients’ risk by designing, testing, and implementing all of the solutions we represent in-house so our clients don’t take a gamble with a solution that might not be conducive for their environment.

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Control IT Spend

Storcom helps you maintain predictable IT spend for solutions and services that solve gaps in your environment.

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24/7/365 Availability

We offer top-notch customer service and support to all of our clients.

Excellent Support is Storcom’s Priority

Storcom acts as an extension of your IT department, so our white-glove approach to customer service and technical support is a top priority. We are so transparent and confident with our services that our clients have every team member’s phone number and email address going up the ladder of our company–all the way to the CEO!

How We Help

FIND ANSWERS TO
COMMONLY ASKED IT QUESTIONS


Storcom has compiled a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions for our clients to better understand IT terminology and concepts.

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What is Continuous Data Protection?

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Continuous Data Protection (CDP) allows organizations to automatically capture and track data modifications, saving every version of user-created data locally or at a target repository. With little-to-no production overhead, incremental writes are replicated continuously and saved to a journal file. CDP’s change block tracking also allows users or administrators to restore data to any point in time with remarkable granularity.

Real-Time Block-Level Replication

CDP utilizes change-block tracking to constantly replicate data as it is written to storage. Because CDP is always-on, it offers considerably lower Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) than snapshot-based solutions – this means almost no data loss.

 

Snapshots vs. Continuous Data Protection

Continuous data replication allows organizations to replicate data as changes occur, delivering recovery intervals of mere seconds. Snapshots are scheduled rather than continuous, because of their impact on production, meaning recovery intervals of hours.

 

Journal-Based Any Point-In-Time Recovery

Journal-based recovery keeps a constant log of all the changes users make to applications and data. Because the changes are continuously written to the datastore, CDP delivers any point-in-time recoverability to within a specified time frame.

 

No Performance Impact

Storing multiple snapshots on replica VMs incurs a significant performance penalty when attempting to power on replica VMs. Zerto’s continuous data protection uses a journal to commit to a point in time selected for recovery, with no performance impact.

 

Enterprise Scalability

The journal can be placed on any datastore with maximum size limits and warnings – preventing the datastore from filling which would otherwise break replication. Using snapshots provides no way of controlling the total space used, so snapshot solutions are not scalable in terms of SLAs and efficiency.

 

Storage Savings

Because no snapshots are created, CDP typically uses just 15% of additional storage, resulting in dramatic savings and significant amounts of free space. Snapshot technologies require significant overhead on storage, often requiring an additional 20-30%.

 

Storcom is a top Zerto solution provider headquartered in the Chicagoland area in Lombard, IL. We service clients in Naperville, Geneva, Northbrook, Aurora, Joliet, Oak Brook, and many many more.

What does Azure Files Provide?

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Azure Files provides the following capabilities:

  • Fully-managed file shares & cloud-accessible via the industry-standard Server Message Block (SMB) protocol
  • Mount file shares concurrently in the cloud or on-premises 
  • Integration with your active directory in Microsoft 365 & manage permissions
  • Use different types of storage from standard HDD to premium SSD
  • Map Drive letter-like legacy file share to local user using SMB3.0
  • No need for patching or maintaining file server OS versions
  • Integration with Microsoft 365, OneDrive, & Teams to create a cohesive cloud file-sharing strategy
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How does Keeping a Local Copy Solve Challenges?

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Keeping a local copy on-premises solves unique challenges:

  • Gives LAN-speed access to data for office users who are on the same LAN as the local cache file server 
  • Allows for legacy SMB 2.0 support so older OS versions from Microsoft and Apple can still access data
  • Can age off old data to the cloud

What are the Benefits of Azure File Sync?

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The local Sync server is able to integrate cloud file shares into an existing environment with little to no changes. Mapped drives, etc., still look the same but we now have a copy of that data off-site.  This means…drum roll…no more backups!  Yes, the dreaded backup of large file shares can be completely eliminated in some cases.  However, there are some challenges with Azure File Sync to consider first. 

  • Local sync server is able to integrate cloud file shares into an existing environment with little to no changes.
  • No more local backups!  
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What are the Challenges with Azure Files and File Sync?

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Understanding these 5 challenges in more detail:

1. Understanding Microsoft storage account redundancy options like LRS (Local Redundant Storage) vs. GRS  (Geo-Redundant Storage) and what impact they have on your data. LRS only has 99.9% durability, so you will definitely need backups. 

2. 5 TB limit per share on GRS & ZRS Storage. If you want large file shares, then you can only use LRS storage. This creates some challenges since you will want to use GRS storage for proper data protection in most cases. Storcom has gotten around this by using mount points, but if you need a single share greater than 5TB, then it will not work without enabling large file shares. 

3. You will need to create a snapshot policy for data recoverability as well as you should be using ZRS or GRS to storage if you want to have your data protected outside of one data center. LRS and will only provide up to  99.9% data durability, respectively. ZRS is Zone redundant and GRS is for geo-redundancy. 

4. You can only set permissions at the share level without Azure File Sync Server and o file-level permissions.  You can set local permissions with File Sync Server, but they still do not exist in Azure Cloud.  

5. Azure File Shares can use both standard and premium-level storage. You need to consider what IO profile your data will need. Premium SSD is considerably more expensive than Standard HDD and Azure files can use both types in their storage accounts.  

  • Understanding Microsoft storage account redundancy options like LRS (local redundant storage) vs. GRS  (geo-redundant storage)
  • 5 TB limit per share on GRS & ZRS storage 
  • Use ZRS or GRS to storage if you want to have your data protected outside of one data center: you will need to create a snapshot policy for data recoverability 
  • You can only set permissions at the share level without Azure File Sync server and file-level permissions
  • Azure Files can use both standard and premium-level storage: you will need to consider what IO profile your data will need
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What are the Challenges with OneDrive?

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Here are the 3 biggest issues Storcom sees with OneDrive:

1. Data protection–  The local sync and cloud are meant as a way to have multiple copies of data. This means that you have a copy in the cloud if you lose your local copy….right? Don’t be so sure! Local sync software is imperfect and sometimes fails.  Users may think they are backing up their important data, but it may fail for one reason or another.  The only versioning that is available is on the client-side through Microsoft’s previous version history, but this is not stored in the cloud.

2. Poor reporting tools –  There is no centralized reporting of this information for administrators to know that the CIO’s laptop has been failing to sync and the important Excel file he has been working on when he was in- flight has vanished. Or, more relevant now, working from home. His data might not be not syncing and nobody is alerted if and when his laptop’s hard drive fails.   Storcom has built customer powershell scripts to send email from a user’s laptop to let administrators know that sync has failed, but this is still very kludge.  Storcom performed a 5000-seat home drive to OneDrive migration last year and reporting became a major issue.  The fact is that OneDrive is a consumer-grade product that some people are trying to use in the enterprise.  Some companies have opted to back up these laptops, but that adds a whole additional level of overhead.

3. Lack of built-in migration tools – OneDrive migrations can be simple or they can be complex.  It’s a manual process of cleaning up permissions as well as using tools like robo-copy to move data.   Storcom has written a lot of custom powershell scripts to assist with this process but in most cases it still means cleaning up permissions etc before a migration can begin.   In fairness to OneDrive. That is really not a OneDrive migration issue but more a issue in general about cleaning up poor habits of setting permissions at the wrong levels within the file system hierarchy 

In summary, OneDrive is a good option to move data to the cloud if you are just trying to move 1-to-1 home directories to the cloud. You also have to be willing to accept its limitations as a trade off for “free storage.”  No matter where you move your data, you will probably still have some cleaning up to do from an organizational and permissions standpoint. 

  • Poor Data Security
  • Inferior Reporting Tools
  • No Built-in Migration Tools
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What can I do with Home Directories?

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Azure Files acts as an option for department shares &  home directories, but there is another option from Microsoft: OneDrive. 

  • OneDrive comes with every Microsoft E1 license and above 
  • Designed and consumer product but is also used in corporations
  • It’s free, so it may look attractive...but there is no such thing as a free lunch, is there? 
  • OneDrive provides a local sync option for users to sync data locally to a user's laptop 
  • Storcom performed numerous migrations of users’ home directories from on-site file servers into OneDrive 
  • However, OneDrive has some major limitations...
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How is Storcom CloudFilez™ Similar to Azure Files?

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Here is a brief overview of how Storcom CloudFilez™ solution is similar in capabilities to Azure Files:

  • No VPN Client needed to access file data in the cloud 
  • Storcom CloudFilez™ provides CIFS access to files via Remote UNC that can be a mapped drive on a local PC
  • Storcom CloudFilez™ provides a local cache sync server for on-prem file synchronization and local LAN speed file access 
  • Storcom CloudFilez™ provides a secure method of connecting to your remote file shares via SMBv3 
  • Storcom CloudFilez™ provides a versioning and backup copy of data
  • You still have access to your Microsoft 365 environment for any type of collaboration that may be required through Microsoft 365, files from legacy shares can be uploaded into any office online application just like Azure Files
  • Can provide a home directory replacement for legacy home directors  or as an alternative to Microsoft OneDrive. 
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How does Storcom CloudFilez™ Work?

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How does Storcom CloudFilez™ Work?

  • No VPN client necessary
  • CIFS access to files via Remote UNC that can be a mapped drive on a local PC
  • Local cache sync server for on-prem file synchronization and local LAN speed file access 
  • Securely connects to your remote file shares via SMBv3 
  • Versioning and backs up copies of data
  • Easy access to your Microsoft 365 environment 
  • Legacy share files can be uploaded into any Office application just like Azure Files

Submit a ticket through Storcom’s portal for any technical issues or concerns.

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