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Journey to the Cloud: Azure and Base 2 (Act 3)

Our private infrastructure had served us well, but it was time to say goodbye to our server farms and embrace the cloud. 

Recent improvements in internet speed due to fibre optic deep-sea cables made cloud infrastructures the ideal choice for our data storage and management.​ 

Allowing us to continue to support our clients to achieve their goals right now and way into the future. 

The next step was to choose a cloud provider. A provider we could rely on and trust with our clients’ data and business systems. 

And, there were a few to choose from.

Since we started Base 2, lots of companies had made the leap to the cloud and were providing platforms for businesses to host their storage, software, networking and servers. 

These cloud providers include some of the biggest companies in the world – Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Alibaba.  

To choose a provider, we assessed each option against what our clients wanted from their hosting solution. 

It must be consistent, stable and reliable. The platform has to be secure, and the costs of the solution predictable. 

Microsoft Azure 

Using that criteria, one provider shone above the rest – Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Azure. 

Firstly, Microsoft spends over USD 1 billion annually on cybersecurity and R&D, making it the most reliable cloud provider among its competitors. So, there’s no surprise that 95% of Fortune 500 companies are using Azure! 

One of the reasons we built our own data centre when Base 2 started was so we could better manage and control the security of our client’s data. It meant we can deliver a service that we’re proud of 

Therefore, in moving from private to public infrastructure, we needed to be able to trust that whichever cloud provider was hosting our clients’ businesses was as invested in security as we were.  

Once again, Microsoft stood out – analysing 6.5 trillion threats daily and with a team of over 3,500 experts ready to support their customers.  

Finally, their transparent and competitive pricing models and options enabled us to provide predictable costs to our clients. 

Also, Azure matching the price of other cloud providers’ comparable services, and us only paying for the resources we used, meant we knew we could provide our clients with the most cost-effective solutions for their businesses. Better value instead? Sung in harmony with other apps in Microsoft eco-system (teams, One Drive, Office) 

To top it off, Azure has free built-in services and tools that allow us to optimise resources, compare cots, and ultimately save money for both our business and our clients. 

Supporting our business 

In the end, Microsoft Azure was a pretty easy choice, and we migrated our business to the cloud. 

The benefits were immediate. 

Everything is leaner, and within reach of a web browser – making access and management a breeze and our turnaround time much faster.   

Real time syncing takes the pain out of geolocational restrictions, and we now have geographic redundancy between Sydney and Melbourne as a backup. While high end intrusion protection systems keep all the data we host safe and secure. 

There is no long a need to travel across NZ to be on site to determine issues.

For our team, the whole support process is super quick because Azure drastically minimises the amount of time stolen away in management and troubleshooting. 

Issues can be resolved remotely and are no longer P1 (major) infrastructure related. Support tickets now are majorly related to applications, databases or storage.  

Spending less time on server related issues means our team can respond and solve client problems in only 20 minutes. 700% faster than when we were operating our old infrastructure!  

Supporting our clients 

With Microsoft Azure powering Base 2, occasional server failures and hardware issues, such as power and internet outages, are a thing of the past.  

We now have a reliable, secure cloud platform to grow our business and support our clients in growing theirs. 

And, what’s even better, Azure doesn’t only provide benefits to our business, it’s also a gamechanger for our clients. (Act 4)

Cloud Journey- start from the beginning

If you know your business could benefit from moving to a cloud infrastructure, Base 2 is for a limited time offering free migration to Azure. Find out more by getting in touch.

Journey to the Cloud: Time for a Change (Act 2)

We started with a vision to help businesses achieve their goals. 

And, before long, our business was booming.  

As more clients came on board, our server farm grew to a peak of 200 virtual servers hosted in our data centre.  

All the while, our team focused on supporting and providing all our clients stable, secure solutions at a predictable cost. 

Everything was going well. However, as we continued to grow, a few cracks were starting to show. 

This was happening industry wide and businesses, like ours, were finding the infrastructure they’d built to support their clients, which had been state of the art at the time, was starting to show their age.  

Technology was changing. Our clients’ businesses were changing.  

And, to continue to fulfil our vision, we were determined to keep pace and innovate. 

Old fashioned infrastructure 

When we started 11 years ago, having our own private data centre made sense. 

Other options, such as the cloud, were too expensive and unproven while using someone else’s physical infrastructure didn’t provide the security or reliability we wanted for our clients’ data. 

However, operating a data centre is pretty involved! 

You need servers, networking paths, software, air conditioning and power for it to run, along with built-in redundancy, backups, and more. 

Suffice to say; it is all pretty costly just to keep it maintained.  

Then, add support tickets and P1 (major) incidents which needed the team to spend time dealing with, and the costs were starting to add up. 

Looking at our bottom line, we realised this was not how we wanted to operate. We didn’t want to be in fight or flight mode – we wanted to thrive.  

And, our business needed to be stable because our clients were relying on us to provide a reliable, consistent platform to host their data and business systems. 

Downtime and data overloads 

While we were grappling with the cost of our infrastructure, we were also aware of our clients’ goals.  

They wanted to grow, and incorporating more, and more powerful, technology into their businesses were a crucial part of this. 

Unfortunately, our older infrastructure was struggling to host what our clients needed it to.  

Making matters worse, as anyone that’s dealt with hosting would know, if there was a data overload, it would affect multiple clients – slowing down the performance of their systems. A compounding effect that was an issue for the whole industry.  

This led to downtime and not a great experience for our customers – both of which needed our team to spend time sorting out.   

Things were good when they were good, but that wasn’t good enough for us. We wanted to deliver a great experience on rare occasions that things went wrong. 

Sitting back and looking at everything, we realised we had to look beyond the capability of what we’d built. We had to find a new solution – one which would remove the limits from both us and our clients’ businesses. 

Welcome to the cloud 

Fortunately, a few important things had happened since we last searched for a solution. 

Technology had improved – enabling faster internet and wide area network delivery speeds, while data throughput had increased its efficiency. 

Fibre was rolled out throughout the country, and there had been an increase in capacity and density of the main internet cable that connects New Zealand and Australia. 

These improvements meant that servers based in Australia were now an option. Servers run by the likes of Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Alibaba. 

The reasons that had stopped us going with a cloud solution initially – cost, speed, and that it was new – didn’t apply any more.  

So, we pulled out our criteria (reliability, security, and predictable cost) and went searching for a cloud provider who would allow our business to help our clients achieve their goals now, and in years to come. (Act 3)

Cloud Journey- start from the beginning

If you know your business could benefit from moving to a cloud infrastructure, Base 2 is for a limited time offering free migration to Azure. Find out more by getting in touch.

Journey to the Cloud: The Beginning (Act 1)

11 years ago, interacting with tech support was horrific.  

Unfortunately, for some businesses, this still hasn’t changed. 

Companies were being let down by their technical systems and whoever was supporting them.  

It was really tough. Technology that had been implemented to make their business operate better and more efficiently was in fact causing the opposite. 

If their systems went down, there would be immense frustration trying to get it back up – on the phone to their IT crowd – while money was literally walking out the door. 

We wanted to solve this problem. Taking care of businesses’ IT needs, so they can thrive and focus on doing what they know best. 

So, we founded Base 2 with the vision of helping businesses achieve their goals. 

What businesses wanted 

Step one was to understand what our clients wanted to achieve – their goals and objectives. 

After listening to their past IT experiences and their business’s vision for the future, we realised there were three things they needed from their IT company to thrive. 

Firstly, they needed a stable, reliable, dependable, and consistent service. 

This meant systems and infrastructure that wouldn’t go down, and which they could rely on to run their business. 

And, on the rare occasion there was an issue, their technical support call would be answered in seconds – the problem dealt with then and there.  

Secondly, security was paramount as we’d be looking after their critical business systems and essential, confidential data. 

Finally, their IT costs had to be predictable. Managing cashflow is critical for a business and it’s a nasty surprise when there’s a large IT bill around the corner!  

With these in mind, we set out to develop a solution that would help our clients’ businesses. 

Enabling growth 

Step two was to build the infrastructure that would support what our clients wanted to do.  

We opened our own data centre in Auckland and built virtual server farms to host our clients’ data, systems and services. Our hosting was available globally, so we could even look after our clients using it further afield – such as in Papua New Guinea and Fiji. 

We also put in a highly redundant network with failover and 100Mb of dedicated internet (a lot at the time!) to support our growing customer base. 

The best equipment and software were selected – IBM and VMware, respectively – to manage and support our clients’ servers.  

We checked out the cloud but found it was still too new and expensive, at the time.  

Some local providers were building their infrastructure as well, but we wanted to set up our own, so that we could best look after and control the outcomes for our clients.  

With our server farms up and running, our clients had access to hosting services across a wide area network or secure internet connection.  

To support them, our dedicated team of specialists were onsite and on hand every single day.  

So, whenever clients had a problem, they spoke directly to us and had their issues resolved in real time.  

Sticking to the vision 

With each solution, we brought our clients closer to the things they cared about – their business priorities. 

It wasn’t long until we were hosting 150 to 200 virtual servers in our data centre. 

And, as more and more clients came on board and technology continued to evolve, there was a demand for more – more space, more speed, and greater security. 

All while maintaining consistency, stability and keeping costs predictable. 

Staying true to our vision, over the years, we kept our infrastructure updated and maintained, and our support team was always on hand for our clients. 

However, one day, it became clear that our ageing infrastructure was falling behind… (Act 2)

Cloud Journey- start from the beginning

If you know your business could benefit from moving to a cloud infrastructure, Base 2 is for a limited time offering free migration to Azure. Find out more by getting in touch.

Base 2 Software: Our New Offering with New Capabilities

The world of IT software can be a bit of a minefield, and figuring out who offers what, where and how isn’t always the easiest of tasks.

That’s why we’ve created Base 2 Software. Because for us, IT is more than just systems and processes, it’s about helping your business be the best it can be. 

What Base2 Software Services can do for you: 

Software Solutions and API development: We are fast to market, follow agile methodologies and offer tailor made software solutions, with early feedback and iterative development.

Solutions Architecture: We know the latest in technology inside out, so you can trust us to provide technical leadership with software that scales, and is future proof. 

Mobile App Development: We work across android, iOS and hybrid.

Business Analytics: We help you make the most of your company’s data.

Rapid Prototyping: We take your ideas and find a software solution to support them (fast!) 

Agile Project Management: We manage projects using an iterative approach, with clear and concise user stories, and customer feedback as soon as possible.

Software support and hosting: We provide continued support and maintenance of your existing systems, as well as offering customised hosting. 

Azure Best Practices: We implement solutions for Azure resources to ensure a scalable and cost-effective hosting environment. With the security to match.

The integrations and tools we use to do this:

  • Xero: Online accounting software
  • MYOB: Business management software
  • PowerBI: A data visualisation tool
  • Autotask: IT business management software provider
  • Viator: Tour and travel management online software
  • Zapier: Connects your apps and automate workflows
  • TradeMe: NZ’s most popular auction site
  • Microsoft Teams: The hub for team collaboration in Office 365

Book your free no-obligation consultation today to get started.

New Decade, New Horizons: Top 5 Technology Trends for 2020

The last 10 years have seen technological advancements explode into our everyday lives. We now live in a world led by digital. So, as we move into this new decade, we ask: what’s next? 

With capabilities that look to significantly transform the world of business, we take a look at the top 5 tech trends due to drive significant disruption in the coming years.

  1. Hyperautomation

Hyperautomation deals with the application of advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), to increasingly automate processes and augment humans.

The key thing for businesses here is hyperautomation oftens relates in the creation of a digital twin of your organisation. From this, you’ll be able to visualise how functions, processes, and key performance indicators interact to drive value. Real time intelligence that leads to business opportunities. 

2. Edge Computing

More and more businesses are adopting Cloud Computing, and it is set to be the biggest technology trend of 2020. Edge Computing has solved one of the issues with cloud, as it can process data that needs time, even in remote locations.

Essentially, it can work with little or no internet services or connectivity. The even more exciting news is the jobs this is going to create for those in the tech industry. Definitely one to keep an eye on. 

3.Blockchain

Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger, an expanding chronologically ordered list of cryptographically signed, irrevocable transactional records shared by all participants in a network. 

Many think this is somehow related to cryptocurrencies, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Blockchain is a form of data can only be added. It has a level of security because one cannot change data and no one can take charge of the data because it is entirely consensus-driven. As the tech evolves with this one, so will the job around it.


4. Internet of Things (IoT)4.

Wi-Fi connectivity is due an upgrade – and here it comes! A number of newer tech trends are coming up, with even cars connecting to the internet for further facilities. 

Home Security. Fitness. You name it. IoT is making change by making the internet safer and more efficient. So look out for improved customer services, medical care, and a whole lot of potential.


5. AI Security

Emerging tech such as hyperautomation and autonomous automation offer incredible opportunities for businesses – they also create security threats in new potential areas of attack. 

From protecting AI-powered systems to anticipating bad use of AI by attackers, it is vital security teams are on top of this, addressing these challenges as they develop. 

Excited? You should be. The next wave of tech-wonderment is just around the corner.

All Hail the Humble Email Signature with Professional Office 365

The email signature can often be overlooked in business. When actually, it’s in our every working day as a digital representation of our professional selves, flying in and out of inboxes faster than you can say ‘Kind Regards’.

With this in mind, you want to have an email signature provider you can manage easily. One that provides consistent, well-branded signatures you can feel proud of.

Open your heart (and inbox) then to Signatures for Office 365. Why? We’re glad you asked:

Central management

The Office 365 signature editor tool and library of professional email signature templates is easy to navigate and offers high-quality email signatures added when sent from any device.

Ease-of-use

No specialist IT skills or installations needed. Professional Office 365 boasts a self-service web portal and an intuitive user interface. Easy as.

Simple and effective

After different signatures for different departments? Not a problem. You can also add social media links and marketing banners, and apply those updates instantly.

Super secure

Your email signatures integrate fully with your Office 365 Directory and never leave the Microsoft Cloud. Meaning your business can rest assured with complete security. 

Microsoft Certified support

If you do need any information, Microsoft are to hand with their nifty online knowledge base, video guides and dedicated support engineers.

Market-leading

Built by the best in email signature experts, Professional Office 365 Signatures are a cutting edge SaaS solution you can rely on. There is even an additional Signature Design Service available.


The best part? Base 2 utilize Exclaimer software to manage company wide email signatures from as little as $2 per user per month. To seal the deal and get a quote, drop one of our team a message today.

The Benefits of Leasing: Jump-start Your Business, Conserve Capital

Delaying equipment upgrades and acquisition due to capital constraints slows growth potential. Instead of waiting, many forward-thinking businesses are turning to the power of leasing. 

What is leasing?

Leasing is a pre-approved line of credit that your business can draw down as needed for ongoing equipment and technology requirements. 

There are a variation of lease types – they all allow you to get the equipment you need immediately, generate income and put your capital to better use elsewhere in your business strategy.  

Why lease? 

It’s the fastest, most convenient way to acquire new technology. Plus, it’s a super-flexible and cost-effective way to achieving sustainable growth. Other benefits include:

  • Improved cashflow management – with no large capital outlay
  • Easy-to-manage monthly payments instead of one large upfront payment
  • Regular upgrades and replacement cycles so your business is always up-to-date
  • A redeploy of capital for more efficient use and improved ROI
  • An avoidance of the costs that come with outdated equipment
  • Tax advantages
  • Paying for equipment as you use it to generate profits
  • A responsible disposal of your tech assets at the end of their life 

Which lease?

Every business is different and will call for a different kind of lease. Match your lease to your equipment and choose one that suits you budget and business requirements. 

For example, fast depreciating items suit an operating lease with end of term upgrade options, whilst items with a long useful life might be better obtained on leases with an ownership outcome.

A smart way of acquiring new equipment, leasing is a new and viable avenue for many organisations. Find one that includes all setup costs, licensing and caters to your business needs today.

How Do I Recycle My Computer? The Deal with e-Waste in New Zealand

Every dog has its day. Every electronic device has its final system crash. 

Time to get rid of your beloved Mac? First, the facts:

  1. The components and materials used to create computers and other electronics can be toxic when leaked into soil, atmosphere and water systems via improper disposal. 
  2. Chucking computers and other e-Waste into the trash causes landfills to overflow.
  3. Disposing of your e-Waste properly protects the environment and you and your business against leaks of secure information.

Many companies in New Zealand have tried to recycle the complex mix of e-Waste by several different approaches, but are always hindered by the lack of volume needed to cover the large setup and processing costs. 

In short, we just don’t have the volumes to make recycling e-Waste material viable. 

So, how do you dispose of your computer? Luckily, there is a way. 

With our partners, Computer Recycling Ltd, you can rest assured that your recycling is going to its final resting place without harming the planet.

They use a technical approach to divide out e-Waste:

  • For Reuse 
    • These items are tested and refurbished then marketed to their parent company. 
  • For Recycling
    • These items are prepared, dismantled and packaged.

The team also use data destruction software for your business’ protection and even offer a free pick up service for 10 items or more within a 25km radius of Auckland City.

It really is that simple. 
Do your bit. Get in touch with Computer Recycling today.

The New Kid on the (Ad)Block: Multi-Factor Authentication for Office 365

Come again?

Don’t let the name throw you. The concept of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is nothing new. And it’s pretty simple when you start using it. MFA requires the password and one more verification code when signing users into Office 365. In short, it’s basically about keeping your email super secure. 

My email is secure. I’ve got a password. 

If only it were that easy. Office 365 email attacks continue to gain popularity, giving those pesky hackers access to a single email account that is then used to spear phish other accounts within and outside your organisation.

And MFA stops this from happening?

Yup.

Sounds too good to be true. Bet Microsoft have made it a pain to set up?

Not really. As technology advances, what has value is our information. Microsoft are well ahead of us all on this – and they’ve done a pretty good job of making it a fairly painless process. Each user will need to be contacted and setup individually, but that’s the only fiddly part.

Define ‘painless process’.

We configure MFA in the Microsoft admin portal, sign each user in and then follow the setup process (add mobile number, set up app password) and check everything is working and show each member of your team the ropes. Simple as.

And this will protect my business? 

Office 365 MFA is super important when it comes to limiting unlawful access to your business system. The adoption of MFA prevents various attacks designed to gain access to your data and account. It strengthens your security and means your business is one step closer to compliance.

Safety first then?

There is potential for breaches through every device, and from every person that comes into contact with your business. The threat is real. It’s an extra security boost for your business.

Makes sense. And if my business does want to implement MFA for Office 365?
We can help. Speak with one of our friendly team members today, we’ll have you up and running in no time.

Ransomware Protection: Important message on the latest attacks

Following up on our message over the weekend, we would like to provide you with further important information about the dangers of CryptoLocker, the virus which got spread around the world over the weekend.

Strange and Unwanted emails – If in doubt, don’t open and delete!
The biggest way that computers get infected, is by Email Phishing.
Phishing is a method that Virus makers use to trick you in to opening emails, visiting a website and clicking links for something that you may think is genuine.

What do these include?  Emails posing to be from PayPal, eBay, NZ or AUS Post, the Major Banks (ANZ, Westpac, ASB) etc.
Recently there has been a Cryptolocker outbreak where a lot of emails are coming through with resume as an attachment as well.

Do they have attachments?
Most of the time, they do have attachments which are mostly ZIP; DOCX; PDF or EXE files but there could be others as well.

If you receive an email and you’re unsure of its origin – DELETE IT!
It is better to be safe than sorry!
Other ways the virus can be contracted is from Illegal software download sites such as using BitTorrent.
Whilst “free” music and movies are readily available – they are prone to be infected.

What does CryptoLocker do?
The CryptoLocker virus encrypts your entire hard drive content and your computer becomes completely unusable.
Once your data is encrypted, there is virtually no way to get it back, unless you have a backup.

Regarding the latest Microsoft Updates, how can I apply?
All our managed computers are patched/updated every day at 3:00PM if the computer is online and you have not requested to be out of this schedule.
A number of these updates only finish the installation after the computer is restarted, so we are advising everyone to restart your computer at the end of today and every day.
If you missed the updates today, don’t worry our system will try to apply them again on the next day until your computer is online.

I suspect or I’ve been hit with CryptoLocker, what can I do?
The first thing to do is isolate the spread of the Virus.
Disconnect your computer from the internet by removing the Ethernet cable and/or disconnecting from Wifi.

Contact Base 2 Support straight away at 0800 14 2273 or email at [email protected]

Under no circumstances should you pay the ransom money.

Regards,
The Base 2 Team

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