May 26, 2019

Zephyr Networks Offers Holiday Upgrades Of The Latest Technology That Could Help With 2014 Tax Savings

Holiday upgrades equal the rare combination of a smooth transition married to cost-saving tax incentives. With Thanksgiving over and Christmas right around the corner, Zephyr Networks is offering our clients and new potential clients a way to save money while improving their technological capabilities. End of the year tax incentives equal the ability to reduce your company’s 2014 tax burden. By spending money today on holiday upgrades, improving computing and networking systems, you will have them up and running by the end of the year.

Holiday Upgrades Can Mean Tax Savings

The idea is to get spending on the books now by having new computer upgrades up and running before the end of the year. If the systems are in place by year’s end, the expense can offset profits, lowering your taxes later. By purchasing new equipment like computers, tablets and mobile phones that are tax deductible as legitimate business expenses, you create tax savings in 2015. Such opportunities are a big reason why the Zephyr Networks team works through the holidays.

In addition, by working through the holidays, we assure our client that any new technologies or computer upgrades are integrated into your company with as easy of a transition as possible. During the holiday season, interruption is minor. Such downtime means it’s the perfect time for a major upgrade and a smooth migration. While the competition is off skiing, Zephyr Networks is working hard for your company to give you that competitive edge in 2015.

Zephyr Advantage = Holiday Upgrades Installed

holiday upgrades, tax savings, zephyr neytworks

Zephyr Networks Holiday Upgrades Mean Saving Money

Any good accountant will tell you that spending money on better equipment and technological upgrades at the end of the year is a great way to offset profits. By using funds spent on holiday upgrades as company tax deductions, technological upgrades truly become holiday upgrades. After all, isn’t the best-looking version of Santa the one that looks a little like more Benjamin Franklins in your pocket?

The bigger bonus of holiday upgrades is that the newer, more cutting edge equipment delivers greater reliability and greater security. You also can upgrade your network security software and virus protection capabilities, providing the safety your business deserves while doing some smart tax planning. The majority of such computing, networking and mobile offerings are tax deductible as legitimate business expenses. Still, at Zephyr Networks we do not pretend to be accountants. As computer networking, information technology and cybersecurity experts, we recommend you talk to your accountant.

Holiday Upgrades Make Sense

Without question, however, in today’s day and age when the latest computer hardware and mobile devices are improving at such a rapid pace, making a smart holiday upgrades make sense. With better and faster mobile devices like the latest tablets and smartphones, your employees can have what they need to do their jobs effectively wherever they happen to be. Such an expense is money well spent because you are improving your company’s capabilities while reducing its tax burden.

Through a free consultation, Zephyr Networks will examine your year-end technological needs and make specific recommendations about what upgrades to purchase before 2014 is over. If new equipment is needed, we will explain what is needed and why it is needed. As a new client, we will help integrate the new upgrades into your company’s technological culture and train your staff when needed.

Time To Take Action Is Now

holiday upgrades, zephyr networks

Your Holiday Upgrades Up & Running By 2015

An accountant friend of Zephyr Networks told us that Congress has not extended section 179 of the tax code that corresponds to accelerated depreciation. As a result, if businesses want to take advantage of accelerated depreciation they need to have the new hardware and software in place and functioning before midnight January 1st, 2015. Zephyr Networks can make this happen, and this is why we work through the holiday season, installing holiday upgrades of computer equipment and networking solutions. While you are on holiday, Zephyr Networks will be working to get your holiday upgrades up and running.

According to the accountant, cloud computing services could be a workaround. If your company signs up for cloud based services, colocation, virtual private servers, or dedicated servers before the end of 2014, your business does not have to put the entire investment on their books today. Still, since the Zephyr Network’s private cloud is already in place and operational, you can expense the entire licensing for cloud computing immediately. When it comes to holiday upgrades, this makes good sense. Please check with your company’s accounting firm to see if such an option works for you.

Call Zephyr Networks To Learn More

To learn more about holiday upgrades as 2014 comes to a close, please contact Zephyr Networks today by calling (800) 884-7559.

 

Disclaimer: Zephyr Networks is not an accounting firm so we are not offering any accounting direction, advice or feedback. We strongly recommend you consult with a licensed CPA to receive expert clarification about any points raised in this opinion piece. In addition, this article presents only a partial view of the subject matter. It does not claim or attempt to be comprehensive or perfectly accurate. Pursuant to U.S. Treasury Department Regulations, any federal tax commentary in this article is not intended or written to be used for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

 

Why we want Windows 10

Let’s face it.  Not all of us enjoyed Windows 8.  A lot of consumers were scared off by the drastic changes of the touch-friendly, tile-based system.

But with the soon to come Windows 10, Microsoft has blended the familiar features pc users loved for twenty years while moving forward with their new OS for PCs, tablets and smartphones.

Users can look forward to seeing the familiar Start button; the traditional Desktop view returns; Continuum Mode allows for ease of use with hybrid laptop/tablet computers; and Task View for multi-tasking via multiple desktops.

Although the projected ship date is 2015, Windows 10 is well on its way to righting the wrongs of its predecessor.

Tech Savvy behind the wheel

Most states now ban the use of texting and dialing on a cell phone while driving.  But recent a recent AAA study shows that other technologies can be just as bad when behind the wheel.

Driving is not only a physical activity but a mental one.  The AAA study contends that whether it’s Apples Siri assistant or an automakers in-dash system, voice-controlled technologies can be just as distracting.  Current shortcomings in these products, intended as safety features, may unintentionally cause greater levels of cognitive distraction.

Drivers tested six models from Toyota, Chevy, Mercedes, Ford, Chrysler, and Hyundai.  On a scale of 1-5, the Toyota Entune ranked best while Mercedes and Chevy ranked lowest.

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/talking-to-siri-while-driving-is-pretty-dangerous-99428536494.html

Antivirus Solutions

We’ve all heard it on the news.  There’s another virus or malware effecting millions of computers users around the world.  We’ve been advised to install or upgrade existing antivirus software; and scan our computers.

Exactly what is a virus or malware program?  And what damage can it cause?

A computer virus is much like a flu virus.  It starts in the host computer and then replicates itself to other computers.  This can be through email; shared files; or a local area network.

A malware program tries to appear as if it’s a normal program; you may see a new icon on your desktop; a new program listed in the Programs that are installed on your computer; or you may see a pop-up prompting you to take action.  In reality, this malware is running code in the background causing a variety of issues.

Both a virus or malware can cause slowness on your computer and local network; annoying pop-ups displayed on your desktop; loss of data; and countless hours in loss of productivity.  What starts with one computer can have a ripple effect and cause an entire office to stop functioning.

How can you protect and defend against these threats?  There are many software manufactures of antivirus and malware programs.  But how do you know which one is best?

Whether you have one computer or fifty, Zephyr Networks can assist you determine an antivirus solution that is best for you and your company.

What Is A Private Cloud And Why It Makes The Most Sense For Your Business

A private cloud offers a distinct and secure cloud-based environment in which only the specified client can operate, thus avoiding the dangers of the public cloud while offering the benefits of virtualization. As with other cloud models, private clouds deliver computing power to your company as a service within a virtualized environment that has an underlying pool of physical computing resources. With a secure data services center based in Orange County, Zephyr Networks offers the best in private cloud options and solutions.

Private Cloud Model at Zephyr Networks

private cloud, zephyr networks, cybersecurity

Security of the Private Cloud

The difference between the private cloud model offered by Zephyr Networks and the public cloud offered by Google and other Internet giants is simple to illustrate. Like the picture at the right, your company needs the security of a classic white picket fence. You need to know your data and information is safe. Although the most important aspects of your computing requirements remain virtualized, the private cloud offers an advanced level of security and privacy. Such security has become a necessity for many businesses in this day and age.

When a data breach could mean the end of your business and possible lawsuits, a private cloud is the answer that your business needs. When compliance regulations are growing from both a state and federal perspective in terms of client information, a private cloud offers the protection needed to stay in compliance. From HIPAA to complex financial regulations, the private cloud avoids the problems that data breaches of the public cloud have made so common.

No Maintenance + Reliable Power Backups

A key advantage of a private cloud like at the Zephyr Data Services Center is you no longer have to worry about ongoing maintenance. You don’t have to worry about cooling your server rooms or any other technical issues because we do everything for you. More importantly, all maintenance questions are covered, turned into reliable answers.

In the modern world of 24/7 business, can you afford a time out period for your business because of power issues? With the recent heat wave and the resulting rolling blackouts, many companies were temporarily crippled. Imagine the business lost and the opportunities tossed out the door. By relying on the Zephyr Data Services Center, you have the power back-ups and cooling reliability that your business needs to guarantee success.

Public Cloud Dangers vs. Private Cloud Security

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The Zephyr Data Services Center

A public cloud has multiple clients accessing virtualized services and resources from the same pool of servers across public networks. In contrast, the private cloud draws on a distinct pool of protected physical servers and computers. Hosted externally at the Zephyr Data Services Center, these resources and services are accessed across private leased lines or secure encrypted connections via public networks. The benefits of such managed services are multiple with protection and reliability being high on the list.

The additional security offered by the ring fenced cloud model is ideal for any organization that needs to process private data or carry out sensitive tasks. For example, a financial company that is required by regulation to store sensitive data internally should utilize a private cloud service. At the same time, such a company wants to benefit the advantages of cloud computing within their business infrastructure, such as on demand resource allocation.

Learn More About The Zephyr Private Cloud

By accessing a private cloud, the security and the flexibility go hand-in-hand or server-to server with a tailored array of services offered. The private cloud model is closer to the more traditional model of individual local access networks (LANs) used in the past, but with the added advantages of virtualization. If you want to know more about the private cloud opportunities offered by Zephyr Networks, please contact us today for a free consultation.

Did You Know A Public Data Breach Will Cost Your Company Up To A Third Of Your Clients And Customers?

A public data breach can really hurt your company in both the short-term and the long-term. As a respected provider of network security options in Orange County with private cloud capabilities, Zephyr Networks knows that retailers, service-oriented business owners and healthcare providers need to be put on notice right away. If your company suffers a public data breach, you should expect to lose up to a third of your clients and customers. Such frightening findings have been revealed in a new study entitled “Avoidable Collateral Damage from Corporate Data Breaches,” conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research and sponsored by Identify Finder.

Reported on in an article on e-Security Planet, Javelin surveyed 5,634 U.S. adults on their views around data security and privacy. Three points in particular stood out as being downright unnerving for a business owner facing a potential public data breach.

Public Data Breach Downside

  1. 33 percent of consumers said they will shop elsewhere if their retailer of choice suffers a data breach.
  2. 30 percent of patients said they will find a new healthcare care provider if their hospital or doctor’s office is breached and their data is placed in a position of jeopardy.
  3. 24 percent of consumers said they will change banks or credit card providers if their financial institution suffers a data breach.

As Marc Winger of Zephyr Networks explained, “It is scary for a business owner to see how many affected clients and customers will vanish post-breach. In past experiences, we have seen that such a drop-off can be anywhere from a 20% to even a 50% loss once the news gets out. That’s a big loss in terms of reduced sales and shows exactly how a data breach hits the bottom line of a business incredibly hard. Given the lack of skilled IT security professionals capable of dealing with such data breaches and the scope of work required to identify the vulnerabilities, it really makes sense for business owners to safeguard their futures by having a ready-made solution in place.”

Public Data Breach Challenges

public data breach

Public Data Breach Dangers

A further problem is too many companies have imprecise data breach detection systems and second-rate cyber security that casts too big of a net. Neiman Marcus experienced 30,000 security alerts during the period of its three-month public data breach in 2013. Such a bombardment of security alerts aids cyber-criminals in masking their attacks. By having imprecise network security systems and protocol and failing to move to the safety of the private cloud, small to mid-sized business owners are placing their future in jeopardy.

Zephyr Networks can address such problems and truly help safeguard the future of your business and protect you from the dangers of a public data breach. To learn more about how Zephyr Networks can help you with a tailored package of network security, data breach protection and private cloud IT options, please call 800.884.7559 for a free consultation.

IRS A Vocal Supporter Of Business Continuity Planning And Disaster Recovery Strategies For Business Owners

When the IRS becomes a vocal supporter of business continuity planning and disaster recovery strategies, the Computer & Networking Support specialists at Zephyr Networks take note. In a recent Special Edition Tax Tip entitled Keep Your Records Safe In Case Disaster Strikes that was released in May of 2014, the IRS strongly emphasizes the best practices that have helped make Zephyr Networks one of the top Computer & Network Security providers in Orange County.

IRS Supports Business Continuity Planning

In the recent news release, the IRS clearly explains an key point in business continuity planning:”

business continuity planning

IRS & Business Continuity Planning

“Some natural disasters are more common in the summer. But major events like hurricanes, tornadoes and fires can strike any time. It’s a good idea to plan for what to do in case of a disaster. You can help make your recovery easier by keeping your tax and financial records safe.”

By focusing on the essentials, the IRS outlines a list of effective disaster recovery strategies that Zephyr Networks has instituted in practice for Orange County business owners for many years. This list includes the following suggestions:

Business Continuity Planning Suggestions

1. Backup Records Electronically

Scan important business documents onto an electronic format and use an external storage source to store important records. This is why Zephyr Networks advises our clients to take advantage of our private cloud capabilities. Never forget to back up files and keep them in a safe place.

2. Use Business Continuity Planning To Be Prepared

If you have an expert on your side like Zephyr Networks, emergency preparedness for a disaster will be in place through first-class business continuity planning. The IRS recommends that you review your emergency plans every year. Knowing what natural disasters can hit your area, make sure your are ready to address the real potential problems your business might face.

3. Count On The IRS And Zephyr Network

If you fall victim to a disaster, the IRS is ready to help. The IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 is your best resource for special help with disaster-related tax issues.

Help With Business Continuity Planning

At the same time, Zephyr Networks in Orange County is your best resource for business continuity planning and disaster recovery strategies. By being safe in advance, your business can weather any storm. By making sure client companies and businesses are safe if disaster strikes, Zephyr Networks ensures future financial security even in the face of natural disaster. Call Zephyr Networks at 800-884-7559 to access the business continuity help you need in Orange County.

Zephyr Networks Highlights The Benefits of Virtualization for Small Business Owners

Can a small business benefit from virtualization? Having started as a small business, Zephyr Networks has a unique understanding of what small-business owners need to run their businesses efficiently. Virtualization is a virtual – as opposed to actual – version of a technology like hardware, software, an operating system or even a network. With virtualization, special software is used to allow a server, for example, to run several operating systems simultaneously. Without a doubt, virtualization is the wave of the future.

Virtualization – The Wave Of The Future

Server virtualization provides a small business with far more versatility than traditional direct on hardware solutions. At the same time, if its implemented right, your precious company data is protected. One server can be “divided” to accommodate multiple tenants each in it’s own virtual compartment. Virtualization maximizes server capacity, reducing the number of servers needed.

virtualization, zephyr networks

Virtualization Helps

In-house virtualization, however, does not free a company from the typical administrative overheads required for managing physical servers. By working with the virtualization experts at Zephyr Networks, however, such freedom is attained. As a managed IT services provider, Zephyr Networks takes on the responsibility of monitoring and managing the virtual servers of our clients by placing the responsibility on the shoulders of well trained IT professionals.

Virtualization also will cut down on your energy consumption, lowering a company’s monthly electricity bill and promoting a green-oriented approach. For a small-business owner, such minor savings can mean a lot in the long run, especially if the business is located in an area with high energy costs. In addition, the green approach reflects positively on a company’s public image.

A Key Benefit of Virtualization

A key benefit of virtualization is reliable business continuity and disaster recovery. Business continuity is about quickly recovering from things like power outages and server crashes. Even more extreme, fires, theft and natural disasters like earthquakes and floods often happen without warning.

What would happen if the important files of your business were stored on in-house servers that got destroyed in an earthquake or a fire? With virtualization, that becomes less of a worry, especially if you conduct regular checks to ensure that your data is being properly backed up. Data recovery strategies is a specialty of Zephyr Networks. If disaster strikes, a company is less likely to lose essential information and services, thus minimizing any subsequent downtime.

A useful feature of server virtualization is something called live migration, which reduces downtime. The beauty of live migration is that, in the event of a power outage or server failure, the virtual machine continues running while it is moved from one physical location to another, allowing you and your employees to remain productive and go about your usual business.

The Virtual Desktop A Growing Trend

The virtual desktop also is a growing trend in the business world. Known as client virtualization, desktop virtualization separates the desktop environment from the physical machine with the help of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Here again, this is where a managed IT services provider like Zephyr Networks can be a big help. We offer a variety of virtualization solutions such as VDIs, and we are skilled at implementing and managing these solutions for your business.

With virtual desktop infrastructure, employees can access the company network from their laptops, tablets or smart devices. If you know other small-business owners who are already using virtualization in their companies, talk to them about the pluses and minuses. You will be surprised at how the benefits of virtualization greatly outweigh your fear of trying something new

Zephyr Networks & Virtualization

Wouldn’t it be great to reduce costs and your carbon footprint while increasing efficiency in one fell swoop?  Yes, implementing virtualization is a process, and introducing a virtual server solution into your small business will be executed by Zephyr Networks at a pace that works for you. Without questions, virtualization is the wave of the future, and Zephyr Networks wants to help your small to mid-sized business surf that wave into greater productivity and profitability. To learn more, please contact Zephyr Networks toll free at (800) 884-7559 or fill out our handy contact form.

Private Cloud More Crucial Than Ever Before To Block Peeping Eyes Of NSA And Avoid Anymore Heartbleed

Given the countless reports about the peeping eyes of the National Security Agency and the damage caused by the Heartbeat security vulnerability, it might be time for your business to abandon the public cloud and embrace the security of the private cloud. Although Zephyr Networks embraces the value of cloud computing and how much it can help small to mid-sized companies, we have never liked the idea of putting their programs and data into the hands of big brother. Yes, the NSA probably isn’t sitting in Amazon, Google, or Microsoft’s data-centers, but this doesn’t mean you want to give them the opportunity to access your company’s proprietary information.

Public Cloud Vs. Private Cloud

secure-cloudIT professionals who’ve resisted moving to a public cloud have never fully trusted the security of the public cloud. Regardless of what the NSA might or might not be doing and the recent exposed dangers of Heartbeat, we already know the government can, and will, grab cloud servers. Just ask Kim Dotcom about the seizure of Megaupload servers. Whether Dotcom was guilty of anything is still open to doubt, but all of Megaupload’s former customers’ data is still sitting in seized servers. Want to be sure your data is secure? Keep your most important company info on your own servers, in a secure datacenter, or with a private cloud.

This need for security and the solace of the private cloud is why Zephyr Networks has its own data center for its clients with complete data security and disaster recovery protection. Given the recent uproar over the Heartbleed vulnerability that hit the public cloud providers hard, Zephyr Networks believes it is time to emphasize the importance of the private cloud and secure data centers.

Did the NSA know about Heartbleed in advance, yet chose to do nothing beyond take advantage of the vulnerability for its own purposes? Without a doubt, Google knew about this critical flaw in Internet security and didn’t alert anyone until they had protected themselves. Neel Mehta, a Google engineer, first discovered Heartbleed – a bug that undermines the widely used encryption technology OpenSSL — in March. Google patched most of its own services before the companies publicized the bug on April 7.

Safety of the Private Cloud

Zephyr Networks emphasizes the importance of embracing the private cloud option for your business data. By providing a safe and reliable data service center, we provide our clients with the best of both worlds – the flexibility and power of cloud computing side-by-side with the reassurance of true privacy and security. To learn more about how the private cloud can help your company, please contact Zephyr Networks by calling (800) 884-7559 today.

 

 

If Your Company Is A Racecar, A Business Continuity Plan Is Your Spare Tire

When Zephyr Networks asks potential client companies whether they have a business continuity plan in place, many senior executives shake their heads and say, “Why would we ever need such a thing? Everything has been going smoothly so far.” The key to this response is so far. The question is not how have things been going, but how will they go if your company faces a crisis without a business continuity plan in place.

Business Continuity Plan = Spare Tire

If your company is a racecar, what will happen if you blow a tire and you have forgotten to bring along a spare?

business continuity plan, spare tire, zephyr

Is Your Company’s Spare Tire In Place & Ready To Go?

As a crisis management resource, a business continuity plan is the spare tire needed to keep your company moving forward in the right direction. Nothing is worse than blowing a tire and being left stranded on the side of the road as cars shoot past you. Actually, that is not the truth. It is even worse when you blow a tire in the middle of a race and your clients are in the stands, watching your company’s racecar dead on the side of the track.

Do you think those clients will be calling you on Monday for help? Can you imagine the word-of-mouth generated by such a devastating incident? You simply never know when a crisis will hit like an earthquake or a bad storm, and this is why a business continuity plan is essential. In the modern age of information, no business can afford to be crippled on the side of the road for any extended period of time.

The heart of a business continuity plan is to get everything operating back to normal as quickly as possible. Naturally, there are some things you just cannot plan for, but Zephyr Networks has a proven history of providing our clients with business continuity plans that work in practice.

Keep Your Company On The Road Of Success

We do our best to examine the most likely potential problems that would hinder the normal operation of a business. We then develop workable contingencies in conjunction with our clients for such issues should they arise. After all, even if we are the information technology experts, we know you are the experts when it comes to the business of your business.

When putting together a business continuity plan, Zephyr Networks considers a range of actions a company will need to take in order to both detect and respond to a crisis. We have never had a business that works with us left stewing on the side of the road without a spare tire. With a business continuity plan, we can ensure that your business will overcome whatever difficulties arise and continue to move down the road of success. To learn more about how we can help protect your company, call Zephyr toll free at (800) 884-7559 or fill out our handy contact form.