Pittsburgh’s IT Service and Support Specialists


Pittsburgh, Cranberry, Greensburg, Indiana
Uniontown and throughout Southwestern PA

3rd Quarter 2012 - July Issue

Subscribe Today

Subscribe to Shiloh Sound e-Newsletter

Click the Envelope to subscribe to your FREE Quarterly e-Newsletter

Backups - Data Backup vs. Disaster Recovery

In our last issue we talked about online backups available from service providers like Mozy Pro and Carbonite, coming to the conclusion that they are great for limited data loads (50 to 250 gigabytes), are relatively inexpensive, and very convenient – for the most part you can "set it and forget it."

But the backup service that’s right for you depends as much on your needs and expectations as on price and convenience.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at Disaster Recovery vs. simple Data Backups.

Data Backups

By data backups , we mean what most people think of when they say “backup.” A data backup simply makes copies of files and folders (your Word docs, Excel Files, Pictures, PDFs, and PowerPoint projects, etc.) and keeps them safe in case the originals are lost, deleted, or corrupted. Ordinary data backups can be a lifesaver when your QuickBooks file gets corrupted or someone accidentally deletes the new proposal you’ve been working on.

Symantec Backup Exec

There are backup systems so complete that when your favorite computer melts down or lightning takes out your server, a new machine can be restored to look, feel, and operate just like your old one, often in the space of a day.

Symantec Backup Exec 2012 is one of the premier products for configuring a complete disaster recovery backup.

When keeping your computers up and running – running with all your software, settings, and preferences – is critical to your business, then a basic data backup just won’t do.

But what happens when a hard drive crashes, or in the event of fire or theft taking out multiple computers? With a data backup, you still have your critical files, but how frustratingly long (possibly weeks) will it take to setup new machines and install your software all over again (assuming you still have the CDs)? And what about your web Favorites, your memorized passwords, and all the shortcuts you had just the way you liked them on your desktop? Basic data backups simply don’t address these issues.

Disaster Recovery

There are backup systems so complete that when your favorite computer melts down or lightning takes out your server, a new machine can be restored to look, feel, and operate just like your old one, often in the space of a day.

Symantec Backup Exec 2012

Symantec Backup Exec 2012 is one of the premier products for configuring a complete disaster recovery backup. When keeping your computers up and running – running with all your software, settings, and preferences – is critical to your business, then a basic data backup just won’t do.

Backup Exec 2012 features include:
  • Unified physical and virtual backup
  • Integrated deduplication and replication
  • Bare metal disaster recovery
  • No hardware disaster recovery (via physical to virtual conversion)

At Shiloh, we work with our customers to establish a reliable backup regimen using Symantec Backup Exec 2012. That includes full system backups at two week intervals supplemented by incremental daily backups. Backups are saved to hot swappable drives, meaning that every day a backup copy leaves the premises and is safe in the event of a true disaster.

The key advantage to a backup plan featuring Backup Exec 2012 is the thoroughness of the backup – not just files, but software, settings, and system state. In the event of a significant system failure, recovery time is reduced to a day or two, instead of weeks of rebuilds and reinstallations.

Sound like the security you’re looking for? Contact Shiloh Service today to learn more.


When Computers Run Slow slow computer

One of the most common complaints these days is “my computer runs slow!” Is there a way to fix it? Unfortunately, there are more than a baker’s dozen of reasons your computer might bog down or seem to run slow, and speeding it back up depends on exactly what happened.

Internet Service Provider

These days, people spend a lot of time using Internet services like email, voice and video conferencing, and web research. If your slowdowns are all Internet related, the problem may be with your Internet Service Provider, a bad modem, or even network or building wiring. The computer itself may be just fine.

Overloaded Hardware

All computers are not created equal. Hard drive space, RAM memory, operating system, make and model of CPU and motherboard, graphics card – all these contribute to how responsive your computer feels when going about your daily chores. A cheap computer meant for schoolwork and web surfing may seem peppy until you start loading it with business software and expecting it to deal with accounting systems, CAD files, and graphics manipulation. In a business environment, hardware and software need to be appropriately paired.


Unless you have a premium anti-virus program, it may not be protecting you from malware.

As the name implies, malware is not good, but it is not exactly a virus either. Let’s say you end up on an unscrupulous website (there are more out there than you think) and behind the scenes, without alerting you at all, that site downloads a program on your computer to track your web browsing behavior, pop up ads, or modify search results so you find more of the sites they want you to find.

As you might expect, that unseen and unwanted program not only annoys you, it uses up a piece of your computer’s processing power.

Now imagine, over time, that you innocently visit more and more websites that take advantage of you in this way. At some point, your computer has so much unwanted and unneeded software taking up its time that it can't focus on the things you want to do. That’s malware.

Unfortunately, there is no magic button that tells you exactly why your computer is running slow and what to do about it, but often the problem can be solved and solved economically.

At Shiloh Service, we resolve these problems for our customers every day. Contact us to learn more about speeding up that frustratingly slow machine.


Remote Monitoring Keeps Computers Running Smoothly

Whether it’s checking on a backup or troubleshooting your slow computer, keeping your machines healthy and up-to-date can be done remotely, in the background, and often without disturbing the user.

At Shiloh, we use Labtech's remote monitoring and management software. It's designed to streamline IT management and automate any IT process or task. With Labtech, our technicians can identify, audit and manage your workstations, servers, printers and routers without leaving the office.

Unobtrusively (without slowing down you or your staff), we can identify, approve, and update software patches and hotfixes for a single work station or a group of machines. This way Shiloh works proactively to keep your network running smoothly.

In the event a problem does crop up, response time is drastically improved (no more scheduling an on-site visit for most troubleshooting)! While no one can prevent every technical problem or forestall all system failures, at Shiloh we work to make your business system is so reliable you'll never trust any other IT service to do as well. Interested in learning more? Contact Shiloh Service today!


Microsoft Exchange - When Ordinary Email Just Won't Do microsoft exchange

How would you like to be able to check your employee’s task lists and task progress as easily as you check email? What about monitoring appointment calendars – or coordinating that meeting you want to set without needing to call, check, and reschedule with everyone on the team?

Microsoft Exchange provides a robust business class solution that goes far beyond ordinary email. Because it works with premier email clients like Outlook and Entourage, there’s no new software to learn. Instead Microsoft Exchange simply brings more collaborative power to the equation. Just a few cool Exchange features are:

Sharing and Collaboration

Share calendars, contacts, tasks, email boxes, folders – as you wish with permissions set for every individual in the system.

Voice Mail and Transcription

Receive voice mail as email attachments you can play any time, or have voice mail delivered in text form (translated by a speech recognition program).

Everywhere Access

Exchange supports emails, calendars, and contacts across a variety of Smartphones (including Windows mobile, BlackBerry, Android, and Apple products), as well as allowing setup of your account across multiple computers and providing web-based access to emails, calendars, and more. Never lose touch with one of your most critical business tools – your personal information manager.

Personal Mail Archive

Users can have two mailboxes – one primary and one archived. This allows you to keep your primary mailboxes organized and uncluttered.

Enhanced Security

Microsoft Exchange has increased spam-filtering capabilities and meets or surpasses the most stringent security requirements.

These are the kind of features enjoyed by Fortune 500 Companies, but now they are within your reach. Want to learn more? Watch the video on an Overview of Microsoft Exchange, or contact Shiloh Service today!


Are Ergonomic Keyboards Better?

You may have seen them, those funny looking keyboards split in the middle that look like you’d have to type sideways to use them. That’s an ergonomic keyboard, and really, it has your best interests in mind.

Traditional keyboards, combined with the repetitive nature of typing, are hard on wrists and tendons, often contributing to “carpal tunnel” syndrome. Keyboards with a slant help place your wrists close to a neutral ulnar/radial deviation and, depending on the design and degree of slant, also reduce forearm pronation. That boils down to more comfort and less wrist pain.

If you’re a slow, two-fingered typist, an ergonomic keyboard is not for you. But if your job has you typing like wind all day long, a slanted keyboard can help prevent injury and unneeded medical bills.

If you’ve always typed on a flat keyboard, the ergonomic variety will take some getting used to. It seems clumsy at first and you have to relearn the feel of where your fingers should be, but you’ll soon notice the reduced stress on your wrists while typing. Many people who have had wrist problems swear by them and wouldn’t trade their ergonomic keyboard for anything.

Of course things would be simpler if it were “one size fits all,” but ergonomic keyboards come in different varieties and angles of slant. There are contoured keyboards, angled split keyboards, and adjustable split keyboards. They also tend to be pricey, often selling for 3X the price of a similarly equipped flat keyboard.

So whether it’s the price or the time to learn to use it effectively, ergonomic keyboards represent a personal investment that’s right for some but not necessarily for everyone. Need to learn more? Contact Shiloh Service today.


Return to Top