10 Years ago, General Manager, responsible for our wholesale operation, asked me if I could arrange some Video Conferencing for his team. He was traveling a lot, and it was hard for him to meet with his team in person. The video conference was appealing plus the ability to share his PowerPoint and Excel files on the screen made the sales pitch to the board so much easier… Not. The solution that would enable all the bells and whistles for his presentation was chosen from Cisco. The cost was just too great, so the Board did not approve it.
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We used Microsoft Exchange for all our emails. In my 15 year career as IT Manager, I never had many incidents with MS Exchange, most were minor, but I will remember the only major accident forever.
One day, a user reported that he could not read one email. On the second day, two users reported they couldn’t read several emails. On a third day, many users called in, they could not read several emails. The solution was to dismount the Exchange database, run a repair, remount the database, and check the problematic emails. At the end of the week, Databases were so corrupt; they could not be repaired. We had to restore from backup. But, the restoration was slow. There were several databases, each several TB in size. The whole experience was so frustrating. Telephones were constantly ringing, and Department Managers were angry at IT. After some investigation, we found out that VMware we just upgraded to had a bug. Bug corrupted databases once the backup was triggered via their APIs. Mail is one of the IT services that is just screaming for cloud use. For a couple of USD per month, you get 40GB+ of storage, much higher availability than you can get if you host an email in-house, plus can you get additional services and programs with your plan.
Just look at Microsoft’s offering; for a couple of dollars per user per month, you get an email, Office, Sharepoint, Teams… A solution perfect for our General manager. Correction, a solution that all users can benefit from. Including kids and teachers in schools.
Collaboration and teamwork are the future. Especially now, when the whole world is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a need for collaboration from home is rising. I think that most organizations are making an accelerated leap to the cloud. The only question is GSuite or Office 365. Each of the services has benefits. Users will choose one based on the required features or ideology. One of the questions that we will all face is how do we back up our data in the cloud?
Afi Cloud Backup Review
Afi is a reliable G Suite and Office 365 backup solution. Afi is built with the cloud in mind, so it performs much better than legacy products. Afi leverages AI technology and Machine Learning to reduce various administrative tasks so that you, as an admin, don’t have to do them manually. Afi is known to be the fastest of all cloud backup solutions as it can perform 2x and even 3 better than competing legacy products-.
One benefit of AFI backup is a modern, clean interface. Just by looking at the dashboards, you tap into your data protection and data usage visibility.
AFI built AI into the product from the ground up. And it shows. For example, do you know AI monitors 20+ risk factors like data center availability, network connectivity, etc… and is ready to trigger backup as soon as an event occurs? You will also notice that they put a lot of effort into user usability so that all the actions needed to perform by the user feel natural and don’t require hours fiddling with the manual.
Office 365 support
When you log in to AFI for the first time, you have to select which users you will protect, and type of the SLA you will assign them, and which data type you will backup. AFI can backup all Microsoft 365 services, Mail, Calendars, Sharepoint, OneDrive with Metadata, including permissions and MS Teams. Backup is automatic, based on SLA, but you can also trigger backup manually.
As soon as you start navigating your organization you will love the way AFi handles configuring users. You can search your users and navigate through the Azure active directory.
You can download single items or full user backups in 7 available formats. When looking for data in Exchange mailbox you can use search to quickly find you need to recover. You can easily navigate in point in time backup which offers unlimited versioning.
Google G Suite
AFI makes a perfect backup companion for Gsuite. It features the same simplicity as Microsoft 365 users already know.
You can backup Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Sites, and Drive. When you download email backup, you can download mails as PST, MBOX, or EML files. That is super for users using various email programs.
I like AFI G Suite backup to backup shared drives with access permissions and Gmail nested tables.
You can find keywords and phrases in G Suite email backups by using AFI Full-text Gmail search.
You can download (offline export) single items or full accounts backup.
What makes AFI unique?
You can grant users access to perform various maintenance tasks. For example, you can grant Super Admin roles, Backup operator roles, or Self Service tasks. If you know that one of your users is better with computers you can assign him access to manage her account in addition to his/hers.
The audit is a powerful tool to review operations, objects, and statuses. You can see a detailed Audit log of WAN IP address, session details admin actions and system events.
AFI ransomware protection is super cool. AFI AI will auto label recovery points so that you know which is the latest clean backup. AFI is monitoring constantly and will notify you immediately in the event it discovers ransomware. Also, primitive backup is triggered by the AI engine to protect the latest versions of data.
AFI Backup – No backup failures. AFI is a modern backup crafted for cloud services. It handles API errors intelligently, and it uses a prediction engine to avoid API calls limit. It can execute tasks in parallel, and it can automatically reschedule and automatically reconfigure problematic backup runs.
Automation and Security. Automation is part of the product. Afi will automatically discover and protect users. Deleted shared drives are automatically archived and available to restore in case you need users’ data. Besides, Security is part of the system. You can restrict access to backup data; you can monitor WAN IP addresses and create custom backup operator access rights. Also, you can enable self-service to end-users to save time for your admins.
Afi backup is one of the best cloud backup solutions I have witnessed. It shows that it is built for the modern world as it doesn’t leverage the legacy paradigm. Even pricing is great as it is one of the most affordable backup products. It is straightforward to start a trial. It only takes you a couple of clicks. Afi is one of the fastest and most reliable backups for G Suite and Office 365. Going with Cloud office and Afi is a match made in heaven. For reliability, speed, and cost. Highly recommended.
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