We’re well versed in the technologies you want to use day to day, and the technologies you need to keep your data and company safe.
About half our clients choose to call in for help after something goes wrong.
The other half prefer proactive Managed IT Services.
Almost all start a relationship with us at a time when they are in need of IT upgrades. These case studies highlight some of what we can do for you.
To protect our clients privacy, identifying details are omitted.
Simple NAS Setup
File Sharing Problems With Remote Employees
Problem: Rhonda and her team at a nonprofit organization were suffering from unbearably slow access to documents. They were working off an aging physical server housing a virtual server. They do not want to move to cloud based subscriptions.
The team works with large PowerPoint files but their file sharing setup was crippling their productivity. File access, downloads and email attachments were very slow within the office. Remote employees were repeatedly disconnected and unable to work.
The Solution: An upgrade to internet speed. Replace the aging server with a network attached storage (NAS) device. With a NAS, the team can now:
- store files centrally on a privately owned device
- remote employees can now quickly access files from anywhere by syncing the files from the NAS to their local computers so that the files are available when they wish to open them
- work faster and with less frustration
- backup to a private cloud account (Azure cloud backup at $0.02/GB)
Time & Cost: We used a 2 bay NAS with 2 x 3TB drives to mirror each other in case one hard drive dies. No special configuration was required. All files were also setup to back up to the cloud in Azure. It took 10 days for the equipment to arrive. Setup and configuration took 6 hours on site. Data transfer was set to overnight and checked on the following day. Total project cost was approximately $1900, hardware and tax included.
Advanced NAS Setup
Vendor Security Requirement For File Sharing
Problem: In order to win a government contract, this private company needs to setup a secure file sharing solution to meet security compliance requirements. Public cloud storage is not allowed. Private cloud storage must be housed in Canada. External government employees require access, in addition to internal employees at the company.
- A network attached storage (NAS) device bound to Active Directory for user authentication and restricting or granting access to file shares between the government vendor and the employees at the company was setup and configured.
- This file storage setup is exclusive to this contract and separate from all other files the company owns.
- The files need to be easily accessible by government employees so the web interface of the NAS was made available externally to select members who can upload and download files via their web browsers.
- Encrypted offsite backup to a Canadian data centre was setup.
- The firewall was configured for geographic restriction for improved security (all IP addresses outside of Canada are rejected).
Time & Cost: We used a 8 bay NAS with 8 x 6TB drives with a RAID array. Active Directory integration was configured. Firewall configuration and private cloud backup were setup. It took 10 days for the equipment to arrive. Setup and configuration took 3 days on site. Total project cost was approximately $7600, hardware & tax included.
Meraki Network & WiFi Upgrade
WiFi Connectivity Issues
Problem: Susan and her team had intermittent WiFi issues. Their problems got exponentially worse when they began sub letting part of their office to a tenant. They also purchased new laptops that simply would not perform well on WiFi. The problems were:
- Out of date WiFi hardware (compliant with old WiFi G protocols - not able to support new AC protocols released over last 3 years)
- No good neighbour requirements setup with new tenants
- Security gaps due to old model firewall
- Loss of WiFi bandwidth
- Brand new laptops and devices on network hampered by slow speed of WiFi network (new devices are performing like old, slow devices when on WiFi, and negating the investment in this upgraded equipment)
The Solution: Identify underlying reasons for the problems, shop for and lease new top end Meraki WiFi Access Points, switches and firewalls, and put in WiFi controls to fix network cross talk and users being dropped from the WiFi network repeatedly. We:
- Replaced the primary network switch - the central nervous system of the network
- Replaced the network firewall to enable data packet inspection into and out of the local LAN from the internet, to improve security.
- Replaced the WiFi access points with high powered Meraki models that can support current WiFi protocols
- Configured user limits
- Implemented good neighbour protocols
- Increased throughput and bandwidth from 54 mbps to 1.3 Gigabits per second - now new devices on WiFi can actually perform as advertised
- Improved security with new firewall
- Easier to maintain WiFi with cloud interface, auto reboot of access points, and remote troubleshooting by IT providers
- Restored harmony with tenants
Time & Cost: We helped the client place their Meraki hardware order of approximately $12,000 + tax. Setup and configuration was scheduled for weekend time & rates to limit downtime to the team. We worked 2 days on site with service fees at $2275 + tax.
Network Security Setup
Data Compliance To Meet Vendor Requirements & Ongoing Network Management
Problem: This marketing research firm required network security improvements in order to bid for a lucrative job from a large vendor. TUCU helped them meet all information security requirements quickly, which allowed them to win the contract. Problems included:
- No user control - all team members could access all data
- No user authentication - anyone could log on to the network
- No security when working remotely or on mobile devices
- No network management - the vendor required that trained IT technicians manage the network and perform frequent scans and updates
The Solution: Total network redesign, including:
- Implement Windows Server with ADFS linked to Office 365 for Exchange, MDM and Azure AD
- Windows Server provides secure verified access to local resources within the LAN. Coupled with ADFS and Azure AD to extend that security to their cloud resources. Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is Microsoft’s multi-tenant, cloud-based directory and identity management service. Azure AD combines core directory services, advanced identity governance, and application access management.
- Mobile Data Management Policy implemented, along with remote wipe capabilities in the event of a lost or stolen device, the company owned data is also stored and accessed separately from the employee's personal data. Company data cannot be accessed from a non-domain joined device. And only domain joined devices are permitted access to the LAN via 802.11x
- Managed IT Services provide the team with Virtual CIO services + total network management + unlimited computer support for the team
- Data security
- Won lucrative contract
- Established to win future profitable bids from vendors with information security requirement clauses
- Ongoing IT planning to support company growth
- Unlimited IT Support for team
Time & Cost: One month consulting, planning, purchasing time and waiting for equipment to arrive + 3 weeks implementation time totaling approximately $16,800 consulting and service fees. Hardware and software costs of approximately $26,809. Ongoing monthly Managed IT Services to fulfill vendor requirements for network security.