Most commonly asked questions about IT from our clients
Is a virtual machine really faster than a physical machine?
Mostly, yes, depending on the task and spec of the machine. Simply put: a virtual machine in the cloud has far more resources at its disposal. A virtual desktop runs on servers, which cling together like a team of horses pulling a cart. This, meanwhile, is in contrast to a physical laptop or desktop, which (using our analogy) only has one horse.
However, the main reasons for choosing a cloud-based virtual machine over a physical machine are its reliability, security and zero maintenance. In addition, there’s no capital layout (i.e. no need to actually buy the physical machine). This saves space and reduces the need for in-house IT wizards.
Is a virtual desktop in the cloud really more secure than having my own machines?
Yes! Your shiny new virtual machine benefits from protection by round-the-clock security guards. Moreover, you thrive with military-grade encryption (2048-bit) and banking-level security (IL4).
What happens when I’m travelling and can’t get to my computer?
All “smart” mobile devices can easily connect to your hosted services, whether your virtual desktop or your hosted email account, so you will never be out of touch. In most cases (very old, tin boxes excluded) any device with internet connectivity can also access your virtual machine, and your email can be reached via the Outlook Web app.
What happens with my hardware/servers?
In theory, all your servers can become redundant as they will be replicated on our servers within our Tier 3 Manchester-based Data Centre.
As for PCs/Laptops, you will still need these devices to access the cloud desktop, but their specification becomes a lot less relevant. They can just be used to log into the cloud system – once in there you will be using the cloud resources.
What about my licensing?
We can install virtually any software that runs on your old server within the cloud environment, so any software licensing can also be moved across.
All Microsoft licensing is covered within the monthly cost per user, as is any cost for upgrading to newer versions on request.
We can provide local machine antivirus and our hosted desktop includes enterprise level security within the cost. We also provide our RMM (remote monitoring software) so that we can keep an eye on performance at all times.
Can I control where people access the Hosted Desktop?
Yes absolutely, we can control which IP addresses can access the desktop. This adds another layer of security by not allowing access from unknown sources.
Will my data be safe in the cloud?
In our cloud? Yes. But not all clouds are created equal. Various companies provide cloud services and not all are up to the same high standard. It’s very important to look for the credentials your cloud provider holds. If they don’t hold either ISO 27001 or CSA STAR full certification, for example, then their operational procedures and infrastructure could be questionable.
At Venom IT, we take great pride in providing ultra-secure solutions to our clients. Our data centres are state-of-the art facilities, and we hold ISO 9001, 27001, 27017 and 27018, as well as various other certifications and accreditations, such as being an approved NHS and government supplier.
Can I set up my own apps and programs?
We can provide users with admin credentials to do this on request. But for security reasons, we do prefer to keep this on lockdown when not required. On the other hand, you can always request that Venom IT does the install for you.
Would I still be able to print from the cloud in my office?
First, at setup, our project managers ask about any peripheral devices, such as printers and scanners. Accordingly, we can then install the correct drivers so that users are able to print just like before.
What is remote working?
In short, it means working away from your office, but during normal or extended work hours. This could mean working from home on certain days (e.g. to fulfil family obligations, pregnant mums, health issues etc.) or working from an internet café in a foreign country while away on business there.
Is remote working secure?
We can make it secure, but it depends on the systems in place. For total security and safety of data, three things are needed:
- First, you need a secure origin;
- A secure server to handle the data traffic;
- A secure end point.
This means your work office, the server through which you connect and your “away office” all need to be secure. As you can imagine, this is easier said than done.
To illustrate this, imagine that someone sent you a letter containing highly confidential information. The sender was sitting alone in the office with the door closed when it was written. The courier is super-reliable and never opens people’s letters while carrying them, and hand-delivers letters to the recipient no matter where they are in the world (let’s pretend the courier wears a red cape and can fly).
Unfortunately, you are sitting in a coffee shop surrounded by people and cameras when you receive your letter. So opening the letter poses the risk of exposing your confidential information. But what if the letter was written in a secret language that only you and the sender can understand? Then it would be perfectly safe for you to open and read the letter.
Similarly, Venom IT can help with securing your office (the sender) against data intrusions, and we provide a world-class cloud-hosted service (the courier) with banking-level security ratings (IL4) and military-grade encryption (2048-bit).
The real trick is securing the endpoint, or remote office, which is often beyond your or our control. To provide a secure solution, we implement what is known as a VPN (Virtual Private Network) that uses end-to-end encryption (the secret language) to ensure the safe transfer of your data back and forth, even if things in the remote office aren’t ideal.
I have Wi-Fi: Why Do I Need Old School Cables?
In short, we have Wi-Fi as well. Cables, however, are much faster and also much more secure than Wi-Fi. For certain office applications, cabling is really the only sensible solution, especially where sensitive/ confidential data is processed. Wi-Fi is notoriously easy to hack and does not always give the best reliability.