F.A.Q. DATABASE

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for taking a few moments to read through our Frequently Asked Questions. The questions have been split up into three sections; General, NetWatch, and DataVault FAQs. To view a list of questions, select the appropriate category below and click the title. When the questions appear, click on any question for the answer. If your question is not answered below, please submit a support request.

General Frequently Asked Questions (Click to Open)

Is Tech4 a minority-owned or disadvantaged small business?

Tech4 is designated by the Small Business Administration as 8(a) Certified and is verified by the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business.

Is Tech4 properly registered to engage in business with the government?

Yes, we are registered on SAM (System for Award Management).

DUNS: 798283433

CAGE: 4W1F2

TIN: 37-1564257

Is Tech4 a current GSA Contract holder?

Yes. GSA Contract Number GS-35F-0318W

What products and services does Tech4 offer?

We offer over 500,000 IT-related products including network hardware and cabling, desktops and laptops, PBX and VoIP telephone systems, Unified Communications systems, software, and virtualization and cloud services. (Primary NAICS Codes: 541519, 541512, 541511, 443120, 423430) We sell all major manufacturer service and support plans.  We also offer a remote network monitoring and maintenance service, NetWatch, and a secure, business-class online data backup service, DataVault.

NetWatch Frequently Asked Questions (Click to Open)

How does Tech4’s NetWatch work?

The Cisco OnPlus 100 Network Agent appliance is installed at the customer premises to discover network devices and collect data on the network and discovered devices. Through a persistent connection to the Internet, the Network Agent transmits this data to a secure data center and allows Tech4 to monitor every device connected to the network in order to provide regular network assessment, management, troubleshooting, and consulting. The Cisco OnPlus 100 Network Agent is small and unobtrusive, less than 6 inches square, and can be activated in minutes. It can be powered by a connection to a Power over Ethernet (PoE) port on a switch or with an external power adapter.

Does the Cisco OnPlus Network Agent discover and monitor devices other than those made by Cisco?

Yes, the Network Agent will discover and monitor all devices on a network. A fuller range of features are available for Cisco devices, such as alerts for warranty and service contracts renewal or end-of-sale/end-of-service status.  Support levels for non-Cisco devices will vary.

What is the benefit of Remote Monitoring & Maintenance versus On-site Monitoring & Maintenance?

Remote Monitoring & Maintenance saves money and time. Many network problems can be addressed remotely, which is generally quicker and thus, far less expensive than on-site service. Also, by allowing secure access into customer networks from anywhere, at any time, using any connected device, Tech4 can assess a network’s status and perform actions, enabling us to be more proactive verses reactive to issues arising.

How quickly can Tech4 respond when network problems arise?

As soon as an alert is received we can access your network from anywhere with any connected device, including a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, to proactively track network status, troubleshoot issues, or perform configuration changes.

How does Tech4’s NetWatch service provide proactive network maintenance?

We define and customize alert thresholds to enable proactive support and device management, as well as notification rules tailored to each customer’s needs.  The service also supports configuration backup and restore, application of firmware updates, warranty and support contract status, and reporting. The Network Agent will create periodic reports on a variety of topics, ranging from network status to a complete device inventory. These reports will be reviewed by Tech4 technicians, who will address any potential issues indicated by the reports.

Will anyone outside my organization have access to our private data?

No. Tech4’s NetWatch Service collects statistics specifically related to the network, but does not view nor collect business data. You will always have peace of mind in knowing that your key business information and communications will stay highly secure.

How is cost of Tech4’s NetWatch service determined?

Cost is determined by the number of devices on a managed network.

DataVault Frequently Asked Questions (Click to Open)

What factors affect cost?

On volumes below 250 GB, cost is based on the native (uncompressed) volume of data you choose to back up, the number of backups retained in our vaults, and the length of the service agreement. Over 250 GB, a number of optional variables such as on-site vaults affect price.

How does the reliability compare with that of tape backups?

No comparison. Our backup service is much more reliable than tape backups. We have MANY clients who have run our service for years without ever changing their configuration and without ever missing a backup. We will put our track record up against any tape backup system. A major risk of tape systems is that even when all indicators point to successful backups, the restores fail. Secondly, most companies using tape systems don’t employ a secondary fail-safe system. Our system has redundancy built in.

Can I still use my tape system?

Yes. Many of our clients continue to run their tape backups, but no longer transport their tapes off site. Redundancy is the key to data security, so you can never have too many backups.

Does it work if our company has a firewall?

Absolutely. Our specialists will provide you with the required proprietary firewall port information. In most situations, firewall changes are NOT required.

Is an on-site appliance available for faster backups/restores?

Yes, we offer the Bullet Vault available for clients with high volumes of data that want the speed and convenience of an on-site appliance. The VaultLogix Bullet Vault resides at the client facility and provides instant backups and restores, but is monitored and managed by VaultLogix technical experts just as the vaults in the VaultLogix data centers are. This provides clients the speed and convenience of on-site, but with the extra security of off-site backups and professional monitoring and support.

Many backup services  offer “unlimited storage” for free or minimal cost. Why shouldn’t I go with them?

These services have other limits that make them unacceptable for business usage. By restricting how fast a client may upload and download data and/or restricting total data throughput over a period of time, these services control usage in hidden ways. The minimal support and slow response times are also major concerns for business clients.

We never restricts bandwidth. Our backups and restores will only be restrained by the client’s Internet connection constraints. Our data centers will take and send client data as fast as the client can transmit and receive it.

Does VaultLogix work on Macintosh computers?

Not natively, but often they can be backed up via networked-mapped drives from a Windows or Linux-based computer.

What operating systems are supported?

Windows (32-bit)

Windows (64-bit))

NetWare

Linux

AIX

HP-UX

iSeries

ESX Server

What type of structure is my data stored in?

Data centers are classified in tiers, with Tier 4 being the best. Our primary vaults are housed in a windowless Tier 4 data center on an upper floor of a building with foot-thick steel-reinforced cement walls. Power is routed through redundant transformers into a conditioned massive battery array to ensure a seamless switch from primary to auxiliary power in the event of an interruption. Auxiliary power is supplied by redundant diesel generators with dual fuel supplies, insuring uninterrupted power.

Our secondary data centers, with similar specifications, are also classified as Tier 4 data centers.

The data centers are designed and constructed to withstand all weather-related events and are climate controlled with advanced environmental controls.

How do I backup multiple computers? What about remote sites?

Your entire organization’s backups can be remotely managed from any Windows machine (firewall/VPN permitting). A single LAN administrator can configure backups and perform instant restores for all computers even at remote sites.

How does the automatic backup scheduler work?

At the time you have scheduled, your computer will make a secure TCP/IP connection to our servers. Your data will be encrypted before leaving your site, then transmitted to and stored in our secure facility. When the backup is done, you will be notified via E-Mail of the status.

How often will my computer be backed up?

Most of our clients schedule their backups to run each night shortly after their office closes. You set up and administer the backup schedule that works best for your company.

How much data can I back up?

Our clients’ backup volumes range from less than a gigabyte to many terabytes.

Do I need to back up my entire computer?

No, but our system has the ability to completely backup and restore all supported platforms. Some clients back up only their data files, while others back up their programs and operating systems. Select only the files, directories, or drives that you wish to back up. Of course, we can only restore the data you back up. Make sure you are backing up all your critical files.

Will DataVault backup all Operating System and “System State” information?

Yes. Our backup agents have the ability to backup all necessary information to perform a complete, full restore on all supported platforms.

After installation, can I make modifications to my configuration?

Yes, and it’s very easy to do. Our technicians will show you how it’s done during the initial installation. Then you can make modifications whenever you want. Of course, we are always available if you need assistance.

What software will be loaded on my computer?

The backups require a small software agent to be loaded on the computer(s) to be backed up, and there is small administrator program that can be installed on any number of computers to administer the agents.

How long does the backup take?

Backups are extremely fast. Our delta-block technology transmits only the changed portions of changed files during each backup session. Exactly how long that takes depends on the size of your backup, speed of your Internet connection, and amount of changed data. Our average client backup is less than 30 minutes.

Because the initial backup requires transmission of all data, it takes the longest and may require multiple sessions to complete. The service will “chip away” at the initial backup until completed with no user intervention required. After the initial backup is complete, nightly backups are significantly smaller than tape-based systems and result in a much more efficient and faster backup.

What type of connection do I need?

You need a reliable, dedicated Internet connection. A reliable connection at DSL speeds or better is sufficient for most clients. The faster your connection, the more efficiently your backups will run.

Do you guarantee that clients will always be able to access their data?

Yes. Our service is guaranteed to be available and capable of backing up and restoring client data. We make this guarantee based on a twelve-year track record with millions of successful backups and restores. Our system has never failed to restore data that was successfully backed up.

Can you explain how DataVault operates?

All clients have redundant backups in multiple locations. Some clients choose to backup first to a local appliance at their site. Most clients, however, back up data first to the primary data center, then to a secondary remote data center. If clients are using the local appliance option, data is backed up first to the local appliance, and is then vaulted off-site to the vaults in the primary and secondary data centers.

The primary data center is located adjacent to our Administrative and Support centers and is monitored 24/7. The Support Center houses our support technicians, our Rapid Response Team, and our Testing Laboratory. If a client needs to restore or needs assistance, a technician is always available. In an emergency, our mode of operations becomes extremely important. Technicians, because of the close proximity of the vaults in the primary data center, can literally access those vaults within seconds if the need arises. If you require a media restore, the process of downloading and verifying your data and preparing it for shipment can begin immediately.

How do I restore my data?

A restore may involve anything from a single file to an entire system. A graphical user interface lets you select individual files or folders for restoration. There is also a search utility that allows you to scan an entire catalog using a file specification mask that may include wildcards. If you have a catastrophic loss and no operating system, you must first install your base o/s, service packs, and network drivers then re-install the backup software agent. Once this is done, you can connect to our servers, recreate your local catalogs and proceed to initiate restores. Support technicians are always available to assist with an emergency restore.

What do I do if I lose my encryption password?

Lost passwords cannot be recovered. They are NEVER transmitted to our servers. We have NO WAY of getting them back. We recommend keeping multiple copies of your encryption password(s) in safe, secured remote locations.

What type of encryption is available?

There are several available encryption algorithms and key strengths up to 256-bit AES.