Author Page

About Robert Tessanne

Red Level's Cloud & Data Center Vice President

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Imagine this all-too-common scenario: someone in accounting receives a large invoice by email and pays it. It’s several months before you discover that the invoice originated from a compromised or spoofed email account, that your vendor never received the funds, and that you’re now obligated to provide the FBI with evidence for a criminal investigation. How long would it take you to locate the suspicious communications? Especially if they’d been deleted months before? As business email compromise and spear phishing attacks grow in sophistication, we’re seeing more of these unfortunate scenarios, but we also regularly encounter less dramatic circumstances in which our clients discover an urgent need for backups of emails or files —backups that may be easy or impossible for them to find, depending on the recovery solution they’ve set up beforehand. Whether these incidents are minor glitches or will result in a devastating loss is entirely contingent upon ...


Red Level Expands Grand Rapids Datacenter Presence

Sometimes, important changes happen without anyone noticing. That was the case recently as Red Level greatly expanded our West Michigan datacenter footprint. We’ve been watching closely as the Grand Rapids-area market has grown and changed in recent years. Grand Rapids has been emerging as a powerful new hub for information technology-focused companies, both in the form of innovative start-ups and as a destination of choice for established companies looking to expand into a new market or relocate their operations. At the same time, a lot of the area’s established businesses have been embracing cloud-based solutions as a means of building their capabilities and modernizing their IT operations. Naturally, as the markets we serve and our clients’ needs grow, we need to grow as well. The time was right for us to make a sizeable, forward-looking investment in our capacity on the western side of our state. We effectively doubled our ...


The CIO Holiday Wish List

It’s just a few days before Christmas, and well into Hanukkah. That means it’s a good time to spare a thought for your company’s CIO. Chances are you haven’t lately. Why would you? After all, they’re always off in that dark server room, twiddling with some piece of gear or another, or with their eyes transfixed to their computer monitors as they mutter darkly about downtime or network traffic statistics. Of course, there is the small fact that while everyone else in your company goes blithely about their business munching holiday cookies and booking skiing vacations in Aspen, your poor neglected CIO is busy warding off hordes of hackers, reconciling fractious disputes between pieces of hardware, and otherwise keeping the company’s data wheels from falling off. Maybe, just maybe, some token of appreciation is in order. Never fear! Your CIO’s wants are simple, and a panel of experts – people ...


BaaS Vs. DRaaS: Critical Differences When Minutes Count

“Time is money” – so says the old adage. We all know it’s true: In our increasingly fast-paced society, all of us seem to have less time than ever, along with more demands on the time we do have. Wasted time costs us dearly. Consider what wasted time costs a small business – or for that matter, a large one. And consider that when an IT disaster strikes, time effectively stops. Employees are idled, production grinds to a halt, orders go unfilled, shipments go unsent, and vital communications hang in limbo. Time becomes money – money spent and lost – in a very real, immediate sense. This is the first, foremost consideration when deciding on a backup or disaster recovery strategy. There are very few companies for whom a major data loss, security breach, or instance of system unavailability stands to be less than a catastrophic and costly event. We ...


STEAK AND SECURITY: Make Sure That Security Is Always “Well Done”

Whatever you happen to be doing, it is usually a good idea to be doing it right. That involves following the basic steps needed to successfully get from the starting line to success – steps that have usually been discovered and developed by the legions who have gone before you who have tried things out, learned from their mistakes, tried again and succeeded. Take cooking a steak as an example. There are some things you always do, and some things you definitely don’t do – say, put frosting on it, or let the dog play with it. And there are some things you MAY do – if you really know what you’re doing. The things you MAY do usually don’t take much extra effort or time, just a little more knowledge – but usually, it’s those discretionary steps that make the difference between “pretty good” and “fantastic.” So how do ...


Hardware As A Service: Introducing the Continuously-Improving Infrastructure

In business, it’s pretty well understood that there’s no such thing as standing still: If you’re not moving ahead, you’re being left behind. More and more, companies pursue “continuous improvement” not just as a vague goal, but as a continuous daily practice. Businesses understand that they have to constantly ramp up efficiency, quality, effectiveness and speed if they’re going to do well in our fast moving, fast changing society. Continuous improvement goals run into big problems, though, when outdated technology is holding you back. It costs a lot, though, to stay on the cutting edge: Hardware upgrades are a major capital expense, and one that it is often all too easy to stall indefinitely when budgets are a concern – sometimes until it’s too late for a company to catch up. You may know exactly what hardware and software you need in order to remain current and competitive, but that ...



There’s an unfortunate tendency I see all too often in some businesses: An inclination towards thinking that when it comes to data security, “good enough” is good enough. It really isn’t. The reasoning is understandable: Companies think that they’re too small or too obscure to be noticed by hackers. Or they think that bought-and-paid-for security measures they took a year ago remain airtight. Or they reckon that threats are overstated, and are largely a means of selling security products or services they don’t really need. All of these arguments are great ways to put off investing in up-to-date security measures. Unfortunately, none of these arguments are true. Tech 248, Oakland County’s program to support the growth of the technology industry in the region, understands that, and they take security seriously.  Yesterday’s Tech 248-sponsored Sans Institute training session underscored the point that security threats are real, regardless of company size, and that organizations that take a ...


2016’S In-Demand Technology For Michigan Businesses

The ending of one year and the beginning of the next is the traditional time for reflection and reevaluation, just as much so in the technology arena as anywhere else.  It's the time of year when you're almost obligated to take a good hard look backward at what's worked and what hasn't, and to look forward to consider the changes you'll be wanting to make.  At Red Level, we're seeing this introspection lead to some interesting shifts in priorities. In particular, we noticed that as 2015 drew to an end, more and more of our clients were taking security and business continuity questions very seriously.  The inquires we received and the conversations we were having were tending to focus more and more on measures designed to ensure the sanctity of critical business information, and the survivability of the business in the event of unforeseen catastrophic events.  As the same time, many ...