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      How One INAP Customer Is Disrupting Desktop as Service Solutions for the SMB Market


      Remote work demands efficient and always-on desktop as a service (DaaS) solutions that allow employees to work and collaborate at any time, from anywhere, on any device.

      Because an increasing number of businesses are going completely or mostly remote and many others have a mix of full-time remote and in-office workers, providing a seamless and secure experience for employees across the board is no easy feat for IT teams.

      DaaS solutions come from a third-party provider, companies do not have control of the backend infrastructure and must rely on the provider—ideally one with a robust SLA—for reliable and scalable service. Furthermore, traditional DaaS solutions take weeks to set up, with hours of planning and configuring before the client can put it to use.

      To both meet growing demand and address the shortcomings of current remote desktop products, Denis Zhirovetskiy, president and founder of Adeptcore, a managed IT service provider (MSP) and INAP customer, created his own remote DaaS solution packaged for MSPs. In its first year, the product took off, boasting strong adoption and organic growth.

      We sat down with Zhirovetskiy to learn more about Adeptcore, the Adeptcloud service and how the partnership with INAP has helped the company grow and scale from the very beginning.

      Addressing SMB Remote Worker Needs

      Adeptcore was founded with the purpose of helping a small- or medium-sized business (SMB) use their current technology and make it better, setting themselves apart from companies that sell pre-packaged, per-user or per-device plans.

      “We heavily focus on onboarding clients. We can spend three months onboarding one client,” Zhirovetskiy said. “We invest that time because we want to know what each of our clients does for a living and how they’re generating revenue. From there, we tailor the technology to support that mission.”

      In line with this purpose, Adeptcore launched Adeptcloud in June of 2018, after a peer in the MSP community requested to use Zhirovetskiy’s proprietary DaaS solution for a client. The MSP was surprised that Adeptcore was not using industry leaders in the market for DaaS solutions and wanted to see why they created their own. Zhirovetskiy explained that his key selling point was that his solution ran on Nimble SAN with SSD cache, ensuring greater performance and reliability. Other providers typically used spinning disks.

      Zhirovetskiy realized the product would work for MSPs at large. To scale the product, he worked with Ray Orsini, owner of OITVOIP and one of the first Adeptcloud partners. This collaboration ensured that Adeptcloud worked with VoIP softphone technology. As he worked with Orsini, Zhirovetskiy discovered that he was also an INAP customer, and noted that this helped him certify that their products would work together.

      “I started talking with other managed IT providers on an internet forum, and when they saw our solution, they immediately wanted to do something similar for their clients,” he said. “That’s honestly all the marketing I’ve ever done for it.”

      From there, the product took off. During the first 12 months of business, from June 2018 to June 2019, Adeptcloud grew to have 65 partners across the U.S. and three internationally. Adeptcloud has users log on daily from Peru and New Zealand, and has clients working from India, Dubai and China.

      Why Adeptcloud Stands Out

      What exactly helped Adeptcloud take off so quickly? What sets it apart from other DaaS products?

      Saving Time

      First, Adeptcloud saves MSPs time. “We offer a ready-to-go solution in a box. All they have to do is fill out a form and within three days their customers are able to login and begin working. They don’t have to worry about it,” Zhirovetskiy said.

      The Adeptcloud solution has been shown to reduce MSP ticket volumes by as much as 40 percent once the solution is deployed and user training is complete. Zhirovetskiy notes that his team generally goes two to three months without tickets from clients after the first month of implementation.

      Ensuring Unified Threat Management

      Proactive mitigation of ever-evolving security threats is another benefit that sets Adeptcloud apart. They’ve partnered with a number of top security technology companies to develop an environment where customers can store their sensitive client data without a worry of it being lost or encrypted due to a ransomware attack.

      Zhirovetskiy also just added top-of-the-line firewalls and threat management services to his INAP solution, noting that Adeptcore will be the only provider he knows of to offer fully unified threat management functionality to clients.

      “We work with holistic, two-factor authentication security solutions and deploy those solutions for our partners. They don’t have to do any of it. They just tell us what they want and we build it out and release it to them,” Zhirovetskiy said.

      Focusing on End User and Partner Experience

      Ultimately, it is Adeptcore’s focus on the end user that makes Adeptcloud work as a successful cloud solution.

      “Most companies that get into the business offering a cloud service are focusing strictly on the tech itself,” Zhirovetskiy said. “They don’t focus on the end-user support, they don’t focus on the client experience and they don’t focus on supporting their partners. They focus on selling cloud.”

      Partners can get the support they need with Adeptcloud. “When a MSP partner calls our support desk, they talk to someone who is on the same technical level. This is huge for IT companies—they spend less time dealing with the bureaucracy created by huge organizations.”

      Scaling Adeptcloud with INAP

      Zhirovetskiy has been working with INAP since the founding of Adeptcore, when the company started with one client and one server. Adeptcore wanted a data center company located in Chicago, and chose INAP for its security and service reliability.

      “It’s hard to find a global company like INAP that feels like a local company,” he said. “I have a dedicated team and somebody to call who will take care of my needs. That’s the biggest reason I would recommend anybody work with INAP.”

      Throughout the relationship with INAP, Zhirovetskiy has worked with his account manager, Steven Anderson, and INAP engineers to scale the Adeptcloud solution. He says that he talks to Anderson on a weekly basis to discuss the future of his solution: “As our platform has evolved, we always know we have experts available to assist us with our growth.”

      Adeptcore uses INAP engineers for full-spectrum infrastructure solutions, from developing backup services using Veeam to designing Adeptcore’s networking infrastructure. The relationship continues to evolve as Adeptcore grows its cloud footprint and expands to other INAP data centers beyond Chicago.

      “INAP support has been instrumental in helping us achieve our goals. From managing downtime to planning our next big thing,” Zhirovetskiy said. “We rely on INAP to provide us infrastructure expertise, while we provide expertise to our clients on what we’re good at—delivering them their desktops every single day.”

      Explore INAP’s Data Centers.

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      Laura Vietmeyer


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      3 Solutions for Converting Your WordPress Site into a Mobile App


      Nowadays, a lot of people interact with the web mostly by using mobile devices. That means it’s more important than ever to provide a quality mobile experience. Otherwise, you risk alienating a large part of your potential user base.

      There are many ways you can improve the overall experience for your mobile users. For example, you can design a responsive website so that it looks (and works) perfectly on smaller devices. You can also go a step further and convert it into a fully-working app.

      In this article, we’ll talk about why converting your website into a WordPress mobile app can be an excellent idea for some site owners. Then we’ll discuss several tools and techniques that will enable you to do so, and discuss how to pick the right one for your needs. Let’s talk apps!

      Why Your WordPress Company Site May Need a Mobile App

      When it comes to user experience, responsive design is king. We’ve previously covered why you should create a mobile-friendly site (and how to do it), but you can also create a mobile app version of your site. Let’s go over some of the reasons you might want to use this approach:

      • Apps provide a more native experience for mobile devices.
      • You can use notifications to stay in touch with your user base.
      • If you use subscriptions, they can be managed via mobile payment systems.

      That said, an app is not a replacement for a mobile-friendly website, and vice-versa. Ideally, you’ll have both, which will enable you to maximize your potential audience. After all, some people don’t want to install any additional apps on their phones, whereas others vastly prefer the experience an app provides over that of a mobile website.

      It’s important to understand, however, that creating a mobile app isn’t particularly easy. Depending on what features you want to include, you may need a background in development, or you’ll have to hire someone to help you get the project off the ground. That process, as you might imagine, can get expensive.

      The good news is that if you’re using WordPress, you get access to multiple tools you can use to create a mobile app version of your website. There is a range of options that vary in price and ease of use, so you can pick the approach that’s best suited to your needs.

      3 Solutions for Converting Your Company WordPress Site into a Mobile App

      While there are many ways to create WordPress mobile apps, the following methods are three of the most common and accessible choices. Let’s look at each, in turn, to help you decide which ones you should consider. We’ll start with the simplest solution.

      1. Use a WordPress Plugin to Generate Your App

      As a WordPress user, you’re probably familiar with using plugins to implement cool features and functionality to your website. However, what you may not know is that you can use plugins to create a fully-working WordPress mobile app.

      There are a few tools that can accomplish this, but let’s focus on one of the most popular: AppPresser.

      AppPresser plugin.

      First, it’s important to note that the AppPresser plugin by itself doesn’t enable you to generate a mobile app. You’ll also need to sign up for a paid AppPresser account, which will be linked to your WordPress website through the plugin.

      Once you have both pieces in place, you can customize your mobile app from within the AppPresser platform and generate installable files for both Android and iOS when you’re done.

      AppPresser app creation and customization process.

      The app creation process is simple – you get to use a builder that feels just like the WordPress Customizer. However, as you might imagine, there are limitations to using a tool like this. Since you’re not building an app from scratch, you get a small set of features to play with. If you’re looking to create an app with very specific functionality, using a plugin probably isn’t the right approach for you.

      Ultimately, using a plugin to generate a mobile app for your WordPress site makes the most sense for projects that don’t require a lot of advanced functionality. For example, AppPresser would be a great choice for blog and news apps. It also handles e-commerce reasonably well, which makes it a useful option for those running a store on a WooCommerce website.

      The AppPresser plugin itself is free, but as we mentioned, you’ll need to sign up for an account on the platform. A basic AppPresser account, which supports one app (for both iOS and Android) will cost you $228 per year.

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      2. Opt for a Solution Designed for Companies and Professional Projects

      Of course, if you’re working on a company site, your needs are different than those who are creating mobile apps for blogs or online stores. Choosing a tool explicitly designed with companies in mind can help you create an app with features that are well-suited to your needs.

      Consider Appful, for example.

      Appful content app.

      This solution can convert your website and social media posts into a powerful content app for connecting with customers and employees. Features such as white labeling, full-service maintenance, and scalability make it highly suitable for growing companies. In fact, it powers apps for several well-known organizations, including Greenpeace, PETA, and even the United Nations.

      Appful works similarly to AppPresser, in that you’ll connect to the platform using a dedicated WordPress plugin. Then, you get access to a set of tools you can use to design a mobile app version of your site and customize its functionality. Only in this case, you’ll receive an assortment of useful templates that enable you to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) faster.

      Preview of the mobile app version of a website.

      On top of that, Appful also includes several other handy features, including support for offline reading, integration with Google Analytics and Apple watches, and more. Plus, the developers can also help you design a more customized app if you need specialized features, which makes this a solid middle ground between using a plugin and working with an agency (which we’ll talk about next).

      Overall, this approach offers a more user-friendly experience than most other tools. Creating a WordPress mobile app using Appful is a mostly painless process, and the service will even take care of publishing your app to the Android and iOS stores for you. Plus, you don’t need to pay to use the service until that point, which means there’s no pressure. Prices vary depending on the scope of your app and are available by request.

      3. Work With an Agency to Develop Your WordPress App

      Naturally, a third option is to hire someone to get the job done for you. When it comes to WordPress mobile apps, you’ll find no shortage of freelancers and agencies willing to take on the project — no matter the scope. This can save you a lot of time.

      Of course, hiring professional and talented developers is seldom cheap. Developing even a simple app can easily cost you thousands of dollars. The upside is that you’re not limited by what an app builder can do. If you work with an agency that knows what it’s doing, it should be able to advise you on what’s possible and what isn’t, and help you bring your vision to life.

      Considering the costs associated with this approach, we can only recommend it if you have a very large budget, and you need an app version of your WordPress website that includes functionality you can’t add using DIY tools. For simpler projects, hiring an entire agency or even a couple of freelancers might not be particularly cost-effective. If you do decide to hire out, there are plenty of places to find WordPress developers and agencies.

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      Make your site stand out with a professional design from our partners at RipeConcepts. Packages start at $299.

      Mobility Matters

      A lot of your website’s visitors will be using mobile devices. To provide them with the best possible experience, you can create a streamlined, app-based version of your WordPress website. Depending on what tool you use, you should be able to include all the same functionality your website offers, while creating an experience that feels much more native to mobile browsers.

      Do you have any questions about how to get your WordPress mobile application off the ground? Join the DreamHost Community and let us know!



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      The Importance of Data Backups

      Backups are important, even in the filesystem level!

      I’ve been a Linux user for around 13 years now and am amazed with how progressive the overall experience has become. Thirteen years ago you were using either Slackware 3, Redhat 5.x or Mandrake usually. Being 14 I was one of the “newbies” stuck on Mandrake because my 56k modem was what is known as a softmodem – a modem that lacks quite a bit of hardware and relies on your computer’s resources to actually function. Back then to make these work in Linux was a complete nightmare and Mandrake was the only one that worked out of the box with softmodems.

      Back in those days you didn’t have the package management tools you have today be it yum, aptitude, portage or any other various package management utilities. You had rpmfind.net to find your rpms while praying to god you found the right ones for your specific operating system as well as playing the dependency tracking game. Slackware was strictly source installs and the truly Linux proficient would pride themselves in how small of a Slackware install footprint they could get to have a running desktop.

      Growing frustrated at not understanding the build process and being constantly referred to as a newbie who uses “N00bdrake” I forced myself into the depths of Linux and after a year or so had a working Slackware box with XFree86 running Enlightenment with sound and support for my modem. I learned an extensive amount about how Linux works, compiling your own kernel, searching mailing lists to find patches for bugs, applying patches to software and walking through your hardware to build proper .conf files so daemons would function specifically. It seems that this kind of knowledge is being lost with Linux users these days as they are not forced to drop down to the lowest level of Linux to make their systems function.

      A good example of this is recently dealing with a hard drive with an ext3 filesystem that was showing no data on it. If you used the command df which shows partition disk usage the data was shown as taking up space, but you couldn’t see it. A lot of people conferred and figured that the data was completely lost for good while I sat there saying NOPE waiting for someone to give a correct answer. Unable to get one, I divulged that the reason this happened is because a special block what is known as a superblock had become corrupted and the journal on the filesystem lost all information. Issuing a fsck would not fix the issue and routinely would check out as “ok” as it is using the bad primary superblock. There are actually multiple superblocks on ext2, ext3 as well as ext4 partitions. These exist specifically for backup purposes should your main one become corrupt to correct such an issue. Having toasted Linux countless times playing around with things such as software raid and hard-locking due to a poorly configured kernel, I have probably spent more time than I should’ve in the past reading about how the ext filesystem works. You in the past might have overlooked this when creating a filesystem in Linux but you will see output similar to this when creating an ext filesystem:

      Superblock backups stored on blocks:

      32768, 98304, 163840, 229376, 294912, 819200, 884736, 1605632, 2654208

      These are very, very important blocks and integral to maintaining data on your filesystem. Lost these numbers? You can still get them from a few methods as well:

      1. First you need to know what size of blocks you used on your filesystem. The default is 1k so unless you actually issued a specific command when using mkfs.ext3 then your blocksize is 1024.
      2. Now issue the command “mke2fs -n -b block-size /dev/sdc1”. This is assuming that sdc1 is the corrupt partition throwing no data. Since you’re issuing the -n flag this means the command will not actually make a new partition but will give you those precious backup superblocks.
      3. Now take any of those superblocks and make sure that your partition is unmounted. Issue “fsck -fy -c -b 163840 /dev/sdc1” to hopefully fix your partition. Once completed mount the drive and more-than-likely all your data will be in the folder lost+found. It might have lost the initial folder name but at least your data is there, and with a little bit of play you can figure out which folder is which.

      Now take a breather, relax and be happy that your data is not completely gone. I suggest in the future pulling up a source-based distribution like Slackware and try setting up an entire system without using any package management. See how it goes, prepare to read a lot of documentation but in the end you will be thankful as you will learn more about Linux this way than any other method.