ANN ARBOR — With a staffing transition looming, the Buckley Jolley Real Estate Team found itself in the same position as many small businesses: Not sure how to best handle its IT needs. The solution for the Brighton-based agency was Ann Arbor-based Online Tech, the leader in secure and compliant data center hosting.

The 10-employee agency owned by Todd Buckley and Karen Jolley had unwittingly depended on the tech-savvy Chris Jolley to manage its server and concern himself with disaster recovery and security issues in his own time.

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When the son of the co-owner decided to leave the company, his final task was to replace himself. He did so with Online Tech’s managed cloud service that features 100 percent uptime, 24×7 monitoring and offsite backup.

Nightly, Chris Jolley would slip into a closet at the Buckley Jolley Real Estate Team’s second-floor office and back up its server to a tape. Once each week he backed it up to a hard drive. Monthly, he backed it up to an older server stashed in the office.

“I did not realize what Chris was doing with our IT, I just knew he was taking care of it and if there was a problem he was on it,” said Karen Jolley. “But when he told me right before he left how much backing up he did … I was very grateful for that, but realized if we had to do that going forward, I just didn’t think it would get done. For business owners that are in my age group, especially a small business, this is something that we just don’t know enough about, couldn’t learn and wouldn’t have time to deal with.”

Disaster recovery was just a part of what the agency needed in a hosting provider. Michigan is safer from natural disaster than any other state in the Continental United States. Companies are looking to move to the nation’s “North Coast” in the Midwest.

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The company maintains client data — including tax returns and Social Security numbers — that must be secure. Online Tech’s managed cloud service is HIPAA, PCI and SOX audited.

And that closet that used to be stacked with hardware? It’s a closet again, which is a bonus for the busy office.

“We need the storage, which will be great,” Karen Jolley joked, adding that the disaster recovery component and 100 percent uptime are bigger business benefits: “It’s peace of mind.”

Online Tech, Michigan’s largest managed data center is becoming the largest in the Midwest, expanding into at least four new markets. The “Fort Knox’’ for data is known for complete redundancy — “backups for everything” — from multiple back-up generators and backup systems to locations straddling two power grids and even two CEOs.

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Online Tech leads in secure, compliant hosting services including cloud hosting, managed dedicated servers, Michigan colocation and disaster recovery. Online Tech’s Midwest data centers assure mission critical applications are always available, comply with government & industry regulations, and continue operating after a disaster. Backed by independent HIPAA, PCI, SSAE 16, and SOC 2, Online Tech delivers the security, privacy, and availability expected from world class data center operators. For more information, call (877)740-5028, email or visit