Some businesses and organizations that have already implemented a managed services approach as part of their IT solutions suite may already have heard of "block level storage virtualization," but for others, the term will be a new one.
One of the largest trends in the world of business computing is converged architecture, which is widely seen as one of the best IT solutions for addressing the increasing sprawl of IT resources. As companies have added networking devices, servers, and storage units to their systems over time, they have seen more and more "silos" develop in their infrastructure.
Many organizations use on-site storage for their most sensitive data. This allows them to access the data whenever it is needed and without delay. Additionally, the organization can also protect that data physically using preferred means. But this solution may not work for all organizations. Sometimes storage solutions, especially for companies in the New York area, may be better hosted off-site by a third party vendor. It can allow for greater and more efficient growth of the business, increased performance of employees who are able to attend to their own tasks, as well as greater cost savings. Here is an example of how one law firm benefited greatly by using an outsourced storage solution.
At the time, Blank Rome LLP, one the largest law firms in the United States, was having issues their current storage solution. Firstly, the law firm was running out of physical storage space. Also, because the firm was growing quickly, the amount of data that they produced was steadily growing, data backups were overlapping into other critical windows, which was leading to potential loss of data, time waste, and frustration on the part of the IT staff. Recognizing that their current solution was not working for them anymore, they decided that they needed a new storage solution strategy.
To begin, they required a clear plan of what was wrong with their current model and what was needed in the new one. Also, Blank Rome LLP needed to find a vendor who had both the experience and expertise to provide a solution that could be flexible and scalable to adapt with the law firm’s changing needs.
They were able to partner with a vendor who created a powerful and flexible private cloud for the law firm. They virtualized almost all of their infrastructure, using virtual machines across the world. For disaster recovery, they used a site 300 miles away and allowed for continuous replication of data so that even in the case of critical issues, access to the latest data was always possible. Data backups could be conducted successfully without interfering in regular operations. All this allowed for more streamlined operations, greater access to data, more efficient usage of time, and cost savings ranging in the millions. Finally, physical space was freed up, operations were more efficient, employees were left to focus on their tasks, and the vendor could apply their customized expertise exactly when and where it was needed.
Although these types of storage solutions may not work for every organization, it can certainly work for many. Your current solution may not be the best solution long-term. Understanding the storage needs of an organization and determining if these needs are being met, with room for growth, is the first step to ensuring efficient business operations and the continuous ability for growth. To schedule an assessment of your network's data storage and backup needs, contact an iCorps representative today.
The virtualization leader, VMware, has undergone some significant changes at the top recently. The new CEO is Pat Gelsinger, who was an executive at VMware’s parent company, EMC – though some of you may know him from his lengthy career in senior positions at Intel. His predecessor in the meantime, Paul Maritz, has moved on to become chief strategist at EMC.
Cashed-strapped IT departments are always looking out for ways to increase efficiency while cutting costs simultaneously. Larger organizations with bigger budgets can adopt new IT technologies with higher price tags, however, companies in survival mode often can't. Small companies are often unable to secure financing to invest large sums of cash on high-end IT technology.
The Department of Defense has recently launched their new 4-step cloud computing strategy and appointed the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) as the dedicated broker who will oversee all purchases and ensure that the operation is safe, productive, on track and well maintained. Despite the size of the operation and the huge investments that it will call for, the department is looking to take advantage of the new and cutting edge technology developments that will enable them to enhance their cloud storage capabilities. The Department, through the 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal IT Management, aims to increase their effectiveness, productivity and efficiency and also maintain a workforce of highly skilled IT professionals who will keep the IT cloud storage and other solution up to date.
Public and Private Equanimity
As far back as 2006, IT insiders were predicting that the next wave of IT solutions to sweep the business world would include mechanisms for continuous data protection. This technology, often simply called CDP, is a huge improvement over the traditional paradigm of making regular full backup copies of all data and using incremental backups in between to provide a form of update to the latest full backup performed.
Your SMB faces a number of IT challenges - soaring hardware costs, under-utilization of hardware, over-utilization of employees, security vulnerabilities and decreasing storage space. These are just a few of the issues that virtualization helps reduce or eliminated completely. Let's look deeper into how it can help your SMB become leaner and more efficient with its IT operations.
Object based storage is increasingly being seen as a powerful alternative to the more common suite of IT solutions based around network attached storage. Some of the advantages inherent to an object based approach include a level of scalability that is for all practical purposes unlimited and less need to rely on high-speed infrastructure including ultra-fast processing. In addition, object based storage fits into the new Web 2.0 world because it can easily be accessed using standard internet protocols, which lessens the need to launch traditional commands related to storage inside a web-based world where they may not coordinate well.
The world's leading platform for virtualization is VMware.
Cloud computing is one of the most exciting tech breakthroughs to come along in quite some time. Unlike some leaps forward that are really only of benefit to firms with revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars, cloud computing seems almost tailor-made to provide the SMB with advantages that were never before possible, like economies of scale, which until now were more or less ruled out for small businesses. There is only really one hitch for the small business owner or manager: being hooked into a cloud computing system.
Hyper-V version 3.0 is the virtualization platform that will ship along with the newest version of Windows Server, expected to become available to small and medium-sized business customers later this year. Windows Server 2012 will change the requirements the platform has regarding the need for shared storage. Previous versions of Hyper-V did not officially require shared storage, but some of its most useful features were only available when such storage was available.
Small and medium-sized businesses looking for IT solutions that will cut costs without sacrificing productivity or efficiency may wish to consider "storage sprawl". The need to store additional data as it proliferates is one of the largest line items in the IT budgets of many organizations. The advent of the internet has meant an incredible explosion of data, primarily because the online world enables magnitudes more transactions to take place each day.
Virtualization is a powerful technology that allows businesses a simple and streamlined way to view all of the resources controlled by the hypervisor. These include not just memory and networked resources but also the CPU itself. In addition, a virtual application can be manipulated in highly efficient ways without any need for a physical copy of the application to be involved. In this way, applications can be rapidly reconfigured and redeployed as needed to speed workflow and serve the needs of the employees processing that workflow. A final advantage of virtualization is the way in which it allows for both servers and desktops to be consolidated and available on demand.
When managers of businesses or other organizations hear the term ‘cloud storage’, they may immediately reject the notion because of concerns about data privacy, confidentiality, and security. For some owners and managers, it is simply unacceptable to consider the idea of letting their customer's information or their own proprietary data such as intellectual property reside on a server not entirely under their control.
One of the keys to long-term success is to focus on business continuity planning and crisis management processes today. No one knows what tomorrow will bring, but there are steps you can take to ensure that you’re ready for anything. First, ask yourself:
With so many technological developments happening at lightning speed nowadays, it's understandable that many people often confuse specific terminology used. Among the most common terminology confusions is the difference between cloud and virtualization.
If you run a small or medium-sized business, you may well have heard about the cloud and may have dismissed it.
Wireless connections to the internet are becoming increasingly popular among businesses and other organizations, in part because they allow a company to offer internet access to visitors on the premises. This can help increase sales in many types of businesses because it gives consumers an additional reason to visit the premises. Wireless access, however, is not always the best solution for internal employees who make frequent and extensive use of online resources. These individuals may be much better served by an Ethernet connection, which offers faster data access speeds than those typical of wireless environments.
According to recent research, the total volume of business data is doubling in only 1.2 years. While some businesses see more of this increase than others do, the average company sees a data increase of more than 40 percent over the course of a single year. The increase in data flow is due in part to new forms of data that companies now need to track, analyze, and store; these include video content and data that derives from a business presence on social media networking sites. The need for real-time access to much of this data only makes it even more challenging to meet these growing storage needs.