Hybrid Cloud Security

Security is of utmost importance for businesses. It’s crucial that you have proper technologies and practices put in place to protect your business from many things that can be detrimental to your productivity and success, such as downtime, cyber threats, and loss of data. This is particularly important when using a Hybrid Cloud as it uses a combination of on-premises, private and third-party cloud services. While there are many advantages to using a Hybrid Cloud, in order to maximize the benefits, it’s imperative to ensure proper security is put in place to avoid a breach.

What is Hybrid Cloud Security?

Hybrid Cloud Security can be defined as security measures that have been designed specifically for hybrid infrastructures. It offers protection of your applications, data and infrastructures across all aspects of a hybrid cloud – both the physical, virtual and cloud, as well as public and private clouds being used.

Why Is Hybrid Cloud Security Important?

Premium protection of data, applications, and infrastructure is imperative for all businesses using any type of cloud. For hybrid clouds, in particular, your environments are separate items that are connected to private and public clouds. As such, there are some unique challenges that come with hybrid clouds, such as:

  1. Data Protection
  2. Vendor Security

While your data is a separate entity, migrating between the different environments that make up a hybrid cloud means that you are still connected to other environments in some ways. As such, it’s crucial to limit data exposure through encryption, which can be done with hybrid cloud security.

Vendor security is also another challenge with hybrid clouds as such environments often include software and products from several vendors. The way such vendors test and manage their software and products can pose a risk if hybrid cloud security is not implemented.

Is Your Hybrid Cloud Strategy Secure?

There are many ways you can check to see if your hybrid cloud strategy is secure. The first is to determine whether or not your business has a detailed plan on how data will be transitioned to the cloud securely. If there is no plan, this is problem number one. It is vital to develop a plan that foresees the details of transitioning to a hybrid cloud so any discrepancies and concerns can be addressed before they impact your business.

If your organization does have a hybrid cloud strategy put in place, take time to analyze it. A superior hybrid cloud strategy must determine and have a plan for the following information:

  • Which applications can be moved directly to cloud-based servers
  • Which applications require customization or changes prior to migrating to the cloud
  • Which applications must be rewritten or migrated to a different cloud that is compatible
  • The destination for each asset
  • Risk assessment schedule

Additionally, you’ll want to analyze the hybrid cloud services you’re using. You must ensure the policies and compliance of your private cloud, public cloud and both cloud as one entity comply with your policies and requirements. It is also crucial to determine if your intellectual property on the hybrid cloud is protected.

Security tool compatibility is also a key component for a secure hybrid cloud strategy, as it enables the use of imperative security tools, such as antivirus software, IPS devices and firewalls.

 

Hybrid Cloud Security can be complicated to understand but it is mandatory to ensure the protection of your data, applications and infrastructures. Zycom is building out a hybrid cloud workshop that will provide you with valuable information about maintaining optimal security when using a hybrid cloud.

 

 

 

What Is the Next Technology That Gets Commoditized? 

The consumerization of IT started with the rapid adoption of the smart Tablet by companies like Apple with the iPad.  The corporate workforce wanted their IT to work with the ease of use they experienced with the iPad and one-click or one- touch applications.  Applications on demand from the free iTunes platform started a revolution of transforming how users interact, and rising expectations pressured IT to keep up.  That transformation has led to Shadow IT, where non-IT departments started consuming virtual server workload resources in the form of cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. This was done to get around perceived hurdles in user experience and time to market.

The next round of technology is expected to change the digital world as we know it in many ways. They are ranging from advancements  in artificial intelligence to more secure cloud computing, private on-premise cloud cost parity, automated workloads and more. Here are the next technologies you might expect to get commoditized in the near future.

The Future of Server Technology

Servers are already highly commoditized, and vendors are now differentiating in terms of the application of form factors, out of band management tools, support and power consumption.  While highly optimized and infused with premium technologies that enable businesses to operate at superior levels, further consolidation is likely to occur. Though there is always room for advancement, and server-less computing is utopia, the in-house or on-premise servers are not going away.  They are, however, becoming more commoditized in terms of parity and performance expectations.

Traditional cloud environments for the most part still run virtual workloads and the hyperscale public cloud providers are still consuming physical servers at a high rate, based on pricing and availability.  As the software community develops next generation applications, they do so more by using containers and developing to a cloud native standard. This allows the freedom to ignore underlying operating systems and hardware.  A cloud native standard is particularly beneficial for developers as they’re able to focus their attention on their expertise, instead of worrying about the operating systems and servers, or the management and provisioning aspects.

The change to server-less technology is the result of developers beginning to divide applications into smaller micro-services, which can operate in lightweight containers. This change enables function-as-a-service (FaaS) computing, which is anticipated to replace the need for most traditional servers used today.  Make no mistake, servers are not going away, they are just moving to a more transparent and commoditized part of the IT stack.

What Corporate Desktops?

The landscape of the client workstation and notebooks in business has been under pressure for over a decade with consumer-grade devices abundant in the workplace.  Operating systems are moving to subscription models, applications started moving to subscription years ago, and next, we will see more of our devices application move to these models as well. and the device’s applications have typically run on are also moving to as-a-service models, like Desktop as a Service.

Supply and demand are going to determine the future of most end user clients.  Security, however, is still a battleground for innovation in the market, where vendors are now fighting over who has the most secured or the most ‘private’ device for conducting work.  When we think of the mobile worker, we see notebooks, tablets and smart phones, not only abundant on office floors but also in coffee shops, restaurants, fitness centres, subways, trains and planes.  The digital and social footprint of where our employees work and interact with others has changed rapidly.  What may save the corporate PC or notebook from further commoditization, is security.  To the vendor with the most robust secured end user productivity device will go the spoils.

The next desktop technology to be commoditized is the virtual desktop broker.  With more and more applications moving to browser SaaS based access, the need for fat clients like a PC or Notebook are becoming less and less a requirement.  Consumer tablets and even some smart phones are becoming good enough to run corporate applications on.  Even at Zycom we demonstrate using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technology on most smart phones…if we squint hard enough.  Look for more competition and more parity in the VDI broker solutions available in the near term.

Hypervisor is Next

Consolidation in the Data Centre can be largely attributed to the hypervisor. The hypervisor makes it possible to share server hardware with multiple applications, each running on their own operating systems.  This led to maximum utilization for server hardware investments and soon led to increased availability and resiliency of applications using hypervisor innovation.

Fast forward to 2019; multiple hypervisors are on the market with very similar features and price points.  Some hypervisors are very low cost, even free, and are enterprise-grade by today’s standards, and some are good enough.  VMware continues to enjoy the market share, but competition is shared, shifting that dominance away with the choice.

Hypervisors have become centric to most virtual server workloads and are a pre-requisite in most cases to migrating a workload to public cloud.  Hypervisor to cloud compatibility dominates discussions for hybrid cloud but no one ever asks how the public cloud giants are running their virtual workloads.  Why?  Because you do not need to know how in most cases.  For that reason, public cloud has driven the highest amount of hypervisor commoditization in the market.

Layer in hyper-converged or software-defined into the mix, and you see solutions that are hypervisor agnostic.  Why agnostic?  The market demands choice and one hypervisor over another may be very similar today, but customers still drive choice based on experience, training and a willingness to change.

 

For more information on how commoditized technologies can benefit your business, visit Zycom.

DELL EMC World 2019 Highlights of Announcements

Dell recently hosted one of their biggest events yet, Dell Technologies World, which highlighted several of their latest products, services and new enhancements that companies such as yours can begin to harness. The event was a four-day endeavour that allowed the more than 14,000 attendees to learn more about Dell Technologies’ and what they can do for their business and success. The even started with one of the most important changes, the collaboration of Microsoft, VMware and Dell Technologies coming together to unveil revolutionary technologies available all in one place.

For everyone who was unable to attend the event, we’ve created this article that highlights the most important announcements you should be aware of.

The Partner Program

Microsoft 365 and VMware’s Workspace ONE come together to incorporate Office 365’s cloud-based office productivity suite with the management platform. This allows for all management of Office 365 using Microsoft INtune and Azure Active Directory across all devices.

Unity XT Offers 2X The Speed

Dell EMC announced the launch of the next generation of its storage system, the NVME-Ready Unity XT. This storage system offers two times the speed than previous versions and is 67% faster than its closest competitor. It’s optimized for better data efficiency with up to 5:1 data reduction and is designed for a multi-cloud environment. The Unity XT provides easier, faster seamless and non-disruptive service for companies utilizing a cloud platform.

VMware Cloud on Dell EMC

Dell announced that their Technologies Cloud is a VMware Cloud on Dell EMC which offers a consumption-based management service for those using this infrastructure. The integration offers a combination of market-leading hyper-converged infrastructure features, including VMware Cloud Foundation, VxRail and VMware Cloud Stack.

With this change, Dell Technologies are able to deliver public cloud agility and simplicity for all on-premises workloads that are managed by Dell. It also offers bi-directional connection to public clouds for data portability and application through a hybrid cloud system.

Additionally, this is an extension of the VMware Cloud, which delivers a software-defined datacenter infrastructure, and hardware as a service to on-premises that have built-in technologies such as VeloCloud’s vSAN and San SD-WAN.

Seamless Connection to Public Clouds

Another major change made to Dell EMC Technologies is the launch of the Cloud Storage Services. This change enables seamless connection to public clouds while also delivering high-speed, low-latency connections from a public cloud directly to Isilon, PowerMax and Dell EMC Unity in their datacenter.

The Cloud Storage Services also provides automated Disaster Recovery as a DRaaS supporting PowerMax and Unity platforms and multi-cloud access for things such as tests/development and workload analytics.

Hybrid Cloud Platform

The new on-premises Dell Technologies Cloud Platforms that are built on hyper-converged infrastructure, is being hailed as the best hybrid cloud platform in the world. It provides both integrated cloud infrastructure and cloud management services for applications operating in both public and private cloud environments. The cloud platform is built to enhance flexibility that caters to a vast array of workload and performance requirements.

Rebranding of the PowerSwitch

Dell EMC rebranded their networking switches to offer exponential volumes of data traffic across the entire core, cloud and edge. PowerSwitch S5200-ON delivers 2.5X the performance of other models and includes a half-width option designed specifically for HCI (hyper-converged) environments. The PowerSwitch S5200-ON is available in both 12 and 24-port options, offering low density, top-of-the-line connectivity, and cost-effective automation and transformation of networks for storage, HCI implementations and storage.

Dell Technologies World released the new products and services, and enhancements you can harness to transform your business and to increase your success. From the Partner Program to Dell Technologies Cloud, the Cloud Storage Services and much more, these changes are revolutionary options all integrated into one.

Nutanix NEXT 2019 Conference Highlights: Revolutionary Changes for Businesses

Nutanix Next Conference provides hands-on learning with experts and a look at the latest Nutanix products. The conference discusses everything from datacentre modernization to multi-cloud and automation; applications and workloads, emerging technologies and more, providing attendees the upper hand on revolutionary business practices and technologies. For those of you who are unable to attend one of the many Nutanix Next Conferences being held over the course of this year, we’ve put together this article of the most important updates that can take your business to the next level.

Nutanix Mine Simplifies the Complexity of Enterprise Backup

Nutanix Mine is a new product launched by Nutanix that is designed to simplify the complexity of enterprise backup. It’s a revolutionary solution that integrates secondary storage operations with Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud Platform. Nutanix Mine integrates with industry-leading backup vendors so businesses can easily manage their HCI environments and backup performances all from a single console, which reduces the cost and complexity of storage management.  At General Availability release both Veeam and HYCU options are supported.  There will be 3 form factors initially in Small, Medium and Scale out configurations with a varies number of storage heavy nodes and capacity and backup software licensing.

Important to note is that Nutanix customers will have a near similar backup GUI experience form Prism with all 3rd party backup software partners.

Additionally, Nutanix Mine provides companies with the option to have the best data software without the need for complicated configuration of standalone secondary storage solutions. The availability of products within the Nutanix toolset can be deployed and managed with a single click within the Prism solutions console.

Xi Leap Provides Data Recovery Services

Xi Leap now offers DR services for all enterprise workloads. This change simplifies the process of transforming existing applications into a hybrid cloud service. It offers automated DR processes for on-premises and within Xi Cloud processes, allowing for easy, automated experiences for both scenarios.   Xi Leap is being offered with 3 service levels offering different options for quantity of maintained recovery points and recovery time objectives to restart services.  Different storage capacities per VM and length of time for workloads to run each quarter are inclusive of the new service levels.

Xi Clusters Enhance Hybrid Cloud

A new product released by Nutanix that accentuates its hybrid cloud story is the Xi Clusters. It is designed to allow customers to harness the same feature set from on-premises Nutanix deployments with the added benefits of AWS EC2 Bare Metal instances giving added resiliency and adjacency. This is done by enabling customers to stand up new clusters on bare metal hardware, which provides more control of their consumption across varied workloads.   All of this is managed via Prism giving companies a single Hybrid Control Plane from which to operate in a Hybrid environment.  Customer using Nutanix Flow for workload security will be happy to see those security policies transferred to AWS EC2 instances for a seamless experience and insurance of a secure hybrid cloud infrastructure.

At the conference, the Nutanix Move workload migration tool was utilized to migrate workloads from on premise Nutanix infrastructure to AWS EC2 Bare Metal instances with only a few clicks of the mouse.

Xi Beam Improves Multi-Cloud Security

Building on Xi Beam’s Cloud Cost Control and Governance features, Nutanix released enhancements to Xi Beam’s security.

Changes made to the Xi Beam SaaS tool, allow cloud operation teams to enhance their multi-cloud security through real-time security processes. Xi Beam is designed to identify any critical weaknesses within the cloud infrastructure as soon as they happen and to execute specific actions of remediation. This allows for companies to fix any security risk prior to it impacting their business.

Changes to the Xi Frame Increase Flexibility

Nutanix announced at the Next Conference that Xi Frame (a cloud based Desktop as a Service VDI broker) received a significant update that provides customers with the ability to run VDI workloads not only in the cloud within AWS or Azure, but now native on-premises AHV based infrastructure.

The new on-premises supported deployments and workloads, which essentially includes any app, infrastructure, browser and storage, allows Xi Frame VDI sessions to run on-premises and maintain data compliance.

This now gives Nutanix customers further choice to run VDI workloads in the public cloud or on-premises with Citrix XenDesktop on AHV or ESXi, VMware Horizon View on ESXi and Xi Frame on Cloud or AHV.

ROBO Updates

To meet the need of more use cases, Nutanix has extended support for single node and dual node Remote Office/Branch Office solutions with hybrid and all-flash options.  These ROBO deployments are built from the same Nutanix software stack and are managed with the same Prism Element and Prism Central consoles that you are used to using in the datacentre. You can also enable async replication between ROBO clusters and central datacenters to provide additional levels of resiliency and can now also enable Nutanix Files on ROBO deployments.

Managed via Prism Central, Prism Pro becomes a requirement to perform centralized upgrades on ROBO based nodes.  You can also use a combination of Calm and Prism Centrals Image Management capability to control application deployment and updates across ROBO sites.

Nutanix Era

The Nutanix Era (Database as a Service) services have been enhanced to provide seamless one-click provisioning of database engines (including SQL and Oracle), database catalogues and database recovery SLAs.  Also enhanced are easy to manage copy data management (CDM) using Time Machine, one-click cloning and refresh and one-click backup.

At the conference an Oracle RAC 4-node database infrastructure was auto provisioned to best practices in minutes utilizing Era and Calm templates.

More Hardware Options

A significant announcement made at the Next Conference is the availability of new hardware options. Nutanix customers can enjoy newly announced appliances from Intel, HPE, Inspur, and Fujitsu, as well as support for any Intel Optane SSD and AMD EPYC processors.

As Hyperconverged use cases expand – Nutanix Files (CIFS and NFS solution) and Nutanix Buckets (Object Storage solution) provide Nutanix integrated examples – so does the need for deeper storage across fewer nodes.  Through leveraging hardware choice, customers can drive up to 80TB of HDD (10 x 8TB) on a single node and a total RAW capacity of 92TB (24 x 3.8TB SSD) of high-performance flash.

The HPE partnership announcement is a different appliance partnership for Nutanix, unlike Dell and Lenovo whom OEM Nutanix software.  With HPE, Nutanix is OEM’ing HPE server hardware as another option named DX to Super Micro’s NX named appliances.  For existing HPE customers that enjoy ProLiant servers this is welcomed news knowing they can now run Nutanix software on their preferred hardware vendor.

From the emerging technologies and enhancements made to existing ones to modernized datacentres; from multi-cloud options and automation to new applications and workloads that enable the best practices for businesses, Nutanix’s latest products offer exciting new opportunities and solutions for businesses.

Microsoft Support and How It Relates to IT Managed Services

By choosing to outsource your IT management, you’re able to free up space for your in-house managers to dedicate their time on tasks that will grow your enterprise. Nearly all businesses are now opting to hire management services to further their company. Though, in order to harness the benefits of outsourcing, it’s imperative to find an IT managed service that aligns with your business standards, mission, and quality.

What are managed services?

Managed services is the practice of outsourcing tasks within your business to improve operations. Managed services have been used by enterprises since the beginning of the tech market. Originally, companies would choose outsourcing their services to gain access to the Internet and to rent server space so their business applications, such as their company website, could have a POP (point of presence) on the Internet. Since then, managed services have evolved to encompass every business tasks, from managing the hardware, operating system or applications on the server to overseeing business-to-business integrations and operations; from planning and processing transportation to marketing; from account management to customer service, and more. Managed services provide a vast array of solutions to relieve businesses of day-to-day operations that can be done off-site.

What are the benefits of managed services?

Outsourcing managed services enables your team members to invest their time focusing on the tasks that require their direct attention. It allows a third-party service to handle daily tasks, such as account management and customer service, without taking valuable team members away from the duties that are imperative to ensuring optimal day-to-day operations.

When you allow managed services to carry out certain responsibilities, your enterprise is able to advance as a result of the following benefits:

  • Prioritize support with the fastest response times for communication with your customers
  • Generate new business opportunities
  • Increase technical readiness
  • Solve complex IT challenges
  • Minimize downtime with in-depth support services
  • Increase productivity and performance
  • Reduce operational costs
  • Optimize processes, automation and workflow by removing unnecessary manual effort

Managed Services with Microsoft Support

Microsoft Support via help desk is a leading managed service that offers flexible support across all Microsoft technologies. Utilizing helpdesk and operational services frees up your staff of mundane daily tasks, such as responding to emails requesting a new password or answering phone calls where a customer needs help navigating the website. This allows them to devote their expertise to business operations that require their skillset, business operations that you hired specific people to oversee due to their experience. The services available provide you with a support plan that delivers superior services to your customers.

Additionally, Microsoft offers SharePoint Helpdesk App for businesses running O365. SharePoint can be used by both internal departments for communication with customers. It’s entirely supported on the hosted app to ensure your data never leaves your Office 365 tenant, which offers optimal security and protection of your business’ most valuable information. Integration is made easy with the Active Directory, and the app is compatible with all browsers and is fully integrated with services such as Skype, Yammer, MS Teams, MS Dynamics and more.

What are the benefits of Microsoft Support Services?

Microsoft Support includes premium services tailored to your business needs to maximize revenue and prioritize customer value. It enables a collaborative workspace that allows team members to work collectively to provide premium service. Tasks are able to be completed faster and with fewer distractions to your in-house IT operations due to the unique advantages of using Microsoft Support specifically:

  • Dedicated support with hands-on assistance
  • Training tailored to your business needs
  • Training courses available on a variety of topics
  • Flexible support across all Microsoft technologies
  • An assigned account manager and escalation management services
  • Self-service portable*
  • Create teams specific to specialty, department, location, etc.*
  • Collects complaints from social media channels and creates tickets for them*
  • Transform phone calls from customers and employees into tickets*
  • Routing algorithm to ensure tickets go to the correct team*
  • Adds closed tickets to a knowledge base for future reference*
  • Reporting*

 

* Services available with Sharepoint

 

Whether you are migrating, updating or planning a new solution for your business, managed services can help you achieve your business goals. Microsoft Support offers superior options that reduce unnecessary workload while maximizing customer support and value.

What’s Minimal Downtime and Disaster Recovery Worth to Your Business

When determining a budget for your company’s Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans, you must consider the impacts of infrastructure downtime. Understanding the costs associated with productivity loss, customer satisfaction concerns, employee morale, potential revenue loss and the possibility of losing clients will allow you to set a budget that protects your business.

Determining the Cost of Downtime

The most accurate way to determine the cost of downtime is to determine how many hours your company experienced downtime in a set period of time. Once you have collected the total hours of downtime, consider the number of offices and the number of employees you have, along with the average hourly salary. This will allow you to calculate the hourly cost of disruptions to business operations.

It’s imperative to consider all three factors – number of offices; number of employees, and average hourly salary – when determining the cost of downtime. An interruption to business continuity affects employees within your entire organization as they will be unable to access vital business applications which will contribute to a sizeable loss to productivity.

Determine Your Company’s Forbearance to Data Loss

The next step is to analyze your business’ compliance requirements and to compare them with the downtime tolerances as stated by the law. If your industry is in the healthcare, financial, legal or government industries, you will need to look through the regulatory requirements. HIPA and PIPEDA have implemented specific guidelines with regards to how company data must be stored and made available, and it is imperative to comply with these requirements to avoid the risk of legal complications.

Your company compliance policies on digital data protection will also help you understand your organization’s forbearance to data loss. These policies often state what data retention policies must be in place, and are key to protecting your company’s valuable information.

Additionally, all laws regarding file access controls, sharing controls and retention settings should be clearly defined in your compliance policies.

Determine Your Company’s Recovery Goals

Using the information collected from the two previous steps, determine recovery objectives that can be executed in the event of a disaster. These objectives will help you determine the necessary recovery procedures and timeframes to minimize downtime.

It’s crucial that your disaster recovery plan includes a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and a Recovery Point Objective (RPO).  The RTO details the maximum time allotted to recover systems after a disaster event occurs, whereas the RPO pertains to the maximum permitted age of the data when recovering your operative system, or the maximum data loss recorded by time.

Importance of a Quality Disaster Recovery Plan

With a superior disaster recovery plan put in place, your company will experience minimal losses in revenue and productivity in the case of a disaster event occurring. The budget you allocate to your plan must be based on your company’s Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) to ensure an optimal plan of action to minimizing the impacts of downtime, and the risk of legal and financial issues.

To learn more about determining the risks associated with your IT infrastructure crashing and how to create a powerful disaster recovery plan, speak with a Zycom specialist today. Zycom offers premium services that enable your business to focus on key competencies, while our experts focus on ensuring a smooth transition of your data to the cloud.

Cloud Solutions

Are You Ready for Cloud?

Adapting to the digital age is imperative to the success of any business. “The cloud”, as the tech industry as named it, refers to software and services that run on the internet as opposed to locally on a computer. It’s advanced technology that improves IT maintenance, performance, scalability, and efficiency, while also reducing IT costs. However, switching your business over to the cloud isn’t as simple as signing into your web browser. First, there are some steps to take to prepare your IT infrastructure for this digital transformation.

Assessing Your Business

Before migrating to the cloud, you must ensure your IT infrastructure is properly prepared for the migration to avoid any delays or discrepancies during the migration process. This includes assessing your environment and business needs to determine what the best cloud solution provider is for your business.

There are private cloud solutions, public and hybrid, all of which offer unique benefits, usability and security. Private clouds are often the premium option for businesses as they offer superior security and data storing capabilities.

Now, in terms of storage space, the cloud is highly recognized for its scalability, offering different options based on your specific needs. Though, it all starts with first, assessing your business and determining how you’ll be using the cloud.

Different Cloud Uses and Benefits

Migrating your business over to the cloud will grant you with a plethora of advantages. Not only is the cloud economic and convenience, but it can also improve business operations, productivity, and security. Depending on the cloud solution provider you choose, you’ll also receive additional benefits.

Big Data Analytics

Collecting data is a key component of many business’ success. Companies such as Facebook and Amazon rely on collective massive amounts of data to determine valuable information on their customers. You can do the similar with the cloud, making it easier to make data-based decisions regarding crucial components to your success, such as marketing and sales.

Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN)

SD-WAN clouds integrate with your current network to enhance business operations and connectivity, while also addressing major issues you may experience without a cloud solution.

Virtual Desktops (VDI) and Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

VDI and DaaS cloud solutions are particularly beneficial for workplaces where employees bring their own devices, whether it’s a laptop, tablet or smartphone. This cloud solution provider makes it easy to standardize security and the type of content that can be accessed on each device.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

With IaaS, you can forgo major expenses associated with building and maintaining infrastructures. With this cloud use, you’re able to host data in a cloud solution provider’s data center.

Email

Something as simple as emails can be migrated over to the cloud, freeing up valuable space on your devices to increase speed, performance and flexibility. With an email cloud solution provider, important data can be shared with the entire team, sans an abundance of forwarded emails.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

DRaaS is one of the core cloud uses, as disaster recovery is imperative to every business. Having the ability to quickly recover data and get your business back up and running can reduce downtime in the event of a disaster.

Backup as a Service (BaaS)

It’s recommended that every business should invest in the 3-2-1 rule – having multiple copies of your data on two types of media and 1 offsite cloud solution. BaaS solutions provide a safe and secure backup of your data, enabling quick restoration in the event of a disaster.

Private Cloud, Public Cloud or Hybrid Cloud

Cloud solution providers offer data hosting on three types of environments –  a private cloud, a public cloud or a hybrid cloud. Understanding the differences between the three types of clouds is imperative to finding the right cloud solution provider for your business.

As a quick reference, a public cloud solution provider makes data available to the public through the Internet, such as Google Docs. Private cloud solutions are run on a private internal network or internet, and hybrid cloud solutions are a combination of the two.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS technology is a powerful tool for storing, organizing and maintaining data. The automation tools and customer relationship management services that come with SaaS can improve your business’ efficiency.

Finding the Best Cloud Solution Provider

Determining which cloud solution provider is best for your business depends on a variety of factors. In addition to going over the different cloud uses mentioned previously, some things to consider include:

  • Security
  • Compliance
  • Manageability
  • Service Levels
  • Costs
  • Platform/mobile compatibility
  • Scalability
  • Container capabilities

 

Without proper preparation, migrating to the cloud could negatively affect performance and efficiency. Contact Zycom Technology today for more information on the process of cloud migration and how to utilize this advanced technology to further your business.

An IT Health Check Can Keep the Blue or Purple Screen of Death Away

As technology advances, it’s imperative that your digital infrastructure and business operations follow in suit.  Implementing Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) is a realistic option for all organizations interested in improving their IT datacenter while also digitalizing and preparing their business for future technology.

Preparing to Migrate

If you are considering moving to HCI, baselining your current infrastructure against best practices to maximize success for migration to your new environment is key.  Understanding what components of your current software and driver stacks will move with your business workloads to HCI are important.  Are there opportunities to right size or optimize existing applications, databases and operating environments to leverage HCI best practices?

You have HCI but are you supportable?

Whilst, HCI offers a simplified enterprise cloud infrastructure that collapses data center computing, storage, management and networking, simplicity can lead to complexity.  HCI solutions, such as Nutanix, automate much of the previously complex data center management tasks into 1-click operations.  For automation to flourish there are dependencies between your commoditized hardware and drivers and hypervisor and software that must be taken into account.  In a landscape of automation, the finer details of compatibility and supportability can be easily overlooked.

If you are like most of our customers, you are running and supporting your business and the law of Murphy did not allow you to keep up on everything HCI once installed.  Your HCI just works, but time has passed since you last updated your HCI firmware, software or hypervisor.  Are you still in a vendor supported operational state?  Are there new features that will enhance your HCI solution?  Are you multiple versions behind and need to catch up?

 

Enter the HCI Health Check to get you baselined and back on track with a plan.

Contact Us

How a Healthy HCI Can Improve Infrastructure

Before upgrading your data center with HCI software, it’s crucial to execute a health check to make sure everything is aligned properly for success.  What features will enhance your virtual workloads and is there any impact during the process?  Known issues may pop up from time to time that you may or may not have experienced, but it’s always better to be cautious.

Getting current with compatible versions will give you peace of mind before launching automated upgrades, knowing that your business’ most valuable data is capable and safe.

Zycom HCI Health Check Services

Zycom offers HCI health checks that can help your organization prepare your HCI solution stack for upgrades. The service identifies any gaps and areas that need improvements and provides you with recommendations to ensure optimal performance.

Here are some things you’ll want to determine in the meantime before making any changes:

  • Which version of VDI broker is supported with your version of hypervisor?
  • Is your hypervisor supported by an HCI solution?
  • If so, which version of HCI solution is compatible with your hypervisor?
  • Which hardware firmware is supported for your type of HCI solution?
  • Which network drivers are supported for your HCI solution?

Zycom will perform a baseline review and health check service of the major components of the hyper-converged solution based on the industry’s best practices. This ensures your software is ready to upgrade to HCI in order to maximize performance and increase agility in your business.

Contact Us

What is Hyper-Converged Infrastructure?

In order to understand the benefits of a Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI), you must first understand how it compares to traditional alternatives. In a standard data center, traffic is directed to a collection of servers that accommodate virtual machines. These servers need to access the storage area network through the storage controller before retaining or storing data.

An HCI offers a more manageable infrastructure as it brings together separate elements into a unified whole – the hypervisor, server, and storage are combined into one single node. This removes the storage area network completely, and the infrastructure is controlled centrally by one piece of software.

In conclusion, traditional data centers are a series of servers spread out, and an HCI is a software-defined storage that brings everything together in one node. They deliver and simplify storage, computing, networking, management, virtualization, and data protection into one unified storage, offering processes and tools for an efficient and more manageable IT infrastructure.

Benefits of Upgrading to an HCI Infrastructure

When you upgrade to an HCI enterprise cloud solution, you receive more out of your business operations for less. The increased simplicity and reliability that comes with an HCI infrastructure, combined with the minimal recurring costs, hyper-converged systems provide a pivotal point for all types of businesses that come with additional benefits:

Increased Simplicity for Superior Business Operations

Utilizing an HCI data center can enhance dexterity throughout your business operations. An HCI infrastructure makes it easier to manage your data center as it provides you with a stack of software in one node. The storage nodes act as one redundant collection of storage and should one go down, the rest will be unaffected. This creates a highly-reliable data center that offers immense simplicity, and with increased simplicity comes better automation and interconnection compatibility and dependency.

Easier Collaborations and Migration of Data

With an HCI infrastructure, all of your workloads fall under the same managerial umbrella. This simplifies the process of transporting data to different locations, essential for digitalized businesses who rely on collaborations and teamwork.

Increased Reliability and Data Protection

HCI data centers also streamline the process of adding and removing nodes to correspond with your resource demands. Since HCIs are node-based infrastructures, this makes it easy to scale up your data center.

Additionally, hyper-converged systems simplify the process of restoring data, offering you enhance data protection throughout your business.

Economic Solution for any IT Department

There is less equipment to purchase, support and maintain with an HCI data center, making it an affordable solution for any IT department. The recurring costs are minimal, yet the benefits are greater than the standard data center.

Contact Us

VMs versus Containers

The way you operate your computing systems is imperative to the overall efficiency, productivity and success of your business. With many major tech companies investing in containers, you’ve likely been wondering if VMs are up to par. While containers are greatly popular, virtual machines are still a plausible option. Though, both VMs and containers present their own unique benefits and drawbacks. In order to determine which option is best for your enterprise, you must first understand the pros and cons and major differences between VMs and containers.

What are VMs?

Virtual Machines (VMs) is a simulation of a computing system. VMs make it possible to run the various computing applications that appear to be many different computers on a hardware, all on one computer. Despite being all on one computer, each VM has its own operating system and the hardware is then virtualized. This results in a large amount of system resources being used but results in an economical advantage as opposed to running individual computers.

Benefits of VMs

Companies who have undergone or plan to execute a digital transformation need to visualize their server in order to operate to full potential. From cloud computing services to virtualization technology, VMs allow companies of all sizes to increase efficiencies while lowering costs by embracing VMs.

Additional benefits of embracing VMs in your IT infrastructure include:

  • Ability to establish management tools
  • All operating system resources are available to applications
  • Ability to establish security tools
  • Familiar security controls

What are Containers

Containers are a growing trend within the computing industry. Instead of virtualizing the computing systems within a computer, containers only virtualize the operating system. Each container shares the binaries, libraries and host OS kernel, all of which are read-only. This immediately reduces the amount of system resources that are used. In essence, you’re able to get more out of your operations, by using less.

Benefits of Containers

Sharing operating resources, such as the ones mentioned previously, decreases the need to recreate the OS code. This allows for a server to run various workloads all with one single installation, resulting in time and money saved. Containers can also be used to create portable and consistent environments for development, testing, and deployment.

Since containers share the OS system, they are significantly lighter than VMs and take only a couple of seconds to boot up.

Additional benefits of embracing containers in your IT infrastructure include:

  • Reduced size
  • Decreased IT management resources
  • Faster start-up
  • Simplified security updates
  • Less coding is required to transfer, migrate and upload workloads

What are the Major Differences Between VMs and Containers

VMs notoriously take up a large volume of system resources, which is one of the major differences between VMs and Containers. Since each VM operates on its own operating system, it quickly takes up a lot of RAM and CPU cycles.  Containers, on the other hand, only virtualize the operating system, making them exceptionally light and only megabytes in size. This also extends into the benefit of being able to start the computer in seconds, as opposed to several minutes when using VMs.

Here’s a quick look at the main differences between the two:

  • Containers are lighter
  • VMs have limited performance
  • VMs run in its own OS; containers share the host OS
  • VMs virtualize at a hardware-level; containers only virtualize the OS
  • Containers startup in milliseconds, compared to minutes with VMs
  • VMs take up a lot of resources; containers require less memory space
  • VMs are fully isolated due to the individualized OS

What’s the Better Choice?

VMs and containers present their own unique pros and cons to IT infrastructures.  VMs are an affordable option that may be the better choice if you’re running applications that require access to all of the operating system’s resources. They are also beneficial when you’re running several applications on servers or when you have a vast array of operating systems to manage.

Containers are typically the better and most popular choice, particularly for businesses who want to maximize the number of apps running, using minimal servers.

Nunatix

With Nutanix, you can easily manage your virtualization environment by hosting Docker containers in a VMs, bringing simplicity based on a “build, run, and deploy” principle. You can take advantage of container migration, streamline network and security configurations and harness persistent storage for both local registries and containers.

Here’s a quick look at the benefits of Nunatix:

  • Single, easy-to-manage virtualization
  • Built for simplicity
  • Packages applications and their possessions into flexible, highly portable virtual containers
  • Allows for container migration on VMs
  • Persistent storage for containers and local registries
  • Streamlined network
  • Security configuration

Nuntanix supports many of the most popular container platforms, such as Docker containers on AHV, as well as VMs. It’s a versatile option that is ideal for every enterprise looking for rapid deployment and scale.

AI Robot Defense

AI, Your Silent Cyber Defender

AI (Artificial Intelligence) Cyber Defense or SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) or both?

Cybercriminals continue to come up with innovative ways to attack companies’ infrastructures, more so in the last year than ever before. Instead of hacking an infrastructure to plant a virus, cybercriminals have taken their tactics to the next level, executing cloud ransom attacks, as well as manipulation and exploitation tactics in return for access to your own IT infrastructure. This raises the question as to whether traditional cyber defense systems are equipped to detect and respond to such unique threats quick to reduce the reduce the risk of damage. Artificial Intelligence Cyber Defense has the answer.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI) Cyber Defense

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has transformed the digital world and the way in which businesses operate. With AI, enterprises are able to leverage businesses advantages, such as increased productivity as a result of faster operation times and automated efficiencies. Though, the risk of cyber threats remain as cybercriminals view digitization as an opportunity to hack digital infrastructures, such as the Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and software systems. Traditional security systems are not equipped to handle the increased and innovative attacks from cybercriminals.

How Artificial Intelligence Cyber Defense is Transforming How Companies Deal with Security Threats

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Cyber Defense, on the other hand, takes cybersecurity to the next level to protect enterprises from digital threats. From cloud ransom attacks to cybercrime exploitation, AI Cyber Defense systems offer optimal protection from past, present and future cybercriminal tactics. These systems use smarter automated security systems that detect threats and respond to them before they pose a risk to your infrastructure. AI Cyber Defense continues to learn for themselves and use AI algorithms to identify outliers from typical patterns which not only protects your enterprise from today’s threats but also, from potential ones in the future. These systems detect threats that can’t be predicted by an IT individual, while also acting faster than any security practitioner to prevent costly damage.

Benefits of AI Cyber Defense Darktrace System

Darktrace is an innovative, intuitive and impressive AI cyber defense system that makes protecting your business’ most valuable data simple. The automated system uses mathematics and algorithms to see threats earlier or as they’re happening, offering quick and efficient protection to threats that other security systems aren’t equipped to find.

What is Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is a type of security management that uses Security Event Management (SEM) and Security Information Management (SIM) in one security management system. This type of software is designed to collect and combine data that’s generated through an enterprise’s infrastructure, from the host systems to the network, applications and security devices, such as antivirus programs and firewalls. SIEM systems then use the information gathered to identify, categorize and analyze various events, and produce reports and to send alerts on security-related situations.

While SIEM systems have been a strong force against cybercriminals in the past, they are not as equipped to deal with the new and advanced threats when compared to AI Cyber Defense Systems.

AI Cyber Defense system can be used alongside a SIEM and will enhance its value. However, this type of defense is exceptionally powerful and well-equipped to handle all security threats on its own, and in faster time than other security systems. AI Cyber Defense systems also allow companies with limited resources to do more with less; paying for two security systems is not needed for optimal protection.
Darktrace is the world-leading cyber-threat company that enhances the security surrounding your enterprises’ infrastructure. For more information, speak with one of our specialists today.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 6
zycom
Contact Us

© 2019 Managed IT Services - Zycomtec.com. All Rights Reserved.