A better way to secure the cloud

CASB – The smart solution for cloud security

12-5-16_Core-Security_Blog-image_600pxThe most common concern around the cloud is data security. Companies need to be continuously aware of how and where their data is stored in the cloud, all while ensuring they’re compliant with any regulations which apply to them.

Enterprises are struggling to understand the data security and compliance impact of organizational, departmental, and especially rogue or “shadow” adoption of cloud applications. This is where a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) comes into play.

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VMware Cloud on AWS

logo-vmware-aws-partnership-grey_600x118Radically simplifying hybrid cloud environments

Most enterprises rely on VMware to run applications in their vSphere-based private clouds. Many of these same customers also run applications on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Increasingly, customers have asked both companies to make it easier to run their existing on-premises environments alongside AWS, using the VMware software and tools they’ve come to rely on.

With the recent announcement of VMware Cloud on AWS, the strategic alliance between VMware and AWS formed in response to this obvious demand is beginning to bear fruit.

Currently in Technology Preview, VMware Cloud on AWS is a vSphere-based cloud service that will bring VMware’s enterprise-class Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) software to the AWS cloud. VMware Cloud on AWS will give customers the full SDDC experience from the leader in the private cloud, running on the world’s most popular, trusted, and robust public cloud. Zones will begin offering VMware Cloud on AWS in mid-2017, with pricing available closer to the general availability date. Continue reading

The state and future of hyper-converged infrastructure

Data Center BlogHyper-converged appliances simplify the design, deployment and management of complex infrastructures, easing pressure on IT staff and leadership. With components designed and built from the ground up to function as a pre-validated system, hyper-converged appliances eliminate the risk of incompatibility you run when rolling out a converged infrastructure.

Hyper-convergence delivers three key benefits:

Faster Deployment – You’re acquiring a single appliance from a single vendor. That means no finger-pointing among component manufacturers when you need support.

Simplified Management – A hyper-converged system provides true single-pane-of-glass management for the entire system.

Rapid Scalability – When you need to scale, you simply deploy additional building blocks.

An excellent example of state-of-the-art hyper-converged appliances is Cisco’s HyperFlex System. These appliances evolved to bring new levels of efficiency and adaptability to the data center, allowing IT to deploy in less than an hour, create clones in seconds, and save on data storage day after day, year after year.

What’s next?

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Getting to the core of Microsoft’s new licensing model

Navigating the move from per-processor to per-core licensing

new-microsoft-logoWith the arrival of Windows Server 2016, customers can soon be running a cloud optimized operating system that supports current workloads, and offers new technologies to simplify the transition to cloud computing.

In addition to the many networking, compute and storage advances included in Windows Server 2016, Microsoft is also transitioning from per-processor to per-core licensing.

Moving Windows Server and Microsoft System Center 2016 to per-core licensing aligns the servers to a common and consistent licensing denomination that is already a standard measure for capacity across environments: cores. This also brings Windows Server into alignment with the per-core licensing model that applies to Microsoft’s SQL Server 2016 and Azure products.

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Doing mobility right

Planning for an efficient, effective mobile infrastructure

Mobility Blog ArtToday – whether by accident or design – virtually every business relies on mobile technology to get through the workday.

From a small business owner’s smartphone, to a retail associate’s line-busting mobile point-of-sale device, to a web-enabled delivery truck, mobile technology is changing how and where work gets done. But making sure all of those devices deliver the expected return on investment is no accident. It takes sound planning and design, backed by coordinated implementation and management, to do business mobility right.

The Zones mobility practice is committed to helping customers take business mobility from ad hoc to advanced. It begins with solution architects, systems engineers and product specialists assessing an organization’s business needs and existing mobile infrastructure.

Often – and sometimes at surprisingly large organizations – the team will find that the mobile “strategy” in place is a loosely assembled bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scenario, with the organization perhaps picking up the carrier bill for employees. While such a system may keep people connected, it’s probably costing more than it should, and it does little to keep their devices – or the organization – protected.

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Windows Server Datacenter now has more to offer

Win10-Logo-5 ExtWindows Server 2012 became generally available in September 2012 and came in two flavors through volume licensing: Windows Server Standard and Windows Server Datacenter.

You would expect technical differences between the Datacenter and Standard editions, yet Microsoft only addressed virtual machine entitlements – that’s it. Standard allows for two VMs per license, while Datacenter gives admins the opportunity to run an unlimited number of VMs, as long as the hardware could handle it. In regards to the software, there were no technical advantages in having Datacenter edition.

Windows Server 2016, which is rumored to be available this quarter, brings new features and technical advantages of having the Datacenter edition, as well as additional advantages of Software Assurance. Continue reading

Contact centers build solid connections

hp_windows_upgrade_3489896bWhen customers or prospects want to connect with your business, they want an immediate response and rapid results. It’s not always easy to keep up with those demands. Small companies can become especially frustrated because they do not employ enough workers to perform their routine duties effectively while interacting with customers at the same time.

Fortunately, there are solutions available to help people and businesses meet the challenge. Continue reading

Modernize your business with Zones Azure Complete

Zones-Azure_Complete-infographicPlanning and implementing a cloud computing platform can be complex and time consuming. Zones Azure Complete accelerates the adoption of your cloud computing platform, and allows you to discover new ways of optimizing the performance of your Azure environment.

Through a wide array of services to support your organization’s cloud-based functions, Zones Azure Complete provides help to enhance the utility and management of Azure in your organization.

Zones Azure Complete delivers best-in-class technologies and proven methodologies for thorough assessment, thoughtful design, seamless implementation, and consistent management of the Azure cloud platform. It’s an all-inclusive program that goes beyond cloud subscriptions to include reliable ongoing services for your cloud environment.

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Still Running SQL Server 2005?

It’s time to give your data the care it deserves

MicrosoftSQLServerOn April 12 Microsoft ended extended support for SQL Server 2005. That means security updates and hotfixes will no longer be available from Microsoft. And unsupported software means increasing vulnerability to data issues and exposing other devices and associated applications to these same vulnerabilities.

What’s new?

A lot has changed since the launch of SQL Server 2005. Back then, the common practice was to deploy software on-premises on physical hardware. End of story.

Today, you have a number of on-prem and cloud options, including SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2014, and Azure SQL Database.

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Go beyond deployment to true management

Get more, with Microsoft Office 365 and Zones Office 365 Complete

Zones Office 365 CompleteThe Microsoft Office 365 experience is collaborative, reliable, secure, and fast. It also eases maintenance and management. But it’s not always easy to deploy, and it needs ongoing management.

Planning and implementing an Office 365 migration can be complex and time-consuming. Then, there’s the regular and ongoing need to do things like manage mailboxes, provide end user support, and perform data backups and restores. Hiring experts in Office 365 features and functionality is usually cost-prohibitive and waiting for issue resolution is costly and hinders productivity.

Delivered through best-in-class technologies and proven methodologies, Zones Microsoft Office 365 Complete is an all-inclusive program that goes beyond cloud subscriptions to include reliable, ongoing services for your Office 365 environment.

“Zones has always helped customers with license provisioning and software migrations,” says Brent Swank, Zones director of Microsoft software. “Now we’re expanding our support services to calm the fears of moving to the cloud and afterwards provide consistent, reliable ongoing support to our customers.”

The Zones Office 365 Complete program is designed to be flexible so you can customize your packaged solution by choosing our services for each lifecycle phase: assessment, implementation, and management.

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