The engineered system that’s simple, optimized, and affordable

Oracle Database Appliance

Whether you’re running a small-to-medium sized business or operating a remote or branch location, field office, or clinic, Oracle now has a better way to manage your database: Oracle Database Appliance (ODA).

ODA is a highly-configured, easy-to-deploy, all-in-one package of software, servers, storage, and networking in a single box. It’s optimized to help you run your Oracle Database and applications, with all hardware and software components engineered and supported by Oracle. That means maximum reliability, efficiency, and security. Continue reading

Shaky disaster recovery plan? There’s no excuse anymore.

Everyone knows that a comprehensive disaster recovery plan stands to pay for itself – should you need to use it. But over the years, we’ve seen many businesses fail to make the necessary investments in time and money to create one. Some were lucky. Many were not.

Of course, critical systems for banks, finance, and healthcare had significant redundancies built into their IT architecture. After all, these organizations could afford complex solutions maintained by some of the most talented IT folks in the industry. But many firms simply could not afford or maintain the necessary skills on staff to support a true disaster recovery solution for key applications and IT systems. Continue reading

The standard in hyper-converged infrastructure

Dell EMC VxRail appliance

VxRail is the only fully integrated, preconfigured, and tested HCI appliance powered by VMware vSAN, and is the easiest and fastest way to extend a VMware environment. VxRail provides a simple, cost effective hyper-converged solution that solves a wide range of your challenges and supports most applications and workloads. Dell EMC VxRail features purpose-built platforms that deliver data services, resiliency, and QoS, enabling faster, better, and simpler delivery of virtual desktops, business-critical applications, and remote office infrastructure, so IT can focus on more important things: 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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Understanding the software-defined data center

Virtualize the infrastructure to transform your business

0116-securityUntil about the year 2000, each server in a data center ran a single application. While this approach ensured application performance, as processing capability increased, it often left a lot of a server’s processing power sitting idle much of the time. This one application per server approach also uses up a lot of real estate in the data center, not to mention the attendant power and cooling costs.

Taking advantage of available excess capacity, software engineers adapted a concept from the world of supercomputers that provides a layer of abstraction between the hardware and the applications running on it. This allows for a single physical server to be divided into multiple “virtual” servers or virtual machines. This virtualization allows administrators to run multiple applications on a single physical server, recapturing underutilized processing capacity and reducing the data center footprint. It also allowed multiple virtual servers across multiple physical servers to be viewed, managed, and utilized as pooled resources.

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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

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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Bridging the gap between resources and expectations

SJ111 advanced-tech-largeA hybrid infrastructure helps IT balance responsiveness with control

In an age when multibillion dollar businesses such as Uber launch, grow, and thrive with a nearly 100 percent cloud-based infrastructure, it should be no surprise that business leaders turn to the cloud to complement their existing IT infrastructure.

Increasingly, workers aren’t even including IT in the conversation. When a need is apparent and a cloud app or service can address it, some business leaders assume they can provide a credit card number and get to work. And it’s easy to see why.

Consider something as straight-forward as a department head’s request for a project management application. Given sufficient time and resources, IT could design, develop code, test, deploy, and maintain an on-premises project management solution that rocks. In most cases, the big stumbling block is going to be time and resources, not interest or capability.

But when IT shares its three-to-six month timeline for completion with that department head, it’s hard to fault that department head for saying, “Thanks, but no thanks,” and seeking out a “shadow” alternative in the cloud.

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Detect, deter, and analyze security events

Layered-Security-Blog-Graphic_648x432Making true end-to-end security a reality

Private businesses and public entities are responding to rising concerns about theft, fraud, and terrorism by extending infrastructure security to include a focus on physical security and surveillance systems.

In addition to deploying advanced data, network, application, server, and endpoint security solutions, the Zones Advanced Solutions Group team work alongside an organization’s security personnel to develop plans, train staff, and implement systems such as surveillance cameras, access controls, and paging and radio systems. This approach helps protect against threats from man-made and natural disasters. What’s more, systems can be far more effective and can cost less to manage when tied together over an existing IP network. Continue reading

Creating a more advanced and adaptable infrastructure

Data Center VMware HPEIn virtually every industry, IT challenges are becoming increasingly dynamic and complex, with new requirements emerging on a regular basis.

One significant shift in IT is characterized by new applications designed specifically for mobility and cloud service delivery, and for leveraging the power of Big Data and enhanced security capabilities.

Capitalizing on these innovative trends requires an IT architecture that can deliver all-new levels of flexibility, security, scalability, and openness. And to help you protect your investments and control costs, these architectures must also support a hybrid mix of traditional IT, working in concert with private and public clouds.

If your company is making enterprise-level moves into Big Data, cloud or mobility, it’s time to consider an enterprise grade solution like HP ProLiant Gen9 servers with VMware® vSphere 6.0. Continue reading