Meet SQL Server 2017

Today’s businesses have widely available unstructured data, and they want to deliver powerful insights through big data. But they must adapt quickly to change by using new technologies that fuel competitive advantage, or risk getting left behind.

That’s why it’s imperative to make the most of big data, the cloud, and intelligence capabilities, all of which help companies accelerate their speed of business through smarter decision-making and faster execution. And that’s the idea behind Microsoft SQL Server 2017.

The complete modern data estate can utilize both structured data—such as OLTP, mobile, ERP, and LOB data—and unstructured data—like graph data, social media, and IoT data. Continue reading

When it comes to cybersecurity, the best offense is a good defense.

Every 40 seconds a company is hit with ransomware, and the WannaCry outbreak is a perfect example. WannaCry demonstrates how ransomware attacks can quickly spread across and cripple environments by exploiting critical vulnerabilities in Windows computers – at least in those not updated with the patch Microsoft issued in March of this year (MS17-010) or the emergency update issued for XP on May 13, 2017.

Of course, running out-of-support operating systems such as XP is risky. But, XP by itself is not the biggest problem. The larger issue is complacency around security updates, operating system updates, and OS upgrades across the infrastructure. Continue reading

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

The foundation of a successful OS upgrade

Upgrading your organization’s operating system is a big investment in time, money, and resources. But of course, it’s worth all the work.

After all, you’ll be delivering a more secure and responsive infrastructure that will support your business for years to come.

A successful migration starts with a Zones OS Readiness Assessment. This professional service administered by our Advanced Solutions Group will help you verify that your systems have everything necessary to deploy, integrate, and support the new OS. Continue reading

Want to simplify the mobile infrastructure fast? Here’s how.

Ever since smartphones displaced the BlackBerry as the device of choice among pretty much everyone outside of government, businesses have been working hard to devise a simple, all-things-to-all-people approach to mobile deployments.

BYOD is cheap, but is by definition a multi-platform solution that presents a number of compatibility, management, and security issues. CYOD strategies restore a good deal of control to the organization, but add to the number of devices an employee will be carrying.

The recent launch of HP’s Elite x3 and VMware’s Workspace ONE could change all that. Continue reading

Meet the challenges of digital business

Cisco Digital Network Architecture

Legacy business processes are becoming increasingly digital, requiring fast and flexible network services to facilitate and support them. On top of that, business leaders and the IT professionals who run them are under pressure to accelerate adoption of big data, mobile, cloud, video, and IoT technologies.

Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA) gives you a clear and efficient way forward. DNA centers around a network infrastructure that is not only fully programmable and open to third-party innovation, but can also fully and seamlessly integrate the cloud as an infrastructure component. Continue reading

An ounce of prevention for the healthcare industry

Security assessments for hospitals, clinics, and practices

0116-securityCyber criminals are increasingly targeting the $3 trillion U.S. healthcare industry. Unfortunately, many hospitals, clinics and practices still rely on aging computer systems that lack the latest security features.

Last year, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center became the poster child for vulnerability when a malware attack resulted in a $17,000 ransom being paid to hackers in order to regain control of their systems.

Phishing scams are also on the rise, putting billing information, social security numbers, birth dates, policy numbers, and diagnosis codes at risk. That data can be used to forge fake IDs to buy medical equipment or prescription drugs that can be resold. Taken a step further, it can be used to file phony claims with insurers.

To make matters worse, medical identity theft isn’t as easily detected as fraudulent credit card transactions, which are often flagged and canceled by banks before a cardholder is even aware of the incident.

We have to assume that cybercrime isn’t going away anytime soon, but Zones can help you with a number of tools that improve the safety, compliancy, and security of your systems. 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?

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Who’s watching over your data?

data-securityTrouble may be lurking in your network

Data breaches are on the rise. According to a recent Ponemon Group/IBM study, the average cost of a data breach was nearly $3.79 million in 2015, and that amount is predicted to increase exponentially in the foreseeable future.

In the past year, we witnessed major commercial and government organizations receiving alarming cybersecurity breaches and attacks. Well-known organizations such as Home Depot, T-Mobile/ Experian, Ashley Madison, Sony Pictures, Anthem, Premera Blue Cross, the Democratic National Committee, and the Federal Government’s Office of Personnel Management experienced cybersecurity issues. Even the IRS wasn’t safe from attack. Despite the fact that these organizations had specialized degrees of preparedness and cyber protection in place, they still fell victim. Continue reading