IT Solutions Blog

Smarter Virtualization Management

Posted by Unitiv on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 @ 12:50 PM

How Mary Washington Healthcare Used VMTurbo to Save $180K On Day 1

Amid the roll-out of HIPAA-mandated compliance, Meaningful Use, and other Healthcare waves, Technology Infrastructure Manager George Amols ushers us through the reactive cycle of IT operations at MWHC from which he sought to break free. In this healthcare virtualization webinar, you’ll catch a complete demonstration of VMTurbo Operations Manager, and learn of Mary Washington’s successes.

Healthcare IT Webcast

Watch this informative on-demand webinar and learn how Mary Washington Healthcare leverages VMTurbo to maximize both performance and efficiency in its virtual environment of more than 900 VMs.

During the webcast, we’ll cover:
  • How MWHC eliminated contention-based VM outages and failures
  • Their use of What-If capacity planning to maximize utilization and grow with precision
  • How MWHC automates VM migration using VMTurbo’s Economic Scheduling Engine
  • And the $180K up-front savings they garnered through more intelligent resource utilization

Download the Webcast

Topics: vmturbo

How To Better Scale The Data Center

Posted by Unitiv on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 @ 11:54 AM

As organizations scale, planning for greater application workload demand is critical. IT cannot afford to be seen as a bottleneck to successful business growth. Moreover, the larger the organization and the faster the growth the higher the stakes.

Planning ahead is key, but as this e-Book will discuss, equally important is the foundation you use to make projections. The reality is that smarter capacity planning starts with a better understanding of the virtual environments and the interdependencies of data center entities.

In this e-Book you will learn:

  • The foundation for making intelligent capacity projections
  • Resource consumption and how to think about their allocation
  • Ways to assure application QoS as you provision
  • How to manage fast growing physical and virtual environments
  • A solution to managing the complex environment using economic abstractions and “what-if” scenarios

Download e-Book now


Interested in a free 30 Day Trial of VMTurbo Operations Manager? Go to http://vmturbo.com/partners/unitiv/

Operations Manager is a unified control system. The software assures workload performance while utilizing the infrastructure as efficiently as possible.

  • Unified control engine for capacity planning, workload onboarding, and performance management
  • Continuously assures workload performance by preventatively reallocating resources (before degradations occur)
  • Maximizes infrastructure efficiency by managing infrastructure capacity and utilization
  • Easy deployment – be up and running in less than an hour

Topics: vmturbo, operations manager

VLT and L2 Cluster Technology

Posted by Unitiv on Tue, Jul 21, 2015 @ 11:41 AM

All resources in the datacenter are converging. A typical Layer 2 (L2) Switching core from years ago looks different than it does today. New protocols have been developed that allow network administrators and engineers to cluster or mesh switches together. Spanning­Tree is a great protocol, and works when it comes to modern enterprise networks, many just cannot afford to have half of their inter connections in a blocking state, like so many passive spare tires on a car.

Dell’s Force10 solution is called VLT or Virtual Link Trunking. The switch cluster is treated as a whole, and each switch is fractions of the whole, allowing simpler maintenance than with traditional switch stacking alone. Clustered switches known as VLT Domains, act as one switch allowing the administrator to issue commands to the group, and will disable the entire cluster when performing maintenance. This saves time and allows IT groups to make changes in a true highly available nature.

Many switch vendors are adopting their own VLT­like protocols for converging L2 switches. It’s as simple and elegant as applying the cloud philosophy to the datacenter and enterprise LAN. With everything converging and distributing, options like VLT are making life easier, more productive and effective for everyone.

blog

 

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Topics: VLT, 2 Cluster

Investigating OpenStack Report

Posted by Unitiv on Wed, Jun 10, 2015 @ 10:49 AM

VMTurbo recently surveyed 1284 Enterprise IT and data center professionals on their use of and plans for OpenStack. We’ve collected the data and put the complete results in our report, Investigating OpenStack.

Our hope is that this will inspire a data-driven conversation across the broader virtual and cloud community. This report covers the why and how of our study, as well as the complete results of the survey.

Here are some of the Highlights

  • 45% of respondents are interested in OpenStack
  • 46% of IT professionals investigating OpenStack plan to deploy in production within 12 months

 To find out the rest of the results download here: http://vmturbo.com/resources/investigating-openstack-survey-methodologies-results/

Virtualization vs. Containers

Posted by Unitiv on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:42 AM

Virtualization versus Containers. Which is best for your operations?

Everyone loves virtualization. It works well. Each guest has fully 100% fake hardware, so it looks like a real miniserver.

Fred1
The guest servers float on top of the hypervisor, which floats on the real hardware providing excellent isolation and division of resources.

Enter Docker, King of the Containers. Docker provides separation and resource allocation to applications running on the same host. It is more lightweight than full virtualization. Containers make management much easier than a virtual server with a full operating system.

Docker is not only for Linux anymore! Microsoft decided to take a page from the Open Source playbook and implement Docker for it’s applications.

A lightweight version of Windows is coming! It’s called Nano Server.

Fred3

Now everyone can benefit from Docker technology, not just those using Open Source or Linux.

So what’s the big deal? It’s not as if VC’s are betting $95 million that it is a $1 Billion
valuation. Forbes may disagree.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexkonrad/2015/04/14/docker-raises-95-million-at-billion-valuation/

Container adoption rate is at an alltime high. Businesses are seeing unprecedented growth and momentum, and Docker is a fantastic example of a tool that can handle the ride.

--Fred Richards

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The Three Most Important Benefits of Infrastructure as a Service

Posted by Unitiv on Thu, Feb 19, 2015 @ 03:46 PM

Assets-resized-600Cloud computing offerings are almost overwhelming at this point. There are so many different services and service providers competing for your business that it can be hard to know what’s really best for you. Understanding what kinds of solutions work for your business means getting a handle on exactly what solutions are out there and what benefits they can bring an organization. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), for example, is a solution that can offer significant benefits to an organization.

What is IaaS?

In the most basic sense, IaaS means provisioning basic computing resources such as storage, hardware, networks and servers over the Internet. The actual physical infrastructure of your Information Technology systems moves outside of your organization and into a service provider’s environment.

IaaS works well as a foundation for similar technologies, such as Software as a Service and Platform as a Service.

Let’s take a look at three specific benefits Infrastructure as a Service may be able to provide to your organization:

  1. Elasticity and flexibility. IaaS leverages the elasticity and flexibility inherent in the cloud to deliver infrastructure to your organization. It lets you choose when, how and which computing resources are going to be consumed, which will be scaled up or down based on the actual demands of your organization, and doing so in real time. Because it’s your IaaS provider that has to be concerned with configuring and maintaining the infrastructure, you don’t need to be bogged down with upgrades, and you can instead focus on managing your business applications.
  2. Reduction of capital expenditures. When you have IaaS, you pay as you go. You don’t lay out large amounts for new hardware or software. You pay the IaaS provider only for the resources you use during a given period. This makes IaaS an attractive option for small and medium-sized businesses, but also for the enterprise that needs state-of-the-art infrastructure to truly support their business needs.
  3. Short term gains. While the flexibility and lower cost of IaaS tends to pay off over the long term, you can also leverage IaaS in the short term. You can use it, for example, to boost seasonal marketing campaigns or particularly busy times of the calendar year, and scale back down when the demand for resources scales back down.

Most businesses can make a good case for at least considering Infrastructure as a Service. Schedule Discovery Session

Topics: Cloud

5 Key Steps for Cloud Migration

Posted by Unitiv on Wed, Jan 14, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Assets-resized-600Cloud computing is finally hitting the IT world in the way that’s been predicted for the past decade or so. Cloud computing simply makes sense for most organizations. It allos you to distribute IT costs over time without having to make huge capital investments. It gives you expertise that you more than likely aren’t going to have in-house. It gives you flexibility to scale up and scale down capacity without having to wait for installations or upgrades. The benefits are many, and they’re hard to dispute at this point.

Still, if you’re going to migrate some or all of your IT functions to the cloud, there are at least five key steps you need to take to make sure the process is as efficient and effective as it can be:

  1. Choose the right elements to migrate. Going to the cloud doesn’t mean moving all of your IT functions into the hands of a provider. It means picking and choosing what IT resources can best be handled externally and which ones should remain internal. Something simple like storage, backup and recovery can easily be moved to the cloud and result in immediate benefits. Other functions, such as an industry-specific software suite, might not be able to make the transition as easily.
  2. Choose a secure cloud provider. If you deal with Personal Health Information (PHI), you need to choose a cloud provider that meets HIPAA regulations. Any company-confidential IT resources, whether it be data or applications, may need to meet other security requirements such as those in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Know what kinds of certifications your cloud provider has in terms of compliance needs for your business.
  3. Know what the cloud provider is responsible for. Your service level agreement with the cloud provider should spell out exactly what they provide and what elements are your responsibilities. For applications that require high uptime, make sure your provider includes that kind of guarantee in your SLA.
  4. Don’t rush in. Take the time necessary to choose what’s going to move to the cloud as well as what cloud provider you’re going to use. Even if you’re bursting at the seams right now, it’s worth the extra time down the road to be diligent.
  5. Prepare for the worst. Incorporate disaster recovery and business continuity planning into your cloud services plan, and ask your provider to give you information related to their disaster recovery plans, as well.

Moving to the cloud can be a smart move, but it’s important to do it right.

Find out more!

Topics: Cloud

How MobileIron Secures Box for the Enterprise

Posted by Unitiv on Mon, Jan 12, 2015 @ 11:27 AM

Today’s mobile-heavy business environment has created an interesting challenge for enterprise security. While there’s always been something of a struggle between IT and users when it comes to security vs. user expectations, the advent of BYOD practices and self-serve cloud solutions has brought that struggle to the forefront. The challenge that CIOs and IT professionals today face is finding the correct balance between employee empowerment and protecting the company’s data.

One way that storage providers have been encouraging enterprise use is to offer APIs and connectors that allow third parties to access and manipulate their cloud storage systems. In other cases, storage providers have directly joined forces with a variety of technological solutions providers.

It’s the latter that has brought MobileIron and BOX together. MobileIron created an ecosystem allowing third parties to interact with its mobile device management solutions, known as AppConnect. Box has now joined that ecosystem, and the result is promising for the enterprise.

For both administrators and users

AppConnect is designed to help bring a close to the eternal battle between administrator concerns and user expectations. Finding the right balance between employee empowerment and protection of proprietary information is what this partnership is all about.

Here are some of the ways that BOX for MobileIron can help to tighten integration and increase functionality across the enterprise:

• Users log in to their BOX space via Active Directory credentials.

• Whitelisting of certain third-party apps to make sure that Box content can only be opened in applications that are AppConnect enabled.

• Limiting the ability of Box users to cut, copy and paste content from their Box account to meet various security policies within your organization.

This is just one example of just how effective MobileIron’s AppConnect environment can be. It allows employees to use the tools that they want to use – the tools that are the driving force behind adoption of mobile technologies. It does this while providing organizations the kinds of security and regulatory capabilities that they need in order to protect their data. 

Schedule Discovery Session

Topics: mobility

How OneStor from Xyratex Makes Enterprise Storage Simple Again

Posted by Unitiv on Fri, Jan 09, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

data_management-resized-600Xyratex has always been a leader when ot comes to building storage test equipment and storage enclosures and subsystems. Since being spun out of IBM more than 20 years ago and then picked up by Seagate recently, Xyratex has provided equipment that’s popular with some big name vendors from NetApp to Microsoft’s StorSimple hybrid cloud storage. Today, Seagate is leveraging the power of Xyratex for the SMB space, as well, via the OneStor Embedded Storage Platforms.

Here are some things OneStor platforms from Xyratex offer to you:

  • Intel CPU options including single, dual and quad core
  • Solid state on-board disk device for fast, efficient and reliable booting
  • Advanced power protection from Metis
  • Dual-embedded server modules that create a high availability internal architecture
  • Unified Systems Management via IPMI V2
  • Either Fibre Channel or Ethernet host connectivity on board
  • Optional PCIe interface modules that support Ethernet, Fibre Channel or InfiniBand
  • 6 Gigabyte SAS to your drives
  • Compatibility with SBB 2.0
  • The ability to expand via OneStor Modular enclosures

What it comes down to is that Xyratex is leading the way for the enterprise data storage solutions that you need. They do this in a cost-effective, high-performance, high-capacity way, and do so using common architecture as well as units that are field replaceable.

OneStor solutions from Xyratex offer you enterprise level storage systems for your data. They’ve been highly-rated among the OEM community for their reliability and efficiency. OneStor systems are an entire family of building blocks that you can deploy in many different ways in order to meet your most intense and demanding storage needs.

In addition, the OneStor Integrated Application Platforms offer you the next generation of intelligent storage products for your enterprise. They bring both compute and storage together into a single platform. This, in turn, helps to get rid of additional costs for hardware, minimized the footprint needed and makes cabling a snap. When combined with advanced software capabilities, OEMs can bring the most powerful, flexible and useful capabilities right to the doorstep of your enterprise today.

 

Schedule Discovery Session

Topics: seagate, xyratex

How HP is Using Flash Storage to Revolutionize Virtualization

Posted by Unitiv on Wed, Jan 07, 2015 @ 09:30 AM

cb068324_loresVirtualized environments are demanding when it comes to storage. Tier-1 virtualized applications require always-on, fast, available access to data. One of the ways that today’s virtualization vendors are increasing the stability and speed of storage access in virtualized environments is through the use of flash, and HP is leading the way among the crowd.

Storage challenges facing the enterprise today

There are a number of significant challenges that the enterprise faces today when it comes to handling storage in a virtualized environment, including:

  • The cost and complexity of implementing data protection in a virtualized environment
  • Outmoded storage architecture that doesn’t hold up under virtualized and random I/O
  • Low VM density and storage inefficiencies that provide you with lower ROI than what you anticipated
  • Difficulties with having enough availability and performance to be able to virtualize those mission critical workloads
  • Complex management which means a higher administrative overhead.

These are real problems, and they’re costing your organization time and money.

How HP storage solutions help

Fortunately, HP storage solutions with flash offer you some solutions. Using HP storage solutions, you can:

  • Have a virtualized platform that’s able to be up and running within about 15 minutes
  • Reach consistent and measurable performance objectives in an economy of scale, and with unpredictable, dynamic workloads.
  • Double your VM density while cutting the capacity requirements in half.
  • Virtualize your top-tier business critical applications safely and confidently.
  • Maximize availability of your top tier applications without compromising their performance
  • Increased scalability and performance through offloading certain compute intensive tasks to your flash storage
  • Reduced administrative overhead through integration with management tools

HP offers flash storage in its storage products without compromise. The HP 3PAR StoreServe products are agile and efficient, and specifically designed to be implemented in high-demand, virtualized, Tier-1 environments. Even your most demanding business critical applications, regardless of size, can be virtualized with confidence using HP flash storage.

MORE INFORMATION >>> www.unitiv.com/hp-all-flash-arrays

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Topics: hp