It’s been two weeks since the IT world was rocked by the news of the CPU vulnerabilities known as Meltdown and Spectre. It’s making headline news due to how far the vulnerabilities extend—to nearly every processor manufactured over the past 20 years—as well as the potential impacts in mitigating these vulnerabilities. Every server, computer, tablet, phone or any other computing device with a modern CPU is potentially affected. (See WEI’s Customer Advisory about Meltdown and Spectre in this blog post.)
Happy New Year! As we say hello to 2018, we can reflect on the massive progress technology made throughout 2017. The cloud came to a new level of maturity, cybersecurity incidents rocked the world and organizations embraced hyperconverged infrastructure as the future of data center modernization. But what lies ahead? Read on for a look at cybersecurity predictions for the coming year.
Have you ever looked at your dog or cat staring out the window of your house towards the horizon? Ever wonder if they contemplate what may be beyond their visible perimeter? It used to be that internal IT did not have to contemplate what lay beyond the perimeter. Network security was fairly simple – create a wall of security around the data center and its resources, along with the users and their desktops scattered throughout the building. Traffic passed through the perimeter firewall while users passed through the front building entrance to access the network. It was a page out of the medieval castle defense playbook in that unauthorized users, unknown devices and external threats were kept at bay outside of the walled perimeter.
WEI recognizes that a successful business has a significant role in the community and WEI shows this with its WEI StepsUp corporate responsibility initiative. This past holiday season WEI carried out its Random Acts of Kindness initiative. This initiative was started by WEI’s founders, Belisario and Leslie Rosas. Every holiday season, each employee is provided fifty dollars to be used to carry out a “random act of kindness.” Random acts of kindness can be grand or small gestures, such as lending a helping hand to someone in need. There are two guidelines:
WEI is aware of the new vulnerabilities related to Intel and other CPUs which could potentially allow an attacker to gather privileged information from CPU cache and system memory, putting enterprise security at risk. The vulnerabilities are code named “Meltdown” and “Spectre." The “Meltdown” issue is reported to only affect Intel CPUs while “Spectre” is reported to affect Intel, AMD, and ARM. The impact of these vulnerabilities could extend back to CPUs from as early as 1995 (in the case of Intel).
This holiday season, the frenzy is not about the “must have” toy, it is the must have investment – Bitcoin. The TV networks cannot stop talking about the dramatic rise in its value that seems to occur on a daily basis, if not hourly. The cable business news shows shuffle in cryptocurrency and financial industry pundits to discuss the significance the new digital gold and the cryptocurrency market at large. They debate each other whether bitcoin is a sure deal that will continue returning positive dividends, or a bubble that is about to burst. Both sides of the argument have their “experts” as to why you should or should not get involved bitcoin mania. CNBC reports that people are maxing out their credit cards to buy, buy, and buy. Some people are even taking home equity loans on their house to maximize the number of coins they can afford.
This year has seen monumental growth in cloud computing and companies are embracing a cloud-first attitude more than ever before. The hybrid cloud computing model allows organizations to leverage the strengths of their current on premise network and augment them with the elasticity and innovations of the cloud. It offers organizations great opportunities, not through new technology exactly, but by a new fresh approach to technology that is continuing to evolve and mature in real time.
Is your organization’s wireless networking in need of some modernization? Digital transformation has the power to boost your company’s productivity, bottom line, and even employee retention. While the concept may seem complicated, working with a trusted technology partner helps to simplify these concepts.
The digital transformation we are witnessing today has catapulted IT to a role of prominence, innovation, and leadership. IT must now understand more than just technology architectures, it must understand the business drivers and goals of the company that it serves. Innovation and new ideas are the building blocks of business today and it is the job of IT to provide the technology to help make those ideas come to fruition. This is one of the factors leading companies to adopt a Hybrid IT model. But this shift has less to do with technology and more to do with operations management, policies and procedures and the delivery of IT services. A good exercise for developing a hybrid IT strategy begins with asking leadership to re-examine the role that the IT department holds within the organization, with questions such as:
Mark Twain popularized the phrase, “There’s gold in them thar hills,” when he wrote about the gold rush of 1849. Today, the gold lies not in the hills of California, but within crypto mining servers dispersed across the Internet. This new gold is not mined by the power of the pick and shovel, or even dynamite. Instead, computer processors power the mining operations that create this digital gold. Welcome to the modern day gold rush of today’s digital age.
Has your organization clearly defined your hybrid IT strategy? You aren’t alone. According to Gartner’s Managing Vice President Chris Howard, "Many organizations have now passed the definitional stage of cloud computing and are testing cloud architectures inside and outside the enterprise, and over time, the cloud will simply become one of the ways that we 'do' computing, and workloads will move around in hybrid internal/external IT environments. As a result, the traditional role of the enterprise IT professional is changing and becoming multifaceted. A hybrid IT model requires internal and external IT professionals to support the business capabilities of the enterprise."
According to the findings of a recent study, it is estimated that 90 percent of companies will eventually move to a Hybrid IT model. This is no surprise considering the many advantages such as agility, scalability, resiliency, automation, simplicity, and reduced costs that only hybrid IT can offer. The quickening migration to hybrid IT is evident in an IDG study published in Forbes, which estimates that a typical IT department has only 40% of its apps and platforms residing in on premise solutions. How exactly does hybrid IT transform the role of the traditional IT team? Read on to find out.
Hybrid IT is a new paradigm that is redefining the function of IT within an organization. However, the implementation of new archetypes always comes with challenges along the way. Change is never easy, but often worth it. The traditional on premise enterprise took a long time to build, so naturally, rebuilding and modernizing it will not happen overnight.
Is your organization ready to make the switch from legacy to wireless networking? Transforming your business to be digitally ready is a big step, so it’s important to work with an IT solutions provider to map out all the available solutions before taking the leap. Read on to learn about the benefits of wireless networking and an overview of available solutions from Aruba.
Are you familiar with wireless networking? This IT strategy has exploded in popularity over the past few years, almost to the point of being able to replace the traditional plug in networks. Whether you’re interested in pursuing the concept for the first time with an IT consulting company or are well-versed in traditional networking, there are many benefits of this approach to network design and management.
Where is your company in deploying a cloud model? Are you utilizing public cloud, or is your cloud strategy a little more advanced that leverages a hybrid cloud model? Don’t let the name trip you up; the term “cloud” is an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it conceals. The generally accepted definition of cloud computing comes from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). “Cloud Computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”
There is a great deal of conversation and interest about hybrid cloud and hybrid IT in the IT community today. While these two buzzwords do share some distinct similarities, they are also very different business IT solutions. Here’s where they find common ground:
If you could start your company’s IT strategy from scratch, is there anything you would do differently? We’d bet that if most organizations asked themselves this question, hybrid IT would be part of the ideal setup. Here are some of the ways your existing IT would benefit from an overhaul, if given the opportunity:
Is your organization’s network fully optimized to operate in today’s digital world? Even today’s most technologically-forward companies may still have some legacy hardware that is holding them back from taking full advantage of the benefits that cloud computing offers. If you’re using digital networking as a product and service delivery method, you may be missing out on an opportunity to truly turn digital transformation into a long term business development strategy.
There’s a sea of change afoot in enterprise data centers, focused on identifying the best storage media for the mountain of application data. As opposed to the loyal, hard disk drive (HDD), enterprise storage is being transformed by the use of persistent flash memory for primary workloads. Yet, with all the good flash storage can do, there are a few misconceptions that can derail an otherwise solid flash storage investment. If you plan to deploy flash storage, read on for three cautions and considerations from a technology partner.
Has your organization paved the way for a hybrid cloud deployment? If not, we believe that the hybrid model deserves a closer look; Gartner estimates nearly half of all large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of this year, due to the added flexibility and elasticity it provides organizations with existing on premise infrastructures.
Today, the wide variety of available technology solutions opens the possibilities for organizations seeking the right combination of strategies to meet their diverse, unique needs. Luckily, companies who want to leverage the benefits of cloud computing don’t have to go “all-in” immediately; they are able to mix their traditional IT approaches with cloud-based solutions: this is described as hybrid IT. Why is traditional IT limiting? Read on for a look at hybrid IT’s importance.
Many technology solutions pride themselves on reducing an organization’s instances of unplanned downtime, since this can be a big drain on company resources and productivity. That’s why IT managers may be surprised to learn there is a happy medium somewhere between unacceptable downtime and zero downtime.
Have you heard about the benefits of hybrid IT? In the world of technology, there was a time in which IT drove business needs and the organization was pressured to keep up with its speed. An obvious example was the proliferation of the internet in the 90’s and the integration of shared resources through Ethernet. These technologies launched new paradigms in the same way that the cloud and the progression of software defining the data center are doing so today.
Did you know WEI is a great company to work for? In addition to providing standout technology solutions to our clients and partners, we also go above and beyond when taking care of our team members! We’re proud to share that WEI came in an impressive second place out of hundreds of entrants in our inaugural entry in Business NH Magazine’s prestigious 2017 Best Companies to Work For in NH list. The award honors our commitment to a great company culture that showcases respect, diversity, volunteerism, charity and community involvement. Read on to learn more!
Have you heard about Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)? It’s a hot new buzzword, but is simpler than it sounds. If you want to keep your organization’s data safe from threats, both criminally perpetuated and natural, read on to find out why you should invest in DRaaS today.
Did you catch our previous advice for avoiding and containing ransomware? Today’s digital businesses are facing this pervasive threat like never before, and there are a wide variety of security tactics that can improve your security strategy. Keep reading for five more tips that will help you avoid a destructive ransomware attack.
If organizations weren’t serious about tightening their cybersecurity strategy to combat ransomware within the past sixteen months, the mammoth WannaCry attack launched against the world on Friday, May 12, 2017 has certainly induced them to do so. Like most enterprise security threats, there are multiple ways to combat ransomware. Some methods are more intrusive than others though.
The world is indeed going digital, and not just because technology is dictating it. This massive upheaval is the result of change agents such as the cloud, mobile computing, social media, big data analytics, and the consumerization of IT; all of these have transformed how the world does business today. Is your organization keeping up with the times? Read on to brush up on the topic of hybrid IT, and find out why 63 percent of organizations are now pursuing a hybrid IT approach, according to a Harvard Business Review survey.
Today's business environment is fast paced and highly innovative, thanks to technology organizations that are advancing from zero to market leaders before their competitors even see them coming. While this frees companies up to manage their IT in a new way, it also creates an issue: last-generation infrastructures aren't built with speed or elasticity in mind.
There’s a lot to learn every day in the world of technology, especially with the ever-increasing amount of high-profile cyber breaches and criminal hacks. It seems every news article brings a new security scare, and businesses should be more alert than ever before. Want to know what threats are out there? Read on for an overview of recent security breaches, and find out what your organization can learn from them.
Is your organization among the 70 percent that have had to change their network infrastructure to support hybrid cloud? According to this statistic, you are far from alone. We recently shared three considerations that CIOs must pay attention to when deploying a hybrid cloud transition strategy. Here are five more items to focus on to make the most of your technology approach.
At WEI, we’re not just an award-winning technology services provider focusing on helping our customers drive business value; we’re also a company that cares for the health, happiness, and wellbeing of our employees, our environment, and the community around us. We do this through our community outreach and corporate responsibility initiative: WEI Steps UP. Earlier this year we worked with Habitat for Humanity and we are excited to announce that this past June 15th we held our second annual Care Pack Family BBQ, which aimed to benefit our military men and women serving overseas with the help of the Pease Greeters organization.
Are you moving to the hybrid cloud? Anyone who has managed the transition of relocating a data center knows firsthand the planning and organization that is required for such an enormous endeavor. The conversionary process from an on premise environment to a hybrid model demands the same level of preparation to ensure a successful implementation. The location of your company’s resources is irrelevant to your users, so if resources aren’t available for your end users, then it is your local network that will be blamed.
Remember the destruction WannaCry caused? The casualties included up to 300,000 encrypted computers in over 150 countries, not to mention the damage or loss of data entirely. The newest ransomware cyber-attack threat is far worse than WannaCry, and it's going by the name “Petya.”
We recently went over some common high availability (HA) architectures and solutions that can transform your organization’s technology approach. While high availability can provide the flexibility and reliability that you’re seeking for backup and recovery solutions, it can only do so when implemented properly. Below are some ways to avoid three common missteps.
Greater levels of redundancy, scalability, and elasticity are a few of the many reasons why adopting a hybrid cloud solution can be advantageous for your company. We’ve recognized that many hybrid cloud benefits tend to align with an enterprise’s digital transformation business objectives. With that being said, getting the most value out of this deployment is essential, which is why it is important to do plenty of research to avoid running into unexpected problems down the road. Three significant pitfalls that will be covered throughout this post that may arise throughout your deployment are:
You’ve probably heard talk about virtualized desktop infrastructure (VDI) and Desktop as a Service (DaaS), but do you know what benefits it can offer your organization? While desktop virtualization isn’t a new concept, amazingly, these technologies have the power to improve user productivity and allow your team members to accomplish more at your enterprise. Read on for a look at VDI and DaaS, as well as ways you can put it to use at your company.
If your data center is on an evolutionary track from siloed and hardware-centric to agile and software-defined, you’re aware of converged and hyperconverged infrastructures. If you haven’t yet been introduced to composable, welcome to the next gen step in your data center modernization journey.
Are you ready to take advantage of hybrid cloud benefits? As we’ve mentioned before, this unique architecture can provide these four benefits of hybrid cloud for your organization:
The need to scale infrastructure while reducing capital expenditures is a driving force in the shift from data center sprawl tied to hardware-focused architectures, toward an agile software-defined model. However, remaining competitive, customer-focused, and streamlined within a quickly evolving data center modernization landscape can be tricky.
Want to improve your cloud operations and take advantage of robust new technology options? Now you can, as you may have heard the news recently about the new partnership between VMware and Amazon Web Services (AWS), called VMware Cloud on AWS. Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), an IT analysis, research, validation, and strategy firm that provides market intelligence and actionable insight to the global IT community, recently published a technology brief announcing the new joint offering; read on for an overview of its structure and benefits.
The news is buzzing with instances of companies being taken for a ride by cyber thieves. Their new tactic? Injecting dangerous software into the organization and locking their data up until a ransom is paid. While the FBI still recommends not paying the ransom, enterprises are taking varying approaches to combatting ransomware. In this post we dive into some recent ransomware attacks and takeaways your organization can learn from them.
Every data center, application environment, enterprise organization, and cloud provider would probably like nothing better than to achieve “zero downtime” for all of their operations. High availability (HA) architecture can provide the flexibility and reliability that you’re seeking for backup and recovery solutions.
We are proud to share that on Thursday, May 11, the WEI team spent the day in Lawrence, MA, volunteering our time, strength and grit with the Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity organization. This is the second year that WEI has worked together with Habitat for Humanity through WEI’s corporate responsibility and sustainability program, WEI StepsUp. The program gives all WEI employees four paid hours each month to volunteer with organizations that support the surrounding community. Each employee is offered the chance to donate up to 48 hours per year doing charity work and approximately 30 WEI employees were on site for the day, including WEI’s co-founder and VP, Leslie Rosas.
IT leaders are investing more time and research into understanding which hyperconverged solution is right for their businesses. We can certainly understand why hyperconvergence is getting the spotlight. The promise of tightly integrated data center components that simplify day-to-day operations, improve IT agility, and speed up infrastructure deployments sounds like the right solution for this time in the IT world.
Last year, ransomware became a $1 billion dollar industry. If ransomware were a traditional legitimate industry it would be the focus of case studies for business schools at colleges and universities across the world. Its exponential growth has been unprecedented and its nefarious means of encrypting one’s data files to garner ransom has captured the headlines of newspapers, journals, blog sites, and news channels. One billion dollars brings a lot of attention and spotlight to something.
Nearly every day, there is a new cybersecurity breach to announce; businesses should be more alert than ever before. In 2015, the Ponemon Institute and Symantec discovered that a whopping 47 percent of U.S. data breaches were the result of a malicious insider or criminal cyberattack. Read on for an illuminating look into recent high-profile cases, and what you can learn from them.
With the wide range of reported cybersecurity incidents and hackers getting more creative than ever before, there is no shortage of threats to the modern enterprise. IT managers must not only secure current data and systems, but preemptively protect against ongoing future threats, which are constantly evolving. While there are well-known versions of malware, “Tellingly, WatchGuard’s inaugural Internet Security Report found that some 30 percent of malware in Q4 was new, or ‘zero day.’ (Not to be confused with zero-day exploits.) In other words, one-third of malware identified wouldn’t be caught by legacy antivirus solutions,” according to PYMNTS.
Today’s enterprise is mobile, flexible and elastic. Many organizations utilize mobile apps for business applications, hire remote employees, use smartphones or tablets, store information in the cloud, communicate their data with multiple offices and employ contractors. All of these cases rely on access to data from any location. With all of these endpoints to cover, how can you best protect your assets?
Unsecured printing and imaging leads to security breaches, putting organizations at risk of costly lawsuits and public relations nightmares.
Today’s printers can connect to wireless networks, scan and send documents, store data on hard drives, and even produce 3D materials. They have many of the same capabilities—and the same vulnerabilities—as computers. As their features increase, so do the opportunities for security breaches in the printing process.
We recently shared five smart moves for IT leaders to focus on when creating an effective cybersecurity strategy. They included basic care like updating an employee security policy and avoiding physical theft, but they also covered monitoring digital footprints in order to thwart malicious insider threats. In this blog post we dive into some additional risks your organization may be facing, and what you can do to stop them.
In a complex technological world that faces an ever changing threat landscape, the team in charge of managing cybersecurity may find it difficult to know where to focus their often limited resources. Some areas, such as firewalls and operating system updates, are obvious priorities. But what else deserves your attention?
How good are your enterprise’s security defenses? Today’s hackers have access to an arsenal of tools for carrying out targeted attacks, thanks in part to an anonymous and hidden area of the internet called the Dark Web (also called Deep Web or Darknet). Payment for purchases made there is typically in the international digital currency Bitcoin, which offers a fairly high level of privacy.
For IT managers of today, the technology world is a constantly changing place, with many new changes popping up on an almost daily basis. Some of these disruptive new technologies include the expansion of advanced virtualization, new cybersecurity monitoring tools and the emergence of new cloud service delivery models, from a wide range of providers. Because of these disruptions in the IT world, the need for a robust backup and recovery strategy is greater than ever before.
Business can no longer afford for IT to be a cost center. In the ever-transforming economy of today, ideas are the new currency of business and IT is the ATM that will deliver them. It is not just about ideas though, it is about how fast you can bring those ideas into the market where they can bring value to customers and profits to business. Resources and customers gravitate to new ideas that bring value. In order for IT to take the lead in this new world, it must become faster and more agile. In order to do this, it must break the chains of the traditional data center that weighs it down and instead implement a new means of delivering and managing technology. That new system is Composable Infrastructure. It will allow IT to break free from the ordinary and accelerate the extraordinary, ensuring its new role as a value creation partner for the enterprise.
In today’s hyper competitive global economy, companies are constantly racing to convert ideas into value faster than their competition. As a result, IT is being asked to transform the data center infrastructure into a more fluid, flexible fabric that can perpetually evolve and adapt to new demands and opportunities. IT is expected to create and deliver new applications and services for mobile, social, and cloud technologies—and do so with shorter development cycles. On top of that, IT must still manage the traditional applications, data silos, and hardware while lowering the costs to do so. To say that today’s IT department has a full plate of responsibility is an understatement. The bar has indeed been set high today.
We’re proud to announce that our February clothing drive was a huge success! The WEI team collected 40 total boxes of new and gently used clothing items benefitting local organizations such as Lazarus House Ministries, Inc. and Progress Clothing, both based in Lawrence, MA. The clothing drive was part of WEI’s robust community outreach program and sustainability initiative, WEI StepsUP. Through WEI StepsUP, all WEI employees are able to donate 4 hours each month to volunteer at local non-profit organizations—all of which support the health and growth of our community. Each employee is offered the chance to donate up to 48 hours per year doing charity work.
For IT managers, the days of “just” keeping the data center up and running are about over. In IT today, it’s no longer just about managing and maintaining assets, and providing support for the back office. In this blazing-fast digital age where collaboration is king, IT is in a better position now more than ever to help drive key business initiatives and help businesses meet strategic goals.
Automation is a hot topic today. We read about autonomous cars and trucks that drive themselves over long distances, eliminating the consequences of human error and maximizing productivity as drivers can now focus on tasks that add far more value to their lives. We read about automated cooking robots that prepare the perfect burger or cappuccino every time for a steady stream of customers. Many of today’s network managers would appreciate more automation when it comes to managing their network. In fact:
Recently, we shared four items to consider when preparing your data center to move to the hybrid cloud. Read on to learn about additional tips for a hybrid cloud deployment.
Today’s IT Manager has to walk a tightrope. Management is saddled with the inherited role of supporting the traditional data center that remains built around an inflexible hardware-based infrastructure. At the same time, management and market pressures are compelling them to try to and transform this rigid environment into a modern data center—designed around flexibility, operational velocity and borderless adaptation. It is a quandary of duality that IT teams frustratingly have to deal with.
Douglas McArthur once said, “There is no security in this world, only opportunity.” That statement is more profound for the business climate of today than perhaps any time in history. There is no longer any security for a company regardless of its size, history or market share. There is also limitless opportunity for new ideas and innovation that can bring recognized value to customers. Ideas are the new substantive matter that has the potential to create or destroy entire industries. A new idea can yield unbridled success to its originator, and irrelevancy to its competitors. Welcome to the Idea Economy, a new age that Meg Whitman, CEO of HPE, says is defined by the ability to turn ideas into value faster than the competition.
The job of an IT professional is challenging, especially since strengthening cybersecurity is constantly a moving target. With attackers trying new approaches and getting stronger with their tactics every day, protecting an enterprise’s data and information is more crucial than ever before. How can you ensure you’re covering all of your security bases? Start with managing the most common security risks, which are described in this article.
The growth rate of the hybrid cloud seems to be living up to its hype. In fact, Forrester Research recently updated their growth prediction of the cloud market by 20 percent above their initial forecast three years ago. Their current estimate is an investment of $191 billion by 2020. As another example of this growth, as of January 2015, Microsoft Azure was storing more than 10 trillion objects, an increase of 6 trillion objects since July 2012.
The hybrid cloud is an excellent tool for enterprise, but like any new technology, there are some definite challenges when navigating unfamiliar waters as well as a few potential snags in the road that can delay, hinder or even potentially terminate your hybrid cloud implementation. Below are some of the potential missteps that you can avoid if you properly plot your transition in advance.
Has your organization identified an initiative to move to the hybrid cloud? Your data center likely isn’t ready to just be picked up and relocated; you’ll need to complete specific preparations before making the switch. Here are several items to check off your list before fully integrating hybrid cloud.
The pace of technological change and innovation continues to accelerate in today’s IT organizations. This includes the expansion of advanced virtualization and the emergence of new cloud service delivery models. Yet, despite such progress, the areas of backup and recovery remain underdeveloped at many organizations. Many business leaders struggle to contain rising backup costs, and have little faith in their current procedures’ ability to restore key systems and crucial data, especially in the wake of a real-time crisis or service disruption.
Many organizations are investigating a “Cloud First” approach with their applications; to save on costs of keeping physical hardware, they want to offload the majority of their IT infrastructures to one or more external providers. While that prospect may fully come to fruition at some time in the future, applications and cloud technologies still have much to develop and change before most organizations will be ready for such a wholesale move.
If you’re serious about making a successful move to hybrid cloud, now’s the time to make progress in each of these five areas.
We are always happy to share about our wins with our clients, customers and partners, especially since we could not achieve these recognitions without their support and valued business. Read on for a look at what the WEI team has accomplished in 2016.
Regardless of organizational size or industry, every company faces significant data and network security concerns today. Those concerns increase substantially for organizations that deal with protected or sensitive information in any way, including health, financial, or even basic customer data. The past decade has seen a growing number of both internal and external data security breaches in industries as diverse as healthcare, retail, entertainment, banking, and military contracting, and threats are unlikely to subside anytime soon. Organizations who act now to counter the threats of the future are the ones who have the best chance at protecting customers, employees, and brand reputations.
If you have had the chance to read any of the latest analyst predictions for 2017, then you will have noticed that security remains at the top of the list. So what will you do differently this year than in year's past? As you review your security strategies and revisit best practices this New Year, it’s important to reflect upon the past. We examined the top security threats last year in our white paper, Effectively Managing Cyber Security: Top 5 Enterprise Threats. Now read on to learn about the top five enterprise security threats to the confidential and proprietary information on your network -- that you must consider for this year.
How are your security protocols working? While most businesses are focusing on the type of software being used to keep cybercriminals out of the servers, Intel and its partners are working to change the face of security and working together to achieve better results.
There’s a new technology threat your organization should be cautious of in 2017 – it’s called whaling. Just like the practice of hunting a whale, cyber criminals use this technique to reel in a big catch by targeting top decision-making executives at enterprise organizations—and it works. If that doesn’t sound scary enough, many companies have experienced this threat in a very real way. Read on for a look into some high-profile, real-life whaling cases and their consequences.
Software defined storage (SDS) has the potential to revolutionize your business processes and drive extraordinary value. However, storage isn’t just measured by capacity. In our previous blog post, we laid out the example of thinking of your organization’s storage infrastructure like a virtual city: there are specific places designated for each type of data, from highly-utilized information to archives. Because of this, there is a true need for segmenting your resources; today, SDS is finally allocating true Automated Storage Tiering (AST) for enterprises. AST has created a natural and timely partnership with flash storage to offer the speed and performance that personal computing devices have enjoyed for years and many organizations are now considering all-flash based arrays to meet the demands of server virtualization.
There are a couple of reasons why organizations are slow to adopt software defined storage (SDS) when compared to its cousin, software defined networking (SDN). This is likely due to the concept of utilizing commoditized hardware. After all, if a switch goes down, it’s just a switch. If a RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) goes beyond the point of degradation, it’s your own valuable data, which is why enterprises have been willing to pay such absorbent costs on proprietary disk array devices that boast enormous levels of redundancy. In addition, some of the terminology frequently used to describe various aspects of SDS can be confusing.
Virtualization is the foundation for all Cloud based services, offerings, and changes to business operations and procedures. There are three (3) major areas in the data center where Virtualization exists to enable automation, auditing, and Cloud services. Let’s get started!
IT departments are undergoing a drastic change as more and more data is pushed to the cloud and new technologies arise. However, those departments are also being asked to do more with increasingly shrinking budgets. So, what’s the answer? Data center modernization, which will upgrade your server infrastructure while also increasing productivity and decreasing costs.
We recently discussed an emerging cyber threat called whaling, a new highly-targeted phishing tactic that’s threatening enterprises’ most valuable employees: the C-Suite. While whaling is similar to any other phishing or spam email scam, it’s a tactical approach that takes its time by targeting high-level executives by leveraging what seems to be legitimate business correspondence. How can you recognize a whaling attack before it infiltrates your organization? Read this post to get to know the common security risks.
There’s a new kind of threat to your enterprise, under the phishing and spam umbrella, and that danger is referred to as whaling. Specifically designed attacks target your most valuable team members, the boardroom executives, and infiltrate your enterprise to a scary extent. How can you avoid whaling? Read on for our cyber security threat briefing.
Several analysts have predicted a rise in the adoption of SDN and software-defined technologies in the years ahead. We stand by the prediction as our networking solution engineers often get asked about our experience implementing the market leading SDN solutions available today. Read through this example of how WEI assisted its customer with a data center relocation and consolidation project that was enhanced by the implementation of Cisco ACI -- which presents a new networking model that leverages policy-based networking.
Software defined storage (SDS) is a cost-effective way for companies to store their data in a safe cloud environment while freeing up space traditionally taken up by physical hardware. It can also provide a stronger level of data protection since cloud service providers (although their security policies vary) have a responsibility to care for customer data, per your service agreement. How can you determine if this fits into your organization’s budget? First, let’s dive into the circumstances that created a need for SDS
Networks are continuously undergoing some level of transformation and conversion to new technologies and bandwidth capabilities. It is the nature of the beast and one that data center managers are all too familiar with. However, IT leaders are facing increasing levels of required network alterations and conversions today due to several emerging trends:
As we look back at the year that was, one cannot ignore the growing prominence of Ransomware within the IT Security community. The dramatic surge of ransomware attacks has been outlined within headlines all across the country as cyber criminals continue to perfect this method of extortion in which no person or organization appears to be exempt from today.
Today it is all about the App. Industries can be created and toppled by a simple app residing on millions of devices throughout the world. The power and influence that applications have today on the global economy makes applications the new digital currency of the world. It is the mission of IT to keep the currencies of their organizations flowing and to protect the value of that currency. It is also imperative that IT structures are designed from the ground up with these applications in mind, not just to ensure their viability and reliability, but also providing the means to allow them to evolve and adapt to the needs of their customers.
The benefits of hyperconvergence are clear, as is the trend toward mainstream enterprise adoption. However, not all companies are on board with this new type of software-driven data center innovation. Because of technical and licensing challenges, larger companies are quicker to make the adoption than smaller businesses. The three main organizational groups can really benefit from this technology are:
There’s a lot of talk about SDN solutions today such as Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure. In fact, Cisco ACI is the industry’s most comprehensive software defined networking (SDN) architecture to date. By integrating ACI into IT operations, IT now has the ability to align IT services with business objectives and policy requirements. Achieving this organizational transformation can be a game changer for most any organization, allowing them to streamline their services at large and gain greater efficiencies and profit margins. Instead of serving its traditional role as a cost bucket, IT can become a leader, introducing and initiating value added projects that recognizably add to the profitability and success of the business.
In today’s digital world, every facet of an organization must become elastic and more flexible, especially the IT department. The Virtual Server Appliance (VSA) can be one of the most valuable tools in your technology arsenal. No matter how much money you throw at hardware, it will never be as elastic as software. Instead, your business can employ VSA, where the storage controller runs in a single virtual machine, which manages the storage directly attached to its host. A VSA is not an appliance, rather, it’s software. Read on for a look into this solution.
The digital transformation of our economy today has paved the way for multiple disruptors that are altering entire industries and markets. The induction of disruptive organizations such as Uber and Airbnb are introducing new paradigms that are threatening traditional business models and longtime industry leaders. There is one thing in common with disruptors such as these. They leverage assets. Whether it be a car or an extra bedroom, these two mentioned disruptors harvest additional value from these assets which in turn adds revenue streams. Suddenly a car is no longer an expense—it becomes a profit generating machine.
Searching for the best way to store your organization’s precious data and informational assets? Your storage infrastructure is incredibly important; in this article we discuss ways software defined storage (SDS) and the Virtual Storage Area Network (vSAN) can complement your strategy. The idea of separating your enterprise’s IT control plane from the data plane and running services over commodity hardware rather than custom proprietary hardware is not new; in fact, it can be quite beneficial.
Writer's note: Every Thursday in November and December, this blog will highlight the SDN solution, Cisco ACI. As market acceptance and adoption increases for SDN, IT professionals can count on WEI to fairly evaluate the market leading SDN solutions available today.
There is always a lot of buzz around the ‘next’ big IT infrastructure technology, but how much have you heard about hyperconverged infrastructure? It can be hard to sift through the articles and expert opinions for what is the next best solution for your IT environment, and we have seen this through the years, but hyperconverged is worth the look.
Have you heard about our technology partner VMware’s vRealize Suite for cloud and data center management? It’s the solution that enables hybrid cloud management and can help enterprises keep up with the growing IT demands of today’s digital business. One of the most valuable tools within the vRealize Suite is Automation, which is so powerful that VMware allows you to purchase it as its own standalone application. However you choose to use it, it offers the enterprise five fantastic benefits.
As a minority-owned business in Salem, NH, it has been a core tenet of our culture to embrace diversity in the workplace and support diversity in our community. Last week, at the National Minority Supplier Development Council Annual conference (NMSDC), WEI received the National Supplier of the Year award in the class IV category!
This highly coveted award helps solidify our position among an elite group of minority-owned businesses who are making a substantial effort in promoting the success that can be achieved when working with diverse suppliers.
Ever wondered how WEI maintains its competitive advantage as one of the most innovative technology solutions providers? Above and beyond our great, hardworking employees, we also have several state-of-the-art labs that help us determine the right solution for each client. Read on for an overview of our technology facility.
Adoption of hybrid cloud is on the rise. In looking at the results of the 2016 State of the Cloud Survey, there is strong growth in hybrid cloud adoption as public cloud users added private cloud resource pools. 77 percent of respondents are now adopting private cloud up from 63 percent last year. As a result, use of hybrid cloud environments has grown to 71 percent (Cloud Computing Trends: 2016 State of the Cloud Survey). Sure, the research speaks for itself, but given our experience building private clouds and hybrid cloud environments for our customers, we can certainly vouch for the validity of those stats. However, seeing the benefits of hybrid cloud come to fruition relies on the tool your company will use to manage it.
Ransomware is a flourishing IT threat, and one that can cost organizations thousands of dollars in lost data, ransomware repayments and security breaches. According to Marcin Kleczynski, the CEO of cybersecurity company Malwarebytes, "In the last six to 12 months, [ransomware] has just gone so aggressively to the business environment. We see companies from 25 people all the way to 250,000 people getting hit with ransomware."
We at WEI are pleased to announce that for the third time, we have been named to The Channel Company’s CRN Fast Growth 150 list, ranking at #84. This annual list is CRN’s coveted ranking of thriving North America-based technology integrators, solution providers and IT consultants who have accomplished gross sales of at least $1 million, and who have experienced significant economic growth within the IT channel over the past two years. The 2016 list is based on gains in gross revenue between 2013 and 2015, and the 150 companies recognized represent a total combined revenue of more than $25,637,241,944!
Not so long ago, many enterprises were reluctant to adopt cloud computing technologies or Anything-as-a-Service (AaaS), mostly due to the concerns about weak security and loss of data control. After all, the traditional approach to network security is heavily focused on protecting the physical network perimeter.
We’re pleased to announce we have been awarded the 2016 HPE US Partner of the Year award for VAR percentage growth by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). This is the second time we’ve been honored with this distinction, and both times the honor has been based on percentage growth. HPE shared a blog post announcing the winners; view it here.
We are proud to announce; for the third year in a row, we’ve been named to Business NH Magazine’s prestigious list of Top Family Owned Businesses by revenue. This year WEI ranked #2 on the list of Top Family Owned Businesses, up from #7 in both 2014 and 2015.
The information technology market is demanding software defined networking (SDN). It’s a whole new paradigm that is not only the next natural progression of networking, but a simple way for IT leaders to control their networking environment and keep up with the lightning-speed rate of technological change that the industry is facing. Ever increasing workloads, the need for a flexible environment and more robust business activities have IT leaders begging for a new way to manage them; this IT revolution (as we have coined it) is called software defined networking.
The news is filled with examples of companies being exploited by cybercriminals’ ransomware attacks, left with their information held hostage unless they pay a hefty fine. While you may think that ransomware can’t happen to your organization, or isn’t as widespread as it may seem, think again.
Surely you’ve seen rampant news reports of malware breaches and incidents of cyber hacking at enterprises around the world. From hospital hackings to financial services heists, digital criminal activity is a very real threat in today’s business climate. Read on for the details your enterprise needs to know about malware, in addition to three tips to protect your organization.
As an IT solutions provider dedicated to innovation and solving our client’s technology challenges, we are pleased to announce our recent recognition by CRN on the 2016 Solution Provider 500 (SP500) list. WEI was ranked at #93, and ranking within the Top 100 is a tremendous achievement.
In today’s data-driven world, nearly all businesses are conducting activities in a digital manner and can’t afford to lose their critical data and information. There are many ways a business continuity interruption can strike, including a malware or ransomware attack, human error or accident, a malicious insider or even a natural disaster. Instead of scrambling to pick up the pieces after such an unfortunate event, it’s best to create a solid disaster recovery (DR) strategy now.
We are pleased to announce that for the second year in a row, WEI has been honored by The Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (GNEMSDC) as the Supplier of the Year! This marks the fourth time WEI has won the award, and it solidifies our position among an elite group of minority-owned businesses in the New England area. We were generously nominated by CVS Health, who previously honored WEI with their 2015 Innovator of the Year award. Get the full scoop in the official press release.
If your organization is considering a move to cloud computing, but you are worried about signing up for the proper services for your company, consider test driving the offerings before you make the switch. A well-researched and properly planned cloud deployment is the best strategy for companies seeking to take advantage of this new technology to take, but IT pros may be concerned about potential speed bumps and setbacks.
In 2016, network security has been a topic of concern entering conversations in enterprise boardrooms across the world. With many recent high-profile hacks, security breaches and incidents of malware and ransomware, it’s no wonder organizations are quickly seeking strategies to beef up their security and avoid threats. Read on for five tips for improving enterprise network security.
The hardware-driven data center will soon be unsustainable. If you think that statement may be too bold, look at the latest commentary on the benefits of the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC).
According to VMware, “The next generation of data centers is clearly software-defined: all infrastructure is virtualized and delivered as a service, with control entirely automated by software. To fully realize the potential of the software-defined data center, all infrastructure disciplines must therefore be virtualized, and put under automated control. This creates a separate, more strategic motivation for software-defined storage.” Clearly, the hardware driven data center is well on its way to becoming an IT relic.
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) is more so a reality for IT leaders now than ever before. Evolving from a buzzword, many IT leaders have a roadmap that includes SDDC. According a research poll conducted by IDG, 42% of IT Decision Makers plan to move to an SDDC. As the hardware-driven data center proves itself insufficient to complete business processes and manage increasingly large and complex workloads for enterprises, the need illuminates itself further.
The concept of “software-defined” is not new, in fact we’ve been replacing hardware with software for a long time. Think about the alarm clock you used in the 90’s. If you wanted to set your alarm clock for 30 minutes earlier than usual you had to rotate through 23 and a half hours to set your new time. But that was normal. Fast-forward to now and your alarm can be turned on, off, or adjusted with a click of a button – right on your mobile device – replacing hardware with a software enabled device.
We’re honored to announce that CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, recently named WEI to their 2016 Solution Provider 500 (SP500) list; we were ranked at #93. This annual list honors an exclusive group of standout North American IT solution providers; we are recognized among the largest technology integrators, solution providers and IT consultants in North America by revenue, and are proud to have placed in the top 100.
Our valued customer, CVS Health, sets the bar high for corporate social responsibility, partly due to their commitment to supplier diversity in the supply chain. They recently released their 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, CVS Health’s Prescription for a Better World, which highlights the progress CVS Health has made in the past year in collaboration with their partners. We’re happy to be featured on page 106 of the report, which can be viewed here. CVS Health’s Office of Supplier Diversity awarded WEI with the 2015 Innovator of the Year Ruby Award in the Supplier and Business Partner category for our contributions to developing creative, innovative solutions to significant business challenges – and because WEI is a minority-owned business who is also committed to diversity in our workplace.