Companies live in an environment today in which the “time to value” is diminishing constantly. In order to attain continuous profitability, IT managers and their staffs must focus on strategic value added projects rather than dissipate their time with routine maintenance of the existing infrastructure. Multiple studies point out that routine maintenance is currently consuming as much as 80% of IT budgets. Simply put, IT Managers must find a new paradigm that can deliver their organization to the promised land.
Posts by Greg LaBrie
Data center architectures have continually evolved to meet the needs of mobile, social, big data, and cloud applications--and enterprise security solutions have evolved as well to support the new security needs of these applications in distributed data centers.
With an increasing number of enterprises investing in digital transformation and the software defined data center (SDDC), IT leaders are getting accustomed to managing overwhelming large volumes of data and business applications. With this shift, network security is proving to be a foundational (and required) layer when it comes to building the data center needed to drive business of today.
With the rise of digital transformation in today’s modern workplace, traditional Wide Area Network solutions are unable to keep up with enterprise demands. A growing number of organizations are moving their data and applications to a cloud environment, which means they are increasing their bandwidth use - resulting in network congestion and rising costs, as well as growing security concerns. It is for these reasons SD-WAN (software defined wide area network) is a compelling and attainable alternative; however, most SD-WAN solutions are not as secure as enterprises need them to be, with add-on security offerings that pose a risk by creating a fragmented solution.
With the expansion of the Internet of Things, the BYOD movement and emerging wireless technologies, you may be realizing its time to invest in a more modern approach to networking security in order to stay competitive, and secure, in the global environment.
The truth is that data center management has never been more challenging, and it’s only getting harder. Increased data center complexity produces an alarming rate of challenging problems. Complex infrastructure issues are impossible to effectively manage with traditional analytics and support methods. Conventional tools aren’t smart enough to recognize why complex problems occur and how to resolve them. Data centers are unable to run at optimal levels with excessive manual tuning and guesswork. Fortunately, there is a new tool for the data center.
When it comes to upper level executives and their IT security teams, there seems to be a disconnect when it comes to the level of support IT needs to protect the enterprise. In order to better prevent a security breech from happening, it’s important that the C-level executives are aware and on the same page with your enterprise security team. Only 12% of C-suite executives expect a major, successful attack on their organization in the next 90 days. In addition, two out of five CEOs, other C-level executives, and non-executive directors feel they are not responsible for the repercussions of a cyber-attack. Any breech that is caused by the void between these important roles has serious costs associated with them.
Some things are meant to be together. Think of your favorite foods like peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, bacon and eggs. When it comes to IT, one can argue that the partnership between HPE and Arista is meant to be as well. In today’s datacenter in which the traditional worlds of computer, storage, and cloud fuse together, this collaboration between these two innovative giants is melding the world’s leading servers and storage with high-performance networking solutions into a single deliverable platform. Together they are collaborating to create new architectural best practices designed to take enterprises to the cloud. The result is the ability to scale large cluster growth, lower costs, and drive high compute efficiencies. Their shared vision of delivering secure Hybrid IT solutions built on industry-leading software defined infrastructure is indeed one that can help in a world in which change is the only constant.
We want our data and we want it now! That is the mantra of Enterprise Storage today. Businesses today are data driven and as part of the digital transformation process, companies are finding innovative uses to utilize their data. Those companies that can best employ their data to spur greater innovation will achieve a competitive edge over their competitors.
Wi-Fi has come a long way since it was first introduced. Originally, wireless connectivity was used for basic services such as checking email, but technology has changed and more devices now connect to wireless networks in order to perform their job tasks. With this evolution of the workplace, Wi-Fi has needed to adapt to support the growing number of devices and applications. How can Wi-Fi meet the needs of the modern workforce?
Over the years, the public cloud has been promoted as the panacea of innovation and reduced costs where companies could host their network infrastructure and service their workloads. In doing so, many companies have found out that not everything is ideally suited for the cloud. Latency prone applications, data sovereignty, and security compliance are just some of the challenges that have reduced the luster of the public cloud recently. As a result, two-thirds of enterprises are scaling back or discontinuing their use of public cloud services and shifting workloads to on premises private and/or hybrid cloud environments.
Chances are since you were a kid you were fascinated by speed, whether it be athletes, cars, or planes. Speed is impressive—especially in the modern cloud-first data center architectures of today. It is expected. The legacy single gigabit network infrastructure of yesteryear is over. Increased adoption of 10 Gigabit Ethernet servers coupled with applications using higher bandwidth is accelerating the need for dense 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet switching. In fact, it is no longer unusual to see hosts generating 10Gbs of traffic or find 25/40 gigabit Ethernet switches at the edge of today’s enterprises. In fact, according to a study in 2017, the combined market for 25Gbe and 100GbE will account for over half of all data center Ethernet switch shipments by 2021. Shipments of 100Gbe switches reached 1.3 million ports and $661 million in revenues in the fourth quarter of 2017 for the U.S. alone. In Hollywood, sixty may be the new fifty, but in today’s datacenter, twenty-five is the new ten.
When discussing the ongoing digital transformation that companies are implementing on a global basis, enterprise architects articulate the benefits of hybrid IT and the software defined data center. The process of digitizing business services and delivering them through highly scalable redundant multi-cloud ecospheres is generating agility and flexibility that companies need to compete in a hyperactive competitive global world. However, the necessity to harness new technology is not restricted to enterprise infrastructure only. Just as the makeup of the data center is transforming itself, the nature of work itself is also changing.
The digital landscape is changing at a rapid pace, and with change comes an increase in the need for cybersecurity measures that protect businesses. Although technology is providing exciting opportunities, it also brings with it challenges that enterprises must learn to overcome.
What was once a far-fetched dream, the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile devices, have permeated our lives, personally and professionally. In order to compete, enterprises must acknowledge this shift and implement infrastructure that supports it.
What exactly is digital transformation and how can an enterprise benefit from it? That is a top question among executives, and for good reason. According to a 2017 IDG Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker Study, 72 percent of IT Decision Makers reported their organization is still exploring a digital first approach.
Mobile devices, cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) are changing the way industries, including higher education, conduct business. Two major benefits to mobile-first technology strategy include the ability to provide more flexibility and promote collaboration between individuals – two main points of interest for the millennial generation entering the workforce.
gnIn Part 1 of this blog series, we discussed the unprecedented amount of money being allocated to cybersecurity in the coming year and beyond, as well as how money, without a core foundational strategy, could be simply money that is tossed to the wind. In Part 2, we will look at the remaining three of the five core principles that can make a meaningful difference concerning the your enterprise cybersecurity and users.
It is the start of a new year - that time in which we break down the complexities of life into more manageable elements in order to strategize for the year ahead and attempt to improve upon our efforts of the year prior. This also applies to your company’s enterprise cybersecurity strategy. According to Gartner, worldwide cybersecurity spending reached $90 billion in 2017.
With the advancement in technology, employees are no longer stuck working at their desk in order to access the information they need to do their jobs. This freedom allows greater flexibility and productivity, but it also opens the door for enterprise cybersecurity threats and the potential for unauthorized access to proprietary information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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. [click to tweet] Some areas, such as firewalls and operating system updates, are obvious priorities. But what else deserves your attention?
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. [click to tweet]
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.
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.
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. [click to tweet] 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.
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.
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.
Software Defined Networking is a revolution that is now upon us; and whenever a revolution occurs, consistent with human nature, there is always a hearty dose of revolt first. Revolt to new ideas and concepts shows up consistently in our human history, with IT being no exception.
Are you considering migrating to software defined systems to automate just about everything in your infrastructure? A software defined system uses software to automate and virtualize the main components of your IT architecture: Compute, Networking, and Storage. There are a number of benefits of software defined technology and today we will highlight five major benefits—we call them the 5 A’s.
Software Defined Networking is a new paradigm. One that is emerging in data centers around the world. It is not simply because it is the next natural progression of networking, but rather the market is demanding a modernized infrastructure to keep up with the pace of technological change. Let’s explore 3 (although there are several) market drivers begging for the salvation that SDN provides.
At WEI we are always looking for new and comprehensive solutions to meet our customers’ changing security needs. According to Symantec’s 2015 Internet Threat Report, the number of ransomware attacks by cyber criminals more than doubled between 2013 and 2014. What can businesses do to avoid this? One piece of your comprehensive security puzzle should be to focus on network segmentation.
Software defined networking (SDN) has emerged as a versatile, budget-friendly and dynamic architecture that allows IT managers to respond quickly to business demands and manage cloud networks in a central environment. It’s a new revolution in IT that can help propel your business ahead of the competition and deliver an impactful change. Surely you’ve seen that SDN can provide many benefits, but like any new IT project, you should make sure you are well-versed in the approach before deploying a new strategy.
Every few years a new encryption algorithm is released by an IT solutions provider to ensure your data stays safe. Hardware keeps improving, making older encryption algorithms easier to break. Thus, new encryption mechanisms are needed to keep your systems and data safe.
IT leaders have worked hard to keep their networks safe. With the right systems, solutions and policies in place, the concern about data security should diminish, right? Not exactly. Plenty of companies have gone above and beyond to secure their networks, although it seems that a breach is inevitable given that so many major corporations and brands have been compromised in the past few years. Hackers continue to evolve and so must a company’s security strategy.
Newscasters seemed rattled by the news last week that Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid hackers $17,000 in Bitcoin to regain access to a key system.
This is no surprise for security insiders. Ransomware for enterprises is a top trending threat. In fact, the center’s ransom pales in comparison to the $123,000 in Bitcoin demanded from a New Jersey school district in 2015; the district decided instead to rebuild systems from backups.
Security analysts say that anywhere from 3 to 40 percent of ransomware victims pay up. The FBI, the agency responsible for investigating ransomware, has no way to help. Instead, the FBI recommends paying the ransom if the victim has no unaffected backup from which to restore files. Several police departments have paid ransoms.
Are you concerned about the security of your business’ data in the cloud? You aren’t alone. While cloud computing offers many advantages (several of which include security benefits,) it also can be seen as a gray area for IT pros who are seeking full and secure control of their data. Read on for four data security tips for your business' information in the cloud.