Data is the new currency. What’s in your wallet?

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Posted By: 
Brian Feeny

The Big Data Opportunity

It is very apparent that data has emerged as the most valuable asset of companies.  For years’ companies have spent countless dollars securing it, transporting it, storing it, organizing it and even visualizing it.  For over five years straight Data has been at the top of Gartner’s top initiatives for CIO’s. [1]   Contrast this with Networking/Voice/Data Communications which is #10.  Data is in fact ahead of cloud, mobile, security and more.   This whole train got moving after Thomas Davenport of Harvard published the article “Competing on Analytics” in 2006.  The article described how businesses have discovered data as the most valuable asset and will now start competing based on data using the term he coined “Data Driven Decision Making.”

How secure is your business? Do you have a plan?

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Posted By: 
Joe Leonard

We’ve all attended security seminars and we frequently hear the general question, “How secure is your business?”  It seems like a very general question until you start to take a look at what is involved to secure an organization.  How do I develop a plan?

Some of the general factors I evaluate to help develop the plan to secure a business:

  • Understand attack vectors into my business
  • Disruption Technology
  • Organization Cyber Security Capabilities

Attack Vectors

Today’s attack vectors into an organization have changed.   Over the past 6 months, we have witnessed attacks that we never thought were possible.   Over 25,500 CCTV hacked in 105 countries generating DDoS attacks on customers.    Ransomware locking hotel guests out of their rooms for payment.   Data centers are under attack with over 1Tb of traffic.    Customers are victims of ransomware at an alarming rate.   Phishing attacks are exposing how weak our overall cyber security strategy is to combat these attacks.

Thank You to Our Employees

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Posted By: 
Bob Cagnazzi

To the Presidio Employees,

I’ve been reflecting on our listing as a public company and wanted to again say congratulations to each and every one of you who made this milestone possible. It was a testament to the 14 years of dedication and the hard work of each and every one of you. I’m proud how the legacy companies acquired since 2005 have melded together the best of their cultures to form the Presidio family. And I’m delighted Presidio is a place that new people want to make their home.

We’re delivering tremendous value to each of our clients who are increasingly challenged by how to best navigate technology complexity and implement the ever growing number of innovative solutions available to them. Our ability to go public shows the market clearly sees this value. However, this is just a step on our journey of expansion and evolution. We have a lot of work ahead of us as we continue to help our clients make the best IT investments to support their future – a future that is connected, cloud-agile, data-rich and secure.

The day was a truly humbling experience, like no other I have ever had and I was so glad to see on Twitter how each of you were celebrating in our offices! There are several moments and reflections on the process that I wanted to share.

CYBER SECURITY: HOW TO KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW

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Posted By: 
Joe Leonard

In the pursuit of digital transformation, organizations are connecting more devices and people than ever. In turn, they move immense volumes of data over increasingly virtualized networks and clouds. This unprecedented level of exposure coincides with new and constantly evolving attack vectors. It is crucial to understand and address the risks.

In the race to connect more devices to the network, often little attention is paid to building in sophisticated security protections. After all, who would suspect that their medical device or smart thermostat could be turned into a weapon of cybercrime? Yet, according to Gartner, approximately 6.4 billion devices will be IoT-connected in 2016 – and that number is growing. Not to mention an even greater number of smartphones, tablets, and computers in the hands of mobile-connected employees susceptible to phishing via email, text, and social media.

Nutanix Announces Support for Cisco UCS Servers

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Posted By: 
Clay Godshalk, Senior Solutions Architect; Raphael Meyerowitz, AVP DC Services; Vinu Thomas, Chief Technology Officer

Nutanix announced today that its software is now fully supported on Cisco UCS servers. Highlights of this include the support of two modes:

  • Managed Mode: Connects UCS C220 or C240 servers to Fabric Interconnects. All automated upgrades will still occur via Prism. UCS Manager will manage the service profiles associated with the servers. Customers will be able to leverage an existing set of FI’s if they are running 3.1 code.
  • Standalone Mode: Connects UCS C220 or C240 servers to 10GbE switches. All automated upgrades will still occur via Prism.

Why Nutanix on Cisco UCS?

Driven by customer-demand, there’s been strong demand for Nutanix Software on Cisco UCS. These collaborative efforts predate the announcement of Cisco HyperFlex (Springpath on Cisco UCS). Cisco UCS innovations around architecture, performance, unified fabric, network innovations and management have guaranteed its success in an increasingly-virtualized landscape.

Spark Integration Services (The Bots Are Coming)

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Posted By: 
Jeremy Combs, Collaboration Team Lead

What Are Bots?

Chat bots have been around since the ‘early days’ of the Internet.  I remember using them in mIRC, ICQ and AOL Instant Messenger in the late 90’s in my high school days.  Admittedly, I had no vision about their future potential and just thought they were cool. At the time, I was more interested in the network than the bots.

IoT and Artificial Intelligence

I believe, what returned chat bots to the headlines is the Internet of Things (“IoT”), the evolution of Enterprise Chat, thanks to companies such as Slack and WeChat, and improvements to Artificial Intelligence (“AI”). Facebook and Microsoft have both introduced bot support into their platforms, with Cisco going further and offering a $150 Million Cisco Spark Innovation Fund to help developers integrate their services into the Spark platform. 

Technical Summary: EMC Unification with Unity

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Posted By: 
Srinivas Pokuri, Presidio Principal Datacenter Architect; Raphael Meyerowitz, AVP

EMC Unification with Unity

Presidio, a leading IT solutions provider, helps clients utilize the technologies crucial to their digital readiness, including communications and network solutions, mobility, collaboration, data center, hybrid cloud, cyber security, and internet of things.

Presidio has worked with EMC storage arrays for over 10 years, recently testing the new EMC Unity™ Family of midrange storage systems.  The EMC Unity array is a  “true” unification of the File and Block protocols with full VMware VVOLs support that comes with simplified hardware installation and all-inclusive software – all in 2U. Unlike EMC VNX systems where there are Management Control Stations and Data Movers to contend with for file services, the EMC Unity array removes this complexity and unifies controllers serving both File and Block, hence being called “true” unification.

In working with our clients, we see these trends driving demand for unified storage:  big data applications, data lakes and hybrid cloud data centers. All of these require multiprotocol storage systems that can accommodate all types of data efficiently, which EMC Unity system provides. IT professionals are looking for storage solutions that deliver more density and performance at an affordable price, plus simplicity and reliability.

Enabling Innovation with Next Generation Neworks: Cisco Networking Fundamenals Series

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Posted By: 
Mark Breedlove, Cisco Territory SE, Cisco Networking Fundamentals Creator

With the rapid developments of technologies and trends, it is more critical than ever to grow your networking skills to be equipped to manage the changing demands placed on infrastructures.  Understanding how your network operates and how to design a scalable, resilient infrastructure to support any architecture are important components of this necessary foundation. 

The 3rd Annual Cisco Networking Fundamentals Series is a great way to kick-start or refresh your knowledge of Cisco Network, while connecting with your peers from across the country over the course of four weeks. Using Cisco Telepresence Solutions, the series leverages Cisco and Presidio experts across participating Presidio South* region to present and moderate the sessions. The first session is quickly approaching on May 4 – there’s still time to register!

Last year’s sessions had almost 1,400 attendees, eager to grow their knowledge and technical acumen, learning from the expertise of local Presidio and Cisco engineering teams. This year, we will focus on expanding the technology and skills needed to become a better engineer and build confidence in troubleshooting and designing solutions.  From initial device setup, spanning tree and routing to network design and best practice discussions with your peers, there is value to be gained!

Roundup: Cisco Spark and Tropo Coding Camp & Hackathon with Presidio

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Posted By: 
Gaurav Singhal, Principal Consultant, Collaboration, Presidio

Cisco Spark and Trop Coding Camp and Hackathon

Presidio hosted its first Coding Camp/Hackathon April 15-16 in Atlanta, GA, focused on how to utilize new collaboration technologies from Cisco Spark and Tropo Cloud Services. Attendees from various organizations – including collaboration engineers, developers, clients, and students – gathered to learn from Spark and Tropo experts from both Presidio and Cisco.

Cisco Spark is Cisco’s latest Collaboration service that creates secure virtual rooms for teams and enables streamlined messages and calling.

Tropo is an API platform that allows customers to build cloud-based phone and SMS applications, making it simpler to automate communications.

Cisco Spark Coding Camp Day 1 Roundup

Presidio kicked off the event with coding 101 lessons for those new to coding. The Cisco experts on site explained how applications can be built to interact with Cisco Spark and Tropo. Attendees of all levels in the class were able to build basic apps as the instructors showed them how to use a variety of tools.

The room buzzed with questions and ideas as participants quickly gained an understanding of what they could do with the robust set of Cisco Spark and Tropo APIs. As a bonus, some of our Presidio engineers shared interesting integrations they have built.  Watch one of the cooler demonstrations in action as Ted the Bear reads Spark Messages! 

Hyper-Converged Infrastructures: A Review of Market Leaders

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Posted By: 
Ramesh Rao, Data Center Solutions Architect

Hyper-Converged Infrastructures

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) is a tightly-coupled compute, network and storage solution that dispenses with the need for a traditional storage solution. In most cases, traditional storage environment can complicate management, maintenance, expansion and problem solving, as it requires communications involving multiple vendors. While reducing the complexity and increasing the operational efficiency, HCI bridges the gap by addressing the need for automation and simplification, and can also provide advanced storage management functions like backup, recovery, replication, deduplication and compression.

HCI can offer agility, simplicity, scalability, automation, high availability, self-healing, cloud readiness and security. HCI supports any workload at any scale, allowing you to manage your global cluster from a single pane of glass. It reduces not only the footprint in Data Center, but also the storage space required for data. By simplifying the infrastructure, upgrade and expansion can often be accomplished with zero downtime. While HCI solutions often require either three or four nodes to establish data redundancy and begin a cluster, almost all solutions will allow you to grow in single server increments. This enables a “pay-as- you-grow” solution that eases the financial burden for an organization with growth patterns that fluctuate or can be unpredictable.

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