Overcoming the Organizational Challenges of Moving to the Cloud

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Posted By: 
Johan Milbrink, Sr. Director, Presidio Managed Cloud Services

Cloud technology is already changing how many organizations do business.  Flexible computing and storage resources in the cloud give businesses the ability to scale quickly to dynamic and seasonable demand with minimal capital investment.  Similarly, collaboration services enable employees to work together in wholly new ways to achieve higher efficiency and productivity.

For some businesses, one barrier to moving to cloud is the organizational challenges such a transition presents.  Building a hybrid cloud – that is, the blending of private on-premises resources with the public cloud – brings with it a different set of concerns.

For example, cloud shifts the role IT plays.  IT has become less about standing up your own data center and more about brokering services from a multitude of clouds.  This shift requires other shifts, such as how IT must rethink how it allocates financial, technical, and support resources. Moving to cloud also requires a different set of skills centered on cloud delivery (service catalog and user interface design), cloud governance (integrations, security, policy-based orchestration, cost management and optimization) and cloud operations (in-house versus using managed services). 

Security Holds the Key to Government Mobility

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Posted By: 
Eric Martinis, VP Federal, Presidio

If you live in the Washington DC area, you most definitely travel the George Washington Parkway. It’s a beautiful, scenic drive bordering the Potomac River on one side and the State of Virginia on the other. There are no shoulders and the vegetation is lush and green.

Along the route—just after the Key Bridge into Georgetown and before the on-ramp to the 495 beltway— there’s a sign that tells you the CIA building is close by. I’ve only seen it in movies because there are huge warnings that unless you are an employee, then you cannot exit. When I first moved to the area and had a Motorola flip phone, I noticed whenever I passed that through my calls would drop.

To this day, you know your call will drop at some point on the Parkway. It’s hard to tell (and no one will probably know) if it’s because of bad cell service or the CIA is somehow jamming drivers on their cell phones as they pass by. Hopefully, it’s the latter. Our three-letter federal agencies have the smarts to do just that.

As is the case with the CIA, mobility security is an increasingly hot topic for just about every government agency in the world. Everyone carries at least one smart device and most likely two or three. Multiply that by the amount of employees in your organization and things can get a little scary!  

Project Squared: Welcome to the New Digital Worldview (and It's Free!)

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By Josh Miller, Consulting Director Presidio

Cisco's highest-tech digital offering in five years -- Project Squared, which hit their Partner Summit in L.A. last week -- breaks digital boundaries by tapping into analog sensibilities. 

Yep. You read that right. 

Analog. 

Turns out, counter-intuitively -- and yet shockingly intuitive once the light bulb flashes on -- analog is the way to understand digital. 

I'd been seeing demos and hearing about Cisco's Project Squared for more than a year. Presidio was even selected as part of the Early Field Trial program to test and provide feedback on the tool before the launch. Even with that exposure, however, it wasn't immediately obvious how this app added anything to my life that made it worth my time. I already collaborate with my co-workers using Cisco Collaboration -- WebEx, Jabber, Telepresence -- every day.

Now it’s just days after the yearly Cisco Collaboration Partner Summit, where analysts, customers and partners come from around the world to hear Cisco's Collaboration vision for the next 12-18 months. The prime offering in the vision? That's right, Project Squared. 

Discovery Cloud Vision Comes to Baylor College of Medicine

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Posted By: 
Devon Buffington, Consulting Principal, Presidio

Many corporations face the challenge of keeping end-users satisfied with their company’s IT services while maintaining control over information that is critical to the success of their business. Baylor College of Medicine recently found themselves in a similar situation. Compounding these conflicting efforts, Baylor needed to negotiate and resolve issues around researcher grant funding (which is granted to a researcher or project) as well as solve for challenges plaguing the College itself. To position itself as a leader to both internal and external researchers and institutions, Baylor looked to its IT partner ecosystem, that includes Presidio, NetApp and Cisco, for a solution.

Baylor IT Leadership knew that researchers were using grant money to purchase “Shadow IT” for their research projects.  Cost, a lack of IT flexibility, response times, and ease of acquisition were all primary motivators. The CIO of Baylor, Alex Izaguirre, and his management team recognized they needed to respond, and that it would take changing the paradigm of IT Services at Baylor.

EMC Launches New Video Surveillance Storage (VSS) Offering

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Posted By: 
Raphael Meyerowitz, AVP, Data Center Technical Services, Presidio @raphmeyer with excerpts from EMC Press Release

Offers Lab-Proven Solutions to Simplify and Lower Surveillance Costs

This new offering will encompass Isilon at the core and a new highly customized VNX-VSS100 at the edge.   

Highlights:

  • Surveillance equipment market to reach $26B in 2018;  growing 2X faster than IT Market
  • Government, City Surveillance, and Transportation—will account for 58% of all VSS storage expenditures in 2018. See chart and examples below:

Compliance: The Why? What? and How?

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Posted By: 
Sean Walls, Director, Cyber Security Solutions

Compliance, what is it? The dictionary defines compliance as, “the action of obeying, or complying, to a wish or command.” In IT, we think of compliance as adhering to the rules placed on us by the government or industry, to better secure our intellectual assets and customer data. When we think of compliance we think of PCI, HIPAA, GLBA, FISMA, and so on. But if regulatory compliance is meant to help us protect our data, then why are so many “compliant” companies being breached? The answer is simple, “Compliance does not equal security”.

Compliance does not equal security.

Too often when a company has to meet some regulatory compliance requirement, they simply go through the motions, meet the rule, and have a false sense of security, thinking that because they are compliant they are secure. However, true security is much, much more, and compliance is just a small piece of the puzzle. Security is a process, which includes a cycle of continuously identifying risks, remediating (with technical and/or administrative controls), testing, monitoring, and reporting. And proper compliance is woven into the fabric of this process.

Presidio Participates in EMC's Total Client Experience Day

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Posted By: 
Raphael Meyerowitz, AVP, Data Center Technical Services, Presidio @raphmeyer with excerpts from EMC Press Release

On October 7th, Presidio participated in EMC's Total Client Experience Day - a day dedicated to reinforcing our industry's commitment to providing customers and partners with the very best experience in IT.  Raphael Meyerowitz sat down with EMC to share his insights on what customer experience means to Presidio.

How do you define the role of customer experience for your organization, and what have you done in the CX space that you are most proud of?

The Why, What, and How of Recovery Services in the Cloud

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Posted By: 
Mike McElaney | Director of Carrier Services, Presidio

The network cloud has become a very popular place. All kinds of services can be found there. Now add disaster recovery to the list. It turns out that cloud service features match customer requirements for backup and recovery solutions amazingly well. Stringent security and high availability in carrier-class cloud environments have been proven and accepted. So if you’ve been waiting on these features to look into cloud services for disaster recovery, the wait is over.

Cloud Service Benefits

Yes, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)—a subset of Recovery as a Service (RaaS)-- is booming because customers are feeling confident in the security and availability features in cloud infrastructures. But that’s just the beginning. DRaaS is also very popular because, as many individuals and companies that use cloud service providers have discovered, it’s much easier to leverage a professional data center environment that is built and maintained by someone else. You don’t have to buy and maintain your own infrastructure. And you can tailor your service package to exactly what you need when you need it. No need to over-buy. Pay-as-you-grow pricing can dramatically lower the costs of doing it yourself.

Disaster Recovery Options

LISP Tackles Device Identity Head-On

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Posted By: 
Carl Niger, Senior Consulting Engineer, Presidio

Sometimes new protocols or technologies come about and fly under the radar, other times they burst onto the scene. LISP, or Locator Identifier Separation Protocol, seems to have fallen firmly into the former of those categories. LISP has been around in IETF draft form since mid 2009, and is really an incredible protocol that solves a LOT of problems across a wide variety of applications. Presidio was fortunate enough to have a Cisco LISP expert present at the Presidio Exchange conference. 

At its core, LISP is about the separation of location from the identity of a device. Today we associate an IP address with a device, and when that device moves, it will almost certainly get a new address. In reality though, that device is exactly the same device, so why does it have a new identity? IP addresses are essentially a one dimensional identifier with no built-in provision to handle other aspects that also lead to the overall identity of a device. LISP addresses this seemingly simple problem, by allowing a device to retain their identity across any LISP enabled location. This fundamentally changes how user mobility, virtual machine mobility, and multihoming works across the greater internet, or within a private network. 

Practical Thinking about Cisco’s Latest UCS Announcements

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Posted By: 
Steve Miller, Solution Architect, Presidio TriState Area

In today’s software defined era, workloads, applications, and especially end users are demanding more performance than ever before and instant access regardless of where they are and what device they are using to access it.  With all the focus on software, workloads, applications, hypervisors, and “cloud,” it is easy for people to forget that the software has to run on an infrastructure.  The challenge in today’s world is to do more with less hardware while delivering more compute than ever before.

 

To meet the challenge, Cisco has evolved the UCS platform over time to include the right mix of technologies, form factors, and manageability.  Cisco continues that trend with the introduction of the 4th Generation UCS Blades, UCS Mini, and M-Series Modular Servers.

UCS Mini

While everyone was being told to consolidate everything into a single, massive datacenter, there were customers with remote offices, branch offices, or departments that couldn’t consolidate their server footprint.  Those customers can now deploy UCS Mini into those environments and still centrally manage those servers while keeping the compute close to the end users who need the performance.  For example, the new smaller UCS form factor allows retail customers to keep their POS in each store while managing it from headquarters.

UCS M-Series Modular Servers

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