Clearpath’s Blog on IT Infrastructure, Hybrid Clouds and IT Security

Getting the Most Mileage Out of Your Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI) Solution

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Mar 20, 2018 @ 09:44 AM

While many organizations are moving toward hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) models for a variety of reasons, there are some areas that need to be considered when mapping out your own storage solution with an HCI approach.

Contact Clearpath's VMware Licensing and Professional Services Team

First of all—there are two main driving forces toward HCI: cost savings and efficiency gains.  Many software-defined HCI storage solutions are designed to run  on commodity hardware, which means many organizations can either repurpose existing hardware or purchase lower-cost commodity x86 compliant storage – and let the hypervisor layer determine the storage operation and function—something typically done by bare-metal, storage specific hardware that was often proprietary.  With solutions like VMware vSAN demonstrating 50% cost savings over industry-leading proprietary equipment—it’s no wonder CIOs are looking towards HCI as a storage solution of the future. 1

The efficiency gains promised by HCI storage solutions come mainly in increased storage performance and reductions in operating expenses.  A large part of this savings comes from the common management and administration of a virtualization platform that covers all three pillars of the traditional data center: compute, storage, and network.  However, the interweaving of all components of the data center into a hyper-converged infrastructure also means IT departments need to take careful note of how the network and the storage will interact.

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Topics: VMware, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure, vSAN, HCI

Hyper-Converged Infrastructures, Storage Virtualization, or Software-Defined Storage: Is There a Clear Path Ahead?

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Mar 13, 2018 @ 10:06 AM

The move to hyper-converged infrastructures (HCI) is on! 

However, many CIOs hit the brakes when it comes to knowing how to implement HCI initiatives and not wreck the IT budget.  Certainly—one doesn’t want to replace all the existing equipment in the data center with converged infrastructure appliances all at once.  Is there a way to use existing infrastructure and still take advantage of hyper-convergence and software-defined infrastructure while planning for equipment replacements down the road?

The simple answer is YES.  And by building on existing infrastructure and leveraging commodity x86 equipment—CIOs can experience significant CapEx savings compared to hardware replacements.  Certainly CIOs’ ears prick up when they hear figures of nearly 50% savings,1 but what does this mean for an IT department?  Are there any other advantages to creating a virtual SAN now versus just waiting to implement HCI appliances as hardware refresh cycles come due?

It is critical that differences between software-defined storage (SDS) and storage virtualization be understood.  While there is some overlap between the two—an ideal solution combines both SDS and storage virtualization for maximum benefit to the organization.

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Topics: VMware, vSphere, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure, vSAN, HCI

Clearpath Reaches Elite 150 Category in CRN’s 2018 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Wed, Feb 21, 2018 @ 11:18 AM

Clearpath Solutions Group announced today that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Clearpath to its 2018 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Elite 150 category. This annual list recognizes North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services. Clearpath's offerings help companies navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of IT, improve operational efficiencies, and maximize return on investments.

In today’s fast-paced business environments, MSPs play an important role in helping companies leverage new technologies without straining their budgets or losing focus on their core business. CRN’s MSP 500 list shines a light on the most forward-thinking and innovative of these key organizations. The MSP Elite 150 category recognizes large, data center-focused MSPs with a strong mix of on-premises and off-premises services.

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Topics: News & Updates

Protect Where Your Data Lives: EMC Data Domain Cloud Tier

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 @ 10:46 AM

No matter where it lives, data needs to be protected, and as the data protection landscape continues to evolve, the amount and variations of data that need to be protected is evolving as well. With these changes, companies cannot afford to secure sensitive information as previously done in the past. Today’s businesses are faced with explosive data growth, strict retention policies and the pressure to reduce costs. Low-cost, high-capacity object storage in the public, private and hybrid cloud is the way to address these challenges.

Contact Clearpath's Dell EMC Professional Services Team

Dell EMC Data Domain deduplication storage systems can solve many of the challenges that companies experience with traditional backup, archive, recovery and replication processes.  Combining high-speed, variable-length deduplication with local compression, Data Domain systems write only unique data to disk.  Deduplication technology reduces disk capacity requirements and overhead, while increasing accessibility and reliability, and makes Data Domain systems a cost-effective alternative to tape.

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Topics: Data Domain, Deduplication, Data Storage, Data Protection, Dell EMC

Your First Line of Defense in Today’s Mobile World: VMware NSX and AirWatch® Secure Mobile Device Management

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Feb 06, 2018 @ 09:48 AM

There’s no doubt that your enterprise is consistently looking toward greater security, especially in the face of today’s BYOD trend, which seems to present a whole new set of threats as you aim to defend your business, operations, and clients. 

People bring their own devices to work--- and despite everything, they want to use those personal devices on corporate or government networks.  And the reverse happens as well: employees want to use company-issued mobile devices to work from home or while on-the-move.  Given that the majority of end-point users have no idea what mobile device hygiene means, employees who either take the BYOD approach or use corporate devices outside the firewall are putting their organizations at risk.

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Topics: VMware, VMware NSX, VMware airwatch

Windows 10, Office 365, and Adopting the Digital Workspace: VMware Workspace™ ONE™

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Jan 30, 2018 @ 09:43 AM

One of the biggest initiatives CIOs everywhere are talking about is enabling the digital workspace.  While this may mean many different things, depending on who you talk to—a few common threads usually join all definitions:  mobility, application/platform modernization, and secure access. Let’s look at those three specific areas and how you might tackle them with a single platform solution, in order to effectively deliver the digital workspace to your business.

Contact Clearpath's VMware Licensing and Professional Services Team


There’s no doubt the BYOD revolution is underway.  By some accounts—nearly 40% of all U.S. consumers who work for large enterprises use a personal device daily for work.1  That number will probably continue to rise as workers put more and more pressure on IT to bring their own devices.  In fact, 78% believe that using a single mobile device for data access helps them to balance their lives.2  The days of carrying around two cell phones (one for work and one for personal) are dwindling fast.

But what does this mean for IT?  Basically, IT needs a unified endpoint management (UEM) solution that allows for liberal use of personal devices while still maintaining the security and compliance of the business.  Easier said than done, of course.  However, one approach is to both minimally manage the device itself, yet control access through application virtualization and access control from a common framework.  Luckily—VMware excels at all three with Workspace ONE.

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Topics: VMware, WMware Workspace ONE

It’s No Fairy Tale: Building Your Hybrid Cloud Just Got Easier with VMware Cloud on AWS

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Jan 23, 2018 @ 10:38 AM

Remember that old fairy tale called Jack and the Beanstalk?  Some magical beans grew a giant vine reaching all the way up to the clouds where great rewards and even greater dangers awaited our unsuspecting hero.  Many enterprises may feel the same way about moving to the cloud.  Sure, there are promised rewards—but how to minimize those giant risks?

Contact Clearpath's VMware Licensing and Professional Services Team

Chances are you are already doing virtualization today, and probably using VMware vSphere.  Virtualization is a great step in expanding and optimizing the computational power of your physical machines.  Consider that planting those magic beans.  But it’s only part of the story.  Smart CIOs and IT directors know even more CAPEX savings and OPEX efficiencies can be had by expanding virtualization to other areas of their data centers - namely storage and networking.  Running a software defined data center gives you greater savings, better efficiencies, and more security, and is a great step towards expanding into the cloud.

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Topics: VMware, AWS, VMware AWS, Hybrid Cloud

Cisco Meraki Switches Expand Product Offerings

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 @ 01:58 PM

Cisco Meraki products are 100% cloud managed - It’s IT that simply works. The new portfolio of networking devices is feature-rich with easy-to-use cloud architecture that enables your company to solve new business problems and reduce operating costs. Cisco recently announced the expansion of the Meraki portfolio to include more options and price points to meet the needs of even more customers in this highly-specialized market. These easy to use and powerful switches provide the backbone for networks of all sizes. They combine secure, scalable, robust performance with an elegant, intuitive management experience. Below, we outline the best features of two new Meraki models.

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Topics: Cisco, Meraki Access Points, Cloud-managed, Meraki, Meraki Switches

Is Your Data Ecosystem Fully Protected? Dell EMC Integrated Data Protection Appliance can help!

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Wed, Dec 20, 2017 @ 01:30 PM

 Today’s businesses simply will not survive without protecting the endless amounts of data generated from a growing ecosystem of applications. Finding a comprehensive, powerful and scalable solution can seem daunting, time-consuming, costly and complex. 

Contact Clearpath's Dell EMC Professional Services Team

Complete data protection typically requires building a piecemeal solution. Companies need multiple point products, such as backup storage, backup software, backup servers and search servers from a variety of vendors. Will these multi-vendor products handle data management across private, public and hybrid cloud? Will they meet the strict, always-changing government/and or compliance standards?

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Topics: Security, Data Protection, Dell EMC, Backup Servers, Backup Solution

How Cisco Meraki Access Points Enable Your Mobile Workforce

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 @ 10:26 AM

It may be hard to believe, but there are currently more mobile devices in circulation than the global population.1 Mobile usage has proliferated and its use now exceeds that of desktops. Mobile devices and phones are now indispensable business tools, so it comes as no surprise that mobility has become a key priority for enterprises.

Contact Clearpath's Cisco Professional Services Team

To adapt to this shift, organizations need to support a greater range of devices and adjust their IT strategy to meet the demands of the increasingly mobile workforce. Yet the advances in technology required to enable mobile workers are making it more difficult for administrators to efficiently manage access, security and traffic policies for all of the clients on their networks across multiple work sites.

The key to solving this problem lies in centralized network management and control – removing as much of the manual work as possible by creating ways to dynamically and intelligently manage network connections and access points. A lean IT team that manages many different locations needs a secure, stable and simple solution.

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Topics: Cisco, Meraki Access Points

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