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

Getting to the Cloud:  A Safer Approach with Cisco Cloudlock

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Apr 17, 2018 @ 12:51 PM

Many organizations have moved to the cloud in some fashion—yet security still remains a concern.  When asked about top security concerns with the cloud— data loss protection, data privacy threats, and confidentiality breaches are the top concerns.1 Yet, surprisingly, many CIOs don’t have solid plans on how to handle these concerns.  They rely on the cloud service providers themselves to guarantee their protection.  While major providers take great measures to protect themselves and you from breaches and data loss—the wise CIO should also take measures on their own end to guarantee the security of their cloud strategy.  Yet, surprisingly, only 27% of organizations plan to implement software to do this.1  With the potential risks the cloud may represent—and with more and more organizations adopting as-a-service solutions, you’d expect that to be higher.  Perhaps many don’t know there are perfect solutions available from recognized vendors like Cisco that can help guarantee their security.

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Cisco Cloudlock is a cloud access security broker solution that’s perfect for organizations using multiple cloud-based applications and moving their data to the cloud.  This solution tackles some of the most pressing cloud security concerns for CIOs such as user security, data loss prevention, and cloud app security. 

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Topics: Cisco, Cloudlock

Keep Your Eyes Open: Video Surveillance Can Be More Than Just Security with Cisco Meraki

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Apr 10, 2018 @ 09:21 AM

There’s a huge emphasis on cyber security—and rightly so in today’s world.  But an important part of a security stance for any organization should also be an emphasis of physical security for their business.  There are many ways to build a stronger security stance—from keycard entry systems to physical locks, and many of them are benefitting from technology advances.  One such field is the tried and true security camera.  They’ve been around for decades—but have come a long way since the closed circuit TV cameras.  Video surveillance is now more than just a security solution—advances in technology and analytics are helping cities, retail, and businesses have a more secure and effective physical environment. 

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One such camera and video surveillance system is the Meraki MV line, brought to you by Cisco Meraki, a combination of trusted names in networking and security.  This is a unique approach because it means Meraki’s wireless, switching, security, communications, enterprise mobility management (EMM), and security cameras can all be managed through a single, web-based dashboard.  That’s great news for the IT department who won’t have to figure out how to manage a completely new system and dashboard.  Let’s quickly look at some of the benefits of the Meraki approach. 

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Powering Up: Getting the Most out of Hyper-Convergence with Cisco and Zerto

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Apr 03, 2018 @ 10:15 AM

There’s little doubt that CIOs are interested in hyper-convergence.  In fact, according to IDC, hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions are the fastest growing segment in storage solutions today.1  The promise of hyper-convergence is simplifying the operation and management of on-premises infrastructure through custom-built appliances that combine compute, network, and storage functions - all united through virtualization. 

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The concept has been a glimmer in many a CIO eye for awhile now—but the application of HCI was often limited to specific use cases such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) initiatives.  However, the latest generation of hyper-converged solutions like Cisco ‘s Hyperflex has really expanded to be a scalable platform for databases, commercial applications, collaboration, file and print services, and more.1  That’s got enterprises of all sizes wanting to adopt HCI.

The real promise of a future-forward data center also needs to incorporate cloud, and many HCI vendors are partnering with both cloud-providers and software providers to build a total end-to-end software-defined data center that extends from the physical data center and out to the cloud.  One such vendor that’s providing valuable multi-cloud integration with HCI solutions is Zerto. 

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Topics: Cisco, Zerto, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

Upping Your vSphere Game: What’s New in vSphere 6.5?

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Mar 27, 2018 @ 10:29 AM

As the end of general support for both vSphere 5.5 and vSAN 5.5 approaches in this fall—many CIOs and IT directors are wondering if upgrading to the latest version of vSphere is a wise move beyond just the comfort of running a supported version of the product.  After all—VMs are pretty standard fare for data centers today.  What can a new version of vSphere really offer?

Connect with Clearpath - Upgrade to vSphere 6.5

First of all—many people are hailing vSphere 6.5 as the most beneficial upgrade in years, and customers are moving it into production environments at an unprecedented rate.  The impending end of general support only accounts for some of that production adoption—the remainder resides in the strengths and benefits of vSphere 6.5.  In fact—vSphere 6.5 if the foundation of VMware’s hybrid cloud strategy moving forward—and is required for cross-cloud architectures.  This fact alone may account for its rapid adoption, but let’s explore a bit further.

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Topics: VMware, vSphere, vSphere 6.5, vSphere Upgrade

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.

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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?

Contact Clearpath's VMware Licensing and Professional Services Team

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

Mobility

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

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