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Cisco's Digital Network Architecture (DNA): The Software-defined Future is Happening Now

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Thu, Jun 21, 2018 @ 12:47 PM

If anything is true in IT, it’s constant change.  Every few years—a new evolution happens.  While there are always incremental improvements in technologies such as chip designs, network speeds, and storage technologies, sometimes these small changes synergistically align on multiple fronts into something that’s new and exciting.

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Intent-based networking is such a combination.  It’s a new way to conceptualize and interact with the network that may fundamentally alter the foundation of networking in your organization.  But what is “intent-based networking”?  And how does it differ from the day-in, day-out networking that’s been running your enterprise for years?

According to the analyst firm ESG, “The concept of intent-based networking is that the network team could simply describe, in plain language, what they wanted to accomplish (the intent) and the network would be able to translate the intent into the numerous policies that would establish the appropriate configuration and settings changes across a complex and heterogeneous environment leveraging automation.”¹

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Topics: Cisco, Digital Network Architecture, Cisco DNA

Optimize your edge connectivity with Cisco Viptela: Is your WAN purpose-built for the cloud and the Internet of Things?

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Thu, Jun 14, 2018 @ 08:54 AM

It’s getting harder to define the boundaries of your enterprise nowadays.  It used to be as simple as “inside and outside” the network and the firewall—but the distributed nature of today’s IT is rapidly changing the edge of your network. Your wide area network (WAN) needs to be able to easily expand and adapt to encompass not only branch offices—but also the resources and applications that are moving to the cloud.  Can your network easily handle that?  The sad answer is most can’t – because many networks have remained tied to the physical metaphor of perimeters, walls, and equipment.  You need to be thinking about the edges and expansion of your WAN—not necessarily the physicality of it.

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Don’t misunderstand, there’s no denying the physicality of the network.  After all, it’s put together with cables, wireless routers, and other networking equipment inside your buildings.  The fact is, the demand for increased bandwidth, optimized connectivity for the cloud, and improved security postures to tackle next generation threats can be difficult to meet with traditional WAN architectures.  Add to this, the increasing use of cloud-based applications and the emergence of the Internet of Things, and your WAN may be inadequate for the future. Even now, existing wide area networks across businesses and organizations of all sizes and across all industries are struggling to cope.

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Topics: Cisco, Viptela, WAN

Clearpath named to CRN's 2018 Solution Provider 500 List

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Jun 05, 2018 @ 10:47 AM

Clearpath Solutions Group announced today that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Clearpath to its 2018 Solution Provider 500 list. The Solution Provider 500 is CRN’s annual ranking of the largest technology integrators, solution providers and IT consultants in North America by revenue. The Solution Provider 500 is CRN’s predominant channel partner award list, serving as the industry standard for recognition of the most successful solution provider companies in the channel since 1995.  

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Topics: News & Updates

Beyond VDI: Maximizing Application and Desktop Deployment with VMware App Volumes

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, May 22, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

Ask any corporate worker or the IT employee charged with managing their technology usage and you will hear about the multitude of applications used daily. Whether at their office or on the go with their phone, new work trends require IT teams to navigate a nuanced world, affected by the rise of data breaches and hiring of remote workers.

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One area of re-emergence is the interest in virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions. Defined as virtualization solutions which host a desktop operating system on a centralized server in a data center, VDI solutions simulate operating systems from a host of devices including traditional PCs or mobile phones and tablets. VDI exists in persistent and non-persistent states, which respectively saves and discards sessions after each session, offering a differing level of personalization and protection against security breaches.

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Topics: VMware, VMware App Volumes

The Benefits of App-Centric Security with VMware AppDefense

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, May 15, 2018 @ 08:59 AM

Let’s face it, the world of security has been very preoccupied. Between hardening the networks, and wresting to gain control over the exponential growth of mobile and remote access, security engineers have been busy. The boundaries of IT’s realm have blurred, making security around both these areas an ongoing challenge as hackers continue to innovate against your dynamic, distributed infrastructure landscape.

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Enterprise mobile management (EMM) and the latest endpoint security technologies have enabled new levels of user flexibility while minimizing risk. And network virtualization solutions allow for unprecedented capabilities to detect and isolate problems behind the firewall.

But in a world where everything we do in IT, and in business, is driven by apps, it makes sense to adopt an app-centric approach to security.

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Topics: VMware

Supercharge your Storage for Virtual Desktops with VMware vSAN

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, May 08, 2018 @ 09:42 AM

Virtual Desktops are a Challenging Workload

Performance is one of the most important aspects of a successful VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) solution; any poorly performing virtualized experience means an immediate dip in an organization’s productivity, not to mention a reluctance by end users to embrace it. Storage is, arguably, one of the most important ingredients that affects VDI performance.

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Virtual desktops run against shared hardware (like storage), so times of heavy use can be very taxing on that hardware. Phenomena like “boot storms”,  created when a lot of users boot up in a short window, can overwhelm your infrastructure and degrade the overall service. “Login storms” can have a similar impact, as can malware scans and other I/O intensive activity. Managing the growth of VDI adoption can also be difficult if your infrastructure is too rigid to scale quickly or cost-effectively.

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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 stillremains 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?

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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

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