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.
Topics: News & Updates
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.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.
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.