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

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

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?

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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

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.

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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

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?

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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

Maximizing your NSX investments with VMware vRealize® Network Insight (vRNI)

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 @ 09:40 AM

As you are aware, it is nearly impossible and cost prohibitive to monitor East-West network traffic in traditional networking and virtualization environments. Additionally, management tools were never designed to address the complexity or virtualized aspects of today’s networks. This, among many other reasons, has IT turning to VMware NSX.

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Transforming operations across virtual, physical, and cloud networks.

VMware NSX creates a software network overlay that enables flexible, scalable networks as well as micro-segmentation - firewall - level security for total control over traffic between servers. But while NSX has revolutionized network security and operations, in order to optimize performance and minimize security risks, one needs a user-friendly tool to help regulate and fine-tune VMware NSX.

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Topics: VMware, VMware NSX

Getting to the Cloud Faster and More Securely with VMware NSX

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Thu, Mar 09, 2017 @ 10:07 AM

The hybrid cloud model is becoming an attractive option for a growing number of businesses 
looking to differentiate, innovate, and quickly meet expanding business requirements.  In addition to offering greater agility, flexibility, and scalability, hybrid clouds also help maintain security and high performance for business critical applications and data.  The software-defined data center (SDDC) enables this transition to the cloud by providing an infrastructure that is virtualized and fully automated by software. 

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Topics: VMware, VMware NSX

Network Virtualization and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS): The Right Match for Faster Recoveries

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Wed, Mar 01, 2017 @ 09:56 AM
The concept of virtualization has revolutionized today’s data center – from server to storage and now networking. As a result, it has paved the way for many cloud offerings such as Software as a Service (SaaS) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). Small and medium businesses, or really enterprise customers of any size, can now implement comprehensive disaster recovery plans that were once out of reach due to cost or lack of resources.
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Topics: VMware, VMware NSX

Greater IT Security Through Network Virtualization: Why VMware NSX Should Be A Part Of Your Security Solution

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

“Yahoo says 500 million accounts stolen” – CNN Money

“Snapchat and Seagate fall prey to new W-2 scam” - CBS News

“Cyber hack got access to over 700,000 IRS accounts” - USA Today

“LinkedIn Data Breach: 117 Million Emails and Passwords Leaked” - Fortune

“The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the US” – New York Times

Headlines like these are increasingly more common as data breaches, leaks, and hacks continue to affect companies of all sizes, types, and prominence.  Unfortunately, no one is immune to the sophisticated attacks performed at the hands of cybercriminals.  And despite greater focus and effort on defending the data center, the speed at which technology is evolving creates new challenges for implementing a secure network. 

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Topics: VMware, VMware NSX

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