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

Fast and Flexible: The Future of HCI is Here with Dell EMC VxRail Appliance, powered by VMware vSAN

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Tue, Aug 28, 2018 @ 12:39 PM

Planning for the future means endless possibilities.  Where should our data be stored?  How do today’s infrastructure decisions impact our end-state goal?  Where are our workloads going to be run?  What are our future capacity needs?  As an IT professional these questions are constantly at the forefront of your mind.  According to research firm IDC, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is leading the fastest growing segment of storage solutions[1], making it the hot topic in every discussion.

Today’s IT executives have been keeping a watchful eye on the improvements in HCI since it has been around for several years but has only recently seen rapid adoption.  New generations of HCI solutions provide faster deployment, lower cost of operations, and increased ROI—making the modern enterprise more flexible and agile.  As businesses of all sizes see the benefits of adopting HCI, the adoption rates continue to compound.

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Topics: VMware, Dell EMC, VxRail, Data Storage, vSAN, HCI

Capitalizing on Hybrid Cloud Workloads with VMware’s Cloud Management Platform

Posted by Clearpath Solutions Group on Thu, Aug 09, 2018 @ 10:38 AM

We’ve all heard that cloud computing is coming and taking over but when will it finally happen?  It’s here!  But what does this mean to enterprise IT?  Companies can now pursue numerous infrastructure possibilities with the confidence that they can support their business and deliver significant benefits.

Why Move to Hybrid Cloud?

In Clearpath’s experience, moving workloads to a hybrid cloud model using VMware’s Cloud Management Platform delivers high levels of agility, efficiency, and control across traditional and cloud native applications. Public cloud availability gives access to on-demand and temporary resource needs without high-cost, on-premise investments. At the same time, data stored in the enterprise’s private cloud environment can be accessed with less frequency or with the greatest speed.

Many experts agree that 2018 is the breakthrough year for cloud computing.  Adopting any form of hybrid cloud gives customers the best of both private and public clouds - 96% of enterprises have adopted some form of the cloud while 81% have embraced hybrid cloud¹. 

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Topics: VMware

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 App Volumes, VMware

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

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 Upgrade, vSphere 6.5

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: HCI, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure, VMware, vSAN

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, HCI, vSAN, vSphere, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

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 NSX, VMware, 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?

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

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