Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Why DaaS delivers simplification — and safety

globe computers and clouds

As the end of Windows XP support looms ever closer, I’m getting more questions about DaaS — desktops as a service.

And for good reason: With cloud-based desktops as a service, you can tick several boxes at once and save money in the process — as much as 20%-to-30% over five years when you move from a physical desktop infrastructure to DaaS.

Of course, since DaaS is a hosted service, you avoid the upfront CapEx of a homegrown virtual desktop infrastructure. But three other major benefits may be even more important to some organizations:

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How Hosted IP PBX Solutions Can Keep Your Communications Competitive

Hosted IP PBX chart

The way you do business is changing fast.

It’s not just that you’re replacing your face-to-face interactions with a range of digital modes like email, instant messaging, and videoconferencing—now you need to insist that those modes be available anytime, anywhere on devices that are familiar, mobile and allow us to access and communicate any and all of your data at will.

Problem: How to keep up — affordably

You need communications capabilities that can stay apace of all this, which the plain old telephone system (POTS) cannot. The alternative has been IP PBXs that replace bundles of physical wires with a session initiation protocol (SIP) service called trunking.

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Application vulnerabilities: Closer than you think

graph showing application vulnerabilities. small version has no labels.

Consider: Last year, according to Verizon, 54% of data breaches began as attacks on web applications, and for years one type of attack — SQL injection — has been the means by which 83% of stolen records were extracted. Meanwhile, says Gartner, 25% of all DDOS attacks this year will be application-based, and an increasing portion of these attacks may actually be diversions in which the bad guys use remotely accessible malware to target user accounts (for personal data or, in the case of financial institutions, for money).
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Virtualization, cloud services make a new network/app management world

laptops surrounding a world globe

In my last post, I pointed out that today’s speedy, low-cost connectivity is impacting network and application management. This time I’ll concentrate on the other significant trend changing network and application management: Virtualization and cloud services.

Today’s datacenter environments are not only quickly becoming hyper-connected, most have also undergone at least some degree of virtualization and use of cloud services. The combination results in new kinds of business applications and, ultimately, a new kind of network infrastructure that exhibits…

  • Greater traffic volume, notably storage traffic
  • A shift in traffic flows from top-down/bottom-up to peer-to-peer, server-to-server, and virtual machine-to-virtual machine (now as much as 80% by some estimates)
  • Increasing amounts of synchronization and replication data across the network
  • A flatter network hierarchy

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Fast, cheap connectivity opens up network/application management options

3 smart phones

As 2013 begins, I notice plenty of commentary about mobile devices but less talk about the implications of mobility and other current events on business network and application monitoring and management requirements.

I see two key trends impacting network and application monitoring and management in the coming year: Fast, cheap connectivity and virtualization/cloud services. In this post, I’ll focus on the first of those — connectivity, which is most apparent in the current push toward (you guessed it) mobility.

Chicken or egg: Mobility ↔ connectivity
These days, your employees’ desktop functions are shifting to increasingly powerful mobile devices. At the same time, cloud services make the connectivity of those devices pretty much ubiquitous. So the value of much of your traditional infrastructure diminishes because it costs too much, is too complex, takes up too much space — and, too often, it doesn’t get the job done anymore.

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Cloud Computing best practice: Always monitor your Cloud services

Shield on a cloud to illustrate Cloud Security

In order to know whether your Cloud provider is meeting the performance and availability parameters set out in your service-level agreement (SLA), you have to be able to monitor your Cloud services.

While you might not need or care to see detailed reports about the performance of your provider’s various infrastructure elements (VMs, storage, etc.), since this information doesn’t really provide a sufficient view into overall Cloud performance, you can and should seek information from your provider regarding application and/or workload performance.

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Cloud Computing best practice: Use your Cloud SLA to get what you really need


Do not — I say again, do not give your Cloud service-level agreement (SLA) short shrift. Your Cloud SLA is how you make sure you get what you want and pay only for what you get.

It’s not uncommon, however, to find yourself with an assortment of Cloud SLAs — one for each service your business subscribes to. Happily, the right Cloud SLA will enable you to bundle all your Cloud services into a single monthly OpEx payment.

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Cloud Computing best practice: Backup your data!

Diagram drawn on chalkboard showing the connection of Cloud Computing to laptops, tablets, desktops, etc.

If you’ve ever suffered a data loss, you know how critically important data backup and retrieval capabilities are.

I’m here to remind you that this importance does not diminish when your data (or apps) reside in a Cloud. Nor should you simply assume your Cloud provider automatically backs up your data and apps.

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Cloud Computing best practice: 4 security must-dos

Cloud on blue background with a lock in front. To illustrate Cloud Managed Services and Security services from Quest.

Your Cloud provider isn’t the only one with responsibility for the security of the information and applications your enterprise depends on. When it comes to security in the Cloud, it’s a collaboration between provider and customer.

After all, there are limits to a Cloud provider’s reach. For instance, if your employees use compromised web browsers to access data in the Cloud, your provider cannot be blamed.

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Cloud Computing best practice: Evaluate Cloud provider security with these 7 questions

Person writing on glass the words good, better, best. The word best is circled.

Unless you’re an expert in security issues, doing proper Cloud provider due diligence can be daunting. Yet it’s essential, given the importance of your business’s data and applications.

So I offer seven questions for you to ask of every Cloud provider you’re considering. Pay attention to the answers you get and don’t hesitate to demand drilldown details. Remember: You’re contemplating putting at least some of the data and apps your business relies on into this provider’s Cloud environment.
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