Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Network services drive the managed tech environments you depend on

Network Services by Quest

In my last post, I wrote about the crucial role network services play in underpinning cloud and managed services — and notably in enabling your technology services provider to wield a mix of customizable services they can tailor specifically to your business’s needs.
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What Kind of Cloud Customer Are You?

When clients contemplating a move to the cloud ask for advice, we tell them to start by being realistic about what cloud computing actually offers.

Yes, the cloud frees budgets from constant investment in infrastructure, reducing CapEx expenditure.

But the cloud is a technology, not a solution that will automatically deliver benefits like faster time-to-market or streamlined methods or a fix for personnel or process issues within your enterprise.

Next, we advocate a know thyself approach. You’ll get the most out of a cloud implementation by understanding what you’re trying to accomplish. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses.

If you’re certain about having access to the technical talent you’ll need to get from purchase to actual delivery of services, then go it alone.

If you’re less certain about what to do once you’ve ordered up servers and terabytes of data, you’ll want some help — which brings us to the last bit of advice: know thy cloud provider.

Cloud providers, like cloud computing itself, come in a dizzying array of options.

So don’t let a cloud provider tell you there’s only one way to get something done. Those vendors are trying to sell you their product rather than a solution that fits your business.

But you can in fact get exactly what you need without giving up the economies of scale the cloud promises. Ask a trusted technology advisor how.

Are you buying a service — or an illusion?

Handshake in gray

Imagine discovering that for the last 12 months none of your company data had been backed up at your designated co-lo.

Worse, you only found this out because your corporate site has suffered a catastrophic failure. All your data has been lost — and you have no way to retrieve it.

You’re outraged, of course, and you want answers. How could your co-lo provider fail to back up your data? What about your provider’s vaunted disaster recovery service? Who is responsible for allowing this to happen?  Continue reading

What to Look For in IT Operations Analytics Capabilities

iPhone sitting on background with map of the world and charts and graphs coming out of the phone.

In my last post, I discussed how IT operations analytics can transform the masses of IT performance data into insight that provides broad, cross-tier network and infrastructure visibility so that …

  1. Issues may be proactively recognized and resolved before they affect your business
  2. Future capacity and provisioning requirements may be anticipated
  3. A performance baseline built from multiple metrics can be established, reducing the time, money, and headaches associated with planning and deploying new projects, such as cloud deployments or virtualization.

But how should you go about choosing an IT operations analytics solutions? This is worth paying attention to, since such solutions are new, called by a number of different names (though likely not for long) and are available both as appliances and cloud-based services. Continue reading

When IT Performance Monitoring Gets a “Big Data” Boost

Businessman standing on Cloud looking at world map covered with image representing Cloud data. And a giant Q from the Quest logo

No doubt you’ve heard about “big data.” It sounds intimidating, invasive, and, well, way too big. But don’t be fooled — “big data” is going to save your IT infrastructure.

The first thing you need to understand about how this is happening (oh yes, it’s already well underway) is that “big data” is something of a misnomer. What we’re really talking about is analytics — automated mathematical tools that work in real time to sift through untold amounts of regular old data, in this case IT performance data, and produce actionable results that go far beyond legacy monitoring capabilities. Continue reading

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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Why IT environments managed by service providers are more secure

Cloud with a lock and key to illustrate Cloud Security by Service Providers

For a while now, those of us who provide Cloud services have been saying that a properly run Cloud environment is inherently more secure than traditional on-premise IT environments.

Now a recent study from Alert Logic backs up that claim. The study compared security in traditional on-premise and service-provider-managed environments of 1,500 organizations with active investment in IT security.

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Want to know what a disruptive technology in action looks like?

Guy looking at cloud shaped like an arrow.

A recent issue of InformationWeek pooled data from an assortment of that publication’s own surveys to offer some insight into the current state of Cloud use by IT shops. We also get a few hints about both the degree and direction of Cloud momentum and its power as a disruptive technology:

  • 11% of IT departments have a major Cloud implementation in place [Global CIO Survey, February 2012].
  • 20% have a formal company policy to evaluate Cloud options for any new services or systems; 27% prefer to use the Cloud [Cloud ROI Survey, November 2011].
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