Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

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.

Appreciating the bottom-line power of developing customized apps

Developing Customized Apps by Quest

How important are apps to your business?

If your enterprise is like most, the answer is VERY. And the chief reason centers on the rising importance of mobile “presence.” Without such presence, just about every business will soon struggle to compete.

Sometimes, however, not even a good mobile app is enough, because app users — which is to say, your customers — have become demanding. And picky.

Disruptive technologies:
Coming soon to an industry sector near you

Disruptive Technologies by Quest

Anyone familiar with Uber or Airbnb will agree that well-deployed disruptive technologies can be dramatic and industry-upending. Even so, if your business earns its living far from such events, you may think you have years yet before needing to deal with “anything like that.”

You might want to think again, however. This season’s analyst predictions about 2016* stand out for their warnings about the reach and speed of disruptive technologies.
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Get ready for the zettabyte networking era

network management & performance

Many new technologies hold promise for your business —mobile devices, cloud computing, virtualization, big data, the Internet of Things — but they also pose challenges to your enterprise network’s performance and your ability to conduct effective network performance monitoring.

Often this is because many enterprise networks are based on outmoded models that result in performance bottlenecks as network traffic increases. 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

Why cloud DR pays off in a mission-critical IT world

Not so long ago, the best way to assure your organization would survive a major disruption involved building — and continuously paying for — a dedicated recovery site. Like so many early-generation IT solutions, this one was unaffordable for most smaller businesses.

Happily, the very technologies that generate disruption-causing complexity (see my last post) also provide the kinds of cost-effective capabilities, such as real-time replication and managed disaster recovery services, that today’s heavily mission- and business-critical IT environments require. Continue reading

98% of Apps are Insecure — Here’s How You Can Protect Yours

Mobile phone with password on screen to illustrate mobile security services

Sadly, one can make the argument that if software vendors did a better job of integrating security testing throughout the development lifecycle, our current struggles with application security might be less challenging.

In fact, however, software vendors are late to the party. Their security testing tends to be tacked on to the end of development lifecycles as an afterthought, which may account for one recent study’s startling conclusions that:

  • 98% of applications carry at least one application security risk (and each risk may signal the presence of multiple vulnerabilities)
  • 80% of applications showed more than five risks
  • The average application registered 22.4 risks

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Apps, Apps Everywhere — But How Secure Are Yours

Did you know that your applications are the most vulnerable part of your IT operations?

iPhone with lock to symbolize Cloud Security. Cloud in background

These days, problems with apps — many of them web-based apps — account for the majority of information security breaches. Over the last year or so, and going forward, application-level attacks have emerged as the preferred vector for gaining access to sensitive (and valuable) data. What’s more, the threats are becoming increasingly acute as complex web apps, as well as mobile apps, play ever greater roles in our business and personal activities.

App vulnerabilities for sale — cheap at the price? Continue reading

A Glimpse of What’s on the 2014 Tech Horizon …

Four dice showing 2013. Last die is rotating from 3 to 4 for 2014

As 2013 comes to a close, it’s time to look ahead, and a good place to start is Gartner’s top ten strategic technology trends for 2014, which point to an accelerating velocity of change that we ignore at our peril:

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