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The Softchoice Blog: Servers, Storage and Networking

Featured Article
Cloud | August 19, 2019 by Softchoice Advisor
VMworld is the marquee VMware event of the year. The conference showcases the technology and solutions providers that are transforming the IT landscape. From mobility and the cloud to networking and security – VMworld offers a glimpse of what’s happening in IT now – and what’s coming next. The annual US conference kicks off in […]
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Cloud | July 31, 2019 by Scott Mathewson
Most companies today use at least one cloud provider in some capacity.  Within two years, 92% of companies will be using two or more. This hybrid cloud world is forcing traditional data center design to evolve. The rise of hyper-converged systems and software-defined everything requires businesses to reevaluate traditional network and security designs to take […]
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It’s fairly obvious that IBM’s POWER9 processors are, well, powerful. Staggeringly powerful. The evidence is straightforward: the Department of Energy’s Summit is the world’s fastest supercomputer, and it runs on POWER9 cores. Every day, Power Systems advance the frontiers of science on behalf of the world’s leading superpower. However, if you’re not the world’s leading […]
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Nearly 56% of organizations have adopted or are planning on adopting Office 365. To help you avoid a long winter, download our infogrpahic on SD-WAN.
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This April, we are highlighting an all-new guide from Softchoice, digging into the true value of software defined networking (SD-WAN). From there, we cover everything from Azure and VMware updates, data center security and new market analysis about the software defined data center.
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Servers, Storage and Networking | December 13, 2018 by bber
Setting up virtual machines manually is boring, and boredom is deadly. When workers are stuck doing grueling and repetitive processes, human error is more likely, and creativity disappears. Infrastructure Automation is how your enterprise can avoid this.
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One of the biggest buzzwords in the IT world today is infrastructure automation (IA). With solutions like VMware vRealize Automation, organizations see IA as the missing link in the era of cloud, where the goal is to “ruthlessly automate everything.” Nowhere is IA’s appeal more obvious than when it’s combined with another, related strategy: DevOps. […]
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To some, “IT agility” is the ability to respond to the rising demands of the business. To others, it’s the capacity to steer the organization through a fast-changing competitive landscape. Learn how top North American IT leaders are addressing IT Agility.
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The Technology Orchestrator sets the organizational direction, they contribute to customer focus, and they drive business excellence across all verticals.
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General support for vSphere 5.5. ends on September 19, 2018. If you haven’t started planning an upgrade, you must start soon. Otherwise, you are putting your business at risk.
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Your data center may be modern. But your data protection may be falling behind. Many organizations turn to cloud and hybrid infrastructure to deliver apps and services 24/7. But 60% still rely on old methods for data backup and recovery. Others have no protection for data they generate in the cloud
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Cloud | June 20, 2018 by Liz Teodorini
Microsoft forecasts that two-thirds of Office 365 business users will adopt cloud by June 2019. The reason is simple. Today’s mobile users need anytime, anywhere access to their files, and the cloud makes that dead-easy. But, while accessing your data is simple with Office 365, data protection it isn’t so straightforward. Many users are unfamiliar with […]
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GDPR is here. It happened quickly. A little too quickly, for a lot of organizations. Recently, 69% of companies polled by Veritas said they were still working on GDPR compliance. This isn’t what regulators want to hear. And those regulators can hand out huge fines.
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For a long time, MPLS seemed utterly magical: blindingly fast and completely secure. And it was. But it’s also inflexible, costly, and, more importantly, doesn’t play well with the cloud. So, it’s time to move onto the next step: SD-WAN, with Cisco Meraki.
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Cloud | June 1, 2018 by Liz Teodorini
Through our work with thousands of organizations using Microsoft Office 365, we’ve discovered many teams don’t realize they are responsible for data backup. In collaboration with Veeam, our experts have created this infographic to help protect your mission-critical data.
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Enterprise Software | May 30, 2018 by Chris Martin
Most IT professionals have heard of Meraki. Its elegance, flexibility, and scalability have attracted over 250,000 customers who have 3.5 million active Meraki devices. But fewer know about Meraki Insight, for the MX Firewall platform. It’s a tool that takes the ease of Meraki to troubleshooting in an intuitive and highly available fashion. It brings […]
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When it comes to the data center, Security isn’t the only concern. 91% of businesses have unplanned outages. You can solve 86% of data issues before they happen. Learn how in this post.
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It’s 2018 – it’s time to retire the job title ‘IT Manager’. When we think of an ‘IT Manager’, a traditional IT department comes to mind. The individuals who “keep the lights on” at an organization. IT Managers/teams are not those people anymore. They are driving organizations towards continued growth and success in today’s digital, […]
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Go beyond the basics of HCI. Look for these 4 “Must-Haves” when it comes to a well rounded HCI platform for your data center.
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With more businesses heading to hybrid IT and virtualization, we explored the core benefits of VMware’s largest licensing agreement for today’s enterprise.
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In April, Cisco’s Partner Connection Week 2018 (PCW) was held in sunny Nassau, Bahamas. The fantastic Bahamian weather was appropriate to the occasion, given that this year’s PCW was full of good news and inspiring ideas. It was a valuable peek into Cisco’s present and future.
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When it comes to transforming the data center, the goal is often to mend the gap between supply and demand. This means evaluating other consumption models, like pay-as-you-go and Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI).
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In our recent webinar, we show how you could benefit from IBM Flash. We also share some real-life improvements our clients are experiencing by adding IBM flash to their data centers
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  Three years ago, a friend of mine got caught up in the homeownership dream. He spent 18 months saving the least amount he needed to buy a condo. While he was successful in purchasing his first property, he soon discovered the “cons” of being a homeowner. The condo came with many flaws that he […]
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Microsoft’s Azure Stack extends public cloud capabilities to on-premises data centers with first-to-market Dell EMC Cloud Appliance.
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Servers, Storage and Networking | January 30, 2018 by glenn
Meraki can make your network a powerful BI and marketing tool. Let the experts at Softchoice help you get the most of your Meraki environment.
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SAP has told its customers they have until 2025 to prepare their infrastructure for SAP HANA — the in-memory database and platform, promising to replace traditional environments with 10-1000x faster performance, real-time insight and overall IT simplicity.
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Despite being more affordable than ever, organizations are still slow to adopt Flash and continue to rely on HDDs. Learn why now is a good time to go Flash.
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SAP HANA is on the cutting edge of in-memory database technology. If you’re an existing SAP HANA user, you are undoubtedly looking for ways to improve the speed and availability of your in-memory databases.
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This problem exists for companies irrespective of size or industry. That’s why HPE invested $1.2 billion in the ultimate solution. Their acquisition of Nimble Storage gave them three advanced capabilities to offer their customers as a way to handle the app-data gap problem. The capability with the most wide-ranging application is called InfoSight.
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Collapsing the infrastructure stack into a single consumable hyper-converged IT system will streamline operations, resolve interoperability issues and bring cloud-like efficiency to your on-premise environment. If you want to take a deeper dive, into how hyper-convergence will transform your business, download this free eBook: Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Dummies – SimpliVity Edition.
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Congratulations! Successfully planning and implementing your data center modernization is a significant achievement—one that will help you meet your business goals and serve your customers better. As you move into this optimization phase, it’s more important than ever to protect the integrity of your infrastructure. By sharing the number one pitfall we see and giving you strategies to avoid it, we will help you maintain the very best practices to keep your new system agile, effective, and secure.
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While IT pros were still catching up on the big VMware event in Las Vegas, the company was unveiling a whole new series of multi-cloud updates and new products on a stage in Barcelona, joined by some of the world’s biggest technology partners like IBM. What emerged from the European edition of VMworld was even more stark […]
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In the rapidly changing world of technology, there are numerous things to consider before you make the change to Hybrid IT. A modernized data center can provide a more agile, efficient, and secure infrastructure which can mean cost savings for you and improved services for your customers. The success and ease of your implementation will depend largely on your planning, so we’ve provided a list of 6 items to have in place before you begin.
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And while VMworld had nothing to do with sport’s most hyped event, ever, we’re tempted to make the comparison. VMware, virtualization’s most decorated champion, ever, gave its followers what they really wanted, in a crowded Las Vegas amphitheater.
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Today, over 80% of data comes from unstructured sources, like email, web pages, documents, and social media. In addition, there is more of it than ever. These are all contributing to the data tornado businesses are struggling to maintain, manage, and mine for value.
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I recently completed a 6 city roadshow to talk about the NetApp announcements that made up the 25th-anniversary celebration of NetApp (if you missed it, you can watch the recording here). Although the payload for the 9.2 release of our ONTAP operating system was huge, I have done announcements like this before and was ready for the questions posed by customers in each city.
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I can explain why modern data centers need micro-segmentation in two words: Trojan Horse. Not the malware, but that timeless story of wooden-horsey riding saboteurs. In it, we see that even the most powerful perimeters fall short. The bad guys always find a way in. With virtualized data centers and desktops, this notion is particularly troubling. What if someone breaches the firewall protecting your virtual environments? Once inside, malware and attackers freely move laterally (east-west) causing mayhem and tons of financial damage.
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If you’re considering Backup Exec 16, this article has (almost) every detail you need to know in 16 answers. This release has the many technology partners of Veritas very excited and for good reasons.
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I’m finding a lot of customers are “stuck.” They are too paralyzed by the sheer number of things they are trying to make sense of to create patterns, to set priorities. Flash is that simple, no-brainer thing. It’s why flash is also the “IQ test” for 2016
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Increased adoption of virtualization over the past decade and a recent boost in cloud adoption is causing data centers to evolve at an unprecedented pace.
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Any discussion of unified communications begins by looking at the struggles IT organizations face today, says Wiam Girgis, Softchoice Senior Solutions Architect. That’s because, he notes, unified communications solutions—the integration of voice, video, mobility and presence services across endpoints, devices, and applications—are helping organizations to overcome some of today’s most significant challenges, in particular doing […]
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Flash storage is standard in enterprise companies. It’s faster and more efficient than traditional spinning hard drives. Despite their high speed and outstanding performance, smaller organizations have been slow to adopt Flash storage due to their costs versus hard disk drives (HDD).
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Big data is big business. Getting the right insights at the right time can make-or-break an organization’s ability to stay ahead of competitors and on top of new opportunities. The right tool for the big data job Not all server chipsets are created equally. IBM POWER8 chips are architected to offer 4 times the performance […]
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Servers, Storage and Networking | October 17, 2016
vSphere 6 has arrived – learn why now is the best time to upgrade.
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Our Hybrid IT Director, Matt Sirbu, gives words of wisdom in this EMC Unity Q & A on what IT leaders need to know before spending a dollar on new storage.
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Servers, Storage and Networking | September 1, 2016
At VMworld 2016, see how VMware continues to fine tune their solutions to be more integrated and unified than ever before.
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Servers, Storage and Networking | September 1, 2016
Visibility of the physical and virtual layers of the data center has long been the thorn in the side of administrators. With a new release of vRealize Suite, VMware’s focus is aimed squarely at helping overcome that challenge.
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Servers, Storage and Networking | September 1, 2016
New changes in Horizon 7, the company’s desktop and application virtualization solution, will feature support for multiple new clients and devices—including Raspberry Pi —plus a few other significant improvements.
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Servers, Storage and Networking | September 1, 2016
Based on what we’ve learned so far at the show, this platform will give enterprise customers all the software components needed to deploy an SDDC environment in one package, on x86 hardware, with simplified licensing. In one inclusive bundle, VMware customers will find what they need hyper-converged compute, storage and networking.
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With larger applications, more users and ever-growing data, will new tech solutions catch up with demand? Applications such as video and collaboration are bandwidth intensive and add large amounts of traffic to the network. Stepping away from Unified Communications, users access local servers and storage for various applications more often. This results in a large amount of traffic on not just the wired network, the WLAN as well. Click here to learn more.
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Data Center Storage is a lot like that. It gets too full, it takes too much work to keep clean, it’s complicated to understand, and when something goes wrong, there aren’t obvious tools and nowhere you would expect them. HPE 3PAR was designed with those issues in mind.
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As innovation takes center stage of the data center conversation, find out why Lenovo and Nutanix are partners in hyper-convergence, and the new product family they have to offer.
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VMware Virtual SAN is radically simple, enterprise-class native storage for VMware Hyperconverged Software solutions. Uniquely embedded in the hypervisor, Virtual SAN delivers high performance and flash-optimized hyper-converged storage for any virtualized application…at a fraction of the cost of traditional, purpose-built storage and other less-efficient hyper-converged infrastructure solutions. Click here to learn more.
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EMC recently launched the Unity product line – setting a whole new standard for affordable flash storage in what they call ‘the year of all-flash.” EMC’s new Unity product line is all about meeting the needs of resource-constrained IT professionals, at an affordable price. Learn more here.
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Security should be a high priority in any scenario, however, and strategies for hybrid cloud environments must take into account the potential for frequent movement of data between public clouds as well as between public and private clouds. Here are six factors to consider to ensure that your security strategy is portable across all services […]
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According to International Data Corp (IDC), nearly 1 in 3 Canadian organizations will begin either experimenting with Big Data or will enter the proof-of-concept stage this year. A further 1 in 5 will progress beyond that point into production. This is indicative of the fact that Big Data has reached an inflection point in the […]
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IT change is completely inevitable. All businesses need to be aware that doing the same old thing the same old way, is the express off-ramp to extinction and that ‘doing everything differently’ is the new normal. Stevie Wonder sang it beautifully, “Everybody’s got a thing / But some don’t know how to handle it.”
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What if I told you of new way to manage and share data pools with a bold, flexible, yet easy enterprise-level storage…and you won’t be tied into a single proprietary appliance or hardware vendor. You may even be able to utilize what you have installed already.
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In this second part one of a two-part interview, HPE Technical Architect Nigel Barnes discusses how the HC 250 fits into a business’ disaster recovery and business continuity strategy.
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On top of the immediate financial savings, there are four ways Softchoice helps organizations get a larger return-on-investment (ROI) from ELAs on their collaboration software.
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The New VMware licensing line up offers better recipes for the management of virtual environments. This post answers questions around packaging, pricing and related programs for VMware vSphere 6.0 and vSphere with Operations Management 6.2.
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IT organizations of all sizes are looking to save time and money while delivering the right computing resources quickly and securely. Hyper-Convergence makes this possible. We sat down with Softchoice’s HPE Technical Architect, Nigel Barnes, to discuss the benefits of hyper-convergence and the HPE Hyper-Converged (HC) 250.
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  As clients work with Softchoice to evaluate whether Smart Net Total Care will provide what they need, the inevitable question arises: how secure is my sensitive network data? Read on and get a quick reference guide for Smart Net Total Care security, including collection, transmission, processing storage and viewing.
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Editors note: Storage expert Brad Beresh gets real about his definition of Software-Defined Storage -and it doesn’t include the use of a traditional storage controller.
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Anyone who’s sailed the North Atlantic in winter or spring knows how massive icebergs can be. Yet about 90% of their mass is underwater. The same thing can be said about an organizational databerg.
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Today’s IT professionals are caught in a vicious tug-of-war. They’re pulled between keeping their data center infrastructure functioning, and expanding it to keep the business competitive and meet employee needs. Everyone is looking for affordable and reliable solutions to get out of this bind.
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The New VMware licensing line up offers better recipes for the management of virtual environments.
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Servers, Storage and Networking | February 16, 2016
We look back at how Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) contributed to the evolution of virtualization and cloud computing in 2015, and what you need to do in 2016 to reap its benefits.
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Servers, Storage and Networking | December 17, 2015
I filmed this short video series to talk about some issues IT organizations are facing, some tools from VMware that’ll help address those issues, and an assessment, led by our VMware specialists at Softchoice that will help organizations gain valuable insight into their virtualization environment.
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The Veeam Availability Suite has achieved great popularity over the last three years. Users are delighted with its marquee capabilities such as high-speed backup and recovery, replication, verified data protection, and proactive monitoring and alerting of issues before operational impact occurs. That said, did you know there are several features that are just as valuable, […]
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Servers, Storage and Networking | December 10, 2015
Given the time, tools and budget to work on it, see how this team built a hybrid cloud in just 48 hours!
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Introducing the Dell Hybrid Cloud System for Microsoft. It combines servers, storage and software in an integrated box and connects easily to Microsoft’s Azure cloud services, breaking through the hybrid cloud adoption barriers of complexity, cost and control. And Softchoice is one of a handful of partners bringing it to market.
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Traditional data centers use a 3-tier approach comprised of servers hosting virtual machines, storage networks, and storage arrays. There is so much power and capability inherent in modern systems, it requires the right architecture to unleash its full potential. While this design has led to flexibility on the server side, it has also led to significant […]
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Servers, Storage and Networking | November 13, 2015
See how to enable simple 3-2-1 backup off site to Azure through a secure SSL connection – without any additional Veeam licensing required.
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Servers, Storage and Networking | November 5, 2015
See how full backup files can be created without physically moving the entire data set into the file, but rather by synthesizing them from existing data. Resulting in faster, more efficient backups.
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Servers, Storage and Networking | October 29, 2015
Part 2 of a 2-part series. Softchoice VMware expert David Schwartzstein shows us how VMware products vROPs and NSX are the unlikely heroes that will improve the monitoring and maintaining of security in your IT environment. In this post, David reveals how to use NSX to identify potential security gaps in your data center.
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Servers, Storage and Networking | October 29, 2015
Part 1 of a 2-part series. Softchoice VMware expert David Shwartzstein shows us how VMware products vROPs and NSX are the unlikely heroes that will improve the monitoring and maintaining of security in your IT environment. In this first post, David reveals how invested VMware is in security, and how to benefit from their security expertise.
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Servers, Storage and Networking | October 27, 2015
As more office workers unchain from their desks with laptops, tablets and mobile phones, businesses have gone from providing Wi-Fi access in certain hotspots like boardrooms to pretty much everywhere in the office. At the same time, the more organizations move IT operations to the cloud (like email, file storage, or VoIP) the more they’ve built out their network infrastructure over time to accommodate.
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Security | October 5, 2015 by Emily A. Davidson
As of October 3rd 2015, Veritas has once again become an independent company. If you use Veritas products, stop searching, we have all the info you need to know.
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It finally happened: in July this year Microsoft discontinued support for its enduringly popular Windows Server 2003. If they weren’t before, the alarm bells should be ringing now for organizations still running on this now-outdated and vulnerable platform – especially because critical patches and fixes for new vulnerabilities will no longer be provided. Fortunately, there’s help […]
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Servers, Storage and Networking | September 3, 2015
VMworld 2015 brought a host of new technologies designed to extend networking virtualization and enhance security for today’s mobile virtualized workload. And while there were dozens of product enhancements announced at VMworld 2015, read on for the six announcements we feel are worth a deeper look.
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Servers, Storage and Networking | September 3, 2015
VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) has firmly established itself as the premier tool to empower users to build, manage, and execute reliable Disaster Recovery (DR) plans for their virtual environments. Our team reveals how the latest enhancements to SRM extend those capabilities even further.
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Servers, Storage and Networking | September 3, 2015
vSAN 6.1 now stretches across clusters to pool massive amounts of storage resources with ease.
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Servers, Storage and Networking | September 3, 2015
VMworld 2015 recently wrapped, and here is what you need to know about the future of VMware’s SDDC vision.
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If you’re like many organizations, you’re seeing the amount of data you deal with grow at unprecedented rates. While this may be true, it doesn’t mean you need more of the same old solutions to manage it. In fact, in order to overcome this enormous challenge, organizations need to re-invent the way they look at data […]
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Like many businesses, you’ve embraced Office 365 because it offers enhanced management, productivity and significant cost savings. And even though you’re not managing the infrastructure, you still need to carefully protect your data stored in the cloud. A solution has arrived that provides Office 365 admins a comprehensive data backup solution for Office 365 data, in a […]
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Flash memory has transformed the storage industry, and can now be considered the brains and heart of the data center. So much so, that new applications are being developed that require performance levels that can only be enabled by Flash. But in this volatile environment, there are a lot of factors that determine if you’re getting top […]
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Virtualization in general has been one of this most impactful technologies of the past few decades.  Beyond the advent of x86 computing and Microsoft Windows, I can’t think of any other technology that has so quickly transformed the industry. Adoption has also been astounding — today most IT organizations virtualize, and most corporate applications exist within Virtual […]
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So you’ve recently requested a quote for some vSphere licenses, or are looking to upgrade existing vSphere licenses to a higher-end edition. Alongside the vSphere quote you requested, we have also provided a second option for vSphere with Operations Management, vSOM. In this post, we explain why we think we’d be doing our clients a […]
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On April 15, 2014, VMware announced vCloud Air Disaster Recovery. vCloud Air – Disaster Recovery is an excellent solution that allows organizations of all sizes to recover from a disaster, power outage or loss of connectivity and continue to operate. I wrote a blog on this last year which covers the core service offering for […]
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Learn about a solution that eliminates the zombie hardware or Virtual Machine (VM) underutilization that is eating up space, power, cooling, and software licensing in your data center right now.
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While Cisco is known for their best-in-class hardware, there is a definite software component to their business – especially Cisco Collaboration. However, it’s full of products and features to choose from. As a Cisco specialist, I help our clients by promoting an organized licensing approach. What follows are the three top three benefits I regularly […]
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Part 1 of 3: The Softchoice team is wrapping up our time at the VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) 2015, and we’ve captured our VMware’s vCloud Suite 6.0 announcements.
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Part 3 of 3: The Softchoice team is wrapping up our time at the VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) 2015, and we’ve captured VMware’s vSOM 6.0  announcements.
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Part 2 of 3: The Softchoice team is wrapping up our time at the VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) 2015, and we’ve captured VMware’s vSAN 6.0 announcements.
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Servers, Storage and Networking | February 4, 2015
In February 2013, VMware released vSphere with Operations Management or vSOM. Since vSOM is turning two very soon, we want to offer four practical tips for getting the most out of vSOM and a quick licensing breakdown.
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Client Computing | January 26, 2015 by Emily A. Davidson
What? A refresh? But servers last longer than ever! That’s true, but unless innovation slows down (ha ha) they will reach an inevitable point where they are more venerable than valuable. In the data center, this means tough and expensive decisions must be made. In this blog post, I argue for Cisco’s UCS as a stable platform for […]
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If you work in education and you’re considering a desktop virtualization project with VMware Horizon, E-rate funding is available to you. But, securing these discounts can be challenging. In this blog post I break down E-rate funding for VMware Horizon, who qualifies for it, and how to get it.
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In this blog post, I will explain why most VDI projects fail due to the 3 biggest storage problems with VDI and offer tools to solve them so you can avoid using the hashtag #VDIFail in your next angry tweet.