Top Features Coming in vSphere 6.0

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, February 25th 2015 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, VMware

Early this month, VMware announced vSphere 6.0, the latest version of the most popular and powerful enterprise virtualization platform. As a longtime VMware shop with a number of VCP certified professionals, we’re excited for a number of the new features included in the latest release.

According to VMware’s CEO, vSphere 6.0 has over 650 new features. Green House Data doesn’t yet have a timeline for upgrading from 5.5 just yet (6.0 hasn’t received General Availability), but here’s what we’re most excited about.

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Keep Your Encryption Keys on the Chain with Key Management

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, February 11th 2015 — Categories: Cloud Storage, HIPAA Compliance, Security

Security is already high on the totem pole of IT priorities, but with 2015 kicking off with a massive Anthem health breach, encryption is a hotter topic than ever.

Many compliance mandates require or encourage some form of encryption, including the commonly encountered PCI and HIPAA standards (the HIPAA Security Rule, while it doesn’t require encryption, does require you to prove, in writing, why you believed encryption wasn’t necessary in your special case. Which, let’s be honest, if you are disclosing a large breach to the public as required, encryption was probably necessary).

There are many encryption methods and vendors on the market, but all of them require access to an encryption key in order to unscramble encoded data.  If a malicious agent gets their hands on this key, it’s game over for your encrypted information.

This means that every enterprise needs a secure, organized system to manage all of their encryption keys. As data sets are updated with new keys, new data is added, different encryption systems are introduced, and user access is modified, encryption key management becomes even more essential.

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Do IT Pros Care About Green Data Centers? Survey Reveals Conflicting Opinion

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, February 3rd 2015 — Categories: Data Center Design, Green Data Center, FAQs

Amazon is building a wind farm. Apple has tens of megawatts of solar power. Google builds in Nordic countries and sources power from hydroelectric facilities. Other providers started giving out Renewable Energy Credits to cover customers’ electric costs (and they aren’t the only ones buying RECs and PPAs—but this blog post isn’t just about Green House Data).

Despite the recent trend of data center operators going green, does the IT industry really care about the environmental footprint of their data center? According to our recent survey results, the answer is a resounding…maybe.

We polled 166 IT professionals, from system administrators to the CTO. All but two had input into IT and infrastructure decision-making at their company. What they had to say was surprising. In a nutshell, it makes smart business sense to have a green data center, because it saves on operating costs. Whether IT departments consider energy efficiency or sustainability when evaluating service providers is up for debate.

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Tips for Virtualizing Microsoft Exchange on VMware

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, January 21st 2015 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Microsoft, VMware

E-mail, as we noted in last week’s blog, remains critical to business functions, and Microsoft Exchange is the most widely used e-mail client in the world. Virtualizing Exchange servers on VMware can improve performance, allow you to consolidate various Exchange server roles, combine mailboxes, and increase flexibility of your Exchange infrastructure, so you can scale up or down as your e-mail loads demand.

You’ll end up with 5-10x less physical hardware and more responsive Exchange, plus you can design your environment for your current workload. No need to guess at your resource utilization 3-5 years down the road—just provision a few more VMs when the time comes.

While virtualization can increase performance (VMware claims a 16 core server with vSphere produced double the throughput as physical hardware), Exchange has its own set of requirements and demands, so take a look at these best practices before you start up the installer in your virtual environment.

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Set Up and Optimize Ubuntu and Other Linux VMware Guests

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, January 6th 2015 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, VMware

So you want to jump into virtualization and take the open source route on your guest virtual machine operating system? Several of our customers have recently spun up Ubuntu VMs on top of VMware. Here are our tips for setting up and optimizing performance in a virtualized Ubuntu environment. These tips may also apply to other Linux distributions on top of VMware hypervisors.

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