Getting Started with Cloud User Identity (Active Directory) for Office 365

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Friday, August 4th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Microsoft

Moving to Office 365? The user experience is bound to shift, with one of the biggest changes coming to the login process.

Each workstation might previously have had Office software installed locally, so once users signed in, they were free to launch and work on Word or answer e-mails in Outlook. With Office 365, you’ll have to configure user identity settings in a specific way to replicate this — or you can go the cloud-only route and have them sign-in again online in order to access these programs.

Here are some of the factors you’ll have to consider when setting up user identity management in Office 365.

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Introducing the gBlock™ Cloud 2.0: What’s Improved in the Green House Data Cloud

Written by Josh Larsen on Friday, July 28th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, VMware, Product Information

We’ve been cloud-native since the beginning, offering VMware-powered virtual hosting for almost ten years. In fact, our very first EMC backend storage array is now sitting in the lobby of our Cheyenne headquarters.

Of course, we couldn’t stay stagnant with our cloud offerings (you’d notice if that old storage array was still powering your cloud, trust us). The hardware, software, and facilities powering the gBlock cloud have undergone a variety of upgrades over the past decade, and the latest set is big enough for us to dub it officially the gBlock Cloud 2.0.

So what’s new in the Green House Data cloud? Let’s dive into the benefits customers can receive when the migrate to this new and improved platform.

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Some of Our Most-Used VMware Web Client Shortcuts

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, March 30th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, VMware, Documentation, Product Information

Looking to improve your workflow and be more efficient when you’re managing virtual machines in the VMware vSphere Web Client? Keyboard shortcuts not only make you look like a wizard when you’re showing someone how to perform an operation, they also make your daily admin life a little bit faster and easier.

While you may be used to the desktop client, the web client also includes some handy features that can help speed up your workflow. Below are some of our most-used keyboard shortcuts and tips for quickly navigating the VMware vSphere web client.

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What’s New in the Green House Data Cloud?

Written by Josh Larsen on Thursday, February 9th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, VMware, Product Information

Here at Green House Data, our technicians are constantly working hard behind the scenes to improve the customer experience in our cloud products. We’ve recently completed a round of upgrades to bring you the latest features and bug fixes to our gBlock Cloud platform.

Here are some of the newest features that are available to you today, including improved web portal access, new disaster recovery features and interoperability with AWS and Azure, and more.

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Four Hybrid Use Cases to Get Your Head in the Cloud

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, January 11th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, VMware

“Can my application run in the cloud?”

It’s a question we get more frequently than you might think — and the answer is almost always yes. Just yesterday, we got a web chat from an individual who wanted to know if a cloud server could run his e-mail server, SMTP-based, with PowerMTA, or if he would need a dedicated option. Mail servers are frequently run on virtual machines, so this configuration should pose no problem as a cloud server.

There are thousands of applications, running on a wide variety of operating systems, that play nice with VMware virtualization platforms (the basis of the gBlock cloud). Here are four hybrid cloud use cases to get you started.

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Avoid Virtual Machine Performance Problems from Antivirus Tools

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Monday, January 9th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Security, VMware

You’re probably familiar with the kind of performance issues inherent in antivirus/antimalware tools. Anyone who has used a PC when the antivirus scan boots up can attest to sluggish performance. The same issues rear their head when using antivirus in a virtual environment – but virtual machines come with their own set of wrinkles.

Antivirus software can be installed either on the VM itself or on the host. Depending on your approach, you’ll want to consider these key factors to maximize performance.

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Keeping Your Cloud Online with VMware Fault Tolerance

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, September 27th 2016 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Hosting, Disaster Recovery

Green House Data provides a 100% SLA – which means your cloud infrastructure is guaranteed to be online 24/7. But errors in application deployment, cyber attacks, configuration mishaps, heavy network traffic, and other issues can still cause your virtual machines to crash, if you are managing them yourself. One tool in the arsenal to fight cloud downtime is VMware Fault Tolerance.

Fault Tolerance (FT) increases availability of virtual machines by creating an identical copy of the production VM that is continuously updated and ready to replace the original VM in the event of downtime. VMware FT is part of vSphere High Availability and works with it to keep the backup VM in tandem.

FT is often used for applications that require constant availability, especially if they have continual or near-constant client connections, or for custom applications that require clustering.

Read on to see host server and VM requirements for FT, plus the difference between FT and VMware High Availability.

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Does Your IT Department Have a Cloud Service Manager?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, July 21st 2016 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Hosting

As cloud computing continues to spread throughout enterprises, mid-market companies, and SMBs alike, IT departments of every size must learn how to manage different SaaS and IaaS contracts, providers, and services.

This requires a different, if overlapping, skillset compared to administrating and operating on-site infrastructure. While much of the back-end remains the same, new titles and job roles are becoming popular for positions that identify business drivers, hammer out cloud contracts, and keep track of the complete lifecycle of a cloud service.

The Cloud Service Manager is one of these, but CTOs, Cloud Product Managers, Cloud Systems Engineers, and even Project Managers may have to fill the same shoes. What exactly is involved in being a Cloud Product Owner or Cloud Service Manager?

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What is Cloud Storage Durability & Do You Really Need 11 Nines?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, February 25th 2016 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Disaster Recovery

Cloud storage, especially object storage, is often marketed by touting its “durability,” with many providers boasting eleven or thirteen “nines”, in other words 99.999999999% reliability. It sounds great—as close to 100% reliable as you can get. But what is durability in relation to storage, and do you really need those eleven nines?

Not every service provider even offers a durability rating as it can be difficult to measure and guarantee. A more important question to ask your cloud hosting provider is about how they are protecting against data loss generally. What technologies are in play? What are your odds of recoving data? How can you tie in backup?

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When You Can’t Avoid Malware, Turn to Cloud Backup

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, February 18th 2016 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Hosting, Security

We’ve covered cryptolocker and other encryption-based malware on the blog in the past. One click-happy or poorly trained employee could bring your organization to its knees.

For Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital in Los Angeles, the cryptolocker threat became all too real. This attack may have been targeted, as the hackers requested $3.4 million to unlock the hospital’s computer systems. More or less everything in the facility is tied to the computers, even the emergency room. For now, that means some patients requiring certain equipment or testing have been moved while the facility works off paper.

Cryptolockers aren’t the only malware that can take down your IT systems. Botnets hijacking your resources, rootkits granting administrative access, spyware collecting data, Trojans, viruses, and worms can all restrict or remove access to the applications, files, and data your business needs to operate.

Cloud backup can be a great tool to restore normal operations if your systems are completely inoperable due to malware.

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