The Ten Zones of Enterprise Cloud Security

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, June 15th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Security

Juggling security in the cloud can seem like an insurmountable task, especially when hybrid cloud and multicloud environments come into play. While your cloud service provider (CSP) can help manage some layers of cloud security, you’ll still be left with management of at least your users and data, if not your application layer.

One way to help keep track of all the security vectors within your organization is to divide them into these ten zones of enterprise cloud security. Any cloud security policy should cover each of these areas. You can also assign a single engineer or administrator to have ownership over each zone.

Continue Reading...


Is Cloud Computing More About Business than Technology?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, June 8th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting

Focusing on cloud initiatives as a technology problem rather than business realignment can be a major mistake. Success in the cloud comes from more than just telling your CTO that you want your systems on a cloud platform. It requires a shift in overall business strategy and clear messaging from leadership on down.

You need to identify your business goals and work backwards from there to figure out how specific cloud technologies can help solve them. This may involve the creation of a cloud team or adjusting your organization to be an agile, “DevOps” style operation.

Ultimately the core technologies your team will use in the cloud aren’t much different than the old model of IT (at least if you were already virtualized), but they do require a shift in your business model to better use the flexible resources available from cloud computing, or the development of a plan that boosts efficiency, reduces costs, and thereby improves your bottom line.

Here are a few tips to keep cloud strategy front of mind.

Continue Reading...


Three Ways for MSPs to Find Cloud Opportunities

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, May 17th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting

Cloud opportunities are multiplying, and if your MSP organization doesn’t make moves to introduce your customer base to the cloud, they’re going to find someone else to do it. That doesn’t necessarily mean all cloud, all the time. Instead, focus on finding the right services to fit your client needs.

E-mail, productivity apps, and server resources are already reaching a cloud-first mentality even among SMBs, while the migration of CRM, ERP, and retail applications to the cloud is increasing in popularity. Cloud disaster recovery also remains a great first step into the cloud.

Here are three strategic ways to focus your cloud efforts and start selling more managed cloud services.

Continue Reading...


A Primer on VMware Storage Policy and How It Maximizes Capacity

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, April 25th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage

We’ve covered software-defined storage (SDS) in the past on the blog, delving into how it can automate many of your storage administration tasks. Today we’ll get a bit deeper into how SDS improves storage capacity management by maximizing the performance of the storage attached to each virtual machine according to pre-set rules.

In vSphere, storage management involves a combination of performance and service levels and capacity planning. SDS controls in the VMware ecosystem are called Storage Based Policy Management (SPDM) and with their use, you no longer have to provision virtual machines individually according to their storage requirements.

Here’s how SPBM eliminates the need to overprovision and manually manage storage arrays.

Continue Reading...


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.

Continue Reading...


Top 4 Areas to Optimize Your Cloud Spend

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Friday, March 24th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage

Cloud servers are easy to provision and configure. Maybe too easy. That’s why many organizations are finding their cloud spend spiraling out of control. If you have recently experienced shock and awe at your monthly cloud bill, you may need to examine your environment for optimization opportunities.

Here are four of the top areas to reduce your cloud sprawl, and by extension, your cloud spend.

Continue Reading...


How to Create a Successful Cloud Team

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, March 21st 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Software Development

While your admins might have virtualization experience, transitioning to a cloud-first IT strategy involves a real paradigm shift across your entire IT team. You’ve heard some of this before: you’ll be more agile, your team will be focused on service delivery instead of hardware, you’ll work on business issues rather than break/fix.

What you may not have considered are how the roles of your new cloud team may shift from previous responsibilities, or just how far reaching the culture change may be. Here are some tips to build a successful cloud service team within your organization.

Continue Reading...


Does Your Organization Need Cyberinsurance?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, March 2nd 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Colocation, Disaster Recovery, Security

In the past decade, alongside the increased importance of digital tools for business, a new category of insurance has sprung up to cover digital data breaches and liability. With the average total cost of data breaches reaching $4 million dollars and the average cost of each lost or stolen digital record increasing to $158, it is clear that experiencing a data breach is an expensive affair.

While dedicated security response teams and encryption do decrease these costs, and IPS/IDS systems and other security measures can help reduce the risk, many organizations will still experience a data breach at some point.

Cyberinsurance can help mitigate the cost of a data breach by reimbursing your company for legal fees, helping with the cost of crisis management and investigation, notification costs, extortion liability fees, and third party damages relating to network or system outages. But does every organization need cyberinsurance?

Continue Reading...


How Improving Internal Communication Resolves Support Issues Faster

Written by Sean Bales on Tuesday, February 28th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting

We've all called a support vendor that makes us talk to a robot to get help. We've all had to go through a script of questions about things we've already tried or don’t even apply to the situation, just so we can get to someone that can actually solve our problem. We've all emailed a support vendor and wondered if they are really working on our problem. These communication challenges make getting support a process that many of us dread.

Some solutions to these problems include minimizing the number of systems involved and promoting strong communication to ensure the customer knows their problem is being addressed. We start by making sure the customer can reach a real person. We make sure that automated and canned responses are minimized so it's very obvious that the person needing support is getting a response from someone and not some... thing. We try to use only one ticketing system, only one email address, and only one telephone number for support communication.

These things help but it's still just not enough. It's what happens internally within the support team that really matters. This article is meant to focus on how hand-offs and escalation affect support case resolution. This article is meant to focus on how hand-offs and escalation affect support case resolution — and how improvements can help avoid SLA violations.

Continue Reading...


Legal Battles Over Local Data: Why Your Cloud Location Matters

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, February 15th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Security

Placing data in the cloud comes with a set of concerns — accessibility (will my information always be available if the cloud has technical problems?) and security (how safe is my data when I can’t control the security measures?) chief among them. Of these, security has long been the primary concern for technology decision makers considering the cloud.

Recent surveys reveal that while security remains top of mind, the location of data is rising in prominence as a barrier or concern for cloud adoption. These concerns stem in part from the difficulty of visibility into data transit and storage. Customers might want to know where exactly their data is residing so they can retrieve it quickly — and also for legal implications.

Two recent court cases between Google, Microsoft, and the Federal Government highlight the legal entanglements that could come with storing information in the cloud. Read on to learn why the location of your cloud data is vital.

Continue Reading...

Chat Now