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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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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Three Reasons Non-Technical People Should Care About the Cloud

Written by Wendy Fox on Thursday, January 26th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting

You may already know that at its most basic level, cloud computing is essentially storing, accessing, and interacting with data and applications over the internet instead of locally, like on a hard drive. And, if you are in a technical profession, you’re likely to know a whole lot more about the cloud, what it’s good for, how it’s built and deployed, and what it’s made up of.

But, what about the rest of us? Why should non-technical folks care about the cloud?

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How to Choose an Availability Strategy for SQL Server on vSphere

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, January 17th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Microsoft, VMware

When designing the architecture for your SQL Server virtualized on VMware vSphere, your requirements will determine which SQL availability or vSphere availability features you should use. There are several availability features packaged with SQL server before you even get to vSphere features like Distributed Resource Scheduler, High Availability, Fault Tolerance, or vMotion, each of which have their own considerations when interacting with SQL.

To get started, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions about your SQL deployment.

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