2018 Blog Wrap Up: Our Most Popular Posts

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, December 27th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Data Center Design, Enterprise Applications, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Security

Another year successful year has gone by on the Green House Data blog. We're thrilled to surpass 150,000 views in 2018! Thanks for reading our humble blog. In case you missed anything, here are the five top posts from 2018, covering VM performance monitoring, GDPR, and a subject no modern blog should be without…millennials. And more!

Don't forget to tune in after the New Years for more great data center, cloud, and managed IT services content!

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How Human Resources Must Evolve IT Roles for Cloud

Written by Jen Bunch on Wednesday, December 19th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, IT Operations

Cloud computing has shaken up many IT roles. While daily tasks may not be dramatically different (depending on the IT team member in question), the general trend is an increased focus on hard cloud skills and soft business skills — in other words, discovering how to generate business value out of cloud systems, rather than simply making sure an application or piece of hardware is functioning properly.

We’ve discussed previously how cloud can be difficult for Accounting to classify. But even Human Resources has to adapt. Much has been made of the cloud skills gap as a challenge to hiring the right talent. A shortage of qualified applicants may be real, but if your HR team doesn’t change the actual job descriptions and roles for which they are hiring, they won’t find the skills they need, either.

Here’s how the cloud is changing IT team roles and responsibilities.

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Are You in SaaS Denial? Here’s How to Get Ahead of Adoption Hurdles

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, December 5th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Enterprise Applications, IT Operations, Security

Will we ever get past talking about IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS? Perhaps not. Gartner recently published a list of the Top 10 Trends Impacting IT Infrastructure and Operations for 2019. Sitting at Number 8? Software as a Service (SaaS) denial.

Basically, most organizations have been hyper focused on Infrastructure and Platforms as a Service — migrating to cloud VMs, hiring admins for Azure and AWS ecosystems, learning Kubernetes and Docker.

Meanwhile, shadow IT and the overall enterprise trend is to initially prefer SaaS. Of course, SaaS has made inroads with IT departments even at the enterprise level, especially Office 365. But without Infrastructure and Operations teams taking SaaS seriously, your overall IT environment could be opened up to security risks on top of integration problems, fragmentation, and service delivery concerns.

Are you in SaaS denial? Do you have blinders on as you focus entirely on IaaS adoption or other more pressing matters? Now is the time to get ahead of the SaaS adoption hurdles by being proactive within your IT and operations departments.

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Azure Stack: What You Need to Know Before Deploying Your On-Premises Cloud

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, November 28th 2018 — Categories: Azure, Cloud Hosting, Microsoft

Azure Stack enables you to run Azure workloads on-premises or even within a colocation facility, enabling stronger security and control over your data and applications with a single management platform for your public Azure cloud infrastructure and your Azure Stack deployment.

You can use many of the best Azure tools, processes, and features — including add-ons and open source solutions from the Azure Marketplace — in the cloud of your choice, helping to meet regulatory or technical challenges.

Before you get started with this intriguing hybrid and private cloud technology from Microsoft, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind, however. Here are some of the most important.

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Why Managed Services Are Key to Fill the Multi-Cloud Skills Gap

Written by Thomas Burns on Thursday, November 1st 2018 — Categories: Azure, Managed Services, Multi-Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Hybrid IT, IT Modernization, IT Operations

Multi-cloud is the IT service model du jour, but it comes with a set of challenges that many IT departments aren’t yet ready to tackle. There are many reasons to go with more than one cloud provider, including the use of specific services or abilities, backing up storage across various vendors, maintaining availability or minimizing latency, and even using different cloud vendors as bargaining chips for pricing negotiation.

A managed services partner might be the best way for you to take advantage of multi-cloud IT infrastructure and services, especially if you face the all-too-common cloud skills gap that many organizations encounter.

Read on for statistics on multi-cloud adoption and cloud skills difficulties, as well as ways in which a partner can help you alleviate the top multi-cloud obstacles.

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Business Indicators to Help You Decide Public vs. Hybrid/Private Cloud

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, October 11th 2018 — Categories: Managed Services, Cloud Hosting, Hybrid IT, IT Operations

There are myriad technical considerations when deciding how to architect and deploy your cloud infrastructure, but your business structure, size, strategy, and industry are also significant factors.

You don’t need to take a deep dive into technical evaluations of each workload to choose between public cloud and a hybrid or private infrastructure. It’s possible that your business practices will make that decision for you before you ever get to individual app/system analysis.

Here are the business traits to consider as you weigh your cloud options.

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Microsoft Azure Active Directory – Identity Models Explained

Written by Muditha Chathuranga on Wednesday, October 10th 2018 — Categories: Azure, Active Directory, Cloud Hosting, Microsoft

Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AAD) is a multi-tenant cloud-based directory and identity management service. It combines core directory services, access management, and identity protection in to a single solution. Azure Active Directory is not to be confused with Azure Active Directory Domain Services, which is a separate service and not the focus of this article.

For every organization that chooses to subscribe to Microsoft Online Services– Office 365, Dynamics 365, Intune, etc., choosing the correct identity model for AAD becomes an important task. In this article, we will have a look at the characteristics of each.

While there are no specific dependencies on the identity model of AAD for Microsoft Online Services to function, your organizational needs and other factors such as manageability, access control, auditing, and user experience determine which identity model should be deployed.

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Start Automating Your Cloud with Azure Automation

Written by Freddy Mora Silva on Wednesday, October 3rd 2018 — Categories: Azure, Patching, Cloud Hosting, Microsoft

As part of any monitoring strategy, we might need to automate some tasks to provide key information to evaluate the state of our infrastructure or apply a repetitive action to resolve specific issues.

We have several ways to implement this. One option is to use Microsoft’s Azure Automation toolset. Let’s explore what you can control with Azure Automation and how to get started using it for cloud server update management, configuration, and more.

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Microsoft Azure Active Directory: Getting Started with Identity Management in the Cloud, Part 2

Written by Muditha Chathuranga on Wednesday, September 19th 2018 — Categories: Azure, Active Directory, Cloud Hosting, Microsoft, Security

Microsoft Azure Active Directory, or AAD, is an IDaaS (Identity as a Service) offering that helps you manage corporate identities in the cloud. In this blog series, we're taking a look at the primary AAD features that you'll use to get your ID management up and running for Azure cloud services.

In Part 1 we discussed Connect, Single-Sign On, and Multifactor Authentication. You can also find a table of AAD pricing on that post. Remember, this series is not a deep dive into AAD configuration, but rather an overview of key features. Depending on your SKU you may or may not have access to all of these features.

Part 2 includes Self Service Password Resets, Identity Protection, Conditional Access, and Privileged Identity Management. These features help you control access and maintain security and compliance protocol across your enterprise cloud.

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Adjusting Your Channel Operations for Cloud Resale

Written by David Neely on Thursday, September 13th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, IT Channel

The IT channel is taking ever bigger bites out of the cloud computing market. Only 39% of companies report sourcing their cloud services directly from Cloud Service Providers, leaving the remaining 61% to a mix of CSPs and third parties, with 10% coming primarily from third parties alone, according to a CompTIA survey. Meanwhile, IaaS, Security as a Service (SECaaS), and SaaS all offer higher average MMR than Contact Center as a Service, Data Networks, and Voice Network services, according to Avant.

If you’re looking to shift some of your clients and sales towards the cloud, you need to adjust your operations accordingly or risk losing customers to direct sales or competitors.

Here are the biggest changes you’ll need to make to your channel sales and IT operations in order to maximize on your cloud resale strategy.

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