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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“Lift and Shift” is the Opposite of Digital Transformation

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, July 26th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Enterprise Applications, IT Modernization, IT Operations

Migrating to the cloud? Now is the perfect time to start or continue your digital transformation. There are several methods when it comes to cloud migration. At some point in your cloud journey you’re bound to encounter more than one of them and each of them certainly has its purpose.

But if you aren’t designing in the cloud, for the cloud (which could involve rearchitecting or procuring replacement application components), you’re missing out on many of the biggest advantages of cloud computing.

Here’s why “lift and shift” ends up stifling what could be a transformative cloud migration that sets the stage for your enterprise IT for years to come.

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Network Considerations for the Cloud: It All Comes Down to the App

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, April 19th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Enterprise Applications, HIPAA Compliance, Networking and Fiber

At Green House Data we like to say there’s no “one size fits all” cloud deployment. That’s why we don’t have base package pricing on the website — every VM is right-sized and designed around our client’s applications and business goals. That philosophy applies to every cloud deployment, and the network considerations aren’t exempt.

Depending on your objectives, the intended use of the application in question, and the location of your users and service providers, your network will have different performance and cost implications.

Let’s take a look at how to prepare your network for varying application deployments in the cloud.

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A Brief Guide to Smooth Database Migration

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Friday, December 8th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Disaster Recovery, Enterprise Applications, IT Operations

Moving to the cloud, changing service providers, upgrading your host hardware, consolidating data centers, or switching to new software — they all might necessitate a database migration.

Moving a database is not a task to be taken lightly, but it can lead to more centralized and efficient management, lower storage costs, and/or reduced license requirements. To minimize your risk and downtime, follow these database migration tips.

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Best Practices for Load Testing Cloud Applications

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, November 16th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Hosting, DevOps, Enterprise Applications, IT Operations, Software Development

The holidays are looming, meaning many DevOps teams are about to have their apps take a beating as hundreds of holiday orders and new device users slam them all at the same time. Whether or not your systems are consumer-focused, there will eventually come a time when the overall load on your servers is pushed to the limit.

Load testing applications in the cloud allows development and testing staff to perform scale testing to see at what point virtual machines need to scale, when to add additional resources like storage or bandwidth, and when a failover solution might be necessary.

By thoroughly performing load tests throughout the DevOps process, your organization eventually lowers costs and your team doesn’t have to scramble during a major event. Here are some best practices when performing cloud-based load testing.

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How to Decide on a License Model for Virtualized SQL Server

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, October 5th 2017 — Categories: Enterprise Applications

With two different licensing models and several different versions of SQL Server, managing your licensing in a virtualized environment (like a hosted VMware cloud) is no simple matter.

This quick rundown will guide you towards the best licensing choice for your cloud VMs running Microsoft SQL Server.

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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, Enterprise Applications, IT Operations, 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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Moving to Cloud? Know Which of These Four Categories Your Applications Fall Under

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, July 20th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Enterprise Applications, IT Modernization, IT Operations

While designing a new application may be the hot development path right now, enterprise organizations have a multitude of legacy applications that should not be ignored when undertaking a cloud initiative.

If you’re preparing to migrate some or all of your applications to a cloud environment, you’ll need to examine them and determine which of these four categories they fall under. With careful planning and perhaps some investment in development, your applications will work just as well in the cloud as they did on-premise. 

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Should You Allow Windows Users to Have Administrative Rights?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, July 6th 2017 — Categories: Enterprise Applications, IT Operations, Microsoft, Security

Allowing your users administrative rights under their Windows desktop certainly makes their life easier, but it can cause significant headaches for your sysadmins — and it also opens up a wide variety of vulnerabilities.

A recent study from security vendor Avecto found that 94% of critical vulnerabilities announced by Microsoft could be mitigated by simply removing administrative rights. These vulnerabilities range from phishing attacks that can hijack the system via applications like Microsoft Word to packets that are specially crafted to hit Windows Server. In most cases, they can be leveraged to remotely execute code and take control of the PC, potentially accessing sensitive data and applications deeper within the network.

Many modern workplaces allow users more leeway over the configuration of their workstations, as computer-savvy employees are often more productive when they have applications set up the way they want. But with shutting down admin rights proving to be a relatively easy and strong method of eliminating vulnerabilities, should you risk enabling them?

The answer is probably not...with some caveats.

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Keep Exchange Secure: A Checklist

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Monday, May 8th 2017 — Categories: Enterprise Applications, Security

It’s impossible to imagine modern business without e-mail. While your users may scoff at the idea of a fax or hard line phone, in the background your IT department is working to make sure the e-mail systems your business relies upon continue to function smoothly, both in the moment of sending and receiving and for long term archive and retrieval.

A key element of a functional Exchange server is security. E-mail is an easy route for phishing, social engineering, and malware to enter your environment. It’s also a great way to access confidential information.

To maintain Exchange server security and the integrity of your business e-mail, follow this security checklist.

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