Infrastructure as Code: The Cornerstone for DevOps & Multicloud

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, March 6th 2019 — Categories: Multi-Cloud, Datacenter Automation, Cloud Hosting, DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations

One key concept to master when dealing with cloud, containerized, or otherwise software-defined infrastructure is Infrastructure as Code. This may seem strange at first. After all, your code runs on top of infrastructure, right?

Infrastructure as code (IaC) works in practice by managing your computing resources — virtual machines, storage, networking, and all the associated policies for security and such — in the same manner as you treat your code. This packages everything necessary for your application, from the code and assets to the underlying infrastructure itself, together into what works functionally as a single deployment.

Just as DevOps combined development and operations into one entity, IaC combines code and infrastructure as one.

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What is Kubernetes and How Does it Make Container Administration Easier?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, February 28th 2019 — Categories: Multi-Cloud, Cloud Hosting, DevOps, Hybrid IT, IT Modernization

Kubernetes has been kicking around since Google made it open source in 2014. Like many technologies it has taken some time to go mainstream, but with the rapid adoption of containers by many enterprise organizations, Kubernetes (or k8s) has become extremely popular as a method to manage, scale, and deploy containers across host platforms.

If you aren’t very familiar with Kubernetes, here’s why you might be interested in the platform and why it has proven essential to large scale containerized IT applications.

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Migrating Exchange to the Cloud? You’ll Want to Keep One Server On-Prem

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, January 24th 2019 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Azure, Active Directory, O365, Migration, Cloud Hosting, Enterprise Applications, Hybrid IT, IT Modernization, Microsoft

When you decide to move your Exchange environment to the cloud, you might be confused to discover that you still need to maintain an on-premises Exchange server. There are several reasons for this, stemming from the migration process and on to Identity Management.

If you’re moving from an active on-premises Exchange deployment, you’ll first configure an interim “Exchange Hybrid” environment which hosts mailboxes within Exchange Online and your local Exchange server. The two locations share namespace, address books, free-busy, calendars, really every Exchange functionality is synced between them. Mail flow and other functions appear to be internal, but might actually be processed and stored in the cloud environment.

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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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Can DevOps as a Service Alleviate Adoption Pains?

Written by Thomas Burns on Thursday, December 13th 2018 — Categories: Managed Services, DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Software Development

DevOps practices have moved past pure software development and into enterprise adoption, facilitating faster updates to applications and associated infrastructure.

The crux of DevOps is the unification of tools and processes between development and operations teams to decrease time to market/deployment and implement continuous improvements throughout the development, testing, implementation, and ongoing maintenance of applications and underlying infrastructure.

Despite widespread DevOps adoption — or at least the majority of surveyed enterprises reporting they have started the journey towards it — many organizations are still struggling. Enter DevOps as a Service. But is DevOps as a Service a legitimate offering? The definition is still evolving, and different MSPs may offer different takes on DevOps-a-a-S.

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Beyond One and Done: Consulting and Managed Services Enable Continuous Improvement

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, November 8th 2018 — Categories: DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations

A traditional enterprise advisory engagement is often a “one and done” deal — you have an IT problem to solve or a new technology to implement and the consulting agency comes in, gathers info, makes recommendations, helps with the execution and steps out of your way.

That’s great for large-scale improvements. But modern IT practices preach continuous improvement, agile methodology, and DevOps practices even beyond the software development world. With the advent of cloud, it’s all about continuous, constant iterations of your software and services.

Many SaaS platforms take care of this for you. That may not be the case with IaaS and remaining hardware, however. Focusing your existing staff on business goals and service delivery while augmenting it with an advisory and managed service provider partner can take even your backend infrastructure and upstack applications into the realm of continuous improvement via cloud management services, automation, and feedback loops.

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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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Turning Your IT Department into a Service Center

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, August 30th 2018 — Categories: Managed Services, DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations

Here we are again, talking about digital transformation. While the pile of buzzwords threatens to overwhelm at times, this particular movement has real benefits for organizations that are still running IT in the old style, with break-fix scrambling, disjointed service delivery, and a take-it-or-leave it approach to technology procurement.

Rather than focusing simply on the end goal from an IT perspective, your IT department should be focused on the bigger picture. Your users are in effect your customers — and your company’s customers are supported by those users. By bringing business goals and processes under the IT umbrella, you help foster communication, efficiency, improve IT services, and most importantly revenue growth across the organization.

Here are three areas to focus on when transforming your IT department into a service center.

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Could Your Data Center Be Put Out to Pasture Within the Next Decade?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, August 2nd 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Colocation, Hybrid IT, IT Modernization, IT Operations

We’ve gone back and forth on this for many years now. Are enterprise data centers dying? Gartner seems to think so, recently predicting that by 2025, 80% of enterprises will have shut down their traditional data centers, compared to 10% today.

That’s less than ten years out. Do you foresee your data center being put out to pasture within a decade? Or largely decommissioned and consolidated? It doesn’t seem too far-fetched considering an average hardware lifespan of three years. You could cycle through your servers three times over before then — and most of those compute workloads will likely end up in the cloud or hosted elsewhere.

Here's how that change will affect how you procure and manage IT services.

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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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