“Spring Clean” Your IT

Spring Clean Your IT_TierPoint By Kip Thurston, General Manager and Vice President

Spring is coming. For many organizations, it’s a hopeful time of year. January and most of February are filled with budget discussions, but by March and April, those negotiations are (mostly) behind us. Best of all, there’s still plenty of time left in the year to make things happen.

To get the rest of the year started off on the right foot, we suggest a little in-house spring cleaning. Below are three ideas, any of which could be blown up into a major project. However, even minor efforts in each of these areas can help you realize some quick wins.

#1 Out with the Old

Almost every organization has some part of their IT infrastructure that’s getting a little long in the tooth. Now may be a good time to consider which of your applications and data sets can be moved from aging on-premises hardware and into the cloud. You can get immediate performance (and security) improvements and make hardware upgrades and maintenance a thing of the past.

Tip: Clouds are not an all or nothing strategy. Most organizations we work with use some form of hybrid IT, with their applications and data spread across public and private clouds as well as on-premises data centers. Taking this approach can help you manage your budgets wisely, ensure data security, and get the performance you need. Continue reading

Designing an HA/DR Strategy for SQL Server 2016

By Mike Donaghey, DBA Services Manager

To ensure business continuity in the face of a power outage, natural disaster, or equipment
failure, it’s important to consider your high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) strategy. HA minimizes the odds of a disruption from malfunctioning equipment or service failure, while DR is your plan for getting up and running after a disaster.

Developing an HA and DR strategy can be challenging.  Microsoft’s SQL Server 2016, like most other major databases, offers several possible HA/DR options, but which you choose will depend on your company’s requirements for recovery and the details of your IT infrastructure, as well as which edition of SQL Server you have. Microsoft provides a comprehensive comparison chart of the High Availability features of SQL Server 2016 editions here.

To help you understand your options, Matt Aslett, Research Director for Data Platforms and Analytics at 451 Research, and I reviewed many of the key considerations and capabilities around HA/DR plan and SQL Server 2016’s HA/DR capabilities in this recent webinar:

Register now: On-demand webinar_SQL Server: Understanding Your Options for Disaster Recovery & High Availability Continue reading

Are You a 21st Century CIO?

By Lucie Poulicakos, General Manager & Vice President, TierPoint

The role of the CIO or CTO—or even IT manager—hasn’t been around that long. According to CIO.com, the title of CIO didn’t come into existence until sometime in the late ’80s or early ’90s. Even then, it was seen as a “trendy title,” but “often at the same level as the IT manager or MIS manager.” Not the role most CIOs probably envisioned when they finally earned their promotion!

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As technology advanced, so too did the role of the CIO and CTO. It’s been said that every organization is a technology organization these days. There’s certainly some truth to that. Everyone from C-level executive, to salesperson, to receptionist relies on technology to get the job done. Managing this level of complexity requires someone with the capacity to look at the big picture and to understand how all the pieces fit together. Somewhere in the 15 years, the role of CIO transitioned from a “trendy title” to a “must have” for every organization. And the role isn’t done changing yet. Continue reading

TierPoint Gains Traction in New Gartner DRaaS Report

data-center-image_neon-linesBy Shea Long, SVP of Products at TierPoint

Adopting Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is fast becoming a de facto standard for business continuity.  Gartner has noted this trend in its recent report, Critical Capabilities for Disaster Recovery as a Service:

By 2018, the number of organizations using disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) will exceed the number of organizations using traditional, syndicated recovery services.

By 2018, 20% of enterprises with a minimum of 5,000 employees will be failing over the operation of one or more production applications to DRaaS, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or cloud-enabled managed hosting.

– Gartner Critical Capabilities for Disaster Recovery as a Service, Ron Blair, John Morency, Mark Thomas Jaggers, October 10, 2016

Gartner’s research focused on enterprise businesses, however, we’re seeing substantial interest among small and midsized businesses (SMBs) too.  Organizations of all sizes want the benefits of a managed service like DRaaS to ease staffing concerns, cut capital expenditures and address rising regulatory compliance pressures while making sure their corporate data and applications are protected and available to their users. Continue reading

Offsite Backups Are Not a Disaster Recovery Plan

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By Dave Metzger, Senior Solutions Engineer

What good is customer data if you can‘t get to it?  That’s the critical problem with mistaking an offsite backup plan with a disaster recovery (DR) plan.

An offsite backup plan preserves your data, but it doesn’t enable it.  Let me explain.

If you suffer a disruption in service, your backup plan swings into action, capturing data as of the last recovery point.  Most backups are done on a daily basis.  Let’s say your system goes down Tuesday at 4 p.m.; your backup recovery point may be midnight on Monday, the day before.  This means your business has lost all data generated on Tuesday – sales, service, inventory, billing, you name it.  This also assumes that the previous backup has finished replicating to your offsite location – not a guarantee depending on how large your backups are.

But that’s not even your biggest headache.  If you have backed up your data offsite, you now have to retrieve it as of the last recovery point.  But your backup has only captured past data; you can’t put that data back online until you also restore the applications that can access the data.  Continue reading

NEIBP Working Toward a Turnkey DR System

By Brian Schwartz, TierPoint Content Team

Introduction
Ron Tedesco has served the National Elevator Industry Benefit Plans (NEIBP) for more than two decades. The organization, which administers collectively-bargained benefits for the International Union of Elevator Constructors, serves approximately 100,000 members and their families. Tedesco, who runs the IT department, concentrates a significant portion of his time on protecting member data because he knows that any data loss could make it more difficult for them to receive medical and retirement benefits.

In early 2015, Tedesco set out to modernize the NEIBP’s approach to backup and disaster recovery. At the time, his team was not satisfied with their cloud solution because data could not be easily recovered. Their goal was to implement a turnkey disaster recovery (DR) solution that would be simple to manage across multiple locations.

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Ron Tedesco, Director of IT, National Elevator Industry Benefit Plans, is leading a creative effort to design and implement a DR solution for data and telecommunications.  

Continue reading

Data Center POST: “DRaaS is a Cornerstone of the Cloud”

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Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service is a Cornerstone of the Cloud

As published by Shea Long for Data Center POST on August 31, 2016 on www.datacenterpost.com 

Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) is emerging as a fundamental component of the cloud services landscape because it provides a way to protect against data loss from your own servers or from other cloud services. The two primary types of DRaaS are cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-server. Each has unique benefits but are both part of the broader DRaaS solution set that is growing in popularity.

Large enterprise organizations are not the only ones buying DRaaS. Mid-sized companies can reap the benefits too. The big benefit that drives interest is risk mitigation. No one wants to be caught without the ability to recover their data in the event of a crash. DRaaS is also growing because companies recognize the substantial cost of unplanned downtime. IDC, a market research, analysis and advisory firm, has uncovered that the average revenue lost per hour of downtime in midsize companies is significant: nearly $60,000 for manufacturing firms, $158,000 for healthcare businesses and $400,000 for retail businesses. A significant storm, single lightning strike, and even human error can put an entire operation at risk.

Gartner Research predicted that, “By 2018, the number of organizations using disaster recovery as a service will exceed the number of organizations using traditional, syndicated recovery services.”

Another reason for DRaaS’ growth is that more organizations are utilizing hybrid IT to balance the mix of IT services between a cloud provider and their own internal data centers. Hybrid IT provides organizations with more flexibility to scale up their storage and compute needs and shift workloads to the right resources, with the added benefit of having it all managed through a single pane of glass.

Continue reading on Data Center POST >>

Shea_Long_SVP Product TierPoint

Shea Long is SVP of Products at TierPoint.  He brings more than 20 years of Product experience to TierPoint and leads the strategic vision, development, revenue growth, and life cycle management of Cloud, Managed Services, Security, Disaster Recovery and Colocation services. Shea’s passion drives the creation of products that inspire and connect businesses, people and technologies while improving performance and creating opportunity.