EMC World: What’s In Your Hybrid Cloud Basket?

EMC World, cloud strategy

At the EMC World conference in Las Vegas this week, there will be plenty of vendors to choose from to begin constructing or refining your hybrid cloud strategy. But it can be confusing and complicated with all the changes in IT, a mixed bag of tech components, little time to construct your cloud and pressure to cut costs. It reminds me of what the chefs have to do on the TV show Chopped. I recently caught a ride in New York using the ride-sharing service Uber. My driver was a young woman who drives for Uber for extra money; her real career is as a food stylist for magazines, cookbooks, restaurants, etc. She even appeared on an early season of Chopped and almost won, but her ingredients … Read more

Making the Right Connections at SAPPHIRE 2015: Making It Simple With SAP

SAPPHIRE, SAP

At SAP®’s annual SAPPHIRE Conference on May 5-7 in Orlando, you’ll interact with thousands of IT professionals searching for the best of the best in cloud computing. You’ll also see SAP’s unique partner ecosystem in action – connecting technology companies, service providers, systems integrators, channel partners and consultants with the goal of providing customers robust solutions for managing complex IT environments. So how do you sort through all the activity and excitement to find the best ideas for your business? First, think about why you’re here. Customers are looking for a trusted advisor to fulfill IT needs and help them run their businesses more simply, and SAP technology partner … Read more

What Do The NFL Draft And Your Recovery Time Objective Have In Common?

NFL draft, recovery time objective

The recovery time objective (RTO) for a server, application, or system is often considered the holy grail by IT personnel. After all, this is the absolute drop dead time when things need to be up and running again in the event of an outage. What could be more important than that? Not even the NFL draft, right? Before you answer, let me ask you this: just because your cable company plans to have a technician arrive between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m., does that mean the tech will actually knock on your door that afternoon? Too often, the answer is, “No” and “I’m sorry, we’ve been delayed.” As a cable customer, you don’t care what the arrival time goal is. You want to know the actual time that techn … Read more

Cloud Computing Security Issues: The Facilities

Cloud Computing Security Issues

This series examines security in the cloud, showing how companies can mitigate cloud computing security issues and risks. Because of the term “cloud computing” and the habit of referring to data and applications as being “in the cloud,” it can be easy to forget that “the cloud” is housed in a physical facility. Businesses should carefully look into that facility when to avoid any cloud computing security issues. Once a potential vendor has been selected, a company should request an in-person tour of their facilities. During this tour, the company should compare what they see against a checklist that includes such items as: Physical structure. What is the facility like? What are the … Read more

Not So Seamless: Lilly Pulitzer For Target Line Colorfully Illustrates Importance Of Availability

Target, Lilly Pulitzer for Target

If you never heard the name Lilly Pulitzer before, chances are you’ve heard your fair share in just the past week. The retail giant Target recently unveiled a new line of colorful, designer clothing and home accessories based on the iconic patterns of Lilly Pulitzer, one of America’s most celebrated clothing designers. But the website encountered difficulties, and within minutes the new items were sold out both online and in stores, frustrating shoppers nationwide. Consumers were disappointed because the new “Lilly Pulitzer for Target” promised to be a more affordable line of Lilly Pulitzer items. Pulitzer, dubbed the “Queen of Prep,” was an American socialite and fashion designer whose jui … Read more

Home Security Provides Traditional Physical Security, But It Leaves The Door Open For Cyber Attacks

cyber attack, physical security

A deadbolt used to provide ample home physical security. The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing that. If cyber attacks can broach corporate security systems through their air conditioning controllers (like they did at Target), imagine what they can do with the IoT and your home WiFi network. Suddenly your thermostat, fitness recorder, TV set-top box, and any other appliances that report to you are open doors to your WiFi, your computer and, ultimately, your personal and financial information. “For example,” Todd Morris, CEO, Brickhouse Security, explains, “Cable companies aren’t in the security business. They provide dumb pipes into homes.” Then, they use the same type of routers for all … Read more

Does Your Information Technology Department Need Spring Cleaning?

spring cleaning, information technology department

With the first day of spring behind us, many people are engaging in their annual spring cleaning: dusting off lawn chairs, sweeping the patio, planting some seeds, starting to get yards in shape, pulling down warm-weather items from the attic, etc. Although many of us take the time for spring cleaning in our personal lives, we don’t often take these steps within our Information Technology departments or with their supported services. So to get you started on this task, here is an IT spring cleaning checklist: 1. Clean out end-of-support devices – Most IT departments have long since cleared out the majority of the obsolete operating systems in their environments, but many have a few out … Read more

CSG International Processes 1 Billion Cable Statements Annually, Relying On Managed Disaster Recovery To Ensure Resiliency

CSG International, Managed Disaster Recovery

Two of the most popular shows on cable television right now, The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul, have very few similarities. One series portrays the battle between zombies and humans in a post-apocalyptic world; the other is the prequel to Breaking Bad and tracks the early career of Jimmy McGill, a small-time lawyer who will one day become the criminal attorney for Walter White, the show’s infamous chemistry-teacher-turned-meth dealer. But one thing they have in common is that if cable subscribers can’t tune in to the programming due to a billing mishap caused by a computing error, tens of millions of fans could be disappointed. That’s where CSG International (CSG) – the second-largest cab … Read more

Cloud Computing Security Issues: The Vendor

cloud computing security issues

This series examines security in the cloud, showing how companies can mitigate cloud computing security issues and risks. This post specifically addresses vendors. The cloud is not “one-size-fits-all.” Every company must examine their own security requirements, often on an application-by-application basis, to determine which cloud solution is most appropriate to their needs. Once the type of cloud solution has been selected, they must determine how they can mitigate any security risks. It is important to recognize that risk cannot be 100% eliminated. However, it can be significantly reduced to a level that is acceptable for a given business. The most crucial step in reducing risk is ven … Read more