Surviving In The IT Wilderness: Have You Got What IT Takes?

Which IT Survivalist are you? I got "The Money MacGyver." Sweet!

Ever read The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook? You, too, can learn how to escape from quicksand, wrestle an alligator, and live to tell the tale if your parachute fails to open! But while all that is well and good, I admit, I haven’t come across any of those situations recently. But I have come across plenty of worst-case scenarios in the IT wilderness. You may be familiar with some of them, such as: • Facing a disaster with outdated equipment, risky survival tactics, and an inexperienced team. • Failing to prepare for a loss of availability, costing millions of dollars as a result of the outage and subsequent recovery. • Choosing the wrong cloud solution for your applica … Read more

Oracle OpenWorld 2014: Building The Foundations For Success

Oracle Open World Image

Stop by the Sungard AS booth (#2301) at Oracle OpenWorld this week to see a few “floor plans” from Sungard AS and Oracle, and tell us what you are looking for in your own Oracle environment. Oracle OpenWorld runs September 28 through October 2 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Floor plans? For your Oracle environment? Yup. Here’s how we like to think of it: As anyone who has built (or modified) their own home can attest, having the right contractor is crucial to handling what many call a stressful experience. The general contractor handles everything from acquiring materials to licensing and permits, hiring the right workers, overseeing the project, and staying on-budget. If you’re luc … Read more

DRaaS And The Cloud: The Why, What, And How Of Recovery Services

Man with cloud diagram

The network cloud has become a very popular place. All kinds of services can be found there. Now, add disaster recovery to the list. It turns out that cloud service features match customer requirements for backup and recovery solutions amazingly well. Stringent security and high availability in carrier-class cloud environments have been proven and accepted. So if you’ve been waiting on these features to look into cloud services for disaster recovery, the wait is over. Cloud Service Benefits Yes, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)—a subset of Recovery as a Service (RaaS)-- is booming because customers are feeling confident in the security and availability features in cloud inf … Read more

Wild Cowboy Stories From The IT Frontier

cowboy silhouette

For many years, I wore cowboy boots to work. It seemed appropriate … after all, as a senior architect, I often have to “herd” clients to help them develop solutions around availability of their most critical business systems and processes. In the process, I often tell a few tales around the IT campfire from the frontier of days past. The stories demonstrate to my clients that this is, in fact, not my first rodeo. Note: places, names, and timelines have been changed to protect the innocent (and the guilty). “As a cowboy, you are only as good as your last round up.” Early in my career, I had a client with the on-site system administrator who was responsible for fileserver backups for the cor … Read more

Information Security Exposure: Is Your Company’s Information Running Around Naked?

zipper opening skies

By Matthew Goche and John Beattie You’ve probably had this dream: you’re in a public setting and as you look down, you realize that you are (gasp!) stark naked! Not good. Fortunately, it is just a dream. But here’s a real-life question for you: is your company’s information running around naked? In other (more technical) words, what is your information security exposure? Are you “covered”? Or can people see things you would rather that they not see? One of the key problem zones for information security exposure is where companies intersect with their vendors. Do we need to remind you of Target? Probably not! So what do you do to make sure your data is decently clothed? How to make sure … Read more

The Best IT Blogs Of The Week: 9-17-14

IT blogs

As we all know, the workplace is transforming right in front of our eyes. Changing work environments and technology are giving us more freedom in ways unimaginable twenty years ago. But that’s not all: as older employees remain in the workforce while younger prospects enter the professional world, there’s a whole combination of generations and skills at the table. Need an example? Let’s get to it. New Trends In a piece by Natalie Burg, she observes that senior employees are a powerful bunch in business, and they’re here to stay. Senior employees tend to have more experience in leadership, dedication, and have better communication skills than today’s cyber youth. But what’s important lies in … Read more

What Do Information Security Consultants REALLY Do?

Man working at laptop

With all of the data breaches in the news lately, you might be thinking of calling in an information security consultant to help improve your network’s protection. That’s a good idea, and a good step to protect your company data. But consultants are not created equal. They have different areas of expertise and levels of expertise as well as different levels of commitment to your business. Before you spend a lot of money on an information security consultant, you want to make sure you know your security goals and priorities. The following questions can help you determine your needs and ultimately choose the right consultant: • Do you have the staff and the skills to successfully manage … Read more

Think It’s Just A Line Item In An IT Budget? Think Again.

IT Budget Line Item Check

You’ve been there: you and others are sitting at a table with a budget spreadsheet, reviewing line items in an attempt to reduce costs. The problem is, when it comes to IT, attempts to reduce costs can have an unanticipated negative impact on business availability if people are looking at a line item’s cost but are not taking into account the item’s value. Let’s take a fundamental component of availability as an example: Internet access. It’s an essential artery to your business survival. However, not all Internet services provide the same functionality. Some people at the budgeting table might think, “This service costs $X. With another service, we could save $Y. Let’s change. They both gi … Read more