How can your company benefit from hyperconvergence?

Computing resources are very often mismanaged within the business world. Considering just under one-third of all servers haven’t processed data within the last six months, it’s clear that there are a lot of inefficiencies within enterprise IT. This kind of ineffective model is exactly what hyperconvergence is meant to solve.

Combining all computing, storage and other IT resources into a singular device is allowing companies to get more creative with their technology solutions. To that end, let’s take a peek at what the average organization can get out of hyperconvergence:

Simplify IT operations

One of the great benefits of hyperconvergence is that it helps IT employees immensely cut down on the number of individualized resources they need to deal with. A hyperconverged infrastructure allows workers the unique opportunity of handling all of these components through a centralized platform. This increases efficiency and enables staff members the ability to treat IT resources as if they were a singular system.

Hyperconvergence makes IT work easier. Allowing resources to be accessed through a singular platform allows employees to keep it all together with ease.

Scale up efficiently

Another great advantage of working in a hyperconverged environment is the fact that these systems can be very easily scaled up or down according to a company’s needs or desires. Organizations need to be constantly growing and innovating in order to continue operations, and scaling up IT needs is simply a requirement of modern business. Due to the fact that hyperconverged infrastructure growth simply requires the acquisition of new nodes, the employees can rest assured they’ll have the resources they need to get the job done.

“Hyperconverged systems can be very easily scaled up or down.”

What’s more, companies from all over the world are seeing just how easy it is to grow under a hyperconverged model. A study conducted by ActualTech Media found that 42 percent of IT workers thought it was easier to scale up within their hyperconverged infrastructure than it was to do so in other IT schemes.

It would appear that many within the business technology community don’t know about this benefit. The same study also found that only 6 percent of respondents stated that scalability was a driving force behind the switch to hyperconvergence. Clearly, this topic needs to reach a wider audience.

This is of course only a taste of what a hyperconverged infrastructure can give to the modern business. That said, this technology has far-reaching implications for many organizations, and its benefits should be carefully studied by those wishing to increase efficiency.

Data dilemma: Where does police body camera footage go?

As recording technologies get smaller and cheaper, giving police officers cameras to wear on their bodies at all times is quickly becoming a reality. These devices have incredible implications, both for average citizens and for officers, as they allow the courts to cut through all the drama and hearsay in order to get to the truth of what exactly happened. That said, there are a few obstacles standing in the way of widespread body camera deployment.

One of the biggest issues currently facing departments wishing to bring these gadgets to the field is the storage of the video itself. Having a camera running at all times during an officer’s shift creates a lot of footage, and simply deleting this because “nothing happened” isn’t an option. After all, an officer could have recorded something of import without even noticing it. So how extensive is this storage problem, and what can police departments do to ease such a transition?

How much data can a police department generate?

Before delving into the more nuanced discussions of data storage, it’s vital to first understand exactly how much data the average police station can create. Each department will obviously have its own special needs, but a good place to start is the analysis of the Chula Vista, California, police department’s data storage given by Lieutenant Vern Sallee in Police Chief Magazine.

Sallee stated that his station had 200 sworn police officers that were using body cameras in their daily rounds. After playing around with their current setup, Sallee’s department found that a 30-minute video demands around 800 MB of storage. Accounting for all officers with cameras, Chula Vista could generate around 33 TB of data annually. To put this in perspective, Sallee stated that this is roughly the same size as 17 million photographs.

Again, it’s important to remember that this is a rough estimate for a single town. Chula Vista has just over 265,000 citizens, making it larger than the average American city. That said, such a population pales in comparison to the 8.5 million people living in New York City, and implementing a police body camera initiative in this kind of metropolis would be a whole different ball game. What’s more, these larger cities are the ones that need body cameras the most, as they generally have more violent crime requiring forceful police intervention. Clearly, simply finding a place to put all this data is going to be a challenge.

Data storage has its woes. Keeping large portions of data for long stretches of time can be difficult.

Privacy and security are huge concerns

Another major concern with these body cameras is the privacy of the people involved in the recordings. As stated, departments can’t delete a video until they are absolutely sure that nothing on it could possibly be useful in the future. This means that the actions of a lot of innocent people are going to be recorded and stored, and this has certain civil rights groups worried.

In fact, a coalition of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union presented some guidelines to legislators in 2015 attempting to govern how these recordings are treated. The group wanted to prevent an overreaching use of facial recognition software, as well as ensure officers were only allowed to watch their videos from the day after filing a report, according to CNN.

“Police officers have the right to discuss personal matters without being listened to.”

On top of that, it’s important to remember that police officers have rights, too. These men and women will be recorded at all times during their shift, which means any private conversations they’ve had with their partners could easily be viewed by a third party. These people have the right to discuss personal matters without being listened to after the fact, and officers shouldn’t live in fear that their superiors will eavesdrop on some conversation that they don’t agree with.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, all of this is for naught if police departments can’t keep the video files secure. A malicious individual or group could do a lot of damage with the ability to map out an officer’s day-to-day duties, and departments must therefore do everything in their power to ensure these criminals are kept at bay.

Partnering with the right company is crucial

Clearly, there are a lot of challenges to overcome when implementing a body camera initiative. That said, the pros definitely outweigh the cons if police administrators are willing to find the right partner for the job. Any officials looking for a company to assist them in their transition should definitely check out the data storage services offered by ISG Technology. We have years of experience storing information for companies from all kinds of industries, and we pride ourselves on our ability to keep our clients’ data safe. Contact us today and find out what an ISG Technology solution can do for your department.

Davis Selected As Nimble Regional Rep of the Quarter

Nimble Storage recently selected their Q1 2017 Representative of the quarter for the region, Mike Davis – Account Executive at the ISG Wichita location.

Created four years ago as a fresh, fun way to energize key partners, the Nimble “rep of the quarter” program includes a much sought-after traveling trophy and bragging rights for partners across Missouri & Kansas. In selecting the rep of the quarter, the local Nimble team takes into account the representative’s largest deals, number of deals, and other metrics above and beyond the ‘call of duty’ – certifications, meetings, pipeline build, support and more.

Mike’s contributions include having closed the nation’s first Nimble All Flash AF7000 array to Hutchinson Clinic – Nimble’s newest innovative technology solution to support massive databases for the client’s electronic health records, patient check-in and billing systems. The Adaptive Flash AF7000 supports more than 200 virtual machines running file, exchange and web servers.

“Mike did an outstanding job closing the first All Flash Array in our company history,” said Leif Peterson, Account Executive at Nimble Storage. “It garnered a lot of recognition within Nimble, and continues to prove out the Nimble/ISG partnership.”

Mike’s name is now etched on the traveling trophy (pictured below) along with other ISG greats who’ve also earned recognition in the program.


Get to Know Mike

What Brought You to ISG?
I was ready to move on from my current company and had interest in IT, so I started searching for the top IT companies in Wichita and checking to see if they had positions open. I found ISG Technology, and the rest is history!

How long have you been in this profession?
I’ve been in sales over 10 years, but only in IT for as long as I have been at ISG. Before that, I worked in telecommunications.

Tell us the story about selling the first Nimble All-Flash Array.
Hutchinson Clinic likes to stay on the forefront of technology. When discussions came up about replacing their primary array to get more performance, the timing was perfect. We had just started hearing about all flash coming to Nimble, and they [Hutchinson Clinic] were already a satisfied Nimble client who had come to appreciate the great support and ease of management that comes with their products. In the end, the All Flash AF7000 had the performance increase they needed, making it easy to replicate to other Nimble arrays. It was the perfect fit, and they couldn’t be happier with the purchase, which is the part I get the most satisfaction from.

Who’s your hero?
I’d have to say my father. He worked very hard to take care of our family growing up and always made sure we had everything we needed. He always made sure to take time out to spend with us, too. I try to be like him when raising my kids now.

What “lesson from mom” do you still live by today?|
Never let chores pile up! Always easier to maintain work, whether at home or in the office, than get behind and have to catch up!

Most embarrassing moment at work?
Many years ago I was driving back from an appointment with a co-worker. We were in a hurry to get back, and I was low on gas but we thought we could make it. We ended up running out of gas about 5 miles from the office! His wife had to bring us some gas to make it back. Definitely embarrassing, but we laughed for years later about it.

If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be?
A remote island with myself and the family. Beautiful views and weather, and of course a fast Internet connection!

Your friends signed you up to sing Karaoke. What’s your selected jam?
I would have to jam to some Relient K – one of my favorites is Who I am Hates Who I’ve Been.

Congratulations, Mike!

ISG Partners With WSU's ATAI on Data Center and ITaaS

ISG Technology and Wichita State University’s Applied Technology Acceleration Institute (ATAI), announce a new partnership to provide daily end-user support, from desktop application and operating system support, to network administration and dispatch services.

ISG Technology is a full spectrum data center and information technology (IT) infrastructure company that also provides bandwidth, and an array of IT support services designed to help reduce costs, improve efficiency, and safeguard business critical data. A key component of that service is a support center based in Wichita.  Through the partnership with ATAI, ISG Technology will expose students to high engineering technical resources and learning experiences.

“We’re excited to team with WSU to give students in the ATAI valuable real-world experience in our support center,” said Ben Foster, president and CEO of ISG Technology.  “Technology is cresting an innovation wave right now, with increased storage capacity, faster data speeds and virtualization driving advances in cloud computing. It’s exciting for WSU students to experience the many facets involved in IT service delivery first-hand.”

“The timing couldn’t be better,” said ATAI executive director, Kenneth E. Russell, “ISG brings an incredible opportunity for our students, and we look forward to utilizing their expertise.”

Russell believes ISG Technology will be especially helpful as the institute strengthens its key capabilities, including social knowledge and dynamic data analysis.

In addition to providing student learning opportunities, ISG will support ATAI’s internal IT needs and provide ongoing support for projects including on-premises data center support and physical security system design and implementation.

The Applied Technology Acceleration Institute promotes a practical approach to solving complex technology problems and is focused on building strong industry partnerships and providing experiential learning opportunities for students. The institute includes four centers focused on social knowledge; applied research and technology consumption; dynamic data analysis; and commercialization and inventor collaboration. ATAI is a key component of Wichita State University’s Innovation Campus strategy.

How ISG handles HIPAA compliance

Health care data is heavily monitored in the U.S. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act has very strict regulatory standards about how this kind of information can be handled. One wrong decision could result in some hefty fines, even if the person or organization didn’t know they were making a mistake. The American Medical Association has stated that even accidentally violating HIPAA could cost a medical facility up to $50,000 per violation.

Clearly, making a mistake when handling medical records isn’t an option, which is why ISG Technology works with health care providers to ensure they don’t stumble. But what exactly can ISG do for you?

“Accidentally violating HIPAA could cost a medical facility up to $50,000 per violation.”

Issues with security aren’t always apparent

The main advantage of partnering with ISG is that we can help you get ready for an actual HIPAA compliance audit by zeroing in on problems you might not even notice.

One of the main issues our engineers run into when assessing a hospital’s network is the fact that security credentials often aren’t taken as seriously as they should be. Basically, employees who only need to view certain kinds of data are often able to access information they shouldn’t be able to see. In an average hospital network, only about two or three employees should be given admin privileges. However, ISG experts often come into an assessment and find that 100 workers in a 700-user system will have domain admin accounts.

This is a problem because it creates a huge number of entry points for a hacker who can socially engineer her way into accessing one of these accounts. According to past experience recounted by security firm Social-Engineer, more than two-thirds of employees will provide a stranger with their information such as their birthday, Social Security number or their personal employee ID. A hacker could easily call into this hospital and use this information to trick a staff member into giving them login credentials to an admin account, thereby allowing the criminal free reign over a network.

Hackers use social engineering to get data. Sometimes, accessing private information is as easy as asking for it.

ISG can help you fix these problems and pass an audit

HIPAA audits are extremely comprehensive, and getting a perfect score is next to impossible. In fact, as the above example shows, health care facilities often have numerous issues that they don’t even know about, which can decrease an organization’s standing if an auditor were to discover these problems.

ISG can help these facilities decrease the number of red flags to a manageable and reasonable number, thereby increasing the chances of passing an inspection. Health care data is extremely private, and ensuring its safety should be a top priority.

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White Paper: 4 Factors To Consider With Colocation

Learn how to make a business case for colocation. Get info on how to select a colocation provider, including questions to ask for businesses subject to compliance regulations.

White Paper: Next Gen Storage Business Benefits

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StorageWP_Thumbnail_WEB.jpgAs storage needs continue to explode for businesses, what is the best solution for your needs to balance both cost considerations and user experience?

Here’s what you’ll learn (without getting in the weeds):

  • 3 Key Performance Indicators
  • 5 deliverables when conducting due diligence
  • Is a hybrid flash storage deployment the right approach?
  • Examining the five benefits of storage area networks
  • What are you really paying for?
  • 6 tips on how to get the most out of your storage area network

Register to get your copy of this executive primer on storage.

White Paper: Hyper-Converged Executive Report

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We see hyper-convergence as a new IT infrastructure model that leverages the power of software-defined technology to tightly integrate end-to-end compute, network, storage, and management resources. The result is quicker deployment, faster response to business demands, simplified administration, and reduced operating costs. See how you can:

  • Move faster
  • Respond to opportunities faster
  • Launch initiatives faster
  • Produce results faster

Video: Bringing IT All Together

Click this fun animation to see how ISG supports IT teams with managed services and infrastructure solutions. Our experts help you manage innovation projects such as shared storage, virtualization, disaster recovery, security, mobility and UC collaboration projects.

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