IT resilience

Cost savings and benefits enabled by an IT resilience platform

The always-on nature of modern business means that the cost of downtime has increased exponentially in recent years. The need to restore operations quickly and the complexity of the modern hybrid computing environment means that traditional backup mechanisms are unable to keep pace.

IT resilience platforms like Zerto overcome these shortcomings, allowing businesses to better protect their operations from failure – and to recover quickly in the event of an outage. Indeed, the benefits of IT resilience platforms are substantial.

Reducing downtime and outage costs

Even in a 99.999% uptime environment, downtime is still a reality. Forrester Research estimates costs of more than £7000 every hour that systems are down – including planned maintenance. Avoiding unplanned downtime is vital – as is reducing the window of time required for planned maintenance.

According to the same Forrester report, the Zerto IT resilience plan delivers savings of £1.8m on unplanned downtime during the first three years after implementation. This is in addition to a further £695k saving realised by simplifying the process of deploying upgrades, patches and migrations.

Consolidate DR and backup tools

Zerto offers a chance to consolidate numerous operations management tools – backup, disaster recovery, staging, deployment etc – into a single application. This consolidation reduces application purchasing, licensing and maintenance fees – by more than £560k.

Simplify disaster recovery and backup operations

Disaster recovery and backup routines are only as good as the testing that ensures everything is working correctly. Although vital, these tests can be time and resource intensive, consuming budget that could be better spent on strategic projects.

The Zerto IT resilience platform streamlines many routine backup/DR operations, simplifying the testing process and reducing the burden on the IT team.

Streamline technology migrations

Technology migrations are a major undertaking, usually involving many months of planning, testing and staggered rollouts. An IT resilience platform can help to simplify the migration process, particularly when using cloud services.

Zerto has been shown to achieve no data loss and near-zero recovery point objectives using change-block tracking during the move.

Conclusion

The Zerto IT resilience platform improves the data security of your business and allows your team to be more productive through automation. With deeper insights comes greater control, allowing your IT to flex and adapt as business needs change.

Zerto also offers significant cost savings. In total, Forrester calculate an average ROI of 279% realised over three years. This represents a sizeable proportion of IT budget that can be reclaimed for investment in other strategic projects. And with the power and reliability of continuous data protection, Zerto makes it easier for your business to embrace the fail-faster AGILE model – without concerns about the impact testing and development has on operations.

To learn more about continuous data protection, IT resilience platforms and what Zerto can do for your business, please get in touch.

Fujitsu SPARC servers

5 Reasons to consolidate your Solaris workloads on Fujitsu SPARC

There are two certainties in computing. First, the volume of data you hold will continue to grow exponentially. Second, your business will need to put that data to work to increase efficiency, develop new products and services, better serve your customers and strengthen profits.

For Solaris workloads, this will require new levels of scalability and flexibility, reliability and manageability and high performance. And this is where Fujitsu SPARC M10 and M12 servers can assist.

Features like the SPARC XII processor, Software on Chip architecture and a modular design will help businesses achieve more. But more than simply replacing existing hardware, M10 and M12 servers also offer opportunities to consolidate your Solaris workloads – but why would you want to?

1. Reduce running costs

Put simply, fewer machines means lower running costs. More efficient processor architecture means you can achieve more – and reduce power and cooling requirements. A smaller IT estate is also simpler to manage, requiring less intervention and support, freeing your engineers to focus on other strategic projects – or to reduce headcount if appropriate.

2. Reduce licensing costs

Every server requires a license of some kind – usually several – for OS, software and various client access rights. It makes sense that fewer servers, require fewer licenses, incurring fewer costs. Even if your new Fujitsu SPARC servers require additional per-core licensing, fewer physical machines are still easier to manage. This will make it far easier to ensure you have the correct level of coverage and avoid over/underspend – and to avoid fines for non-compliance.

3. Maximise ROI

Reducing operating, management and licensing costs all help to lower the total cost of ownership of consolidated Fujitsu SPARC servers. Which leaves plenty of potential to maximise return on investment moving forwards.

4. Maximise resource use

Consolidating servers encourages architecture design that maximises the use of available resources – and ROI. Carefully balancing workloads delivers superior performance and avoids unnecessary upgrades by using what you already have available in your Fujitsu SPARC servers – Oracle Solaris Zones are designed specifically for this purpose.

5. Simplify upgrade planning

Fujitsu M12 and M10 servers are specifically designed to be modular. As your Solaris data estate and processing needs grow, you can connect more SPARC servers to add additional capacity quickly and easily. This ‘building block’ approach to infrastructure offers a clear upgrade path for the future. And because the technology is already familiar, there’s no need to retrain – your engineers and developers will be able to hit the ground running.

Shrink to grow

Consolidating Solaris workloads with Fujitsu SPARC servers allows you to shrink your Solaris data centre footprint and grow your computing capabilities. We’ve outlined five good reasons to consider Fujitsu M12 and 10 servers here – but others may apply to your business – drop us a line to find out more.

NetApp Scale-out NAS

Why NetApp Scale-out NAS: The best hybrid cloud solution

Organisations are increasingly adopting “cloud-first” strategies as a way to maximise operational flexibility and simplify the process of scaling resources on demand. But the reality is that not all workloads and data are suited to the cloud, which means that network-attached storage will continue to be important for the foreseeable future.

Not all network-attached storage (NAS) is created equal, however. Your choice of NAS solution will have implications for IT strategy (including cloud), either creating new opportunities or limiting choices in future.

This is why you should seriously consider NetApp Scale-out NAS which has been identified as the scale-out storage industry leader by IDC.

Seamless cloud integration

The foreseeable future of IT remains hybrid, with some resources hosted on-premise and some in the cloud. However, the choice of technology will play an important role in how your organisation takes advantage of this hybrid setup.

Choosing NetApp NAS technology with StorageGrid management tools will allow you to automatically migrate workloads between storage tiers (including cloud) for maximum price-to-performance value. In this scenario, data access is seamless, regardless of physical location.

NetApp NAS users also benefit from a clear migration path when they do choose to move more of their workloads to the cloud permanently. NetApp file-based storage (FBS) and ONTAP management software can be used with popular public cloud services (AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google) for maximum flexibility – and to avoid vendor lock-in.

AI-powered storage

Moving data manually between tiers is a major operational overhead, losing many of the cost benefits of doing so. NetApp NAS users can rely on ActiveIQ AIOps to automate the process of moving data from high-performance on-premise all-flash arrays to lower-cost cold storage in the cloud.

ActiveIQ also optimises the environment automatically, compressing and deduping data to maximise storage potential and performance. This allows NetApp users to control costs and extend the lifespan of their storage assets.

Enhanced hybrid security

ONTAP data security, included with NetApp NAS solutions, offers exceptional protection for your data – wherever it is located. Choosing NetApp extends enterprise-grade security across your entire storage estate – including encrypting data at rest and in transit.

ONTAP also offers granular protection against malicious deletions and data loss. Users can define appropriate retention standards to meet legal, industry and internal compliance requirements.

Planning for the future

As an industry leader in the field of network-attached storage, NetApp NAS products bring together cutting-edge technologies with intelligent automation to build a future-ready platform for growth.

When combined with ONTAP enterprise data management software, you can simplify and modernise storage – even though a hybrid environment would normally add complexity to management and operations.

IDC analysts are clear: Customers in need of an FBS on-premises and hybrid cloud strategy should consider NetApp because of its expanded product portfolio, investment and vision.

To learn more about how industry-leading NetApp Scale-out NAS technologies will help you build a hybrid platform that works – and how WTL can help – please get in touch.

IT server management Birmingham & West MIdlands

Oracle SPARC – not just another server

As we have discussed previously, Oracle SPARC servers are definitely not the lowest cost – but they do offer an exceptional return on investment . Here are three more factors to consider when planning the future of your Oracle operating environment.

1. Security on chip

Given that security is now a strategic priority, the CTO is under increasing pressure to ensure data is secured at every touchpoint. Oracle SPARC CPUs use the unique Software in Silicon technology to accelerate cryptography, reducing latency and overheads when dealing with encrypted data.

SPARC processors also offer Silicon Secured Memory, a capability for detecting and preventing invalid operations. The CPU monitors software access to memory, automatically identifying and blocking buffer overflows and similar malware attacks designed to exploit application vulnerabilities.

Operating at the very core of your server, SPARC CPUs will strengthen your overall security posture.

2.  More scalability, less complexity

Oracle SPARC servers offer exceptional potential for expansion as your computing loads increase. With support for up to 384 CPU cores and 48TB of memory, you can scale capacity without carrying out a full upgrade or replacement program.

By consolidating servers and workloads, you can also reduce the overall complexity of your data centre. Fewer physical units mean lower maintenance overheads and staffing requirements, offering long-term savings without compromising on the performance of your databases and applications.

At a time when the speed of operations is a competitive advantage, reducing complexity offers distinct benefits.

3. Guaranteed legacy application support

Even in the age of the cloud, legacy applications remain fundamental to operations. As such, they are an important factor in strategic infrastructure planning.

Oracle SPARC servers can help to reduce some of that uncertainty with the Oracle Solaris Binary Guarantee Program . This long-running commitment from Oracle ensures that current applications will run unchanged on new SPARC systems. You can be sure that upgrading your server hardware will not break your legacy applications – and you should realise a performance boost too.

Importantly, this guarantee means that software does not need to be redeveloped or recompiled; if it ran on a previous version of Solaris, it will run on the latest version too. If you do encounter problems with a legacy application on a new SPARC server, help is available.

Planning for a performant, secure, backwards-compatible future

Upgrading to the newest Oracle SPARC server family is an intelligent investment for the future. Fully optimised for Oracle workloads, SPARC systems offer unbeatable performance, particularly for Oracle database applications.

And with security integrated at the chip level, your operations are more resistant to hacking and malware. In this way, SPARC systems improve the overall resilience of your operations.

The value of the Application Binary Guarantee should not be underestimated either. Although the CTO would prefer to retire legacy applications entirely, this is not feasible in most cases. So being able to guarantee full compatibility with new hardware is an extremely valuable strategic benefit.

To learn more about the latest family of Oracle SPARC servers and how they will help your business achieve more, please get in touch.

Office 365 Backup

6 Critical Reasons You Need a Proper Office 365 Backup Solution

Office 365 has been fundamental to the success of many business’ work-from-home strategies during the pandemic. The ability to access important corporate resources from any place on any device has helped maintain productivity as industry threatened to grind to a halt.

But now that remote working strategies are bedding in, it’s time to address the elephant in the room – Office 365’s less-than-adequate backup provisions.

Here are six reasons you must upgrade your Microsoft 365 backup provisions today.

1 – Accidental deletion

There are two types of deletion: soft deletion, and hard deletion.

Soft deletion is where an item is deleted but can still be recovered from a recoverable item mailbox (a bit like the recycling bin on your PC). A hard delete is where the item is purged from the mailbox database completely at which point the item is unrecoverable.

A proper Office 365 backup service will retain a copy of all data – even if it has been hard deleted by a user.

2 – Retention policy gaps and confusion

A retention policy gap is a period of time in which files/ accounts can be recovered. For example, if an employee leaves your company and their account is deleted, after 30 days any information will be deleted permanently. And if an employee was to go rogue and delete information, you could not recover that data if the 30-day window has elapsed.

A third-party Office 365 backup service offers indefinite retention, much like your existing on-site archiving solutions. So you don’t have to worry about thirty-day limits.

3 – Internal security threats

Employees operating from inside your company are actually a greater threat than hackers. Employees have access to a lot of company information, and security can be breached both intentionally and unintentionally. Office 365 has a major issue; it doesn’t automatically recognise the difference between a current employee and an ex-employee meaning that if you forget to disable their account, the leaver still has access to their email and data – and can maliciously delete anything they want.

External Office 365 backups will maintain a copy of everything the rogue employee thinks they have deleted.

4 – External security threats

External threats can enter the company through emails and attachments. Sometimes these are hard to detect, depending on the hacker’s level of skill and determination. Your company reputation and operations are at risk if your systems are infected with malware or ransomware.

Regular Office 365 backups will ensure that a separate, uninfected copy of your data is always available and can be recovered quickly.

5 – Legal and compliance requirements

Your organisation has a legal duty to retain certain communications and files. This information must be available in the event of a compliance audit or criminal investigation. Microsoft has built a couple of safety nets (such as litigation hold), but this solution is not comprehensive enough to meet your legal obligations. Remember, if a user is deleted, their mail, SharePoint and OneDrive contents are also deleted and may not be recoverable.

Maintaining a separate Office 365 backup removes ambiguity and risk, ensuring your data is always available when required.

6 – Managing hybrid email deployments and migrations to Office 365

Typically only new start-ups have the luxury of adopting Exchange 365 from the outset. Most businesses migrate from an on-premise email solution to the cloud at a later date – and many still retain some services on-premise.

Adopting a third-party Office 365 backup service like Secure Cloud Backup for Office 365 from WTL offers additional flexibility, allowing you to backup and restore emails from a hybrid environment quickly and transparently. This ensures that no matter where your data is located, it is always recoverable.

Get help today

Leaving your Office 365 data backup to Microsoft is a significant business risk. The built-in recovery service is adequate for a file or two, but it is not suitably comprehensive to properly protect your business and its data assets – what happens if a deletion is only discovered 31 days after the incident?

Fortunately, WTL has you covered, contact us today to discuss our fast, reliable, cost-effective Secure Cloud Backup for Office 365 solution and discover how to properly protect your emails and data.