The Advantages of Software Defined Storage

The Advantages of Software Defined StorageCompanies across the globe are rapidly undergoing a digital transformation covering every aspect of their respected organizations, especially the enterprise. This macro process has pushed IT leaders to migrate applications and data to the cloud as well as software defining their own on premise infrastructures. This is being accomplished by incorporating the technology triad of software defined compute (SDC), software defined networking (SDN) and software defined storage (SDS)

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Does the Cloud have a Layer 1 or Layer 2?

Does the Cloud have a Layer 1 or Layer 2?The focus has changed in recent years from ensuring connectivity to maintaining the availability of our applications. Since these virtual machines now reside in the higher layers of the OSI model, they can be maintained through software defined networking and other cutting-edge technologies

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Hybrid Cloud. Hybrid IT. Hybrid Availability.

Hybrid Cloud. Hybrid IT. Hybrid Availability.There is a lot of talk about hybrid these days when it comes to IT. For the past five years or so, the Hybrid Cloud has been a hot topic as organizations are now open to hosting their digital services and data beyond the walls of the datacenter perimeter. Recently, the new approach of managing IT within the enterprise, called Hybrid IT, has come to the forefront.

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Load Balancing Moves to the Cloud

Load Balancing Moves to the CloudEveryone in the IT business has heard of load balancing, but many don’t know much about it. Even technology professionals who are familiar with the concept may know little about how it works. A brief introduction to the subject of load balancing and its development will help to round out our IT education.

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Top Tools for Network Troubleshooting

Top Tools for Network TroubleshootingIf you are a network administrator, you really want to get a handle on your network. But even laymen sometimes need to figure out what’s going on. There are some basic tools that will help you do that. Let’s have a look at some simple pieces of software that can be accessed from nearly any workstation.

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Minimize risk. Maximize availability.

Minimize risk. Maximize availability.Businesses take risks. It comes with the territory. But that doesn’t mean that an enterprise should push blindly forward, ignoring the potential threats to availability and ultimately its success. Risk assessment is essential to understanding the territory and blazing the trail ahead. And risk mitigation is the key to controlling those factors that endanger IT uptime. It all starts with a framework.

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Root Cause Analysis to Maintain Uptime

Root Cause Analysis to Maintain UptimeRoot cause analysis is an excellent tool for keeping your IT infrastructure healthy. You may need some in-depth troubleshooting to correct an ongoing issue. Or you may be tasked to do a postmortem on a problem that is already resolved. RCA is also a very good approach for dealing with intermittent issues. Whatever the situation, root cause analysis can be your best friend if you are trying to keep an IT service up and running well.

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Server Hardening for Security and Availability

Server Hardening for Security and AvailabilityServer hardening is a necessary process. And it’s a never-ending one. From the moment you pull the machine out of the box (or create it in the virtual environment), it pays to be thinking about security. But server hardening can do more than keep your machine safe. It will help with performance, and it can even play a part in keeping your machine online and available.

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Decrease Downtime with Change Management

Decrease Downtime with Change ManagementService providers do everything they know how to avoid downtime. Generally the best practice is not to touch a live network. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But change is inevitable, and eventually every network or system will need improvements. The trick is to handle these changes with little to no disruption of running services. That’s the purpose of change management.

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The Coming Revolution of Software Defined Networking

The Coming Revolution of Software Defined NetworkingIn the coming years, SDN will revolutionize the enterprise to the same extent that software defined computing did. In an article dated August 2, 2012, Forbes Magazine stated. “SDN holds the promise to impact the global economy to a greater degree than any other development including the browser.”

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Does Convergence Impact Uptime?

Does Convergence Impact Uptime?One of the biggest trends in data center infrastructure is convergence. Actually it has been happening for some time. Equipment footprint has been getting smaller for years. Functions that used to be handled by huge dedicated machines are now accomplished by modular cards. Specialized servers, switches, routers, and other network devices have been combined into multi-service boxes. Now with the advent of virtualization and the cloud, the footprint is getting even smaller. But with higher convergence comes a significant increase in complexity. And when complexity increases, availability usually suffers.

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Website Down? Understanding Why

Website Down? Understanding Why“The website is down again!” That can be pretty frustrating. In the heat of the moment, most of us don’t really care why it is down -- we just want back online. But the curious user may want to know more. What could make a web server unreachable? Why do they go down in the first place? To understand more, we should start with some basics.

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Is the TCP/IP Protocol on the way out?

Is the TCP/IP Protocol on the way out?It’s pretty clear that TCP/IP is an integral part of any existing IT infrastructure. That clearly includes the cloud. The internet protocol links network components across any number of technologies. Routing protocols direct internet traffic. TCP ensures transmission reliability. TCP/IP is used both internally in the cloud as well within the supporting network infrastructure that may be transparent to the cloud environment.

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The Foundation of Networking – It’s about Availability

The Foundation of Networking – It’s about AvailabilityAs we look forward to even greater advances in technology, sometimes it helps to take a look back. Many of us take for granted the connectivity that we enjoy across a wide variety of applications. Sometimes it is seamless, and other times – well, we know that improvements are on their way. But the applications we use every day are undergirded by a whole array of technologies. And when these lower levels are out of service, then nothing works.

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How the Availability of Big Data is Transforming the World

How the Availability of Big Data is Transforming the WorldAll over the world, companies are competing with one another in the race towards digital transformation. According to a report by Gartner in 2016, one-half of all CEO’s expect their industries to be substantially or unrecognizably transformed by digital transformation. It is a recurrent digital evolutionary process of embedding technologies into nearly everything around us in order to cultivate knowledge and innovation, turning ideas into value.

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Why You Need Cloud Based Layer 7 Load Balancing Today

Why You Need Cloud Based Layer 7 Load Balancing TodayKeeping up with the pace of ever the changing world of IT today is a challenge. It can be like trying to drink from a fire hydrant. You can drown in the overwhelming constant barrage of information and technological advancement. For that reason, it is not unusual for today’s IT managers to be unfamiliar with many innovations that are fundamental for today’s enterprise. One of these overlooked areas is network load balancing.

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Making a Case for Cloud and its Disruptive Benefits

Making a Case for Cloud and its Disruptive BenefitsOnce again, society is on the cusp of witnessing another disruptive influence that has the ability to change the course of the business world. Thankfully, the phenomenon known as “cloud” (which includes computing, infrastructure-as-a-service, software-as-a-service and much more) has few doubting its abilities to disrupt the way we conduct business today.

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The Essence of Uptime

The Essence of UptimeUptime is a key performance indicator (KPI). Some would say it is the key performance indicator, the sine qua non, of productive computing. If you can’t keep your system operational, you have nothing. None of the many functionalities – the bells and whistles – matter one whit if your customers can’t access your site or service. The expectation in the industry is for near 100% uptime.

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EPO: Emergency Power Off or Extremely Probable Outage?

EPO: Emergency Power Off or Extremely Probably Outage?Have you ever thought about the necessity of EPO buttons in data centers? If you think they are required by law, you are incorrect. Sadly, many believe they are, including data center designers, and they still result in outages even today. We think EPO should be an acronym for Extremely Probably Outage.

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Cloud Service Level Agreement Expectations

Cloud Service Level Agreement ExpectationsService Level Agreements (SLAs) are essential in the IT business. IT managers should know what to expect from their service providers. You should fully understand any SLA before signing it – especially when it comes to uptime. Everyone who has been around IT support has heard of Service Level Agreements. As we consider what is expected regarding uptime in SLAs, it might be helpful to briefly have a look at what SLAs are and their purpose

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Downtime is no Longer Acceptable

Downtime is no Longer AcceptableIf you went to bestbuy.com and the site was unavailable, how long would it take for you to go to amazon.com or elsewhere to find what you wanted? On average, it’s less than 30 seconds; it used to be much longer, but our society has grown impatient. If you’re not available when customers are looking for you, they will move on.

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What is The Cloud? A Technical Explanation

What is The Cloud? A Technical ExplanationThe Cloud – we hear that phrase thrown around a lot. It is obviously a special place because nearly every company wants to go there, probably because we hear how wonderful everything works in the cloud. Those who go there are promised a great deal of cost savings as well. No wonder everyone is talking about it.

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Digital Realty / Telx Atlanta Power Outage

On July 12th a major power event occurred at the prominent carrier hotel at 56 Marietta Street responsible for network interconnections for a significant portion of the southeast including over 60 carriers and over 100 telecom providers. The incident occurred during planned power distribution upgrades and created quite a number of issues for both regional and national organizations

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The Need for Increased Availability is Now

The Need for Increased Availability is NowOur predictions for the last half of 2017: Ransomware will keep evolving, the rise of IoT will pave way for increased DDoS Attacks, IPv6 Traffic will continue to grow exponentially, Machine Learning and AI will be applied to enhance security, and the need for increased availability is now.

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The True Costs of Downtime for IT

The True Costs of Downtime for ITDowntime is a dirty word in the IT business. Unplanned outages are unacceptable and should not be tolerated. In a universe where customers expect services to be available 99.999% of the time, any time your IT service offering is down is costly to your business. And the true cost of downtime may be more than you realize.

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5 Ways to Increase Application Availability

5 Ways to Increase Application AvailabilityA service provider that offers software-as-a-service or another cloud-based solution should understand what customers are looking for and what compels those very customers to choose an off-premise, “cloud-based” solution vs. the more traditional on-premise, self-hosted solution.

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Multi Site Exchange DAG Failover - Solving WAN IP Availability

Multi Site Exchange DAG FailoverWhen deploying a high availability Microsoft Exchange environment with a Database Availability Group, Total Uptime can help you ensure WAN IP availability for external networks, including the all-important mobile, of course.

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Multihomed ISP Link Availability Challenges

Multihomed ISP Link Availability ChallengesWhile managing outbound connectivity through more than one ISP is a breeze today since so many firewall vendors offer multi-WAN failover capability, properly managing inbound connectivity is still a challenge that many organizations have not yet resolved.

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8 uses for Cloud Load Balancing or Failover

8 uses for Cloud Load Balancing or FailoverAs we talk to people during the week, we periodically make suggestions for using Cloud Load Balancing or Failover that are often met with surprise, such as “Oh, I didn’t know it could be used for that”. So we thought it might be helpful to compile a list of 8 potential uses. Of course, it works with just about everything under the sun, but maybe this list will give you some ideas.

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Load Balancing and Failover Between AWS Regions

Load Balancing and Failover Between AWS RegionsYes! It really is possible to distribute traffic between regions on AWS EC2. But only with Total Uptime’s highly superior Cloud Load Balancer. Not only does Total Uptime offer the ability to distribute traffic between AWS regions, we also give you the ability to load balance and fail over from any data center or cloud provider to any other provider! Our solutions help our customers deploy applications across multiple vendors, ensuring redundancy, resiliency and availability.

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Explosion in Downtown Los Angeles Disrupts Data Center Operations

Explosion in Downtown Los Angeles Disrupts Data Center OperationsOn Thursday night August 20th, 2015, a blast occurred in the basement of 811 West Wilshire Blvd. in downtown Los Angeles taking out an on-site power station leaving 12 buildings in the area without utility power for much of Friday, as reported by ABC News and other sources. The outage significantly affected major network provider Level 3 Communications, LogMeIn, major data center providers Internap and Equinix and several other companies...

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Load Balancing Droplets from Digital Ocean

Load Balancing Droplets from Digital OceanWe recently helped a customer who had dozens of virtual machines (called Droplets) from Digital Ocean spanning multiple countries. Digital Ocean doesn’t have a load balancer, but even if they did, he was looking for a way to load balance traffic in each of 3 geographically diverse regions all without having to use DNS. He was using round-robin DNS to distribute the load among the group of servers, but it wasn’t working anywhere near the way he wanted it to, often distributing load unevenly.

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Reroute or redirect IP traffic from one data center to another for disaster recovery

Reroute or redirect IP traffic from one data center to another for disaster recoveryMany organizations have a business continuity or disaster recovery plan and have even implemented multi-data center redundancy with servers and other critical infrastructure at a separate location to that of their primary site. But the challenge every organization faces is how to easily and seamlessly redirect traffic from one site to another when disaster strikes.

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Enable IPv6 with Cloud Load Balancing

Enable IPv6 with Cloud Load BalancingAs the global pool of IPv4 space continues to diminish every day, organizations are looking to deploy IPv6 at an ever increasing pace. But sometimes it's just plain difficult, especially when it requires a complete overhaul of your local network. Some organizations can implement dual-stack just fine, but for other organizations who host websites or applications at third party providers such as AWS EC2 and the like, IPv6 may not an option just yet.

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Significant Growth Predicted for Hybrid Cloud

Significant Growth Predicted for Hybrid CloudIn a recent Computer World article, Technology Business Research shared their prediction for cloud growth in 2015. 33% growth rate for private cloud, 25% growth rate for public cloud and a whopping 50% growth rate for hybrid cloud all when compared to 2014 data.

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Significant Cloud Outages of 2014

Significant Cloud Outages of 2014There is no question that the cloud is imperfect. Whether your business uses public, private or a hybrid cloud, outages happen all the time and are a part of life. At Total Uptime, we know this fact quite well, and that’s the primary reason we created our Cloud Networking solutions. Here are some of the biggest cloud outages of 2014 that disrupted service for millions around the world.

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Internet Outages Today?

Internet Outages Today?If you heard or felt Internet outages today, it wasn’t just you. It seems many end-users were filing complaints on downdetector.com for a vast number of unrelated ISPs. From our global vantage point, we could see that the Internet of things was acting strange.

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Cloud Based Routing and Networking

Cloud based routing and networkingOne of Total Uptime's largest assets is our global cloud platform, deployed in dozens of datacenters around the world with incredible cloud based routing capacity. This platform gives our customers the ability to control and route traffic between the client and the datacenter, in the middle of the Internet. As you can imagine, this provides a tremendous amount of power and control for customers that they probably never had before.

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VPN Load Balancing and Failover with two ISPs

VPN Load Balancing and Failover with two ISPsA common SSL or IPSEC VPN configuration scenario is one like we've shown in the (simplistic) diagram below. A corporate office has two incoming ISP connections, each with their own range of IP addresses. Clients or sites have VPN connections to the corporate office to access back-office devices in the LAN. The problem arises when the primary router or ISP goes offline. VPN tunnels that are configured using a DNS name don't fail over until DNS is updated, which is something our DNS Failover solution can nicely solve. But what about connections that rely on static IP addresses. I know Cisco ASA point-to-point VPNs require a fixed IP address, which is not uncommon amongst VPN hardware vendors. So what do you do in that case?

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Dual WAN Link Load Balancing - for Inbound Traffic

Dual WAN Link Load Balancing - for Inbound TrafficA common inquiry we receive is whether or not any of our solutions have the capability to automate switching inbound traffic between common office WAN Internet connections, such as DSL, Cable and T1 lines. The quick answer is “absolutely!” Total Uptime Failover solutions are perfect for automatically failing inbound traffic over these types of WAN links if your organization has something that needs to be accessed externally, like a Remote Desktop server, mail server, web server, VPN or almost any IP accessible device.

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Our Cloud is Different Than Yours

Our Cloud is Different Than YoursA day doesn’t go by where we are yet again annoyed with how flippant organizations are in using the word “cloud” for what appears to be a marketing hype. Take Western Digital and their My Cloud product for which I have seen many TV commercials as of late. It is simply a personal cloud storage device. What’s really “cloud” about it? Other than the fact that you can access it remotely, nothing! It gives honest, legitimate cloud providers like Total Uptime a bad rap.

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Heartbleed Bug / Vulnerability

Heartbleed Bug / VulnerabilityWe’ve been receiving a lot of inquiries regarding the Heartbleed Bug, a vulnerability in the popular Open SSL cryptographic software library. Simply put as described at heartbleed.com, “The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the internet to read the memory of systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic..."

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Downtime costs $7900 per minute, on average

Downtime costs $7900 per minute, on averageThe cost of datacenter downtime has increased more than 40% for many companies over the last 3 years, according to a recent study by Ponemon Institute, sponsored by Emerson Network Power. The report analyzes 67 datacenters...

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What are the key differences between DNS FAILOVER and CLOUD FAILOVER so I can better understand which one is right for my application?

Key differences between DNS Failover and Cloud FailoverThe Similarities: Both solutions require that you tell us what the IP address(es) are for your ‘real servers’. That way we know how to alter DNS or route traffic when one or more servers go up or down. These IP addresses must be publicly accessible, not private. Also, both solutions use the same type of...

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Google and Amazon reveal their secrets of scalability. What is yours?

We read an interesting article recently published in IT World entitled "Google, Amazon reveal their secrets of scalability". Joab Jackson, who wrote the article, provides information received at various talks by Google and Amazon on how they engineer their IT infrastructure for scale.

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Microsoft releases Windows Azure Traffic Manager

I came across an interesting article recently at IT World entitled Microsoft adds load balancing as Azure availability stutters. The unfortunate part of the story is that Azure storage and SQL services suffered a 1 hour outage at all regions, but the positive news was that Microsoft is trying to catch up to Amazon Web Services by now offering a Load Balancer. We’ve always agreed with this type of technology...

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Load Balancers – an important component for disaster recovery

We recently read, with great interest, an article in CIO entitled How load balancing is playing a bigger role in tech transitions. John Moore takes a real-world IT DR scenario, discussing traditional load balancers and today’s more sophisticated Application Delivery Controllers and how they are helping organizations implement disaster recovery strategies or generally increase application availability.

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Creating active/passive Failover Configuration with Cloud Load Balancing

Are you looking to create an active/passive server failover configuration using our Cloud Load Balancer? It’s easier than you think. This video will walk you through the entire configuration process, taking a standard active/active load balancing scenario and changing it to active/passive, active/active/passive and even active/passive/passive with a tertiary failover group setup.

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Creating and Managing Monitors

In this video we’ll dive deeper into Monitors. Monitors are an essential component of our platform because they give you the power to accurately detect when your servers are up or down. This information is then used with Load Balancing or DNS Failover to properly route traffic.

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How Cloud Load Balancing works – an Infographic

Want to quickly understand how Cloud Load Balancing works? We’ve created a nifty infographic that explains it in a few simple steps… plus a detailed look at our user interface.

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Cloud Load Balancing user interface – a Quick Start Video

Here is a Quick Start video showing you how to quickly set up an initial configuration for Cloud Load Balancing in our web-based management console. Learn how to create a new Pack configuration with a Default Server Group and two web servers. Add a ping monitor to test server availability and configure load balancing using the Least Connections method.

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