IBM PureFlex is fast: Get revved up over speedy new way to upgrade [IBM]

Picture all of the parts that make up your IT foundation. Much like an automobile, each year manufacturers produce new models and update parts to make the latest data center faster and more efficient than the last. Preparing your car for the open highway is much like updating your IT foundation: there are many interacting parts to consider, and while you pore over the best map, the odometer ticks.

An IT assessment of your infrastructure can help you decide which parts to replace and which parts can stay.

IBM PureFlex is a factory-integrated and optimized set of hardware. It allows you to build your system infrastructure with integrated management, automation and optimization expertise built in. PureFlex is part of PureSystems, a new family of converged infrastructure products from IBM.

PureFlex comes in three pre-configured set ups or a built-to-order set up. A pre-configured infrastructure is like driving a brand new car off the lot. A built-to-order infrastructure is like dropping new parts and a bossy new powertrain into the car you already have. Regardless, if you want a rip-and-replace infrastructure or simply hardware upgrades, PureFlex manages all of the new hardware and integrates nicely with old hardware.PureFlex can come with hardware that is preconfigured for auto provisioning and scalability, so you know you’re setting up a solid private Cloud foundation for when you’re ready to make the move.

Under the hood of PureFlex

On a technical level, it’s codified best practices for presetting configuration options by type of selected web application (e.g. high availability, high security, etc.). On a simple level, it’s a pre-configured IT infrastructure. [Read more…]

Do you believe in magic? You do if you have a Mac or an iPad. [Apple]

 

Two years ago this month Apple introduced what Steve Jobs called a “magical” device. But if you let go if it in mid-air, will it magically float? (Don’t try this without one of these cases)

I’m more of a Penn & Teller fan myself, I’m interested in what REALLY happens behind the scenes of  “magic” show. After all, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. So let’s look at the hidden wires and plexi-glass holding the iPad up in mid-air.

Wifi and Networking – of course there are no actual wires attached to an iPad (unless to charge or sync) as it’s designed to be the ultimate mobile and portable device. Wifi Networks are crucial in enabling the magic experience, and secure ones at that. Sure, you may have Wifi in your workplace, but in the past you just needed Wifi in the boardrooms and the odd exec office to support laptops. Now people want to use their iPads everywhere – do you have wall to wall coverage? Can the network itself handle all these new always-connected devices? Is your network secure inside and outside the company walls? Do you have a robust VPN in place that’s supported by iOS out of the box (Cisco or Juniper)? Perhaps it’s time for a Softchoice Network Assessment to ensure that your network is ready[Read more…]

Optimize your network with due-diligent security controls [McAfee]

Most companies already have some form of protection against cyber-threats and malware, such as anti-virus software. But the threat landscape changes at warp speed, and it’s hard to keep up with the latest threats, and even harder to manage a diverse set of security tools.

One solution you might want to consider in your security toolkit is a Network Intrusion Prevention System, or IPS, which is an out-of-the-box hardware- and software-based system that helps take the guesswork out of security.

Not only does an IPS solution protect against the latest threats — including malware, botnets and denial-of-service attacks — it also streamlines security operations and can even unify network security management across physical and virtual environments.

If the current solution you have in place is causing more management headaches than peace of mind, you might want to consider IPS. Here’s why: An IPS solution inspects network traffic in near real time, identifying attacks using known vulnerabilities, as well as attack patterns with unusual activity. Not only can an IPS solution help prevent attacks on your data, it can also provide proactive protection for unpatched systems and zero-day attacks. [Read more…]