Wakefield Canada Gets Ready For The Cloud

Wakefield Canada is the exclusive Canadian distributor of Castrol premium lubricants and Canada’s premier integrated manufacturer and distributor of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) under the brand name H2Blu. With a broad customer base across Canada, including retailers, warehouse distributors, quick lubes, fleet companies, new car dealers and Original Equipment Manufacturers, Wakefield prides itself on delivering intuitive customer service.

Wakefield has been on Canada’s Top 50 Best Managed Companies and Top 50 Best Employer lists for the past three years, and has received a Microsoft Pinnacle Award for its technology successes.

[Read more…]

Cloud Cheat Sheet: 5 Building Blocks, 3 Service Models and 4 Deployment Models

You want to get started on your Cloud roadmap, but with all of the options and opinions available it’s hard to determine exactly which approach is best for your organization.

You have read white papers, blogs, newsletters, tweets and articles all explaining different approaches to: IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, hybrid cloud, private cloud, migrating to the cloud, securing the cloud, desktop virtualization, app virtualization, storage virtualization, roadblocks, strategies, hardware foundations, disaster recovery and budget, budget, budget!

Don’t you wish you could get all that information in one place?

Using the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) definition of Cloud Computing as a reference, I have compiled a cheat sheet outlining the 5 building blocks, 3 service models and 4 deployment models of Cloud Computing.

The NIST is responsible for developing standards and guidelines, including minimum requirements for providing accurate information security for Federal Agency operations and assets.  Although it’s mostly for Federal Agency use, the intended audience is system planners, program managers, technologists and others adopting cloud computing as consumers or providers of cloud services.

So here they are in one place – the fundamentals of Cloud Computing:

[Read more…]

Reading the radar: As we get back to business, where’s IT taking us?

We’ve learned a lot in the last 18 months. As cautious optimism surrounds economic recovery, what has changed in how organizations are harnessing technology? We assembled a group of Softchoice’s top technology thought leaders and asked them all one question:

“What’s on your radar as organizations get back to business?”

“In the storage arena it’s still all about efficiencies. Even as we pull out of the recession, storage requirements continue to grow between 20% and 50% annually, while head count stays static. The focus is on de-duplication, thin provisioning and archiving to reduce physical footprint and storage technologies that integrate management and provisioning features to help reduce the management burden.”
– Keith Baskin, Enterprise Storage Architect

“Now more than ever, to achieve competitive advantage you must understand your business and your customers. Technology gives companies an opportunity to know what’s going on in their business at all times in every aspect. It also allows you to plan and model future outcomes before you decide on them, resulting in better decisions and increased profitability. Business Intelligence and performance management software provides these abilities. Diving deep into your business makes you a more competitive organization as we get back to growth.”
– Jody Girard, Enterprise Software Architect

“It looks as though businesses are now taking the IT consolidation strategy into other areas of their IT infrastructure rather than just on the servers. So, IT groups are now being asked to take all of the multiple solutions they have for managing their environments and come up with more consolidated management platforms. Microsoft has really provided their customers with a strong play in this effort with renewed investments under the System Center umbrella. Businesses are able to take advantage of this single pane of glass to deploy, monitor, patch/update, backup/recover, and provide service/ incident management with the System Center suite.”
– Mark Wall, Enterprise Architect-Microsoft Solutions

“Now is one of the best times to get your IT house in order. Many of our customers are pondering the financial advantages of cloud computing while balancing that against the challenges it creates, namely security. Internal Cloud has to provide for ubiquitous access to a multitude of devices which are probably not inside the corporate cloud. Hybrid and public clouds carry the same challenges but “data in motion” and “data ownership” must be top of mind when working with third parties. Bottom line: the Cloud can make a lot of sense. It frees up capital from IT budgets to help with a customer’s core business, but if done wrong it could cost more than it is worth.”
– Frank Ball, Director – Communications Infrastructure Technologies