01-24-12: Five Reasons to Move to the Cloud in 2012

Gartner, Inc. recently highlighted the top 10 technologies and trends that they feel will be strategic for most organizations in 2012. Things like in-memory computing, next-generation analytics and app stores are all extremely relevant, but at Mosaic, we think that cloud computing is the real forerunner here.

Interestingly enough, many companies have still not made the move to the cloud. In a 2009 survey of IT and business executives, many expressed concern about moving to the cloud, citing security, availability and performance as some of their main reasons. The facts, according to Gartner, show that the cloud is a disruptive force and has the potential for broad long-term impact in most industries.

We believe that while the cloud offers a lot of business opportunities, what will happen first is the move to the private cloud otherwise known as virtualization. Throughout 2011, we talked a lot about the benefits of migrating to a virtual environment. There are also a number of Mosaic customers that were willing to provide a behind-the-scenes look at what virtualization did for their business. All that said – while cloud computing is what every marketing person wants to discuss, it is virtualization that many businesses are seriously considering in 2012.

Many of the concerns raised in the past are dually address with the product advancements from 2011. Below we’ve outline five important developments that we think should put your fears at ease.

Improved Security – The information that you store in your datacenter is incredibly important.  Storing this data locally can allow for many mishaps like hard drive crashes that could make you lose everything. When you store this information in the cloud, there is a whole foundation behind it consisting of data backups, servers, and administrators that are making sure the data is protected at all times.

Faster SpeedsWhen you’re working in the cloud – you’re operating on network speeds, which by nature are faster than the speeds you’d experience in a connected environment.

Superior StorageMost organizations are managing Terabytes of unstructured data and also have to protect it. Storage cloud providers can do this for you. Almost 80 percent of your unstructured data makes up the majority of your storage problems. By archiving it to the cloud, you’ll never have to back it up again – and the cloud now becomes responsible for the availability of the data.

Lower CostsMoving to the cloud is going to save you money – guaranteed. Cloud computing allows you to do the same amount of work with fewer machines. This means reducing your organization’s need for hardware and software going forward, as well as the ability to cut down on the amount of manual labor needed. Cloud services are also monitored and controlled by the cloud service provider – and organizations are only billed for what they use.  

Ability for a Mobile WorkforceThe cloud is a great resource for mobile workforces. Even if a company is unable to virtualize, they can still put a lot of their services out into the cloud. Information is made available by a secure weblink, which in turn gives you the ability to reach out to mobile workers, a non-traditional practice, because these services are abailable from everywhere.

When making the decision to switch to a virtual architecture, consider all of the items listed above but at the same time, make sure you’re making the best decision for your organization. Be sure you understand the value of your applications and data and what moving to a virtual environment would mean for them. Also be sure to determine your requirements in order to find a solution provider that can deliver them while keeping the risks down. And above all, consider the cost of moving to a virtual architecture compared to your existing costs.

At Mosaic, understanding your requirements, challenges, and technology goals is the foundation of our customer-focused approach. Our sales and technical staff are at the ready to work with you through a collaborative process consisting of accessing your environment, analyzing your hardware, software and services to meet your needs, using industry best practices to design a plan, implementing and executing on it. Interested? Contact a Mosaic representative today – we’re ready and waiting to begin the process.

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12-07-11: Mosaic Technology Expands Backup and Solutions with Veeam

December 7th, 2011

Mosaic Technology is pleased to announce that they are now offering the new Veeam Backup and Replication v6 technology. This new, award-winning technology is designed to deliver the best in data protection for the virtual server world.

The role of value added resellers is changing as information technology solutions increase in complexity in scope. At Mosaic, we’ve partnered with some of the best technology providers in the industry over the last fifteen years to deliver solutions to meet our customer’s requirements. Veeam has, without a doubt, one of the best backup products available for virtual infrastructure.

Veeam won the Best of VMworld Gold Award for New Technology this year for the second year in a row. Judges said that Veeam’s Backup & Replication v6 impressed them because “it takes virtual data protection farther.” Veeam now holds the record for the most Best of VMworld awards at a single event and the most awards overall. Veeam is truly committed to keeping their customers at the forefront of what’s possible with virtualization.

According to a new study by Gartner, which recognized virtualization as the New Normal, 63% of enterprise IT directors reported experiencing problems every month when attempting to recover a server. The study also found that enterprises are not virtualizing mission-critical workloads due to concerns around managed data backup.

This is no longer a concern with Veeam’s Backup & Replication v6. It provides fast, flexible and reliable recovery of virtualized applications and data and brings together backup and replication in a single solution. It delivers capabilities for image-based data protection that organizations have come to expect with traditional file-based backups.

Given the continual growth in businesses migrating to virtual architectures, Mosaic is constantly enhancing its virtual data protection solutions with the latest technologies from industry leaders like Veeam. v6 will without a doubt complement Mosaic’s other offerings and provide increased functionality including enterprise scalability, which will streamline deployment and maintenance of remote offices and large installations. Advanced replication will accelerate replication by 10x, streamlining failover and providing real failback with delta sync. Multi-hypervisor support will reduce the cost and complexity of managing multi-hypervisor environments, and 1-Click File Restore will extend Veeam’s existing file-level recovery with delegated, webbased restore directly to the original virtual machine (VM), without requiring a direct network connection or in-guest agent.

At Mosaic, we’re constantly getting excited about the successes of our partners. This new offering from Veeam enables us to continue to offer our customers the best-advanced technology available.

Are you in the market for a high-performance, resource-friendly, image-based data protection that protects your virtual machine at all times? Just looking to get some more information about v6 or other technologies and services that Mosaic provides? Contact a Mosaic representative today – we’d love to bring this conversation directly to you.

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11-10-11: Mosaic at the New England Fall VMUG with Nasuni

Almost three weeks ago now, the VMware User Group hosted their annual New England Fall VMUG at the Atkinson Country Club in Atkinson, NH. Though there was lighter attendance than usual this year – the fall foliage was plentiful and the latest technologies abundant. Mosaic partnered with Nasuni, hosting three informational breakout sessions that focused on the latest in cloud storage.

The day kicked off with keynote sessions recapping some of the information that was unveiled at VMworld.  Though most of it was pretty generic – VMUG user group meetings are the best place for people who couldn’t attend VMworld to get the information.

Our breakout sessions with Nasuni were very well attended. We get excited to tell people about what we’re doing with Nasuni because it’s a bit different than what everyone else is doing these days in terms of cloud storage. Nasuni’s approach is truly unique. Attendees were very interested in learning more about the Nasuni Filer and had some questions regarding security. Here are some of the topics that we discussed in case you missed it:

Nasuni now offers the ability to have multiple sites targeting the cloud data. If you update a file locally on your Nasuni NAS appliance – those changes are sent up into the cloud within 60 seconds and changes are immediately pushed out to any other site connected to the same cloud storage. With this ability, you can now literally share files with anyone in the country within a minute. This is a very valuable asset for remote offices or branches and even more importantly, for disaster recovery. Imagine all of your file shares and all of your data being available anywhere.  All of your data remains local to your datacenter, on the Nasuni NAS appliance and it is fully accessible, even if you lose your Internet connection. The Nasuni NAS appliance also sends a copy of your data up into the cloud – from a disaster protection side, this is incredibly useful because that data is immediately available elsewhere.  By keeping data local as well as in the cloud, there is a lot of protection built into the Nasuni solution. It can truly change your approach to disaster recovery.

We also explained to the attendees of our breakout sessions how the Nasuni NAS appliance makes these changes and backs up all of your data so efficiently. Basically, when you start populating the Nasuni appliance with data, it is then deduplicated, compressed and encrypted – and sent up into the cloud. The 256 bit encryption is done using you own keys.  You may keep those keys yourself, or Nasuni can hold the keys in escrow for you.  If you have a large initial load of data to the NAS appliance, Nasuni additionally offers a service that allows you to put all of your data on a server, and then they will load it and send it into the cloud for you – so you don’t have to do any of the work yourself. Because the data is deduplicated and compressed, it is much smaller when it goes up into the cloud – so the whole process doesn’t take too long. Once the data hits the cloud, the metadata associated with any changed file is pushed to other sites, making the new file immediately available.  If there are any unique bits that are part of the file, those are downloaded while the entire file is recreated locally at the partner site.

Mosaic is a trusted partner to businesses across the United States, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet today’s business challenges. Nasuni has one of the best cloud storage offerings available and is truly an industry leader. We are proud to work with leaders like Nasuni as they help our customers deliver the future today.

Does the Nasuni Filer sound like it could be of interest to you? Contact a Mosaic representative today – we’re ready and waiting to continue the conversation.

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09-21-11: Mosaic Technology Expands Storage Solutions with Dell

Mosaic Technology is pleased to announce that they are now offering the new Dell EqualLogic PS Series arrays. These arrays are designed to provide up to 60 percent performance improvement on typical workloads over previous generation arrays. Additionally, Mosaic is now offering the latest EqualLogic firmware version 5.1, which includes thin provisioning awareness for VMWare vSphere to help users save valuable recovery time and help mitigate the risk of potential data loss.

Mosaic achieved Preferred Partner Status in the Dell PartnerDirect Program in May. They were recognized for their in-depth knowledge of the latest Dell solutions and their ability to provide customers with the most accurate and up-to-date information and advice. Mosaic has had a long-term relationship with Dell, and their inclusion of the new Dell storage arrays and tighter integration with VMWare demonstrates that strong partnership. Like Mosaic, Dell understands that customers need to grow their datacenter without replacing their existing infrastructure.

At Mosaic, we bring value to our customers. Enterprises need a partner that they can trust to help them bring the myriad of solutions for their datacenter together. The growth in connected devices means that the demands on the IT department are continuously increasing. In order to increase productivity, businesses need the right technology, along with the right partner.

The new EqualLogic PS Series arrays each come with their own solution set, and are unique in their offerings. The EqualLogic PS4100 Series is ideal for small-to-medium businesses or remote office locations with growing storage needs. The storage area networks, supporting up to 36TB in a single array and 72TB in a single group, can scale as storage demands increase by seamlessly adding additional PS4100 or PS6100 arrays into an EqualLogic group.

The EqualLogic PS6200 Series is designed to provide mid-sized customers with a scalable storage environment, up to 72TB in a single array and 1.2PB in a single group that can easily accommodate both high-performance and high-capacity drive options. This family is ideal for customers looking for a storage solution to support the storage demands of a highly virtualized data center environment where the seamless movement and protection of virtual machines, applications and data is crucial.

In addition to these series arrays, Mosaic is offering customers the EqualLogic firmware version 5.1. This provides increased support for VMWare and includes thin provisioning awareness for VMWare vSphere to help users save valuable recovery time and help mitigate the risk of potential data loss.

These newest additions to Mosaic’s EqualLogic storage arrays portfolio are completely customer driven. Mosaic knows their customers value up to date offerings from some of the biggest names in the industry – and their customers trust them to deliver solutions that enable them to get the most from their IT solutions.  These new additions allow for the dramatic increase in storage capacity in their datacenter without a “rip and replace” upgrade cycle. The EqualLogic PS Series arrays work together to automatically manage data, load balance across all resources, and now harness 2.5-inch drive support.

Are you in the market for new storage arrays that allow for maximum performance, connectivity and capacity? Interested in improving productivity and more efficiently managing your business information in virtualized data centers? Contact a Mosaic representative today – we’re more than happy to bring the conversation, and the solutions, directly to you.

Below please find a detailed table of the drive types, sizes and capacity:

PS4100X 2.5” drive options:
300GB 10k SAS, 2.5″, 7.2TB
600GB 10k SAS, 2.5″, 14.4TB
900GB 10k SAS, 2.5”, 21.6TB

PS4100XV 2.5” drive option:
146GB 15k SAS, 2.5″ drives, 3.5TB
PS4100XV 3.5” drive option:
PS4100XV 3.5″, 600GB 15k SAS, 7.2TB

PS4100E 3.5” drive options:
500GB 7.2k NLSAS, 3.5″, 6TB
1TB 7.2k NLSAS, 3.5″, 12TB
2TB 7.2k NLSAS, 3.5″ 24TB
3TB 7.2k NLSAS, 3.5″.36TB

PS6100X 2.5” drive options:
300GB 10k SAS, 2.5″, 7.2TB
600GB 10k SAS, 2.5″, 14.4TB
900GB 10k SAS, 2.5″, 21.6TB

PS6100XV 2.5” drive option:
146GB 15k SAS, 2.5″, 3.5TB
PS6100XV 3.5″ drive option:
600GB 15k SAS, 3.5″, 14.4TB

PS6100S 2.5” drive option:
200GB SSD, 2.5″, 4.8TB
400GB SSD, 2.5″,9.6TB

PS6100XS 2.5” drive option:
7 x 400GB SSD & 17 600GB 10k SAS, 2.5″, 13TB

PS6100E 3.5” drive options:
500GB 7.2k NLSAS, 3.5″, 12TB
1TB 7.2k NLSAS, 3.5″, 24TB
2TB 7.2k NLSAS, 3.5″, 48TB
3TB 7.2k NLSAS, 3.5″, 72TB

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08-25-11: Things you Should Know About our New Partners Veeam and NimbleStorage

At Mosaic, we know that no two customers are the same. We also realize that finding customers the right product and plan is just as important as the right partner. By having a number of different partners, Mosaic is able to possess a wide array of tools in our tool box to better serve our customers. The options that we can provide customers seem endless. Mosaic is 100 percent committed to evaluating our customer’s needs and finding the right solution for them. That said, read on and learn about some of our newest partners to see if they have what you’re looking for.

Veeam was founded in 2006 by a group that was previously behind Aelita Software. They have a solution that is specifically designed for virtual machines. They develop innovative products for virtual infrastructure management and data protection – and they are very good at what they do. Two or three years ago, there was really no differentiator between Veeam and some of the other competitors. However, over the last year or two, they have really stepped up their game and now offer some very tight integrated partnerships – they have tailored their functionality and feature set to integrate closely with VMWare.

One of Veeam’s most noteworthy features is that once a virtual machine has been backed up to a windows file share, the end user can start that virtual machine up while still on the backup target and verify that it was working properly in the first place.  More importantly, in the event of a disaster, the end user can start the backup copy and use Storage vMotion to move it from the backup target back onto a production datastore – making your downtime a matter of minutes instead of hours. This way, not only are you protected, but you’re up and running again almost immediately.

With this versatility, Veeam has the one of the best backup products available for virtual infrastructures. It can replicate to a remote site to protect your virtual machines when storage- or host-based replication is not an available option. There are several other features built into their solution, and we will be glad to meet to discuss the overall solution with you.

NimbleStorage is another one of Mosaic’s most recent partners, and they have been taking the storage market by storm over the past six months. Nimble development team took a new approach to storage technology, combining the performance benefits of Solid State drive technology with the commodity storage of SATA disks, and putting their own spin on the ‘hybrid storage array’ concept.   By not only marrying the two drive technologies, but also changing the way that data is written on those drives and accessed, they are creating a strong performer in the iSCSI storage market.

As it pulls all of the incoming data, it stores it on those solid state drives at a very high performance point.  The data is then rewritten to the SATA drives, compressed, reorganized and optimized, thereby creating a better storage compression ratio. Storing data on a solid state drives makes the process that much faster and also allows for exceptional performance for SAN writes.  By reorganizing the data headed to the SATA side of the array, it increases read performance by creating order out of the disorder of unstructured data.  Compression algorithms allow for higher ‘usable’ space.  In some cases, a 5TB Nimble array can hold up to 9TB of capacity, reducing the price per terabyte with Nimble.

Though NimbleStorage is a fairly new player, it is quickly becoming an up and comer – and one that customers are definitely keeping their eye on.

To learn more about both of these partners, and to learn how to evolve your virtualized data center, join us September 19th at the Saltwater Grille in South Portland, Maine. Mosaic experts, along with Veeam and NimbleStorage experts, will be on hand to discuss best practices and the latest solutions. Can’t make it? Contact a Mosaic representative to learn more today.

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07-13-11: Mosaic at Dell’s Storage Forum

Dell recently held its first Storage Forum in Orlando, Florida the week of June 5th. I was in attendance, along with nearly 1,000 other end users and reseller partners. Dell unveiled a completely new storage portfolio – including the FS7500, a network attached storage gateway that front-ends EqualLogic iSCSI storage. This will give EqualLogic a competitive product within the network appliance devices.

Mosaic was on hand along with longtime customer Tecplot to deliver a case study entitled “Consolidation for Success: How Tecplot used Dell Blades, EqualLogic and VMWare to get control of their datacenter.” Pete Koehler, Senior Systems Administrator at Tecplot, first learned about EqualLogic at a 2008 Mosaic presentation. Mosaic provided a detailed infrastructure analysis and discussion about design and virtualization that eventually convinced Tecplot that VMWare, EqualLogic storage and Dell blades would provide a solid foundation and framework for growth. Since then, Mosaic has continued to provide Tecplot with consultation and advice, further developing our customer-reseller relationship.

Tecplot delivers visualization software for engineers and scientists to analyze, discover, and communicate results. They strive to provide high-quality engineering and scientific visualization tools and services to help companies be more creative, efficient, and productive. Tecplot provides design engineers with 3-D models, so that they can really visualize the flow of things. For example, Tecplot might create a 3-D model for airplane engineers, detailing the way that the air moves over the wing. Or in the automotive industry, a model might show how gas and air is injected into an engine cylinder.

Our initial consultation with Tecplot determined that they were in need of blade architecture, as well as EqualLogic Storage.  Tecplot needed to increase their storage needs at primary sites to accommodate growth and virtualize remaining file servers. They have since purchased two additional arrays to address their need for large capacity volumes and replication.

About four months after the initial virtualization project completed, in May of 2009, there was a fire at a neighboring building that caused one million dollars in building damage and permanently displaced eight businesses. All of a sudden, Tecplot’s single site organization was no longer sufficient – they needed to implement a Disaster Recovery strategy. Because the initial design provided for future expansion to a second site and DR, this new project dovetailed perfectly into the new infrastructure.  Tecplot had planned on having a CoLo facility eventually that would also serve other needs, and the fire provided the perfect timing. A new CoLo site was built in Seattle by leveraging the all inclusive Replication feature provided with the Dell EqualLogic storage.  

Koehler’s talk at the Dell Storage Forum was very successful – he was able to offer his own recommendations on EqualLogic Storage, Dell Blades and Disaster Recovery, while also speaking to the benefits of having Mosaic get them integrated and up and running. In the future, Tecplot plans to implement VDI, which will represent a cross section of roles including sales, marketing, development and operations. They also plan on continuing to build out their CoLo facility for computing services offsite, as well as for bi-directional replication.

We look forward to working with Tecplot through these upcoming projects. But even more so, at Mosaic, we love utilizing success stories like this one to show new customers how we can help them. Don’t wait – contact a Mosaic representative today to discuss your company’s needs further.

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Tim Antonowicz
Tim Antonowicz
Senior Sales Engineer

Tim has over 15 years of experience in Enterprise storage and backup, Virtualization, Disaster Recovery, Messaging, and cross-platform integration.

Tim is nationally recognized in the fields of Virtualization, Disaster Recovery, and Security, frequently speaking at national conferences such as VMWorld, HP Technology Forum, EduCause, Gartner MES and FinSEC.

He is also a charter member of VMWare's SMB Customer Advisory Panel and sits on the New England VMWare User Group's Steering Committee.

Tim has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and holds various industry certifications including the VMware Certified Professional, Microsoft Exchange 2003, and has been a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer since 1998.

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