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The 3 Challenges that Are Driving Consumption-Based IT

Posted on: October 17th, 2018 by american digital

It doesn’t matter which industry you’re in — cloud-native companies are disrupting the status quo and putting pressure on incumbent IT teams to do more with less. The IT operating models that have gotten you this far are no longer capable of keeping pace with competitors.

Unfortunately, adopting an agile approach to IT is easier said than done when you’re working with a complicated mix of legacy systems.

In a perfect world, you might be able to migrate all of your systems and applications to cloud-based infrastructure and take advantage of flexibility and cost-efficiency. However, sacrificing the security and control of on-premises infrastructure is a non-starter for many mission-critical services.

As three key challenges weigh heavily on the IT department, increasing agility means going beyond a “cloud or bust” mindset. Instead, it’s time to focus on applying a consumption-based IT model to your infrastructure.

The 3 Challenges Legacy IT Teams Must Eliminate

Especially for incumbent businesses, the future of your infrastructure lies in hybrid IT. Finding the right balance of on-premises, public cloud, and private cloud infrastructure will help IT leaders maximize agility despite the presence of legacy systems.

However, your hybrid IT infrastructure won’t survive with a traditional operating model because of three all-too-common challenges:

Upfront Costs: Traditional operating models require large CapEx investments upfront when you’re deploying the latest technologies. When that happened once every few years, it wasn’t such a problem. Now, technology changes so rapidly that these upfront expenses are almost impossible to afford.

  • Long Procurement Cycles: Because new technology came with such large upfront costs, traditional procurement cycles could take months. You had to make sure you were investing in exactly the right infrastructure for your project or workload. Today, such long procurement cycles can put you behind the competitive curve.
  • Provisioning Problems: The lack of flexibility in traditional IT operating models means provisioning for a project or workload has to be determined upfront. But on average, enterprises overprovision 59% for compute and 48% for storage resources.1 Those costs directly impact your ability to adapt to the changing technology landscape.

The answer to these challenges is an infrastructure solution that creates a consumption-based IT model that functions across your whole business — not just in the cloud.

Turn Legacy IT into a Consumption-Based Model

IT leaders are constantly pulled in two different directions. They’re asked to maintain an increasingly complex infrastructure while also being tasked with facilitating their organizations’ agile futures. With on-premises infrastructure and consumption-based IT at odds, it’s impossible to do both.

That’s why a solution like HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity is so valuable to an evolving organization. With this infrastructure solution, you can balance cost-efficiency with security, control, and agility. It’s changing IT operating models, enabling scalability and speed in the face of new business initiatives.

And as an HPE Platinum Partner, American Digital has the experience and technical knowledge to make sure you’re getting the most out of a move to consumption-based IT. If you want to learn more, contact us today for a free consultation.

1451 Research, “Best of Both Worlds: Can Enterprises Achieve Both Scalability and Control When It Comes to Cloud?” November 2016.

3 Reasons Mobile Navigation Improves the Patient Experience

Posted on: February 9th, 2018 by Daniella Lundsberg

Hospitals can be a stressful place. Being a patient or a visitor can bring out anxious feelings. Add in the fact that hospitals are often crowded and very busy. Larger hospitals can be complex to navigate with different buildings, multiple floors, and color-coded wings. Sometimes departments are spread across multiple locations, making the path to the correct location extra challenging. Visitors and patients can be overwhelmed trying to figure out the fastest route to get to where they need to be.

Hospitals are recognizing that finding ways to improve the patient experience is a worthwhile investment. In attempting to improve the quality of care, hospitals are seeking ways to reduce patient and visitor stress. The interior of the hospital is often maze-like, leading patients and visitors to feel frantic and worried.  Increased patient stress can show up as increased blood pressure, anxiety, etc., which can complicate the actual medical visit.

Improved Use of Hospital Resources

Patients often miss doctor appointments because of difficulties in navigation (known as “wayfinding”). When this happens, physicians get backed up, stress builds on patients, and hospital scheduling gets thrown off. This forces staff to scramble and readjust, and not all patients will get the time they need with their doctors.

In an ideal hospital environment, information desks are always available to help lost and nervous visitors.  Unfortunately, visitors often resort to waving down physicians and nurses, instead.  Having staff devote time to answering wayfinding questions takes them away from their busy jobs of seeing patients. This causes treatment delays and can be costly — as much as $220,000 per year.1

Advantages of Mobile Wayfinding

Problems navigating through large hospitals have always existed and solutions have typically been limited to rearranging signage. With the surge of smartphone usage, hospitals now can implement a wayfinding application. This allows patients and visitors to access hospital maps in the palm of their hands. Not only can these applications pinpoint the visitor’s location inside the hospital, but it can also help direct them step-by-step to their desired destination. Here are three benefits of using mobile wayfinding:

  1. Personalization

Navigating through a large hospital is confusing. There are too many signs and too many possible directions. A mobile wayfinding option can eliminate this confusion by leading patients on a direct path to their destination.

  1. Adaptability

Hospital environments are constantly changing — doctors’ offices move locations, elevators get shut down for repairs, and cafeterias close for remodeling. To reflect these changes on physical signage and maps can take time, money, and effort. Software can be updated at a moment’s notice — much like a hospital website. No longer will hungry visitors find their way to a cafeteria only to see it is closed for remodeling. A wayfinding platform has the ability to reassign a route that avoids the closed cafeteria.

  1. Showcaing ofe Resources

Hospitals strive to help patients as much as possible. One way of doing so is by offering resources such as daycare or counseling. Mobile wayfinding applications can give hospitals the ability to showcase resources that patients may not otherwise be aware of.

Aruba Meridian

Meridian is a mobile-app software platform from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, that allows

public-facing enterprise venues, such as hospitals, to create or improve mobile apps that engage visitors on their mobile devices. These venues can leverage Meridian to deliver location relevant information such as mapping, turn-by-turn directions, venue-specific information, and proximity-based notifications to mobile-app users during their visits.

Aruba Location Services

Aruba Location Services powered by Aruba Beacons can be added to provide an additional layer of contextual device

positioning. This real-time data integrates with Meridian powered mobile-apps to give users access to more granular

location-based services and personalized mobile engagement.

To learn more about how American Digital and Aruba wayfinding solutions can help you improve patient experiences in your healthcare facility, contact us.

1 – Georgia Tech School of Architecture, “Finding the Building in Wayfinding,” Zimring, Craig, Sept 1, 1990.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise specializations include Platinum: Converged Infrastructure, Networking, Storage; Gold: Cloud Builder.

The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for Hewlett Packard Enterprise products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Hewlett Packard Enterprise shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

Tips on Building an IT Infrastructure for the Idea Economy

Posted on: February 2nd, 2018 by Daniella Lundsberg

Maybe you’re not familiar with the term ‘idea economy’. It is much more than just a concept or a marketing phrase. It is, today, a way of life. We live in an age where emerging technologies are enabling ideas to be turned into new products, applications, and services. In some cases, entire new industries are being created. It stands to reason that in this idea economy, IT is the business driver for value creation. As such, there has never been a more important time to assess your current infrastructure to determine if it will meet your future needs while still supporting your present business requirements.

In with The Old and in with The New

Traditional IT business applications have their place. They have been designed to support and automate existing business processes such as collaboration, supply chain analytics, and web infrastructure. And, they require ongoing efficiency improvements and optimization. At the same time, there is a new breed of applications and IT services being developed to expedite revenue creation and deliver new digital customer experiences. This evolution requires businesses to rethink their architectural approach to IT. Why? Because today a new IT infrastructure is required—one that is designed to power innovation and value creation for a new breed of applications, while more efficiently managing traditional workloads. This new architectural approach is called composable infrastructure. And, it comes to market in the HPE Synergy portfolio.

HPE Synergy and American Digital

HPE Synergy provides the first platform built for a composable infrastructure to instantly bridge the gap between traditional IT and the IT of the idea economy. Through a single interface, HPE Synergy combines physical and virtual compute, storage, and fabric pools into any configuration for any application. HPE Synergy’s software-defined intelligence enables IT to implement changes to the infrastructure in a keystroke. This increases service availability while reducing operational costs.

American Digital is a Hewlett Packard Platinum Partner with a deep bench of IT expertise. We can show you how Synergy can help you to create and deliver new value instantly and continuously.

Discover how American Digital can help you build IT for the idea economy by calling 847.637.4300.

Your Quick Introduction to Nimble Storage

Posted on: January 9th, 2018 by Daniella Lundsberg

In March 2017, Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced its acquisition of Nimble Storage, a leading provider of entry to midrange, predictive flash storage solutions. This acquisition rounds out a storage portfolio that already leads the market in midrange to high-end storage with HPE 3PAR StoreServ enterprise flash storage solutions. If the HPE 3PAR StoreServ portfolio doesn’t fit your needs perfectly, you may find a better answer to your unique challenges with Nimble Storage.

But you might be wondering about the exact distinctions between HPE 3PAR StoreServ and Nimble Storage solutions. As you start to evaluate storage solutions that can provide massive consolidation to make your business more agile, this quick overview of Nimble should provide some guidance.

4 Things You Should Know About Nimble Storage

As the Nimble Storage portfolio receives greater recognition thanks to the reach of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, here are four things you should know about the products:

  • Accessible Predictive Flash: Nimble solutions make all-flash, hybrid-flash, and multicloud support accessible to businesses of all sizes. With a layer of predictive analytics powered by advanced machine learning supporting the entire portfolio, SMBs can enjoy 99.9999% data availability and storage optimized to avoid service issues.
  • Integration With Hyper Converged Infrastructure: Nimble is built to work closely with HPE SimpliVity hyper converged solutions to ensure SMBs are deploying the right data services in the right context.
  • Autonomous Storage: The InfoSight™ predictive analytics engine within Nimble can automate storage visibility, management, and support with an intricate system of sensors that are analyzed every second.
  • Cloud Storage Made Easy: Hybrid IT is the modern reality for organizations, no matter what their size. Nimble has the tools necessary to move data between the public cloud and your private data center quickly and easily. No manual migrations are necessary; it enables multicloud use without data migration; and no data egress charges apply.

These are just a few of the technical advantages that come along with the addition of the Nimble solutions to the HPE product line. The only question is how you can deploy the storage solutions in a way that meets your specific needs.

American Digital and Nimble Storage Transform Data Centers

As a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Platinum Partner, American Digital is uniquely qualified to transform data centers with solutions such as HPE Nimble Storage. It’s one thing to understand that the data center needs to become more agile — it’s quite another to make the most cost-efficient IT decisions to improve efficiency and growth.

If you want to learn how to transform your data center with cost-effective solutions like Nimble, call American Digital today at 847-637-4300.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise specializations include Platinum: Converged Infrastructure, Networking; Gold: Cloud Builder.

The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for Hewlett Packard Enterprise products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Hewlett Packard Enterprise shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

Peak Data Availability at an SMB Price — Yes, It’s Possible

Posted on: January 3rd, 2018 by Daniella Lundsberg

Downtime isn’t a problem exclusive to the enterprise market. And yet, enterprise-grade storage availability has only been accessible via expensive on-site service contracts and costly systems of redundant hardware — which, unsurprisingly, have been out of reach for SMBs.

However, ever-increasing reliance on internet-connected applications to handle mission-critical processes means even SMBs need the guarantee of advanced availability. While midrange to high-end storage such as HPE 3PAR StoreServ enterprise flash storage solutions from Hewlett Packard Enterprise may not be within reach of your SMB, there are other options available.

In 2014, Nimble Storage, now a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, committed to providing 99.999% data availability to companies outside the enterprise class. And now, after the acquisition by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Nimble has stepped up once again and guarantees 99.999% (known as “six-nines”) availability (less than 25 seconds of downtime annually) at an SMB price.

If it seems too good to be true, let’s take a closer look at how Nimble Storage InfoSight™ from Hewlett Packard Enterprise makes high availability possible.

5 Steps to Deliver Six-Nines Availability

Despite the SMB price tag, Nimble Storage delivers the following advanced operations for SMB customers:

  • Continuous Data Analysis: A network of sensor telemetry data allows InfoSight to continuously monitor the entire storage infrastructure for possible performance anomalies.
  • Case Creation: The key to rapid problem-solving is predicting potential issues before they occur. InfoSight creates cases and automatically resolves them in 86% of situations before customers ever recognize the problem.
  • Root Cause Analysis: When issues prove to be complicated, a dedicated engineer can work with the simple Nimble interface to diagnose a root cause. Signatures are then created to avoid ongoing issues in the OS, performance metrics, application/workload profiles, and third-party configurations.
  • Problem Resolution: Nimble Storage makes it easier and more efficient to work within the system to develop resolution plans and verify they’re been implemented throughout the storage infrastructure.
  • Install-Based Prevention: Advanced machine learning and pattern-matching algorithms allow InfoSight to identify, predict, and prevent storage systems from experiencing the same problems that have already been solved elsewhere.

All of these operations speak to the machine learning built into Nimble Storage. Investing in depreciating storage systems will leave you with business challenges every few years — but if you invest in a storage system that learns to be more effective over time, you can focus on core aspects of your business rather than worrying about IT systems. In the SMB market, the ability to automate storage optimization cannot be understated.

Implementing Nimble Storage Through American Digital

When six-nines data availability is affordable on an SMB budget, the only question left is how to implement the solution in your own IT stack. When you work with American Digital, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Platinum Partner, you can rely on a deep bench of IT expertise to ensure this all-flash storage system is implemented correctly.

If you’re ready to take advantage of enterprise-grade high availability for an SMB price, call American Digital today at 847-637-4300.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise specializations include Platinum: Converged Infrastructure, Networking; Gold: Cloud Builder.

The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for Hewlett Packard Enterprise products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Hewlett Packard Enterprise shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

3 Challenges of Implementing Hyper Converged Infrastructure

Posted on: December 21st, 2017 by Daniella Lundsberg

The demands of digital transformation are putting IT leaders in a difficult position. You know that it’s important to update legacy infrastructure in favor of more modern, agile technology. But refreshing an already-complex IT stack can be incredibly time-consuming.

In fact, IT teams are already spending upwards of 80% of time and budgets on IT stack management. At a time when businesses are moving faster than ever, this just isn’t sustainable.

Hyper converged infrastructure solutions have emerged as an answer to complex, manual processes. While the power, simplicity, and speed of hyperconvergence are real, there are a few challenges you should know about before diving in.

3 Hyperconvergence Challenges to Know Before Adoption

As you evaluate your hyper converged infrastructure options, keep these roadblocks to implementation in mind:

  • Internal Friction: By definition, hyper converged infrastructure brings your compute, storage, and networking silos together. This is great for agility, but can be a challenge for internal IT employees. Those accustomed to specializing need to adapt to a more generalized environment — and your solution should help ease this transition.
  • Scalability Isn’t a Given: You have to be careful when approaching the market for hyper converged infrastructure. Solutions will help improve the agility of IT, but that doesn’t mean scalability is always built in. Make sure you evaluate provisioning times and cost structures to make sure you can deploy hyperconvergence universally.
  • Guarantee Data Efficiency: One critical advantage of hyperconvergence is data efficiency. However, not all solutions will guarantee improvements in this area. If you’re making the move away from legacy silos, make sure you’ll enjoy the data efficiencies you expect.

American Digital and HPE SimpliVity 380 Overcome Hyper Converged Challenges

When you trust HPE SimpliVity 380 from Hewlett Packard Enterprise with your hyper converged infrastructure needs, you get an enterprise-ready solution that eliminates any potential drawbacks of this integrated approach. Rather than worrying about IT training or the cost of scaling hyperconvergence, HPE SimpliVity 380 can lower total cost of ownership by 73% while providing a simple user interface and 40:1 data efficiency on average.

If you’re still uncertain about deploying hyper converged infrastructure on your own, American Digital is a Hewlett Packard Platinum Partner with the IT expertise necessary to help you implement HPE SimpliVity 380.

See how American Digital can break down the silos in your legacy IT stack by contacting us today.

 

Debunking the Myth that High Availability and Disaster Recovery Are Equals

Posted on: December 6th, 2017 by Daniella Lundsberg

If there’s one thing that can completely derail digital transformation plans, it’s a cyberattack. Attackers grow increasingly sophisticated every day while businesses continue to add vulnerable endpoints and links throughout networks and IT infrastructure. No matter how safe and reliable cloud infrastructure has become, a single targeted DDoS attack could lead to costly downtime for your business.

Enough high-profile enterprises have experienced public cyberattacks and data breaches that security is now a top priority for any business leader. While disaster recovery (DR) was once a luxury for only the biggest brands, it has become a necessity for all companies.

However, there’s confusion in the market for business continuity. So many solutions are sold with the promise of high availability (HA), even experienced IT leaders can misunderstand what this term means.

HA and DR might seem synonymous, but there are important distinctions that impact data protection in your enterprise.

HA and DR Are Complimentary, Not Substitutes

You’ve likely purchased IT infrastructure solutions that have guaranteed “nines” of availability. In a perfect world, you might expect this promise of HA to apply in all scenarios. However, IT leaders must recognize that HA focuses on uptime during routine operation. When an application or system is guaranteed at five-nines availability, you and your employees will have access for all but about five minutes per year.

The caveat is that HA guarantees do not apply to disaster scenarios. Businesses that are tempering DR investments because they think HA is enough are making a mistake.

DR is where recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) come into play. If you experience a cyberattack or withstand a natural disaster that results in downtime, you need to know your:

  • RPO: The threshold for data loss between the time you experience a disaster and when you resume normal operation.
  • RTO: The specific amount of time you can withstand until applications and services must return to normal operation, as outlined in a business continuity plan.

Without DR to balance HA, you run the risk of significant data loss in case of unexpected downtime. And without HA to balance DR, your employees could lose access to important applications and services frequently during normal operation.

For years, the issue has been the cost to implement HA and DR throughout an IT infrastructure. If you’re taking data protection seriously, though, it’s time to deploy solutions that are built with both HA and DR in mind — and it doesn’t hurt if they fit the budget as well.

American Digital and HPE SimpliVity Meet Enterprise Data Protection Demands

Implementing the HPE SimpliVity 380 hyper converged solution has IT infrastructure benefits that yield data protection that can balance HA and DR needs. With HPE SimpliVity 380, you gain:

  • Automated DR: Integrated recovery automation tools make it possible to enjoy one-click remote restoration of virtual machines to accelerate RPO and RTO.
  • Efficient Data Management: Virtualized workloads can be backed up and restored in seconds or minutes even when you’re dealing with bandwidth-constrained WAN links. Legacy infrastructure might give you hours or days of unexpected downtime, but hyperconvergence can help you achieve cost-effective high availability.
  • Lower Total Cost of Ownership: HA and DR aren’t new, but they haven’t always been affordable. HPE SimpliVity 380 can give you an all-in-one solution that eliminates the need for standalone backup and recovery solutions. Getting rid of many legacy third-party solutions can significantly reduce costs.

American Digital is a Hewlett Packard Platinum partner that can help you implement HPE SimpliVity 380 and other IT infrastructure solutions quickly and efficiently.

If you’re ready to take advantage of budget-friendly data protection and overall IT agility, contact American Digital today.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise specializations include Platinum: Converged Infrastructure, Networking; Gold: Cloud Builder.

The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for Hewlett Packard Enterprise products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Hewlett Packard Enterprise shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

5 Storage Obstacles for the Modern SMB to Overcome

Posted on: November 17th, 2017 by Daniella Lundsberg

When it comes to data, businesses of all sizes are forced to handle a double-edged sword. On the one hand, big data collection and analytics give you the insights necessary to make quick and effective business decisions. But at the same time, all this data has to be stored somewhere and the financial burden is quickly becoming a problem.

Legacy storage infrastructure isn’t able to keep up with modern business demands. In recent years, all-flash storage has emerged as the answer to these legacy problems. However, just because you’ve decided to go all-flash in your data center doesn’t mean the implementation process is always easy.

Especially for SMBs, the following challenges can stand in the way during an all-flash data center refresh. If the midrange to high-end storage solutions from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, such as HPE 3PAR StoreServ enterprise flash storage solutions, don’t seem within reach for your SMB, consider how Nimble Storage may offer solutions that are right-sized for you.

Roadblocks to All-Flash — and How Nimble Storage Can Help

Fast, reliable, cloud-ready data storage await the business that moves to all-flash. But these five obstacles might prove challenging:

  • Servers Faster than Disk-based Storage: You can experience application performance issues when traditional disk-based storage can’t keep up with demand. Mission-critical, data-intensive applications can’t move to all-flash if you don’t have a way to ensure the storage is optimized for workloads within hybrid environments. With solutions from Nimble Storage, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, you can unify all storage environments to achieve easy mobility and reliable access.
  • Potential for Storage Downtime: All-flash vendors have plans in place for fixing failed drives — but only after an incident has occurred. Your applications need to be highly available and you can’t afford failures in all-flash data centers that compromise mission-critical applications. Nimble Storage InfoSight™ uses cloud-based predictive analytics and machine learning to counteract problems before they impact your applications.
  • Need for Management Expertise: IT leaders are accustomed to working in data silos and the wrong move to all-flash can result in a disjointed management framework that sacrifices data protection and availability. With solutions from Nimble Storage, you gain access to a unified management framework that helps deploy flash for all workloads and future-proof the data center to avoid management issues later on.
  • Capacity Ceiling: Most all-flash arrays will hit capacity ceilings pretty quickly, making it difficult to scale at will. Nimble Storage solutions take a scale-to-fit approach that means you’ll never hit a capacity ceiling unexpectedly. You’ll have the visibility necessary to scale according to your immediate needs.
  • Cost of Deployment: Investment protection is top-of-mind for any IT leader planning upgrades in the data center. All-flash doesn’t have to give you a choice between short-term and long-term benefits. Nimble Storage Timeless Storage™ guarantee ensures flexibility during the deployment process to keep your investments safe.

When you choose the right solution, all-flash data centers are more accessible than ever — even for SMBs on tight budgets. The key is to have a partner that can help you through the purchase and deployment processes so you can focus on business performance.

Learn More With American Digital

As a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Platinum Partner, American Digital has the technical expertise to help you achieve an all-flash data center with Nimble Storage from Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

If you’re ready to make the shift, call American Digital today at 847-637-4300.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise specializations include Platinum: Converged Infrastructure, Networking; Gold: Cloud Builder.

The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for Hewlett Packard Enterprise products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Hewlett Packard Enterprise shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

Is On-Premises Infrastructure Dead?

Posted on: October 21st, 2017 by Daniella Lundsberg

You’d be a bit stunned if a business leader sat in front of you and said, “What if we just moved our business a little slower?” Moving slower is out of the question as your competitors find new ways to become more agile every day. Unfortunately, enterprises can’t trust legacy IT infrastructures to meet agile demands.

Rather than trying to force legacy systems to adapt to a faster business world, enterprises are embracing the cloud to succeed in digital transformation. The cloud helps businesses be more agile; cloud infrastructure is more flexible than traditional IT; and, most importantly, the cloud comes with an attractive pay structure.

With so many benefits of the cloud, is on-premises IT destined to become obsolete? You may rely more on the cloud every year, but the benefits of on-premises infrastructure are both undeniable and irreplaceable.

Why You Can’t Live Without On-Premises Infrastructure

Small businesses can trust more of their IT resources to the cloud, but there are too many advantages of on-premises infrastructure that enterprises can’t ignore. Even as you adopt cloud infrastructure, you’ll continue to need on-premises infrastructure for:

  • Control Over Resources: The cloud provides flexibility that enterprises need, but you lose a certain level of control whenever you move resources off site. Sacrificing control may be acceptable for some applications. However, there are mission-critical workloads that you need to keep 100% control of on premises.
  • Regulatory Compliance: If you’re in a heavily regulated industry, moving IT infrastructure off premises might put you out of compliance. Until data protection improves in the cloud, on-premises infrastructure will remain necessary.
  • Application Accessibility: Bandwidth is a precious resource for your employees and last-mile constraints can make it difficult to maintain access throughout your organization. At least in a private network, you can rely on the exact resources you provision.
  • Keeping Latency at Bay: WAN connections are more reliable than ever, but that doesn’t mean latency is a thing of the past. Mission-critical applications can’t sustain latency and need to stay on premises to maintain peak performance and availability.

These are just a few advantages of maintaining on-premises infrastructure. The challenge shouldn’t be choosing between the cloud and on-premises infrastructure, though. It should be finding a solution that provides the best of both worlds.

American Digital and HPE SimpliVity Balance Cloud and On-Premises IT

 

The HPE SimpliVity 380 hyper converged infrastructure solution is the answer for enterprise IT leaders looking to strike a balance between cloud and on-premises benefits. The simple software-defined platform can make your IT infrastructure far more agile and cost efficient without leaving your premises. Instead of sacrificing control, you break down the IT silos that hold your business back by combining compute, storage, and networking functions into one solution.

Among other benefits, you can achieve 49% lower total cost of ownership over the course of three years when compared to running the same virtual machines in Amazon Web Services. On-premises infrastructure certainly isn’t dead — but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it far more efficient.

The only real challenge is taking the right approach to implement HPE SimpliVity 380 in your unique infrastructure. American Digital can help. As a Hewlett Packard Platinum Partner with significant IT expertise, American Digital has the resources to help you get the most out of HPE SimpliVity 380.

If you’re ready to redefine your on-premises IT infrastructure, contact us today.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise specializations include Platinum: Converged Infrastructure, Networking; Gold: Cloud Builder.

The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for Hewlett Packard Enterprise products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Hewlett Packard Enterprise shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

Comprehensive Network Security for Medical-Grade IT

Posted on: September 14th, 2017 by Daniella Lundsberg

The healthcare industry has seen a flood of new medical devices enter their facilities with the explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT). This innovation has created a huge opportunity to improve medical care and patient wellness. IoT devices include implantable technology, such as pacemakers, as well as external devices, such as infusion pumps, heart monitors, and scanning equipment. Hospitals and healthcare facilities have hundreds to thousands of these devices within their facility, often unmonitored or unmanaged.

Unfortunately, these IoT devices provide prime opportunities for hackers to do their worst, including theft of patient data, ransomware, and even potentially compromised patient safety. Healthcare IT leaders are faced with the predicament of safeguarding their network while providing the care their patients require through seamless interaction and uptime of all devices.

Scalability and Automation

In an average hospital, there are typically several networked medical devices for each bed. Multiply that times the number of beds and add in other pieces of equipment such as MRI, CRT, and X-ray systems, and you see that the number of IoT medical devices and systems can become quite large; much larger in fact than the number of actual laptops, PCs, and mobile devices used by caregivers and administrators.

Managing access to and monitoring these IoT devices requires a solution that can scale and automate network-based administrative and management tasks. With the sheer numbers of connected devices, the network must be smart enough to automate secure connectivity. Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, provides comprehensive network management solutions that deliver the robustness, intelligence, and automation to secure medical-grade IT networks.

Securing IoT Endpoints in Healthcare

One of the first steps to gain control of the IoT network in your healthcare facility is to secure the endpoints. This goes beyond traditional endpoint protection implementations for PCs, laptops, and tablets as unsecured medical IoT devices present a much bigger threat of exposure risk. Using comprehensive network device monitoring tools in combination with a sound network access policy management system, such as Aruba ClearPass, helps you get control of your IoT network and feel confident in its security. These are five critical steps in securing your IoT endpoints:

  1. Simplify Device Management. Medical IoT devices can be onboarded in a variety of ways, including 802.1X authentication with RADIUS, MAC authentication, agents, and MAC plus 802.1X or captive portal. Making sure that your system supports tracking the entry points greatly simplifies your manual tracking and device onboarding process.
  1. “Fingerprint” the Devices. In basic terms, this means collecting information from the IoT device such as IP address, MAC address, and any other characteristics to help network managers understand what normal behavior is for that device. This is a crucial step in discovery of breaches, as any aberration from normal behavior could indicate malicious activity.
  2. Profile the Devices. After going through the discovery and fingerprinting process, a good practice is to profile the devices so they can be classified. Contextual data (device attributes — such as name, type of device, IP address, MAC address, etc.) is gathered using network-based collectors. Once all the contextual data is collected, a profile is created for the device, which is used as a basis for policy management. Device data is continuously checked against the profile so if deviations occur (e.g., a medical device looks like a printer), the device can be removed from the network.
  1. Create a Policy. A policy is only as good as the data used to build it and the tool used to enforce it. Find a tool that provides policy automation to effectively manage the scale of workflows required in a high-volume IoT environment. Policies should be managed so that as new devices are added, they are profiled and added to the correct zone. This gives your organization tight control over how devices operate and communicate, resulting in better containment of threats when they emerge.
  2. Monitor and Analyze Traffic. Make sure that you can automate information-gathering from several sources and then analyze that data for odd behavior. Why? You need to be able to quickly identify devices to be removed from the network or quarantined before they cause an issue. That would happen, for example, if a medical device attempts to communicate with an accounting server, which could indicate a breach. When unusual traffic is discovered, network management solutions like Aruba ClearPass can automate disconnection of the device from the network, minimizing the damage.

Secure Segmentation Is Crucial

A critical part of any plan to secure your IoT endpoints is segmentation:

  1. Securely Partition Traffic. At a high level, to prevent intruders from moving laterally across the network once they breach it, applications and services should be securely isolated from each other. For example, the network that delivers MRI data to the patient EHR database should be isolated from the network that supports connectivity between the payment card system and the backend financial systems. Guest Wi-Fi should be securely segmented from the network caregivers use to administer and manage care.
  1. Elastic Connectivity. The concept here is to provide access and services to devices only when specifically required and authorized. Network access will only be available for the duration of the session and then retracted from the edge, to reduce exposure.

IoT security in healthcare devices may seem daunting, but with these guidelines you’ll be well on your way to reducing the risk of compromised patient data or having life-supporting equipment locked down without proper controls in place.

To learn more about how American Digital and Aruba network policy management solutions can help you safeguard your healthcare network, contact us.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise specializations include Platinum: Converged Infrastructure, Networking, Storage; Gold: Cloud Builder.

The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for Hewlett Packard Enterprise products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Hewlett Packard Enterprise shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

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