Spring Break is upon us. Each year around this time, I think about one of my favorite Velocity Tech Solutions “saving asses among the masses” stories.
This is Minnesota and spring break can feel more like winter solstice, so when families can actually get a room at the Water Park of America they feel like a Florida vacation without being in Florida. That is a BIG Deal!
I was the lucky one to carry the emergency phone that night. I happened to be at a social event with our President, Kay Winchell, which was a bonus for the customer since she is a network engineer in disguise.
I answered the phone at 10pm and I heard panic. A server was down and so was the Water Park of America! Kids were crying, parents were screaming, parents were weeping. It was pandemonium! The tech from Water Park of America was beside himself. He had spent the entire day dealing with another vendor and paid for parts to be couriered across the Twin Cities multiple times and the server was still not repaired. That vendor had not asked questions and just kept throwing parts at him without helping troubleshoot the issue.
We met him at the office and he was so exhausted he couldn’t remember the model of the server . We walked around our warehouse for an hour (It’s a big warehouse!) and he finally saw the server that was the same model.
The tech rushed back with the cache module that was needed and within an hour the Water Park of America was up and running and our customer was ecstatic! (And so were the parents that promised the kids the water slide that was as dry as a bone all day long!) We helped the tech become the Hero instead of the Villain. The only thing that could have gone better was if he had found us much earlier!
For those of you that went to the cloud, or are thinking of moving to the cloud, can you answer with certainty who owns your data? This isn’t a new question or new controversy, as big data gets bigger, as more data is stored in the cloud, as more devices hit the market and as more hackers are getting into our banks and government servers do you own your data and if not who does and where is it?
Over the past few years there has been controversy over the “Cloud” and who owns what data where. For those willing to play “who’s data is it anyway”, the legal issues aren’t getting any clearer.
As a consumer user of the cloud -posting my so important pictures of my yellow lab Riley on Facebook
Riley, the best dog ever!
or using my Gmail account or the obsessive habit of using my Amazon prime account so I can feel like a kid at Christmas every day seeing a box on my doorstep, I fail to realize the pain of this issue: probably because it’s so convenient. I then suggested the cloud as a solution for one of my customers. That’s when it hit me.
As someone working in technology (ok I’m a sales geek) I need to really think about how real and complicated this issue is to better serve my customers by educating them in the pros and cons of using the cloud
For those thinking of going to the cloud, it seems like such and easy thing. So you call Mr. Cloud company and say “Mr. Cloud company, I want to put my data way up in the cloud so no one can get it.” Mr. Cloud says ok “we’ll store your data and all will be safe in the world forever and ever amen.” You sign the contract there, you’re in the cloud. You’re happy your data is safe, no one will ever get your data, you will have access to it at all times and you don’t have to hire and pay someone to support it.
What you don’t ask Mr. Cloud company is “what is the trail of your cloud”? Why would you ask that? What is the “trail of the cloud” Clouds don’t trail! Have you ever looked up and seen those long skinny clouds? Yeah, they trail.
In some cloud companies you give your data to a cloud provider who then outsources its work to another storage or process provider, who’s responsible if your information is lost or damaged? What if that outsourcing happens in another country? So if data is created in one country, but then stored in another the legal rules that apply become blurred. YIKES!!
Now you worry about your data. You call an attorney. What area of law is this? Cloud law isn’t a thing……yet. There are 3 main areas of law (and maybe more) that cover this: Copyright, Confidentiality and Contract. So do you need 3 attorneys? Also if your data is stored or outsourced in another country do their rules apply?
In speaking with a customer of mine from a University, he mentioned real concern about security in regard to the cloud. He mentioned his concern regarding student personal information as well as student loan information. Once student loan information is breached now we have a tax payer issue, and as he put it, “now we have a federal issue”.
There are guidelines from PTAC – the US Department of Education’s Privacy technical assistance center. But it gets a little “cloudy” regarding the cloud.
What it boils down to is Data Mining or Big Data. In the education world to use as an example; this is a huge no no as it violates the “no commercial use of student data” policy. According to Education Weekly when the litigation started in 2014, consent was not given to scan or index emails under the Google for education platform.
This issue isn’t any clearer in 2016 as UC Berkeley has this lawsuit pending for the same thing, called. “UC Berkeley students sue Google Alleging their emails were illegally scanned”.
I have only discussed a bit of the issue, but how about your industry? How about your data? Think about what you personally put out there? Your buying habits, your search habits. What about when you are in crisis? Is that something we want out in the “cloud”?
Should you decide to go to the cloud, read your contracts, ask some questions. Make sure the provider can specify who will be responsible for the data should it be lost or stolen. There should also be a provision in that contract as to who is responsible if the cloud company goes bankrupt, or is purchased by another cloud company.
If you need some help to get started in this process, help is here just give us a call.
Velocity Tech Solutions Partners with DataCore to Deliver Hyper-converged and Software-Defined Storage Solutions
World-Class Provider of Custom Servers joins DataCore as new Value-Added Reseller
ROSEVILLE, Minn. and FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – December 1, 2015 – DataCore Software, a leader in Software-Defined Storage and Hyper-converged Virtual SAN solutions, today announced that it has signed Velocity Tech Solutions as a new value-added reseller (VAR) serving the United States. Velocity Tech Solutions primarily resells server and storage hardware offerings from HP and Dell, including EqualLogic.
“We uncovered DataCore as part of a market research initiative we were conducting, and were drawn to the fact that DataCore is hardware-agnostic,” stated Kay Winchell, president, Velocity Tech Solutions. “It does not matter to DataCore what hardware is running, and what is even better – the hardware does not have to be brand new. DataCore helps to position our firm in the storage space, which was exactly what we wanted in becoming a DataCore VAR.”
Velocity owns thousands of servers which enable the firm to customize and deliver an order exactly the way that customer wants it and when they need it. Now, Velocity Tech Solutions’ engineers will be able to combine the benefits of Hyper-converged storage with central SAN functionality – supporting any storage, hypervisor, server, and topology.
The Answer to the Customer’s Storage Problem is DataCore
“Because DataCore offers a software-based approach to storage virtualization, the software lives beyond devices that ‘come and go’ – thereby extending the useful life of storage investments,” explained Devi Madhavan, vice president of sales channel enablement at DataCore Software. “DataCore enables customers to reduce storage costs by up to 75% in large part due to reducing operating expenses via market purchasing power and by removing disk vendor lock-in. This fact really resonated with Velocity Tech Solutions who valued that DataCore enables the user to only pay once for intelligent software and run it on the hardware of their choice.”
Customers use DataCore’s SANsymphony-V Software-Defined Storage solution to transform disparate storage resources into a unified and efficient infrastructure that is flexible, fast, reliable and scalable. The solution virtualizes and manages the capacity, performance and data protection capabilities of multiple instances of the same or different storage devices. DataCore Software also enables virtual disks or pooled storage resources to serve as a shared storage infrastructure for physical or virtual host systems.
The key benefits that prompted Velocity Tech Solutions to resell DataCore all concern the “empowerment’ DataCore gives to its users, including:
- Substantially reducing capital and operating expenses associated with storage
- Avoiding costly hardware lock-in and opening doors to more attractive alternatives from competing suppliers
- Extending the life of storage investments and enabling users to skip expensive refresh cycles (no more software throw-away)
No More Storage Vendor Lock-in
“Before, when we heard customers say things like ‘our maintenance support is running out on our storage platform,’ we did not have an answer to that,” stated Anne Tarantino, vice president of sales at Velocity Tech Solutions. “By not having a storage ‘answer’ – we could not do the whole project for our customers. Now, because DataCore gives users true empowerment, customers do not need to ‘rip-and-replace’ perfectly good equipment.”
Velocity Tech Solutions can now sell customers an entirely virtualized solution, whereas before their expertise stopped at server virtualization.
Added Tarantino, “It is great to be able to tell our customers that with DataCore they can scale to add-on whatever storage is needed. The added beauty of the DataCore solution is that once customers buy it, they own the solution.”
About Velocity Tech Solutions
Velocity Tech Solutions is a leader in delivering high quality, off-lease servers and solutions, customized to meet each business objective. VTS specializes in solutions that empower the customer to make decisions based on need and choices that fit the project’s budget. The company’s core values are: Excellence, Integrity, and Professionalism. We are customer-focused and our culture is second-to-none. VTS has the passion to build a total IT Solution and to help remove the pain associated with any IT project. The team lives by the mantra, “We Listen, We Support, and We Deliver!” For more, go to:
DataCore is the leading provider of Software-Defined Storage and Adaptive Parallel I/O Software – harnessing today’s powerful and cost-efficient server platforms to solve the IT industry’s biggest storage problem, the I/O bottleneck. The company’s comprehensive and flexible storage virtualization and hyper-converged virtual SAN solutions free users from the pain of labor-intensive storage management and provide customers true independence from storage solution vendors that cannot offer a hardware agnostic architecture. DataCore’s Software-Defined Storage platforms revolutionize storage infrastructure and serve as the cornerstone of the next-generation, software-defined data center – delivering greater value, performance, availability, and simplicity. Visit http://www.datacore.com or call (877) 780-5111 for more information.
Buying servers and parts has often felt like a lawless wasteland, populated with the vaguest of guarantees and products. No longer.
Velocity Tech Solutions will answer when you call. We stock a large supply of parts and will ship you the exact manufacturer part number you request.
We often get calls saying:
“Tech support told us to call you” or “I have no idea what is wrong with my server; please do something!”
We have you covered:
- 6 Month Warranty included with parts purchase; 1 Year on Servers.
- We only sell Genuine OEM parts.
- Parts and Servers are tested as they come in, and before they ship out.
- We have an Emergency Line and 24/7 ordering availability.
- We provide pre-sales support.
- Our in-house techs are fully certified.
- When you call, a live person answers. No robot employees. Yet.
Manufacturers send you to us because we are transparent in our process, provide good customer service, and follow up after the sale; Our certified technicians test every part before it is shipped. And when issues do occur, you have our 6-Month Velocity Tech Warranty to rely on. There’s no need to read the fine print. In fact, THIS is our fine print.
When we promise a part will ship overnight, it does. You’ll get tracking info by end of day to confirm.
When we see you order a part online and think you accidentally ordered the wrong part, or ordered something more expensive than you need, we could twirl our moustaches and laugh; however, we prefer to call you and make sure you get the parts you need when you need them.
Our technicians are certified professionals. So, having a Computer Science degree to run your business isn’t mandatory; just highly suggested.
Buying parts for your server doesn’t need to be a guessing game. We thought about creating our own part numbers with secret codes that we found hilarious… but decided to use the manufacturer part numbers and give you clear descriptions of parts so you know what you’re getting. Also, we fully support our customers, giving advice on installation of hardware and diagnosing issues even before you place your order. Depending on whom you reach here, we can also help with your fantasy football team.
Our emergency line is open 24/7 and we will actually answer it. We enjoy customer service just that much.
We don’t care how big or small your business is. We’re glad you found us and survived the server part wasteland.
By Brett Middleton – Velocity Tech Solutions
In the following post we are going to take a closer look at the Dell R910 using an approach that Joe Friday would have liked had he changed fields, “Just the specs, mam“. For those of you who like to hear a more editorialized summary you can skip to the bottom, but follow along section by section for a complete view.
This is a strong point of the server, using memory risers to allow for far more memory than a standard server layout like the R710. With 64 DIMM slots when fully loaded and support for filling it up with 32GB Quad rank DIMMs for a total of 2TB of ram it brings memory quantity to a whole other level when compared to the rest of the 11th generation of servers.
Raid? Get the cache.
The R910 can come equipped with two different types of raid controllers, the h200 and the h700. The lower end h200 comes without cache and only supports raid levels 0, 1 and 10 and would only be recommended if onboard storage needs are not high and you’re using SAN’s and NAS’s for the majority of data usage. The h700 is the higher end controller and offers support for raid 0, 1, 5, 6 and 10 along with coming with battery backed cache in either 512MB or 1GB options. For hard drives you have a number of selections as far as how many you can put within the server, it comes standard with a 4x 2.5” backplane which can be expanded to a 16x 2.5” backplane.
What about Networking?
For network ports you have an extremely large selection as the networking ports are not built into the board itself, it instead uses a riser which can be swapped out to utilize different networking mediums. On top of that the pci slot layout leaves lots of room for expansion.
The standard configuration is seven PCIe gen2 slots with a layout of two x4 slots, four x8 slots and one x16 slot with slot5 on the board being a 4x PCIe gen 1 slot. The nonstandard layout is 10 PCIe gen2 slots with six x4 slots and four x8 slots.
The R910 comes standard with an idrac6 express and can be expanded to an idrac enterprise which makes things like remote viewing and usage possible through the idrac hardware.
It comes with support for up to four hot swappable 750W or 1100W power supplies.
The PowerEdge R910 is the highest level server in the dell 11th generation of servers. It features support for up to four, six or eight core processors with hyper threading providing support for up to 64 threads giving amazing performance for heavily threaded applications. The mainboard utilizes the intel 7500 chipset. The R910 gives you a large variety of customization and upgrade options and should offer long-term relevancy.