“How’s your business?” … asks Larry May

The economic turmoil of the past year or so has elevated this question to a leading place among our “standard” greetings, almost to the equivalent of “How ya doin’?” When we ask, “How’s your business?”, we are really asking “How is your bottom line?”, in light of the struggles many businesses and nonprofits are facing right now. It is no surprise that friends and colleagues would want to know about the financial stability of the company you own or work for and how well you have weathered the economic storms of 2008-2009.

Let me propose perhaps a better question: “How are your relationships?” The cycles of capitalism almost ensure an unpredictable “earnings curve” for most organizations, and often the ups and downs of revenues and profits are dictated by factors over which we do not have much control. But relationships are something else entirely.

Unlike economic ebb and flow, the practice of creating and sustaining good relationships is virtually unrestricted and universally positive. Regardless of how your bottom line looks, you can build new relationships and strengthen existing relationships. Regardless of whether your profitability is positive or negative this year, strong relationships will contribute favorably to your future.

On behalf of all the employee-owners of Keller Schroeder, I want to thank you for the relationships we have with each of you, our clients. We are blessed individually and personally by these relationships, and we have great optimism about today and our future because of these relationships. We value them deeply, and we appreciate your willingness to open your doors to us year after year.

The foundation of a good relationship is trust, and the foundation of trust is simply saying what you’ll do and then doing it. We expect you to hold us accountable for that, and we’ll do our part to continue to earn your trust in the months and years ahead.

Meantime, I wish you and your business a promising and prosperous 2010. We look forward to being part of your success story!

Larry May, President
Keller Schroeder


2 bits, 4 bits, 64 bits….wait, what? – The VPN Factor

For several years, many have made use of the Cisco VPN Client as the standard of connecting to their business networks for application and system access. Although the traditional Cisco VPN Client has been extended to support the recent Microsoft Windows 7 release, support for the 64-bit architecture is not planned. For those devices, the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client is required.

Since the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client makes use of the SSL Protocol (unlike the Cisco VPN Client that uses IPSEC), specific licensing changes may be required for the appliance you’re terminating the VPN sessions on.

The Cisco ASA5500


This series originally required an additional SSL License Pack for each and every simultaneous user to be connected via SSL (AnyConnect VPN Client or WebVPN portal); however, with the recent changes in OS version 8.2 (pdf), you can acquire the licenses needed for your Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client users less expensively depending upon the type of access you wish to grant them.

The descriptions of the two predominant licensing models for the Cisco ASA5500 appliance are described as follows (from the Cisco website):

Cisco AnyConnect Essentials: This feature offers basic AnyConnect tunneling support for customers who require VPN remote access but do not need Cisco Secure Desktop features or clientless SSL VPN capabilities. AnyConnect Essentials supports mobile connectivity options with the AnyConnect Mobile license. Upgrade to the full-featured AnyConnect Premium license (traditional AnyConnect) is available by applying a traditional AnyConnect license or shared license to the ASA appliance.

Cisco AnyConnect Premium: Includes clientless SSL VPN and Cisco Secure Desktop capabilities (including Host Scan). Optionally provides Full Tunneling access to Enterprise applications. License is based on number of simultaneous users and is available as a single device or shared license.

The online documentation for the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client is available for your review.


Storage Virtualization – Blah, Blah, Blah….

Consider these:

  • Would the ability to back up data in seconds instead of hours or days appeal to you?
  • Would being able to eliminate tape from your backup process thrill you?
  • Have you simply exceeded your currently available disk space and find yourself in need of an easy, economical way to expand?
  • Does your business need a Disaster Recovery (DR) / Business Continuity plan, but aren’t sure where to start? 

  • Each of the above can be addressed by implementing solutions utilizing the efficiencies of Storage Virtualization techniques and technologies. The first step is a Storage Assessment, performed by Keller Schroeder engineers, to discover the potential within your environment and where Virtualization can provide the biggest benefit.

    About that Response Time:

    Do your applications seem slower than before? Are end users complaining of slow systems? If so, have you considered the storage component of the equation when looking for solutions?

    In today’s complex IT environments, there are numerous integral components required to deliver the speed demanded by your end users to perform their jobs efficiently and effectively. In the event of slowing applications, giving attention to only the most obvious components such as network bandwidth and server processing power isn’t always enough to give relief to the underlying issue. It’s vital to realize that the access to your data storage is also a critical component of the overall IT infrastructure performance.

    Just as Server Virtualization technologies such as VMware can facilitate a growing Data Center’s needs and provide cost saving initiatives, Storage Virtualization is also a vital part of that recipe and provides its own benefits to your environment.

    If any or all of the items mentioned above appeal to you or your business, contact your Keller Schroeder Senior Account Manager to learn more, schedule a Storage Assessment, or just discuss how our experienced engineers can help you get started with a solution for your environment.