Spotlight On…

Employee-Owner : Chris Haynes 

Chris Haynes - R
Chris has over 24 years of experience in the Information Technology field.  Before becoming a KS consultant, Chris served the roles of UNIX/Linux Administrator & Manager, Storage/Backup Administrator, and VMware Administrator across Healthcare, Finance & Distribution industries.

Since joining Keller Schroeder in 2007, Chris has specialized in storage & virtualization technologies on the Systems Team and is now the team leader.  His expertise is in NetApp and Nimble storage systems, VMware server & desktop virtualization, Cisco UCS rack & blade solutions, and Veeam Backup, Replication & Monitoring.

Chris has designed many storage/virtualization solutions for customers and performed countless installations, upgrades, and migrations.  He has implemented both server and desktop virtualization solutions, along with backup and Disaster Recovery (DR) solutions in small to large environments and continues to support these environments today. Keller Schroeder also often utilizes Chris as featured presenter during our TechSpot series of lunch and learn events.

To learn more about Chris or to leverage his skills towards the improvement of your business, please reach out to your Keller Schroeder Account Manager.


Systems Team Proactive Performance Management (PPM) Services

Chris Haynes  – [Keller Schroeder Engineer]

        An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. – Benjamin Franklin

Virtualization has become the norm in most data centers, but so is the expectation of zero downtime. Preventative maintenance is the best insurance against downtime and security threats in your storage/virtualization environment.SV PPM Wheel

Preventative maintenance can:

  • Prevent productivity losses due to unscheduled downtime
  • Reduce security risk
  • Increase the quality & reliability of mission-critical IT operations
  • Maximize performance & efficiency
  • Lower overall maintenance costs

Keller Schroeder’s System Team offers a Proactive Performance Management (PPM) service to perform regular preventative maintenance services and provide remedy reporting and resolution for storage/virtualization environments.

So what does our PPM service include?

  • Review system logs, alerts, & diagnose problems
  • Identify capacity & performance issues & inefficiencies
  • Perform minor upgrades & apply patches
  • Analyze/validate system configurations
  • Remediate discovered issues
  • Make recommendations for improvements or industry common practice design changes

So why use Keller Schroeder for these services?

Our Systems Team has a combined years of experience in IT of 130+ years, which is an average of about 22 years per admin. We have deep knowledge & expertise in the storage/virtualization stack, both past and present.  We carry multiple certifications in various technologies, and continuously perform new installs and upgrade existing systems in the field, so we are fresh & familiar with the latest versions, compatibility requirements, and potential pitfalls.

We already perform PPM programs for many of our clients and have developed detailed & proven install, upgrade, & patch procedures, along with health assessments & checklists, and remedy/status reports. We typically provide these PPM services on a quarterly basis, but we can build a customized plan to meet your specific needs.

A key challenge in IT is having to do more with less and dealing with a lack of resources, so let us do what we do best, so you can focus on what you do best for your business.

Please contact your Keller Schroeder Account Manager for more information.


VMworld 2015 – End User Compute (EUC)

VM World ExteriorMatt Barton – Senior Systems Engineer

What tech conference combines 23,000+ people, 785 sessions, 1,000,000+ sq ft, miles of walking, painfully slow wifi, all spread over 6 days in the heart of San Francisco?  Any guesses?  Of course it’s VMworld 2015.  I had the good fortune of being able to attend this year.  Focusing on VMware’s End User Compute (EUC) technologies and future roadmap, along with 20+ scheduled sessions, I was ready to tackle the onslaught of information.

VM World ANY

VMware’s catchphrase this year was “Ready for Any” and they did not let down attendees.  Two key takeaways from this conference were VMware Project A2 and the latest release of VMware Horizon 6.2.  The announcement of Project A2 occurred during Tuesday’s Keynote address, and included Microsoft VP for Windows Enterprise & Security Jim Alkove.  Project A2 combines Airwatch Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and VMware Horizon App Volumes to manage and deliver applications to Physical Windows 10 PCs.  Combining Airwatch EMM and Horizion App Volumes will speed application delivery to your endpoints by extending the ease of virtual application deployment & management to your physical devices.  There was also a demonstration highlighting the import of System Center application packages into App Volumes. VMware has recognized that most organizations cannot rip & replace their existing virtual desktop/application environment.  Instead they look to become the unified deployment and management portal of choice for Microsoft RDSH, Citrix, mobile, and traditional Horizon VDI deployments.

VMware also announced VMware Horizon 6.2.  This newest version of VMware’s VDI solution brings a number of incremental improvements to the table.  Some Remote Desktop Session/Remote Desktop Session Host (RDS/RDSH) enhancements of note include Skype for Business for RDS, RDSH Farm Load Balancing, and File Type Associations for Published Apps.  This last enhancement allows users to click on a document on their physical Windows device and, if the application is not installed locally, to be redirected seamlessly to the application on their Horizon View desktop or RDSH session.  VMware Identity Manager provides single sign on and a Self-Service App Store, allowing users to access on-premise web-based applications, SaaS applications or native mobile apps from any device.  Combining Identity Manager with Airwatch EMM and Enterprise BYO is a reality, allowing for dynamic app provisioning based on a wide range of policies.

Overwhelmed
After 6 days of all things VMware, I left feeling a bit overwhelmed. However, I look forward to implementing these new features as we strive to be “Ready for Any.”


TechSpot Recap : VMware-Kaspersky “Avengers: Age of Ultron” Premiere

Carissa Montgomery, Marketing & Communications CoordinatorStandee

 

On Friday May 1st, VMware and Kaspersky Lab joined Keller Schroeder in treating a group of our clients and their guests to a private showing of “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” at Showplace Cinemas.

Before the movie began, attendees and Keller Schroeder employee-owners listened to presentations from VMware and Kaspersky Lab featuring the latest from their technologies.

DezAfter beginning with an overview, VMware Healthcare Systems Engineer Max Abelardo discussed what was new with the vSphere 6 server virtualization platform, end-user computing using VMware, and the vRealize cloud management platform.

Chris Streeks, Systems MaxEngineer with Kaspersky Lab, then explained how clients could secure their virtual environments with Kaspersky. His talk centered around handling virtual endpoint security at scale and methods of virtualized protection.

AudienceAttendees also had the chance to win prizes. Matthew Yeley from MSWARS Research walked away with an Avengers-themed prize pack. David King with P&I Supply won our grand prize, a $100 VISA gift card.

For more information regarding the VMware, Kaspersky, or our upcoming events, please contact your Keller Schroeder Account Manager.


Why Nimble Storage?

Basic RGBChris Haynes [Sr. Systems Consultant]

 

Are your storage costs getting out of control? Do you need more storage performance, but think you can’t afford it? Are you contemplating that support renewal vs. a storage refresh decision? Well, then you need to consider Nimble Storage.

So how is Nimble Storage different from all the other storage providers? Nimble designed their solution from the ground up, to take advantage of using SSDs as cache in combination with traditional spinning disks to provide the most efficient hybrid solution at the lowest price/performance combo available in a storage solution today.

Nimble developed their patented Operating System called Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout (CASL) to cache “hot” data on SSDs in real time, allowing it to respond to read requests much faster than any of its competitor’s “bolted-on” flash technology. CASL also allows for some of the lowest-latency writes too, by collecting random writes and compressing and writing them to disk sequentially.

Nimble Storage didn’t stop with just a low-cost, high-performance system either. They packed their storage solution with all the advanced features one would expect in a next-generation storage solution, including inline compression, block level difference snapshots, zero copy clones, data replication, one-click upgrades with no downtime, and much more, all included at no extra cost. No a la carte pricing like some other storage vendors have.

On top of all this, they provide one of the easiest and most intuitive management interfaces, with all the capacity and performance data you need at your fingertips, and a convenient plug-in for VMware vCenter or Microsoft Hyper-V, so you don’t have to leave your hypervisor to create, resize, & monitor your datastores.

What else? Nimble Storage also provides a proactive support site called InfoSight, which is a cloud-based portal that collects data from your storage solution every five minutes, and presents historical capacity and performance reports, trending and wellness reports, and hardware upgrade recommendations, along with lots of other information. You can manage support tickets here as well, and if you have to call Support, the person who answers the phone will be able to help you immediately, never asking you to collect logs to send to them. Support will already have all the data they need to help you.

Will it scale? Absolutely. You can scale up on the fly with hot swappable controllers, SSDs, and HDDs and scale out by clustering multiple Nimble Storage units together for even the largest environments. All systems are highly available dual controller solutions with high-performance SSDs and RAID-6 triple parity disk arrays for the HDDs for maximum redundancy and performance.

Nimble Storage was named “Storage Vendor of the Year” in 2014 by CRN and has had quicker growth than any other storage vendor to date. All sound too good to be true? Do your own research. Ask around. Then give Keller Schroeder a call. We’ll answer any other questions you have about Nimble storage, provide references, and can schedule a demo with you. We can even arrange to have a demo unit installed at your site. Give Nimble Storage a look. You’ll be glad you did.

Contact your Account Manager at Keller Schroeder for more information about these products and how they might benefit your organization.

 


Business Edition 6000

Tim Deem, Sr. Network Consultant


As a Cisco Partner with a Voice Specialization for over a decade, we have seen the growth and maturity of the Unified Communication platforms and products firsthand – from the earliest Cisco 7750 consolidated single-chassis product providing simple dial-tone & voice mail services to today’s distributed modular unified communication product line that contains a wide array of collaboration tools to manage voice, video, messaging and numerous other means of communication.


In its first iteration beyond the single 7750 chassis model, each individual product, such as Cisco Call Manager and Unity, ran independently on stand-alone servers using the network for their inter-connectivity. Shortly after migrating the products from a Microsoft Windows platform to one of Red Hat Linux, to meet the demand of smaller businesses, Cisco released a single-server combined solution called Business Edition in which the primary products, Cisco Call Manager and Cisco Unity Connection (the new messaging product), would co-exist as a single image. This marked the beginning of a new product line and provided an entry point for those businesses wishing to reap the benefits of IP-based Communications at a price point much more palatable to their financial position.


Since that time, the original product has become known as Business Edition 5000. This was assumed to be an effort to differentiate it from the new announced Business Edition 6000 or as it’s become known, BE6K for short. The BE6K retains its namesake primarily in Marketing only as its design takes advantage of Cisco’s migration to virtual implementation. This new platform is based on the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) hardware platform, available in a medium-density and high-density model, and is designed for an organization of up to 1000 employees utilizing up to a combined total of 2500 devices.


ciscobe6kIn addition to the basic services of the Business Edition 5000 product, Business Edition 6000 also provides the mechanism to deploy video conferencing, Jabber-based collaboration, Contact Center, and numerous complementary services such as Emergency Responder and Paging services and a wide variety of approved third-party applications. Each of these inherent, complementary or third-party applications co-exist within the Cisco UCS as virtual machines (VM) instances, extending to those managing the environment all the benefits a VMware environment provides.


Worth mentioning is a recent enhancement to the BE6K product that’s served to increase its popularity both with potential customers and Cisco Voice Partners is the ability to provide system redundancy both in day-to-day operation and business continuity planning by allowing for multiple physical servers in the overall design.


With the inherent applications focused on voice and video, the availability of third-party applications, and an ability to design a physically and geographically dispersed solution, the Business Edition 6000 product just might be the right solution for your environment.


Contact your Account Manager at Keller Schroeder for more information about these products and how they might benefit your organization.


Spotlight On…

Kris Linville

Employee Owner: Kris Linville



With over 10 years of experience in the Information Technology field, primarily in the Financial/Banking industry, Kris has supported Linux servers running intranet, extranet and web sites along with custom-developed online banking applications. Kris’ technical skills include OS installation, migrations, upgrades, patches, backup and recovery design and implementation, security hardening, performance tuning, project management, and customer service support. Kris joined the Keller Schroeder team in August 2011 to focus on Linux, VMware and NetApp system technologies.


Kris’ certifications include: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 4 Certified Technician (RHCT), Cisco Unified Computing Technology Support Specialist, Cisco Data Center Support for UC Specialist, VMware Certified Professional (VCP5), VMware Desktop Virtualization 5 (VSP-DV), NetApp Accredited Installation Associate, NetApp Accredited Storage Architect Professional


Kris currently lives in Newburgh with his wife, Brianna and two children Logan (age 11) and Lanae (age 7). His hobbies include martial arts, video games, action movies, and dabbling in website design. Kris and his family also enjoy camping and spending time outdoors.


Contact the Keller Schroeder Account Team to learn more about Kris and how you can leverage his experience and skills to benefit your organization.


NetApp FAS8000 & Clustered Data ONTAP (CDOT)

Chris Haynes, Sr. Systems Engineer


How important is it to your company to reduce or eliminate downtime and outages, even planned ones? Will your storage capacity and performance scale effectively to meet your organizations needs over the next 3 to 5 years? Do you need more performance or capacity now?


With NetApp’s Clustered Data ONTAP (CDOT) operating system and their latest and greatest FAS8000 series hardware, you can meet these objectives and take advantage of the latest storage innovations, including flash acceleration.


With CDOT, you can even cluster mixed NetApp hardware generations to eliminate the relevant hurdles often experienced during migrations. You can simply add the newest NetApp FAS8000 series hardware to your environment to provide the most capacity and performance available today. With the latest processors and the largest memory & flash cache available in any NetApp system today, the 8000 series hardware will easily scale to meet your business’s most demanding storage needs. The FAS8000 series also has a higher number of onboard 10GbE & 16Gb FC ports than its predecessors and with 6Gb SAS ports, this new series reduces the need for additional PCIe cards, allowing more room for disk trays to scale upward to Petabytes of storage.


netapp-fas8060


Coupled with the proven efficiency of CDOT, this will allow your company to virtualize both the SAN & NAS storage workloads much like VMware ESXi does for server workloads, allowing for non-disruptive storage operations with the capability of seamless tech refreshes and significant scaling out.


Contact your Account Manager at Keller Schroeder for more information about these products and how they might benefit your organization.


Nimble Storage


Jeff Gorman, Business Unit Director


Most organizations have either considered or implemented some degree of desktop virtualization. Whether the reasons are tied to endpoint expense, endpoint manageability, support for a mobile workforce, or some combination of those and other factors, one of the key considerations in the design process is the ability for centralized storage to support the I/O patterns that come along with having a high concentration of workstations running in a virtual environment.


Basic RGB
The user experience in virtual desktop implementations (VDI) is in many ways directly tied to storage performance. The workload on the storage system can increase dramatically at times of days when large numbers of users concurrently start virtual workstations. Periodic virus scanning software or updates can also generate spikes of disk activity that are significant when they happen concurrently for large numbers of users accessing shared storage.


Nimble Storage arrays, built on Nimble’s Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout (CASL) architecture, are designed to provide performance that adapts to those demanding I/O patterns and to deliver a positive user experience. CASL consists of a combination of flash for read cache and write optimized storage layout. This enables Nimble Storage platforms to provide extremely high performance and to adapt to the changing I/O patterns required in virtualized environments.


Nimble_straightNimble Storage also provides efficiency with respect to the cost of desktop virtualization by compressing data as it is being stored, reducing required space by as much as fifty percent without a negative impact on performance. The combination of VMware View Linked Clones and Nimble Storage zero-copy clones also allows system administrators to set up virtual desktops without requiring full copies for each system, even further increasing storage efficiency.


If you are considering virtualization of your server or workstation environments, or are dealing with changing requirements in your existing virtualized environments, contact your Keller Schroeder Account Manager to discuss how our technical team can add value in helping you design and implement solutions which improve the performance of your business.



Spotlight On…

Employee Owner: Lee Lamey


LeeLameyLee has over 11 years of experience in the Information Technology field. He was the lead Network Administrator for a large healthcare organization where he designed and implemented the Cisco network infrastructure including Route/Switch, Security, and Wireless. He also assisted in maintaining the Microsoft Active Directory domain services in an environment with over 300 servers. His most recent efforts have been centered around planning and designing networks for several small and medium businesses for all infrastructure areas including Local and Wide Area Networks as well as voice and data servers. In addition to these infrastructure projects, he has acted as the lead deployment and troubleshooting engineer for a large radiation therapy manufacturing company where he focused on network connectivity and server systems on the radiation machine. Within his role at Keller Schroeder, Lee supports clients’ Networking, Microsoft, VMware and NetApp Virtualization solutions. Lee is a Senior Systems Consultant.


Lee’s certifications include: Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)


Lee and his wife Beckie have been married 16 years and have 4 children, Brayden, Ava, Easton and Owen. His free time is filled with family, camping and CrossFit!


Contact the Keller Schroeder Account Team to learn more about Lee and how you can leverage his experience and skills to benefit your organization.