Month: February 2013

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Microsoft TechNet Subscription

Dezarae Miller, Inside Account Manager

Do you want to have access to the latest Microsoft technologies months ahead of the products’ release dates? Would you like to evaluate a current version of a Microsoft product to see if it would work in your environment? If so, Microsoft’s TechNet Subscription is one of the best investments for your company.

TechNet subscription allows subscribers to get access to nearly every release of Operating System (desktop and server) and Office Suite to use for evaluation purposes.

TechNet Subscription software may be used to evaluate the Microsoft software in the following scenarios:

  • Install/Uninstall – Time and process required for full, partial or upgrade software install/uninstall processes and system integration.
  • Recovery – Capacity for software to recover from crashes, hardware failures, or other catastrophic problems.
  • Security – Defining software’s ability to protect against unauthorized internal or external access.
  • Compatibility – Gauging software performance in existing or new hardware, software, operating system or network environments.
  • Comparison – Evaluating software to determine product strengths and weaknesses as compared to previous versions or similar products.
  • Usability – Assessing satisfaction among end users, observing end user utilization and understanding user interaction scenarios.
  • Performance – Ensuring software will perform as expected to requirements.
  • Stability – Estimating individual software’s ability to perform consistently, relative to system demands.
  • Environment – Determining software settings while software is being evaluated by end users in existing infrastructure.

  • TechNet is available via Retail or Volume Licensing programs with the option of 1, 2, or 3 year subscriptions. Retail is available in two versions: Standard and Professional. Volume Licensing also offers two versions: TechNet Plus Direct or TechNet Plus Single User. Open Value license customers may also be eligible for a complimentary TechNet subscription. Depending on the version purchased, the subscription includes full-version evaluation software, beta software releases, technical information library, professional support incidents, managed newsgroups, online concierge chat, technical training resources and Microsoft E-Learning Courses.

    For any additional questions, please contact your Keller Schroeder Sr. Account Manager for more information on how TechNet subscription can benefit your company.

    by Carissa Carissa No Comments

    Put Your Data Center on a Diet

    Kris Linville, Sr. Systems Consultant

    Bikini season is just around the corner. Is your data center ready for its pool-side reveal? If you’ve spent years packing your data center full of sweet devices and high-calorie cables that have your racks bulging at the waist line, it’s time to put your data center on a diet…the UCS diet.

    Data centers grow quickly in number of servers due to departmental application requirements. Maybe the HR department or the Accounting department is gearing up for a brand new system that would require multiple application and database servers for load balancing and redundancy. Is there enough rack space to install all of that new hardware? Is there space to add additional racks if needed? Obviously, it doesn’t take long for a data center to start feeling the effects of packing on those extra pounds time after time.

    UCS-racks-beforeVirtualization can be leveraged to quickly get you back down to your target size. Reducing many physical servers to just a few VMware hosts is a great way to kick-start your diet. However, over time you will notice that as your admins and users get comfortable with their new diet, combined with how easy it is to deploy more virtual servers, your waist line will slowly start to creep up again. More hosts will be required to support your virtual workloads and before you know it your once-empty racks will be full again. How can you mitigate the effects of this “yo-yo” diet?


    Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) is the solution to your virtualization “yo-yo” diet. Combine the space and administration efficiency of virtualization with the resource density offered by Cisco UCS B-Series Blade Servers and you will finally be able to maintain the ideal trimness you’ve been longing for. UCS is designed to create high-density, scalable environments that can reduce an entire data center of physical servers into a single rack.

    By condensing up to 8 physical rack servers into a single 6U UCS B-Series Chassis with up to 80Gb of bandwidth per blade, not only can you reduce the physical foot print of your resources; you can do it with only a fraction of the cables and network ports needed for equivalent power and bandwidth to physical servers. A 42U server rack full of 2U physical servers would reduce down to just 18U with two slots to spare and can reduce your cabling and network port requirements by over 60%.

    If your data center is suffering from a bulging waist line with no sign of an end to the overindulging of rack and network port space, contact your Keller Schroeder Sr. Account Manager to find out how the UCS diet can help you get lean and maintain.

    by Carissa Carissa No Comments

    Spotlight On…

    Employee Owner: Monica Bryant

    Monica has over 16 years of experience in the Information Technology field.

    monicaPrior to joining Keller Schroeder, she worked as an Application Developer and a Lotus Domino Systems Administrator for a large electromechanical component manufacturer. Since joining Keller Schroeder in 2004, Monica has provided Lotus Domino systems administration support to clients from large multinational enterprise environments to small businesses. Monica is also an integral component of Keller Schroeder’s Voice Team, providing design, implementation and support for various Cisco Unified Communication solutions such as Communications Manager (CUCM), Unity Connection (UCXN), and Contact Center Express (UCCX) in addition to complementary products such as Bridge Communications’ Operator Console and Syn-Apps Paging and Call Recording products.

    Monica’s certifications include: Cisco Unified Contact Center Express Specialist, IBM Certified Domino Developer, IBM Certified Systems Administrator-Lotus Notes and Domino

    Monica and her husband Chris have been married for 18 years. They have three children: Hannah (13), Owen (10), & Riley (7). She spends most of her free time with family and the kids’ sporting events.

    Contact your Keller Schroeder Sr. Account Manager to learn more about Monica and how you can leverage her experience and skills to benefit your organization.

    by Carissa Carissa No Comments

    Increasing Your Throughput

    Do you believe in the value of IT to your organization? Do you have a project backlog? Do those projects offer the financial or intangible benefits that will compete well with other investments your firm needs to make in order to win in the marketplace?

    The CIOs I interact with are telling me the bar is set higher than ever on IT investments. If the ROI is weak or non-existent, the project does not move forward. But if your plans and initiatives do offer significant benefits – accelerating revenues, reducing costs, or mitigating risks – why are they “waiting in line”?
    lineofpeopleI made a return trip to Walt Disney World® recently (By the way, I should have listened to my Dad’s advice to “never say never”; we planned our “one and only” trip to Disney 14 years ago and vowed that we would “never” return). Suffice it to say that I am not a huge theme park fan, and I detest waiting in lines.

    One of several positive changes since our last visit to Disney (we had a great time this year) was the institution of the FASTPASS®. On a good day at Disney, many of the most popular attractions require waiting in line for 60 minutes or more. But with the FASTPASS®, you insert your admission card into a machine near the attraction and receive, in return, a ticket that gives you a one-hour window (usually 45 minutes to 2 hours from the time of your request) during which you can return and be admitted to that attraction with little or no wait time. Will the inventor of this idea please step forward for a big hug?

    So instead of waiting in line for three hours to visit three of the most popular attractions in a given day, I can plan my time a little better, use my FASTPASS® to move me along in a “virtual line”, and invest my time elsewhere in the park, resulting in a much more productive and pleasant day.

    Have you thought about your IT project backlog in this way? What is the value of that backlog? What are you not getting done that could move your organization forward and generate more bottom-line benefits sooner?


    You have limited IT staff, and the best ones are always the busiest ones. Reaching out to an IT firm like Keller Schroeder to own and manage one or more of your critical projects could be the equivalent of a FASTPASS® to increased productivity and throughput. Most projects require some mindshare from senior IT staff members for tasks such as discovery, design, and vendor coordination. Consultants at Keller Schroeder average over 19 years of IT industry expertise. We have experience leading projects and running interference on behalf of senior IT team members for a number of our clients in order to move projects forward while they focus most of their time and attention elsewhere.

    Some of our clients are accustomed to utilizing Keller Schroeder to augment their existing staff, but not to lead projects. Other clients are well aware of our project management expertise, but not our desktop support or network security practice. Our employee-owners represent a diverse portfolio of skills and backgrounds, and our reputation for quality results is unparalleled.

    Take a look at what you need to accomplish and give us a call. Our mission is all about helping you more successfully achieve your objectives. There is a good chance we can help you move important IT initiatives forward with less investment of time by your staff than you think. Go with the FASTPASS®!

    Larry May