Infrastructure

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Spotlight On…

Ty Nixon

Employee Owners: Ty Nixon

 

Ty has 9 years of experience in the Information Technology field.  Prior to his role with Keller Schroeder, he designed, implemented, and maintained server, network, and cabling infrastructure for 56 locations in a post-secondary environment with over 8,000 students.  For that institution, he carried the primary responsibility for 100+ Windows Servers, Active Directory, Exchange 2013, SQL Server, Systems Center, Sharepoint Server, Hyper-V, Cisco LAN, WAN, and wireless technologies.  He also led the design and implementation for SAN solutions, and designed high-availability solutions based on clustering, multi-homing, and replication.

In addition to his Microsoft and Cisco background, Ty has experience with Symantec Backup Exec, Simpana Commvault, and Websense security products.  He also has experience with infrastructure automation through the use of Powershell.

Ty and his wife Teresa recently moved to the area from Texas.  They have two young children – a son named Flint and daughter Ela. In his spare time, Ty enjoys spending time with his family and being outdoors. He loves riding motorcycles, carpentry and woodworking, and studying theology.

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

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

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.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Spotlight On…

Paul Miller

Employee Owners: Paul Miller

 

Paul’s professional experience spans over 20 years across the IT departments of industries as diverse as Healthcare, Banking, Manufacturing and Distribution, Energy, and Broadcasting. Most recently Paul was a Senior Solutions Architect/Team Lead for Baptist Health Kentucky, where he supported over 3000 servers and 25000 clients. His roles included Project Management, Citrix Configuration and Support, Exchange Administration Active Directory Implementation, Acquisitions, Executive Advisement, Mobile Device Management, Domain Migrations, Network Analysis, Client-Server Configuration Management, Internal Security, Threat Response, Identity Management, and Staff Management.

Prior to his role at Baptist, Paul worked for several Fortune 500 companies such as Stride Rite Corporation and Kindred Healthcare. Paul served as Director of IT Systems for Physicians Primary Care, and also consulted for small and medium businesses in the Louisville, KY area. In these roles he implemented everything from Radiology Systems, Robotics, Software and Hardware Certification Processes, and Managed Client Solutions. He is a Senior Systems Engineer.

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

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Cisco ASA and AnyConnect

Tim Deem, Sr. Network Consultant

Cisco Systems recently made two significant announcements at Cisco Live! Milan.  The first included new models of the Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA), and the second included changes in the AnyConnect Client with respect to new names and ordering methods.

New ASA Models
The new models of the ASA provide substantially improved throughput and the FirePower services within purchased bundles.

CISCO ASA5506-X:   Similar to the 5505 model in its footprint, but with 5 times the throughput  (750Mbps), and as a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), ships with FirePower services and built-in administration.

5506W-X:
  Mirrors 5506-X features, with a built-in 702 AP (802.11n).

Although the improved performance and FirePower inclusion is greatly anticipated, one disappointment is the lack of Power over Ethernet (PoE) and its absence from the roadmap on these units. Two additional models were also mentioned, but aren’t due to be available until later in Cisco’s calendar year.  Details on the 5508-X (higher performance model) and the 5506H-X (ruggedized model) will be forthcoming.

 

Cisco AnyConnect Change
The announcement at Cisco Live! Milan was followed by the End of Support (EOS) alert issued March 14, 2015 declaring the EOS for Cisco AnyConnect version 3.x.  As of this alert, the following are now in effect:
Cisco Any Connect

  • Software maintenance will not be available for the stated software versions [3.x] beyond March 1, 2016.
  • OS Platform updates for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux will not be available for the stated software versions [3.x] beyond July 31, 2015.

The new Cisco AnyConnect SSL-based client solution is acquired by purchasing the licensing for AnyConnect Plus (which mirrors the old Essentials license in features and functionality) or AnyConnect APEX (which mirrors the old Premium license).  If, however, you’ve purchased the original AnyConnect Essentials or Premium licensing prior to March 2nd 2015, there are migration licenses which can be acquired at a reduced cost.

 

For more information regarding the new ASA models or the AnyConnect licensing, please contact your Keller Schroeder Account Manager.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Spotlight On…

Jesse Drew

Employee Owner: Jessee Drew

 

Jessee has over 19 years of experience in small to large businesses, government, and healthcare industries.  In his previous role as a Senior Systems Engineer he architected, designed and deployed the physical-to-virtual consolidation of 200 physical servers for local government. He has designed and migrated standalone physical direct-attached storage to enterprise-class tiered storage on several different NAS and SAN products via ISCSI and Fibre Channel. He was responsible for design, implementation, and maintenance of Dell & HP servers, Cisco UCS blade servers, HP EVA storage systems, and NetApp FAS/V series storage systems. In addition, he has designed and implemented several backup and replication solutions using NetApp SnapProtect, SnapMirror, SnapVault, and Symantec Backup Exec. He has designed and deployed physical, standalone Exchange services and multi-server Virtual Exchange environments. He also designed and implemented Microsoft domain services, including new deployments, migrations, and consolidation tasks from disparate Windows domains to a consolidated Windows domain.  Jessee has performed many different physical and virtual migration scenarios of both hardware and storage and continues to develop the needed skills to support our customers needs.

Jessee’s certifications: VMware Certified Professional (VCP) on vSphere 4 (VCP4),  Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer on Windows Server 2003,  Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA): Messaging on Windows Server 2003,  Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) on Windows Server 2003,  Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP),  Certified Novell Engineer (CNE) on Novell 3.12,  Certified Novell Administrator (CNA) on Novell 3.12

Jessee has been married to his wife Lynn for 25 years. They have a daughter, Jasmine. In his spare time, Jessee enjoys taking motorcycle road trips, playing golf, and spending time outdoors.

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

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

TechSpot Recap : Cisco Intercloud & Peak 10 Disaster Recovery

Carissa Montgomery, Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Steve Kevin Cisco
The kickoff to our 2015 TechSpot series of lunch-and-learn events took place on Thursday, February 26th. The event was also the first held at our new TechSpot location, ITT Technical Institute in Newburgh, IN. The informative session featured presentations from our vendor partners Cisco and Peak 10.

Cisco Systems Engineer Kevin Flook discussed the company’s Intercloud Fabric, a highly secure, open, and flexible solution that gives users complete freedom in workload placement based on business needs.
Kevin’s presentation included details such as Cisco’s Intercloud Kevin PresentingFabric vision, an overview of its architecture, and case studies highlighting the technology’s true business value.

John and Mike Peak 10
Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from Mike Meyer, Systems Engineer from Peak 10. Mike discussed the latest in Peak 10’s Disaster Recovery. Topics featured in Mike’s presentation included Business Continuity versus Disaster Recovery, a Disaster Recovery plan using the Cisco PPDIOO Chart, challenges associated with traditional disaster recovery implementations, and cloud-based disaster recovery using Peak 10’s Mike PresentingDRaaS.

Clients were also treated to a free lunch, a free gift, and the opportunity to win great prizes. Becky Hills from Ivy Tech, Allen Tate from the Ohio Township Public Library System, and Cathy Finch from Raben Tire all took home Amazon Fire Sticks. Abram Devonshire from Flanders Electric won our Grand Prize, a $100 VISA Gift Card.

 

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

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.

 

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Security Requires Visibility

syslogSchuyler Dorsey [Security Consultant]

As both attacks and networks grow more complex, it becomes increasingly difficult to secure the infrastructure and its data. One of the key components to retaining network security is ensuring you have insight or visibility as to what is actually happening in your network. For total visibility, you need to be able to combine nouns, verbs and timestamps to build a timeline of who did what and when. The need for total visibility extends beyond security best practices and can certainly aid in troubleshooting; however, monitoring for and responding to a security incident is when it is most crucial to have this visibility data.

It is a common misconception network devices and endpoints will automatically log everything needed, by default. Unfortunately, the default logging levels of most network devices and operating systems leave much to be desired. Here are some example default logging configurations which may leave gaping holes in your investigations:

  • Many network switches will not log local failed login attempts by default.
  • Windows will not log failed changes to group memberships or accounts.
  • Windows will not log file creation, deletion, or execution.
  • Many network firewalls will log very minimal traffic information.

So, if we take the example of a malware attack on an organization, and your infrastructure is configured with default logging settings, it would be extremely difficult to track down how the malware originally entered the network (patient zero), what actions the malware took on the endpoint(s), what other internal and external IPs the infected endpoint(s) connected to and ultimately, what malicious actions the malware performed.

In addition to enhanced logging providing this insight, building a proper timeline of the malware infection can also help remediation efforts. As an example, if we assume the proper logging is in place, we would be able to know what file was initially downloaded and executed, what IPs it connected to in order to download its payload, what files were created and deleted as a result of the malware installing itself, and what registry keys were altered to ensure malware persistence.

Once all this logging is enabled, it begs the question, how can it be efficiently managed? The answer is a Security Information & Event Management (SIEM) platform. Not only do SIEM solutions provide a central repository and dashboard for all the logs in the enterprise, most will come with signature/correlation rules to automatically try to detect malicious actions based on those logs. The most important thing to remember, though, is the SIEM can effectively review and analyze only the information it receives. So if your infrastructure’s logging posture is not configured effectively, the SIEM will be ineffective.

A healthy logging posture is crucial in ensuring network visibility; visibility is the only way to effectively monitor and respond to malware and/or Advanced Persistent Threats.

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

 

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