How Brisbane’s Serenity IT provides backup and DR

How Brisbane’s Serenity IT provides backup and DR

How Brisbane’s Serenity IT provides backup and DR

CATEGORY: IT SOLUTION

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Who are your backup and disaster recovery vendors?

We specialise in native backup in the Simplivity hyperconverged ecosystem and Veeam for any other solution.

When did your company first get involved in this area?

We have been involved in backup and disaster recovery since the inception of our business seven years ago, because we believe it must be considered in all solutions we provide.

What are your credentials in this area?

We have relevant Simplivity and Veeam sales and technical certifications, as well as ITIL certifications relating to business continuity.

Who are your main distributors?

Simplivity is provided by Distribution Central with Veeam being sourced via Ingram Micro.  

Heard about any cool developments recently?

Veeam is a great standard we have used successfully for years. However, the sheer speed of disaster-related operations in Simplivity can be breathtaking.  Imagine recovery point objectives of as few as 10 minutes and recovery times of seconds locally or minutes remotely.

Can you tell us about a recent deployment you have done?

Every Simplivity deployment has backup and disaster recovery as a core function. We had three clients deploy in 2015, two of which have a remote node as part of the solution. A fourth install took place in June. The remote nodes are in colocation data centres and have the ability to bring up virtual machines from restored data.

What’s driving customers’ backup and DR projects?

Our primary vertical is private education. As in most verticals, risk is the major motivating factor for backup and disaster recovery. More of our clients are undertaking a full risk assessment that highlights the need for backup and recovery. Service availability is the other major motivator that sees most of our clients deploying multiple on campus data centres.

Backup and disaster recovery is…?

Enabling a business to continue operating even under adverse conditions.

Source: https://www.crn.com.au/feature/how-brisbanes-serenity-it-provides-backup-and-dr-431266

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What’s hot in converged systems? We ask Serenity IT

What’s hot in converged systems? We ask Serenity IT

What’s hot in converged systems? We ask Serenity IT

CATEGORY: IT SOLUTION

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What converged or hyperconverged infrastructure solutions do you specialise in?

We specifically partner with SimpliVity for convergence.

When did your company first get involved in this area?

We have been watching the space for two years, but committed heavily to it and SimpliVity in April 2015.

Which credentials do you have that apply to converged or hyperconverged infrastructure?

We have VMware sales and presales tech certification and SimpliVity sales and tech certifications. Other than that, all the general infrastructure certifications, such as HP ASE, still apply.

Who are your main distributors for converged or hyperconverged infrastructure?

The main distributor for SimpliVity infrastructure is Distribution Central. For network infrastructure, we use Dicker Data.

Have you heard of any cool or interesting recent developments in this space?

Our focus has been on SimpliVity technology, especially the inline dedupe/compression at the heart of the system is the reason for our vendor selection. It allows very cool things to be achieved with the reduction or elimination of data I /O and capacity requirements.

Can you tell us about a recent deployment you have done?

We recently deployed SimpliVity systems to St Andrews Anglican College and Somerset College. We are about to deliver to Kimberley College. The gains in functionality and performance are evident very quickly. 

What is driving customers’ converged or hyperconverged infrastructure projects?

  •   Simplified management
  •   Simplified and shortened deployment
  •   Innovation in data management and recovery
  •   Highly efficient (read: low bandwidth) offsite DR built directly into the converged solution
  •   Reduction in data centre footprint 

Converged / hyperconverged infrastructure is…?

Doing more with less.

Source: https://www.crn.com.au/feature/whats-hot-in-converged-systems-we-ask-serenity-it-415124

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Brisbane reseller scores schools with Simplivity

Brisbane reseller scores schools with Simplivity

Brisbane reseller scores schools with Simplivity

CATEGORY: IT SOLUTION

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Brisbane-based Serenity IT Solutions has deployed Simplivity systems to three schools within the state with another six more schools being targeted for similar work this year.

Serenity IT Solutions director Mona Taimana told CRN: “We recently deployed Simplivity systems to St Andrews Anglican College [in] Peregian Springs, Somerset College, Mudgeeraba and Kimberley College, Carbrook last year. This year we are planning on doubling the number to another six schools.”

Taimana did not reveal the names of the new schools, but added that each Simplivity deployment was worth around $100,000.

“Once all the relevant information is gathered in the form of a pre-flight questionnaire and hardware is installed in racks as per customer requirement depending on customer site, the actual deployment will take about two to three hours,” he added.

He said it took three people to deploy the system in each school, comprising of a specialist from Simplivity, a representative from Serenity IT Solutions and a person from the customer.

Taimana said Simplivity technology replaced the storage, compute, backup and WAN acceleration [for disaster recovery] solutions in the schools, providing highly available clustered storage as well as compute in the form of hypervisor nodes.

Based in Massachusetts, Simplivity is a fast-growing startup in the area of hyper-convergence infrastructure, competing with the likes of Nutanix.

Serenity IT Solutions was formed in 2009 by Taimana and his business partner Michael del Manso. The company’s clientele is 90 percent schools.

Source: https://www.crn.com.au/news/brisbane-reseller-scores-schools-with-simplivity-414437

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Ruckus reseller deploys Brisbane school’s super-efficient wi-fi

Ruckus reseller deploys Brisbane school’s super-efficient wi-fi

Ruckus reseller deploys Brisbane school’s super-efficient wi-fi

CATEGORY: IT SOLUTION

Ruckus reseller deploys Brisbane school's super-efficient wi-fi

Brisbane-headquartered Serenity IT Solutions has deployed a Ruckus wi-fi network to support more than 1,500 students and teachers at Ormiston College.

The project helped the primary-to-year 12 private school to achieve better coverage while reducing the number of access points in the school by 30 percent.

“We have been working with Ormiston College for over four years and it was clear that, as the College continued to innovate and integrate the latest technology, the wireless infrastructure needed to be upgraded,” Serenity IT Solutions director Michael Del Manso said.

The work included the installation of a ZoneDirector 3000 controller, 70 ZoneFlex R710 indoor dual-band 4x4 802.11ac Wave 2 access points throughout the campus and Ruckus BeamFlex wi-fi antenna array technology. The antenna monitors the environment and adjusts the signal to the best performing path, automatically steering around interference and obstacles.

Ormiston College started having problems with firmware updates in the old system, according to Ruckus, so in order to keep its 1,100 devices connected it started a review of the networks.

College IT manager Solomon Box said that the school spoke to other institutions for their opinion on wireless technology and found that Ruckus had positive reviews.

“Since installing the Ruckus WLAN, we have seen substantial improvements in the reliability of our network which has been welcomed by the school community. We have also seen an increase in the speed of the network which has helped with a variety of applications and smart learning initiatives,” said Box.

Located in Brisbane’s eastern suburbs, Ormiston College has a history of embracing the latest technology, according to Ruckus, and is one of nine Australian Microsoft Showcase Schools – a global community of schools engaged in digital transformation to improve teaching and learning.

Box expects to further benefit from the new Ruckus wi-fi over the next five years. “We strive to keep up to date with the latest advances in education technology and have plans to upgrade to Wave 2 11ac-enabled laptops in the next few years.”

Ruckus Wireless’ managing director at ANZ Pat Devlin, who is due to finish up at the company this Tuesday, said that over 400 educational organisations in Australia and New Zealand use Ruckus Wireless Smart Wi-Fi.

Serenity IT Solutions was founded in 2009 by technical director Mona Taimana and director Michael del Manso. The reseller also partners with Extreme Networks, Simplivity and Sophos.

Ruckus Wireless was acquired by Brocade on April this year for $1.6 billion.

Source: https://www.crn.com.au/news/ruckus-reseller-deploys-brisbane-schools-super-efficient-wi-fi-429990

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Serenity IT and Laminar deploy Extreme Networks at Queensland-based Somerset college

Serenity IT and Laminar deploy Extreme Networks at Queensland-based Somerset college

Serenity IT and Laminar deploy Extreme Networks at Queensland-based Somerset college

CATEGORY: IT SOLUTION

Queensland-based resellers Serenity IT and Laminar have deployed an Extreme Networks end-to-end network for Gold Coast-based Somerset College.

The independent primary and secondary college will have both wired and wireless solutions to connect “a growing number” of devices among students and staff, while also giving Somerset’s IT team increased security, control and visibility of their network operations.

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Serenity IT, which works primarily with educational institutions, focused on the facilitation of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) side of the deployment, particularly on security and integration.

“We approached it on how we can easily secure the network without having to increase the burden of Someret’s IT department,” Serenity IT technical director Mona Taimana told CRN.

“We wanted to help make the transition to Extreme Networks painless as possible, particularly on the BYOD side.”

Laminar meanwhile helped deploy the wireless networks, as part of a deal with Somerset dating back from 2015 to upgrade its existing wireless infrastructure to Extreme Networks.

Also primarily working with educational institutions, Laminar specialises in designing wireless networks, core networking and security firewall infrastructure.

“The overall deployment of the project was a success,” Laminar spokesperson Nathan Gittins told CRN. “The integration was smooth and everything just worked!”

“Somerset College is now operating one of the most advanced networks in Australia in the K-12 education sector,” Extreme Networks ANZ managing director Chris Georgellis said.

“They are a real showcase of what is possible in providing students and staff with the very best network environment to assist in the education mission of the college.”

The network offers 10-gigabit wireless access and is deployed with Extreme’s Management Center, ExtremeControl and ExtremeAnalytics to meet Somerset’s security and IT governance requirements.

Extreme said the school’s IT staff were able to ensure security, audit, and compliance policies were managed network-wide for both students and staff, while supporting more than 2500 devices.

“Providing a world-class IT environment at Somerset College is critical in providing an outstanding learning environment for our students and staff,” Somerset College dean of information technologies Lisa Thomson said.

“Extreme Networks was an obvious choice for us when rebuilding our network infrastructure. The company has a proven track record in understanding the unique needs of the education sector and we believe our environment now will meet our requirements for years to come, while allowing us a firm foundation on which to continue to grow and develop.”

Last month, US-based Extreme Networks unveiled a new partner program following the acquisitions of Brocade Communications, Avaya and Zebra Technologies.

Chris Georgellis told CRN that as part of this new program, the company’s ANZ operations would be looking into further acquisitions moving forward.

“Here [in Australia], it’s all about how we grow and expand to markets we weren’t in before,” he said. “There is a big acquisition focus for us, and us as a company have taken the approach to invest in people, resources into the market as we see that it is a big profitable area for us.”

Georgellis added that Extreme had been working with not only the education sector but with healthcare and the industrial space as well, and will be announcing the projects as they come along.

Source : https://www.crn.com.au/news/serenity-it-laminar-deploys-extreme-networks-at-queensland-based-somerset-college-477775

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Is complexity putting your Hybrid IT Disaster Recovery plan into crisis?

Is complexity putting your Hybrid IT Disaster Recovery plan into crisis?

IS COMPLEXITY PUTTING YOUR HYBRID IT DISASTER RECOVERY PLAN INTO CRISIS?

CATEGORY: IT Services

We talk to Brennan IT Senior Projects Engineer George Parker about the technologies that make Disaster Recovery (DR)-friendly environments.

With everything from natural crises to ransom ware attacks making news recently, it would be good to think that every organisation has revisited their DR plan. According to George Parker, though, lack of resources and complexity can mean there are gaps.

‘A number of businesses have made a plan, but haven’t fully tested it, which means they don’t really know if it will work as they hope.’

Complexity is something that must be tackled urgently if DR plans are to stand up to testing.

‘If you don’t have visibility of everything, it is very hard to make sure it is backed up, and you can’t be sure it is protected in your DR plan,’ said George.

Solutions like hybrid IT are easing the pain, and making strong DR plans more feasible, according to George. The advent of mature cloud-computing solution providers means businesses can make better technical decisions on where to best place their infrastructure, while technologies such as Hyper-converged gives visibility of the entire environment from a single point.

‘When you can see it, you can plan for it,’ said George.

This means, he said, that to get a DR plan right, you first must take a step back.

First things first

‘First, you need to decide where is the best place to run your applications. For any application or workload that contains sensitive data, such as your customer’s personal details or credit card information, it is best to build your own private cloud, either on-premise or with your managed service provider,’ said George.

This private cloud might also accommodate intellectual property, and data that is required by legislation to reside locally. It also makes more sense for applications that demand very low latency or require high-bandwidth consumption.

A hyper-converged solution using current technology would incorporate highly-dense,10GB-plus uplinks from the servers divide and share traffic produced by the virtual machines (VMs), meaning no more spaghetti-style cabling to test the sanity of the IT department. Faced with putting a DR plan into action, nobody wants to be untangling a web of wires.

Flash-first storage systems are no longer only for those with huge budgets, signalling a departure from the usual bottlenecks for organisations with more modest means. They may use externally connected SAS or fibre-channel fabric storage arrays. Alternatively, software defined storage is increasingly an option, using software to build commodity servers into a highly-available converged storage cluster – complete with features found in traditional external storage.

Blade systems can, said George, be an attractive way of building this infrastructure.

‘The network and storage traffic can be virtualised and abstracted by using high-speed adaptors within each blade, interconnected to a common back-plane using “Flex-fabric” switches that segregate storage and network traffic.’

Tools of the trade

To reap the benefits, George recommends using proven, industry-leading hypervisor solutions –HPE’s SimpliVity already has a steady footprint in Australia’s mid-sized businesses.

Tools like Office productivity, email, intranets, and archived data are best placed in your chosen cloud environment, said George. That takes away yet more complexity in order to focus on keeping data safe.

‘Your backup solution can back up data directly from storage snapshots, even backups of entire VMs with granular restore ability where you need to keep multiple backup copies.’

Your primary backup copy is typically held on-premise near source production VMs for short-term retention and high-speed restore times. Secondary copies are sent seamlessly to your offsite cloud backup repository.

‘This type of environment enables you to recover from ransom ware attacks. Often, once viruses have spread within your private cloud, they also infect your backup server and local backup repositories, so having secondary backup copies elsewhere, in multiple locations, means you can recover your systems to the point in time before the attack occurred,’ said George.

To host or not to host

Disaster Recovery is greatly simplified in a virtualised cloud world, said George. By using “host-based” or “Hypervisor-based” DR solutions, you are free to use a mixture of server and storage hardware in your Production and DR facilities. Virtual machines can then be replicated to your own DR facility, to a cloud-providers facility or a combination of both. You may even, said George, opt for DR as a service (DRaaS), and let someone else take care of the rest.

Ultimately, although Brennan IT provides many solutions to protect your systems, George said it is good practice that will keep your systems safe. You need to ‘test, regularly test, all of your systems’ thoroughly to support your DR plan, preferably with a fresh set of eyes – some cloud providers or technology partners offer this service. And you need to train staff regularly.

‘Social engineering is powerful,’ said George.

‘Cyber-crime can be very convincing, so you need to make sure your people know what to look for.’

Need to know more about making your environment DR-friendly? Contact the experienced Brennan ITteam.

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