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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Harness the freedom and flexibility of new technology for happier staff

Harness the freedom and flexibility of new technology for happier staff

Harness the freedom and flexibility of new technology for happier staff

CATEGORY: Press Release

The traditional office desktop environment is fast becoming a thing of the past as organisations adapt to the need for more flexible, mobile and collaborative styles of working, in the name of happier staff. 

First, there was the sudden influx of mobile devices as smartphone usage became ubiquitous. And more recently, the growing popularity and ease of use of cloud-based digital platforms and apps have further disrupted how people work and communicate.

Users today expect to be able to connect and collaborate with each other from any location and any device, via any application or platform. In other words, not having to behave any differently compared to sitting at their office desk.

The consistent user experience

If that sounds easier said than done, it is. Especially if you’re trying to manage several other business priorities at the same time.

But now the genie’s well and truly out of the bottle, creating a consistent user experience is now one of your top organisational priorities.

This means accepting the need for processes and systems that mimic the simplicity and ease-of-use of social media platforms. Staff need to know they can access, share and work together on any sort of company content, regardless of where they are and via what device.

Achieving this presents a number of technical, business and cultural challenges.

And you need to know that allowing them to do so in no way compromises your data security, compliance or other obligations that might incur fines, or worse, reputational damage and real financial loss.

The disconnect between expectations and reality is most apparent when it comes to end user support. Most traditional support packages are built around the corporate device and not the user. This in itself presents difficulties when a user is looking for support on a personal device or needs help when they are not connected to the corporate network. A pay per user support model, like Desktop-as-a-Service supports any user, working in any location, on any device enrolled in a corporate mobile device management program.

Desktop-as-a-service, or DaaS, provides round the clock support to help staff to feel more connected, engaged, valued and generally happier. This includes the simple, but annoying things like being locked out of their device on a Sunday night when they are trying to finish a report or being unable to connect while delayed at the airport. Its power lies in the ability to give users a consistent experience across devices, systems, platforms and locations.

This has become increasingly important as organisations come to view their workforce as more dynamic and complex, with different circumstances, needs and preferences for how they work best.

DaaS standing in the shadows

In addition to using their own devices and working flexibly with their tools, staff often expect a level of freedom to use applications that have not been authorised or properly introduced by IT, introducing all manner of new and as-yet unknown vulnerabilities.

It’s what’s known as “shadow IT”, which refers to the proliferation of cloud-based apps, including; social media and other technologies designed for personal use, and not intended for the workplace.

Incidences of shadow IT have increased sharply over the past few years, as staff have sought to harness the greater usability and compatibility of social apps and platforms to work more efficiently.

These user experiences in the social media realm have set a new bar for what is considered minimum usability and simplicity in the workforce. And DaaS provides the ideal platform not just to bring shadow IT under control, but to make sure its capabilities can be fully optimised for the corporate environment.

And while both words are likely pretty boring to the ears of staff who just want to work the way they want without questions and without hassle, ‘security’ and ‘control’ are key considerations.

For instance, Microsoft 365 suite of cloud systems and application allows for a high degree of visibility and control, especially over mobile devices, apps and data.

This is achieved through Microsoft 365 ‘Intune’, which is a cloud-based service to help organisations maintain control over their mobile devices. Device loss is the biggest the biggest cause of data theft in Australia, accounting for 41% of breaches, ahead of those derived from hacking and malware, which is only 25%[1].

The mobile device management solution from Brennan IT gives the ability to manage settings remotely, deploy compliance policies, locate, lock and even remotely wipe corporate data, to ensure sensitive information is always safe.

Happier staff

The arrival of smartphones and the mobile app ecosystem has wrought serious levels of disruption for companies to manage.

But while digital technologies can be fascinating to consider in themselves, it’s important not to lose sight of why they exist in the first place: making people’s lives easier.

With the arrival of apps like Facebook, people were attracted to the idea of being able to connect and communicate with a wide network of people.

Fast forward and it’s now also about helping people find new, innovative, personally satisfying and effective ways to communicate and collaborate at work.

When this happens, people are able to use more of their ‘right brains’, to be more creative and innovative and ultimately achieve greater results for themselves and their employers.

This makes people happier all round, creating a ‘virtuous cycle’ with greater staff satisfaction, productivity, less time off and less churn. Parents can spend more time with their children, traffic jams are lessened, and companies spend less money on office spaces and resources needed to run them.

 

[1]   https://www.networkworld.com/article/2988643/security/device-loss-data-breach-malware-hacking-trend-micro-report.html

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Infographic: Reducing total cost of ownership

Infographic: Reducing total cost of ownership

Infographic: Reducing total cost of ownership

CATEGORY: IT SOLUTION

Saving through commercial flexibility

Total cost of ownership (TCO) isn’t a complicated concept. Simply put, it’s the sum of the upfront cost of a product or service and the direct and indirect costs incurred during its lifetime.

It’s likely to be how most of us consider a large purchase in our personal lives. Let’s say you’re in the market for a new car. You’ve narrowed your selection down to a few potential vehicles that meet your needs. Naturally, within the potential cars there will be a range of prices. To make a final decision, the discerning buyer might go on to compare running costs for the vehicles: how much are they likely to depreciate, how much do they cost to insure, service, refuel, etc. Intuitively, total cost of ownership has been considered.

Nevertheless, many buyers considering an IT infrastructure upgrade can fall into a pattern of using upfront cost as their key criteria. Not only does this inadvertently neglect potential products or solutions that may be much better suited, but in the long run may actually end up costing a lot more.

When purchasing Meraki as a managed product through a service provider, buyers have the option of owning the devices outright with an upfront investment or purchasing them as a service, making it an OPEX spend. This commercial flexibility means that buyers are no longer restricted in their choices by financial constraints.

For many companies, a monthly payment option is not just attractive for cash flow purchases. Many more savings can be made through resources, time and effort, when considering managed cloud based networking.

At this point, we’re often asked by customers and partners alike for stats or numbers to quantify how much Meraki customers are saving in operational costs. Managed cloud-based networking allows a number of savings on resources:

  • Faster deployment of sites: up to 6 sites can be deployed by cloud at the rate of 1 traditional deployment. This means businesses save on project and set up costs each time they deploy to a new site.
  • Enterprise-grade devices: when it comes to your network, downtime simply isn’t an option. By investing in market-leading, enterprise-grade devices from Meraki, you can enjoy greater levels of security and reliability.
  • Continual updates: firmware updates are released periodically to licensed organisations in a way that’s minimally disruptive to end users, ensuring your environment is current and compliant.
  • Cloud-based management: your overall network is managed via a centralised, cloud-based console, so regardless of how many devices you have in place, or across any number of locations, you have full visibility and control.

We set about acquiring this information and interviewed existing Meraki customers across various verticals to quantify how much time and money they’re saving compared to more traditional technologies. The results are now in:

CHECK OUT THE INFOGRAPHIC

Highlights from the infographic:

  • Gartner estimates that 80% of total IT costs occur after the initial purchase (OpEx)
  • Meraki customers stand to save in the region of 90% on OpEx
  • Savings in shopping around for the cheapest hardware are likely to pale in comparison to the potential savings in OpEx with Meraki
  • A Wireless (Verizon authorized reseller) can bring 6 stores live with Meraki technology for the cost of bringing one store live with traditional technology
  • Bar S Foods saved over $5M in production revenue with Meraki over 5 years
  • CNOS chose to deploy Meraki even though hardware costs were 15% more than traditional technology. CNOS was able to recover the difference in CapEx within 16 months over a 5-year comparison.

The moral of the story here could be likened to the age-old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover.” The true value of Meraki technology cannot simply be judged by its upfront cost.

 

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