Servium https://servium.co.uk Delivering Tomorrow’s Solutions Today Thu, 20 Sep 2018 14:01:28 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 The HPE Storage line-up explained https://servium.co.uk/2018/05/the-hpe-storage-line-up-explained/ Fri, 25 May 2018 16:52:22 +0000 https://servium.co.uk/?p=3451 Which storage platform is right for you?

With so many different storage offerings now available from HPE, it can be difficult to know where to start when making an evaluation.

It’s a diverse portfolio, consisting of Modular Storage Array (MSA), SimpliVity, Nimble Storage, and 3PAR. But without an in-depth understanding of each storage platform and inevitable product overlap, making a choice between them is difficult.

That’s why we’ve created a comprehensive Solution Guide on HPE Storage. It looks closely at the different functionalities, attributes, prices, and use cases that define each of HPE’s storage platforms, all to help you realise which solution is best suited to your business.

Simply click here to access the guide now.

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Protect your crown jewels https://servium.co.uk/2018/05/protect-your-crown-jewels/ Fri, 25 May 2018 16:39:15 +0000 https://servium.co.uk/?p=3447 Now you can trust the public cloud with your web apps

Despite the clear benefits of hosting critical apps in the public cloud, there is still a considerable reticence surrounding its adoption. Security remains the primary concern – in particular, uncertainties regarding levels of protection, confusion over where the responsibility for app security lies, and if traditional security measures are up to the job of protecting cloud workloads.

Engineered for the cloud, Barracuda Networks’ new approach to securing apps overcomes all of these challenges. Named the Cloud Generation Firewall, it natively integrates with your cloud provider’s infrastructure and helps to embrace the full potential of the public cloud.

In partnership with Barracuda Networks, our latest white paper explores:

  • The limitations of existing public cloud security
  • How using the public cloud for your critical applications can benefit your business
  • How Barracuda’s Cloud Generation Firewall can help you overcome security challenges
  • How you can realise the perfect balance of reliable security and the flexibility of cloud

For more valuable insights, download the white paper.

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Protect Your Mobile and IoT Devices Now https://servium.co.uk/2018/05/protect-your-mobile-and-iot-devices-now/ Fri, 25 May 2018 16:24:40 +0000 https://servium.co.uk/?p=3443 It’s vital to be aware of exactly what is connecting to your network – only by knowing this can you safeguard your business from the emerging threats that zone in on the growing number of mobile and IoT devices that get granted access and open up potential vulnerabilities. That’s why making sure your company is fully protected against all these threats should be at the top of your list.

By downloading our white paper, you’ll find out how the ClearPass Suite from Aruba will help you to:

  • Identify all the devices coming onto your network.
  • Protect these devices and your entire network through essential security measures.
  • Use the ClearPass Suite to enforce security policies and controls across both wired and wireless networks.

To learn more about the benefits of the Aruba ClearPass Suite, download the white paper and discover how Aruba could help you ready your network for the future.

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IoT Vulnerability Checklist https://servium.co.uk/2018/01/iot-vulnerability-checklist/ Tue, 30 Jan 2018 11:46:34 +0000 https://servium.co.uk/?p=3208 The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly moved from hype to reality and it’s a phenomenon every enterprise now needs to deal with.  From smartphones to sensors, the trend for ‘things’ connecting with corporate networks to reach the Internet is here to stay.  There are extraordinary benefits to be realised and new opportunities to capture, but this functionality also comes at a price. As more devices connect, networks become more vulnerable.  It’s the product of a larger attack surface that needs to be protected and the fact that IoT is still very much in its infancy.  On the rise and frequently under the radar, IoT devices are becoming the weak link in corporate networks and in some cases an invisible one too.

IoT is already happening on your network whether you like it or not.  The right approach should focus on enabling your organisation to capitalise on the best IoT offers, but protect against the potential threats.  Here’s our view of your most likely vulnerabilities:

The volume and variety of devices connecting with your network

Gartner has predicted that 20.4 billion connected ‘things’ will be in use worldwide by 2020! Where the device race started simply with smartphones and laptops, corporate networks are now invaded by tablets, smart watches, health monitors, sensors, asset tags, even virtual reality headsets. You won’t stop the flood of things, but it is essential that you can account for each one on your network and wherever possible ensure they are protected. It’s when devices slip under the radar that the problems occur.

Likewise, procedures and policies need to be put in place to ensure that any personal devices under Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives or brought along by guests requesting access to the corporate network are always suitably defended. The more endpoints your organisation doesn’t secure, the easier it will be for hackers to exploit you.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Outnumbered, but not outsmarted: A 2-step solution to protect IoT and mobile devices

Access to data

 IoT devices access and generate corporate data, some of it sensitive.  Accordingly, they can become high value targets for hackers, especially as data is often not encrypted.  Thought needs to be given to your data paths; how data is accessed and held by these devices, even whether they are given permission to connect to corporate networks at all.

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imminent, IoT devices have been identified as a particularly dubious area for data protection – data controllers have to report any breaches within 72 hours, and will therefore need to ensure that data contained on IoT devices is visible and protected and plus any consent given by a data subject via an IoT device is traceable.

Software patching

The recent WannaCry ransomware attack is a good example of an IoT-related cyber breach. Among the worst affected was the NHS, with almost 50 trusts targeted and nearly 70,000 devices exploited, many of which were IoT devices, from storage fridges to operating equipment. The attack took advantage of a vulnerability in a legacy Microsoft operating system (OS), which many organisations had not patched quickly enough. Unfortunately for the NHS, it affected many of their network-connected medical devices also running the same OS. Having gained access through this vulnerability, the virus quickly propagated.

This reluctance to patch is common for IoT devices, as many of them are not deemed important enough to warrant the time it takes, however this needs to be done promptly and regularly in order to ward off attackers.

Your print estate

Corporate printers are seen as one of the biggest IoT risks because of the multiple functions they perform and necessity to be connected to corporate networks. Printers receive confidential and sensitive information from multiple end-points and store this within the device (if only temporarily) ready to be discovered by determined attackers. Think about what you’ve printed or scanned in the past. Addresses? Invoices? Card details? This is exactly the data a cyber attacker wants to get their hands on. According to analyst reports, millions of printers globally could today be at risk of attack from threats like Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), which is known for targeting IoT devices.

Wearable Tech

Wearable tech is now commonplace.  These things seamlessly connect with available networks and send and receive data including potentially confidential corporate information.  Seemingly innocuous they’re a trend to watch, especially as device manufacturers continue to build on their capabilities.

Operational Technologies and Smart Environments

All sorts of operational technologies are making their way onto your network, whether that’s machinery or products used to create smarter working environments such as meeting room schedulers to lightbulbs and thermostats.  Remember it might just be a vending machine, and feel removed from ‘real IT’, but being on the network means it is potentially connected with everything else you have.  Threats like Botnets exploit these devices and find ways to travel between ‘things’ on your network.

Human behaviour

We don’t like to admit it, but people are a major flaw in the success of IoT.  The manufacturers who create devices are guilty of not building in ample security measures; the employee who has trouble remembering a tricky password will use an easy one instead; the IT Manager who doesn’t want his team’s time squandered on applying multiple patches delays them – we are each responsible in some way for how IoT is integrated into the enterprise.

It’s also true that there is a distinct lack of education in cybersecurity when it comes to the Internet of Things. Many users are unaware of the extent to which IoT devices are ‘connected’ and as attacks are constantly getting smarter, it’s getting harder to keep on top of all the necessary aspects of IoT security, without contending with careless or bad practice as well.

The Internet of Things can bring truly amazing flexibility and functionality to the modern enterprise, but it is so important to ensure that suitable security measures are enforced within the environment.

 

A 2-step solution to protect IoT and mobile devices

Read our latest Whitepaper and learn how using the latest tools from Aruba you can better protect your network.  Alternatively, get in touch with one of the team to discuss the issues raised in this article further.

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HP Reinvent 2017 https://servium.co.uk/2017/09/hp-reinvent-2017/ Mon, 25 Sep 2017 11:10:16 +0000 https://servium.co.uk/?p=3228 I had the privilege this year of joining HP at their ‘Reinvent’ World Partner Forum in Chicago, Illinois. Their focus this year was very much on growth, new technologies, innovation, and investment for the future.

2017’s Forum was supposedly the largest HP partner event ever, so as you can imagine, I was one of many. Over the three day event, I was lucky enough to see presentations from some key HP speakers, including CEO, Dion Weisler, and even had the surprise treat of seeing Christian Slater, star of their cyber security mini-series ‘The Wolf’.

The partner event became a platform for several announcements from HP, and opened the door to a tonne of exciting insights for their partners. My personal take-aways from their global strategy and priorities for the next few years were as follows:


Printing and Personal Systems

HP intends to double down on its core business in Printing and Personal Systems – this means ensuring they plan key promotions, win profitably in Corporate, Enterprise and SMB, and execute flawlessly to retain their #1 share in the market.

A3 devices

They’re also seeing rapid growth in the A3 device and managed services market. Their goal in this is to exceed double-digit share in 2018 and they are currently on track to do this, which is exciting news indeed.

Service and Financing

HP is beginning to leverage new service and financing models to provide a point of differentiation for their partners – something we can all look forward to in the near future. They’re hoping that this approach alongside greater attempts to open up new avenues of differentiation will help win in new customers and markets.

Education

The education space is one in particular that was notably highlighted during the event – HP is looking to target the sector through structured approaches into schools, colleges and universities with a bid to ‘reinvent learning’. Virtual reality, Hybrid IT, and Immersive Computing will be a key focus for their educational technologies moving forward, as demonstrated at Bett 2017 back in January.

On a wider scale, HP PageWide, their new generation of printers, Mobility, Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs), and Security were also key messages that came through, particularly with the onset of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) so imminent.

Most exciting, though, is the promise that they will be opening up and expanding their channel partnerships with new technologies and services, so we cannot wait to see what the rest of the year will bring, especially as we move into 2018.

Servium HP Reinvent

 

 

Stuart Dean is Servium’s Sales Director. If you would like to find out more about the announcements made at HP Reinvent and HP’s plans for the future, please speak to your Account Manager or else get in touch.

 

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VMworld Europe 2017 https://servium.co.uk/2017/09/vmworld-europe-2017/ Mon, 18 Sep 2017 10:00:35 +0000 https://servium.co.uk/?p=3218 This year marked the 10th anniversary of VMworld Europe, so quite a milestone for VMware. It’s partially somewhat of a personal milestone, too, in that this is my 4th year attending VMworld on behalf of Servium.

The conference took place a month early this year – an interesting decision, considering it clashed on the Monday (Partner Day) with the National Day of Catalonia in Spain. The National Day is a festival that commemorates the anniversary of the Bourbon forces’ recapture of Barcelona, which occurred on September 11, 1714. So on that particular Monday, the whole city of Barcelona was in lockdown as there were thousands upon thousands of locals and tourists gathered in the city centre to celebrate.

According to VMware, there was a record-breaking number of attendees this year. Whether or not that had a direct correlation with the festival, I can’t say for certain, but I would estimate that there were in excess of 10,000 people!

As usual, there was a whole lot going on at VMworld.

The big theme this year was around security, with a considerable focus on VMware’s Network Virtualisation solution – NSX. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) understandably came up in a number of presentations and actually underpinned a significant number of these sessions. Given the fact that May 2018 is fast approaching, this didn’t come as a great surprise.

A few of the other main themes shaping the conference were that of the Software Defined Data Centre (SDDC), Software Defined Networking (SDN) and hyperconverged storage – all hot topics.

The Vendor Village this year had headline sponsors such as Dell EMC, HP and Amazon Web Services (AWS), along with some more niche and emerging vendors such as Pure Storage, Pivot3 and Arista Networks.

The Keynote

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger took the stage for the Keynote. He opened the conference with details on key announcements – such as their new partnership with IBM in Europe – before discussing the future of technology and how VMware fits into the equation. Raising the topic of education and the role of technology within this, he also noted that the current foundation for learning still circles back to the three “R’s” – reading, writing and arithmetic – yet he suggests this will eventually shift to reading, writing, coding and arithmetic over time. An interesting view!

He later talked about the future of VMware as a whole, how their current cloud strategy fits into their company vision, and how open source technology can be best used alongside VMware technologies.

Following the General Sessions, there were multiple Showcase Keynotes that covered a wide range of increasingly popular trends, including taking a software-defined approach to modernising the datacentre, along with the importance of integrating security at every level of the infrastructure.

During our time outside of the conference, we had the additional pleasure of hosting an exclusive customer dinner at the excellent Firebug Bistro. This was well received and a really great way to finish off a busy few days in Barcelona.

steve-d

 

Steve Dawes is Servium’s Services Director. If you’d like to learn more about the changes, innovations and trends discussed at VMworld, please speak to your Account Manager at Servium or contact us.

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Arista Networks – the next step in software-defined networking https://servium.co.uk/2017/09/arista-networks-the-next-step-in-software-defined-networking/ Fri, 15 Sep 2017 08:34:57 +0000 https://servium.co.uk/?p=3188 Building the infrastructure you depend on in software is key to IT becoming more agile, unlocking valuable new commercial models, and helping you respond to new world challenges.  We’ve seen a rapid rise in this approach across the data centre and with the emergence of Arista Networks, now increasingly at the network layer.

Named a leader in the Gartner 2017 Magic Quadrant for Data Centre Networking, Arista Networks pioneers software-driven cloud networking solutions. Its ultra-low latency switches, according to CEO Jayshree Ullal, were “born” to support Software Defined Networking (SDN), bringing improved performance and lower power consumption to networks all over the globe. Using non-proprietary components and merchant silicon has also meant that customers benefit from vastly reduced OPEX costs versus legacy technologies.

EOS – the secret sauce

Every one of Arista’s switches is powered by EOS (Extensible Operating System). Built on an open source Linux core, EOS is the world’s most advanced network operating system, primarily because it is open to third party development.  This accelerates the delivery of new functionality and puts control in the hands of the users by enabling them to write scripts at will and leverage greater automation. Its entirely programmable, open architecture is tailored to support users’ unique cloud networking requirements, seamlessly interoperating with much of the existing network fabric already in place. Thanks to EOS CloudVision, this visibility and control can also be extended networkwide via a single user interface.

Discover more

We’ve partnered with Arista to help our customers:

  • Take steps towards building a software-defined network
  • Scale networks that seamlessly integrate with any vendor hardware
  • Lower overall OPEX spend

If you would like to learn more about Arista and its products, speak to one of the team today.

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Three routes to hyperconvergence. https://servium.co.uk/2017/08/three-routes-to-hyperconvergence/ Fri, 25 Aug 2017 16:24:17 +0000 https://servium.co.uk/?p=3137 Transforming your infrastructure.

How you choose to use technology will have a big hand in how your organisation unlocks the opportunities of the digital era we now face.  Legacy infrastructures and ‘old world’ thinking do not offer the flexibility, scalability and economic models necessary to succeed as staff and customers demand new ways to work and engage.  The cloud is challenging what is possible and indeed what your business can expect from its infrastructure. It’s why organisations are turning to new approaches to build critical infrastructure, including hyperconvergence. Built with tomorrow’s requirements in mind, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) holds much promise and may be the key to how you develop your infrastructure in the future.

In partnership with Dell EMC, our latest white paper ‘Three routes to hyperconvergence’ provides valuable insight covering:

  • The benefits of transforming from an outdated infrastructure to a hyperconverged one
  • The three possible paths and how to choose one suited to your budget and businesses requirements
  • The varying places that HCI can be deployed outside of common workload demands
  • The viable solutions for implementing a HCI using technology from Dell EMC

To discover more, download the white paper.

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6 Little-Known Features of Office 365 https://servium.co.uk/2017/06/6-little-known-features-of-office-365/ Mon, 12 Jun 2017 12:00:07 +0000 https://servium.co.uk/?p=3025 Office 365 is everywhere. The functionality it brings to the corporate environment through the use of email, instant messaging, and the stalwarts of the Office suite like Word and Excel is invaluable to business users. It’s because of these rich features that it is becoming one of the most widely adopted enterprise cloud services in the world. At the start of this year, it was officially crowned the most popular service amongst users and is currently on track to surpass 100 million of them. At their Build 2016 conference, Microsoft revealed that 50,000 SMBs were being added to Office 365 every month; considering May’s Build 2017 saw them announce that subscriptions had risen by 15 million users, we can only imagine what those figures look like today! With results like that, it’s hard to deny that Office 365 plays a highly influential and truly key role within the modern enterprise.

What’s interesting to note, however, is that in spite of its sky-rocketing popularity, it remains an untapped well of potential innovation and productivity. The problem is that we’re all so familiar with Microsoft’s more renowned pieces of software that we can sometimes forget or neglect the fact that there is in fact a whole line-up of new apps and exciting features that now exist within the Office 365 portfolio.  As a result,  it’s likely that many organisations and their users are missing out on a wealth of opportunities to work smarter, achieve more and collaborate better inside and outside of the business.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 6 features of Office 365 you might never have even considered using:

  • Sway

Office 365 SwayThis is a really nifty piece of the Office 365 puzzle that could eventually end up replacing Microsoft PowerPoint. Cloud-based presentation software Sway allows you to truly unlock your creativity when producing content such as interactive reports, newsletters, and of course, presentations. It enables you to build customised documents from scratch, including the ability to add in all kinds of different media, from videos to social media feeds, to complement your finished product. You can even hit ‘Remix!’ to provide you with an infinite selection of randomised design templates for you to experiment with.

Sway has also been integrated with Bing search engine, granting users the full scale of Bing’s image results to accompany their ‘stories’. This connection goes one step further, seeing Bing even suggest image searches that are relevant to your written content, making the process run a lot smoother and speeding up the time to a finished product.

  • OneNote integration with Outlook

OneNote is a fantastic tool for taking notes, capturing your thoughts quickly and providing you with the scope to organise those thoughts in whatever form best suits you. But did you know how easy it is to transfer certain aspects of these notes directly into Outlook? You don’t even need to switch between the applications! You simply select whichever part of your notes you want included in your task list, flag a reminder for this, and it will be added straight into Outlook. Likewise, any meeting details you need to refer to or add to such documents as agendas can be pulled across from your Outlook calendar and inserted into OneNote with one easy click.

OneNote is also a great platform for collaboration, and allows users to share and exchange their notes with colleagues so that they can contribute to the conversation.

  • Co-authoring in real-time

Possibly one of the most useful features of Office 365 is that of co-authoring. No more waiting around for various drafts of documents or spreadsheets to bounce between a load of different stakeholders – users can now actively collaborate and comment on live projects simultaneously, all in real-time. Sharing documents is also made easy by the provision of live links that can be emailed to colleagues via Outlook for immediate editing permissions, so that there is no reason to sift through hundreds of separate drafts – all changes are captured within a single document.

  • DelveOffice 365 Delve

Microsoft Delve is essentially a newsfeed dedicated to your workplace. Based on your personal activity and interests, it generates a feed of content from within your organisation that is most relevant to you. This content is displayed on interactive cards that indicate which user created it, and what type of document it is. It also enables you to quickly enter the document, edit it, or make comments to share with any other colleagues working on the piece. You can readily view a log of all of the recent documents you yourself have created, too, via the ‘My Work’ tab. Just like Twitter Streams, you can even set up ‘Boards’ that allow you to collate certain insights on specific topics, depending on your preference.

  • Yammer

Just like Delve, Yammer is also a tool for interaction within your organisation, but instead of being a newsfeed of work, it is an internal social network encouraging collaboration on a less formal level. It introduces functionality like instant messaging, and even welcomes collaboration from external parties, such as vendors or partners. Similar to Delve, Yammer has a Discovery feed, which surfaces any relevant conversations between colleagues that may be of interest. You can also define different Groups specific to campaigns, departments, events, you name it – so that you always have a clear overview of any ongoing projects.

  • Laser mouse

This feature is an oldie, but you’d be surprised how many Office users don’t know that this is possible. When viewing presentations in PowerPoint, by beginning the SlideShow and holding down Ctrl and the left mouse trigger, your mouse cursor instantly becomes a laser pointer. So if you ever find yourself presenting without the support of your trusty laser pointer, never fear! If you’re feeling particularly creative, there is even a menu option that allows you to change the colour of the pointer.

There are many more hidden gems buried deep inside Office 365 just waiting to be discovered. That’s why we’ve partnered with LightUp 365, an online platform dedicated to training on Office 365. It gives our customers the chance to expand their knowledge of the Office 365 suite and enable staff to take advantage of the many apps and features at their disposal. Through access to over 2000 training videos, users can begin to feel the full benefits of their Office 365 investment.

To discover more about the features of Office 365 your organisation could be utilising, or else if you are interested in a free trial of LightUp 365, get in touch with our team.

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Make light work of using Office 365 https://servium.co.uk/2017/06/make-light-work-of-using-office-365/ Mon, 12 Jun 2017 11:09:41 +0000 https://servium.co.uk/?p=3011 LightUp 365One of the biggest challenges for new users of Office 365 is enabling staff to use the full features of the applications now at their disposal and to help them begin using the extended suite of office apps now available to them.

That’s why we’ve partnered with LightUp 365. Together we now offer an extensive library of more than 2000 training and help videos that extend across the entire Office 365 suite. There is a learning path for each app that helps users to constantly build on their understanding of the software as well as broader platform features via step-by-step “How To” videos.

The videos are all available to our customers on demand, so you can watch and re-watch them as many times as you like. Every user also has a learning profile that is unique to them, allowing them to select videos to refer back to or save for quick access to the exact training they need.

There are a load of great features and advantages to be gained from LightUp 365:

  • Overcome knowledge gaps
  • A cost effective means of enabling users to get the most out of Office 365
  • Libraries are constantly updated and always growing
  • Fully integrated with Office 365
  • Always accessible when using Office 365 via the App Launcher
  • Productivity from the word ‘go’
  • Easy to use and navigate

We think that LightUp 365 offers users a fantastic chance to maximise your Office 365 investment, and quickly progress user knowledge as it becomes an integral part of your working environment.

If you’d like to learn more, check out this introductory video to LightUp 365.  We are also able offer demo licenses for anyone wishing to take a closer look.  Speak to one of the team to discuss your options further.

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