Thursday, January 31, 2013

Need New? Legacy? A Little Bit of Both? We’ve Got You Covered

We like to think we’re unique for many reasons (our inexplicable love of cows, the speed with which we beat Alduin in Skyrim, and our ninja-like reflexes), but one thing that truly sets Vista Computer Group apart from the competition is our ability to provide you with the entire spectrum of products; from old, discontinued legacy equipment to current-generation, hot-off-the-production-line equipment.

For starters, if you need legacy systems that run Unix-based operating systems such as HP-UX, AIX, and Oracle Solaris, we’ve got you covered from HP Alpha and IBM System P to Sun SPARC and HP Integrity. We’ve even got you covered for legacy chassis and standalone switches. Whether you are standardized on this discontinued equipment or have custom applications that can only be run on this equipment, you no longer have to worry about sourcing it – we’ve got your back.

If you’re on the other end of the spectrum, we also carry the latest and greatest from manufacturers such as Cisco, Dell, HP, Sun, and IBM. Whether you are looking for the latest in storage like the HP MSA P2000 G3, servers like the Dell PowerEdge R720xd or IBM System x3650 M4, or networking gear such as the Cisco Catalyst 6500-E, we’ve got options for you in both Vista certified refurbished and new product condition.

By offering inventory on both ends of the spectrum, we can make IT easier for you. If you, like many others, have a mixed datacenter, you don’t have to go to two different suppliers to fit your varying needs – we cover both! And just like consolidation in your datacenter results in reduced costs and complexity, supplier consolidation accomplishes the same end goal.

- KH

Thursday, January 24, 2013

IBM Can Help You Go Green (And Save Green Too)

Recognized by Newsweek in October 2012 as the Greenest Company in the US for the second consecutive year, IBM is at the forefront when it comes to environmentally-friendly technologies. They even have an entire lab devoted to this kind of research, known as IBM’s Energy Efficiency Lab. And not only is IBM concerned about their energy-consciousness, but they care about the environmental-friendliness of your company as well. Here are some of the technologies that IBM has recently developed to help your company go green.

During a two-year project, IBM worked with the U.S. Department of Energy to cool their hot-running datacenter servers using energy-efficient methods. With this goal in mind, IBM was able to develop a method of keeping servers cool in a similar fashion to how a radiator keeps your car cool. The cooling system that IBM developed places cool water in piping near the server’s semiconductor microchips, allowing the water to transfer its cooler temperature and dissipate heat that was generated by the microchips.

By relying on water instead of electricity to cool servers, IBM has provided customers with a more efficient and cost-effective cooling technology. And since, on average, approximately 25% of their energy bills are devoted to cooling alone, this will not only allow companies to ramp up their environmental-friendliness, but also to decrease their operating expenses. This is perfectly aligned with IBM’s primary goal; to enable their customers to go green without having to invest any green in the effort.

- KH

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Why Disaster Recovery Will Save Your Job (And Company)

Are you one of the lucky few that have never experienced an unplanned outage in your datacenter? Have you recently encountered a genie that granted your datacenter immunity to natural disasters, computer viruses, and software corruption? If you’ve answered yes to either of these questions, you have my blessing to stop reading this post. If you answered no to one (or both), then you might want to continue reading.

The days of disaster recovery plans being a luxury item intended for large enterprises versus a necessary good for companies of all sizes are long over (if they ever truly existed). Disaster recovery plans are an essential part of ensuring the continuance of your business. Did you know that the chances of a business recovering from an outage of approximately ten days have about a 7% chance of staying in business?

It’s important to remember that backup storage does not equal having a disaster recovery plan. A true disaster recovery plan must incorporate a secondary site. This way, both the primary and secondary site would need to simultaneously fail in order for your datacenter to experience an outage. This is because if the primary site fails, the secondary site would be able to automatically take over so that your employees and customers still have access to the data. And if the secondary site failed, it would have no affect on the primary site. 

Another element that can enhance your disaster recovery plan is the integration of data protection software. Dell’s AppAssure, for instance, is a unified data protection software solution with global data deduplication capabilities. Through the help of software such as AppAssure, you can significantly reduce the amount of time lost in the event of a disaster, and also reduce the total cost of your full DR solution.

It is estimated that 30-40% of companies worldwide do not have disaster recovery in place. That means that approximately 1 person out of 3 reading this blog post doesn’t have a secure datacenter and is at risk of losing their business’s data and files for good. While some may say, in this economy we can’t afford a DR plan…in actuality, in this economy, how can you afford not to?

- KH

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A New Level of Automation: HP ProLiant BL460c Gen8

Continuing with our new blade fascination, we decided to spend this week reviewing the HP ProLiant BL460c Gen8 server blade. When compared to the previous generation, the HP ProLiant BL460 G7 server blade, it’s clear that HP put some serious time and energy into overhauling their blade server design for the Gen8 portfolio.

The most dramatic changes in the HP BL460c Gen8 blade server design are evident through the performance and physical capacity increases.  For example, the BL460c Gen8 features a 33% DIMM slot increase, catapulting it to 16 DIMM slots and 512GB of maximum memory capacity. However, the real wow factor for the BL460c Gen8 comes from a 400% increase of bandwidth per I/O slots.

With a goal of creating the most self-sufficient servers on the planet, HP endowed the ProLiant BL460c Gen8 with an impressive array of the latest and greatest technologies. This decreased administrator time on tasks, and reduces the overall TCO for many datacenter. Some of its many automation features include HP Intelligent Provisioning, and agentless hardware monitoring partnered with HP SmartDrive carriers and HP Smart Socket Guide technologies.