Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Smörgåsbord of Shipping Solutions

Vista Computer Group offers many different shipping options to make sure you receive your order exactly when you need it.  Whether it’s LTL Freight, Saturday AM Delivery, or even Ground, there’s an option that’s right for you and your company.

Ground – While Ground shipping is obviously the most economic way to ship from A to B, some people don’t realize that it can also be the fastest.  Shipping from West Michigan, FedEx Ground reaches over half of the lower 48 states within two business days.  Not to mention it’s free with every applicable web order.

Express – So maybe you don’t have the luxury of time, and your order just can’t wait for a cross-country road trip.  We offer many Express options ranging from Standard Overnight right down to Saturday AM Delivery, for that emergency situation that won’t wait until Monday.  Give us a call and we can weigh the cost to delivery speed ratio and figure out what’s best for you.

Freight – Our shipping options aren’t just limited to the “big box” providers; we’ve allied ourselves with the best freight providers in the US.  For example, some of our freight partners offer a White Glove service.  This means your order gets picked up from our dock and delivered directly to yours with no layovers, sorting machines, or forklifts involved.  Whether or not the delivery drivers actually wear white gloves, has not been determined at the time of this post.

Local Pickup – Some of our customers are within driving distance of our offices, so they choose to save a few bucks and pick up the order themselves.  This is great because it gives us a chance to meet face to face and offer a handshake, a cup of coffee, and maybe a trip to the loo before the long trip back! 

Whether the priority is best for cost savings or speed (or anything in between), Vista Computer Group has the best shipping option for you and your order.  Our priority is to save you money and make sure your experience leaves you wanting to work with us again.

- CD

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What Server Form Factor is Right for You?

There are three different form factors for servers that an organization can choose from to run their applications. Which type of server the organization uses depends on the requirements of their environment as well as the application. Since not everyone is familiar with the many ways that the server form factors vary, we thought we would help clarify which form factor is right for you.

Tower Servers – Tower servers are typically the most affordable option when it comes to the initial purchase. However, tower servers take up a lot of space, they generate more heat, and they cost more to power. The “get your feet wet” kind of server, tower servers are best-suited for small organizations or the remote offices of medium to large organizations.

Rack Servers – Rack servers are designed to fit into a datacenter rack enclosure, which is typically 10U high. Rack servers vary in form factor, ranging from 1U to 4U servers so that the datacenter rack enclosure can be filled with up to 42 rack severs. So as you can see, you can easily accommodate spacing concern with these servers. Rack servers also are self-contained, and have their own power supplies, fans and NIC’s.  Rack servers are a good fit for many different environments.

Blade Servers – Blade servers (or server blades) also fit within a datacenter rack enclosure; however, they must first be housed within a blade enclosure that supplies their power, cooling and connectivity. Blade servers come in half or full-height form factors and up to 16 servers can be housed within a blade enclosure. Since 4 blade enclosures can be housed in a datacenter rack enclosure, up to 64 blade servers can fit in a datacenter rack enclosure. This makes blade servers the clear winner when it comes to density, so they are a great fit in environments with space concerns.

So as you can see, there are many differences between the three form factors. The key is which one is the right fit for your environment and requirements. If cost is your main concern, consider a tower server, or a refurbished rack or blade server option. If performance and space are concerns, turn to rack or blade servers over tower servers. And if flexibility, performance AND long-term cost containment are concerns, turn to blade servers over both rack and tower servers.

- KH

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Why the HP D2700 is the Perfect Valentine

When it comes to the HP D2000 disk enclosure family, the HP StorageWorks D2700 is the little sibling. Not that it’s a bad thing - its SFF can be just as much of an advantage to certain enterprise IT environments as its big sibling’s LFF. It just depends on what form factor the situation calls for, and both are popular options. But because we've got a soft spot for the little guy, we’re taking this week to review the HP D2700 disk enclosure.

Featuring 25 2.5 inch drive bays, the HP StorageWorks D2700 can scale to support up to 100 disk drives with your choice of drive types: SAS, SSDs, or SATA.  However, the advantages of the HP D2700 disk enclosure (alias part number AJ941A) extend way beyond the type and number of disk drives that it supports – in other words, there’s a lot more to the D2700 than meets the eye.

And just in case you were wondering, this isn’t like a blind date, where great-sounding descriptors like “full of personality” and “beautiful smile” get you all excited… and then you meet and you’re wondering if it was opposite day and no one told you.  When we say the D2700 offers high performance and fast bandwidth, it really does.

Assuming the blind date goes well, the best thing about the HP D2700 disk enclosure is that it offers an easy, commitment-free relationship. While the full move to a SAN or a NAS solution would require the rough equivalent of getting hitched, the HP D2700 is an on-again, off-again relationship that allows you to buy the storage capacity that you need when you need it.

This allows you to buy additional storage capacity only as it’s required in the future – requiring no commitment on your end for a future investment. And the only thing that an HP D2700 disk enclosure asks in return is that it gets used within an HP ProLiant server, HP Integrity server, or an HP Modular Smart Array (MSA) environment for their storage expansion needs.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

End of Life: Cisco 3750G, 3750E, 3560E & 3560E Switches

For those of you who haven’t heard, Cisco Catalyst 3750G, 3560G, 3750-E and 3560-E switches are going end-of-life.  As of January 30th, you can no longer find these switches in new condition on the market.   

While this may be alarming news for those currently running these switches in their datacenters - don’t panic yet. While you might not be able to get new product anymore, Vista offers an alternative option through refurbished Cisco 3750, 3560, 3750-E and 3560-E switches.

Don’t let the refurbished condition concern you.  Refurbished product is used gear that we have taken in and put through a rigorous process returning it close to its original state of awesomeness.  And with our exclusive 3 year warranty, if you’re an end user located within the United States or Canada, you get a 120 Days of Advanced Replacement Warranty, followed by Depot Repair for the remainder of 3 Years.

- KH