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Cloud Suite from Red Hat

Red Hat, Inc. has announced the general availability of Red Hat Cloud Suite and Red Hat OpenStack Platform 8, helping to bridge the gap between development and operations teams at the scale of cloud computing. With today’s newly-available products, Red Hat now offers a complete, integrated hybrid cloud stack with a container application platform (OpenShift by Red Hat), massively scalable infrastructure (Red Hat OpenStack Platform 8) and unified management tools (Red Hat CloudForms), all available individually or via a single, easy-to-deploy solution with Red Hat Cloud Suite.

A growing number of organizations are building private clouds1, to give them massively scalable and modern infrastructure, while maintaining increased security and control. According to the Red Hat Global Customer Tech Outlook 2016, a global survey of Red Hat customers, private cloud deployments are expected to outpace public cloud by 6x. In addition, development teams are looking to streamline the creation and deployment of new cloud-native applications while IT leadership is hoping to meet growing business demands with cloud-based automation.

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Software-Defined Data Centers: Hype, Reality, And What's Next

The software-defined data center is either an overused buzzword for a sector filled with tire kickers, or the breakout trend of 2016, depending on which industry experts are quoted. Yet IT managers know there’s a profound transition taking place as control of data center gear shifts from hardware to software.

The latest data show they’re allocating budgets accordingly. According to an April 2016 survey, 66% of CIOs plan to expand their use of software-defined data center technologies this year.1 Spending for software-defined data centers is forecast to increase 14% in 2016, although present deployments represent just 21% of data centers surveyed in early 2016.2 For many enterprises, it’s not an option; Gartner estimated that by 2020 75% of organizations will need to implement a software-defined data center3 in order to support the DevOps approach and hybrid clouds they need as part of agile digital business initiatives.

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Software-Defined Infrastructure from Intel

Intel® has released Xeon® processor E5-2600 v4 product family delivers the foundation for modern, software-defined clouds. New Intel® SSDs, including Intel’s first 3D NAND drives optimized for cloud and enterprise workloads, deliver fast, dependable data access.

Collaborations with leading cloud software and solution providers, new industry programs help accelerate businesses’ access to enterprise-ready, easy-to-deploy cloud solutions.

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How To Make Mobile Part Of Your Digital Workplace Strategy

As everyday consumers themselves, today’s workforce has explicit expectations for mobility that mirror the demands of the customers they serve. In fact, more than 90% of IT decision makers (ITDMs) see enterprise mobility as the critical function for customer engagement, competitiveness, and operational productivity in 2016.1

Enterprise mobility plays a leading role in the digital workplace. However, the digital workplace is transforming how IT services are delivered to endusers. Employees want to access network resources from any device, at any time, and from any location. Not only is this good for employee morale, general satisfaction, and productivity, it also gives the business a competitive advantage, thereby enabling a fast response to market changes and customer needs more efficiently.

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Community Cloud: The Fourth Cloud Infrastructure Option

Cloud is the IT structure of the future due to its scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. But does the option of a public cloud, private cloud, or even a mix of these environments work for every organization? The simple answer is no. Companies in highly regulated industries such as financial services, health care, education, and government are often stymied by governance, risk, and compliance concerns related to data stored and accessed in the cloud. But all hope is not lost — there is the fourth option of the community cloud.

A community cloud is the lesser known version of cloud infrastructure, although it is relatively popular amongst particular industries. As defined by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), community cloud is an “infrastructure [that] is provisioned for exclusive use by a specific community of consumers from organizations that have shared concerns. It can be owned, managed, and operated by one or more of the organizations, in the community, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.” In essence, a community cloud is a subset of the public cloud, but tailored for a particular industry and may be offered as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Since the community cloud is personalized, it is adapted to fit the exact performance, security, and compliance requirements of the industry or community it serves.

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Moving Beyond The Cloud

As we move from the data center and transition into the cloud, what comes next? That’s the question on many CIOs’ minds as they contemplate how to increase customer experience and deliver an environment of true digital enablement where users are capable of conducting their jobs in an always-on, anywhere, anytime world. What they run into at the edge of the cloud is a hazy area — The Fog — where the Internet of Things (IoT) exists. This fog is going to become increasingly critical to both endusers and CIOs alike as smart and connected devices, meant to bring data from every point imaginable, become part of the enterprise.

We are defining the digitally enabled enterprise as an organization that embraces technology and services to improve the customer experience (CX) it delivers to both internal and external customers and, in doing so, often changes the nature of the organization itself. The alignment of and investment in technology and business models is critical to more effectively engage digital customers at every touchpoint in the CX lifecycle. It doesn’t matter the type of business, where it’s located, or in many cases, how large the organization is; the focus on customer experience is pervasive and all consuming.

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Apple Union Square Highlights New Design Elements, Community Programs

SAN FRANCISCO — May 19, 2016 — Apple® today revealed its new store on San Francisco’s Union Square, offering many new features and services rolling out to Apple retail stores worldwide. The new store will open its signature 42-foot tall sliding glass doors to customers on Saturday, May 21 at 10 a.m. 

“Fifteen years ago today Apple opened its first two stores and we’re thrilled to mark the occasion with the opening of Apple Union Square in San Francisco,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail and Online Stores. “We are not just evolving our store design, but its purpose and greater role in the community as we educate and entertain visitors and serve our network of local entrepreneurs." 

Apple Union Square’s glass doors open the store to Post Street and Union Square. The building’s unique position connects San Francisco’s most famous square to a rejuvenated plaza to the north, creating a beautiful gathering place for the community. The art-filled plaza offers seating, public Wi-Fi, a 50-foot tall “green wall” and regular acoustic performances. The store is powered by 100 percent renewable energy, including power produced by photovoltaic panels integrated into the building’s roof.

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Apple Opens Development Office in Hyderabad

HYDERABAD, India — May 19, 2016 — Apple® today announced the opening of a new office in Hyderabad that will focus on development of Maps for Apple products, including iPhone®, iPad®, Mac® and Apple Watch®. This investment will accelerate Maps development and create up to 4,000 jobs.

“Apple is focused on making the best products and services in the world and we are thrilled to open this new office in Hyderabad which will focus on Maps development,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The talent here in the local area is incredible and we are looking forward to expanding our relationships and introducing more universities and partners to our platforms as we scale our operations.”

Apple has been continually updating and adding new features to Maps, including 3D views, the Flyover® feature and tools to help customers find convenient places to shop, eat and explore nearby areas. With iOS 9 Apple added Transit, offering a combination of trains, subways, buses and walking, which is already available for more than 300 cities around the world.

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Cloud Economics

Cloud vendors are quick to tout the benefits offered by on demand IT compared to traditional on premise IT service models. Their marketing materials offer many examples of the benefits realized from moving to the cloud for increased service agility, efficiency, and cost savings. The lure of cost savings generated by moving from a capital expenditure to operating expense based, on-demand service is often cited by IT leaders as a key factor in their decision to move to cloud service support.

Indeed many federal agencies have committed significant dollars to the promise of cloud efficiencies and IT cost savings. As of 2014, it is estimated that cloud investments represent 5% of total IT spending, the equivalent of approximately $3B annually (IDC Press Release from 9/16/14).

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Baremetal Servers: The Next Big Thing In Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting has been in existence for 10 years. Going into its second decade, it’s time for something new. So, what’s the latest trend? Good old, plain dedicated servers — but rebuilt and reinvented.

Although it is not required by any definition of a cloud, virtualization has become part and parcel of cloud hosting — not because it is necessary for clouds, but merely because it is very convenient.

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Reduce Risk, Time, And Cost Of Legacy Modernization

Many IT professionals believe if it isn’t broken don't fix it. A recent survey found that 50% to 60% of core processes in some verticals still run on mainframe systems using legacy, often poorly maintained software. After all, it still works.

Resistance to modernization does not come only from an “if it isn’t broken” attitude. Change brings risk, so it might appear prudent to delay major infrastructure changes. Also, many large organizations have sizeable investments in mainframes loaded with years of accumulated data and that data may have been incorporated into monolithic mainframe software applications.

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Boosting The Cloud Budget

Once a source of much confusion among the C-Suite, cloud adoption is now a question of the past. According to a recent IDG Enterprise Cloud Computing Study, almost 75% of organizations have applications or infrastructure in the cloud. That figure will only increase.

So, what comes next? Now that the majority of businesses have achieved some level of cloud deployment, it’s time for organizations to take it to the next level. IT departments and business executives must gear up to further integrate, scale, and simplify their company’s cloud investments.

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Customizable Cloud Model Fuels Business Of Today And Tomorrow

Over the past several years, conversations around cloud computing have shifted from “why cloud?” to “how can we best implement cloud?” As cloud computing continues to mature, organizations will move away from the “one size fits all” approach and leverage customized cloud solutions becoming more competitive and agile in adapting to the new way of working.

Customizable Cloud Model

No two businesses are exactly alike, each coming with its own set of unique challenges and opportunities. Why is it then that so many businesses accept a cookie cutter cloud model? Often times, businesses do it under the guise it will save them time and/or money. However in reality, a blanket cloud or infrastructure strategy can leave businesses restricted to the confines of the predetermined system, which ultimately costs more in the long run as their needs evolve.

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A DevOps Approach to Hybrid IT Management

Cloud computing and adopting a cloud-first/cloud-native/born-in-the-cloud mentality continue to dominate data center conversations. However, although more and more businesses are taking advantage of the cloud’s benefits, the reality is that for organizations with cost and security considerations, which is most, a hybrid environment of on-premises and cloud services will continue to be the norm for the foreseeable future. Despite that, organizations are still able to realize the agility and efficiency that cloud-first organizations experience by embracing the core principles of a DevOps culture into their environments.

First, however, it’s important to distinguish between the two terms: DevOps is a process and culture more likely to be associated with cloud-native organizations —especially those in the business of developing software applications. Whereas hybrid IT is simply another method of delivering IT services to endusers. However, they are 100% compatible and DevOps’ core tenets of increased collaboration, continuous integration, and delivery of services (all with a greater focus on enduser quality) can and should be applied to hybrid IT.

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Curing Data Mobility Once And For All

Hybrid clouds are complicated. When you’re moving workloads between public cloud, private cloud, or on-premises locations, you need to maintain management and control of your data, applications, and services to reflect a high standard of data monitoring, security, and authentication. One of the most chronic pains in any company’s journey to hybrid cloud comes from a fairly simple source: attempting to move a large amount of data from one location to another.

The amount of data in today’s enterprise landscape is huge and constantly growing. Organizations are hamstrung by the amount of the data they need to move. However, while other areas of cloud and networking technologies have made strides, data mobility remains one of the industry’s oldest and most frustrating problems. Many companies are currently facing the same bottlenecks they discovered when public clouds were first introduced to the market.

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Understanding TCO Cloud Economics

By now, we all know that cloud computing eliminates the need to purchase, deploy, and maintain IT assets. The primary selling point of cloud services is that the cloud vendor takes on full infrastructure responsibility for running hosted applications.

Gartner Research underscores the total cost of ownership (TCO) advantages by estimating that the annual cost of owning and managing software applications can be as much as four times the cost of the initial purchase. All size businesses are moving away from the general mindset that these numbers are merely a cost of doing business. The new mantra entails the notion of slashing expenses and still improving the agility, competitive advantage, and profitability of an organization through the reduction of capital expenses (CAPEX).

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The Evolution of Software-Defined Data Centers

The data center has been evolving from its mainframe days to the current software defined model in large part due to technology constraints and development, market forces, and business constraints. This has resulted in deployment architectures and operating models that are more complex (silos, sprawl, underutilization, etc.), with lower visibility into operational status. This evolution is illustrated in Figure 1.

Article Index:

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Why SaaS Is No Longer The Pariah In The Enterprise

Conventional wisdom has it that software as a service (SaaS) is the “insecure but convenient” alternative for IT solutions. However, increasingly sophisticated SaaS solutions and growing awareness of possible limitations with on-premises solutions are turning that conventional wisdom on its head: SaaS might very well be the more secure and enterprise-ready of the two alternatives for a wide class of IT solutions.

Before diving into specific comparisons of SaaS vs. on-premises alternatives, let’s review some common perceptions about SaaS:

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Making Multi-Vendor Cloud Management Easier

For five years, OpenStack contributors have delivered a steady stream of open source solutions to help automate and simplify cloud operations. It began with cloud computing, where KVM has established itself as the hypervisor of choice for OpenStack virtual clouds. Similarly, Ceph has made itself the defacto standard for OpenStack storage. But until recently, advances in OpenStack networking have lagged compute and storage because managing multi-vendor cloud networks remained too hard and time consuming.

Major Network Vendors Have ‘Right-Hand, Left-Hand’ Problem

While most network vendors collaborate on things like interoperability, IP protocols, and network standards, there’s little harmony on Layer 3 network services. Simply put, a virtualized Cisco firewall is not designed to work on Juniper routers. You can’t run an Alcatel deep packet inspection on an Ericsson managed network. And Layer 4-7 application performance management from F5 cannot be abstracted to run on any edge routing platform you choose without significant backend integration work.

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What our Clients are Saying

  • It has been such a pleasure to work with Elevology and especially its CEO, Donnie Rollins. From the very beginning, Donnie was so immersed in understanding our condo and our marketing needs. He was good about listenings and then suggesting and bouncing ideas off of us. As he took our conversations and tied them into reality, he truly captured the essence of who we are and where we wanted to go. We could not be more pleased with Donnie, with Elevology and with our new web site.
    Carol Loeb, President
    Sandcastle Council of Owners Association
  • My new look is Chic modern and mobile friendly.
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    Houston Outcall Massage
  • Elevology offers great service and Donnie is always quick to answer any questions or concerns I have. I highly recommend them for your small business online services, they will not disappoint.
    Las Vegas
  • Our experience with Elevology has been of the utmost professionalism and quality. Mr. Rollins is a pleasure to work with. He promptly responds to our requests when changes are necessary to our web site. We highly recommend Elevology.
    Carl and Laurel Milentz
    Milentz Self Storage
  • Donnie Rollins is a great asset to our company and has an outstanding work ethic! He not only goes above and beyond the call of duty, but he has actually become part of our evolving progress to serve our overseas customers. I am very appreciative of Donnie Rollins' involvement in the branding of our company and his creative development of our website. We look forward to our many more years of great service and advice from a gentleman we consider part of our team.
    Tom George, CEO
  • We very much appreciate Mr. Rollin’s pleasant demeanor and his quick responses to when we have problems or need assistance in problem solving. As for this Court we would highly recommend Mr. Rollins and his company, Elevology, for any and all IT service needs.
    Connie Crenshaw CMCC
    Municipal Court Clerk Administrator
    City of Luling, Caldwell County, Texas
  • After recently acquiring a competitor and effectively doubling our production, we decided a make-over was in order. The team at Elevology worked with us in the midst of transition to totally re-design our company logo, websites, and install a voip phone network. Every aspect of the job has been handled with obvious dedication to meeting customer needs. Elevology is a prime pick for IT needs, web design, and more.
    J. Carroll
    AJAX Environmental
  • I like Donnie a lot, he is a good person. He is very smart and very efficient. I like the fact that he takes his personal Christian values to his company which to me it's honest, trustworthy, efficient and very professional. I would love to use Elevology with any personal and professional projects I have in the future.
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