Recent Posts by Ralph Wasner

 
With over 30 years in the IT industry, Ralph Wasner is a recognized specializing in redefining processes and technology offerings to better serve customers. His expertise also includes network optimization, data migration, computer operations, systems integrations and regulatory compliance. Ralph has had great success in deploying new technologies to reduce overhead and improve customer focus, building best of breed IT departments and implementing new processes to support acquisitions. Ralph holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Heidelberg and is a retired Air Force officer with 11 years active duty and 12 years in the Air National Guard.
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3 Ways to Optimize Your Hybrid Cloud Architecture

Public and private clouds each have their advantages—and limitations—tied to issues of cost, scalability, and manageability. IT leaders are increasingly seeking a “best of both worlds” solution by adopting hybrid cloud infrastructures.

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FNTS Now Providing DBaaS Solutions Due to Customer Demand

First National Technology Solutions (FNTS), an IT managed services provider, announced it will begin offering Database as a Service (DBaaS) cloud computing and managed services due to rising demand from businesses that want to deploy new databases quickly, securely and at a fraction of the cost of infrastructure-intensive projects.

A database can be one of the most important assets a business has to run its applications and operations. First National Technology Solutions can host database infrastructures in the cloud to streamline business operations, allowing companies to focus on other aspects of their business without having to monitor their own data.

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The Challenges of Strategic IT Staffing in a Highly Competitive Market

A 2017 report by CompTIA indicates that the demand for tech talent in the United States will continue to outpace the supply of workers. And among hiring employers, almost half (47 percent) expect hiring to be moderately or significantly more challenging this year.

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The Hybrid Cloud Computing Puzzle: 4 Ways to Optimize Private and Public Cloud Management

Did you know that by 2020 almost a quarter (24 percent) of the “total addressable IT market will be cloud”? That’s Gartner, Inc.’s prediction in the 2017 Planning Guide for Cloud Computing.

With the continued maturity of the public cloud, and the aggressive adoption of cloud services across all industry verticals, companies are feeling the pressure “to build and invest in cloud-first strategies and architectures.” But the hybrid cloud computing puzzle can turn into a nightmare without key management strategies. Here are four that will help ensure success.

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Bursting Helps Businesses Prepare for Booming Holiday Sales Online

For some companies, the majority of the year is business as usual – they sell, build and distribute their products. Business may be constant, but predicable. However, during the holiday season starting in November and going through the end of the year, most retail companies have an intense selling period where they can make up to 30 percent of their annual sales. This influx may require an increase in bandwidth capacity to accommodate an uptick in online sales.

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Optimize Your Hybrid Cloud Strategy with Cloud Managed Services

More than half of IT professionals surveyed (53%) indicated that optimizing current cloud use is the top initiative in 2017. That number rises to 64 percent among mature cloud users. That’s largely because of the amount of wasted cloud spend, estimated at 30 percent by users and likely to run as much as 45 percent.

Because of the limitations of operating in either a dedicated or a public cloud environment, organizations are moving to a hybrid cloud solution to improve security, reduce costs, and find the best-fit solution for business challenges. But as the survey indicates, knowing where to direct resources for the greatest benefit isn’t easy—even for the most seasoned IT pro. That’s why many businesses are turning to cloud managed services.

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The 6 Steps You Must Take for a Successful Data Center Consolidation

While there can be numerous benefits derived from data center consolidation, realizing them requires a defined set of outcomes and a clear strategy. Achieving those benefits can be hampered by challenges such as those associated with user base application access, the associated security concerns and the disruption to the enterprise that the consolidation process can bring overall. There are also a number of short-term and long-term costs (both hidden and obvious) that require a detailed plan of execution and long-term strategy.

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Container Technology vs. Virtual Machines: Choosing the Right Option

While 451 Research predicts that application containers will grow faster than any other solution type (40 percent annually in 2017 and 2018, many organizations are still determining how and if containers or virtual machines (VMs) are the best fit for their infrastructure plans. The ongoing debate as to the use of VMs or container technology is happening regardless of the growing adoption of containerization, primarily because every business’s needs are different. When it comes to choosing the right option for your business, it’s important to understand the benefits of each by viewing them through the lens of business priorities.

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5 Competitive Advantages of Rapid Application Development

According to Gartner, Inc.’s most recent mobile app survey, the primary barriers to application development in the enterprise are cost, time, and gaps in technical skills. For many, rapid application development (RAD) methodology has lessened the impact of those detractors on app development.

RAD is a method of software development that is defined primarily by rapid prototyping and iterative delivery. The RAD model is, therefore, a sharp alternative to the typical waterfall development model, which often focuses largely on planning and sequential design practices. While RAD is not right for every situation, here are five competitive advantages of RAD:

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5 Strategies to Handle Server Consolidations

According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, vendor revenue in the worldwide server market declined 4.6 percent year over year to $11.8 billion in the first quarter of 2017. That decline is clearly driven by data center consolidation and server consolidation more specifically. Server consolidation is a way to make a more efficient IT environment by combining servers or replacing legacy servers with virtual systems, like cloud or SaaS products. Server consolidation is exactly what it sounds like: It’s essentially consolidating hardware for more effective usage.

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Why Container Technology is the Future of IT Infrastructure

Agility, elasticity and automation of container technology will provide new capabilities to businesses who need to support digital platforms. According to the Forrester paper, Containers: Real Adoption and Use Cases, 63 percent of enterprises using containers have over 100 deployed, and 82 percent expect to have more than 100 containers deployed within the next two years. Though container technology is clearly making a mark across enterprises, the journey is just unfolding. What is clear is that containerization will have a profound impact on the future of IT infrastructure.

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7 Ways Managed IT Keeps You Ahead of the Competition

Given the rapid pace of change across the technology landscape, few businesses are able to sustain an effective in-house IT effort over the long haul.

A number of factors work against the enterprise that tries to tackle IT on a purely in-house basis. Qualified experts are in high demand and short supply, and they come with hefty salary expectations. When tech trends shift and new needs emerge, in-house experts may not have the expertise needed to adapt.

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The Real Cost of Outages: Data Beyond Your Downtime Calculator

Do you know the true cost of a downtime event for your business? You may have run some numbers through a downtime calculator and have a rough estimate of the impact of downtime on your business. However, you are probably not considering some costs that are harder to quantify. And those costs could significantly affect your bottom line.

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5 Strategic IT Staffing Tips

According to CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook 2017 report, there are five major factors contributing to a more challenging landscape for IT professionals in 2017. These factors are:

  • Finding workers with expertise in emerging tech fields
  • Competition for IT talent
  • Finding workers with the right soft skills
  • Rising salary expectations
  • Insufficient pool of talent in region/locale
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Fog Computing and IoT, the Future of the Cloud

Whether you’ve used it for work or personal use, chances are you have stored data in the cloud. The average company uses about 1,427 cloud-based services, according to Skyhigh Networks. Electronics with an internet connection can send volumes and different varieties of data to the cloud. Making sure that data is protected as it is sent to the cloud is the focus of a newer concept coined by Cisco as fog computing—also known as edge computing.

The fog is an extension of the cloud that provides security to real-time data produced in the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including routers, mobile devices, IP video cameras, switches, controllers, servers, surveillance cams, computer chips and set top boxes. First National Technology Solutions (FNTS) specializes in the best of breed cloud technology and data center services and has the ability to support fog solutions. FNTS partners with respected companies like Cisco, EMC and IBM, which currently offer tools to facilitate fog computing. The fog, which consumes less time and bandwidth than the cloud, monitors and analyzes data close to where it was generated and then determines if the data should stay in the fog or be transmitted to the cloud or other centralized locations. The fog analyzes data faster than the cloud, which speeds up business processes and response times.

Download the Cloud Computing Success Kit: Resources to help you plan,  implement, and optimize cloud solutions.

Fog computing is most prevalent in environments where a lot of processing power is required. It is a faster alternative to carrying the traffic across a core network. For example, on a second by second basis, you may be polling tens of millions of IoT devices—the fog is the ideal solution for workloads that require raw processing power. The data is processed on the edge of the network with a number of fast devices, while other data and business intelligence applications move on to the cloud. The edge devices handle the majority of the day-to-day interaction with IoT devices without adding needless congestion to the network core.

The fog is being used in several industries as way to increase security and make services more efficient. Fog computing allows companies to monitor their equipment in real-time so they can detect issues instantly and perform maintenance. The fog also allows companies to initiate actions faster, whether it’s locking a door, turning on lights or sounding an alarm. The data is processed at the source so it isn’t sent back and forth to a data center. Data that is time sensitive can be sent to the fog in real-time so it can be controlled and action can be initiated within a millisecond. Data that isn’t time sensitive can be sent to the cloud, which analyzes and stores the data long- term.


According to Cisco, by 2020, an estimated 50 billion “things” will be connected to the internet. Massive quantities of big data from that amount of devices would require vast amounts of bandwidth to move to the cloud where it is stored. The fog provides benefits to businesses because employees can work more quickly while also keeping their data secure before, during and after it migrates to the cloud. The less distance that data has to travel, the more secure it is. The fog also has cost benefits. Using it conserves less bandwidth which also can free up the network for other uses and prevent failures and delays since there is less data movement in the network.

As managers and IT teams work to make their business operations more efficient, they’ll leverage the fog and its benefits. The fog is the future of cloud computing, and there are opportunities to grow and expand fog solutions at FNTS.

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