Recent Posts by FNTS Blog

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.

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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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Creating Mobile Apps: Learn How To Get It Right The First Time

Is your business thinking about taking on a mobile development project? Mobile apps can make or break a business in the digital world. Before investing the time and money, there are several things for developers to take into consideration to get the most out of their app and to get the development right the first time.

First National Technology Solutions (FNTS), headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, offers cost-effective cloud services to businesses that are interested in deploying mobile applications. In business for more than 20 years, FNTS is a leading provider of flexible, customized hosted and remote management services to companies nationwide.

Mobile device users may never get a perfect customer experience when using apps because content that may look great on iOS may look terrible on an Android device. Since there is such a wide variety of pixel counts, screen sizes and functionality, mobile developers start off by trying to accommodate too many variations, or not enough. Developers typically target the top four to five mobile devices and versions they want their app to be compatible with.

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Failures, Outages, Downtime

Whether human error, natural disaster or hardware failure; outages and downtime can leave a lasting mark on technology providers and customers involved.  When an outage occurs on a large scale it gathers the attention and even empathy from many in the IT business.  See how the IT industry reacts to one of the most recent nationwide outages in this recap from IT Jungle.  https://www.itjungle.com/2017/03/06/ibm-cloud-providers-react-amazon-s3-outage/ 

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Managing Big Data Complexity

Every year, new technology buzzwords emerge with expectations to transform the data center industry. 2016 was no different, with trends such as automation and machine learning taking over the headlines. Among those words: big data.

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Ticketing: What you need to know

As a service provider, ticketing is really the backbone of First National Technology Solutions (FNTS). Any request that a customer inputs, or any alert that the company receives requires a ticket.

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10 jokes for your Halloween

While it may seem counterintuitive to combine a holiday know for fright, with comedy, a good joke can do wonders for bringing you into the spirit. Here's hoping it doesn't bring any other spirits in to haunt you... Here they are, 15 jokes for your Halloween! 

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Tips for a successful data center migration

It’s a concept that frightens almost every data center manager. What happens if something doesn’t go well? What if we lose our data? While moving your entire IT environment sounds daunting, with proper planning and the right people on your side – it doesn’t have to be. Here are some helpful tips for a successful data center migration. 

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How to use Security Logs (SIEM)

When it comes to securing any corporate environment, the more in depth detail you have, the better. Depending on the size of an organization, a single day can be comprised of millions, or even billions of logs. At first glance this can seem like nothing more than informational nonsense, but these bread crumbs are the key to not only diagnosing a problem, but also possibly uncovering a breach.

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Kernel for Exchange

The Kernel for Exchange Server software is utilized for recovering mailboxes from offline Exchange EDB databases. This method is an easy and risk free solution to restore the users' mailboxes, as well as their content from Exchange Server databases.

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Kicking off college football weekend, and new technology

Perhaps nothing is better for a college football fan than the opening kickoff weekend. There are dozens of marquee matchups to keep you entertained, your household is stocked up on snacks, and every team gets a clean start, with the aspirations of national relevance.

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Business Done Right

“What is it exactly that you do as an intern for First National Technology Solutions?” I get the question from my friends about as regularly as I see a Nebraska football shirt when I’m walking around downtown, a lot. For me, there’s not a specific answer to that question, which I love.

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FNTS Partners with EMC to Deliver Cloud Object Storage

New Offering Allows FNTS Enterprise Customers to Scale to Billions of Files with Unlimited Capacity

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Performing an Exchange G.L.R. Restore

Microsoft Exchange restores can be a real nuisance at times. There are third party tools available to make life a little easier though. One of these is called Kernel for Exchange. This tool helps you to restore a specific mailbox, or items from a mailbox, if you have access to the entire database. In this article, I'll demonstrate how to perform a G.L.R. Restore.

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Pokémon GO: collecting pocket monsters and problems

The Pokémon GO app has gone absolutely viral, and is now the biggest mobile game in US history. As of writing this article, the app tops the charts in downloads in both the App Store, and Google Play, and that’s with just the United States, Australia and New Zealand marketplaces. Not only has the app seen success in downloads, but Nintendo’s stock price also rose 25% the first week. The kid in me loves the app, but as an employee at a technology solutions company, I realize some of the app’s problems can no longer be solved by simply blowing air into a game cartridge like previous Pokémon games.

With all this rampant success and demand for the game, it only makes sense that some issues will arise. One particularly frustrating error was inability to access the game itself due to server connectivity issues. Niantic, the company which developed the app, released the following statement regarding the issue:

“Due to the incredible number of Pokémon GO downloads, some Trainers are experiencing server connectivity issues. Don’t worry, our team is on it!”

A possible solution to this highly demanded server? According to a Network World article, the answer may just lie in cloud technology. Specifically an IaaS cloud computing platform which is ideal for viral workloads with spikes in traffic could be the solution to the server woes.

Whether IaaS is the solution to the server issues remains to be seen, what is very apparent however, is that these issues will need to be improved if they want continued success. Simply, it will be quite impossible to “catch ‘em all,” if you can’t connect at all.

Even more concerning than server problems however, are the privacy issues that have been brought to public view. iPhone users playing with a Google account were unknowingly agreeing to grant Niantic full account access. While the app couldn’t change passwords, delete accounts, or make Google Wallet payments, it was able to see the contents of Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive and Google Calendar. An update was released to resolve this issue, but the damage has perhaps already been done.

Besides these main problems, there have also been complaints of distorted audio, heavy battery usage and temporary resets. The pressure is certainly on Niantic to resolve these issues.

While there have certainly been issues, the Pokemon fan base patiently waits for improvements to the app that brings their beloved Pocket monsters to life. As for this trainer, I need to go, I think I see a Nidoran. “Gotta Catch em all.”

 

Sites referenced:

Apple Insider

Niantic Labs

Network World

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