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2.0 Jason Forrest thinks you are ready to take it to the next level.


Look Out!


Trends in Talent Acquisition

Life Saver

Disaster Recovery Plans in the Cloud

Bleeding Heart

Security vs. Privacy. What’s the Difference?


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a bit from the CEO W e are off to a really great start this year! Our focus in 2014 is to better our engagement with our clients and vendors, and to demonstrate extreme value in our service deliverables. We are committed to delivering the most innovative IT solutions, to business of all sizes, as we grow. To that end, in the beginning of February, we kicked off our annual conference in San Francisco entitled “Engage,” at the Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf. At this three-day event, we discussed and implemented the “Engage” strategy with all members of The BEAR Data Solutions team and also leaders from our best technology vendors. The meeting concluded with a special event: “The Cloud & Beyond” Technology Showcase, where we displayed and demoed new technologies and solutions to over 300 clients and IT professionals. This issue of BEAR Bytes, focuses on our fastest-growing solution, IT as a Service (ITaaS). ITaaS is a hybrid approach to organizations

Sincerely, Don James Jr. Founder and CEO


in this issue


seeking a path to the Cloud without giving up the advantages of an integrated IT strategy. Solutions include: Security, Email, Intranet, business apps and files in an all in one service at a low monthly rate. BEAR Data Solutions’ ITaaS is an Internetdelivered service that offers dedicated infrastructure and application hosting. BEAR Data’s 24/7 Cloud Operations group is only a phone call or email away from providing knowledgeable support. We hope that this edition of BEAR Bytes provides you with new ideas, technologies, and solutions that can help your organization prosper. Thank you for your continued support. As always, I welcome your comments and feedback about any and all aspects of BEAR Data Solutions.


BEARBYTES IS: FOUNDER AND CEO Don James Jr. VP OF MARKETING Josh K EDITORIAL CONTENT Lauren Ladoceour Bharath Natarajan BEARBYTES MAGAZINE TBH: Art+Execution Questions? Please contact: BEAR Data Solutions 128 Spear St, 1st Floor San Francisco, CA 94105 (800) 718-BEAR


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WHILE AT LUNCH As a data center pro, you need to stay on top of the latest solutions. Join BEAR Data Solutions for lunch to learn how Nimble’s hybrid storage solutions combine with Silver Peak’s virtualized data acceleration software to improve disaster recovery performance while reducing costs. Head over to to register today! THE NIMBLE & SILVERPEAK LUNCH TOUR May 14, 2014 May 15, 2014 May 21, 2014 May 22, 2014 June 4, 2014 June 5, 2014

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4/22/14 3:00 PM


Security vs. Privacy What’s the Difference?


rom Wikileaks and Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations to the latest “Heartbleed” vulnerability affecting a large portion of the Internet, security and privacy are once again in the spotlight. Security and privacy go handin-hand, but they are not one and the same. Both are crucial to any organization concerned about the integrity of their data — but what’s the difference? Security is defined as “the state of being free from danger or threat” while privacy is defined as “the state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people.”  There is clear distinction between a danger or threat and simply being observed or perhaps disturbed, yet many the terms security and privacy are often used interchangeably. This could be due to the fact that privacy can only be assured by implementing some form of security.  Let’s say you have a highly confidential document such as the secret formula to a medication that can cure a deadly disease. The drug formula is worth billions of dollars, and its privacy must be protected. Thus, you’d likely secure that document in some way, right? You might place it in a vault and hire security guards to ensure that no one other than those authorized to do so comes anywhere near that vault. You’d also probably have a sophisticated alarm system as well as video surveillance cameras in place. You might even use biometrics such as iris or fingerprint readers to authenticate authorized

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users before they are allowed to enter their passwords. Without security, privacy is vulnerable. For example, if you took the formula out of the vault, placed it on your desk, and left the room to grab a cup of coffee, the formula would still be considered private but it would not be considered secure. If no one else enters the room while the document is unsecured, it’s in a state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people but it isn’t free from danger or threat. Someone could walk in at any minute, grab the document, and go. Thus, security is used to ensure privacy. They are not the same, but they are intricately intertwined. When it comes to storing private data in a virtual data room, the privacy of that data relies on the security measures used to protect it from danger or threat. For example, AES 256-bit encryption, two-factor authentication, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, locked servers, and secured access to data centers are all forms of security that virtual data room providers implement to ensure the privacy of your data. Just as you’d likely use multiple layers of security to protect the privacy of your top secret drug formula, the same is true of sensitive corporate documents. Look for a SAS 70 certified data center with the strongest security measures available — in multiple layers. Your confidential data’s privacy depends on it.



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Start a Test Drive Today To help you simplify, protect and grow your IT today, download the NetApp and VMware free trial to receive a: • 90-day evaluation license of Data ONTAP® Edge • 60-day trial of VMware® vSphere®; vCenter™ Site Recovery Manager; and vCenter Operations Management Suite Register at: For questions: (800) 718-BEAR (2327)

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IT 2.0 Jason Forrest, vice president of cloud solutions for BEAR Data, marries hosted infrastructure and remote IT services for small and medium-sized businesses that are ready to take it to the next level. 8


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In today’s path to the cloud, small-to-medium sized businesses are relying more and more on a patchwork of services without a cohesive plan for the future as the company grows. To help provide a stepping stone and assist businesses that struggle with leveraging current technologies, BEAR Data launched IT as a Service (ITaaS). ITaaS provides a reliable suite of dedicated IT services including Microsoft Exchange, Active Directory, Sharepoint and Lync. Additionally, BEAR provides an enterprise class virtual environment to run and manage existing business applications. All managed and supported by the BEAR Technical Support Center (TSC). At the helm of ITaaS is Jason Forrest, who spoke with us about this service and what it can do for growing companies.

Jason Forrest serving it up at BEAR Data Headquarters in downtown San Francisco



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Bear Bytes: How would you define ITaaS? Jason Forrest: What ITaaS does is allow us to provide the small to medium business a pathway to the cloud. (They’ve really been left behind in the whole cloud adoption.) Right now, a lot of companies do IT through a hodgepodge of on and offsite tech support and web services. We’re able to serve as an IT department for sour customers and host their infrastructure and provide everything from applications to support services, in one monthly bill. BB: Who’s a good candidate for BEAR’s ITaaS? JF: Any business that values its users productivity and wants to save money. We can support larger organizations, but most of the companies we deal with have 250 employees or fewer. Most of these companies have someone on staff that makes IT decisions and hires a consultant and then still have to make decisions on what to buy. BB: How do you sign up? JF: The way to get started is to call us or email me (cloud@ We follow up the initial contact with a discovery process to make sure it’s a good fit. The customer’s applications

will be running at our Las Vegas data center, so to help determine fees, we figure out ahead of time the number of resources required, etc. Then we provide apps and services on top of those and price it out per user, so it’s easy to see what the cost might be going forward as they expand BB: Once everything’s in place, how do businesses interact with ITaaS? JF: We have our Technical Support Center 2 blocks from our data center. There’s a trouble ticket system through email or phone with a maximum 15-minute response time. Because we have built a reliable platform, we spend most of our time responding to end-user productivity issues. But each ticket is always followed up with a call from us. BB: Who’s on the other end ? JF: A customer support engineer is the first layer of support. This is where most tickets begin and end. Most support tickets involve easily resolved desktop support issues. But if a more serious issue develops, tickets are immediately escalated to level 2 and 3 engineers.


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The Bear Data Solutions Team

BB: What kind of security do you have in place to protect clients? JF: Our Security group that helped design what we deployed plus an architecture we developed with our vendor partners. Each customer gets their own server(s), and dedicated networks. There’s no sharing. And then we provide resources for their servers: Data Protection, Advanced security services and VPNs just to name a few. From within our data center, we partition everything: applications, servers, storage. All these things allow us to service some really security-conscious customers.

BB: What’s the benefit of switching to a more cohesive IT strategy? JF: We are seeing customers struggle with trying to provide their users a reliable IT system. Without the benefit of consistent IT support, customers tend to make short-sighted technology decisions. ITaaS is not limited to data center operations, it’s also an ongoing relationship with our technical teams who are always available for advice. BEARDATASOLUTIONS.COM 13

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cloud computing

your Disaster Recovery plans


loud-based disaster recovery is still in early stages of adoption. Usage-based cost of cloud services is well suited for many companies as DR infrastructure is idling most of the time. But DR in the cloud isn’t a perfect solution for every situation. Security issues including data transfer, user authentication and regulatory requirements are to be considered. Bandwidth requirements also need to be clearly understood. Bandwidth to move data into the cloud and to make the data accessible when a disaster strikes need to be considered. Reliability of the cloud provider is another key consideration.

How Does Cloud Play a Part?

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Options for DR in the cloud A cloud disaster recovery plan is very specific and distinctive for each organization. Priority of applications and required recovery time objectives (RTOs) will determine the specific disaster recovery approach. • Managed applications and DR — With this option both production and DR instances are in the cloud handled by the same managed service provider (MSP). By doing this you’re moving to usage-based cost and eliminating on-premises infrastructure. The choice of service provider and the process of negotiating SLAs are critical. • Backup and restore from the cloud — Applications and data remain on-premises in this approach, with data being backed up into the cloud and restored onto on-premises hardware when a disaster occurs. With bandwidth limited, getting data restored back on-premises within defined RTOs can be challenging. One option is to restore data to disks, which are then sent to the customer for on-premises recovery. • Back up to and restore in the cloud — In this approach, data isn’t restored back to on-premises infrastructure; instead it’s restored to virtual machines in the cloud. This requires both cloud storage and cloud compute resources. Pre-staging DR VMs and keeping them up-to-date is crucial. • Replication to virtual machines in the cloud — Replication to cloud virtual machines can be used to protect both cloud and on-premises production instances. In other words, replication is used for both cloud-VM-to-cloud-VM and onpremises-to-cloud-VM data protection.



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NEWS Development and test environments in the cloud is picking up Developers might want to dev and test in the cloud and then run the production app in the cloud, as well as run dev/test in the cloud and then run the production app using existing on-premises environments. New IaaS and Virtual Networking capabilities from leading cloud providers make it really easy to enable enterprise development teams to use the cloud to do this. Using the cloud for dev/ test enables development teams to work in a flexible, agile, way without ever being bottlenecked waiting for resources from the IT department. Development teams can instead use the cloud in a self-service way to spin up or down resources in minutes. And then when they are ready to deploy their apps they can choose to do so using their existing on-premises servers. This makes it really easy to start leveraging the cloud even without having to fully bet on it yet for production scenarios.

Healthcare in the cloud Healthcare providers and payers that utilize cloud platforms are probably storing protected health information (PHI) which is protected by the HIPAA rules. Rules now in place govern the use of cloud computing to store health-related data, including personnel-related data. The consequences for failure to comply can be severe to a company’s bottom line, including some heavy fines and PR nightmares. In March of last year, the Department of Health and Human Services finalized the HIPAA Omnibus Rule, which made the regulation more cloud friendly.  This rule expanded HIPAA’s applicability beyond covered entities (health care providers and/or payer) to business associates who can be a cloud computing provider. In 2014, the trend toward leveraging cloud to support HIPAA-compliant PHI information will continue, with more providers and payers leveraging cloud in order to lower costs.  While many will consider this a risk, most cloud providers that take on PHI data understand how to manage the data, including supporting audits. BEARDATASOLUTIONS.COM 15


Software Defined Networking The Business Benefits


oftware Defined Networking (SDN) allows network administrators to manage network services through abstraction of lower level functionality. This is done by decoupling the system that makes decisions about where traffic is sent (the control plane) from the underlying systems that forward traffic to the selected destination (the data plane). Rather than needing to configure pre-determined, static networking links, SDN allows them to be created ‘on demand’ and altered as required. In an increasingly digital business world, the technology’s potential impact on day-to-day activity is huge. Flexibility is a key benefit You can sum up the many benefits of SDN in a single word: flexibility. The days of needing to provision networks to cope with times of peak demand are gone. Instead, bandwidth can be dialed up and down as required. This becomes particularly important for organizations making use of cloud-based infrastructures. As more resources are shifted onto public cloud platforms, having robust and

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scalable pipes into those infrastructures becomes critical. It will also become important for applications such as video conferencing. SDN allows such links to be quickly provisioned, used, and then discarded. The end result is big savings on bandwidth costs. Security control is another advantage. SDNs can provide the kind of fine-grained security for apps, endpoints and BYOD devices that a conventional hard-wired network can’t. Auto-provisioning delivers even greater benefits SDN will deliver even more business benefits when tied closely to the applications using the network links. Through the use of sophisticated APIs, applications will be able to configure their own bandwidth on an ‘as-needed’ basis. Rather than a human network manager needing to assess the bandwidth that will be required and then provisioning it, the application will use SDN tools to undertake the task automatically. This key benefit of SDN is only just starting to be understood by organizations, and the potential of applications that can become smarter about their network use is huge.



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NEWS A serious vulnerability in the OpenSSL Internet What can you do encryption protocol known to safeguard your as the Heartbleed bug has information after potentially left the information of the Heartbleed bug? most internet users vulnerable to hackers. The Heartbleed bug means hackers can send fake heartbeat messages, which can trick a site’s server into relaying data that’s stored in its RAM — including sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, emails, and more. Aside from avoiding affected sites and changing your passwords, there’s not much you can do to safeguard your data. It’s up to individual companies to update their websites and services to use the fixed version of OpenSSL. Closely monitor your email, bank, and social media accounts for irregular activity. After a website you are visiting has addressed the vulnerability, ensure that it is secure with the HTTPS identifier in the address bar.

WAN acceleration devices reduce transportation of repetitive information Eliminating the transport of repetitive information improves WAN utilization and speeds data transfers between disparate locations. For instance, deduplication can aid in reducing bandwidth costs, server centralization, virtualization, and application delivery, as well as improve the performance of data replication, backup, and recovery across the WAN. Deploying “acceleration appliances” in each enterprise location, whose job it is to inspect IP traffic in real-time can help accomplish the task. They store a local instance of information in an applicationindependent data store at the enterprise location. Then they check outbound traffic and see if a match exists locally at the destination location. If so, then what amounts to repetitive information is not sent across the WAN; instead, instructions are sent to deliver the data locally. The reason for this performance improvement is said to be the fact that WAN acceleration devices generally provide greater accuracy than storage devices when searching for repetitive patterns. Individual bytes of data are examined, rather than blocks of data, leading to better identification of repetitive patterns.


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virtualization security risks Best Practices to mitigate


s virtualization adoption expands in companies, the security issues associated with it can pose serious challenges. It is imperative that companies understand these risks and design fundamental approaches to mitigate those risks. Companies often tend to overlook virtual machines during the security setup. The inadequacy of security in these machines can lead to some significant risk scenarios like: • Workloads of different trust levels are consolidated onto a single physical server without sufficient separation. • Hidden weaknesses in the virtualization layer can increase the vulnerability and could compromise the entire workload. • The lack of visibility and controls on internal virtual networks created for VM-to-VM communications blinds existing security policy enforcement mechanisms. • Lack of adequate controls for the access to the Hypervisor/ Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) layer compromises security. • In many cases the entire network is compromised simply because separate teams are assigned the responsibility for configuring the physical environment and the virtual environment.

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Best practices Monitoring plays a key role in any environment. Virtualized systems and networks should be assigned the same level of oversight as physical servers. Having a single team to handle configuration and management across the physical and virtual environments ensures a unified approach to server infrastructure management Its best practice to host virtual desktop workloads as ‘untrusted’ and to keep them segregated. Also, assigning a specific security policy to virtual machines will prevent the aggregation of workloads from various trust levels onto the same server. The Hypervisor layer must be configured correctly and subjected to security upgrades regularly. Look beyond host-based security to ensure that compromises and vulnerabilities in lower layers are easily tracked and rectified. It is possible to mitigate all the risks associated with virtualization by following some very fundamental rules. But as a standard practice, always focus on security right at the beginning of the virtualization journey as the challenges can become quite unwieldy down the line.



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Sponsored Cover

NEWS Hadoop and Virtualization Hadoop is all about mapping parallel compute jobs intelligently over massive amounts of distributed data. In a virtual environment where storage can be effectively abstracted from compute clients, there are some specific concerns with running Hadoop which include how to configure virtual data nodes, how to best utilize local hypervisor server DAS, and when to think about leveraging external SAN/NAS. There are a number of reasons why virtualizing Hadoop makes sense in many usage scenarios. As a virtual workload, Hadoop can achieve comparable performance to physical hosting in a broad set of expected usage scenarios while further helping consolidate and optimize IT infrastructure investments. With a virtual Hadoop capability, a single big data set can be readily shared “in-place” between multiple virtualized Hadoop clusters. That creates an opportunity to serve multiple clients with the same storage. By eliminating multiple copies of big data sets, reducing the amount of data migration, and ensuring higher availability and data protection, Hadoop becomes more manageable and readily supported as an enterprise production application.

Desktop Virtualization in a BYOD In today’s world, users expect that data and applications be available wherever they go, and on whatever device they’re using. Desktop virtualization is helping some companies meet this expectation. Virtualizing a Windows session on an Android or iOS tablet doesn’t quite replicate the native experience, but the gap is dwindling fast. Some products boast latency times low enough to support gaming, for instance, which means for most intents and purposes that the VM is just as responsive as the native OS. It’s also become more common for products to incorporate touch gestures into the virtualized session. If Windows 8 is running in a virtual machine on an iPad, for example, some products can direct the tablet to recognize Windows-specific touch gestures. Cloud-based services are offering many of the same benefit but these approaches provide access to only certain types of content and software. Until that changes, desktop virtualization provides an interesting option. BEARDATASOLUTIONS.COM 19

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Server Side Flash Storage Advantage Flash?

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erver-side flash is the use of a solid state drive with flash memory in a server. The flash memory may be connected via different interfaces such as SATA, SAS or PCIe. Server-side flash is often used as a high speed cache or in places where high IOPS count. Because server-side flash is dedicated to the server it’s installed in, it doesn’t require as much capacity as array or network-based flash devices. Implementation is also simpler than in a shared storage environment. Although flash capacity is significantly more expensive than hard disk drives, SSD caching or tiering can actually provide better performance at a lower cost. There are three main related factors to consider when deploying SSDs: form factor, performance, and location in the storage tier or in the server. Put simply, the closer the SSD’s form factor is to HDDs, the easier and less expensive it is to replace HDDs. However, the real performance gains for enterprise applications occur with native PCIe-attach form factor SSDs which feature storage and application-specific memory interfaces and resides in servers close to the CPUs and to the applications.

Server Side Caching extends the life of Shared Storage The large majority of companies will not be replacing their storage systems in the near future but most will be facing some form of performance challenge. Solid state can provide an ideal performance boost for these specific servers. The server-side SSD cache works with the shared storage system to maintain a copy of the most active data locally in the server for near-instant response to subsequent accesses. Interestingly, off-loading the heavy storage I/O consumers from the storage device allows it to be more responsive to all the servers in the environment. As server side caching gets deployed more widely, the role of the storage system may change. It may become more of a capacity centric repository, no longer focused on performance. It brings down the cost of the shared storage system and might justify the cost of installing an SSD and caching software in the server.



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News Why Fiber Channel network technology is so resilient In spite of all media news around Fiber Channel’s (FC) impending demise, FC industry shipments and implementations by storage professionals continue to grow. So what makes Fiber Channel network technology so resilient? • Simplicity – FC protocol was designed with a singular purpose in mind, and does not have to contend with a complex protocol stack. • Performance – a native 16Gbps FC port is 40% faster than a 10GbE network, and it too can be trunked to provide aggregate ISL bandwidth up to 128 Gbps. • Low Latency – FC fabric is not penalized by the additional 2-hop latency imposed by routing data packets through a NAS server before it’s written to disk. • Efficiency – Having a Fiber Channel back-end network supports such capabilities as LAN-less backup technology, high speed data migration, block-level storage virtualization, and in-fabric encryption.

Why is object storage prevalent in the cloud? Cloud storage is basically objectbased storage. The cloud is a highly virtualized architecture based on object storage and it is this core that ties all cloud storage offerings together. Everything else, all the other capabilities of cloud storage and the potential it brings into your environment are borne out of this underlying architecture. Cloud storage’s distributed resources provide users with a level of freedom unheard of in traditional storage arrays. Like files, objects contain data — but unlike files, objects are not organized

in a hierarchy. Every object exists at the same level in a flat address space called a storage pool and one object cannot be placed inside another object. Both files and objects have metadata associated with the data they contain, but objects are characterized by their extended metadata. Each object is assigned a unique identifier which allows a server or end user to retrieve the object without needing to know the physical location of the data. This approach is useful for automating and streamlining data storage in cloud computing environments.


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the agenda

Events calendar 2014


April 2

April 3

April 27–30

NCSI in Campa LeJune, CA

NCSI in Cherry Point, CA

CCISDA Spring 2014 Conference in Squaw Valley, CA

April 29

April 30–May 1

May 7

May 14

VMware EUC focused Q2 Tech Talk in San Francisco, CA

Cisco Charleston Technology Summit in Charleston, SC

VMware EUC focused Q2 Tech Talk in San Diego, CA

Evolve Your Datacenter with Nimble Storage, Bear Data Solutions, and Silver Peak in El Segundo, CA

May 15

May 21

May 22

May 22

Evolve Your Datacenter with Nimble Storage, Bear Data Solutions, and Silver Peak in Newport Beach, CA

Evolve Your Datacenter with Nimble Storage, Bear Data Solutions, and Silver Peak in Bakersfield, CA

Evolve Your Datacenter with Nimble Storage, Bear Data Solutions, and Silver Peak in Fresno, CA

secureCIO: Problem Solving Within the Office of the CISO w/ Mojave Networks in San Francisco, CA

June 4

June 5

Evolve Your Datacenter with Nimble Storage, Bear Data Solutions, and Silver Peak in Palo Alto, CA

Evolve Your Datacenter with Nimble Storage, Bear Data Solutions, and Silver Peak in San Francisco, CA

To see the latest, most up to date IT events, please visit:


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Sponsored Cover

bear around town

Over 300 clients and IT professionals gather to view the latest technologies and solutions from BEAR Data Solutions.

Members of The BEAR Data Solutions team and technology vendors engage at the 2014 Vendor Enablement event in San Francisco.


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product highlight Cisco Drives Data Center Innovation New High Performance Nexus 9000 Switches for Application Centric Infrastructure

Cisco continued its rapid pace of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) innovation by introducing the new Cisco Nexus 9504 and Nexus 9516 switches to the Nexus 9000 portfolioÂŽ. The centralized policy-driven automation of the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), application profiles and Nexus 9000 switches combine to help organizations build highly secure cloud networks and hybrid clouds. Cisco also announced an addition to the Nexus 3000 family: the new Nexus 3164Q switch designed for the demanding workloads of massively scalable data centers (MSDC) and big data. Building on the programmability offerings


of the Cisco 9000 portfolio, the Nexus 3164Q supports widest range of automation tools for Cloud providers including Linux Container support, XML, JSON, Puppet/ Chef, Python, and OpenStack. Cisco Nexus 3000 switches power eight of the 10 leading cloud providers’ networks covering the majority of their footprint. .

According to the Cisco Global Cloud Index, nearly twothirds of all workloads will be processed in the cloud by 2017, and over two-thirds of all data center traffic will come from the cloud. Companies building enterprise private clouds, public clouds and hybrid clouds need policybased automation to optimize Cisco Nexus 9000 Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure product family photo


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product highlight their cloud deployments and gain the most efficiency. ACI is the first data center and cloud solution to offer full network automation, visibility, security at scale, and integrated management of both physical and virtual networked IT resources, all built around the needs of applications Together with the Cisco Nexus 9508, the Cisco Nexus 9504 and Nexus 9516 switches provide the industry’s most scalable, programmable, energy-efficient and highperformance data center switch portfolio, designed to address cloud, big data, and complex applications. Independent testing by Miercom demonstrated that the Nexus 9500 series platform provides industryleading performance, density,

and reliability. “Applications such as high performance computing, high frequency trading, Big Data, and cloud computing place higher demands on network infrastructure,” said Rob Smithers, CEO of Miercom. “For those networks, high port density, high throughput, low latency, low jitter, and high performance consistency are critical and must be rigorously tested. The Nexus 9500 family has raised the bar in the industry by scoring best overall in benchmark tests, and by demonstrating massive scalability. The Cisco Nexus 9516 proved in test not to drop a single packet at line rate with the largest scale 576 x 40GE review conducted in the industry.”

such as the industry’s first backplane-free modular switch with 15 percent more efficient power and cooling, and a simpler design with 30 percent of the components to improve mean time between failures with 2.8 times higher reliability. The switch portfolio also provides chassis flexibility for cost-effective 1/10G access designs, 10G/40G aggregation designs, and high-performance 40G and future 100G leaf-spine designs. Cisco Nexus 9508 The Cisco Nexus 9508 Switch is an 8 slot compact 13 RU form factor chassis designed for high density End-of-Row and high performance 10/40GbE aggregation layer deployments.

The Nexus 9500 portfolio includes system innovations

Cisco Nexus 3000 Cisco Nexus 3000 switches power eight of the 10 leading cloud providers’ networks covering the majority of their footprint.


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product highlight AGILITY...Period! Speed Up Deployments with a Single Flexible Low Cost Converged Architecture Industry trends indicate a vast data center transformation toward shared infrastructures. By using virtualization, enterprise customers have embarked on the journey to the cloud by moving away from application silos and toward shared infrastructure, thereby increasing agility and reducing costs. Cisco and NetApp have partnered to deliver FlexPod®, which serves as the foundation for a variety of workloads and enables efficient architectural designs that are based on customer requirements.

NetApp Flexpod Highlights •

Converged infrastructure speeds deployment of business applications.

Flexible IT architecture scales up or out for future growth.

Cooperative Support model resolves sharedinfrastructure issues fast.

FlexPod integrates bestin-class Cisco and NetApp components into a unified, validated datacenter architecture.

FlexPod Data Center Platform The FlexPod® data center platform is a prevalidated solution combining storage, networking, and server components and integrating them into a single flexible architecture. The FlexPod data center platform is designed to speed the deployment of infrastructure and business-critical applications with reduced cost, minimal risk, and increased flexibility. FlexPod components include NetApp® unified storage systems, Cisco® Unified Computing System™ servers, and Cisco Nexus® fabric. The FlexPod architecture can scale up or out, and can be optimized for a variety of mixed workloads in both virtualized and non-virtualized environments.

The FlexPod Platform FlexPod is a data center platform from Cisco and NetApp that hosts infrastructure software and business applications in virtualized and non-virtualized environments.



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product highlight New Possibilities for Your Business with the World’s Fastest Database Machine Hardware and Software Engineered to Work Together Oracle Exadata Database Machine is delivered completely integrated and balanced for optimal performance. There are no unique configuration requirements and no special Oracle Exadata certification. Update your data warehouse in near real time. Run reports that once took three hours in just 20 minutes. Consolidate multiple databases onto a single platform. Oracle Exadata Database Machine loads data faster, returns queries sooner, and sets new IT performance standards. It’s secure, it’s scalable, and all of it— hardware and software—is supported by Oracle. Future in a Box Faster, more flexible, and highly available, Oracle Exadata is shaping the future of IT by delivering the complete technology stack— hardware, software, and everything in between—in a reliable, redundant database machine that’s easy to manage, fast to deploy, and fully supported by a single vendor.

Preconfigured, scalable, and secure, Oracle Exadata Database Machine addresses the needs of today’s businesses with extreme performance for enterprise data warehousing, online transaction processing (OLTP), and mixed workloads. Extreme Ease of Use Keeps IT Simple Easy to deploy and manage, Exadata runs—with no changes—all Oracle Applications. Even the expertise of your DBAs and system administrators is directly transferable. Exadata is easy to upgrade in the field with no interruption to your existing system. And, because all Exadata components are from Oracle, you significantly reduce implementation risks, downtime risks, and support risks. With only one vendor to call, there’s no runaround— just faster resolution. Better information, more flexibility, and lower IT costs with extreme performance. Experience the extreme benefits of Oracle Exadata today.


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4/25/14 12:43 PM


Technical Resource Services Your Key to IT Recruiting One of the key differentiators between BEAR

Network Engineers, Network Architects, Network

Data and traditional recruiting firms is that BEAR

Administrators, Network Project Managers, NOC

Data Solutions is an international systems integrator

Technicians, and IT Operations Management in

specializing in infrastructure solutions (cloud, data

all areas of infrastructure – routing & switching,

center, security, networks & systems, storage) and

security, storage, virtualization, application

professional services around these offerings. With these grass roots services in place,

optimization, and voice. BEAR Data’s vetting process has

a natural extension for BEAR Data was

proven its effectiveness for our clients

staffing services, with a focus around

(from early to late stage startups up to

our key expertise – IT Operations. This

large enterprises), where we have saved

process was specifically built to enable a superior vetting process targeted toward

them countless hours of interviewing and delivered highly talented people.

800.718.BEAR Technology. Innovation. Delivered.

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4/17/14 5:20 PM

product highlight VMware vCloud Suite IT Looks to Leverage Cloud Computing’s Transformation Powers with VMware’s Latest Offerings

The VMware vCloud suite delivers a complete, integrated cloud infrastructure that simplifies IT operations while also delivering the best SLAs for all applications. The suite delivers Virtualized infrastructure services (storage, network, security and availability) with built-in intelligence to automate the on-demand provisioning, placement, configuration and control based on application requirements and defined policies. The vCloud suite includes the entire set of cloud infrastructure capabilities: Virtualization, Software Defined Datacenter Services, policy based provisioning, Disaster Recovery, Application Management, and Operations Management. The vCloud Suite has six key use cases that showcase the capabilities of our comprehensive and robust private cloud stack. These six use cases represent the most common functionality businesses utilize the vCloud Suite for.

vCloud Suite’s Six Use Cases Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) This use case highlights how the ability to increase adoption of cloud requires a way to integrate into the existing 3rd party systems that users have implemented. Specific highlights include the end-toend provisioning (of virtual machines and vApps) using VMware products and integration into common ITSM systems such as ticketing and CMDB applications. Application Provisioning / PaaS This use case highlights how users can consume cloud resources in a very efficient manner. Focusing on the VMware Application Director product, this will highlight how a user can deploy applications to a cloud on both Windows and Linux based environments, scale out those applications, and update them as needed. This use case highlights how users can quickly create, modify, and import application blueprints as well as to highlight the application marketplace. Control and Compliance This use case highlights how compliance can be enforced, tracked and monitored through the application and infrastructure stack with VMware products. It also includes information on the OS patching and 3rd party application patching. Quality of Service This use case highlights the abilities of

VMware to monitor a given environment, alert administrators to potential issues, and to take proactive action when possible. This is all in an effort to maintain not only the availability of a application, but also the performance of the virtual machine and associated applications. Business Critical Applications This use case highlights how the use of VMware products can enhance the availability of a business critical application. This includes monitoring the environment for high load conditions and misconfigured applications. Analysis of the issues is to be performed through vC Ops, which will assist the user in determining the root cause of a issue quickly. Lastly, VMware HA will be showcased to address the case of a server failure where services can be automatically moved and brought online. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery This use case highlights the business continuity and disaster recovery feature set of VMware vSphere. This capability will be drawn largely from vSphere, SRM and VIN. There are two main areas of focus: •

Exploring a backup/recovery scenario of key apps in vSphere using vSphere Data Protection Advanced (VDPA).

Inspecting, protecting and recovering a two site vSphere implementation

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4/22/14 8:16 PM

© 2014 Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Other brands, products, or service names may be trademarks of their respective owners.


HELLO AUTOMATED. THE NETWORK MUST TRANSFORM. Brocade fabric technology simplifies network operations through automation, enabling near “zero-touch” configuration and provisioning. Using fabrics, businesses can deploy network capacity at least 5X faster compared to status quo networks. Get the facts:

Contact BEAR Data Solutions for more information: 1-800-718-BEAR CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!


ten with tim


Competition for top talent reaches EPIC levels

As we eclipse “.com era” tech job numbers, the elite candidates looking for jobs are nearly impossible to find, expensive and hard to impress. Aggressive tactics, counteroffers and more pressure on internal recruiting becomes commonplace

ten with tim


Retention problems intensify and test resolve of even the Best Places to Work. Analysts predict that turnover rates will increase by 25%, which will create a domino effect of “running to stand still” putting added stress on existing staff and more pressure on internal recruiting. Interestingly enough, hiring “Boomerangs” becomes a hot trend as Employers hire back the employees that left and give them a raise!


“Speed of Hire” becomes more important than the offer itself. IT workforce unemployment rates plummet while business needs increase leaving the available talent pool shallow with multiple “life changing” offers on the table.


Employer branding gets a BIG budget Strategic branding makes a return as employers spend buckets of cash to help spread a positive image and healthy place to work. Tools like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter aren’t enough. Brand strength, employee treatment and “better than average compensation” become the most important initiatives for Emerging Companies that have revenue goals achieved only by adding more employees, especially top talent.


Live video interviewing and online candidate assessment gains acceptance This isn’t your Grandpa’s interview panel. The use of technology to shorten the initial hiring process will not only increase – but will become the standard.


Adding remote workers to pool becomes a necessity The available talent pool becomes so thin in some skillsets that large employers that aren’t allowing “remote workers” start losing battles across the board. Sorry Yahoo!


Shortage of top recruiters and qualified partner firms becomes a reality As Corporations poach more and more agency recruiters to fill internal positions, the leaders panic and a bidding war results in more turnover, less production and less talent at the agency level.


Large Companies adjust as they compete with startups for top talent

We asked Tim Harrington; BEAR Data’s Northern California Director of Technical Resource Services for a quick 10 predictive trends to look out for in IT recruitment and Talent Acquisition in 2014, here were his predictions….

Big recruiting budgets mean creative ways to say, “We aren’t Google” and with no limit vacation days, car allowances and free rent already on the table, could we be looking at the rebirth of Pensions? How far will your Shareholders go to get talent?


Traditional “Job Boards” that resist innovation die on the vine Successful recruiters learned a very long time ago that the sort of candidate with a resume on a job board (like, Dice. com, aren’t necessarily the cream of the crop and are definitely aggressively looking for a new job or career. So, if you make a living of finding passive candidates (that aren’t looking for a job) online, where do you go? Savvy employers are wise to what Linkedin really offers and some have even paid their employees to stay off of Linkedin.


Choosing a “go-to” Recruiting Partner will prove to be Paramount

With more than 6,000 staffing agencies in the United States alone, Organizations will need to know that their recruiting partner is an expert in their industry. The chosen Recruiting Partner will also have little turnover, understand current trends and recruiting issues and will WORK HARD TO EARN your Business. Savvy Corporations that lean on Recruiting Partners in 2014 will know to not just buy from an agency with the lowest price or markup and will make an informed decision based on value and service. BEARDATASOLUTIONS.COM 31

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4/23/14 7:49 PM

©2011 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.

we’re not just making servers. we’re making server history. While innovation comes rapidly in the IT industry, basic server architectures haven’t changed for decades. That’s why Cisco introduced the Cisco Unified Computing System - which integrates compute, networking, storage access and virtualization. IT departments dramatically reduce data center complexity while: • Lowering operating costs by up to 30%. • Reducing deployment times from weeks to minutes. • Harnessing the power of over 30 world-record performance benchmarks. The Cisco Unified Computing System signals the next evolution of the data center - where everything, and everyone, works together like never before.

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BEAR Bytes May 2014