Category Archives: Blog

Containers, Pods, Clusters, and other Cloud-native Terminologies Explained for Novices

For those accustomed to the cloud-native vocabulary, pods may not really mean the one which hold peas and containers may not refer to the ones found on a maritime ship. The same goes for orchestration and clusters. Although, in all the above cases, their functionalities do resemble their respective names and their purpose in real life. For instance, if the term ‘orchestration’ makes you picture the conductor who leads a musical ensemble, that’s actually right even in the case of a container orchestrator. A container orchestrator makes sure that all of the component pieces of a system “play” in the right place at the right time, and stop when they’re no longer needed. Let us learn all these terms in greater detail.

Container

Let us begin with the term ‘container’. If by container you picturize those square wooden boxes stacked on a ship, then you are thinking in the right direction. These containers, like their real world counterparts, are meant to ‘contain’ an application or service and everything required for it to run, regardless of the external environment. By definition, a container is a package with the program to execute with all its dependencies, such as the code, runtime, system libraries, et cetera, all bound together in a box. A container may refer to two different things depending on the two states it assumes – rest and running. When at rest, a container is a file (or set of files) that is saved on disk. This is referred to as a Container Image or Container Repository. Once running, Containers are just a Linux process. 

Orchestration

Now, these containers also need to be run in a proper order, which is where we need orchestration. Enter Kubernetes - one of the container orchestration tool by Google. Kubernetes enables you to automate, manage, and schedule applications defined by individual containers. Orchestration is what makes running and scaling containerized applications sustainable. A Kubernetes platform like Kubernetes lets an enterprise take advantage of numerous cloud solutions providers and grow as rapidly as required, without having to re-architect the entire infrastructure. This saves the need for significant deployment cycles and drastically improves the ability to provide new services as quickly as possible. 

Unique Solutions provides containerization solutions in Kubernetes, Docker and other leading container platforms on all popular Linux environments. You can learn more about our offering of container as a service from our website.

Pods

Pods are the smallest, most basic deployable objects in Kubernetes. They’re essentially a wrapper (like a peapod) or housing for your individual containers when deploying them in Kubernetes. In a way, they can be imagined as containers holding your containers. 

Now you may ask, “why would you need them if you already have containers?”

The quick answer is, when a Pod runs multiple containers, the containers can be managed as a single entity, where they can share resources and dependencies, communicate with one another, and coordinate when and how they are terminated. A Pod is meant to run a single instance of your application on your cluster. 

Cluster

A cluster can be thought of like a motherboard or circuit board that provides the circuitry to run all the pods in an orchestrated manner as defined by the users. A cluster is central to the basic architecture of Kubernetes: If you’re running Kubernetes, you’re running at least one cluster. There cannot be a Kubernetes deployment without a cluster.

All the above terms are interrelated in a manner that can be summarized as below:

  • A container runs logically in a pod
  • An orchestrator is required to run container(s)
  • A group of pods run on a cluster.
  • A cluster can contain many pods, related or unrelated [and] grouped under the tight logical borders called namespaces.

Understanding the terminology will provide you a deeper understanding of the underlying technologies. This will help you and your teams speak the same language with your cloud service provider and also provide insight into how to better architect your container environment for the goals you have. 

Containers as a Service

Containers as a Service (Caas) is a model where IT organizations and developers can work together to build, ship and run their applications anywhere. CaaS enables an IT secured and managed application environment consisting of content and infrastructure, from which developers are able build and deploy applications in a self-service manner. You can get in touch with us for a hands on demo to explore Container as a service with Unique Solutions

What are the key Benefits of Remote Infrastructure Management

A well-managed IT infrastructure forms the cornerstone of businesses looking forward to drive business growth. Complex and often uncertain, the task of managing IT becomes even more challenging when IT infrastructures are heterogeneous, multi-centered and constantly evolving.

Business leaders today are therefore, proactively seeking efficient, stable and resilient methods that can meet their unique requirements and maximize their returns. Remote infrastructure management (RIM) is one of the solutions that offer promising results and minimal hassles. It supports your company’s core business and mission-critical processes, and simultaneously helps you leverage the latest technology innovations at minimized costs.

RIM is the process of managing the IT infrastructure of an organization, entirely or in parts, from a remote location. With RIM you get to enjoy a complete package of infrastructure services including a range of remedial measures that performs without disrupting business operations.

RIM delivers an exhaustive range of benefits, the major being enhanced coordination and ease of maintenance of IT systems from a remote location. Additionally, when RIM services are linked to the orchestration of cloud solutions and other resources they lead to excellence in performance. This is because scarce technical and human resources are primarily focused on the most business-critical services.

For better understanding, let’s take a look at some of the key benefits that businesses can avail of RIM.

5 Reasons Why RIM is Gaining Ground across Industries

  • Reduced IT management & Administration cost: The ability to maintain lower operational cost across value creation process is critical to achieving competitive advantage.  With Remote Infrastructure Management, the businesses can mitigate their expenses of setting up separate on-site IT department, employing extra staff, augmenting the additional power supply and more. If you have a business that is spread across different regions and time-zones, a reliable RIM vendor is the best choice as it will deal with the stress and expense of your remote work in the best possible way.
  • Flexibility with Outsourcing: You enjoy the flexibility of accessing individualized services depending on your specific business requirements. This means you can choose between services that you want to outsource and the ones you plan to keep on-site.
  • Around the clock service: IT infrastructures at times can witness malfunctioning or even breakdowns. In such a scenario immediate corrective measures is imperative to ensure things do not go out of control. Most RIM vendors deploy a dedicated team to monitor the IT environment round the clock. This means you get the seamless tech support, maintenance services and faster data around the clock.
  • Improved Uptime: As RIM services reduce your reliance on on-site IT resources; your business is likely to benefit from better system availability and improved uptime. Moreover, RIM vendors provide high standard equipment, technicians & management expertise that ensure smooth and uninterrupted service. They even tie up with other strategic service providers to integrate the latest technologies. This amassing of advanced technologies & top-notch equipment coupled with 24X7 support of experts bring the benefits of unparalleled network redundancy and uptime.                 
  • Optimized productivity: The process of framing a custom RIM solution begins with comprehensive infrastructure evaluation by your RIM vendor. The vast information collected becomes the source to identify and resolve various issues in your existing IT management process. As a result, you get an opportunity to improve performance and optimize your business operations for better results.

Why partner with Unique Solutions 

Unique Solutions is the Force Multiplier for your IT Operations. Backed with an extensive industry experience, we offer customized array of IT solutions related to cloud computing, hyperconverged infrastructure, RIM and more, that fit the needs of different industry verticals and businesses of varied sizes. Our tried and proven methods help us offer exceptional service delivery to our clients based on industry best practices and international standards. Adopting a holistic approach, we ascertain that every business requirement is addressed, and you receive an excellent return on your investment.

With Unique solution by your side you tend to gain:

  • Up to 40% reduction in cost of your infrastructure support and maintenance
  • Expanded market reach with 24/7/365 upkeep of your infrastructure
  • Extended life of your infra assets
  • Benefits of “Best practices” and “Secure methods”.
  • End-to-end visibility into service lifecycle and performance metrics
  • Partnership approach in asset and vendor inventorying, capacity planning, and other activities

What is ArubaOS and How Does it Take Campus Networking to the Next Level

For the most part, IT leadership has always been about delivering & maintaining seamless - wired and wireless connectivity. But today, with growing complexity in the technology landscape, the IT department needs to evolve its thought process to include mobility and IoT. Aruba, an HPE company, introduced the Mobile-First Platform, addressing these new challenges that businesses and IT leaders are facing. The Aruba Mobile First Architecture allows organizations to gracefully transition their existing network to a software-defined enterprise, enabling new features and functionality while supporting legacy systems. ArubaOS 8 is an intelligent and programmable software layer between the network infrastructure components, third-party IT services, and end-user applications. ArubaOS 8 allows businesses and their customers to deliver insights and bring automation to their workplace. 

The Aruba Campus networking is designed to allow people on the move to stay connected, securely separate employee traffic from guest traffic and to allow enterprises to innovate without being tied to a wired infrastructure. It combines the best wireless and switching products to create a high performance, secure and resilient campus network that is ready to support mobility and IoT devices, as well as end-to-end network management with multi-vendor access control. Campus networks can now take full advantage of technologies the server infrastructure has been using for years.

Features you get with the Aruba Mobile First Platform

The Aruba networking architecture for the software-defined enterprise is designed to be mobile first, and it delivers a network that is open, secure, and autonomous. 

  • 1. Mobile First: The mobile first feature allows users to connect and join an enterprise network under the same policy & permissions irrespective of the mode of connection viz. wired or wireless. This provides an uninterrupted network experience in case of connecting mobile devices, IoT and Clouds on a mission critical operation.
  • 2. Multi-vendor connectivity: The Aruba OS supports open standards and provides easy multi-vendor connectivity. This enables easy integration and automation of end-to-end network by IT, line of business, and even users. 
  • 3. Provides network security at multiple layers:  Aruba secures the wired and wireless infrastructure with signed code, secure boot and cryptographic hardware protection. User data is protected with strong encryption and per-user level policy, both granting appropriate access and protecting devices from threats.
  • 4. Autonomy: Machine learning uses massive amounts of analytics data in order to understand the operational and security state of the network. Automated systems optimize performance and alert administrators of changes or highlight potential changes that require acceptance via on-premise and cloud-managed network operations.

An open, multivendor network infrastructure not only allows organizations to innovate at their pace and not become locked-in to a single vendor solution but also leverage their existing investments. Security built in at all layers in the network protects infrastructure, users, and devices from existing and emerging threats from the outside and inside. Intelligent use of analytics by administrators and machine-learning based automation provides network assurance and begins the shift to a “self driving” network where IT maintains the infrastructure and policy and users provision services dynamically. 

The Aruba Campus design provides a prescriptive solution, based on best practices and tested topologies allowing you to build a robust network that fulfils your organization’s requirements. As a  HPE partner we design and implement solutions using Aruba and also by using other leading brands like  Cisco. Unique Solutions provides a comprehensive range of unified network products and services to keep your enterprise network secure and humming along 24/7/365. Our solutions span Campus Networking, Datacenter Networking and Small Business Networking or branch networking. For derails Contact us, today!

How IT-as-a-Service Has Become Indispensable in a Hybrid World

When COVID-19 reached critical levels in the spring of 2020, millions of workers around the world were suddenly forced to work remotely. For many businesses, remote working was the only possibility. They struggled initially with the cultural implications and keeping legacy IT systems running to support remote work

However, IT teams and users adapted rapidly as business continuity became essential. We witnessed the evolution of IT teams and also the rise in employee productivity. This is leading HR teams and IT teams to wonder if work processes ever need to go back to normal.

COVID-19 has made us realise that work processes can function and flourish digitally. If employees are scattered, internet connectivity can keep business-as-usual processes running. IT teams are adjusting to this and partnering with HR teams on a deeper level to develop policies that can enable remote work even after the pandemic has passed.

The hybrid workforce in a dynamically changing world 

The implications for IT are as follows:

  • Workers need extended support desk hours
  • Remote management tools are required
  • User training must be more specific
  • Software must be cloud-enabled
  • Security measures must be more advanced
  • Equipment that is provisioned for home-based workers must be provided
  • The development of technologies for non-remote workers must be reconfigured

The more significant trend here is that the modern enterprise is now extended indefinitely and without boundaries. This demands a change management program that involves users, IT teams, and managers. In fact, this is the distributed workforce that experts have been signalling for years. There is no fixed number of workers that will work either from home or the workplace, so IT teams must be prepared for a dynamic shift in employee locations.

While some users may continue to work from home, some may work in business facilities or offices. Some may adopt ‘hoteling’ – a situation where workers reserve a workspace for a few hours. A mixture of these types of workers is called the ‘hybrid workforce’ and IT teams must be prepared to meet their connectivity, security, and personalization needs with the same effectiveness. It’s a challenge that is greater than just providing technology infrastructure in centralized workspaces. Remote work is here to stay, and IT teams must embrace this shift.

Modern enterprises are moving to IT-as-a-Service

IT teams need to become more agile to cater to these needs. We are seeing the outcome of these shifts as they transition from project models to product models under co-owned strategies. They are reimagining their technology investments to deliver a better balance between teams and users. For instance, we have seen IT teams cede control of some technology to business departments. In other cases, they are giving users the ability to select, assess and deploy the tools they need. This process comes under the purview of IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS).

ITaaS enables IT teams to offer a variety of services, settings, frameworks, and technologies to users and business lines. Users have a variety of choices and can pick and choose IT solutions to address their specific needs. These business lines are charged on a consumption basis. So, ITaaS vendors basically maintain a library of resources and catalogued IT solutions that users can customize.

With enterprises moving to hybrid multi-cloud strategies, ITaaS is an efficient way to eliminate IT inefficiencies. It is transforming the outlook of internal IT departments and is giving these teams strategic importance as they leverage commoditized services to meet business objectives. The offered solutions are standardized to deliver transparency and consistency. Like any cloud service, it can scale up or down. This is critical as capital can be diverted for more urgent business needs, rather than keeping expensive IT systems running.

It’s important to remember that ITaaS is not a technology shift; it is simply an organizational and management shift. The same technology interfaces as before are available under ITaaS. What’s different is their presentation, the choices the users have, and the payment models. This leads to a disadvantage of the ITaaS model – it is hard to manage. Traditional IT solutions have been built in a specific way to support day-to-day operations. However, once this barrier has been overcome, ITaaS can transform in-house IT teams and lead to a cultural shift in the modern enterprise.

HPE GreenLake and Unique Solutions – Offering IT solutions in a post-pandemic world

This brings us to HPE GreenLake, which is HPE’s visionary ITaaS offering. It offers a pay-per-use outcome-based model that delivers a cloud experience to apps and empowers IT teams in the new normal. GreenLake follows the ITaaS principles mentioned above and frees up capital diverted towards legacy IT systems. In tough business scenarios like the present, this can help enterprises optimise operations and boost profitability. 

HPE GreenLake offers pre-configured solutions that can be up and running in as soon as 14 days. It can modernise apps by transforming non-cloud-native applications and preparing them for the new normal. GreenLake’s machine learning capabilities enable enterprises to act on insights and scale up or down. The simplified IT experience this offers is invaluable for the modern business.

At Unique Solutions, which is an HPE Platinum Partner for Server and Storage, we are driving this transition to ITaaS. We provide mission-critical infrastructure solutions in Western India and architect modern solutions based on cutting-edge technologies. Many of our customers are turning to us for their ITaaS needs since we have a long-standing reputation for building strategic partnerships.

Our service-oriented value addition enables us to understand current business scenario requirements and build robust IT solutions. We are members of the HPE GreenLake Consumption Visionary Counsel and the Limited GreenLake Gladiator Club, which give us a deep understanding of GreenLake and its capabilities to help enterprises succeed in the post-COVID world.

7 Point Cloud Migration Checklist for Successful Transfer

For enterprises looking for a digital transformation, the question is not whether, but when, to embrace cloud computing and migrate your business upwards. When you’re migrating applications and data to the cloud, you want to use the cloud solutions that best meet your needs so your migration goes as smoothly as possible. In order to ensure you get the most out of the cloud once migrated, you need to know that you are getting as many of the advantages of the cloud as possible. Here are 7 points to consider when you are planning a smooth migration to your new cloud.

1. Shallow or deep? Know the ‘level’ of cloud integration that will suit your needs

When you desire to move an application from an on-premise data center to the cloud, there are two ways in which you can do it – using a shallow cloud integration or a deep cloud integration. In the former, also known as “shift-and-lift integration”, you move the on-premise application to the cloud with no or limited changes to the servers. At the application end, you make just enough changes to get it to run in the new environment. In “deep cloud integration” – you modify your application during the migration process to gain an advantage of key cloud capabilities. 

2. Single cloud or Multi-Cloud? 

Optimizing your application to work with a specific cloud is easier compared to using multiple clouds, with your development team having just one set of cloud APIs to learn. However, it also means you will have to rework the entire migration process from scratch in case you decide to change your vendor. The multi-cloud approach can be useful in cases where you have multiple applications or parts of the same application, that would give increased business leverage when run on different clouds. Hire the expertise of a cloud solutions provider such as unique solutions who can guide you through the best possible way forward. (not relevant).

3. Set your performance baselines

Baselining is the process of measuring the performance of your application before migration in order to determine acceptable performance levels post-migration. Setting Baselines help you determine the completion of your migration and provide validation of the post-migration performance improvements you expected. You can also refer to baselines during a cloud migration to diagnose any problems that arise. 

4. Set the sequence of migration per the priority

When migrating, you have the privilege to decide whether you want to migrate your entire application at once or you want to migrate component by component or service by service. To simplify the task, you may start migration with the services that have the fewest dependencies such as your most internal services, and then follow up with your outermost services that are closest to your customers. 

5. Data – to shift or to keep?

Moving only your data to the cloud while the data-access methods are still primarily on-premises can significantly impact application performance. Alternatively, if the data is still on-premise but the service accessing it resides in the cloud, that’s problematic too! Hence, when it comes to data migration, it’s a tricky deal. The best then is to employ the expertise of a third-party cloud migration service provider, who can share their unbiased views for the best outcome.

6. Perform any necessary refactoring with your application for coherent transfer

There might be some refactoring required with your application and services before they are migrated to work effectively & efficiently. The reasons could be a provision to allow dynamic scaling, ability to allocate and de-allocate resources as needed and be more service-oriented. 

7. Hire a trusted & proven technology partner

What smart enterprises need is a partner who can understand their IT landscape, appreciate the repercussions of moving to the cloud, and provide objective guidance on their cloud journey. This is where Unique Solutions comes into the picture. At Unique Solutions, we have partnered with leading brands such as Microsoft Azure, Net4Magic, YOTTA, AWS and other hybrid cloud infrastructure solution providers to provide cloud migration services. Contact us, today!

Hyper Converged Infrastructure(HCI)- Empowering Business for Future

Organizations today are looking forward to IT solutions that can provide greater control of on-premise infrastructure along with the speed & operational efficiency of the public cloud services. Hyperconverged infrastructure perfectly fits the bill as it offers the best of both worlds. A comprehensive & modern approach to managing compute, storage, networking, and security in a single platform, HCI can help achieve optimum performance of your data center and in turn, your business.

It’s no surprise then, according to the Gartner reports, 70% of enterprises will be running some form of hyperconverged infrastructure by 2023.( https://www.crn.com/slide-shows/virtualization/gartner-s-15-hyperconverged-infrastructure-magic-quadrant-leaders).

A deeper look into hyper converged infrastructure

Every business wants to stay competitive and drive innovation and agility by ensuring their datacenters are cloud-ready. However, with traditional converged infrastructure it’s a distant dream.  Being slow and expensive to upgrade, the complicated system lacks the proficiency to meet the advanced computing requirements.

Moreover, with the advent of 5G and IoT technology (wherein, more employees are likely to access network from multiple devices & multiple locations) the traditional converged infrastructure no longer seems to be a practical solution. 

Hyperconvergence is being viewed as an excellent option that forms the core of a hybrid infrastructure and bridges the gap between traditional infrastructure and public cloud. Offering an all-purpose solution, a hyper-converged system is simple to set up and maintain, and enables you to deliver virtualized applications in minutes. 

Overcoming the challenges of managing hundreds of remote servers, storage and virtual machines, with HCI rolling out any new application to scattered sites will not be cumbersome as it used to be. Hyper-converged infrastructure platforms, which integrates compute, storage, and networking technology into one box makes it easy to quickly deploy proven information technology (IT) infrastructure.

Reasons to Consolidate on Hyper converged Infrastructure

The benefits of shifting from complex legacy infrastructure to the simplicity of hyper convergence are many, but the top reasons for which the organizations prefer the switch include ease of management, lower costs, consistent performance, a smaller datacenter footprint, greater efficiency and productivity in IT teams, and optimum infrastructure ROI.

IT quarters can deliver more value to their organizations and accommodate growth without needing to increase their staff resources.  While the application development teams gain from greater agility and faster deployment of new compute, storage, and networking resources to support various projects; the infrastructure teams benefit from having a converged platform that they can manage efficiently. 

All in all, the hyper-converged systems can help small- to medium-sized enterprises with remote offices to focus more on their revenue-driving applications & data analytics as they are saved from hassles of managing traditional infrastructure. In brief, it’s a shift from operations & maintenance to adding value to the business.

Unique Solutions 

When it comes to establishing a dynamic IT structure that can meet the demands of new and emerging technologies, Unique Solutions is the brand to reckon with. Having partnered with the leading producers of the HCI, – HPE, VMWare and Nutanix, we provide cost-effective and hassle-free services encompassing solution architecting, sizing, installation, on-going support & maintenance. Team up with Unique Solutions to create an agile infrastructure that can streamline your operations and consolidate your workloads despite technological shifts and growing customer demands.

 Contact Unique Solutions today for any query!

Ways to Bolster your Data Center Security

It’s won’t be an overstatement to say, your business data is an invaluable asset. Any threat looming over the security of your Production data can cause irreparable damages. Most Enterprises as well as SME’s Centrally store humungous amount of proprietary information such as intellectual property & trade secrets, or sensitive personal information about their employees and clients. It’s imperative that this centrally stored data needs strong and robust Data Centre Security Solutions, which can deploy effective preventive mechanisms against data breaches and Cyber attacks

Here are a few pointers that can help you safeguard your Production data from corruption and unauthorized access in the Digital Space.

1. Physical Security of Data Center: While cyber attacks hog all the attention, one should not rule out the risk of physical attacks on data centers which could be equally damaging. In fact, some of biggest threats are posed by the physical access to a network. Hence, physical security should be treated with same level of seriousness as cyber security. A holistic approach encompassing key factors, ranging from location selection to authenticated access of the personnel into the data center should be considered and monitored diligently. Built-in features like CCTV cameras, DC with thicker walls, fewer windows and doors, fire protection devices etc are essential security requirements for high-risk areas that should not compromised.

2. Monitor virtual access: According to some reports, 49% of data breaches are caused due to human errors and system glitches. Hence, monitoring digital access is to avoiding unauthorized data access. One of the obvious precautionary measures to keep a check on the data center security is to review the permissions set for  users having access to your servers. Periodic permission auditing that ensures limited and delegated access can be an effective initiative towards data protection.

3. Employ functional tools to thwart intrusions: Intrusion detecting and preventive systems can act as your data security arsenal. A fool-proof data center security strategy employs adequately configured and perimeter-based security tools that can monitor and protect your network from internal & external breaches. Intrusion detection systems, IP address monitoring, and firewalls are some of the important protective tools that can detect and thwart malicious attacks, thereby ensuring safety of your data center.

4. Patch your server & update your systems: Just like a patch of fabric can cover up a defect in a pair of jeans, a computer software patch can be applied to a program/operating system to fix up an exposed flaw. It fends off attacks and protects data against various exploits including malware and viruses. The antivirus software that is extensively used across industries is just a small part in the line of defence. With innumerable vulnerabilities exposed every year, it becomes imperative to keep your systems updated, stable and safe. And, patches can rightly serve the purpose.

5. Implement Redundant data backups: Loss of data can be catastrophic for any business. To avoid getting into such a dire situation, make data recovery/ restoration solution a part of your business continuity plan. Implementing redundant data backups — both in terms of data & secondary infrastructure can save you from excessive downtime, or worse, protect you from becoming non-compliant with respective regulatory agencies. 

6. Enforce Network Segmentation: Savvy hackers can penetrate through firewalls and other security frameworks within your enterprise network and create havoc. This is the reason why many organizations are adopting a Zero Trust approach, which brings everyone under the scanner, including those inside the network perimeter. 

Network segmentation serves as a key tool in implementing a Zero Trust strategy by dividing your data network into separate components that can be accessed only by users with verified credentials. The perimeter around these isolated network segments builds an additional layer of security to prevent or at least slow down an attacker from moving laterally inside the data center, if he succeeds in breaching the perimeter defence. 

Final thoughts: Your data security is the bedrock of your business. Don’t allow any bad player to cripple down your operations by sneaking in your network.  Ensure safety of your servers, network, and other related equipment by implementing the best data center security practices as discussed above. Unique solutions can help you in this endeavour. 

We partner with leading security solution providers like Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, CISCO, McAfee, Trend Micro and more to deliver next-generation threat protection solutions. Our suite of solutions, including Intrusion Detection & Prevention Systems, remote infrastructure management & advanced anti-malware software are designed to offer complete protection to physical and virtual servers, multi-tiered architectures, private and public cloud applications and other complex elements of IT infrastructures.

To learn more about our offerings and services call us today! We’ll make sure all your queries and doubts are sorted out!

Why Switching to Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure is the Right Move

Cloud computing has taken the digital world by storm. According to Rightscale’s 2018 State of Cloud Report, 81% of enterprises already have a multi-cloud strategy in place. (https://www.cio.com/article/3267571/it-governance-critical-as-cloud-adoption-soars-to-96-percent-in-2018.html)It’s evident

that cloud has become mainstream. Moving a step ahead, hybrid cloud infrastructure is the next big thing that is further fortifying the capabilities of cloud solutions.

What is hybrid cloud infrastructure and why is it needed?

Hybrid cloud refers to a cloud-computing environment that connects a mix of public cloud, private cloud & on-premises infrastructure. The separate instances have different touch points & integrations between them, yet the infrastructures are completely independent, eliminating the risk of data leak from one platform to the other.

Although cloud-based apps are proliferating fast, the decentralized nature of the cloud becomes a challenge when it comes to integrating applications. Inherent complexities in migrating applications through cloud migration service create limitations. This could be in terms of data gravity, sovereignty, compliance, cost and interdependencies with other systems. 

With a hybrid cloud infrastructure, an organization has the opportunity to obtain the best of both worlds. They can enjoy the speed & flexibility of the cloud without the need to discard existing tech or spend on new infrastructure. The firms can decide which applications, data & resources to put in the public cloud, which can be kept in a private environment, and how to move between the two environments.

As every hybrid cloud model is different, you have the flexibility to choose the one that best serves your organization’s unique needs. For instance, companies with higher security requirements may focus more on their on-premises infrastructure and use a cloud instance to host less-critical resources. Multiple deployment hybrid models create a seamless, secure, and automated environment, resulting in optimum productivity and flexibility. 

Gaining popularity of hybrid cloud approach

As per the Gartner experts, over 75% of midsize and large organizations will opt for hybrid IT strategy by 2021. Here are the key reasons why adopting a hybrid approach makes sense for most companies. 

  1. 1. Greater support for remote workforce: A hybrid cloud offers organizations the flexibility to support their remote and dispersed employees with on-demand access to data that’s not restricted to one central location. They can easily transfer any core/ sensitive data to their private on-premise servers while keeping their key applications/services on the public cloud (such that they are accessible from any location with valid logins). This leads to better collaboration and team work.
  2. 2. Cost effective: Hybrid cloud infrastructure allows businesses to leverage the resources they already have, without the need to adopt new tools or splash out on new hardware.  It’s just the right option for companies that seek more control over their data and require a cost-effective way to scale their operations when spike in demands. During demand surge, organizations with a hybrid cloud can curtail their capital expenditures by paying only for the selective cloud resources they use. 
  3. 3. Increased agility: Well-implemented hybrid cloud provides the agility you desire, without compromising security. This is because companies with a hybrid cloud aren’t limited to their private on-premise infrastructure, they can easily expand their workload on the cloud and can test, prototype& launch new products swiftly as and when required.
  4. 4. Improved security compliance: Enterprises can choose where to house their data and workloads based on compliance or security requirements, specific to their industry. Furthermore, the hybrid cloud’s centralized management makes it convenient to implement technical security measures like encryption, automation, access control and endpoint security, thereby making risk management more effective. 
  5. 5. Business Continuity: A hybrid cloud can be an important part of a business continuity plan as it helps organizations backup key data (by replicating business-critical data to the cloud) and facilitates scalability in the event of a demand upswing. With fluctuating computing demands, the businesses don’t run the risk of overburdening their private servers (which could cause slow services or downtime). The cloud expands to absorb the demand and scales back to the original servers once the peak is over. 

‘Unique Solutions’ Hybrid Cloud model:

Several organizations are witnessing a transition from an on-premises data center solution to a more practical alternative that incorporates cloud infrastructure. Hybrid cloud security solution provided by Unique solutions can make this process simpler and safer. It provides you with secure data/ application migration, regardless of the magnitude of transfer. With provisions of infinite scalability, enhanced agility and inbuilt resilience, Unique Solutions hybrid cloud can stream line business processes and add value to your bottom-line.

Choosing the Right Data Backup and Recovery Services for Your Business

According to Gartner, not more than 35% of small and medium-sized businesses are confident with their backup and disaster recovery systems. Storage Servers are after all physical devices that, at the most, maybe fortified behind strong walls but cannot be made completely immune to calamities. What this means is a great chunk of companies are unsure whether they will be able to save their data in case of a natural or man-made disaster. Then there is also the ever-lurking threat of ransomware which has prompted new compliance demands around data protection.

Companies differ greatly in the level of help they’re looking for – some may require a quick review of their backup environment, some may want help in redesigning the entire backup and recovery strategy while some may be looking for augmented data center security. Whatever your level of need, we at HPE strongly believe that if you’re going to invest in an analysis of your backup processes and systems, you should do it in a way that’s tightly integrated with your core support services.

HPE Datacenter Care with Backup Analysis Services

There are 3 advisory services provides by HPE Datacenter solution with Backup Analysis to help you optimize your data backup and recovery processes. The data center services cover all industry-leading backup software solutions, to improve uptime and prevent data loss. These services are as mentioned below:

1. Backup Efficiency Analysis: You know how COVID-19 has made it incumbent at every entry, a general health checkup routine where your temperature is measured with a gun and your level of oxygen with an oximeter, and only then are you allowed in. Think of this service as something similar to a quick check-up. This type of analysis is recommended when your environment is basically in good shape, but you just want to double-check that you’re meeting your SLAs, your backup software is up to date, and you can rely on the general health and performance of your backup systems. This analysis does help you ensure that you’re meeting data protection and compliance requirements, and it identifies and highlights potential risks and gaps for further review.

2. Backup Impact Analysis: This is where you know something’s wrong, but you need guidance to understand what exactly it is. It could be something like – your backup is taking 5 hours now where it was supposed to take only 3 or it could be that you had some data loss due to an outage and your recovery points were nowhere near your SLA. The Backup Impact Analysis service helps you understand the root cause of known issues and stabilize your backup environment by highlighting areas for improvement, streamlining processes and procedures, and optimizing systems.

3. Business Impact Analysis:
The Business Impact Analysis helps you answer high-level questions like:
• How necessary are certain applications to your business?
• How many hours/days should it take to back all your data?
• Where are the backup resources for my workloads? And so on.
This service enables you to evaluate and prioritize your critical business and IT processes and determine your ability to meet business recovery objectives. It helps you define the correct recovery priorities and establish key operational metrics such as backup SLAs while reducing risk and improving recoverability.

Because of the heavy losses companies incur during downtime especially today when much of the business world has shifted online, it is no surprise they are anxiously on the lookout for a reliable data backup and disaster recovery solution for their business. You may have had excellent backup and recovery readiness in the recent past or still have one, but in a world of DevOps, hybrid cloud, and continuous delivery, things can change rather quickly. If you are looking for a trusted & reliable IT infrastructure solutions partner for your company, look no more beyond Unique solutions. Unique Solutions is an authorized HPE Partner offering a wide range of HPE solutions for various workloads.

What Is Containerization and Why It Matters?

Containers have been in existence for the past 3 decades and their popularity has only been exponentially rising. This has become more apparent since the emergence of Docker in 2013 along with associated tools like Kubernetes. Containers are now a senior-level enterprise consideration for any business willing to augment their portability, consistency, flexibility, scalability, and faster time to market. As such, the prospect of using a container-based IT approach can prove highly beneficial for businesses. This article is brought to you by Unique solutions - a leading provider of ‘container as a servicesolutions in Kubernetes, Docker, and other leading container platforms.

What is a container?

A container is a standard unit of software that contains the code and all its supporting files so the application runs quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another. A Docker container image is a lightweight, standalone, executable package of software that includes everything needed to run an application: code, runtime, system tools, system libraries, and settings. Generally, Images become containers at runtime while in the case of dockers, images become containers when they run on the docker engine. 

The advantage of containerized software is that it will run the same way it runs on a native system, regardless of the hosting environment & operating system - be it Linux or Windows. This is possible because containers isolate the software from its environment and ensure that it works uniformly despite differences between development and staging or any other. 

Why are containers important?

Containerization has been deemed to be one of the most strategic developments in the evolution of cloud computing. With capabilities such as continuous integration and delivery, many organizations, large and small, are looking at containers as a means to improve application lifecycle management. Additionally, the implementation of certain containers conforming to the principles of open-source is appealing to organizations skeptical of being locked-in to a specific vendor. 

Containers also form the foundation of a private cloud and as was the initial case with cloud computing, are becoming a game-changer for many organizations. Private cloud becomes the platform of choice to deliver the security and control required while simultaneously enabling the consumption of multiple cloud services. This is particularly relevant where organizations are running both existing application workloads and new application workloads in the cloud. In a nutshell, Containers help an enterprise

  • • Modernize their existing applications
  • • Build new cloud-native applications
  • • Open a data center to work with cloud services

Unique Solutions - Container as a service

Unique Solutions provides containerization solutions in Kubernetes, Docker, and other leading container platforms on all popular Linux environments with services such as:

  • • Creation of container adoption roadmap according to Gartner methodology viz. objectives, change management, infrastructure automation proficiency, select best candidate applications for containerization, security policy
  • • Evaluation of computing, storage, and networking platforms based on your container workload pattern
  • • Delivery and installation of the container solution
  • • Set up and configuration
  • • Ongoing support and maintenance

Unique Solutions offers consultancy to businesses looking to take the plunge into containerization, drawing upon a wealth of client experience. We have over two decades of experience in providing high-quality, yet cost-effective, IT infrastructure solutions spanning datacenter, cloud, server, storage, networking, and security. Our solutions also span Campus Networking, Datacenter Networking, and Small Business Networking. You may reach out to us through our website if you have any more queries related to containerization and we shall be happy to help!

5 Ways SAP HANA Works Best with HPE

With the introduction of its original SAP R/2 and SAP R/3 software, SAP established the global standard for enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Now, SAP HANA takes ERP to the next level by using the power of in-memory computing to process vast amounts of data and to support advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. But with several certified hardware vendors and cloud solutions providers, choosing the right SAP HANA partner may become overwhelming. With dedicated people, a complete portfolio of SAP–optimized services and solutions, committed co-innovation, and a proven business model, HPE and SAP deliver what you need for a successful IT transformation journey.  

5 advantages of choosing HPE for SAP HANA services

Leveraging an extensive portfolio of assets, Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) combines the right-fit infrastructure, software, and services to create an integrated Digital Core that Simplifies and consolidates your IT landscapes and applications, reinvents competitive business models to drive new revenue and profits, and Provides real-time insights into all your business processes to reveal new opportunities. Whether you are upgrading your on-premise SAP or opting for cloud migration service or just refreshing your SAP infrastructure with the decision on version to be decided later, here are 5 key reasons why HPE is your best partner for SAP HANA.

  1. Higher levels of RAS: Our x86 solution is greatly enhanced by the unique RAS features of HPE Superdome flex, making it the best-in-class, unlike those found in other x86 servers. Servers designed with higher levels of RAS have features that protect data integrity and help them stay available for long periods of time without failure. HPE Superdome Flex Server is a compute breakthrough that can power critical applications, accelerate data analytics, and tackle high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) workloads holistically. It delivers an unmatched combination of flexibility, performance, and reliability for critical environments of any size. HPE Superdome Flex safeguards these vital workloads with superior RAS and end-to-end security.
  2. Scalability: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Superdome Flex Scale-up with D3710 Storage Base Configurations for SAP HANA is built with the industry-leading high-density and highly scalable HPE Server featuring the Intel Xeon Scalable Processor (Skylake Platinum) architecture. This allows SAP customers to harness the power of in-memory computing with SAP HANA applications for real-time business results, delivered on a mission-critical, optimized, and high-performance infrastructure. Today, HPE is the only hardware vendor with a certified 16-socket solution for SAP HANA using the Skylake architecture. 

  3. The Intel – SAP HANA chemistry: Intel processors and the SAP HANA platform have evolved together in the sense that Intel provided the original reference architecture for the SAP HANA platform. That synergy is still strong today, making it the most widely deployed processor for SAP HANA by a great margin

  4. Covers Maximum SAP HANA Services with Impeccable After Sales Support: HPE has an impeccable track record of implementing and supporting SAP HANA solutions. Hundreds of HPE SAP HANA experts are available to help customers design, modernize, and implement system solutions tailored to their needs. With advanced expertise and end-to-end ownership, HPE support services offer an enhanced call experience which improves availability and helps optimize your SAP HANA infrastructure

  5. Maximum SAP HANA offerings: HPE provides the most exhaustive portfolio of HANA solutions that range from certified appliances to custom TDI solutions, using a large variety of certified or supported compute and storage solutions for the most demanding HANA needs. In terms of storage, our list of HANA certified choices are plenty as well, from entry-level MSA solutions, unique Nimble All-flash and Hybrid offering, all the way to our very scalable 3PAR and XP product lines.

If you are looking for upgrading your on-premise SAP or migrating to the cloud or just refreshing your SAP infrastructure with the decision on a version to be decided later, Unique Solutions can roadmap your infrastructure journey to achieve the most impactful results across compute, storage, networking, and security. ‘Unique solutions’ is an authorized HPE partner. We combine best-in-class expertise and strong customer orientation to provide all-round SAP BASIS support that helps you get more from your SAP landscape. Contact Unique Solutions, today.