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SAN Snapshots and Backups Explained

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In traditional backups infrastructures, backups are performed via an agent that streams data to a backup server. This provides a secondary copy in another location in case something catastrophic was to occur. Typically this second copy will then be sent offsite (usually on a tape), which will also protect against site failures. Having data reside in a secondary location protects you from a device, location, or block level failure. This is a fairly standard model of configuring backup infrastructures and acts as an insurance policy for your organization.

Server Hardware Buying Guide: 7 tips for buying servers

blade server

Virtualization has changed the way server hardware is purchased and used. Organizations are no longer held hostage to their hardware. Hardware purchasing, as a result of this change in the industry, has become more flexible which allows for better systems at lower prices.

I’m sure many of you have experienced the feeling of helplessness of seeing a ISV’s (Independent software vendor) “appliance” sitting in a datacenter that has not been touched, patched, or maintained in years and has a big orange LED flashing in your face.  The main goal of this article is to layout some basic design choices when selecting hardware and finding the right sweet spot for your organization

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A Four Letter Word-FCOE! A Basic FCoE Configuration


If you’re provisioning a new datacenter, you might be wondering if you should run FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet).

FCOE is a complex protocol with a lot of moving parts. It can be daunting to set up and understand the first time you do it, but it has many advantages.  You'll be able to do more with less hardware at less cost. 

I recently took the lead in provisioning 48 blade servers with 16 FCoE Capable Force 10 MXL switches for a customer of VirtuIT Systems. I want to share some of the pain in getting this solution to work and to provide a basic FCoE configuration example.

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Data Storage Performance Metrics You Don't Know, but Should

data performance atametrics

Monitoring is a crucial element of every company’s IT infrastructure. Without monitoring, we would not when issues arise in our storage systems. Monitoring is also the key for capacity planning and future growth. Without knowing how your disk is reacting to more data, you’re simply just guessing.

Most monitoring configurations come with a template that covers the basic elements of a server: uptime, disk capacity, disk utilization and CPU busyness. Disk performance is not actively monitored, but it should be. I argue that this metric may be the most important part of any server.


IT Certifications. Are they worth it?

IT Certification

The value of an IT certification is debatable. For some people, it’s the hallmark of their career.  For employers, it’s a way to gauge employees knowledge and skills sets.  For critics, some certifications don’t add much value because the exams can be cheated. Let me explain.

A common certification is the VCP from VMware. Once you pass the VCP exam, it shows that you are now able to administer a VMware environment. This is an easy way for an employer to quickly judge your skill sets and understanding of a technology.

On the other hand, critics of certifications say that exams can be cheated by using “braindumps”. Braindumps are material that have been memorized from an IT certification and used to provide an almost exact replica of the exam. This devalues the certification especially if it is a popular exam and has a very accurate braindump available.  So how does one gauge the value of a certification?

VirtuIT Systems Named Among Fastest Growing IT Solution Providers

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VirtuIT Systems was named to the 2013 CRN Fast Growth 150 list. The list recognizes the fastest growing IT Solution providers in the USA. There are over 500,000 VARs in the United Sates and CRN is the standard for everything VAR related.  VirtuIT Systems is proud to be included among the 150 fastest growing VARs. This recognition affirms VirtuIT Systems’ forward-thinking and innovative approach to technology.


Huh?!?! What are IOPS? What do IOPS measure?

what are iops?

If you research storage arrays, you’ll discover that IOPS are the key metric by which all storage vendors measure themselves against. “Our array can do 1 Gazillion IOPS, SUSTAINED!” This is a misleading marketing tactic. IOPS is a metric that needs context. So, exactly what are IOPS and what do they measure? My goal is to provide you with answers to these common and confusing questions.


How to Buy SAN Storage: The SAN Storage Buying Guide

san storage buying guide questions

I spent 8+ years on the customer side as a systems administrator and throughout that time I can freely admit that I had NO idea how to buy storage from the various vendors out there. I always wished I had a SAN storage budying guide! The one thing I knew for certain was the “2 kings”: Netapp for file storage and EMC for block storage. I had no clue about any of the other storage vendors. There was so much uncertainty about other  offers, that I only kept my options open to EMC and Netapp. My view has changed since I started working for a VAR. I’m now able to fully understand what the other manufacturers, besides the “2 kings” are offering.

VirtuIT Systems Receives Award for Providing Innovative IT Solutions

it solutions award

At VirtuIT Systems, our goal is simple: to architect and maintain powerful IT solutions for our clients, using the latest technologies.

Last week we were recognized by the UBM channel as a member of CRN’s third-annual Next-Gen 250 list. The list recognizes IT solutions providers that are on the cutting edge of technology with a smart and different approach to solution selling and integration. In today’s marketplace, it’s a requirement that IT solution providers evolve to meet customer demands. As proof, all of the companies on the list have only been in business since 1998. 

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