[Extract] Empowering digital transformation
The following is an extract from an article written by Kubus and published by Business Reporter.
Evolution. Adapting to survive. Basic principles of the natural world; fundamental necessities in the business world. With the digitisation of many everyday activities, businesses must evolve to meet ever-changing customer demands.
Over the past few years, largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, these ever-changing customer demands have seen a major shift, setting a precedent for the new normal. With the numerous lockdowns and social distancing restrictions of 2020 and 2021, many businesses had to find new ways of operating, all while attempting to maintain similar levels of turnover.
For many businesses, this new way of operating has involved some form of digital transformation – the process of digitising necessary areas of operations to adapt and overcome modern-day hurdles.
You can read the full article here: Business Reporter – Empowering digital transformation
Adapting to the Work From Home Climate
With the ever-evolving technological landscape, and the unexpected and unforeseen pandemic that was Covid-19 (and all the stay-at-home rules that ensued), remote and hybrid remote employment has seen a significant rise; and it looks like for many it is here to stay – with a recent poll showing that 84% of workers plan to carry on working from home in the future (according to the Office for National Statistics).
The mass movement to work from home employment has challenged many businesses’ infrastructures and means of operation, with a great deal of them still striving to find methods to make the process more connected and effective. Designing and building efficient systems to accommodate working from home can be an arduous and intimidating task for many businesses; no aspects can be overlooked, from how employees will communicate, to how they will share files – and, imperatively, how all this confidential information will be protected from outside threats.
How the Cloud is helping to drive the shift
Cloud computing has been invaluable for adapting to remote and hybrid-remote working. It enables employees to access vital information and collaborate on tasks, regardless of location. Along with this, many cloud systems allow organisations to allocate role specific permissions, making files accessible on a need-to-know basis. This is crucial to helping a business control who can obtain what information, and when – helping to keeping confidential and business critical information in check.
Of course, Cloud-managed networks must be scalable for the ever-evolving business sphere. Cisco Meraki offers a perfect solution, enabling organisations to operate and maintain their distributed network infrastructure from a single interface – the Meraki dashboard. Such a solution has enabled businesses to prepare for whatever might happen next – with automation to help stay one step ahead.
Whether a company is a micro-SME or a global organisation, Dell offers highly scalable options for server, storage and hyperconverged infrastructure, enabling businesses to find smarter ways of operating using cloud technology. Payment models such as Flex-on-Demand and Pay-as-you-Grow enable more efficient spending for cloud solutions, ensuring that no excess is spent on unused server or storage space.
Juniper Network’s solution offers the combination of artificial intelligence and machine learning, automating tasks and ensuring that any network issues are met with a swift resolution. This service also offers high levels of transparency for the operator, showing details such as devices/users connected, traffic patterns and application behaviour; enabling an organisation to make the most of their network infrastructure, whilst also saving them time and money.
It’s important to remember, though, that your business is only as secure as the weakest point in your network; and, with cloud technology, there can be plenty areas of potential weakness – especially when utilising a multi-cloud environment.
Whether you are utilising public or private cloud, you need total peace of mind that any business-critical information is protected by a modern-day cloud security solution. And, just like how the cyber threat landscape is ever evolving, your security should be highly reactive and adaptive.
Fortinet offer both public and private cloud protection focused on centralising management and visibility, delivering consistent policies, and automating security. Offering a broad portfolio of solutions, including Web App & API Protection, SaaS Security, Hybrid Security, and Cloud-native Protection, Fortinet Cloud Security can help an organisation simplify their cloud journey.
SentinelOne’s solution, SentinelOne Singularity Cloud, utilises AI to adapt to ever-changing cyber threats. Providing Cloud VM Security, Runtime Container Security, and the ONE Multi-Cloud Console (giving you the ability to manage security for all cloud infrastructures, IoT devices and user endpoints from one console), Singularity Cloud offers a broad and versatile solution to keep all aspects of cloud operations safe.
Last, but certainly not least, is Palo Alto’s cloud security solution Prisma Cloud. Acting as a single unified solution, Prisma Cloud offers top-level visibility and protection, securing applications, infrastructure, data, and entitlements across a wide range of leading clouds. A versatile solution intended for use with both hybrid and multi-cloud environments, the Prisma suite secures an organisations public cloud operations under lock and key.
Global Cloud Security Platform Provider
One of our longest standing relationships is with a global cloud security platform provider that consume huge amounts of compute & store hardware on a regular basis.
This presents challenges in the form of bottlenecks, fulfilling new contracts and seeing depleting business due to impatient customers that are not prepared to wait for services to be brought online. After discussions with the company regarding the specifications required for each of their product offerings, we suggested a rationalized set of “Standard Builds”. This reduced the 144 different builds they were buying direct from the Vendor, to 6 Options based on the same 1U Server Platform.
We would then stock this standard chassis for them to utilise as required. Ultimately, lead times were reduced to days rather than weeks, and costs dramatically decreased due to the purchase of fewer different products.
Online Gaming Platform Provider
An online gaming customer had recently rolled out a quantity of 2U Servers from a “white box” Server vendor, that would readily accept generic fast Intel/Samsung SSDs. They’d reasoned that running several 2U devices filled with cheap SSDs would be cheaper than a dedicated Storage device from a Tier 1 vendor.
However, when faced with their quote, we reviewed it and were able to offer a more efficient solution. The solution we proposed was based around HPE 3PAR. This gives a significantly faster service at a similar price point and is the solution they subsequently went on to purchase.
European Independent Intergovernmental Weather Organisation
A European Weather Organisation approached Kubus as they were unable to provide enough electrical power to an additional Cray Supercomputer they planned to purchase, due to their regional network.
We therefore designed and deployed an Nvidia GPU solution based on 2U servers. This NVIDIA GPU cluster is now providing the throughput they need within their available power.
Online Cycling Retailer
An online Cycling retailer were looking to purchase additional VMWare Licences in order to expand their cluster onto the server estate of a recently acquired competitor.
They initially had licence costs of over £60k to cover the expansion program as the servers they ran were a mixture of Gen 8 and Gen 9 HPE server. By utilising their existing licences, we consolidated the older devices, replacing the entire estate with new Gen 10 devices. Not only did this dramatically reduce the cost of the VMWare licensing, but the new servers also included 5-Years of support, negating the need to invest in additional support for their existing estate.
This then allowed them the available funds to replace their storage estate, which was already unsupported, a cost previously beyond budget.
Online/On-Premise Gaming Platform
We were approached by a US based gaming company with a challenge concerning business retention. Latency from their consumer facing web servers to back-end SQL servers was impacting the number of transactions they could process, ultimately negatively affecting revenue.
They came to us looking for low latency switching as a way of boosting performance. Therefore, the solution we designed utilized a unified SAN and Blade chassis. As a result, all compute traffic was kept internally and the latency between front and back-end appliances was removed. We were also able to reduce their existing 4-rack deployment down to a single rack, reducing datacentre costs by $300k dollars per year.
This system went on to win the ‘gaming platform of the year’ award.