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The 10 Most Important IT Skills for 2019

Article | Aug. 30, 2019

With skills gaps plaguing the industry, these 10 skills are must-haves for all IT departments. It’s no coincidence that these skills make up a large percentage of the IT skills gap across the industry. Decision-makers are struggling to fill these job roles. The positions also pay well because of a lack of qualified professionals. If you’re looking to make an IT skills investment or start a new career path this year, these are the areas to consider.

How to Optimize and Improve Your AWS Architecture

Webinar – Recorded | Nov. 15, 2018

In this one-hour webinar, AWS consultant and instructor Ryan Dymek, will discuss how to optimize your AWS architecture design.

12 Challenges Facing IT Professionals

Article | Nov. 04, 2018

Here are 12 main IT challenges for information technology management and staff. Since each organization is unique in how it functions and where it places its priorities, these are offered in no particular order. The top IT issues include new technology, cloud, big data, virtualization, BYOD and BYOA, shadow IT, boomers, energy efficiency, user systems, interoperability, creating value and social networks. After a brief comment on each IT challenge, you’ll find one or more suggestions for dealing with that situation.

A Complete Guide: How to Become a Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect

White Paper | Aug. 30, 2018

This Certification Prep Guide provides an overview of the current Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect certification and offers helpful tips that you can use when preparing for your GCP certification exam.

A Complete Guide: How to Become an AWS Certified Architect

White Paper | Aug. 21, 2018

This Certification Prep Guide provides an overview of the current AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification and offers helpful tips that you can use when preparing for your AWS Architect certification exam.

How to Build a Pluggable IoT Pipeline in AWS

White Paper | July 23, 2018

As far as modern architectures go, there are few more complicated than an IoT pipeline. You’ve got to consider an ingestion layer (typically streaming) that may undergo manic load. You’ve got to think of data tagging, storage (probably across multiple engines), archival and access—both internal and external. And all of it has to scale like crazy, be as cost effective as possible, and use automation wherever it can. Oh, and your boss needs the IoT pipeline built by tomorrow. Short timelines? Tight budget? Unrealistic expectations? Unfortunately, these asks are realities for many cloud professionals. AWS knows this and is here to help.  

The Future is Now with AWS Certifications

Article | June 15, 2018

Yes, there’s big money in AWS Certification, which tends to outpace other cloud certification salaries, but there’s more to the cloud than dollars and cents.

How to Build a VMware vSphere 6.x Home Lab

White Paper | Dec. 12, 2017

Take your VMware vSphere training to the next level—set up your own training lab environment. This paper is broken down into three major sections: the hardware required, the VMware Workstation configuration, and installing vSphere and vCenter (vC).

Understanding Google Cloud Platform: Architecture

White Paper | Nov. 20, 2017

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is Google’s public cloud offering comparable to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. The difference is that GCP is built upon Google's massive, cutting-edge infrastructure that handles the traffic and workload of all Google users. There is a wide range of services available in GCP ranging from Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) to completely managed Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). We will discuss the available infrastructure components and how they provide a powerful and flexible foundation on which to build your applications.

Virtualization for Newbies

Article | Oct. 16, 2017

Virtualization is an umbrella term that continues to evolve to include many different types that are used in many different ways in production environments. Originally virtualization was done by writing software and firmware code for physical equipment so that the physical equipment could run multiple jobs at once. With the success of VMware and its virtualization of x86 hardware, the term virtualization has grown to include not just virtualizing servers, but whole new areas of IT. This article is going to look at the origins of virtualization and how some of the historical development has spurred on today's virtualization. In addition, we will discuss different types of virtualization that are being utilized in the marketplace today and a listing of some of the leading vendors.

Understanding Google Cloud Platform Infrastructure Services

Article | Sep. 26, 2017

There is a wide-range of services available in GCP ranging from Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) to completely managed Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). In the first part of this series, we will discuss the available infrastructure components and how they provide a powerful and flexible foundation on which to build your applications.

The Story Behind Cloudera and Big Data

Article | July 15, 2017

We spoke with Doug Cutting about his role with Cloudera and learned more about Big Data, training options for IT professionals interested in Big Data, and how Cloudera compares to Red Hat.

Virtualization Terms You Should Know

Article | June 23, 2017

This article defines many of the most commonly used terms in the virtualization vocabulary.

Top 7 Key Features of VMware Horizon 7

Article | June 27, 2016

VMware announced Horizon 7 in February and subsequently released the software updates. Horizon 7 provides a more streamlined, high-performance virtual desktop and application experience. New updates include features such as Instant Clones, Smart Policies, Blast Extreme and greater scalability with Cloud Pod Architecture. Let’s dig into the seven key features that Horizon 7 brings!

Business Process Modeling: From Macro to Micro

Webinar – Recorded | Nov. 12, 2015

Business processes are complicated, and mapping them is not a trivial task. Modelling standards give us the tools to model complex processes, but they do not tell us the best way to approach a model or effectively use the tool. In this hour-long webinar, Global Knowledge instructor Rod Fage will guide you through the best way to develop a model, from determining the goal and scope of the process and measuring its effectiveness, to modelling the process in a hierarchical top-down approach, enabling business analyst to continuously validate the model.

Managing Hyper-V with PowerShell for the GUI-Bound Administrator

White Paper | June 05, 2015

In this paper, we explore the basic usage of PowerShell in the pursuit of automating the management of Hyper-V deployments. This paper is targeted to IT professionals who have been "GUI-bound" to their management interfaces and have been working with or are embarking on the journey of Hyper-V administration. We'll explore the usage of Hyper-V specific cmdlets with the intent of ultimately being able to include multiple cmdlets in a "script" to allow for pushing one button and accomplishing the combined actions of many multiple mouse clicks in the GUI. No more repetitive tasks!

Tech Skills Heading the Way of the Dinosaur: 2015 Edition

Special Report | June 01, 2015

When we learn a concept for the first time, the newness of it tends to become embedded with the learning process. We remember the new idea's significance and forever after remember it as new. The initial impact of a discovery can prevent the concept from aging. At the same time, we realize how quickly technology advances. Is it time to evolve your expertise?

2015 IT Skills and Salary Report

Special Report | May 06, 2015

The results are in and analysis is complete from our eighth annual IT Skills and Salary Survey. This was our third in partnership with Windows IT Pro and one of the industry's largest with more than 11,000 North American respondents. Download your copy to learn how your salary compares to your peers, whether you have the skills IT decision-makers are looking for and much more  

Hyper-V Replicas in Windows Server 2012

White Paper | Feb. 27, 2015

One of the most significant new features in Microsoft Windows Server 2012 is the Hyper-V Replica (HVR) capability. Whether you are considering this for your own organization or just prepping for your Windows Server 2012 MCSA, this white paper presents the essentials of deploying this disaster recovery feature.

Managing Storage with the Linux Logical Volume Manager (LVM)

Video | July 31, 2014

The Logical Volume Manager (LVM) is a powerful tool for managing storage on Linux servers. This video provides an overview of how LVM works and explores several ways that LVM makes storage management easier and more flexible. Examples include how to expand storage capacity on the fly using LVM and resize2fs, and how to migrate data from local storage to a storage area network (SAN) without downtime using pvmove.

Virtualization and Cloud Computing: Does One Require the Other?

White Paper | July 07, 2014

Many people believe that cloud computing requires server (or desktop) virtualization. But does it? We will look at using virtualization without cloud computing, cloud computing without virtualization, and then look at using both together. In each case, we'll look at where each deployment might be most useful, some use cases for it and some limitations.

VSAN: Reimagining Storage in vSphere

White Paper | March 26, 2014

In 2013, VMware announced VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN), which is VMware's native version of Software Defined Storage (SDS). It is simple, easy to setup and managed by user-defined policies. This paper explains VSAN, its basic requirements and how it works.

Where to Go Once Your Servers Are Virtualized

White Paper | March 20, 2014

The technologies examined reduce operational expenses (OpEx), not capital expenses (CapEx) that has traditionally been the focus of virtualization. Many companies implemented virtualization with the goal of saving money in the form of fewer servers to buy with a side benefit of reducing the footprint of the servers and lowering the required power and cooling. Most of the savings were in capital, but do not expect the same with many of the technologies listed here, because some may even require some additional capital expenditures, at least for software, in order to save on the day-to-day operations of IT. The bigger cost in running an IT department is in the OpEx category anyway, so savings there are recurring.

15 Most Popular IT and Business Certifications for 2014

Special Report | Jan. 01, 2014

In this report, I've reviewed the 15 most popular certifications according to our more than 12,000 North American respondents to our annual IT Skills and Salary Survey. For each certification, you'll find a brief description, the average salary, and some insight into why it is popular.

Top Ten IT Skills for 2014

Special Report | Jan. 01, 2014

Organizations are moving strongly toward Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) access, bringing outsourced activities back in-house, and finding ways to make use of the growing amounts of data flowing in from many new sources such as social media. These factors create an increasing shift in required and desired skills showing up in IT departments. Hiring and salary surveys, such as the 2014 IT Skills and Salary Survey from Global Knowledge and Windows IP Pro, TEKsystems' 2014 Annual IT Forecast, Foote Research Group's 2014 IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index, Computerworld's annual Forecast survey, Robert Half Technology Survey, and information from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Futurestep, Mondo, GovLoop, and Dice have presented a developing picture of the IT skills that will be in demand in 2014. Here, in survey order, are the top 10 major skills and why they made the list.

What's New in vSphere 5.5

White Paper | Oct. 16, 2013

vSphere 5.5 is now available with myriad small improvements such as a faster Web Client, LACP, Autoscale and higher configuration maximums. In addition, there are changes coming such as VSAN, which may be ground-breaking in regard to VM storage of the future. Since the release of vSphere 5.5, they have not yet announced a change to the blueprint for the test. That being the case, I will say, for now, that the VCP-510 test should remain unchanged as well. My goal here is not to reeducate you on everything that you need to know for the test; instead, it is to point out the few changes that might apply in your company or organization.

Virtualization for Newbies: Five Types of Virtualization

Article | Oct. 03, 2013

Although some form of virtualization has been around since the mid-1960s, it has evolved over time, while remaining close to its roots. Much of the evolution in virtualization has occurred in just the last few years, with new types being developed and commercialized. For our purposes, the different types of virtualization are limited to Desktop Virtualization, Application Virtualization, Server Virtualization, Storage Virtualization, and Network Virtualization.

Shortcuts to Speed Your vCloud Deployment

White Paper | Sep. 17, 2013

VMware vCloud Director fashions the provisioning of the software-defined datacenter layer to allow for a full virtual datacenter deployment within a short period of time. A vCloud consists of many layers and can quickly become a complex architecture. Before any deployment, requirements should be defined so that the vCloud can be designed to offer those services needed. It is imperative to understand the many components of vCloud, how each vCloud construct fits, which allocation models are available, and what network options can be chosen.

Virtualization for Newbies

White Paper | Aug. 15, 2013

One of the most popular topics in Information Technology (IT) the last several years has been virtualization. This paper introduces virtualization, beginning with reasons why a company would want to virtualize in the first place. One of the main reasons that most businesses like virtualization is to save money. Of course helping the budget is a good idea, but there are additional reasons to virtualize and different levels of virtualization as well. After listing reasons for virtualizing, there is a section on the early origins of virtualization and how some of the ideas introduced in the beginning of virtualization are still prevalent today. Although server virtualization gets most of the attention, there are other types of virtualization available. The conclusion lists different types of virtualization in IT, including naming some of the major vendors in each area.

vTerminology: A Guide to Key Virtualization Terminology

White Paper | April 24, 2013

One of the most important steps in mastering a new technology is learning the associated terminology or vocabulary. In the IT field, this can be a very challenging step, as much of the terminology is often used inconsistently. This white paper defines the terminology associated with IT virtualization. It is mainly vendor-agnostic, but it does provide some vendor-specific terms, product names, and feature names used by VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft.

Performance and Troubleshooting with esxtop

White Paper | April 19, 2013

The utility that many senior VMware administrators rely on to address performance and troubleshooting issues is the built-in utility called ESXTOP. The tool has been built in to the hypervisor, and can be used in both ESXi and the old ESX host. The first tool many VMware Administrators rely upon is esxtop, to check real-time performance on an ESXi host using a command-line tool such as ssh to start the esxtop CLI utility. This paper will introduce and demonstrate how to start and use esxtop, specifically looking at the CPU fields. In addition, we will cover information that can be used to help with performance issues of the CPU. The esxtop utility is an excellent tool to use when you want to observe an individual ESXi host's performance.

VMware Resource Pools: Prioritizing VMs

Article | March 11, 2013

Resource Pools are often misunderstood, disliked, and untrusted by vSphere Administrators. However, resource pools can be very useful tools for administrators who want to configure resource management without having to individually configure each VM. This leads to the administrator’s desire to explore the proper usage of resource pools.

Simplifying VMware vCloud

White Paper | Feb. 25, 2013

This white paper has three main goals. The first is to generate a better understanding of the cloud in both the business and IT communities. The second is to describe the major components of vCloud and the virtual datacenters they provide. The third is help businesses visualize and understand how vClouds could be beneficial in addressing their specific IT needs.

VMware vSphere Essentials

White Paper | Jan. 23, 2013

This vSphere Essentials white paper will give you a basic understanding of some of the concerns or planning points to consider as you get ready to deploy vSphere in your organization. This is a glimpse into some of the essential things to consider for implementing vSphere. This will focus on some of the basics that vSphere administrators run into when installing the latest features and not realizing they still have some older versions implemented.

Upgrading to ESXi 5.1 - Best Practices

White Paper | Nov. 02, 2012

If you are upgrading to ESXi 5.1, there are some important facts that you should consider first. Upgrading involves many stages and processes that must be performed in a specific order. Many of these processes are one-way and do not provide a "back button." If you do not use care and consideration in your upgrade plan, you could possibly lose important data and configuration; and potentially even lose contact with your servers.

Which ITIL Processes Relate to a Data Center Operations Group?

Article | Sep. 19, 2012

I recently responded to a message on LinkedIn from a regular reader of this blog. He asked several questions which I will answer over the course of several posts. As part of his first question, he described a strategy report that his group is producing. The audience for this strategy report considers ITIL important to the future of their business, and so he must describe which ITIL processes his data center operations group works most closely with.

10 New Features for Citrix XenApp 6.5

Article | April 09, 2012

XenApp 6.5 brings a host of features and benefits that most companies will need as the technology continues to evolve and user requirements continue to expand.

VXLAN: What is It, and Why Do We Need It - the Conclusion

Article | March 26, 2012

In the previous post, we discussed the need for VXLAN in the cloud along with the issues it solves. In this post, we will focus more on how VXLAN works.

Virtualization: Myths vs. Facts

White Paper | March 05, 2012

Examine fifteen common myths surrounding virtualization, including many that prevent IT administrators (or their bosses) from getting the maximum value from virtualization. This paper is designed to be vendor-neutral; in other words, the basic concepts and advantages are the same whether you choose to use Citrix XenServer, VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, or one of the many Linux-based solutions. We'll break the reasons into three broad categories (Cost/ROI, Performance, and Other), allowing you to focus in on a specific area if desired, or you can review the entire white paper for a broader view.

What is the Cisco UCS Manager?

Article | Feb. 01, 2012

The Cisco UCS is truly a “unified” architecture that integrates three major datacenter technologies into a single, coherent system: Computing Network Storage Instead of being simply the next generation of blade servers, the Cisco UCS is an innova­tive architecture designed from scratch to be highly scalable, efficient, and powerful with one-third less infrastructure than traditional blade servers.

Benefits of a Cloud Based Architecture

Article | May 26, 2011

In the fourth of his five-part series, Eric Strause explores the hardware and application benefits inherent in a cloud-based architecture.

Are Production Server Reboots Standard Changes?

Article | April 27, 2011

I attended a meeting this week with a customer of mine and a potential new vendor. The new vendor was there to pitch his configuration and setup service offerings for a specific ITSM toolset. My customer has already had one bad experience with an ITSM tool configuration vendor who promised one thing and delivered much less. He ended up with a tool that’s minimally used and not configured to match his business needs. He’s looking for a vendor that can understand his business needs and priorities and quickly help him get his tool configured and working in a short time frame. Then the topic of standard changes came up. My customer asked for examples of standard changes. The vendor responded, “Server reboots are an example of standard changes.”