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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.

Everything You Need to Know About the CISSP Exam Changes

Article | March 20, 2019

The CISSP (Certified Information System Security Practitioner) certification exam update in 2018 included a modest revision of the topics and a significant change to the testing process. Preparing for the CISSP exam has become more challenging. Here's everything you need to know about the changes.

CISSP Certification is an Indicator of Cybersecurity Expertise

Article | March 14, 2019

(ISC)2’s CISSP (Certified Information System Security Practitioner) is a widely desired indicator of cybersecurity knowledge, experience and excellence on the resume of many IT professionals. Learn how to prep for the most comprehensive and in-demand cybersecurity certification.

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.

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).

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.

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!

Insider Tips on Microsoft SQL Server 2016

Webinar – Recorded | Aug. 20, 2015

In this hour-long webinar, Global Knowledge course director Brian Egler will examine key new features of Microsoft SQL Server 2016 that demonstrate how it provides automatic end-to-end security, seamless generation of business analytics and elastic integration of data in the cloud.

A Guide to Simplifying InfoSphere DataStage Change Management

White Paper | Aug. 19, 2015

Managing the change of DataStage components can often become a test of wills. Picture fitting a square peg in a round hole, and you might start to get the idea. The complexity of what is required to promote components from one environment to another during the development, testing, and eventual implementation in the production environments, should be and is often a controlled activity.

Are You Ready for Microsoft SQL Server 2016?

White Paper | Aug. 19, 2015

With Microsoft SQL Server 2016, you can distribute your data to the cloud using the Stretch Database feature to improve local access while allowing cloud access to large amounts of historical data. You can also provide transparent end-to-end security using Always Encrypted technology and track changes automatically through temporal data. Download this white paper to learn why these features and more make SQL Server 2016 Microsoft's most important release to date.

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.

Introducing Amazon RDS for Aurora

White Paper | Feb. 27, 2015

Discover how the enhanced performance and reliability of Amazon Aurora will help AWS customers reduce performance bottlenecks in their applications. The relatively low cost of Aurora will tempt many customers to migrate workloads to this implementation of RDS.

An Introduction to Amazon Redshift

White Paper | Dec. 16, 2014

Amazon Redshift opens up enterprise data warehouse (EDW) capabilities to even the smallest of businesses, yet its costs, security, and flexibility also make it appealing to the largest of enterprises. It allows companies to easily and conveniently scale their EDW needs both up and down, and as a managed service, it allows your team to offload all of the "undifferentiated heavy lifting" of building and maintaining an EDW. Its raw storage costs are about one-fifth to one-tenth of traditional in-house EDW, and AWS has taken great care to ensure its performance is still competitive with those in-house solutions. Before deciding to use Amazon Redshift, however, it's important to understand what it is and is not.

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.

ReportBuilder 3.0

Video | July 24, 2014

In this video, you will learn about the latest version of ReportBuilder available in SQL Server 2008 R2.

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.

How to Use Policy Based Management in SQL Server 2008

Video | June 12, 2014

In this video, you'll learn how to utilize a great new feature of SQL Server 2008 called Policy Based Management for Multi-Server Management capabilities.

How To Use PowerPivot in SQL Server 2008 R2 and Office 2010

Video | June 12, 2014

In this video, you will learn how to a use a new feature of SQL Server 2008 R2 and Office 2010 called PowerPivot for Self-Service Business Intelligence.

Unlock the Power of Microsoft SQL Server 2014

Webinar – Recorded | April 24, 2014

Join Microsoft SQL Server expert Brian Egler for an hour-long webinar covering the key features and updates in the upcoming release of Microsoft SQL Server 2014! You will get a thorough review, along with demonstrations, of how SQL Server 2014 provides substantial improvements in performance, manageability, and availability that will make your job easier.

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.

Secure Your SQL Server Today!

Webinar – Recorded | Feb. 05, 2014

Your Microsoft SQL Server database often contains the most valuable information in your organization. Get tips for securing it properly and effectively in this free, information-packed webinar with Microsoft SQL Server expert Gidget Pryor. In just an hour, Gidget will demonstrate the layered security approach used by SQL Server. She will step you through the process and best practices of setting up logins, users, roles, schemas, and permissions, and she will review the security model changes that have taken place from SQL Server 2005 through SQL Server 2012. She will also review SQL Server 2012 training and certifications.

Introduction to Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS)

White Paper | Jan. 16, 2014

Database Management Systems (DBMS) have been monolithic structures with their own dedicated hardware, storage arrays, and consoles. Amazon Web Services (AWS) realized that while each company can use unique methods of collecting and using data, the actual processes of building the management infrastructure are almost always the same. AWS remedies DBMS problems with its Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS).

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.

How To Use Transparent Data Encryption in SQL Server 2008

Video | July 18, 2013

In this video, you will learn how to a use a new feature of SQL Server 2008 called Transparent Data Encryption for enhanced security.

High Availability Options in SQL Server 2008

Video | July 11, 2013

In this video, you will learn about the High Availability options in SQL Server 2008: Server Clustering, Database Mirroring, Log Shipping and Peer-to-Peer Replication.

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.”

Top Ten Things Every DBA Should Know About SQL Server

White Paper | March 04, 2010

Microsoft SQL Server has evolved over the years as a scalable, robust database management system and is now competing in the VLDB (Very Large Database) space with Oracle and IBM. The market share for the product continues to grow, based on total cost of ownership and ease of use. This white paper outlines some of the important fundamentals of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 that every DBA should know.