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Implementing Data Protection Best Practices in the Cloud with Bocada

There is no question that organizations can reap strong benefits by migrating their IT infrastructures to the cloud. Increased speed, minimized overhead costs, and access to best-in-breed technology partners are just some of these advantages.

Yet the evolution toward cloud, or multi-cloud, infrastructures does not minimize the classic data protection challenges faced by on-premises solutions. In fact, the complexity of some of the latest solutions, coupled with their limited reporting capabilities, can mean organizations are choosing operational improvement gains over preserving the integrity and security of critical data.

Classic data protection issues faced in cloud architectures

While there a variety of data protection challenges facing organizations moving to cloud architectures, three common issues frequently arise:

  • Complexity: The more software and third-party solutions, the more complexity you bring into your environment. This includes everything from new GUIs and scripts to cross-platform data incompatibility issues. It often requires incremental in-house expertise as well as increased labor hours allocated to data protection oversight.
  • Security and governance: With added complexity also comes lingering uncertainty that each tool is set up to comply with internal mandates or government regulations. There can be uncertainty that data is being backed up, not to mention whether it’s being backed up at the correct interval and across all your different backup and storage solutions.
  • Exponential growth: Additionally, with multiple resources storing data in the cloud, organizations are still left with the age-old problem of managing growing data volume. Without streamlined reporting protocols, staying on top of backup data health and protection policies is a major challenge.

How CBTS overcomes cloud security challenges with Bocada

To ensure that cloud environments thrive, CBTS makes use of Bocada to implement automation initiatives that streamline monitoring, proactively identify cloud data protection risks, and mitigate the chance of human error.

Centralized monitoring under a single pane

Bocada allows us to automate the process of collecting raw backup and storage data across all cloud solutions and report on it all under a single dashboard. This even includes collecting data from on-prem solutions for customers leveraging legacy systems or migrating to hybrid-cloud environments.

While the data consolidation process is notoriously difficult due to each systems’ unique complexity, this automated approach overcomes complexity, drastically improving the time taken to begin reviewing backup performance and removing the human error that would exist with an otherwise manual approach.

Proactive cloud asset identification

Enterprise operations often lead to Azure or AWS assets being spun up quickly, often with no knowledge from the internal backup team. With no backup protection in place, these critical assets can be at risk to cyber or malware attacks.

However, by automating cloud asset oversight with Bocada, CBTS identifies in near-real time when assets are left unprotected. This gives our team the chance to proactively set up backup procedures with few gaps in data protection protocols.

Built-in alerting for critical failures and anomalies

A variety of factors can result in data not being backed up as expected. With large, complex systems, these factors can go undetected resulting in potential cloud data protection holes. That’s why we leverage built-in alerts. By being notified of everything from critical data not reaching expected backup thresholds or storage usage trending in unusual ways, we can quickly identify and address issues before they prevent data recoverability.

Optimized ticketing

Just as we look for ways to streamline our day-to-day backup monitoring, we similarly look for ways to streamline all aspects of operations tied to data health and protection. This is a key reason we integrate our backup operations with our ticketing systems. When backup issues are identified, we don’t have to wait for a team member to manually input a ticket. Instead, we use Bocada’s cross-platform automation for faster ticket creation and faster resolution, minimizing any possible gaps in the client’s cloud data protection.

Contact us to learn more about how CBTS delivers complete cloud data protection while ensuring you meet your compliance guidelines.

Why CBTS leverages Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform for modernizing enterprises

Today’s enterprise is faced with a myriad of challenges of managing legacy systems and processes and yet data volumes are increasing exponentially, while demand for new services, reliability, and operational efficiency show no signs of easing up.

But what technology has created, it can also manage. Using the latest automation platforms, such as Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, organizations are finding that they can in fact push IT capabilities to new levels of performance while reducing costs and without expanding on the same old rigid infrastructure and processes that inhibit growth and put a damper on the introduction of new products and services.

Targeted automation

The key is to apply automation where it can do the most good, freeing up IT specialists to concentrate on driving value to the bottom line. In most cases, this means automating the mundane, repetitive tasks that technicians hate doing anyway, while allowing them to concentrate manpower on higher-level, strategic tasks.

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform concentrates its firepower on three critical aspects of the modern data environment: automation, cloud services, and collections. The platform’s automation component allows enterprises to create scalable environments as well as manage IT applications, particularly those that must engage with diverse architectures, in an efficiently optimized manner. The hosted services that comes with a Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform subscription, supports team-based collaborative processes by applying operational analytics to automated heterogeneous and hybrid environments. Ansible Content Collections extend native platform capabilities using certified and supported content, with an eye toward expanding and accelerating the adoption of automated areas of IT.

By working together, these three components strive to provide a scalable, streamlined data environment across public, private, and hybrid clouds while still preserving the necessary operational control and flexibility to deliver reliable, engaging user experiences.

On a functional level, Ansible Automation Platform utilizes a streamlined user interface, Red Hat Ansible Tower, featuring integrated notifications and enhanced permission capabilities. This component is a web-based UI that allows operators to schedule and centralize jobs while also enhancing visibility into the environment and enabling greater control and compliance management.

Ansible Tower operates as a GUI driven portal that provides a simplified view of automation jobs for entry-level managers, while the full dashboard provides quick summary views of their work environment and is designed to simplify operations for system administrators. Tower is also compatible with all major cloud environments, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Rackspace.

Complete control

Ansible Automation Platform provides role-based access control, security, auditing, and delegation, utilizing both the REST API and the traditional command line interface (CLI) to integrate with existing tools and processes. It oversees a wide range of functions, such as networking, line of business, security, operations, and development.

Being a Red Hat product, Ansible Automation Platform is based on multiple open source projects, providing broad flexibility for such tasks as configuration management, application deployment, services orchestration, and resource provisioning. This allows IT staff to create increasingly complex environments without getting bogged down in the minutiae of daily operations and systems troubleshooting. With the right policies and architectural guidelines in place, the data environment becomes largely self-managing and self-governing, which not only improves performance and lowers operational costs but allows the enterprise to devote more resources to strengthening revenue streams, tapping new market opportunities and otherwise shoring up its core business.

Application development, in fact, is a key function of Ansible Automation Platform because the creation of new applications and services is crucial in today’s data-driven economy. By automating many development processes, organizations will be able to maintain continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) methodologies that deliver advanced services without application downtime. Crucial to this mode of operation is the broad orchestration of rolling software updates across multiple architectural tiers within the application. Using Ansible Automation Platform, organizations can maintain a single version control system that tracks changes to playbooks, runs tests against a staging environment, and then applies new configurations to production – all at speeds that far exceed what is possible with traditional manual workflows.

In this age of digital disruption, long-standing industries are being upended by start-ups that provide equal or better service through a more effective use of data and digital technologies. With an automation platform like Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, the enterprise is better equipped to weather this turbulent period by becoming the disruptor, not the disrupted.

Contact us for information on how CBTS can integrate Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform into your environment.

The key to finding the right SD-WAN provider for your organization

As cloud-based applications catch on in terms of both popularity and availability, the users who rely on them are expecting easier and more reliable access from any remote work situation they operate in.

Simultaneously, software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) technology is solidifying its place as the leading solution for deploying and managing cloud-enabled network environments. Small, medium, and enterprise-level organizations alike are seeing the value in partnering with a qualified SD-WAN provider to enhance and simplify their cloud application and managed software processes.

Identifying and selecting the right partner for your managed SD-WAN needs is no simple matter, however. It’s crucial for organizations to have an intimate knowledge of their existing network architectures in order to find the best fit for their goals.

Not every provider has the expertise to smoothly transform a legacy Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network into a cloud-powered hybrid or SD-WAN architecture, regardless of the industry or vertical the client occupies. This requires a provider to work closely with the client’s IT teams to identify vulnerabilities, map out the existing network environment, and meticulously plot out a transition plan.

The right SD-WAN partner must also bring a critical eye and modern approach to your organization’s security situation. When designing and deploying an SD-WAN environment for your enterprise, solutions like Check Point CloudGuard should be layered throughout the architecture of the managed service. In short, your SD-WAN provider should fully and comprehensively assess your existing network to not only optimize bandwidth but to safeguard data and applications as well, counseling you on where to layer on additional security measures when needed.

Additionally, a managed SD-WAN solution provider should offer a suite of services that achieve the end goal of freeing up your IT personnel and resources to focus less on mundane daily tasks and more on critical strategic business initiatives. A properly implemented SD-WAN environment can achieve this, but only if the provider works alongside your team throughout the entire deployment process by monitoring, maintaining, and updating the environment as necessary to ensure a smooth transition.

It’s a common misconception that after migrating to a Software as a Service (SaaS) SD-WAN model, organizations lose direct control over their network. This isn’t the case for experienced and proven SD-WAN providers, which partner closely with clients to co-manage the new network environment. In this manner, a truly collaborative SD-WAN solution combines the strengths and expertise of both client and provider to achieve the client’s long-term goals.

Contrary to some popular perceptions, SD-WAN is not a magic button that solves every networking difficulty with the press of a button, even when users are extensively trained and experienced in the operation of SD-WAN networking solutions. That’s why a qualified and trusted partner is so important to effect an orderly migration from legacy MPLS networking to a cloud-enabled SD-WAN environment while giving your organization a greater degree of flexibility and control over your network.

That’s where CBTS comes in. Whether your strategic goal is to cut down on operating expenses or greatly increase application uptime, CBTS will synergize with your IT infrastructure to formulate a customized SD-WAN solution that is tailor-made for your specific circumstances and needs. CBTS can also easily factor in and balance additional features like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) as needed.

SD-WAN is defining both the present and future of enterprise networking and is creating exciting new opportunities, but it takes an expert guide to navigate these turbulent waters safely. Choose your partner carefully to get the most out of this cutting-edge technology.

Contact us for more information on finding the right SD-WAN provider for your organization.

How NaaS is putting the cloud within reach for every enterprise

Legacy networks, and the businesses that rely on them, are running out of juice. For the most part, these outdated network environments are simply not equipped to meet the high demand that exists today for reliable, full-spectrum communication capabilities. The spike in remote work situations during the COVID-19 pandemic has only intensified the demand for modern networking technology that enables seamless and user-friendly collaboration.

Network as a Service (NaaS) has emerged as a transformative solution to the flagging effectiveness of most legacy networks. NaaS works by leveraging the programming and connectivity power of the cloud to provide managed, cloud-based networking capabilities as a comprehensive service and a simple transport method.

Joe Putnik, chief innovation officer at CBTS, recently sat down with CIO Review to discuss new advances and developments in NaaS, which won CIO Review’s Product of the Year award.

When combined with other revolutionary solutions such as Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) and Hosted Unified Communications (UC) and implemented by a trusted vending partner, NaaS is capable of completely reinventing any enterprise’s networking architecture. Indeed, reinvention is crucial at a time when organizations are settling into a semi-permanent state of remote operation in the face of the COVID crisis.

However, networking solutions are only effective when enabled by the correct hardware. That’s where Cisco Meraki comes in. A collection of scalable and secure network platforms for the future-focused enterprise, Meraki offers intuitive cloud integration, auto-provisioning, VPN, and other valuable capabilities. As an experienced partner for enterprise-level organizations as well as small- and medium-sized businesses, CBTS pairs the Cisco Meraki platform with its array of managed SD-WAN, Hosted UC, and NaaS services to deliver unparalleled results for clients.

CBTS has implemented its NaaS for more than 600 clients and more than 5,000 locations since it began offering the solution in 2016 and has achieved this milestone by partnering with other leaders in the market, including Cisco and Dell/VMware. CBTS is able to deploy solutions from these partner firms over any transport, from Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) to 4G LTE. This flexibility makes CBTS an attractive provider for organizations of any size that are seeking a future-ready network architecture.

The CBTS NaaS solution arose from a need for a fully-managed, streamlined, and holistic approach to secure connectivity. Customers in multiple industries were seeking a method to address both their Wi-Fi and firewall concerns, which NaaS is purpose-built to solve. NaaS is also designed to be easily scaled for growth, a major benefit for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), especially those with a need to expand their networks to multiple locations or facilities.

From day one, the NaaS approach has been driven by the goal to simplify the lives and day-to-day processes of every client, regardless of the vertical they occupied or the size of their business. However, implementing a solution is only part of the equation. To ensure success for their clients, CBTS takes the initiative to establish a monitoring environment that allows for continuous system auditing, patching, and improvements to deliver the best experience possible for the client. CBTS accomplishes this by partnering with software company ServiceNow and creating automated monitoring processes that help clients proactively maintain their network environments and databases in the long term.

Commitment, flexibility, and collaboration are the keystones of the NaaS service that CBTS employs for all of its clients. By utilizing the latest technology available and anticipating the needs of its customers, CBTS stays ahead of the curve and consistently delivers intuitive, effective, and future-forward managed solutions for organizations of every size.

Contact us for more information on how CBTS can enable your network infrastructure to be smarter and simpler.

Disaster Recovery Solutions that Work

There is little question at this point that cloud-based Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) solutions offer tremendous benefits when it comes to backing up, maintaining, and then restoring critical operating environments following a sudden and unexpected outage.

But the fact remains that not all DRaaS platforms are the same. Depending on the needs of the organization and the dependencies of legacy infrastructure and business applications, some DRaaS options are better suited than others—and some could even end up impairing recovery time, or at the very least cost far more than is necessary.

To choose the right architecture of DRaaS for your organization, it helps to understand the fundamentals of the technology and how they affect such critical attributes as security, reliability, operational flow, and cost structures.

Cost containment

The main value proposition that DRaaS brings to the table is the switch from Disaster Recovery (DR) as a capital expense to an operational expense. Cloud-enabled as-a-service-based technology, DRaaS allows businesses to maintain fully replicated secondary environments and production-level infrastructure without the cost of building a duplicate data center that could sit idle for years before serving its purpose. At the same time, DRaaS provides an even greater level of protection by being highly portable. If one support facility is taken down, DRaaS can be easily mirrored to another site. All the while, DRaaS providers have a vested interest to ensure that their services are at the head of the pack and will therefore invest heavily in the latest technologies, the best security, and other features.

Two critical elements in selecting a DRaaS provider are the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and the Recovery Point Objective (RPO). RTO is a measure of system downtime as it affects core business operations. An e-commerce site, for instance, would have a much shorter RTO than a B2B manufacturer, since every minute of downtime represents lost sales. RPO is a measurement of how far back in time data recovery should extend. Some enterprises might need to restore days or weeks of data, others might require minutes.

DRaaS service providers should also exhibit high proficiency in a number of attributes, among them:

  • Design. A DRaaS partner should be highly adept at replicating your existing environment remotely and then responding quickly to an outage. This usually requires a holistic approach to match the recovery environment with all existing hardware, software, and related resources, as well as business processes and objectives.
  • Testing and documentation. Business is evolving at the speed of data these days, so constant vigilance is needed to ensure changes, incompatibilities, and other detriments to a smooth recovery are quickly identified and eliminated. At the same time, it is important not to let test procedures interfere with ongoing production operations.
  • Management and recovery. Top providers do more than just implement cutting-edge technology. They should also have the expertise and professionalism to ensure smooth data protection and recovery operations. This should encompass the skills needed to solve problems that are unique to every enterprise and provide real-time support when time is of the essence.

Getting all of this right is a huge challenge, which is why many organizations turn to seasoned service providers to ensure a successful DRaaS deployment. At CBTS, we work closely with all cloud providers to ensure clients receive a state-of-the-art solution that maintains deep ties to much of the leading business productivity software deployed in their existing production environments.

The CBTS way

We begin by conducting a complete assessment of all data recovery needs, including RTOs, RPOs, system dependencies, and the like. We also conduct walk-throughs of common DR scenarios and perform a thorough analysis of performance data.

From there, we design and implement an optimal solution featuring both physical and logical characteristics, including replication software at each site. This is backed up by a full complement of DR procedures, subject to regular review by stakeholders.

Finally, we validate and document the entire system by syncing and testing the primary and secondary environments, defining recovery and live test procedures, and creating the full run-book documentation.

Few enterprises have the in-house expertise to navigate this complicated process alone, and relying solely on a cloud provider can produce results that are more beneficial to the provider than the enterprise. With an experienced partner like CBTS on your side, however, you can be sure you’ll get the right DRaaS environment the first time, and that it will continue to evolve with your business needs rather than lock you into a digital ecosystem incapable of meeting the challenges of tomorrow.

Contact us for more information on how CBTS can help build your DRaaS environment.

What does a successful migration to the public cloud look like?

The cloud has proven itself to be a valuable resource in the continuing struggle to expand data environments, improve flexibility and performance, and lower the overall cost of IT infrastructure.

But even as the cloud enters its third decade, there is still much to be learned about optimizing disparate resources and migrating workloads to a public cloud environment. As demand for robust, reliable data services increases in the era of 5G and the Internet of Things, organizations of all sizes and across all industries face continuing pressure to get the cloud right.

Building an effective cloud migration plan

The key to meeting this challenge is first determining what a successful cloud migration looks like and then constructing an effective architecture that reduces risk and improves efficiencies during the migration and afterward.

Fortunately, AWS—the world’s leading cloud provider—has established a template of sorts to help organizations achieve optimal results in their cloud. The AWS Well-Architected Framework lays out the five pillars of a successful cloud:

  • Operational Excellence – The ability to run and monitor systems to deliver business value and continually improve supporting processes and procedures.
  • Security – The ability to protect information, systems, and assets while delivering business value through risk assessments and mitigation strategies.
  • Reliability – The ability of a system to recover from infrastructure or service disruptions, dynamically acquire computing resources to meet demand, and mitigate disruptions caused by misconfigurations, transient network issues, or other causes.
  • Performance Efficiency –The ability to use computing resources efficiently to meet system requirements, and to maintain that efficiency as demand changes and technologies evolve.
  • Cost Optimization –The ability to run systems to deliver business value at the lowest price point.

With this framework in hand, enterprise technicians and consulting specialists have a clear idea of what success in the cloud looks like, and this can then be used to guide the migration to a successful conclusion. As a certified partner in the Well-Architected Framework program, CBTS has mastered these five pillars in our drive to deliver exceptional cloud experiences to all of our clients.

In the realm of operational excellence, for example, our architectures adopt the key design principles laid out in the framework. These include the performance of operations as code; the ability to make small, reversible changes and refine procedures frequently; as well as the ability to anticipate failures and learn from them. This level of flexibility is crucial given the rapid pace of change in today’s digital economy and the need to continually evolve to meet new challenges and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

When dealing with security, we have incorporated the framework’s key design principles governing identity monitoring, traceability, multi-layer protection, and automated monitoring and response. With AWS’ Shared Responsibility Model, CBTS clients can be assured that physical-layer infrastructure remains secure while higher-level structures can be customized around individual workloads and compliance requirements.

The journey and the destination

A well-designed cloud is only one aspect of a successful migration, of course. Equally important is the execution, and this is where an experienced partner can be invaluable. At CBTS, our goal is to provide end-to-end support for the full migration and afterwards, when the new cloud environment is running production workloads. To that end, we provide a full suite of design options to ensure the right resources are being applied to the right workloads. From there, we create a seamless, highly secure migration strategy that keeps disruption to a minimum while enabling a swift, smooth transition from the old working architecture to the new. And finally, we offer a wide range of managed service offerings in which our IT professionals take over day-to-day operational requirements, leaving the client’s staff to concentrate on mission-critical strategic initiatives.

The cloud remains an important resource for the enterprise, primarily because it offers an opportunity to try new things and function at levels that exceed the capabilities of traditional infrastructure. But a cloud without order leads to digital chaos, as many organizations that failed to implement the proper controls early on came to understand, and regret.

By partnering with CBTS, organizations gain the best of the cloud–unlimited resources, low operating costs, and cutting-edge tools–without the worry. By delivering top performance, security, scale, and availability using a proven framework developed by the company that invented the cloud, our clients are in a prime position to excel into the next phase of the digital economy.

Contact us for more information on how CBTS can manage your next cloud migration.

Take control of third-party programs with proprietary AWS platform solution

With so much business being conducted through mobile and web applications, many forward-thinking enterprises are relying on specialized programs that facilitate transactions and give end-users the tools to customize their products and services.

In many cases, these applications are hosted by third-party entities on exterior platforms. This allows organizations to operate an application while reducing the burden on the rest of its developers. However, the benefits of a proprietary application hosted on a first-party Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform solution are also becoming apparent.

Choosing quality over convenience

Fischer Homes, a home builder founded in 1980 and based in Kentucky, was one such organization that decided to take direct control of a proprietary application using a first-party AWS environment.

As an extensive enterprise that has experienced substantial growth over the last 20 years and has amassed a portfolio of more than 20,000 homes built in five states, Fischer Homes found itself in need of a technology solution that provides its customers with a value-added service. This solution took the form of Sapphire, a third-party application that allows customers to calculate costs, source materials, and plan out the design and construction of their homes. Originally, this application was hosted on an exterior AWS platform managed by the software vendor that managed Sapphire.

Eventually, Fischer Homes made the call to take more direct control of the hosting and management of its Sapphire application by migrating it to a first-party AWS environment. This required the careful examination of the proper network architecture that would be needed to ensure the application performed at peak efficiency and remained accessible to customers.

CBTS and AWS, partnering for success

To facilitate a successful transition to a first-party AWS platform, Fischer Homes turned to the experts at CBTS for assistance. Their goals were to solve the issue of slow performance, minimize dependence on cloud computing, reduce the total cost of ownership, and strengthen network security.

As an Advanced Consulting AWS partner, with over 50 AWS certifications, CBTS is your trusted partner to ensure your journey to the public cloud is a success.  

CBTS went about meeting these goals by launching a site audit to diagnose the cause of Sapphire’s connection and performance bottlenecks. CBTS also reviewed the current architecture of Fischer Homes’ AWS environment to design a Well-Architected Framework (WAF), outline best practices for security, and establish a roadmap for the building of Fischer’s new environment.

CBTS assessed potential risk exposure during the planning phase, configured private subnets that limited exposure of private IP addresses, and deployed proactive and automated network protection measures—providing a window of visibility and real-time insights into the operational health of the network.

As a result, CBTS determined that the performance bottlenecks were related to the central processing units of end-users, the size of which directly affected application performance. To solve this issue, CBTS proposed the implementation of a managed remote desktop service, which would make up the difference in processing power when users with weaker CPUs could still access the Sapphire application with minimal loss of performance.

The case of Fischer Homes and its Sapphire application demonstrates that hosting an application through a third party to save on operation costs doesn’t always lead to favorable client outcomes. When an AWS solution is purpose-built for your organization, you can see the benefits in greater control over connection quality and a better user experience for your customers.

Contact CBTS for more information on how a customized AWS platform can deliver better performance for your applications.

Bridge to the Cloud: Why Cloud-delivered SD-WAN is critical

Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology is showing rapid growth. Cloud-delivered SD-WAN is becoming increasingly relevant in an age of cloud computing.

Part of the reason for its success and popularity is its versatility. It offers users a measure of control, ease of management, and visibility into private, public, and wireless networks. Cloud-delivered SD-WAN also simplifies the deployments of updates. Furthermore, it can automatically route the flow of data and address traffic impediments across multiple transports.

This versatility has allowed enterprises to transform their networks with new cloud-powered capabilities. This is especially helpful now when the volume of traffic between branch offices and remote employees has climbed steadily for several years and recently spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cloud-delivered SD-WAN solutions also tend to lower costs by utilizing more affordable connection methods. These methods make deployments and updates easier to manage.

The Time to Buy-in is Now

The growing interest in SD-WAN can be seen globally. Different sectors are catching on to the trend at different rates. Industries and regions that aren’t yet planning ahead to capitalize on this evolving technology may miss out on an opportunity to effectively harness the power of cloud computing.

The time to buy in is now, before your competition outpaces you.

More than 40 software vendors have been associating with the SD-WAN space over the last two years. Many are traditional networking vendors pivoting their business models to include cloud-delivered SD-WAN as a feature to take advantage of these new revenue opportunities. This eagerness to adopt may stem in part from an existing demand for more efficient WAN solutions that has been growing for decades.

SD-WAN is a hot commodity, but MPLS isn’t dead yet

Some MPLS users are seeing significant savings by switching to SD-WAN solutions. However, many others are also finding success with hybrid solutions.

There’s a prevailing thought in the industry that enterprise customers may be expecting to replace their existing MPLS system with SD-WAN solutions. However, these consumers may find better results by mixing and matching the transport and access methods that best suit their circumstances.

CBTS offers cloud-delivered SD-WAN

SD-WAN users are able to increase their bandwidth, without absorbing the costs or dealing with the potential latency issues of a private network.

However, leaping into SD-WAN blindly with limited knowledge of who is providing it is a recipe for disaster. Curious organizations looking to transition to cloud environments using SD-WAN should carefully consider their options when choosing a vendor.

CBTS offers cloud-delivered SD-WAN and global network solutions. These solutions are backed by the experience of managing more than 6,100 customer WAN sites across six global regions.

Contact us for more information on how CBTS can empower your enterprise with a custom VMware SD-WAN solution powered by VeloCloud.

Protect your SD-WAN network with cloud-enabled security

Business networks are getting smarter and more efficient every day. New transport methods, organizational strategies, and continually improving cloud computing capabilities are allowing modern enterprises to automate and optimize their processes like never before.

However, these modern network infrastructures, as powerful as they are, must still be protected from a wide range of external threats, from phishers and scammers to bots and viruses. Just as your organization’s networking environment is evolving, potential intruders are likewise developing new tools to take advantage of any opening in your network. Contemporary threats require a contemporary security solution.

Completing the package

Many organizations have embraced Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) to manage and improve connectivity from a single dashboard, while the adoption of Networking as a Service (NaaS) is also on the rise. These solutions are paving the way for future-focused enterprises to simplify their connections, shed unnecessary network upkeep functions, and concentrate on their bottom line.

Embracing SD-WAN and NaaS is only one piece of the puzzle—a robust, cloud-enabled security approach is needed to create a comprehensive and fully functional modern networking infrastructure. To be truly complementary to your SD-WAN and NaaS solutions, this security solution should meet a series of criteria:

  • Offer next-generation threat prevention as a cloud service.
  • Enable public cloud security and compliance measures.
  • Increase protection and threat assessment across all applicable virtual networks.

These features are broadly considered to be a bare minimum for any modern, cloud-capable security solution. Additionally, your organization may prioritize other functions you need from a managed threat assessment package that go beyond basic bot and virus protection.

What to look for in next-gen security

Threat emulation functionality is a cutting-edge feature that prevents infections from new malware and targeted attacks, delivering the best possible catch rate for threats to your network. With the right threat emulation program in place, attackers will have a much more difficult time navigating your defenses.

URL filtering is another valuable tool that maintains categorized lists of problematic URLs and automatically flags any attempts by end-users to access them. This can be used to prevent users from accessing inappropriate, unsafe, or irrelevant websites that you don’t want users to access.

Continuous intrusion protection, when properly automated, can form a nearly impenetrable barrier around your network environment that constantly monitors your network to identify, track, and shut down potential threats. As it stops external attacks, your intrusion protection program can also learn and compile actionable data and analytics about threats to your network.

Application controlis a crucial component of any full-spectrum security program that restricts unauthorized applications from executing in ways that put proprietary data at risk.

Why Check Point CloudGuard Connect and CloudGuard SaaS?

If harnessing the power of cloud computing to secure your SD-WAN environment and managed network is your goal, CloudGuard Connect and CloudGuard SaaS bring everything you need to the table.

“Given today’s advanced cyber threats, it is critical to protect enterprise branch offices connected to the cloud with SD-WAN. Check Point CloudGuard Connect is integrated with leading SD-WAN vendors in the cloud to secure branches in minutes,” says Erez Yarkoni, head of the Telco Division at Check Point Software Technologies. “We’re excited to partner with CBTS to help drive enterprise digital transformation, with a special emphasis on branch office SD-WAN security.”

“CBTS has leveraged SD-WAN technologies to help our customers along their journey to the cloud and their path to digital transformation,” Adds Jon Lloyd, director of cloud networking for CBTS. “Organizations are now facing the challenge of how to secure this new, flexible, always-on network where an application can live anywhere in the world, and employees can work from anywhere in the world. Check Point’s CloudGuard Connect and CloudGuard SaaS enable our customers to make the network decisions and application decisions that are best for their organization without the added difficulty of securing a malleable, distributed network. We are delivering peace of mind now, along with our flexibility and convenience.”

Contact the experts at CBTS for more information on how Check Point CloudGuard Connect can protect and enhance your cloud-enabled network environment.

Learn about Check Point CloudGuard Connect and CloudGuard SaaS from CBTS.

Read about CBTS launching Check Point CloudGuard Connect.

Efficiency, security, and savings are in reach with managed database services

Cloud deployments are increasing steadily as new cloud products become more available and standardized. By 2021, revenues from cloud-based database management system (DBMS) solutions are expected to account for 50% of the total DBMS market revenue. By 2023, 75% of all databases are expected to be hosted on the cloud.

The availability and data protection offered by DBMS solutions can improve compliance and regulatory standards while also allowing enterprises to reduce the risk associated with managing critical systems and databases in-house. This can all be done by migrating to a dedicated or cloud-enabled DBMS platform aligned with the company’s existing technology and business goals.

CBTS offers a wide range of cloud-based managed database services, including in-depth review and assessment of a client’s existing database environment, migration and configuration assistance, and 24×7 monitoring and management.

Fully-managed database expertise

By partnering with CBTS, clients will gain access to 24×7 ongoing support from certified database administrators (DBAs) to ensure databases remain secure and accessible. CBTS will also configure each client environment to implement monitoring and management tools that will integrate with existing service management environments and that are built to meet guaranteed service level agreements.

Capabilities provided by a custom DBMS

A managed and purpose-built database platform can expand an enterprise’s functionality in several crucial sectors.

  • Review and assessment: CBTS offers in-depth surveys of your database environment and assistance with establishing both technical and business objectives, as well as recommendations and expert guidance.
  • Migrations and configurations: DBMS services come with project management to enable smooth migration away from legacy platforms, as well as design and deployment of the new database environment.
  • Monitoring and management: Clients will benefit from 24×7, hands-on operational support for their entire database environment, as well as backup, security, patch management, and data recovery services.

Additionally, clients will have access to highly skilled and experienced DBAs who can help guide the planning and execution of critical database development in a CBTS data center, public cloud, or remote third-party facility.

Efficiency, security, and savings with managed databases

Making a decision on your DBMS

Organizations considering cloud-based solutions should clearly define the events or circumstances motivating the decision to migrate. These factors include the expiration of a legacy database license, the obsolescence of previous database architecture, or simply a desire to automate database patch management.

The potential outcomes of transitioning to a managed cloud database solution should also be examined closely. This could involve carefully considering which parts of the business would benefit most from automation and increased data analysis speed, assessing how the new database would function within the business, or determining how much control and customization of the database that the company will need to maintain.

Lastly, enterprises will need to decide between an all-inclusive database hosted in the public cloud, which would automate infrastructure scalability but may have customization trade-offs, or a dedicated private instance that offers a suite of dedicated products and greater control of the custom database environment, but may incur higher licensing and management costs with little automation.

Why Managed Database by CBTS?

The skilled experts at CBTS offer the expertise and flexibility to build and deploy world-class database environments. We’re able to provide managed database solutions in a wide variety of models to best suit your objectives while offloading the day-to-day management workload and future-proofing your ability to respond to urgent data incidents.

A customized DBMS gives your organization no more or less than it needs while allowing your staff to mitigate risk. Our ongoing database management also supports a broad range of platforms—our experts will recommend what’s best for your use case.

The landscape of cloud-native database features and functions is changing rapidly. By partnering with CBTS for your managed database needs, you can worry less about navigating the chaos and focus more on your business objectives.

Contact us for more information on managed database solutions by CBTS.