Posts Tagged ‘Google Apps’

Education IT and the Cloud: 5 Parachutes to Pack as You Jump Into the Cloud

Lori Witzel

Product Marketing Manager, Spanning by EMC
Lori Witzel is a Salesforce MVP, has worked with and for SaaS companies since 2005, and has been sharing info with, listening to, and learning from tech users ever since. She is currently PMM for Spanning Backup for Salesforce, as well as PMM for Spanning Backup for Google Apps. Prior to Spanning Backup, Lori worked for various early-stage Cloud start-ups, mid-sized middleware providers, and ed tech firms, and she’s always eager to learn more. Lori's profile on LinkedIn:

A growing number of K-12 and Higher Ed IT teams are adopting cloud and SaaS applications like Google Apps for Education or Microsoft Office 365 Education. The reasons are as varied as the school, district, or university – but in every case, these adoptions represent significant change within the organization.

Some of the reasons that education IT is moving to the cloud are that the cloud:

  • Increases collaboration. Through cloud computing’s ease of cross-classroom, cross-department, and cross-institution collaboration, instructors, staff, and students can work together in new and creative ways. Since collaboration is a significant component of Common Core, there’s increased interest among K-12 districts in exploring ways to use SaaS and cloud.
  • Supports innovation. By using cloud-based applications and systems, it’s easier for Higher Ed to open their technology infrastructure to business and industry research partners, fostering collaboration towards innovation and research.
  • Helps resource management scale. Cloud computing can help K-12 and Higher Ed manage ever-growing resource demands. Cloud and SaaS vendors manage most aspects of the required infrastructure, an infrastructure that used to need management on-premises by the IT team. Those vendors’ infrastructure is at a scale that produces efficiencies for their customers, whose resources can be freed up for new IT projects.
  • Reduces on-premises infrastructure risk. Cloud vendors are multiply redundant, security-hardened, FERPA-ready, and provide robust security infrastructures that reduce the risk and the impact of hardware and infrastructure failure. On-premises systems can be similarly hardened, but require resources for infrastructure and risk management.

In short, the cloud offers education IT and the institutions they support powerful benefits. Whether your school is evaluating a move to the cloud, or has decided to move, there are five best practices every K-12 or Higher Ed IT team should be prepared to implement. (more…)

Road to Efficiency, Part 2

Vladimir Mandic

Chief Technology Officer & Distinguished Engineer Data Protection Cloud, Core Technologies Division, Dell EMC
Vladimir has been driving technical innovation and change within EMC for the past 10 years, first in the area of data protection software and, currently, in cloud technologies. Prior to that, he’s had rich industry experience as a solution integrator and in the service provider space. When not working on technology innovation, he may be difficult to locate due to his passion for world travel.

Latest posts by Vladimir Mandic (see all)

As business look at cloud adoption, the question is, “What is the cloud good for?” Yes, the cloud can be efficient and elastic, but what would be its real use in complex environments?

A different way of looking at the road to the cloud is by considering where your data—both primary and secondary copies—resides.
efficiency2-1Cloud as 3rd copy
In a typical data center your primary file and application data would reside in on-premises storage arrays such as XtremIO, VMAX, VNX or Isilon. Second-level protection is offered via data protection solutions using secondary storage such as EMC Data Domain. As a last step, select data can be tiered to the cloud via products such as CloudBoost or CloudArray, to either private clouds built using ECS or public clouds. That means that data in the cloud is a 3rd tier of data. This is a good way to achieve efficiencies for specific use cases such as long-term retention, offsite copy of data, and data archiving while maintaining all primary processing within the data center.

Cloud as 2nd copy
A more direct way of using the cloud is by having data copied directly from primary storage to the cloud (that is, storage tiering) or protecting data directly to the cloud. This results in even higher efficiencies; however, this creates a much larger dependency on the cloud for operational recovery purposes as there is no second copy of data on premises.

Ideally, at this point we would look at direct-to-cloud tiering and protection with ability to maintain on-premises copies of active data for quick access.

Cloud as 1st copy
The last step in cloud adoption is where your primary data resides directly in the cloud, either with SaaS applications (such as Office 365, Salesforce, and Google Apps) or hosted applications running on cloud-based PaaS (such as developed using Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry platform) or IaaS (such as Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure). In that case, the need for data protection still remains even if infrastructure resiliency responsibility has moved to the cloud solution provider. And to achieve efficiencies, data protection solution and resulting data copies also reside in the cloud itself. However, in that case you may need to export data back to on-premises either for safety, compliancy, or other reasons. (more…)

What This Year’s Super Bowl and Cloud Data Protection Have in Common

Lori Witzel

Product Marketing Manager, Spanning by EMC
Lori Witzel is a Salesforce MVP, has worked with and for SaaS companies since 2005, and has been sharing info with, listening to, and learning from tech users ever since. She is currently PMM for Spanning Backup for Salesforce, as well as PMM for Spanning Backup for Google Apps. Prior to Spanning Backup, Lori worked for various early-stage Cloud start-ups, mid-sized middleware providers, and ed tech firms, and she’s always eager to learn more. Lori's profile on LinkedIn:

This year’s Super Bowl could be characterized as “The D-Bowl” – a contest that may be decided by who had the best defense. While the two final contenders are still TBD at the date of this blog’s writing [editor update – the final two are the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers], as FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine wrote regarding the NFL’s Final Four, “…defensively, this might be the best quartet of teams in any conference championship round.”data protection defense

So what on earth do the Final Four have in common with SaaS and cloud data protection? You guessed it! It’s all about the D, and protecting what’s most valuable in an organization. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, one of the definitions of “defense” is a “means or method of defending or protecting oneself, one’s team, or another.” The Super Bowl finalists and EMC’s Cloud Data Protection both have strengths in protecting their teams, and in reducing the risk of loss.

For example, let’s think about Salesforce, a popular SaaS and cloud customer relationship management platform, one we use at EMC. Salesforce data is often used to populate sales pipeline reports, and that data also flows downstream into ERP systems. It contains information vital for executive management planning and resource allocation. Now imagine, if you will, that something happens to cause Salesforce data loss during the last two weeks of a quarter – what would THAT do to the reporting needed within an organization?

I know, you’re skeptical – Salesforce surely provides extensive data protection and recovery for its platform. And I’d agree that Salesforce is redundant, secure, and has a great record for uptime. But Salesforce has no way to distinguish changes made by mistake from changes made on purpose. They cannot protect an organization from admin errors, or third-party application sync errors, or custom misconfigurations that lead to data loss. (more…)

Why Superman Would Secure His Data in the EMC Data Protection Cloud

Brian Heckert

Principal Content Editor, Dell EMC
My first long-term exposure to technology was the typewriter. I still love that invention, which really sparked my interest in writing. For the past 20 years, I have worked in high tech as a content development specialist, marketing writer, and documentation editor. Prior to working in the software industry, I was a journalist, photographer, photo editor, and military fire fighter. After hours, I enjoy spending time with family, reading, and hiking in the mountains.

“Men weren’t meant to ride with clouds between their knees.” So sang Five for Fighting in the song “Superman (It’s Not Easy).” But Superman is no ordinary man. He does fly with clouds between his knees!


That got me thinking about what Superman would do if he had to protect his data. (And why wouldn’t he? Every business, organization, and person—including superheroes—should be backing up their data to protect it from the Lex Luthors of the world.) The EMC data protection cloud is the most logical place for the Man of Steel’s data. Anything less would be, well, weak. And it wouldn’t meet a superhero’s strict, superhuman standards. But the EMC data protection cloud does. A superhero is all about strength, confidence, being bulletproof, and always making the right choice to protect what’s important. Besides, after logging lots of airtime, Superman is familiar with the cloud. The cloud is logical; it makes good sense.

Let’s take a moment to consider what you need to look for in a protection cloud in order for it to be more powerful than a locomotive.

  • Does your cloud support long-term retention for your data? For superior strength, your protection cloud should enable seamless tiering across all aspects of your organization. And that demands simplified connectivity, integration, and management.
  • Can you send data directly to cloud? You need the option of backing up your primary or secondary data directly to the cloud. That means comprehensive backup for all consumption models, whether in physical or virtual environments. And data must always be securely encrypted during storage and while at rest.
  • What about your SaaS data? Even data from cloud-based workloads needs to be protected. Don’t forget the business-critical data being generated by your SaaS apps including Salesforce, Office 365 and Google Apps; if you’re not protecting it, no one else is.


3 Key Data Protection Considerations When Moving to the Cloud

Mat Hamlin

Director of Products for Spanning by Dell EMC
Mat is the Director of Products for Spanning by Dell EMC. He is responsible for the overall direction and strategy for Spanning's suite of SaaS backup and recovery solutions. His career in technology spans five startups and two large organizations, all in Austin, TX. Mat started out in product support and training, then engineering leadership and for the past nine years has been focused on product management and product marketing. Prior to joining Spanning, Mat served as Sr. Product Manager for SailPoint Technologies and Sun Microsystems, contributing to their market-leading enterprise identity management solutions.

ThinkstockPhotos-535375621Get your pencils out. I have a pop quiz! First question: What three IT practices did you use to protect and control your on-premises data from your own employees, contractors, and partners?

If you said, identity and access management, data loss prevention and backup, and recovery you are correct! Using a combination of these three you can manage who has access to data, monitor and control what users are doing with the data, and recover from any mistakes, malicious behavior, misconfigurations or integration problems.

Question 2: How do your responsibilities for these change when you move to a SaaS application like Salesforce, Office 365, or Google Apps?

No, this is not a trick question. If you answered “They don’t change” you are absolutely correct! They don’t.

When you move from an on-premises application to a cloud-based application you are moving to a shared responsibility model where you are no longer responsible for application availability, intrusion detection, software reliability, disaster recovery, etc. The SaaS provider takes care of that but you are still responsible for protecting your data from your own people. (more…)




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