Network and Desktop Storage:  Let’s Get Physical (Or Not!)

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Network and Desktop Storage: Let’s Get Physical (Or Not!)

There’s little doubt that moving to VDI has great benefits for most IT teams: reduced time deploying desktop patches and increased security, just to name a few.  But strangely, sometimes storage remains old-school, despite implementing a VDI solution.  And as much as that ‘80s song promoted getting physical, it’s not the best game plan for players on the court (fouls!), nor the optimal approach for storage in today’s IT world.

If you’re going virtual with your desktops—should your storage solution match?  Why must your enterprise storage solution be stuck in the realm of the physical storage arrays?  If you are really trying to transform your IT and your business to meet today’s challenges, it’s time to adopt a virtual storage solution to match your VDI plans. 

The benefits of virtualizing your storage area network along with your desktops are manifold.  Not only does it allow you to manage, provision, and deploy storage in the same way you manage your virtual desktops—but it also allows you drastically reduce the cost of an enterprise storage solution.  Much like VDI allows you to deploy desktops on a wider selection of lower-cost hardware, implementing a virtualized storage solution can do the same!  You can deploy your virtual SAN on industry-standard x86 machines and low-cost storage solutions, including all-flash, hybrid approaches, or traditional storage drives. Goodbye expensive storage array!

While there’s still no escaping the virtualization of the desktop, your storage allows you to easily cascade security and storage policies from the desktop to the data center without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. You can reconfigure and manage your VDI environment without ever having to explicitly reconfigure a storage array. 

So goodbye ‘80s; the new hit for your team is “Let’s Get Virtual” when it comes to both desktops and storage.  Want to know more about how virtualizing your desktops and your storage can benefit your business and save your IT staff tons of time? 

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CIO View: Security to Withstand the Test of Time

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CIO View: Security to Withstand the Test of Time

By Phil Alberta

Security. It’s what is top of mind for every CIO today. But while everyone is busy protecting their IT environment with the latest security solutions, new problems are occurring.

Complexity for one. While everyone reacts to the newest security breach or fears the latest vulnerability, they add layers, upon layers, of new security tools to their infrastructure. And those layers can create a management nightmare, and even added risk.

It can be common for multiple parts of the organization to be involved with implementing security approaches. This can quickly mean you’ve added 10 to 15 products between you and the internet – tools to scan emails, restrict mobile devices, enable data loss prevention and more.  It can also quickly add up to mountains of alerting tools and end user frustration.

What’s really needed is a hard look at how they all fit together and a strong feel for where the technology will be in two to three years. You need to get through the noise to what’s real and right for your business.

And you can’t forget the end user. Indeed you need to protect end users from getting your infrastructure into trouble, but you also need to avoid limiting their productivity or experience.

Endpoint security is something IPM has become a true industry expert in. With deep expertise in both physical and virtual desktops and security, we know how to align your security policies for optimum performance, while mitigating risk. Ready to assess your security risk? Contact us today for a rapid risk assessment.  


As CIO for IPM, Phil Alberta leads IPM’s Consulting Services organization, continuously evaluating industry and technology trends and collaborating with IT leaders to develop strategies and solutions for their business. Alberta also plays an integral role in developing executive client relationships, assessing their organizational and operational readiness for new services and ensuring maximum value is realized from project investments. 

Previously, Alberta was Vice President IT Business and Technology, and acting CTO at Tiffany & Co. His responsibilities included Technology Strategy and Management, Information Security, Compliance, and partnering with senior management to develop and execute the strategic direction of IT. Alberta was a 2009 CIO Magazine Ones to Watch award recipient and is an accomplished speaker, having presented at the National Retail Federation and CIO Magazine’s CIO 100 Symposium, as well as other peer forums. He graduated from Seton Hall University with a B.S. in Psychology.

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CIO View: The Leap from IT Implementer to Service Manager

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CIO View: The Leap from IT Implementer to Service Manager

CIO View: The Leap from IT Implementer to Service Manager

By Phil Alberta

It used to be that IT departments needed to be the masters of implementation. Like sophisticated mechanics, we would know just how to tune everything from our CRM system to our storage infrastructure to get optimal performance. And, if the business needed to meet a new goal, we’d build the technology infrastructure out to meet it.

However, what we’re now seeing is that the role of IT is making a dramatic shift. As we find critical applications now being run in the cloud and the increasing adoption of SaaS solutions, we need to think about IT’s role in a different way. We’re no longer the IT mechanics, but service managers.

We’re not in there making the IT motor run anymore – well, at least, not in every aspect as we used to. Now we must evolve our skill set to not only know what makes the engine fast and efficient, but how to identify the best service distribution to ensure proper delivery to the business.

Take storage for example. Rather than just hiring storage admins that know how to properly integrate your SANs and optimize your storage arrays, you now also need a more business-oriented team that can efficiently procure and negotiate cloud storage with AWS or Azure.

This service manager also needs to know how to get the most out of the technologies you have, while sourcing new options as a service. That often takes a different perspective, and new skills.

Of course, it’s still a balancing act. Careful consideration needs to be given to what technologies you still must maintain – and support – on premise, while identifying those services that are best migrated to the cloud. The advanced service manager will understand how to evaluate each, and provide a clear rational for if, when and how certain IT operations should become cloud-based.

Ultimately, the service manager also must sell back to the business. You need to become a premium service provider, offering all the advantages of your internal knowledge of the business with the external value of the cloud. Because now internal IT is being shopped against SaaS options by the business lines, you also must respond and deliver quickly. The answer to the business can’t be “no” or you’d be replaced with external options that could become out of your control.

At IPM, we have deep experience in building cloud roadmaps so your answer can be “yes.” And, not only are we excellent IT mechanics, we are also some of the best service managers in the business. If you are ready to take the next step into cloud services, or simply need some experienced eyes on your current cloud strategy, give us a call. We can help you map out your road to IT-as-a-Service while helping to build your internal team’s service manager skillset.

In my next CIO View blog, I’ll cover tips for building a security infrastructure that can withstand the test of time.



As CIO for IPM, Phil Alberta leads IPM’s Consulting Services organization, continuously evaluating industry and technology trends and collaborating with IT leaders to develop strategies and solutions for their business. Alberta also plays an integral role in developing executive client relationships, assessing their organizational and operational readiness for new services and ensuring maximum value is realized from project investments. 


Previously, Alberta was Vice President IT Business and Technology, and acting CTO at Tiffany & Co. His responsibilities included Technology Strategy and Management, Information Security, Compliance, and partnering with senior management to develop and execute the strategic direction of IT. Alberta was a 2009 CIO Magazine Ones to Watch award recipient and is an accomplished speaker, having presented at the National Retail Federation and CIO Magazine’s CIO 100 Symposium, as well as other peer forums. He graduated from Seton Hall University with a B.S. in Psychology.

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