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Fordway Blog

Fordway Latest News & Events

Beware cloud shock!

Have you been tempted by the falling costs of public cloud services? The big players are improving their offers all the time, and with some also setting up UK data centres to meet forthcoming GDPR requirements, server/instances of a few pounds per month can look like a very good deal. And for many organisations and many services, it is. However, as with any offer, the devil is in the detail, and you need to know exactly what you’re buying if you don’t want a nasty shock when your first bill arrives. Once you’ve made the move, you’re stuck with whatever the provider offers unless you migrate again, which is likely to be time consuming, risky, and will disrupt your business. A useful analogy is creating...Beware cloud shock
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Moving a datacentre using Cloud Intermediation Services CIMS

Moving a server into the cloud is an easy process both technically and commercially, but a great deal of understanding is required when you look to move your whole datacentre to the cloud. The first thing that you must address is your organisation’s business drivers for moving to the cloud and their associated timelines. There are two main drivers: Compelling event: Your existing datacentre facilities need to be physically restructured (i.e. merger or acquisition) or will not support the levels of availability that the business demands (i.e. constant underperformance and business continuity requirements). Strategic plan: Your organisation needs to restructure its costs to a new model for greater efficiency in its consumption of services and/or the flexing of capacity to allow more agility to bring services...
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“Blue” and “R2” will share center stage on October 18th 2013

Windows 8 "Blue" (Windows 8.1) is set for release on October 18, 2013. Alongside this hugely anticipated update to Microsoft’s popular operating system, eligible customers will also be able to download System Center 2012 R2 on the same day. In this guest Technical Blog post, Gary Tomlin, a Senior Microsoft Consultant at Fordway, provides a preview of what’s shiny and new in System Center 2012 R2 System Center 2012 R2 will include a number of new features which are to be announced by Microsoft over the next few months. Microsoft has already announced that System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager will include support for dynamic VHDX resizing and support for Dynamic Memory support on Linux VM which will give greater VM density. It will also allow automated...SC2012R2
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Managing the “Service Chunk” – going beyond IT processes to speed up provisioning

When organisations reach a certain maturity and their IT processes are efficient and repeatable, the next level of service evolution is to automate these processes effectively. This will drive down costs, provide staff with more time for other activities and increase the return on investment. Process automation primarily involves automating the Request Fulfilment lifecycle. To do this, we’ve introduced a concept we’ve termed "Service Chunks”. The principle is to first divide the configuration management database (CMDB) into these “Service Chunks”, such as Server Chunks (VMs), Storage Chunks (fixed disk allocation) or Desktop Chunks (application provisioning). These are then reflected in the Service Catalogue as an available component, each with a fixed specification and cost. The available assets – our 'Service Chunks' - can then be requested...service-chunks
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The Fordway view on Microsoft Windows Server 2012: “The IT equivalent of multi-tooled Swiss Army Knife" Part 1: Why not use Windows Server 2012 as a SAN?

Windows Server is known for its ability to reliably deliver core client services in much the same way that a consumer trusts that a Swiss Army knife will come with a good blade. But take an in-depth look at Windows Server 2012 and you’ll find a whole host of innovative and versatile tools hidden inside that offer up a software replacement to traditional IT infrastructure. The Fordway view is that Windows Server 2012 is, in effect, the IT equivalent of multi-tooled Swiss Army Knife. In the first of a multi-post blog, we highlight the Hyper-V High-Availability features of Windows Server 2012 and ask “Why not use it as a SAN?” Storage-related performance and high-availability features have traditionally required dedicated SAN systems. Storage protocols such as Fibre Channel (FC), FC over Ethernet (FCoE), iSCSI, and related infrastructure have...windows-server-2012_150w
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Why are many companies reluctant to embrace IT innovation?

In a recent article Harvard Business School professor Kristina Steffenson  examined IT’s potential to transform business and asked why so many companies get it wrong, creating a huge gap between the most IT-savvy firms and the IT laggards. She pointed out that organisations must be willing to engage in radical change in order to achieve the benefits from IT, bringing together processes, people, organisational structures and supply chain partners. Unfortunately, today’s challenging economic climate is making change more difficult. In medium sized businesses strategic thinkers have been driven out by continued restructuring. Change programmes tend to be imposed, for example due to changing legislation, rather than be driven by a strategic vision. Many IT directors are keen to adopt ways of working, such as cloud, but...innovate
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Why benchmarking matters

According to Gartner Group, average-performing organisations spend up to 41% more on IT than their more successful peers. IT budgets are typically around 4% of revenue, so this suggests that up to 1.6% of revenue could be saved by benchmarking against the best performing organisations – enough to make even the most cynical finance director smile! However, before you start planning new projects with the money you’re about to save,  remember benchmarking isn’t just about being the cheapest. It’s vital to compare the level of service provided.  If you find that you’re  the cheapest, you need to ask: ”what am I missing?” In our experience, a significant portion of that 1.6% cost saving is likely to be found by reviewing your IT infrastructure.  Our benchmarking studies...benchmarking
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