Archive for the 'LT News' Category
Every customer running revenue-critical business applications should consider adding application performance monitoring and management. For this reason, we have taken our experience deploying application performance monitoring tools for our customers and released a standard managed solution. Our new Application Performance Management (APM) service, powered by AppDynamics, offers a “managed with” model in which we integrate APM with our customers’ managed hosting and cloud service. We handle the deployment, configuration, monitoring and assist clients with utilizing the APM solution.
Here are 5 important reasons to monitor your revenue-critical business applications.
1. Minimize the business impact of application issues
The more complex your application is, and the higher the rate of change, the more likely your applications will perform poorly or fail.
An effective troubleshooting process today prioritizes uptime over seeking answers, and uses the intelligence and alerting capabilities of a monitoring tool to help you mitigate business impact. When an outage occurs, you can use your application monitoring to quickly identify the problem and come up with a workaround that will get your app back up and running; later, when production is stable, you can consult with your developers and architects about how to improve the application and prevent problems going forward.
2. Find Ticking Time Bombs
Dealing with critical application issues quickly and effectively is key to minimizing the business impact of application failure. However, simply responding to outages is not enough. Smaller problems often go unresolved in applications because operation teams don’t have the time or resources to deal with them. Unfortunately, smaller issues can turn into major outages if they’re left unattended. So, enabling monitoring and identifying issues early is key.
3. Get to Know Your Application
When operations can’t troubleshoot a performance problem themselves, they often call in developers and architects to help. When you add up the man-hours spent fighting fires and the opportunity cost of not working on other projects, this is an expensive way to deal with problems.
To reduce the cost of troubleshooting, operations needs better visibility of their applications. The ops team needs to understand enough about the application that they won’t need to call in the experts to identify root cause. Ideally, ops can locate the root cause of problems quickly, and hand off to development with the right information and context for the fix.
4. Become More Agile
If your development team is agile, then you need to be agile, too. In most organizations the more nimble the development team, the more frequent the incidents. If constant code changes causes your application to perform poorly in production, then your organization isn’t recognizing the benefits of being agile. The solution isn’t to slow down your developers but rather to improve your own processes to better manage change. For some organizations, this means rethinking the way you identify issues.
5. Create Application Transparency for Everyone
Monitoring application performance in production can have effects that reach far beyond IT. The data that your monitoring tool collects represents how your users interact with your application. This data can help inform important decisions about performance-tuning projects, user-interface design, and product roadmap. With helpful, actionable data about your end users, you can change the course of your application and shape your organization’s culture.
Production doesn’t have to be a black box – nor should it be. Today’s applications are complex and dynamic, and the techniques we used to manage them in the past no longer work. This means you need the fastest and most effective way to troubleshoot and solve performance problems. The good news is, business application monitoring is now easier than ever. Check out our Layered Tech APM White Paper to find out how we can help you can crack open the black box.
For more information about our Application Performance Management service, please contact us or visit www.layeredtech.com/apm.
About the Author: As Vice President of Product Management at Layered Tech, Kevin Van Mondfrans (@VANMONDFRANS | +Kevin Van Mondfrans) is responsible for driving the Layered Tech portfolio of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and managed service offerings. With more than 20 years of experience product development and marketing, Kevin has been delivering innovative computing, storage, cloud and service offering with companies such as HP, Dell, and Savvis.
It was a pleasure to serve as a judge for the e-Pay Innovation award at the recent ETA Expo in New Orleans, LA. The winner of the $10,000 award was Trak for developing technology aimed at moving Brazil’s population from a paper payment system to a more efficient electronic format.
The ETA Technology Committee oversaw the event, which was part of the 2013 Annual Event and Expo in New Orleans. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding for the winner of the e-Pay Innovation Award and offered scholarships for several startup companies to exhibit in the Payments Next Zone section of the Expo.
The focus of the event was to find startup companies that have a unique payment solution to offer to the unserved and underserved populations of developing countries. The Gates Foundation has a core belief that the developing populations around the world can rise out of poverty much faster if they have access to technology. Electronic payment technology can quickly replace ancient barter systems and rapidly increase commerce, especially in countries where the masses are just now gaining access to mobile phones.
The winning Trak system presents a unique electronic method for processing Beleto transactions in Brazil. Beleto is an old way of presenting paper invoices to the end-use customer who then physically presents payment at the merchant’s bank. The Trak Beleto incorporates a smartphone app that stores customer- and merchant-account information and provides a faster, more streamlined way of completing transactions. Trak is using the Beleto offering in Brazil as a proof of concept to bring to other countries that have no advanced method of conducting transactions beyond old fashioned bartering systems.
The ETA Technology Committee will continue working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to discover innovative payment solutions that can be brought to the unserved and underserved populations around the world. The next event will be at the ETA Strategic Leadership Forum which will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona in October. I would welcome the opportunity to continue serving as a judge on this distinguished panel. It was an honor to meet the legends, entrepreneurs and visionaries in the payment industry who have developed unique and beneficial offerings. And I look forward to watching the evolution of these great ideas as they come to fruition and become available to the masses.
About the Author: As Regional Sales Manager for Layered Tech, Steve Chu (@stevendkchu) brings over 9 years of experience to the Payment and PCI Compliant Hosting industry. His background prior to Layered Tech was with HMS/Micros Systems, which provides a point-of-sale solution for the hospitality industry, and also with global IT consulting firm, Sogeti Capgemini.
As the world’s largest sports organization, Special Olympics looks to transform lives through the joy of sport, every day and everywhere. In support of Special Olympics’ mission, Layered Tech’s Kansas City office is thrilled to be competing in and volunteering for the 2012 Kansas City Corporate Challenge, April 27-June 30.
For 33 years, the Kansas City Corporate Challenge has provided an event featuring Olympic-type games to unite nearly 200 local businesses under a singular, charitable cause. During the two-month challenge, companies have the opportunity to compete in 30 sporting events, network and promote teamwork among employees. In addition, participating companies volunteer at the events – with more than 20,000 participants and 30 different events, the Corporate Challenge would not be successful without the 1,300+ dedicated volunteers.
We have already shared some fun times with fellow employees and other local companies at this year’s Corporate Challenge. At the kick-off party on April 27, Layered Tech participated in the one-mile walk and then grilled up some Kansas City-style barbeque at the all-company tailgate at Truman Sports Complex, home to both the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals. The photos you see are from the tailgate and walk – good food, good people and a great time! (View more photos on Facebook)
After the kick-off party, our Kansas City office immediately began gearing up for some friendly competition with other local businesses. This year, Layered Tech employees are participating in nearly all of the events, some of which include:
- Three-on-three basketball
- Disc golf
- Flag football
- Table tennis
- Weight lifting
In addition to the camaraderie, fellowship and fitness generated by the Corporate Challenge, we are excited to further our mission of giving back to the community and staying involved in charitable organizations. Throughout the year, Layered Tech is committed to participating in charitable functions, including food drives, clothing drives and special events like the Corporate Challenge. We believe it is important to realize that charities’ needs for support don’t stop when various events or fundraisers conclude; they need volunteers and donations year-round.
How You Can Help
All year long, Special Olympics provides sports training and athletic competition in a variety of sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Through these activities, Special Olympics hopes to give participants continued opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in sharing gifts, skills and friendship with others.
The 2012 Kansas City Corporate Challenge benefits the Kansas City Metro division of Special Olympics Missouri, but there are Special Olympics chapters across the globe, so check online for a chapter near you. Whether you choose to coach, volunteer or donate, Special Olympics Missouri and all of Special Olympics’ locations throughout more than 170 countries need consistent, year-round support.
Now, let the games begin!
Layered Tech is proud to be a sponsor of OpenCamp, the Southwest’s first multi-platform Web conference. Created by the same people who started WordCamp Dallas and DrupalCamp Dallas, OpenCamp takes place Friday, Aug. 27 through Sunday, Aug. 29 at the Addison Crown Plaza Hotel, located at 14315 Midway Road, Addison, TX 75001.
So, you may think that we’re blogging about a blogging event…that’s only partially true! OpenCamp is much more than a blogging event – it’s dedicated to the concept of removing both real and artificial barriers to bring together Webmasters, Web developers, bloggers, podcasters and social media enthusiasts, regardless of the tools they use, the medium in which they provide content, or the topics upon which they focus. There’s never been an event like this, so you won’t want to miss it.
We’d love to see you there and have you experience the many sessions that OpenCamp has arranged. Some of the industry’s top experts will present on topics ranging from social media to technical development, content creation, revenue generation and more. WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!, and .NET sessions will also be available, and there will be tracks that will appeal to all attendees.
Layered Tech will have a booth onsite, so be sure to stop by and learn about our latest and greatest news and offerings. If you are attending, be sure to check your attendee bag for a special offer from Layered Tech!
OpenCamp is going to be BIG…they are expecting well over 600 attendees. And to kick things off right in a Texas-sized fashion, be sure to attend Friday night’s huge opening event. At 7:30 p.m., the U.S. Army Golden Knights will do an amazing exhibition jump. You won’t want to miss this – a squadron of our country’s finest will parachute in formation, complete with smoke and pyrotechnics. Like we said, this is much, much more than a blogging event!
To learn more about OpenCamp or to register, visit the OpenCamp website at http://openca.mp/. We hope to see you there!
When was the last time you dialed an 800-number for customer support or chatted with an online support rep about a product or service you’re using? As I type this post, call center agents for major corporations are handling tens of thousands of calls, e-mails and chat sessions. That’s a lot of customer interactions at any given time, and each customer engagement is important and must be treated personally. Some of the world’s largest brands, including Priceline.com and eBay, rely on customer service solution provider KANA Software to better manage their ever-increasing customer interactions. Ballooning customer interaction volumes put pressure on IT infrastructures, which is what drove KANA to re-evaluate the infrastructure it had in place.
KANA looked to leverage the benefits of a cloud computing infrastructure, especially because the pay-as-you-go pricing model and flexible architecture was more cost-effective and efficient. After reviewing several vendors, KANA decided to partner with Layered Tech because of our expertise and ability to support their needs on both sides of the Atlantic. We created a customized package of virtual private data centers (VPDCs), managed services and disaster recovery solutions so KANA can support their clients, large and small.
We are excited to partner with the leader in customer service management and provide the international presence and flexibility KANA needs to give their clients customer service applications on a highly scalable infrastructure. We enjoy working closely with KANA, and we take pride in getting to know our customers’ businesses so that we can provide them with the custom infrastructure solutions they need to succeed.
How can we help your business?
When it comes to supply chain solutions, JDA Software Group, Inc. is no doubt the “Big Kahuna.” More than 6,000 enterprises worldwide rely on JDA to optimize their supply chain and improve profitability. In addition to its international presence, JDA’s solutions span numerous industries, including manufacturing, wholesale distribution, transportation, retail, grocery, travel, hospitality and media.
True to its history of excellence, JDA continues to invest in innovation and growth to drive distinctive value for the world’s leading retailers, manufacturers and wholesale-distribution companies. JDA recently acquired i2 Technologies and doubled its market for advanced planning and optimization solutions. So yeah, JDA is kind of a big deal. Scratch that, they are a VERY big deal.
That’s why everyone at Layered Tech is excited to add JDA to our roster of enterprise customers. Layered Tech’s infrastructure, expertise and financial strength give us the tools to support customers of JDA’s size and complexity, as well as deliver on their unique set of requirements. JDA has created a comprehensive Managed Services solution designed to accelerate the global adoption of their market-leading supply chain, merchandising and pricing solutions, and according to Hamish Brewer, JDA president and CEO, collaborating with Layered Tech is a key element to the rapidly emerging success of this strategy.
As its managed hosting provider, Layered Tech will work with JDA to consolidate three data centers and give the company the infrastructure it needs for future growth. We are proud to work with a company of JDA’s caliber and contribute to its continued growth and success. Like JDA, delivering superior solutions to support customers’ business goals is at the heart of our business. For JDA, a globally scalable cloud-computing platform means that it can offer customers extreme flexibility and dramatically lower costs of ownership to give customers added value.
Now that’s the kind of success where everybody wins!
Viva Las Vegas! We recently returned from a successful trip to the Channel Partners Conference & Expo 2010 in Las Vegas, where we launched our new partner program. It’s designed to give our partners all of the resources they need to deliver advanced dedicated hosting, virtualization and cloud computing infrastructures to enterprise customers. Our program is based on solution sets and added services so partners can engage more customers and shorten the sales cycle.
Being a Channel Partners exhibitor was great. We talked with hundreds of prospective partners about infrastructure solutions and their customers’ growing interest in cloud computing. Partners use our support to expand their offerings with cloud computing services, so rather than having a partner program just based on reseller discounts, we dove deeper and built a revitalized program that gives partners the tools they need to present Layered Tech services, explain their benefits and sell them in a way that shortens the partner’s time to revenue. We want strong and ambitious partners who, like Layered Tech, sell upstream to enterprises. Most of all, we want to help our partner community deliver value-creating cloud computing services to their customers because we believe that doing so will strengthen their customer relationships.
Our program gives each partner dedicated account managers, sales engineers and project managers to answer questions and provide customized support. When partners log into our new feature-rich Partner Portal (available soon), it automatically applies the proper pricing, discounts and special offers based on their silver, gold or platinum status.
Our Partner Portal will also feature:
- Automated online ordering to streamline selling
- Joint marketing materials so partners can reach more customers and explain the new offerings
- Training resources such as webinars to engage more customers
- Deal registration so partners can easily register special deals to increase sales
We are committed to building our partner program and working with you to provide the support you need to succeed in expanding your offerings. If you’re interested in delivering our solutions as value-added services within your own core business, we’d love to partner with you!
It’s undeniable – cloud computing and virtualized environments have evolved into enterprise-worthy infrastructure solutions. But for enterprises, putting their data at risk on shared public servers still presents a security challenge they can’t overlook. From our experiences working with enterprises of all sizes, we know that while they all have different business goals, they all have the same cloud environment needs: enterprise-class security, choice and flexibility.
To address enterprises’ concerns and strengthen cloud security, Layered Tech has developed a new Virtual Private Data Center (VPDC) platform that delivers a virtualized environment on servers dedicated to individual enterprise customers – in other words, customers aren’t sharing resources, which reduces their risk profile. Our customers using the new platform will receive levels of managed services, security and flexibility via a proprietary API previously unavailable in an integrated offering.
While putting everything on the cloud might not necessarily be the best option, companies still want the cloud’s benefits, which is why we created this platform to offer enterprises a hybrid cloud computing approach that delivers the best of both worlds – traditional dedicated hosting and cloud computing. To meet constantly changing enterprise needs, the virtualized platform gives customers the reliability and security of dedicated servers with the flexibility and scalability of virtual machines.
But what can this platform really do for your business? Let’s break it down:
RELIABILITY: You get the reliability and control of dedicated servers from your VPDC platform that operates exclusively within Layered Tech data centers.
CHOICE: You can choose the virtualization platform that best suits your needs, including 3Tera’s AppLogic, VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V, because our VPDC offering is technology-agnostic.
FLEXIBILITY: With our automated server provisioning system, enterprise customers can design, order and deploy a secure virtualized environment within an hour, instead of the weeks or months it can take many on-premise data centers to provision a similar solution.
CUSTOMIZATION: Developers will have more than 100 applications immediately available to them through the new API; those developers then have access to the API for customizing additional applications of their choice.
SUPPORT SERVICES: You can choose from a range of support options with the new VPDC platform’s tiered managed services, which lets you focus on managing your business, not your VPDC. Support ranges from fully managed by Layered Tech to self-managed options with varying levels in between.
To learn more about the new VPDC platform, which will be available later in Q1 2010, click here!
Let’s kick off the New Year by sharing some industry insight about expected IT trends and the initiatives most likely to dominate IT budgets in 2010, according to Enterprise Systems Journal. Their first newsletter of 2010 says businesses will increasingly adopt cloud computing and virtualization as viable and cost-effective infrastructure strategies. It also weighs public vs. private clouds and discusses which meets business needs best. And along with new technologies and strategies comes the need to adjust security practices to keep mission-critical data secure, while managing applications to meet end-user’s performance standards.
To highlight the private cloud hosting trend, the Enterprise Systems’ newsletter includes an article authored by Layered Tech President and Founder Todd Abrams, called “Clouds in 2010: Will Yours Be Lined With Silver or Filled with Coal Dust?” Todd shares his 2010 predictions for cloud computing’s growth and enterprise usage, all fueled by operational and financial improvements. He discusses the advantages of private clouds for enterprise control and security and explains the value created by managed private cloud services. For enterprises looking to better align IT solutions with overall corporate business needs, Todd advocates custom migration plans and says that successful enterprises will take a more holistic approach to their infrastructure. Check out the entire article here!
Other interesting articles include: