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      Connecting Our ‘Inner Networks’ Through Yoga, Powered by INAP


      As the new reality of the work from home lifestyle began to sink in, we at INAP started looking for new ways to connect with our employees, partners and clients. Enter INAP Marketing Specialist Nicolette Downs. As a yoga instructor and owner of Chicago’s own Big Shoulders Yoga Studio, she’s graciously stepped onto her mat to offer twice-weekly yoga classes via Instagram Live.

      “The virtual INAP yoga classes are a great break in the day and have helped with my flexibility and focus,” said Matt Cutler, National Account Manager.

      You can join Downs and other members of the INAP family on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12 p.m. Eastern Time. All you have to do is follow us @poweredbyinap on Instagram and you can join the free classes in real time or watch them on our Instagram story for up to 24 hours after the live class. The 30-minute classes are the perfect way to take a short break, connect with others, reconnect with yourself and get your body moving.

      “It’s great to take 30 minutes in the middle of the day to step away from my desk and move my body,” said Kandace Hyland, Senior Marketing Manager. “I come back re-energized to do whatever project I’m working on that day.”

      Attending live classes can also bring some much needed routine to your day, as Human Resources Generalist Anastacia Cesario can attest. “Taking live classes during this quarantine helps me feel like there is some sort of normality in my day still and helps me stick to a schedule.”

      Yogis of all levels can participate, whether you’re a seasoned expert or have never taken a yoga class in your life.

      National Account Manager Joseph Shaughnessy has been able to find a new challenge and goal to strive for through these classes. “I’m still trying to perfect my ‘crow pose,’” he said. “A lot of practice is needed!”

      You won’t need any special equipment to participate. If you don’t have access to a mat, a towel or blanket can serve as a stand-in. Downs often offers up substitutes for the typical props used in the yoga studio at the beginning of the live broadcast and throughout the practice.

      We hope we’re able to provide the small break you need in your day to keep you feeling grounded as we make our way through these unprecedented times. And as always, we’re here to help you find the solutions you need to maintain your connectivity, whether it be through yoga to keep you up and running, or an IT solution to keep your business going.

      Know Your Yoga Moves

      New to yoga and want to be better prepared? There are many poses to explore in class that aren’t covered below, including crow pose, which Shaughnessy mentioned he’s working on and is a pose that allows you to get some “network uptime.” But the poses that follow are some of the moves you’ll frequently see in our classes.

      Downs also provides modifications during the class in order to help accommodate limitations.

      Backbone Connection Pose (Downward Dog)

      Yoga Downward Dog

      This is a common pose across all styles of yoga. This spine-lengthening pose will help you shake off long days sitting in front of a computer.

      From all fours, ground your hands into the mat, putting the weight into your thumbs and forefingers to take any strain off of your wrists. Lift your hips and bend your knees, coming onto the balls of your feet. Bring your shins parallel to the mat and keep your sit bones lifting high and back and you straighten your legs. Once in position, you can peddle out your feet as you work to melt your heels toward the floor.

      Hyper-V (Boat Pose)

      Yoga Boat Pose

      This pose will really rev up your core. You’ll begin seated with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat. Lean back slightly and lift your legs to bring your shins parallel to the floor. Maintain tension in your core to ensure that your spine doesn’t round down. We want a nice straight back and a lifted chest in this pose.

      As you maintain the balance on your sit bones, straighten your legs to your comfort level. In the photo above, Downs in demonstrating the maximum extension. Lift your arms and reach forward, keeping your arms and hands actively engaged. We’ll typically draw several rounds of breath in this pose.

      To release, exhale as you lower your legs and hands to the floor.

      Network Branch Pose (Tree Pose)

      Yoga Network Branch Pose

      Challenge your balance! Throughout this balance pose, keep your gaze fixed on an unmoving point in front of you. Begin by standing on your mat with your arms at your side. For this example, we’ll pretend you’re starting with the balance on your left leg. Shift your weight to your left foot and bend your right knee.

      Lift your right leg or use your hand to draw your right foot alongside your inner left thigh, your left calf or your left ankle, depending on your flexibility level. To protect your knee, do not rest your foot against the knee joint.

      Place your hands on your hips and lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Then, press your palms together in a prayer position at your chest, with your thumbs resting on your sternum. You can stay in this position, or take the balance a step further by reaching your network branches up overhead.

      Web Firewall Application Pose (Warrior II)

      Yoga Web Application Firewall Pose

      This pose will give your quad muscles a run for their money. Step your feet apart, using your mat or towel as a guide. Raise your arms parallel, palms facing down, and reach them actively out to the sides. Keep the front foot pointed forward and turn your back foot out. The front and back heels should be aligned as the feet run perpendicular to each other.

      Bend your left knee over the left ankle, so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor. This is where you’ll feel the quad go to work. Anchor this movement of the front knee by strengthening the back leg as you press the outer back heel firmly to the floor. Turn you head forward to look out over your fingers.

      Concluding the Practice

      Yoga Sealing Practice

      Each practice concludes with savasana, or what we’re calling NAP Pose. You’ll get a chance to lie back on the mat, relax and thank yourself for the work you just did. Then, after that final relaxation, we seal the practice by sitting cross legged and saying, “Namaste,” which roughly means, “The light within me honors and respects the light within you.”

      Join us on Instagram Live for free yoga classes!

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      Laura Vietmeyer


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      Exploring the Features of Intelligent Monitoring, powered by INAP INblue


      What would you do if you didn’t have to spend time on routine server- or cloud-related maintenance and monitoring?

      According to INAP’s The State of IT infrastructure Management report, a vast majority of IT professionals say they are not spending enough time designing or implementing new solutions, working on expansions or upgrades, or focusing on information security projects. As it stands, 25 percent of participants say they spend too many hours on monitoring, and it’s clear that there’s a desire to set aside the busywork for value-added projects, allowing IT to be a center for innovation, rather than viewed as “purely keeping the lights on” by the company’s senior management.

      Intelligent Monitoring, powered by INAP INblue—a multicloud infrastructure management platform, gives you time for what matters. It’s a premium managed cloud and monitoring service—available today for INAP Bare Metal customers—that raises the bar for managed hosting solutions by ensuring proactive support, service transparency and consistent performance.

      “Infrastructure monitoring strategies are only as good as the actions that follow alerts,” said Jennifer Curry, SVP of Global Cloud Services at INAP. “We built Intelligent Monitoring to not only improve cloud performance and availability, but to set a new benchmark for managed services transparency.”

      In addition to an improved service experience, Managed Bare Metal customers also have access to the same enterprise-grade monitoring and management tools used by INAP technicians, offering functionality and control that will eliminate the need for customers to invest in third-party remote monitoring and management solutions, including remote execution and scripting, unified log management, patch management and automation, and port, service and URL monitoring.

      Let’s take a closer look at the features that make Intelligent Monitoring a one-of-a-kind solution.

      Advanced Monitoring & Action Items

      Built from the ground up with leading technologies like SaltStack and Elastic Beats, the Intelligent Monitoring agent tracks everything from server resource usage to Apache and MySQL connections. The in-depth, proprietary monitoring technology is installed directly onto your server, enabling INAP technicians to respond to alerts before performance degrading issues arise. Default trigger thresholds are chosen by INAP’s support team based on years of data and first-hand expertise. You have full access to all monitoring metrics and can request custom alert triggers, or modifications to trigger thresholds.

      When you log into INblue, the dashboard will give you a snapshot of your server environment through system events called Action Items. If you subscribe to the fully managed Service First edition, these items allow your INAP support team to proactively manage your environment and rapidly respond to alerts. Action Items are triggered in a variety of ways, including when infrastructure or network monitoring thresholds are surpassed, when a critical service shuts down or when a new software patch becomes available.

      Action Items

      Support Remediation Aided by Smart Workflow System

      INAP technicians remediate Action Items using our proprietary Smart Workflow System, which enables fast, accurate and consistent troubleshooting. Here’s a brief look how it works:

      1. The Smart Workflow System defines the Action Item type and initiates appropriate workflow process.
      2. The system automatically creates a support case for the Action Item, pulling historical correlated issue data, trigger metrics and detailed log info.
      3. Using the data and Action Item type, the assigned INAP Service First support technician investigates the issue following a branching series of software-defined and expert-tested remediation steps. Customers may request custom workflows for scenarios unique to their environment.
      4. Upon resolution of the Action Item, your assigned technician will notify you via the Action Item details page and include relevant root cause data.
      5. The Smart Workflow System constantly improves as new system data and insights from INAP experts modify issue definitions and remediation steps.

      On the other side of the glass, the INblue platform is your vehicle for ensuring absolute transparency. At the top of any Action Item details page, you’ll see the INAP technician assigned to the workflow, the current status of the event and tasks they are currently performing or have already performed. You can review information about correlated past issues, metric and log data pinpointing a trigger, and your full support history for any Action Item.

      However, for most Action Items, you won’t have to do a single thing. Intelligent Monitoring’s Smart Workflow System and the INAP Service First support team are on top of every case.

      Patching and Log Management

      Intelligent Monitoring radically simplifies two activities that most IT professionals consider especially tedious: patching and log management.

      The patching update process is streamlined, as all available patches for your server are proactively listed in groups. You can handle this process in one of two ways, depending on how much control you want. You can confirm and schedule the patch to complete the process with INAP support, or—if you want a hands-off approach—you can choose to auto-patch your server daily and your team will receive calendar invites for each scheduled patch.

      Intelligent Monitoring will also save you from manually browsing events by providing a chronological event log for all your servers. Easily filter by server and file path, or dive deep with a keyword search. You’ll be able to accelerate analysis and locate critical information. Plus, the log management feature provides your INAP technicians critical, actionable intelligence to keep your environment compliant and secure.

      Log Management

      Remote Execution and Scripting

      Intelligent Monitoring allows you to easily create and run remote execution scripts to any of your installed servers, giving you a single portal for taking control of your environment. You can choose from scripts you’ve already created and schedule them by inserting a token from your two-factor authentication application. You will automatically receive an email when the script successfully executes.

      If you want to create your own Bash or Powershell scripts, you can do so via the Script Editor, located in the side navigation of the INblue platform.

      Port, Service and URL Monitoring

      Under the Ports tab on any Server Details page, you can review, edit and monitor triggers for your server’s open and closed ports. Port Status changes will be shown in your Action Items list.

      Intelligent Monitoring also allows you to monitor any available services running on your system. You can also stop, start or restart services from the Services tab. For example, you can enable service monitoring on Chron Dee, enabling the auto-restart feature. With this monitoring feature enabled, you can rest assured that if a service ever fails, it will automatically create a new Action Item.

      Looking Ahead

      This is just the beginning for Intelligent Monitoring, powered by the INAP INblue platform. Many more features and capabilities are on the way, but in the meantime, we hope you enjoy exploring the tool and look forward to hearing your feedback.

      Demo INAP Intelligent Monitoring Today

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      Laura Vietmeyer


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      Three Reasons Why We Built Intelligent Monitoring, Powered by INblue


      This week, we officially launched our premium managed cloud and monitoring service, Intelligent Monitoring. Powered by INAP’s new infrastructure and support platform, INblue, the service is an important milestone for our cloud business and one we expect to set new benchmarks for managed services transparency and support experience consistency.

      You can take a closer look at Intelligent Monitoring and its many great features in the video below or over at our product page. Today, however, I’d like to share some insight into why we developed Intelligent Monitoring, and why we think it will benefit the countless businesses who rely on service providers to enable meaningful IT transformations.

      1. To Retire the Concept of ‘Just Trust Us’ in Managed Hosting  

      We built Intelligent Monitoring because traditional managed hosting is stuck in an innovation rut.

      Automation transformed data center operations. It made networks faster. It made the cloud possible by pushing the limits of scalability. But there’s one item automation hasn’t yet cracked: the disjointed, opaque experience of working with a managed service provider after the infrastructure is online.

      Any managed infrastructure service inherently relies on the concept of “just trust us.” Hand over the keys to your critical infrastructure and hope the provider knows what they’re doing if something goes wrong. What too often results from this is a gauntlet of service-related pain points: reactive and inconsistent troubleshooting of regularly occurring issues, a rotating cast of anonymous technicians, unreliable response times, and the inability to see what is being done to the server or cloud environment and why.

      Intelligent Monitoring acknowledges that “just trust us” is no longer acceptable. The service combines the very best elements of advanced monitoring automation with a proactive, software-defined support experience that values transparency and consistency above all else.

      Here’s how it works. A lightweight and secure agent installed on your servers and VMs tracks virtually every aspect of the environment—hardware, resources, network, application metrics, available patches, open ports, etc.—in real time. If a monitoring threshold is triggered for subscribers of our managed cloud service, INAP technicians will respond to alerts before performance degrading issues arise. Tickets are created proactively, and issues are mitigated using a proprietary Smart Workflow System that assists our experts with finding accurate solutions.

      Better yet, customers will immediately know who on the INAP team is assigned to a task via the event’s unique Action Item page. From this single screen, users can track progress on the open task, communicate directly with the technician and view forensic information associated with the event using logs and data from correlated past issues.

      INblue Launch

      2. To Streamline the Actions That Follow Alerts 

      We built Intelligent Monitoring because an infrastructure management strategy is only as good as the actions that follow alerts.

      While there are plenty of standalone tools available for monitoring, patching and managing remotely hosted environments, they often take a significant amount of time to configure. Certain monitoring programs are limited to read-only outputs. Meaning, admins have to manually remediate identified issues or jump to separate tools to complete the job.

      Intelligent Monitoring and the INblue platform seamlessly integrate with customer server environments, allowing IT pros to not just keep tabs on the health of their infrastructure, but take control of it via a powerful toolkit that includes universal log management, patch automation, service controls, and remote execution and script management. With the INblue platform, users are also able to manage their accounts, provision new services, manage firewalls and reboot servers. By hosting with INAP, organizations will eliminate the need for many third-party tools.

      With Intelligent Monitoring, fully managed cloud customers will enjoy the backing of INAP’s Service First Support team. For the do-it-yourself IT admin, we also offer the Intelligent Monitoring toolkit for a low per-server cost. To compare our Service First and Insight editions, download the product overview guide. At launch, Intelligent Monitoring is optimized for Bare Metal customers. Multicloud functionality and support is on the way in future releases.

      3. To Help IT Pros Make Time for What Matters Most  

      Finally, the most important reason why we built Intelligent Monitoring: IT professionals want to be the centers of innovation at their organizations, but are too weighed down by time-intensive, routine infrastructure tasks to achieve that goal.

      Late last year, we interviewed 500 IT professionals about time spent on infrastructure upkeep. Unsurprisingly, the No. 1 task IT professionals spend too much time on is infrastructure monitoring. Additionally, a majority of respondents (52 percent) say the time it takes their teams to address critical patches and updates leaves their organizations exposed to security risks.

      While maintaining the performance and ensuring the security of infrastructure is critically important, our survey respondents acknowledged that the extent of the effort detracts from the broader mission of their job function. If hypothetically given back 16 hours of their week previously spent monitoring and troubleshooting infrastructure, IT pros said a majority of that time would be dedicated to activities like researching new tech, developing new apps and/or products, skill development and application performance optimization.

      Overall, 77 percent of IT professionals agreed they could “bring more value to my organization if I spent less time on routine tasks like server monitoring and maintenance.”

      We believe that Intelligent Monitoring and INAP Managed Bare Metal are just the vehicles for giving IT the time to make a truly value-added difference. I hope you’ll take a moment to see for yourself.

      Demo INAP Intelligent Monitoring Today

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      Jennifer Curry
      • SVP, Global Cloud Services


      Jennifer Curry is SVP, Global Cloud Services. She is an operational and technology leader with over 17 years of experience in the IT industry, including seven years in the hosting/cloud market. READ MORE



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