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      IT Professionals Day 2020: 5 Reasons to Thank Your IT Team


      Today is IT Professionals Day. This annual day of recognition was first celebrated in 2015 as a way to thank the people who keep the wheels of IT turning. And while we advocate thanking your IT team regularly, this year in particular our IT teams have taken on a lion’s share of work in helping many companies go remote, protecting us from ongoing cyberthreats and accelerating digital transformation initiatives.

      Preparing networks for remote work on a moment’s notice and ensuring applications remain resilient and performant is no easy task, but thanks to IT pros’ skills and agility, businesses have been able to continue on, many without missing a beat.

      In addition to their essential functions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, below we’ve assembled five reasons to thank you IT team.

      1. IT infrastructure managers go above and beyond around the clock.

      On average, IT pros are interrupted 6.24 times a month during their personal hours with issues related to server and/or cloud infrastructure.

      2. IT professionals are on the front lines of enterprise of cybersecurity.

      Daily, IT professionals are presented with 26.08 server and cloud-related alerts daily on average. This includes monitoring triggers, patches, updates, vulnerabilities and other issues.

      3. Our IT teams are always there for us when things go wrong.

      54% of pros say that they are only contacted by their coworkers when things go wrong, and 58% worry that senior leaders only view their function as “keeping the lights on.” But we too often fail to see all they to do help companies grow . . .

      4. IT teams are key in helping our companies grow and innovate.

      IT pros are hungry to move beyond routine activities and do the work that makes a greater impact for all of us. 47% want to spend more time on designing and implementing new solutions, and 59% of tech pros are frustrated by time spent on monitoring and OS maintenance. A whopping 83% say their departments should be viewed as centers for innovation.

      5. IT pros continually educate themselves to keep pace with this ever-evolving field.

      As such, 53.7% of IT pros say they feel like they’ve held 2-5 different roles since starting their careers in IT. In order to meet shifting demands, 37% of pros participate in training to learn new skills monthly, while 11% do so weekly.

      Data derived from INAP’s annual State of IT Infrastructure Management report. The survey was conducted among 500 IT senior leaders and infrastructure managers in the United States and Canada.

      Drop your IT team a note to let them know you appreciate their hard work and dedication. Or make a quick video to say, “thanks.”

      In the video below, INAP leadership thank our 100-plus essential data center workers. The terrific performance from these IT pros has enabled our thousands of global customers to successfully operate their businesses through a period of immense challenge.

      Laura Vietmeyer


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      New Survey Reveals the Big 4 Reasons Behind Cloud Migrations and the Off-Premise Exodus


      Organizations continue to migrate their IT infrastructure off-premise, and this trend is not slowing down any time soon. INAP’s 2019 State of IT Infrastructure Management survey, released in November, revealed that nearly 9 in 10 organizations (88 percent) will be migrating at least some workloads off-premise in the next three years.

      This already high percentage jumps to an even greater level when only looking at organizations that already have remote environments. Ninety-six percent of this group plans to move more workloads off-prem in the near future.

      For this second annual survey, participants—500 IT leaders and infrastructure managers—were asked why they are moving workloads off-prem, and where those workloads are going. The results indicate four big reasons for moving off-prem, as well as the share of companies migrating workloads to cloud, colo and bare metal.

      If you haven’t checked out the survey report yet, read up on it here, or download the full report below.

      Why Companies are Moving Off-Premise

      Big 4

      The data above compares the 2018 and 2019 results of the survey. The clear top four reasons for 2019—network, scalability, resiliency and security—make a compelling case for why the demise of the on-premise data center is perhaps inevitable within the next decade. Let’s explore this year’s top reasons in greater depth.

      Improve Network Performance

      Jumping up six points from 2018, where it ranked No. 3 overall, network performance has claimed the No. 1 spot for reasons to move off-premise. Ultra-low latency and high availability is critically important to end users (think multi-player gamers, streaming customers, Ad Tech and financial service consumers, etc.) and can make the difference between retaining customers or losing them to a competitor. Additionally, conversations around the importance of Edge Computing and Edge Networking strategies continue to grow in prominence, meaning network performance will only grow more important.

      Accomplishing both low latency and high availability requires not only more bandwidth, but better infrastructure to serve end users at the edge. Alternatively, organizations can take advantage of network route optimization technologies to ensure traffic is always sent along the lowest-latency path.

      Whichever path an organization chooses to take, it’s clear that traditional on-premise data centers are increasingly incapable of delivering the performance today’s digital economy demands. To truly compete in the current and future tech landscape, strong network performance is a requirement, not a necessity.

      Application Scalability and Resiliency

      The No. 2 (scalability) and No. 3 (resiliency) reasons are both essential components of running workloads and applications in the digital economy. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions deliver these attributes via on-demand deployment, and colocation data centers deliver them via greater space and power capacity, each offering companies the ability to add resources easier and more efficiently than they can with the average on-premise facility.

      Additionally, any quality off-premise solution will include component and utility redundancy, enabling up-time of 99.999 percent annually. A single point of failure, whether it’s related to electrical, power or cooling, for example, will not disrupt your service in a Tier 3 data center run and maintained by a reliable partner.

      Infrastructure and Data Center Security

      Cyberattacks continue to grow in sophistication and frequency. Earlier this year, we rounded up sobering statistics on the state of cybersecurity. Did you know that it takes an organization 34 days on average to patch for critical common vulnerabilities and exposures? And did you also know that a successful phishing attempt will cost small or medium business $1.6 million on average? It’s no wonder security ranked No. 4 as a reason to move off-premise.

      As information security initiatives attract more attention from the C-suite, in-house IT infrastructure and operations leaders will continue to view on-premise facilities as a vulnerability. The levels of physical and network security offered by leading cloud and data center providers goes above and beyond what an on-premise operation can achieve. The security and compliance-ready attributes of Tier 3 data center facilities instantly tick several “best-practice” boxes, giving IT pros and the C-suite alike peace of mind, not to mention assurance that their infrastructure will be ready to stand up to future threats.

      Additionally, more companies are choosing to offload the day-to-day management of common security functions like monitoring, log management and patch management. For instance, a fully managed hosted private cloud offers the scalability and security that organizations are looking for and allows them to work with a trusted partner to deploy the best-fit solution for applications and workloads.

      The Future of IT Infrastructure is Hybrid

      Now that we understand why organizations are headed off-prem, let’s explore where they are moving. We asked survey participants to choose from non-Software as a Service (SaaS) and non-Platform as a Service (PaaS) environments, including hosted private cloud, hyperscale public cloud, colocation data center and hosted bare metal or dedicated servers. The participants were able to select all options that applied.

      Hybrid IT

      Based on the results, we learned that it’s not a uniform journey to the major hyperscale cloud providers. Organizations plan to spread workloads across a variety of different environments, including colocation and hosted private clouds, with the later just outpacing the hyperscalers at 77 percent.

      Between colocation and the different types of clouds, organizations have plenty of choice when it comes to their off-premise infrastructure, and there is no one-size-fits-all best solution. In this hybrid era of IT, it will be important for organizations to evaluate their infrastructure strategies for to ensure that their chosen solutions (cloud, colo, etc.) are best meeting workload requirements.

      “All of that infrastructure spread out across multiple data centers and clouds needs to be centrally managed, monitored and secured with efficiency,” says Jennifer Curry, INAP’s SVP, Global Cloud Services in TechRepublic’s coverage of the report. “This is no easy feat, so my recommendation would be to seek out partners who understand how to design performance-driven architectures and partners who can provide you the flexibility and support required to give your teams the peace of mind and the ability to focus on what matters most.”

      The Off-Premise Acceleration

      Just how fast will the on-premise data center exodus be? Respondents were asked to anticipate the percentage share of on-premise workloads now and three years from now in our latest survey. Overall, IT pros expect a 38 percent reduction in on-premise workloads by 2022. While there are myriad reasons to move away from on-prem infrastructures, the “Big 4” reasons present a compelling case for this migration.

      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

      GET THE DEMO

      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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