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      Year in Review: The Best of 2020


      Many of us are in a hurry to usher in 2021 and firmly slam the door shut on 2020. But the year wasn’t a total loss. The events of 2020 tested our abilities to endure and adapt, change and grow. We embraced flexibility to reach our performance goals, and we leaned on the people around us to make it through together.

      The bar may seem low for “best of” in 2020, but here at the ThinkIT Blog, we’re proud of the INAP team and the contributions of IT pros around the world who kept us all connected in the face of a global pandemic. And so, as we wrap up a rough year, let’s look back at the bright spots, focusing on flexibility, performance and people.

      Flexibility

      The events of this year have demanded that we pivot, rethink or completely rework our plans and strategies. Early in the pandemic, we covered how to get your network ready for emergency remote work, helping companies make the initial jump to sending their employees home.

      Preparing Your Corporate Network for Emergency Remote Work: Bandwidth, VPNs, Security and Notes for INAP Customers

      Bandwidth

      As the lockdowns and quarantines have persisted, however, IT pros and leaders have been rethinking their infrastructure strategies to support long-term work from home options and to eventually execute a successful transition back to the office. We explored the acceleration of hybrid strategies and more in our latest State of IT Infrastructure Management report.

      New Report: IT Infrastructure & The Pandemic

      Earlier this year, we also explored how soft skills are essential to the success of IT pros in their current roles and for the future of the industry. In a study conducted pre-pandemic, “flexibility” was ranked most important soft skill for IT pros, and it has become even more important in our current landscape.

      COVID-19 Pandemic Shines Spotlight on How Essential Soft Skills are to the Future of Tech

      IT Essential Soft Skills

      Performance

      Demand for high-performance technology that keeps us connected has never been so paramount.

      On this blog, our INAP solution engineers led the charge on crafting content to assist IT pros and leaders in improving their workflows and infrastructure choices. Below is just a sample of the great content they’ve produced this year:

      Deploying Kubernetes on Bare Metal

      Kubernetes Bare Metal

      Reduce Your AWS Public Cloud Spend with DIY Strategies and Managed Services

      AWS Public Cloud Cost Optimization

      A Simple Guide for Choosing the Right Hybrid IT Infrastructure Mix for Your Applications

      Hybrid IT Mix

      Our product team at INAP has also been working hard to launch new additions and updates to our portfolio that will benefit current and future customers and partners alike.

      3 Reasons You Need INAP’s Next-Generation Dedicated Private Cloud in Your Hybrid Infrastructure Mix

      Dedicated Private Cloud Intelligent Monitoring

      People

      As important as flexibility and performance are, it’s teamwork and dedication from people that has been most important to finding success this year. For those of us at INAP, this year was all about celebrating our people and IT pros at large.

      Around the globe, our essential data center workers made it possible for the rest of us to go remote. And they maintained the high-level of service our customers expect to support their clients and company missions. Without our frontline employees working hard behind the scenes, life would have ground to a halt.

      Video: Thank You Essential Data Center Workers

      Essential Data Center Workers

      On September 14, we also took a moment to celebrate IT Professionals Day, highlighting how this year 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. But of course, we advocate thanking IT teams regularly.

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

      IT Professionals Day 2020

      Our leaders have guided us through a year of significant change. At INAP, we’ve gotten to know some of our leaders better via features on them in our Executive Spotlight series.

      INAP Executive Spotlight: Jackie Coats, Senior Vice President, Human Resources

      INAP Executive Spotlight: Matt Cuneio, Vice President, Network Operations Center

      INAP Exec Spotlight Image

      And we’ve been fortunate to welcome new leadership to the company who we’re looking forward to getting to know better over the years as they work to take INAP to the next level to the benefit of our employees, partners and customers. 

      INAP Appoints Joe Corvaia as Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer

      INAP Appoints Lisa Mayr Chief Financial Officer

      INAP Appoints Kevin Goodman as Senior Vice President of Business Operations, Marketing and Strategy

      Leadership

      Here’s to continued success through hard work and dedication in 2021.

      Laura Vietmeyer


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      20,000 Upgrades Later: Lessons From a Year of Managed Kubernetes Upgrades


      This Tech Talk will be streaming live on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, 1:00–2:00 p.m. ET.
      RSVP for free on Eventbrite here to receive a link to join.

      About the Talk

      Upgrading to a new release is one of the most disruptive operations we regularly inflict on our Kubernetes clusters. There are multiple strategies for doing an upgrade, but they all require rescheduling workloads and restarting cluster components.

      We started offering upgrades on our managed Kubernetes platform, DigitalOcean Kubernetes Service (DOKS), in May 2019. Since then, our customers have kicked off about 20,000 automated patch and minor release upgrades on their clusters. Most of those upgrades went well, but some didn’t and we’ve learned a few things from the ones that went wrong.

      In this talk, we will share lessons from a year of automated Kubernetes upgrades: what we got right, what we got wrong, workloads that caused us trouble, and changes we’ve made to make the process smoother. We hope these lessons will help others avoid pain in their Kubernetes upgrades.

      What You’ll Learn

      • How DigitalOcean coordinates Kubernetes upgrades for managed clusters.
      • What Kubernetes users, especially those using DigitalOcean managed Kubernetes, can do to ensure their workloads tolerate upgrades.

      This Talk is Designed For

      • Kubernetes administrators/operators who are interested in the details of how DigitalOcean performs Kubernetes upgrades, what we’ve seen go wrong, and what we’ve learned.
      • Developers running applications on Kubernetes who are interested in how to configure your workloads to avoid problems during upgrades.

      Prerequisites

      Knowledge of the components of a Kubernetes cluster and how applications are deployed.

      About the Presenter

      Adam Wolfe Gordon is the tech lead for managed Kubernetes and container registry at DigitalOcean. He previously worked on block storage at DigitalOcean and EMC. Adam is a regular conference speaker and a frequent attendee of and presenter at local meetups in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He likes building and debugging microservices, observability, and occasional forays into lower-level software.

      How to Join

      This Tech Talk is free and open to everyone. Join the live event on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, 1:00–2:00 p.m. ET by registering on Eventbrite here and Adam Wolfe Gordon will be answering questions at the end.

      If you can’t make the live event, the video recording will be published here as soon as it’s available.



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      Year in Review: The Best of 2019


      For INAP employees, 2019 was the first full calendar year to live out the message of our new brand identity, revealed in late 2018: Performance for Your Purpose. IT pros know that the best infrastructure strategy depends on performance—on speed, resiliency and scalability. That’s why we work to make best-fit infrastructure strategies a reality through our industry-leading automation technologies, application-centric approach to solution engineering and a managed services and support philosophy that ensures our team is your team, bringing you our expertise on demand.

      Here at the ThinkIT Blog, we aim to cover topics that will assist in living out this message through thought leadership, solution specific content and original industry research. Below is a list of our 10 favorite blogs from 2019. Check it out to see what you may have missed:

      What Does IT Performance Really Mean?

      gauges

      IT is moving into the future, growing beyond its traditional role to become a center of innovation—so then why are conversations about IT performance stuck in the past? Josh Williams, VP, Solution Engineering, explores the definition of IT performance, stating that it must transcend “speeds and feeds” to encompass what technical performance enables your IT and your company to do, or in other words, how your IT is supporting your organization’s purpose.

      Read more >

      60 Things IT Pros Wish CEOs Knew About Their Job

      man shouting into megaphone

      In an original survey conducted in early 2019, we asked 500 IT pros, “What’s the one thing you wish your CEO knew about your IT department/team?” Their answers ranged from straightforward and simple to humorous and even impassioned. INAP’s own CEO, Pete Aquino, even explained implications of the findings in an OpEd for Chief Executive.

      Read more >

      Infrastructure for Online Gaming: Bare Metal and Colocation Reference Architecture

      Tron-like city

      Bare Metal has quickly become the infrastructure solution of choice for gaming applications. It’s powerful, fast and, most importantly, easily scalable—all qualities that make it perfect for resource-intensive, dynamic applications like massive online games. And beyond that, Bare Metal offers performance and functionality at a competitive price, even when fully customized to your performance needs and unique requirements. Check out what a Bare Metal deployment for gaming might look like via a sample reference architecture.

      Read more >

      The Flagship Series: INAP Phoenix Data Centers

      INAP Phoenix data centers

      This year we debuted our Flagship Series, exploring INAP’s flagship data centers in various markets. First in the series was the latest addition to our data center portfolio—our facility in Phoenix, Ariz. The data center market here is among the fastest growing in the country, and favorable conditions indicate the boom will not slow down anytime soon. Learn about this and our other flagships by exploring the series.

      Read more >

      Announcing INAP Interchange: Agility and Flexibility for Modern IT

      highway seen from above

      There are times when changing up your infrastructure mix is necessary to meet your company’s needs. Launched in spring, INAP Interchange provides solution flexibility after you deploy your initial solution. Exchange infrastructure environments a year (or later) into your contract with our spend portability program. In this blog, Dan Beers, VP, Colo BU Operations Services, explains how you can focus on current-state IT needs knowing you can adapt for future-state realities through this program.

      Read more >

      Sovrn Advances Digital Advertising with Engagement-Focused Tech

      INAP customer, Sovrn, provides digital advertising tools, technologies and services to help independent publishers grow their audiences and make money through engaging ad content. We spoke to Sovrn CTO, Jesse Demmel, on the company’s //Signal product, why it’s different, and the elements of their data center and network strategy that keep their business growing.

      Read more >

      Three Reasons Why We Built Intelligent Monitoring, Powered by INblue

      INblue Launch

      In July, we released our first-of-its-kind cloud infrastructure monitoring solution, Intelligent Monitoring, powered by INAP INblue, which provides greater transparency, drives results and gives IT infrastructure pros time back for what matters most. Jennifer Curry, SVP, Global Cloud Services, goes in depth on why we created Intelligent Monitoring.

      Read more >

      How to Implement Microsoft SQL Servers in a Private Cloud for Maximum Performance

      Microsoft SQL Server

      There are many considerations to take into account when implementing a Microsoft SQL Server in a private cloud environment. Today’s SQL dependent applications have different performance and high availability (HA) requirements. Solution Engineer Rob Lerner covers performance considerations to ensure that your SQL Server environment is ready to meet application, growth and DR requirements for your organization.

      Read more >

      New Survey Report: The State of IT Infrastructure Management

      Survey Report Pages   

      INAP surveyed 500 IT professionals with data center, server and cloud infrastructure responsibilities at companies in the U.S. and Canada to create the second annual State of IT Infrastructure Management report. In this year’s report, we delve further into what’s driving the decline of on-premise data centers and highlight the factors associated with successful infrastructure strategies in the hybrid and multicloud era. This report has been covered by several news outlets, including CIO Dive, Information Management and Tech Republic.

      Read more >

      Be sure to check the ThinkIT Blog regularly so you don’t miss a thing in 2020.

      Laura Vietmeyer


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