Is your business about to score an own goal on the 16th of June?

It’s the Euros! Once again the nation will rally around the three lions hoping that this is our year. Whatever the outcome, many businesses are quietly concerned about the disruption it will bring to their companies.

The month long tournament which kicks off on the 10th of June is set to repeat the same absentee and operational challenges experienced during 2012’s Olympics, 2014’s World Cup and last year’s Rugby World Cup. In particular, England’s 2pm match against Wales on Thursday 16th June will be a prime candidate. And should we make it past the first round, further disruption dates are likely to occur.

Absenteeism costs British business more than £13bn a year, yet not all businesses will suffer as much as others.

Organisations with robust cloud and mobility strategies have proven that productivity doesn’t necessarily need to take a hit in such situations. Learning from previous major events, forward thinking businesses have used such technologies to maintain business performance whilst keeping staff happy to enjoy such occasions without having to resort to ever elaborate reasons to be off work.

To discover more about what you can do quickly and affordably to help your organisation avoid lost productivity and still enjoy the Euro finals during the next month speak to us today.

iOS OneDrive App Update Brings ‘Peek’ and ‘Pop’ Support

Microsoft’s OneDrive app has been updated for iOS with new ‘Peek’ and ‘Pop’ support for owners with 3D Touch-enabled devices.

The 7.1 update to the cloud storage app means iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users can now get instant previews of file and folder contents using a lighter press, while a deeper press ‘pops’ open the uploaded content.

Other changes to OneDrive include a new-look interface and a new feature that lets users shake their device to let Microsoft know if they are having issues with the service.

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Storage Integration in Veeam Availability Suite Version 9.5 Expanded

BCN’S partner for solutions that deliver Availability for the Always-On Enterprise, Veeam Software have announced that the company will expand existing storage integration to include Nimble Storage as part of the new Veeam Availability Suite version 9.5, to be released later this year.

The cost and consequences of downtime and lost data pose a significant challenge to meeting modern service level agreements (SLAs) for the Availability of applications and data. In addition to existing integrations with enterprise storage offerings from HPE, NetApp and EMC, Veeam will add integration with Nimble Storage in Veeam Availability Suite version 9.5, resulting in increased Availability and improved operational performance for all Nimble Storage users.

“Nimble Storage continues to execute its strategy of accelerating topline growth,” said Ratmir Timashev, CEO of Veeam. “Veeam and Nimble have a strong partnership that already demonstrates success, and further integration between the two technologies will enable our mutual partners and customers to experience more than just backup and storage. Veeam and Nimble Storage’s integration opens up the Availability conversation to a much wider ecosystem and I am excited at what we can achieve together.”
“Extending our partnership with Veeam provides cost-effective data protection for our rapidly expanding enterprise customer base. We are now enabling our joint partner ecosystem to sell a best-of-breed integrated solution for customers looking to deploy flash in their data centers and the cloud,” said Suresh Vasudevan, CEO, Nimble Storage. “The Nimble-Veeam integration expands the value of the Nimble Unified Flash Fabric, which enables replication from All-flash to Adaptive (hybrid) flash arrays at one-third the cost of backing up to competitive all-flash arrays. Nimble and Veeam solutions can not only coexist in modern data centers but simplify IT operations at a lower total cost of ownership.”

By further leveraging IT investments in modern storage, the new integrations with Nimble Storage will move enterprises beyond backup and into the new era of Availability, helping them to meet recovery time and point objectives (RTPO™) of less than 15 minutes for all applications and data. These include:

  • Backup from Storage Snapshots: Lower the additional impact from backup activities on production storage by retrieving virtual machine (VM) data from Nimble Storage snapshots on primary storage or their replicated copies on secondary storage;
  • Veeam Explorer™ for Storage Snapshots: Recover individual application items, guest files or entire VMs quickly and efficiently from periodic Nimble Storage snapshots and their replicated copies created by Veeam jobs or with the native scheduler;
  • On-Demand Sandbox™ for Storage Snapshots: Use storage snapshots on primary and secondary storage systems to create complete isolated copies of production environment in just a few clicks, for fast and easy developing, testing and troubleshooting.

This new integration will be released with Veeam Availability Suite version 9.5 – coming later this year – with a set of features that will increase Availability and improve operational performance in both Veeam Backup & Replication™ and Veeam Backup Essentials™. Register for an upcoming VeeamLIVE episode to learn more.

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Settling into Trident House

After a busy few months, our new offices at Trident House are finally complete.

We are now looking forward to the completion of Trident House, in particular the opening of the cafe and gym!

We will be making the most of our new premises by holding various seminars and events. To keep up to date with the latest events, please subscribe to our newsletter using the form in the footer of this page.

We are also welcoming current and new clients to come and visit the new premises. To arrange your visit, contact the team on 0345 095 7000.

 

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New HP Pro 400 Series aimed at SMBs

HP-pro-series-400x300BCN Group‘s partner, HP, has introduced its new Pro 400 Series of desktops, notebooks and an all-in-one PC, along with printers and multi-function printers. Designed for businesses of all sizes, the series is particularly appealing to small- and medium-sized businesses.

SMBs have a need for technology that is designed for a modern business, where devices can be easily connected and enable collaboration between employees – without the need for wires or special equipment. HP’s Pro Series offer SMBs affordable, enterprise-level technology packaged in new consumer-inspired designs.

It also offers helpful built-in security and manageability features such as Client Security, which provides multifactor authentication and hard drive encryption to keep sensitive data secure and BIOSphere, which offers BIOS-level protection of device firmware during system startup and BIOS updates. In addition, the IT cloud-based management tool Touchpoint Manager adds user-friendly manageability, and all devices are available with Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system.

New devices include:

  • HP ProBook 400 G3 series of notebooks cater to a more mobile workstyle, with its new thin, light and durable design in 13”, 14” and 15” diagonal sizes and built-in security features like the HP BIOSphere, TPM7 and an optional fingerprint reader.
  • The ProDesk 400 series comes in a wide range of sizes, including an ultra-small form factor, small form factor or micro tower options, all optimized for affordability and performance.
  • The new HP LaserJet 400 series printers and MFPs provide the speed and efficiency to keep businesses at their most productive with the fastest first page out, fastest two-sided printing, and lowest energy consumption in their class14,15.

To find out more about how the HP Pro 400 range could benefit your business, contact BCN Group on 0345 095 7000 or email sales@bcn.co.uk.

 

About BCN Group
BCN Group is an IT Service and solutions provider based in Cheshire with a client base covering Cheshire, Manchester, Stockport and throughout the UK.

Our key focus areas are: virtualisationstoragehosted solutionsdisaster recoverybusiness continuityIT consultancy network support services. Follow us on twitter: @bcn_group

VMware vSphere 6 support coming soon

We would like to provide you with the following update from Veeam Software regarding support.

VMware vSphere 6 support coming soon

Veeam Software are starting to see a number of support cases from customers who have upgraded to VMware vSphere 6. We would like to remind you that according to the official system requirements, generally available (GA) versions of Veeam products DO NOT support vSphere 6. Please, DO NOT upgrade to vSphere 6 until updates to their products that include vSphere 6 support are available.

The current status of Veeam’s vSphere 6 support efforts is as follows. The vSphere 6 RTM build was made generally available on 12 March, and they have been conducting full regression QC testing of all Veeam® Backup & Replication™ functionality to ensure that the vSphere 6 support functionality, developed based on pre-release vSphere builds, is not impacted by the changes in the RTM build—so that Veeam customers can be confident in upgrading to the latest VMware release. Based on testing, at least one area has already been determind in which the RTM build introduces a significant change (when compared to the RC code), and Veeam Software are now working to address it.

Veeam has consistently been one of the first data protection independent software vendors (ISVs) to provide full support for all new vSphere releases, and as such, they are again committed to bringing vSphere 6 support to market as soon as possible, while meeting product quality standards and ensuring all new vSphere 6 features, including VMware Virtual Volumes (vVOLs), are supported right out of gate.
Taking into account the significant amount of new vSphere 6 features that require support—and this is subject to change as they continue to evaluate changes in the final vSphere 6 release code—Veeam expect to support vSphere 6 by the end of April 2015 as a part of Veeam Backup & Replication 8.0 Update 2.

When it comes to data protection, Veeam Software adhere to these guiding principles:

  • Never rush data protection software, no matter what. Ensuring reliability is paramount, and there cannot be any excuses, No customer wants to be acting as a quality control engineer.
  • Always do full regression testing against the shipping code. Things may change with the APIs and how core components behave. This has happened before! We never assume that the code that was working with the pre-release versions will continue to work with the RTM build.
  • Always provide support for all new platform features when claiming platform support. The ability for a customer to protect any and all workloads running on the new platform is paramount. No customer wants to be running into limitations that prevent them from protecting those workloads which do use new platform features.

These details are important to Veeam. Please note that Veeam Backup & Replication explicitly does not support new platforms until its official from them.

If you have any questions regarding this update, please call us on 0845 095 7000.

VMware Cloud Services Provider

 

BCN Group have cemented their relationship with VMware by committing to the VMware vCloud Air Network program as a Cloud Service Provider.

VMware vCloud Suite is an integrated offering for building and managing a VMware vSphere-based private cloud that can dramatically improve efficiency, agility and control for IT organizations.

Our IAAS has been built on VMware to offer our clients a hybrid cloud solution. To find out more about how the BCN Cloud can benefit your business, please call us on 0345 095 7000.

How Cloud Computing Can Solve Your Business Problems

 

Cloud computing can be an organisation’s best and most reliable resource when it comes to solving business challenges.

Key challenges facing businesses today – including expensive IT, mobility restrictions, and limited growth capacity – can all be solved by migrating to cloud computing and an increased reliance on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) programs.

Problem 1: Expensive IT Costs

Solution: Organisations must accommodate increasing demand for new IT capabilities and services, however economic uncertainty and rising costs of materials can cause a roadblock along the way.  Cloud computing presents an economic advantage by providing IT solutions at a lower cost and increased access to data from virtually any device.

Problem 2: Mobility Restrictions

Solution: Mobility is an increasing IT challenge, and nothing tackles this challenge more completely than cloud computing. Businesses are eager for increased mobility of business applications on smartphones, which rely on timely updates only available from cloud-based software management. Cloud-based providers solve the challenge of mobility by providing service updates almost immediately, which bring enormous productivity gains.

Problem 3: Limited Growth Capacity

Solution: Although business growth is the primary goal and motivation of all businesses, it quickly presents a challenge of being able to support the extra amount of data that new growth brings. The cloud can hold an unprecedented amount of data and cloud technology can be continuously scaled up or down to fit a company’s changing needs.

Problem 4: Lack of Inter-organisation data sharing & collaborations

Solution: Lack of cross- organisation data sharing can lead to misinformed decision making. Cloud computing resolves this by facilitating faster, easier and more extensive data sharing between departments and offices within your business. The also aids collaboration within the organisations.

 

About BCN Group
BCN Group is an IT Service and solutions provider based in Cheshire with a client base covering Cheshire, Manchester, Stockport and throughout the UK.

Our key focus areas are: virtualisationstoragehosted solutionsdisaster recoverybusiness continuityIT consultancy network support services. Follow us on twitter: @bcn_group

 

 

‘Deadly serious’ new vulnerability found – “Shellshock”

 A “deadly serious” bug has been discovered that could potentially affect hundreds of millions of computers, servers and devices.

The bug, dubbed “Shellshock” is a flaw that has been found in a software component known as Bash, which is a part of many Linux systems as well as Apple’s Mac operating system.

Researchers say that it can be used to remotely take control of almost any system using Bash and some experts say it is more serious than Heartbleed, discovered in April.

“Whereas something like Heartbleed was all about sniffing what was going on, this was about giving you direct access to the system,” Prof Alan Woodward, a security researcher from the University of Surrey, told the BBC.

“The door’s wide open.”

Some 500,000 machines worldwide were thought to have been vulnerable to Heartbleed. But early estimates, which experts said were conservative, suggest that Shellshock could hit at least 500 million machines.

The problem is particularly serious given that many web servers are run using the Apache system, software which includes the Bash component.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29361794