They Say Knowledge is Power

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The journey to IT excellence can be a lonely one

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WHAT WE DO

Langton Blue specialises in bringing clarity where ambiguity exists around technology, operations and finance. Key to the process is understanding the influence these areas have on each other. Our team has skills in managing the complexities of bringing all parts of IT and business together to work in harmony.

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HOW WE DO IT

Langton Blue has a unique approach to addressing problems throughout the lifecycle of an IT service; a focused assessment for getting under the covers of a problem, understanding the contributing factors. In essence, viewing the “bigger picture”.


Security

Managing the technology risk in your organisation, across an ever increasing complexity of software and hardware, can be daunting.  We take the lid off this complexity, reducing it to clear, actionable endeavours.  With our FTSE100 hands-on operational experience and “baked-in” security behaviours, we can help you be secure by default, minimising the change to your organisation.  The answer is rarely a single product, or three, but a careful blend of education, processes and products, baked into a delicious recipe for peaceful sleep.

Storage

Storage is now more complex and diversified than ever before.  We track trends in all-flash, hybrid, object and scale out storage solutions, with knowledge and expertise to guide you on your choice of the right product and platform for your business.  Perhaps you’re looking at transformation and need help planning and migrating data between providers; or you’re evaluating options for moving storage to the cloud.  Whatever it is, we can help.

Networking

Moving your services,  intellectual property and data from here to there and back again is something we have all taken for-granted for many years.  The advent of cloud encourages us to push the boundaries of our networking capability, in ways that we have not done before.  We can help you understand the implications of a cloud service model, helping you establish your cloud vendors’ readiness to operate your infrastructure for you, over the network lifeline between you and it.

Cloud

Private cloud, hybrid cloud, public cloud, the choices are endless.  However migrating your applications to the cloud is not just about the technology; cloud represents a new way of thinking, bringing in new processes and application design.  We’ve used our expertise and knowledge to successfully migrate customer applications on IaaS and SaaS solutions, putting in place frameworks to make sure cloud providers are delivering to the service levels of the business.

What does a Problem Solver do with a month away from clients?

My day-job in Langton Blue is helping clients fix messy, complicated problems in the manner of Winston Wolf – quickly, efficiently, with a minimum of fuss and bother.  When attending exhibitions my name badge often reads “Problem Solver” to encourage the good folk I meet to avoid assumptions based upon a job title.  Wearing this title demands a broad knowledge of operations, processes, technology and architecture.  Keeping current on all of that requires a good deal of personal maintenance and I was lucky enough to have a month this year when I could pick whatever I wanted to look at in the Langton Blue laboratory and refresh in a very, very hands on feast.  Apologies in advance for the technical content below – this gets messy! The Interesting stuff August was family holiday time with September dedicated to my much anticipated lab time, tuning those oft neglected skills of sleeves up, hands-on real technology know-how.  Here are the highlights of what I got up to. SDN Controller – BigSwitch Deployed a Dell S4810-ON ONIE switch for 10GE storage and application networking across a vSphere and Hyper-V cluster.  Although these contain a first generation Broadcom Trident chipset, they are fully supported by BigSwitch.  Big Fabric and Big Monitoring Fabric are the products deployed, with the latter looking *very* interesting for out-of-band layer 3+ visibility tools like ExtraHop. Lots more to come with this setup, and we’ll be breaking it in every way we can find.  We drink strong coffee, not cool ade, when we discuss SDN and its applications for financial clients. IAM Identity Access and Management – Vasco Identikey Rebuilt and deployed a Vasco Identikey... read more

DRaaS is dross without cerebral underpinning

Disaster Recovery is in some way on every organisation’s agenda.  It is no surprise that Gartner have now produced a magic quadrant for Disaster Recovery as a Service (https://www.gartner.com/doc/3033519?ref=AnalystProfile&srcId=1-4554397745)  What caught my attention was the inclusion of Acronis in that document.  Who?  This piqued my curiosity to see what this “DRaaS” thing actually delivers. What is Disaster Recovery? The correct answer is the foreboding “it depends”, but we can do better than that.  For any business, a reasonable disaster definition is “a substantial event which materially affects the ability to continue trading”.  This would likely include events that prevent a primary datacentre from operating – e.g. power failure,  flood, terrorist action – and also non-physical interruptions  – virus, authentication failure, out of storage, networking failure, phones don’t work etc. This is very much a sliding scale starting at “boring, take a note”, through “very  inconvenient, fix it now” up to “we’re doomed, engage headless chicken mode”.  Whatever name you decide to call it, it means survival of a very bad thing.  A thing so bad, that you couldn’t possibly continue to operate your business when it happens, without your ready-to-go, fully tested, bright pink, recovery plan. DRaaS Vendors are not in your Industry Vertical The vendors that sell DRaaS aren’t in your industry vertical.  If they were, they would be competing for your clients’ business rather than selling you a DRaaS thing.  This is a significant point.  They aren’t experts about your business operations or processes, so they avoid getting tangled in your process detail.  The essential hours of analysis time unravelling your processes, understanding your services and mapping them to a... read more

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