Kansas City IT Symposium

The 14th Annual Kansas City IT Symposium is tomorrow, April 10th! More than 200 Kansas City area technology leaders will come together for a full day of networking and education on the latest trends in IT. We are thrilled to be sponsoring this great event again, so be sure to swing by our booth to catch a sneak peek of our newest data center in Kansas City’s SubTropolis’ limestone mines before the Grand Opening. Our team will be there answering any questions and ready to chat about the exciting projects LightEdge has planned in 2014. Don’t forget to sit in on our 10:45 AM session with Christopher Campbell, Director of IT at KVC Health Systems, Inc. in the Leatherwood 2 room. Christopher will be discussing how challenging the norm and exploring managed services led KVC to greater success.

Cloud: One Size Doesn’t Fit All  KVC

Session Description:  In the face of rapid expansion and change, it is only natural to want to play it safe when it comes to your IT solutions in order to avoid adding in obstacles or unknown factors. Last year, KVC was faced with this situation, but instead of staying the same, IT Director Christopher Campbell took the time to pause briefly and navigate the best course that needed to be taken. In order to meet the challenges presented to him, he realized that he was going to need to find a solution that wasn’t one size fits all and take a different approach in order to succeed. Join Christopher Campbell from KVC to hear about how consistent delivery and creative solutions to their unique needs paved the way for their successful journey to the cloud.

KCIT

*Don’t have a ticket yet? There is still time to register for the event! Follow this link for additional information and to register now: http://www.kcitsymposium.com/registration/?eventid=183  

 

 

 

Questions to Ask Yourself When Selecting a Data Center: Does the location offer sufficient connectivity and scalability?

Questions to Ask Yourself When Selecting a Data Center: Does the location offer sufficient connectivity and scalability?

Asking questions up front about the purpose of the facility and then determining how company goals need to be reflected in the design, construction and operation will play a foundational role in your search.

Virtualization, high-density and cloud computing – along with the need to support more and more users – are driving the demand for high bandwidth, high reliability and low latency connectivity. Since downtime directly impacts revenue and/or business operations, organizations with production environments are primarily focused on network connectivity that ensures data is always available, that the speed of the network is sufficient and that inherent delays in data processing are as small as possible.

Bandwidth and latency are both important factors to take into consideration when selecting a colocation facility that will house production-centered data and information critical to business process. By partnering with a provider that offers a combination of connectivity options – including upstream national and international fiber carriers and a fiber infrastructure that can grow with your organization – you will ensure the delivery of high bandwidth, high reliability and low latency service.

Not only should you pursue a colocation provider that offers scalable connectivity, you should also ensure the facility itself can scale for growth. Having contiguous space for expansion is a great asset for any data center facility.

Data Centers provide the advantages of the existing network and infrastructure, plus the convenience and security of flexible space options that make it easy for your company to expand and diversify. Finding one that can accommodate cost-effective, rapid contiguous expansion without disrupting business productivity is a great asset.

With geographically dispersed facilities in Altoona, IA; Des Moines, IA; Kansas City, MO, and Minneapolis, MN, our data centers are able help businesses throughout country. LightEdge’s Kansas Center data center is scheduled to open during the spring of this year. Check out our Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn pages for the most recent photos of our construction progress. Download the spec sheet to learn more about the facility here.

Tony Lux and Jon Hildebrand Named vExperts for 2014

vexpert

LightEdge is pleased to announce that one of our Solutions Architects, Tony Lux, and one of our Senior Cloud Engineers, Jon Hildebrand, have been named vExperts for 2014 by VMware. This honor recognizes that they have demonstrated significant contributions to the community and a willingness to share their expertise with others.

Winners of this award are selected because they are particularly engaged with their community and have developed a substantial personal platform of influence in those communities. Tony and Jon are two out of 754 vExperts that received this recognition. Tony has been with LightEdge since September of 2012 and brings more than 20 years of experience in Information Technology. He has been on the Kansas City VMUG Steering Committee for more than four years and this is his third year being named a vExpert. Jon is new to LightEdge and joined the Kansas City team in February of this year bringing more than 14 years of experience in Information Technology.  Jon has recently become involved with the Kansas City VMUG, which is the third largest VMUG in the world, along with other user groups in the Kansas City area.  This is the first year in which Jon has been named a vExpert.

LightEdge congratulates Tony and Jon on their achievements and contributions to the VMware community and LightEdge. Their expertise and leadership within the virtualization community is appreciated by the entire company, as well as customers who benefit from their depth of knowledge.

To learn more about vExperts and to see a full list of awardees, please visit the VMware blog.

Customer Case Study – Stetson

Stetson

Transitioning to a new IT service provider can be a long and difficult process, so finding a company that can make it as painless as possible is important. Get an insider view below of what Stetson Building Products, Inc. had to say about their experience when moving to LightEdge.

Stetson, a building products company headquartered out of Des Moines, IA, began seeing some major red flags with their previous IT partner in the initial phases of their relationship but decided to delay the time consuming process of moving all their services as long as possible. Eventually, enough was enough.

After meeting with several IT companies and comparing them on a wide-range of skill sets and features, LightEdge came out on top. They were immediately drawn to the fact that LightEdge was a local company, but what truly set them apart was their high level of customer support and employee enthusiasm.

Throughout the entire setup process to their status today, Stetson can’t believe how seamless the transition was. They are confident that if an issue were to arise, LightEdge would be the first to alert them and immediately take action to resolve the problem with minimum heavy lifting on the customer’s end. The way it should be.

“The transition from our previous provider was a long and complicated process, but the LightEdge team was on top of it every step of the way. I’ve made this trip with various service providers over the years, and I am very impressed. Everything from planning and design to installation, implementation and continuing maintenance of the Stetson network has gone very well. I am looking forward to a long and prosperous partnership between Stetson and LightEdge in the years to come.” – Steve Mohn, D.P. Manager.

See the full case study here: Stetson Case Study

LightEdge Solutions Completes Audit Review for ISO 20000 Certification

We are pleased to announce that LightEdge has successfully completed its audit review for the ISO 20000 certification. Completing the audit review is a required step toward certification each year. LightEdge anticipates having the stage one and stage two audits completed by the end of the summer in 2014, making it an ISO 20000 certified organization.

The ISO 20000 certification is the first international standard for IT service management and obtaining the certification is a significant competitive differentiator in the IT services industry. The standard prescribes a comprehensive plan to develop, adopt, and operate a Service Management System by achieving evidence-based benchmarks to continuously improve the delivery of IT services. ISO 20000 aligns with the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) standards and is an effective way for LightEdge to demonstrate that they follow the plan, do, check, act methodology.

“Obtaining the ISO 20000 certification demonstrates that at LightEdge, we are serious about service management and the quality of service we provide to our clients,” said Jake Gibson, vice president of customer operations for LightEdge Solutions. “When our customers entrust us with their critical infrastructure, we feel a duty to make sure that we are managing IT processes and procedures to meet or exceed our client’s business requirements. The ISO 20000 certification will provide evidence that we are committed to a culture of continual improvement, leading to best in class service.”

Questions to Ask Yourself When Selecting a Data Center: Is the infrastructure built to meet or exceed Tier III standards?

According to a study by the Ponemon Institute, the cost of data center downtime across industries is approximately $7,900 per minute, which is a 41% increase from the $5,600 cost in 2010. This same study also showed that 91% of data centers have experienced an unplanned outage in the past 24 months. (Read more about the average costs involved with outages for 2013 here). Facility outages are not only financially devastating, but seriously harmful to an organization’s reputation.

Thankfully, the data center industry has adopted a standardized methodology to determine availability in a facility, which will help you determine what is right for your business so you can make an informed decision.  Developed by the Uptime Institute, this tiered system offers companies a way to measure both performance and return on investment (ROI).

To be considered a Tier III facility it must meet or exceed the following standards:

  • Multiple independent distribution paths serving the IT equipment
  • Concurrently maintainable site infrastructure with expected availability of 99.982%
  • 72 hour power outage protection
  • All IT equipment must be dual-powered and fully compatible with the topology of a site’s architecture

Another important element in Tier III compliance is N+1 redundancy on every main component, which provides greater protection and peace of mind for crucial IT operations by ensuring a redundant system is always available in case a component fails or must be taken offline for maintenance.

Each LightEdge data center, including the new Kansas City facility currently being built at SubTropolis Technology Center, meets or exceeds the concurrent maintainability requirements of the Uptime Institutes Tier III standards. With our Tier III infrastructure, any one component can fail and the datacenter will remain operational.

LightEdge’s Kansas Center data center is scheduled to open during the spring of this year. Check out our Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn pages for the most recent photos of our construction progress. Download the spec sheet to learn more about the facility here.

Meet Jeff Lovett

Jeff Lovett, TSA

Jeff Lovett, TSA

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to Jeff Lovett, Technology Solutions Advisor at LightEdge. He is located in Dubuque, Iowa and will be serving the Eastern Iowa River Corridor. He brings to our team more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry specializing in assessing, designing and implementing technology to meet the needs of his customers. We are confident that his technical skills will not only be a huge asset to our team, but extremely beneficial in designing solutions to meet your company’s IT needs.

His most recent position was as Director of Technology Advisory Services at McGladrey, LLP where he:

  • Developed strategic roadmaps for clients focusing on business, as well as, technical benefits
  • Navigated multiple Tier 1 technology manufacturers to arrive at the best solution for clients
  • Served on client IT Steering Committees that assisted in:
    • Solution Assessment
    • Project Management
    • Budget Guidance
    • Strategic Planning
    • Staff Management
  • Worked with clients who followed regulatory compliance standards like HIPAA, GLBA & PCI

Please join us in giving Jeff a warm welcome to the LightEdge team. We look forward to having him on board!

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