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!

Questions to Ask Yourself When Selecting a Data Center: Will the data center structure exceed anything Mother Nature throws at it?

Underground data center will be rock solid, literally

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When choosing a location for your data center, consider the environmental risk associated with the geographic location. Earthquakes, hurricanes and tornados can all cause outages. Even so, it is possible to design and build a facility to withstand practically any disaster.

But the cost to harden the facility will be significant – if not cost prohibitive – for most organizations. For that reason, companies seeking ultra-secure hosting that will survive any eventuality are increasingly taking operations underground.

LightEdge is currently building phase one of an underground data center that is located in SubTropolis Technology Center (STC) – one hundred feet below ground in Kansas City, Mo. Made possible by 270-million-year-old limestone formations that are unique to certain areas of the Midwest, STC provides a subterranean fortress.

Because STC is naturally hardened by Mother Nature, protection from natural disasters is built-in, without the added cost needed to fortify surface buildings. Plus construction costs are less to begin with since the limestone floor and ceiling already exist. Our facility is built to Tier III standards and is located within a solid limestone structure six times stronger than concrete. You can forget about the potential business impact of a tornado, 500 year flood, earthquake or EMP. Our facility is virtually impervious to it all.

In addition to the inherent benefits the underground location offers, Kansas City is home to one of the most advanced telecommunications networks; is ranked one of the best cities for constant, uninterrupted power service; and has a deep talent pool of IT professionals thanks to the 5,700 tech companies – including Sprint, Garmin, DST Systems and Cerner – located in the area.

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. Check out our website or download the Kansas City Data Center spec sheet to learn more about the facility here.

 

Looking back, moving forward

Looking back at 2013, it was a year full of excitement and growth at LightEdge. We added several new employees to our team over multiple Midwest locations and quadrupled our staff in the Kansas City office alone. It also marked our 17 year anniversary as a company, and more than a decade as a cloud provider. Not only did we expand our managed services portfolio with new offerings like Hosted Desktop Experience, but we also began planning for rapid growth in our data centers.

In September, LightEdge announced our plans for constructing a regional data center at the underground SubTropolis Technology Center (STC) in Kansas City, MO. We will be the anchor tenant in the first phase of STC, a mission critical data center campus owned and operated by Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development. LightEdge will open the first phase of its 60,000-square foot underground operation, built to Tier III Standards, within STC in the spring of 2014. In addition to our newest data center in Kansas City, we will also be expanding our data center in Altoona, IA, this year.

Much like in 2013, we will be partnering with our talented vendors and continuing to host educational events that benefit our current and potential customers. We’re excited to continue to share the valuable knowledge & advice that our highly-skilled team has to offer. LightEdge will continue to roll out industry-leading solutions in 2014, so be on the lookout for additional details as the year unfolds.

LightEdge Completes SSAE 16 Colocation and Managed Services Examination

SSAE

LightEdge Solutions is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed its annual data center process examination for the review period spanning December 1, 2012 to November 30, 2013. The SSAE-16 SOC 1 Type II independent examination and the subsequent reporting document was completed by BrightLine CPAs & Associates, Inc. and verifies that LightEdge Solutions’ data centers are being managed in accordance with the service provider controls and processes.

SSAE No. 16, also known as the Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization, regards internal controls on the services provided by an organization offering valuable information customers need in order to assess and address any risks associated with the outsourced services they’re receivingThe SAS-70 audit standard was surpassed by the SSAE No. 16 in mid-2011. These improvements ensure that US companies are able to compete on an international level by matching reporting regulations worldwide. Completing the SSAE No. 16 helps to ensure that customers can trust the honesty and integrity of their service provider.

“I am pleased that year after year we have been able to perform an audit against our controls and systems that showed no exceptions,” said Travis Thompson, chief security officer for LightEdge Solutions. “As we expand our data center presence, the SSAE-16 examination is an excellent way to demonstrate to our current and future customers that they can feel secure that our processes have been validated by a trusted third party.”

These exams are conducted by an independent, licensed CPA firm to ensure the highest levels of quality and accuracy for our clients. LightEdge has completed control and process examinations since 2008, and we will continue to make it a priority due to the amount of high-sensitivity data many of our customers in the banking, healthcare and legal services industries handle on a daily basis, just to name a few.

For additional details please contact LightEdge Sales at 877-771-3343, e-mail info@lightedge.com or visit www.lightedge.com.

LightEdge Announces Kansas City Data Center

LightEdge is excited to announce that we will be adding a regional data center at the underground SubTropolis Technology Center (STC) in Kansas City in 2014. LightEdge will be the anchor tenant in the first phase of STC, a mission critical data center campus owned and operated by Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development.
 
The new data center, which will be the fourth data center operated by LightEdge, is the result of a unique partnership between LightEdge Solutions and Hunt Midwest, a full-service real estate development company. LightEdge is owned by Qwest founder Phil Anschutz and Hunt Midwest is one of multiple entities owned by the Lamar Hunt family.
 
“The relationship between LightEdge and Hunt Midwest translates into the convergence of financial strength, best-in-class hosted IT services, experience with hybrid cloud environments, a highly secure and protected location, and low kW power costs compared to other areas of the U.S.,” said Jim Masterson, chief executive officer of LightEdge Solutions.
 
LightEdge will open the first phase of its 60,000-square foot underground operation, built to Tier III Standards, within STC during the first quarter of 2014. In addition, LightEdge will use a portion of STC’s six-acre equipment yard located on the exterior surface of the property. The highly secure data center will have 24x7x365 monitoring, key card and biometric access.
 
SubTropolis Technology Center has a naturally hardened limestone infrastructure that provides a fortress six times stronger than concrete and features evenly spaced pillars with 40-foot clearance and 16-foot high ceilings. Millions of square feet are available for contiguous expansion.
 
“In the more than 20 years I’ve been involved in data center development and operations, I’ve never seen a property more appropriate for a data center,” said James deVenny, an independent consultant who was co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Dataside LLC, a provider of enterprise data center space, colocation and managed network services.
 
“This is an ideal partnership,” said Ora Reynolds, president of Hunt Midwest. “Together, Hunt Midwest and LightEdge have all of the pieces needed to create a world-class data center.”

For additional information on the new data center, check out the full press release on our website here: http://www.lightedge.com/#!september-18-2013/c1xck or visit the data center portion of the site here: http://www.lightedge.com/#!data-centers/cblb

 

VMworld Highlights

LightEdge Systems Engineer, Matt Patterson, is back from his annual trip to VMworld in San Francisco and brought back some highlights to share. Check out some of the announcements that were made in his blog below.

VMworld Highlights
By Matt Patterson, Systems Engineer

The big event for VMware admins around the world was last week at VMworld 2013. Kicking off the conference (besides the pre-parties) was the keynote given by the CEO of VMware, Pat Gelsinger.

The big announcements from the keynote were:

•VMware vSphere 5.5

As rumored, we didn’t see vSphere 6, but there were several enhancements here that caught my eye. A new VM version which now supports better vGPU and more device support (more disks per VM). vApp HA which checks for the presence of “heartbeats” from VMware Tools™ as well as I/O activity from the virtual machine. If neither of these is detected in the specified amount of time, vSphere HA resets the virtual machine. You will notice that many of the performance features have increased 2x except the vmdk which overshot and now supports 62TB-512b vmdks attached to a VM. I know several of my customers that will like that new feature. You can read more about what’s new in vSphere 5.5 here.

•VMware vCloud Hybrid Services 

General Availability Not really sure how to feel about this one yet. As a vCloud provider, they appear to be competing directly with me. And based on their 6 data center expansion planned for the next year (4 VMware DCs + 2 provided by Savvis), it makes it hard to think that they are going to throw us a bone anytime soon. At the same time, I do get it if you are an enterprise customer that has always trusted VMware for your infrastructure needs. Moving to the cloud is a bit scary to go with someone you don’t have that relationship with. VMware is your trusted partner here so why not go with them? What I would like to see is VMware say, hey Mr Enterprise, meet my partner here Mr vCloud who can fill this gap for you the same way that we can. Sure you lose the one throat to choke, but you keep partners happy while spreading the operational costs at VMware. It’s a pipe dream at this point, but that’s the approach I would have rather seen.

•VMware NSX

The Platform for Network Virtualization – We’re finally seeing the fruits of the Nicera purchase a year ago by VMware. Essentially, we have a new layer on top of existing physical networks that allows a true software defined network. What ESX did for compute resources, NSX hopes to do for network resources. VMware NSX brings together the best of Nicira NVPTM and VMware vCloud Network and SecurityTM into one unified platform, delivering the entire networking and security model (Layer 2 – Layer 7) in software. I don’t think that there is any avoiding the SDN. Where we used to have just VLANs separating customers, now we can have additional separation and isolation on top of existing networks as well as providing various services (Firewalls and SLB) with the click of a button. Should be exciting to see and I looking forward to turning a few wrenches on this in the lab.

•VMware Virtual SAN (vSAN)

Similar to VMware NSX, VMware Virtual SAN is built on a unique distributed architecture that will enable storage services to scale out linearly with the needs of the application. Through the seamless integration of VMware Virtual SAN with VMware vSphere, VMware has redefined the role of the hypervisor to deliver virtualized compute and storage services in an elastic, flexible fashion. The distributed architecture enables VMware Virtual SAN to deliver I/O performance comparable to mid-range storage arrays while leveraging the economics of direct-attached storage.

Additional announcements and details from VMware can be found on their website.

Hosted Desktop Experience

What is Hosted Desktop Experience?

Hosted DEX (Desktop Experience) is a new hosted virtual desktop platform that LightEdge is partnering with Dizzion on. It will allow customers to connect to their end user desktop in the cloud. Instead of their data living on their PC, this product will centralize their data to the cloud and will allow them to access it from any device.

Who is it a fit for?

Hosted Desktop Experience is a fit for any company with a mobile work force, a call center, or anyone interested security of data and centralizing the management of their end user data

Why are we adding it?

LightEdge has a great solution for cloud services on the server side and telephony. This new product will expand and complete our portfolio for cloud services to include the desktop. We can now offer a full end to end solution from the desktop to the datacenter for all of a company’s IT needs.

What does it mean for the customer?

For the customer it means great flexibility for where and how they access their desktop computer. It allows them to access all their data from any device, whether it be a PC, Mac, iPad or Android tablet.

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