All posts by MRWinona

The Rising Data Center Trends of 2015


The cloud age is upon us.  The demand of data centers continues to rise, and many have wondered why it continues to take over the tech industry.  Data and technology-grounded organizations have always been vulnerable to the pace of technological change, their investments they make today could vanish by tomorrow.

It is because of this rapid change rate, that hardware-focused business began switching to software. Thus began the need for data centers. Data centers holding information in the cloud go without the risk of outdated hardware.


Cloud Migration

The primary trend that continues to rise in 2015 is the migration that businesses are making to the cloud. (1) The cloud is becoming more widely and cheaply available across a wider geographic area, causing it to be more accessible businesses of all sorts.  Secondly, as understanding of the cloud has grown, so security concerns have lessened.

Top preference is the Hybrid cloud

As businesses begin to implement the cloud, they prefer to keep a mixture of hardware and software storage. (1) The hybrid permits companies to use the cloud as necessary without eliminating their current data storage systems.

 Increase of “micro” data centers

As the Internet of Things collects and distributes data streams from personal devices, localized data becomes more valuable. Expect to see an increase in smaller data centers that still connect to “motherships.” (2)

Software-defined networking (SDN)

With psychical hardware so easily outdated, each year infrastructure needs to be replaced. (2) This has caused many to consider redirecting this hardware budget towards SDN.

Promising new markets

Technology hubs like Silicon Valley in California and Silicon Alley in New York are usually known to be the primary destinations for data center builds. (2) However, there has been expansion into new that more affordable and equally effective. Areas like Nebraska, Arizona and Utah are low risk for natural disasters and can deliver real estate or tax incentives. 




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The Secrets of a Success Routine


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”Aristotle

Being successful is a science. Much like how formulas and theories differ, the perfect routine can differ from person to person. However, the greatest performers have several key practices in common. If you’re striving to become the optimal version of yourself, here are a few tricks to add to your daily routine:

1) Wake up early

Robin Sharma, world-class success coach, is convinced the prime hours of the day are between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m.  He even coined the phrase, “the 5 a.m. club,” and it’s often filled with the most productive people.(1) Waking up early gives you time to start your day off strong. It allows you the extra time to implement a routine that drives you toward success. Moreover, it’s scientifically proven we have the most self-discipline when we first wake up. (2) In the midst of a hectic schedule, there’s nothing more relaxing then taking time to enjoy the morning and setting your sights on a productive day.

2) Exercise

Many people make the mistake of thinking exercise is solely for the body. The absolute greatest benefits of exercise are those for your brain.  Exercise makes you feel confident, gives you mental clarity and energy. (2) The health benefits are really endless, that is why it is crucial to be exercising.  For some it might be a morning HIIT session, for others it might be a leisurely walk. There is no wrong way to become active, so begin (or continue to) make that a priority. There is no better time than the present, so start today to become healthier and scientifically happier.

3) Stay health focused

In order to thrive in this competitive world, we need to all the energy we can get. This means exercising, but it also includes eating well and getting plenty of rest. When we eat healthy food, it revs up our metabolism and gives us energy. (3) Getting ample amounts of rest is also essential, but it is quality not quantity that’s most important.  Finding out what works best for your body is the ultimate investment, and there will be a notable difference when you become health oriented.

4) Eat the frog first

Brian Tracy is a master of success, he has helps millions of people achieve their greatest life goals. One of his key principles is to “eat the frog first.”  This phrase sums up an incredibly effective system to prioritizing and being productive. The “frogs” we speak of are the tasks we don’t want to do, but actually need to do. (4) When we get frogs out of the way, we still have the energy to accomplish other tasks we are more willing to do.

5) Set goals

Having goals gives you a map of achievement. It is actually more common to avoid goal setting, but the few individuals that do have seen remarkable results. There was a fascinating study conducted on the 1979 Harvard MBA program asked where graduate students, “have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”  The results showed that only 3% had written goals and plans, 13% had goals but not in writing, and 84% had no goals at all. Ten years later, the same group was interviewed again and the results were shocking. From a financial point of view the 13% of the class who had goals, but did not write them down was earning twice the amount of the 84% who had no goals.


The 3%? …


The 3% who had written and planned out goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% of the class combined. (5) This study only showed the financial earnings, but it is a clear indicator of how impactful written goals can be.



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The Great Migration: Moving off Windows Server 2003


In a few short months, Microsoft will end its support for Windows Server 2003. For enterprises that have moved away from the system, this will not be an issue. However, the companies that have not made the transition to a new operating system will face imminent security threats. As previously mentioned in our blog The New Defense Against Cyber Attacks, digital security threats are likely to incline from 2014, making 2015 to be the biggest year yet in security breeches.


As of mid-July, Microsoft will no longer issue and send out security updates for its Server 2003 operating system. (1) This will leave the system functioning in a more exposed capacity. Companies that are still using Windows Server 2003 will be the easiest targets for digital attackers.

Despite the potential for threats, 30 percent of enterprises plan to continue running Server 2003 environments past the July 14 deadline. (1)

In most cases, the issue isn’t whether or not these companies want to make the switch. It is that most enterprises are unaware of which server they operate on due to lack of visibility. They may also lack adequate education, being uncertain of the end-of-life date (July 14).

With technology changing so fast and endless applications to track, monitoring the updates of an operating system can become a weakness. All companies should be encouraged to develop a migration strategy before any crises arise.


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The Shift to SDN (Software Defined Networking)


Many have had to make the switch from selling hardware and software to cloud-based solutions. Explaining this necessity of this new virtual technology, some challenges arise. While Software defined networking (SDN) is a promising technology, industry leaders say this shift will change the face of networking. SDN is a new method of virtualization that covers a network to prioritize traffic, increase the efficiency of infrastructure and the list goes on.  To many this is foreign, but there’s a way to explain its value:


1)   Understand the Environment

In technology sales, there was a time when tangible hardware was the standard. More than ever, we are in an age of virtualization, and the web of technology has only become more intricate. So, to really sell SDN, get an understanding of the environment and the current network setting. (1) Learn the intricacies of the network so you can gather a need for this technology.


1)    Offer the Solution

This is an age of innovative new technology that can fix almost any problem. Every network is built differently and SDN needs to be tailored the individual network. (1) Making SDN unique to the client is wonderful, but the real value comes from understanding the specific problem a client it facing. Learn the current network environment before bringing in the sell.


2)    Sell the Value

One of the biggest lessons to be taken from investment tycoon, Warren Buffet, is his principle on buying value.

Long ago, Ben Graham taught me that ‘Price is what you pay; value is what you get.’ Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.”

—Warren Buffett”

SDN can be the perfect solution to a complicated network system, but consumers do not see that unless you explain the value of a clearly functioning network. Clarify how SDN improves what already is in place while highlighting the capabilities and benefits. (2)


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Gaining Willpower at Work


Taking a look at all great things, accounting the most beautiful art pieces, the strongest endurance, there is one element needed: Willpower. If you have a dream and a passion, willpower is essential to its fulfillment. At the foundation of all legendary performance in sports, arts, medicine, etc. is the art of self-discipline.


If you aim to reach your goals, here’s what we can learn about willpower:


1)   Self-Control (scientists refer to as Self-Regulation) is like a muscle.

The more you exercise it the stronger it becomes. (1) The greatest myth we face is that successful people were born with innate powers. Michael Jordan never practiced and Michelangelo through some paint of a canvas. The truth is great accomplishments derive from self-discipline. Working diligently on a constant basis will grow your will power muscle.

2)   We have a limited amount each day.

Science shows that we operate from a reservoir of willpower. (1) There is an allotted amount everyday, and our choices and actions dictate its usage. Save willpower for the biggest, most important tasks.

3)   The self-control “muscle” can get tired.

Because there is a limited amount, our self-control will deplete throughout the day. (1) This means we have to strategically think where to a lot our self-control. Structure your day to where the most important projects get your time first.

4)   Levels of glucose lower our self-discipline.

The science behind why we behave is fascinating.  For example, when we are tired, we have low glucose levels. These low glucose levels lead to poor decision-making and low self-discipline. By eating low glycemic index foods like meat, vegetables and nuts, you can avoid the opportunity to make bad choices. (1)

Knowing how our bodies can enable optimal willpower takes us one step closer to higher performance at work and reaching our goals.


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The Fast Track to Reaching Success

The “Fast Track” to Reaching Success


When the present does not match the overall vision we have of our lives, it’s hard to live in the moment. For individuals who are clear on goals and have mastered productivity, reaching “success” is the ultimate achievement. If it is not a reality then the gnawing, uncomfortable feeling of disappointment can weigh us down.


However, there is a way to create a journey of success that is filled with joy and satisfaction: live in the moment.


While we have heard this adage time and time again, the true meaning is often misunderstood. In an exact moment, we can feel tired and worn-out to the extent of giving up and acting out of impulse. This is not the moment we need to live in.


Instead, if we live in a situational moment, then we understand our current position in relation to success. We embrace every component of our current life surroundings. Every moment is precious and integral in  our pathway to achieving goals.


Showing up fully exactly where you are is the fastest way to get where you want to go. – Marie Forleo


Here is the reality: Joy and all things good can only come from a place within ourselves. Never are they found in external circumstances like a job, title or award.

Live and embrace your current situation to the best of your capability. Find pleasure in whatever place you are at.


This does not negate a strong time perspective. Time perspective is the degree to which we envision our future. It can be exuded when we look 10 to 15 years into the future and see the things we hope to accomplish. Rather, having time perspective is crucial to achieving those very things.  Use that vision as a blue print, but build your future one step at a time, being fully active in each and every step.


Ultimately, the takeaway is that every moment in our lives is a stepping-stone. Plant your foot firmly, and let it catapult you to the next part of your journey of success..


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Top Resume Mistakes to Avoid


A resume is your golden ticket.  It can open doors and create high-level opportunities if crafted correctly. While the common format is often changing, there are simple fixes you can make to your resume right now. Here are some of the top resume mistakes and how to change them:

1)   All-Caps word typos

Spell-check is a blessing and a curse. Many have grown accustomed to the luxury of spell-check embedded into nearly every application imaginable. While we assume spell-check will always catch our mistakes, unfortunately it doesn’t screen words in All Caps. (1) It’s important to proof read manually and pay extra attention to these words.

2)   Lack of context

It’s important to keep in mind (most) hiring managers have no previous background information on your work experience. (1) You will not be able to explain your incoherencies to the manager reading your resume. It must be clear and easy to read.  We tend to give vague explanations on resumes in hopes of getting the message across. Think clearly on whether or not you’ve provided the essential details and adjust accordingly.

3)   Length

The ever-pressing debate of resume length continues. While I know individuals who swear by one-pagers, I know plenty others who will argue length is irrelevant. One reason for this stems from the paper to electronic switch we made several years ago. Human resource managers would receive piles of papers, making the one-page more navigable. However, today everything is electronic and length is not as important, especially when there is valuable content to be communicated. Should your resume be long or short? Ultimately, it should be representative of you and concise—whatever that length may be. (2)

4)   Irrelevant work experience

Having a resume with unnecessary content will only cloud your outstanding achievements. (3) Tailor your resume to every position you consider. Begin by reading back over the job post for the specific position you’re trying to land. Will these employers care about the part time job you held as a server when you were in college? Maybe, if this job involves food service or sales. Delete any previous experience that won’t emphasize your capability for the available position.

Before you send out a resume, review it carefully. If you make any of these quick fixes, hiring managers will be much more receptive to what you have to offer.


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The Art of Standing Out


Being one in a hundred is a common occurrence in the average applicant pool. If you’re applying for a job, you want to be more than remembered. You want to stand out as prominently as possible. Here are some ways to rise to the top:

1) Use unique stories

The most impactful way to leave an impression on a hiring manager is to use powerful success stories. These stories, if told correctly and honestly, will resonate long after the interview has ended. Your abilities are remembered through action stories, rather than through words on a resume. If you feel that you lack “success stories”, expand your thinking into everyday life. Believe me, you have accomplished great things—you just need to change your perspective.

2) Take creative risks

Depending on how you look at it, making a risky move can come off creative …or a little crazy. Some individuals will do anything to get their foot in the door, and more often than not, it works. Ridiculous stunts like putting their resume up on a billboard in London will get you noticed. (1) And, yes, that landed several job offers. The reasoning behind this is simple: creativity is currency.  In the modern age, if you have an innate or well-developed sense of creativity there isn’t much you can’t do. Smart hiring managers recognize and capitalize on this.

3) Channel your authenticity

There may be certain qualities that attract recruiters and hiring managers, but buzz words on a resume will only take you so far. Ultimately, employers want authenticity. They want integrity. Hopefully, by doing so you can establish a connection with the hiring manager. Be yourself, and that will take you much further than the salesman act.


4) Develop rare skills

In order to stand out, one must be different. That means you need to verse yourself in skills that other applicants might not possess. While these extra skills can align with the core requirement of the job description, they could also be anything that adds to the company.  Are you trilingual?  Have you read and studied The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace? Are you practiced in goal setting and achievement?  Look for opportunities to gain additional skills or certificates (some certificates are online and f-r-e-e).

5) Prepare extraordinarily

Previously we spoke of how preparing for the interview is probably the most crucial component of the job search. This time acts as a trial period for the employer, because it is where they can preview your capabilities. Use this time to prepare above and beyond the average candidate. Bring research or proposals that could be implemented in the future. By preparing for that dream position, you become one step closer to achieving it.

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Top 4 Ways to Attract Data Center Talent


We are in the age of the tech talent crisis. The root of this problem begins with the data center of today.  Modern data centers are highly automated, dense and virtualized IT infrastructures that rely on the most advanced electrical and mechanical components and talent for stability. (1) This demands that IT professionals are proficient in multiple disciplines as well as the facilities infrastructure—They can’t just hire anyone.

Most importantly, hiring out of desperation is almost always a recipe for disaster, according to Scott Ward, senior vice president of Nanigans, Inc. (2) Fortunately, there are some secret tips that can help make your company more appealing than the rest and attract new talent.

1) Recruit, don’t wait on applicants.

The majority of people that tech companies look to hire aren’t seeking out work. More than ever, tech talent has to be found and sought after. (3) Don’t wait for the top talent to come to you, instead hire professionals and make the first move. Keep an active presence across all social media sites, so you can meet them on a relational level and do your own connecting too.

2) Create winning company culture.

When it comes to technology industry, it is a candidates’ market. Create something beyond the position that is attractive to the talent. What makes your company unique? Why should they choose you? It’s time to get creative and begin cultivating fun and enriching company environment.  (4)

3) Utilize student power.

One of the greatest tips companies can capitalize on is setting up an internship.  When you bring in the right student, you get the fresh perspective on the industry as well as a potential employee. Students are eager to get experience, and if cultivated correctly, you may have paved the way for a new hire. This can also work with co-op programs.  Create a flow of prospective talent coming through the doors—even if it just brings back a little excitement to the office. It will make your company stand out.

4) Visit Hackathons.

If the talent isn’t coming to you, go to the talent. Some of the largest events IT professionals will gather at are hackathons. (3) By making visits to hackathons you establish your company as a leader in the industry, even if you’re just visiting. It’s an opportunity to network with the rest of the IT community.  Building bridges for future working relationships is always a good idea.


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The Top 4 Causes of the Data Center Talent Crisis


If there was ever a time to be a “data geek”, it’s now. In the technology industry, finding individuals with the necessary analytical skills is more challenging than ever.  IT professionals are rare, valuable catches in today’s market, and this talent crisis will only become a deeper issue. New research by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) forecasts a 50 to 60 percent gap between the supply and demand of tech professionals by 2018. (1)

Let’s explore the four main causes of the technology talent crisis companies are facing:

The rate of technological change

If we look back at the last ten years, to say things have changed would be an understatement. We once believed the world around us would remain constant, but technological advancements the way we live at an exponential rate. This rate of technological change has even yielded big ideas such as Moore’s Law, the doubling of computer processing speed every 18 months. (2) With growth evolving this fast, the challenge has been to train individuals at an equally rapid pace.  The sheer speed of advancements prevents tech companies from finding well-trained and experienced candidates.

The skill gap and the modern data center

The skills gap is one of the main challenges tech companies face, which is largely due to the data center environment. The skill gap emerged when the modern data center structure became the complex and expansive IT infrastructure that it is today. (3) The modern data center requires IT professionals to understand multiple disciplines as well as the facility design. This evolving, dynamic data center requires extremely specific skills to deliver performance, availability and security—this environment ultimately yields is under-skilled candidates. Results of a 2009 benchmark study find that the most startling statistic from the study was that at 37% of the organizations, IT executives reported having put projects on hold because of the skills shortage. (1)

The training methods

When it comes to college majors, Computer Sciences, despite the high demand and value, isn’t top choice. (5) Whether technology is fascinating to you or not, there is a stigma and lack of excitement over the inner-workings of industry. These looming myths are not the only challenge to training. When it comes to highly coveted experts, at the tech-architect level for example, there is no well-defined career track to acquire the position. (3) Fortunately, there are different routes to achieve higher levels of skill—requiring candidates to possess a basic set of capabilities.

The move to the cloud

Virtualization has become the first step many organizations are taking in towards moving to the cloud. These initiatives are relatively new ideas and begin with efforts such as using private cloud for some processes to gain the advantages of speed and security, extending into a hybrid cloud if necessary, and migrating certain systems to the public cloud. (3) Because this is a new frontier, it will require new skill sets. It will require skills that don’t even exist yet, which makes finding the right talent all the more challenging. (4)


Finding strong technogloy professionals is a challenge, but stay tuned for part two, as we share some insider information on how to attract that highly prized tech talent.


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