SteelFusion; Restore Services and Security Without the Guesswork
On a daily basis I probably use on average about 7 or 8 programs at any one time, the usual suspects of Outlook, Skype, Firefox, a PDF reader etc. and that’s about it. So why does ‘Program and Features’ on my PC have 124 installed programs? I’m not even a serial downloader and installer—I’m quite picky about what runs on my PC and I often have a tidy up of programs I’ve not used for a while or was just trialing. So what’s going on?
We all know what’s going on, it’s not 124 out-and-out programs but a mix of programs, support programs, and drivers. I never directly access the NVIDIA driver or the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable, but if I uninstalled them I bet something I do use on a regular basis would have a hard time working.
And the less said about the 400+ updates and security patches the better!
On my PC alone I have over 500 installed programs, support programs, drivers, security fixes, and updates. That’s one PC I am directly responsible for on a day-to-day basis.
So what’s the remote site server estate running?
A quick glimpse at one PC doesn’t set the pace for a server estate but it does highlight a few key points:
- What programs, support programs, security fixes, and drivers are on that server?
- What versions are they all running at?
- What updates have been installed or maybe more importantly not installed?
- What OS and application settings have be tuned historically?
- What security settings and potential customer security settings are applied?
They are big questions and understandably one that every CIO would love to have the answer to, but in reality it’s a job that’s never going to make it to the top of ‘to do’ list in most organizations. Configuration of automated tools or manually entering, editing, and checking of data is quite frankly a job that is overlooked while there is a mass of BAU and Dev Ops work to be done first. No matter how sophisticated the tool or system, there is always going to be a need for human intervention to make sure it’s correct.
Often unreliable in data gathering, intensive in human resources, and not deemed necessary in the good times, it’s easy to see why not having a 100% accurate picture of remote server estates and the security applied is easily done.
If those remote servers break, what’s on them?
Let’s assume the data is backed up every night and the restore process is tried and tested (hands up who can honestly say that’s happening on every remote site!). Now for the servers, security settings, and programs that are going to run on it. What needs to be restored?
In a data center (DC) environment virtual machines (VM) are almost a disposable item. If one breaks you spin up another one in minutes via the orchestration portal and it’s ready to go, apply a few pertinent settings and its production secure and ready. In a remote office though the orchestration portal doesn’t quite stretch that far, and if it does, the DC architecture it’s expecting to build the VM on hasn’t made it there.
‘On my PC alone I have over 500 installed programs, support programs, drivers, security fixes,
and updates. That’s one PC I am directly responsible for on a day-to-day basis.’
A manual server build, even if from a template is now the job of the junior admin, lucky guy, but even when the server is built it will be from a template that’s local as nobody is pushing updated VM templates over WAN links on a regular basis.
Thus starts the arduous journey of update and reboot just to get the OS up to speed, and then after that the application install. This is assuming that everything is fine with automated updates and vendor recommendations, if not, then it’s down to troubleshooting and trial and error. Time wasted building servers, testing security settings, applying and removing patches for OS and software, and then the data restore.
What if you could just boot the server and the applications in one go?
With SteelFusion, you can. If something happens to the physical hardware (hardware failure, theft, disaster, etc.) then the VM and all its configuration and data is stored securely and ‘as is’ in the data center. All the security settings, patches, and programs just as the server was before it wasn’t available.
Either boot the server in the DC or replace the remote office SteelFusion hardware and boot on site. It really is that simple.
- No out of date VM templates
- No security holes from missed updates
- No trial and error at the correct OS patch level
- No guessing what program versions were running
- No remembering what ‘some guy’ configured to get ‘that bit working’
- No waiting for a full data copy over WAN link to boot servers
The restore process is no longer a guessing game of trial and error and on the spot thinking, it’s a definite process of secure and reliable service restoration;
- Replace the SteelFusion hardware
- Restore the last running SteelFusion configuration
- Configure the onboard ESXi host via the wizard
- Add VM’s to inventory and power on
And this isn’t a process that’s limited to one site; it’s on all remote sites. All remote sites no longer have to be a mix of ‘at the time’ server vendors and disparate support contracts. With SteelFusion hardware, all remote sites have a single hardware set and administration window.
SteelFusion stops the remote office guess work
Cataloguing and knowing every version of everything that’s running in the remote office is never truly going to be 100% viable, at best you can set standards and try keep on top of them.
With SteelFusion you can remove the server rebuild guesswork, while at the same time removing the inconsistent hardware, across remote sites.
SteelFusion improves application recovery time and processes, lowers and standardizes the hardware footprint, secures all you data locally, and stops that remote branch site guesswork.
Get fully secured, reliable control of your remote server environment and bring it all back home with Zero Branch IT.