Thursday, March 26, 2009

Microsofts SMB Insight Report

Microsoft surveyed more than 600 of their Small Business Specialists as well as 1200 SMB's in the US, UK, France, Brazil, India, Germany, Mexico and China. Their study released today shows that SMB’s will use technology to cut costs and grow business. It’s a must read. Here’s what Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says on the front page:

“Because they can respond so quickly as business conditions change, small and midsize companies have an advantage in a volatile and uncertain economic climate. The right information technology tools and solutions lets them build on this advantage by helping them cut costs and improve productivity today, while enabling them to stay focused on innovation so they will be poised for growth when the economy begins to turn around.”

Part of the study says that one of the trends and attitudes among SMBs, is an increase in remote workers. They state that “a majority of Small Business Specialists believe their SMB customers will increase their remote worker base and will expand the role/job function of remote employees in 2009.”

This is good news for us – since we specialize in remote server management!

Go to the full study now>>

Related Material:

White Paper: Boost Your ROI by investing in KVM IP Management
Webcast: Cost Effective Solutions for Remote Server KVM Access (3.15 min)
Webcast: Why should your organization use KVM IP (4:48 min)
Learn More: Minicom Real Needs Approach

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Product Spotlight - Smart 2 Buy Switches for Small to Mid-size Businesses

For a number of years, 2 user switches have been the most popular model of KVM in the data center. From the enterprise to the mid-tier to a small company’s server room, two concurrent users is the most commonly requested configuration in the KVM industry. There have been a handful of studies done to understand why 2 user switches are so popular which found that the inherent blocking built in to single user switches is most likely the reason.

In small data rooms like an SMB environment with between 20-30 servers, a multi-user KVM IP switch is a perfect tool for cost effective remote, BIOS level server management, as well as local, at the rack access. The ROC dongles for 2 user switches allow servers to be up to 100’ from the switch with no video resolution distortion. This means more than 1 cabinet or servers/desktops (not in a cabinet) can be connected to the switch and managed effortlessly.

Minicom recently added a couple of 2-user switches to our
Smart Family Line, a competitively priced solution for businesses with multiple branch locations. These offices often have several servers and network devices but do not have a full time IT person. Remote BIOS level access provides IT staff at corporate headquarters with a quick, cost effective and simple way to get access to servers and devices in remote offices.

The new
Smart 216 IP, also available with 32 ports - Smart 232 IP, enables one local and two remote users, access and control of up to 16 (or 32) servers. In addition, two remote users can operate serial sessions for controlling serial devices such as routers, managed network switches or PDU's.

Related Resources:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Added Features: Server Access Management Capability

The recently launched Smart 216IP & 232IP multi-user IP KVM Switches enable one local and two remote users, access and control of up to 16 or 32 servers simultaneously.

In these IP KVM Switches there is a built-in access management system that allows you to configure the users’ connection permission. You can define that a user that logs into the system either from the local or remote will have access to some of the servers that are connected to the KVM switch.

For example, Michelle in the marketing department has limited access which has been assigned to her. She only needs to remotely access the internal presentation server in order to manage the corporate digital signage system. On the other hand, the IT staff has different server access assigned to them which allow them to manage their parking lot cameras and security fence devices which are also assigned to specific servers.

Using the Smart 216IP & 232IP graphical management interface you can define up to 16 users accounts that each of them may have access to specific KVM & Serial ports, and when the Smart 216IP/232IP are been managed by the II system there is no limitation to the number of users you can define in the system.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Surviving 2009 With Remote KVM

Guest Post by Rami Sasson, Vice President Sales at Minicom

I came across an article, Data center efficiency critical for surviving 2009 by Matt Stansberry, Executive Editor, Data Center and Virtualization Media, TechTarget. In the article Mr. Stansberry points out that the need for more computing power in the datacenter will continue to increase despite the economic downturn and slashed budgets so companies will have to do more with what they have.

I think this also true for remote KVM. With IT staffs being cut along with all other department head count reductions the need for the IT staff efficiency is paramount. Having the ability to have full remote access to hardware is critical for admins to minimize server downtime but I hear from many companies they don't have the budgets to upgrade to expensive digital KVM switches. This is where the power of Minicom's "Real Needs" approach to KVM solutions grabs their attention. We explain to a corporate CIO they can continue to use their existing KVM switch and simply upgrade it to an IP KVM for a fraction of the cost of putting in a completely new digital KVM.

The IT staff organization must live with the reality that they have to do more with less but that does not mean throwing up their hands in desperation. What do you Really need? Minicom can provide it.

An excerpt of the article:

Data center efficiency critical for surviving 2009
by Matt Stansberry, Executive Editor, Data Center and Virtualization Media, TechTarget

Extending the life of the data center in lean times. Despite the down economy, business demand for data center services continues to increase. And the cost of building data centers has skyrocketed. During boom times, companies would build new data center facilities because they have run out of power and cooling capacity and literally can’t supply more power into the building. But in today’s economic and credit climate, this isn’t a workable solution.

"Take a look around you. What you have now is likely what you are going to have to work with going forward, at least until the economy picks up," said Chuck Goolsbee, a data center executive at Seattle-based hosting firm Digital Forest. "If facility or operations staff have grandiose plans in process, expect them to get scaled back or shelved. Even projects in progress are at risk."

According to Goolsbee, executives aren’t funding data center projects. And even if they were, outside financing in the form of debt would be almost impossible to find.
"Ironically, demand for data center services is not going to change that much," Goolsbee said. "In my 15 years in the business, data center demand has remained on a steady ramp and hardly ever wavered."


Want to learn more about Remote KVM Access?

Join Minicom for a FREE Webinar Remote Management - 101

Date: March 24, 2009

Time: 2:00 PM EST (Duration 1 hour)

Whether you have 10 servers or 500, learn the basic tools needed to remotely access and manage servers, PCs and devices. You’ll learn the difference between RDP, VNC, ILO and KVM. You’ll understand each tool’s value and about the products that enable you to effectively utilize all of them in an efficient and intuitive manner. If you are an IT salesperson or consultant looking to get a better understanding of the most commonly used tools and terminology that your customers utilize or an IT professional looking for a solution to a disjointed remote management strategy, this webinar is for you.

If you cannot make the live webinar, all of our podcasts and archived webinars are available at the Minicom Media Club.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Event Summary: II Certification

Last week, 15 Minicom resellers braved the terrible weather and travelled to the NY/NJ area to become certified to sell II, Minicom’s revolutionary remote access management platform. Our local partners were well represented while others came from as far away as Colorado, Texas, and Canada. We also had the pleasure of welcoming Randy Yoder of Iowa City’s Mercy Hospital. Randy gave our resellers a great presentation about Mercy’s specific requirements and how Minicom provided a solution with a mix of the PX and II.

The day also included an overview of II positioning, key differentiators, features and functionality and several case studies. Our partners were able to configure the II during the “hands on” portion of the day prior to any technical training, proving that II is the most intuitive remote access management platform on the market. During the group sessions our partners were separated into 4 groups, each with a distinct list of customer requirements. Each group was tasked to develop a solution to meet their customer’s requirements and present the solution to all of the participants.

These partners are now members a select group of certified resellers of II. They left the training with a detailed understanding not only of II, but Minicom’s entire remote access solution set and value proposition. With the sales activity that began immediately after the event, we are proud to call the event an unmitigated success.

Jennifer Vallarautto, President, TechSolutions, Inc./Office Out Of The Box had this to say:

“When I was invited to attend Minicom’s training on II, I was not sure what to expect. After all, I am in sales, and have not installed or used any of these products myself. After the training, which took only a day, I not only knew product benefits and features, I also knew how to use the systems. As a certified partner, I am now better able to consult with my customers and help them select the best products for them.”


Monday, March 09, 2009

Upcoming Webinar: Smart 2-User KVM Series

Join us for this short product review webinar. Minicom's Smart 2-User Family consists of 4 new different products - The Smart 232 IP, Smart 216 IP, Smart 232 and Smart 216.

Come learn why these products are different that any other 2 user products in the market.

The Smart 216 IP and Smart 232 IP although offered as 2 user switches can really act like a 5 user switches at the same time on the same switch - 2 users over IP; plus one local user; plus 2 serial remote connections to serial devices. Come learn the details.

Speakers Include:
David Zucker,Director, Business Development - KVM Division
Ivo PetrovDirector, Technical Support

Date: March 12, 2009
Time: 2:00 PM EST
Topic: Product Review: Minicom's new Smart 2-User KVM Series
Space is limited so register for this free webinar today.



Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Support Report: Managing the Access to Console Servers on the Port Level

In a recent project I was involved with, the customer had an interesting request… His company has multiple consoles servers which allows remotely secured access to their serial devices across their network.

(Photo: Serial Switch)

Their IT manager often allows individual users remote access to selected ports of these serial console servers. Until now, this action required him to log into the configuration settings of each console servers and manage its access individually.

With the II remote access service open architecture, he can now configure the access permission to a remote serial device behind the console server for each individual port. In other words, he can set up user "A" with permission to access port 1 & 3 of console server one, and port 5 & 8 of console server two at the same time.

(Photo: II screenshot - Access Service open architecture - click to enlarge)

From now on all users will connect to one IP address and according to their log-in information they will see a list of all remote managed serial devices they have permission to connect with. With the II, the user just points and clicks to get seamless access…


Thanks to Nir Dary, Minicom's Technical Support Manager for this Support Report!

Do you have a technical question about a Minicom product or are you looking for solutions for your IT department? Visit Minicom Support for FAQ's, product updates, user guides and contact details for our expert technicians around the world.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

IT Managers in Healthcare Cont'd

I recently posted a webinar on demand about IT managers at hospitals, now there is a great interview at Tech Republic of CIO Patrick Moroney who takes time to explain the changes and challenges facing IT in the healthcare industry.

Jeff Cerny of Tech Republic asks CIO Patrick Moroney “10 questions on the changing role of the healthcare IT executive

"Patrick Moroney is a CIO with a knack for being a professional change agent as well as a world-class networker, which is a winning combination by any measure. He is president of the Barnier Group, performing CIO advisory services at New Mountain Capital and advising Houston-based Intermarine. He’s also the driving force behind the 6,000+ members of the Technology Leadership Association, which he founded in 2002. He has been the CIO at National Medical Health Care Services, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), ServiceMaster, and the Food & Nutrition division at Monsanto. He has held a variety of roles on six continents and is a member of the Society for Information Management. Patrick received the 2004 CIO of the Year award from the Executives’ Club of Chicago. While he was the CIO of HCSC, he took the #21 spot in Computerworld’s top 100 best IT workplaces of 2005. And in 2006, he was was included in Computerworld’s Top 100 CIOs list."

Go to: "10 questions on the changing role of the healthcare IT executive