TCC Success Story – Moving an IBM Mainframe in Four Months

Posted by Rick Fowler, TCC Director of Mainframe Services

TCC worked with a state client and received a Certificate of Excellence after successfully moving a large mainframe system in just four months.

Background:

When vulnerable constituents rely on technology for purchasing food, paying bills and obtaining medical care, there is little room for technology glitches. You don’t want to be the person explaining why a needy taxpayer’s benefits will be late.

A state client of TCC was facing just this scenario. The client sought better performance and maintenance services for the IBM mainframe (IBM MF) computer, containing the social services information and responsible for millions of transactions.

Proven methodology:

TCC followed a disciplined approach to the proven and time tested methodology of Identifying, Transforming, Managing and Optimizing to provide a successful solution to all stakeholders.

TINY WINDOW:

The State’s operational calendar, fiscal processes, legislative penalties and other business drivers required that this relocation had to be accomplished in 4 months!

Four months was the maximum allowable amount of time to move an IBM mainframe and to include a Disaster Recovery (DR) site in another part of the continental U.S. This required the completion of all transition implementation activities over a single weekend.

To find read the entire story, please visit the TCC website http://www.e-tcc.com/resources and click on Managed IT Services Resources to download the Mainframe Success Story pdf.

 

Considering Virtualization as an Option

By now you have probably heard about Virtualization. For those of you who don’t know what virtualization is, it refers to the act of creating a virtual rather than actual version of something. This includes computer hardware, storage devices and network resources. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtualization

This technology is not new. Technically, Virtualization has been around since the 1960’s with giant mainframe computers separating out resources on a single unit. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtualization. Software began to gain popularity in the late 1990’s and well into 2000’s and 2010’s. VMware and Microsoft was and is the market leader in this offering.

Today “The Cloud” is now all the talk with companies like Amazon and Microsoft leading the pack. If you are a small business, moving all your applications to the cloud may not be the best fit for you due to cost constraints or other reasons. But virtualization may be a viable option.

You can create your own “private cloud”. If you have more than 3 servers and may be in the market for new ones, virtualization should be considered. This would eliminate the need for as many physical servers and maximize the resources on less physical hardware. The result is you are saving your company money in reducing your physical footprint and making it easier to take the next step to the cloud if you so choose.

Contact TCC’s IT Managed Services today to learn more: https://www.e-tcc.com/managed-services

 

 

 

Choosing an IT Support Option

IT support. Whether you are a business owner or employee, work for a large company or a small business, chances are you have enlisted the help of someone who knows computers and technology to help resolve your issue. Let’s face it – nobody has time to deal with IT issues. In an ever changing world of technology it’s hard to keep up with it all. There are many options to consider regarding how you obtain IT support.

Hiring an IT staff. If you have a lot of infrastructure onsite this may make the most sense, especially if you have a larger desktop infrastructure. According to Tech Co, http://tech.co/cloud-taking-over-traditional-it-systems-2016-01 , many applications are now offering cloud options. Could this decrease the need for onsite IT staff, especially for small business? Quite possibly. The average cost of a mid- level IT Admin according to Payscale.com is nearly $60,000 a year. This of course does not include any paid benefits. So what other alternative is there?

Outsourcing Managed IT Services. You may have heard about IT Managed Services but what exactly is it and how can it help your business? So what exactly is an IT Managed Service Provider? An IT Managed Service Provider traditionally provides services to cover daily IT support needs such as managing computers, servers, printers, phone systems and various other applications. According to www.marketsandmarkets.com the managed service industry will be worth a staggering 242.5 Billion dollars by the year 2021.

If you can’t justify the salary of hiring your own personal IT admin why not consider outsourcing to an IT Managed Service Provider? The cost is usually substantially lower with outsourcing and with most IT Managed Service Providers employing multiple technicians, help is always available.

Whether you choose an onsite IT staff or you outsource to a managed service provider, the most important things to consider are productivity and cost. If you are a company that employees hundreds or even thousands of people, it may make sense to hire your own in-house IT staff. IT Managed Service Providers can also be used to supplement your current IT staff to provide them with extra support, or to provide project based assistance. One thing is for certain, it is hard to find IT Professionals that have every single skill needed to support complex technology environments. IT Managed Service Providers will typically employee a mix of various talents to support your IT infrastructure and allow you to focus on running your business most effectively.

When considering which option is best for your company there may not be a clear answer. Maybe a blended approach would be best? IT Managed Service Providers are a serious option to consider which could save your company money.

To learn more about TCC’s Managed Services please visit our website at: https://www.e-tcc.com/managed-services.

 

Is Cloud Worth It?

Posted by Tim Luzadder, TCC Enterprise Infrastructure Director

 Short answer, Yes. I’ll tell you a quick story about a friend of mine who works in a typical office building here in Indianapolis. One morning she showed up at work and there was water damage all over their suite with multiple ceiling tiles that had crashed down onto desks and computers. The sprinkler system on the floor above went off overnight to prevent an actual fire that had broken out. It did its job and put out the fire. However, the aftermath is what is putting both companies in jeopardy. Computers and paper files were all heavily damaged or destroyed by water.

Many small offices still do tape backups, hopefully they take them off site. Some company’s use Internet based backup systems. These are the absolute minimum. But what happens after an event like this? The company must find another location do work from, buy new computers before insurance comes in, and get those tapes working or data recovered from the Internet backup site. Company phones and email are probably impacted, possibly even the website is gone. How would customers be invoiced and receivables be processed?

“Cloud” infrastructure, whether it’s Amazon, Microsoft, Google or a local one like Lifeline’s, are built in datacenters designed with the worst-case scenarios in mind. They can withstand fires, power outages, and tornados. Cloud providers offer Disaster Recovery options so that even large scale regional events that affect the datacenter facility will ensure your data is replicated to another location and safe. Cloud providers are also constantly upgrading their platforms without you even realizing it. That means you continue to get the latest technologies, served up in a highly redundant environment, and protected from things like fire.

So, if your systems are in a cloud and your office is damaged, you can just focus your efforts on finding office space and dealing with the phones. Your website, email, accounting systems, etc. remain running and available.

Hopefully you’ve seen how valuable the Cloud can be. Hopefully, you’ve also picked up the need to plan out what would happen if disaster strikes. A company with systems in the cloud and a documented Disaster Recovery Plan can recover quickly and nearly seamlessly with their customers. In many cases, your preparedness can also be a selling point to customers.

There are risks to cloud computing, but they are no greater than the risks of connecting your servers to the internet. Make sure that the move to the cloud is accomplished by a responsible and experienced provider of that service.

 For more information on TCC’s IT Managed Services, please visit our website http://www.e-tcc.com/managed-services.