Bluetowne Blog

Liz Mitchum Joins Bluetowne as Marketing & Business Development Manager

Liz MitchumMT. PLEASANT, S.C. – February 2, 2015 – Bluetowne, a leading provider of innovative information technology solutions, today announced that Liz Mitchum has joined the team as Marketing and Business Development Manager.

Mitchum will focus on driving Bluetowne’s strategic marketing initiatives and elevating brand awareness in target markets across the Southeast.

Mitchum comes to Bluetowne from eGroup, where she served in a Marketing and Partner Relations role. She brings over 11 years of experience in marketing, strategic partnerships, events and demand generation. Prior to eGroup, she held positions at former Charleston-based technology company QuickFarm that included Marketing and Business Development Executive and Account Executive.

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Bluetowne Welcomes Justin Boucher to its Technology Team

Experienced Information Technology and Security veteran joins Bluetowne as a Senior System / Network Engineer

Mt. Pleasant, SC – February 13, 2014 – Bluetowne, LLC, a leading Information Technology firm, today announced the addition of Justin Boucher to its technology team. Mr. Boucher joins the Mt. Pleasant based company as a Senior System / Network Engineer.

Prior to Bluetowne, Justin was a Senior Engineer and Deputy Manager of IT Systems for MANDEX Advanced Technology, Inc. where he focused on Systems Engineering, Project/Program Management, Network Engineering, and Information Security and Assurance. This role encompassed engineering secure network and server solutions, primarily in virtualized environments, with focus on Microsoft Windows, VMware, EMC and Cisco . Mr. Boucher was also responsible for the overall management of IT projects and personnel. He has also served as Network Engineer for Technology Solutions of Charleston, and as a Network Engineer for the State of North Carolina. He is an advisor to Western Governors University where he provides subject matter expertise in Information Technology course development. Justin is certified in numerous advanced technology solutions such as VMware virtualization, Cloud computing, Information Security, and Cisco Routing and Switching. Justin received his MS in Information Security and Assurance from Western Governors University and holds multiple industry certifications including VMware Certified Professional (VCP), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).

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Virtualization without a SAN – Not a Wise Use of Funds.

A Storage Area Network (SAN) is a consolidated array of hard drives hosted under a shared platform. This architecture allows multiple resources on the network to share the resulting storage volume. Without a SAN architecture, storage volumes become isolated and dedicated to the attached hardware. This constrains the growing economics of inexpensive storage and limits the amount data stored in the collective array.

In the case of a virtualized server environment, a SAN storage structure is recommended and, just as often, hardily demanded. Virtual machines (VM’s) can efficiently be moved and stored in any number of hard disk arrays in various locations on your network if you have the means to manage this growing web of connections. When VM’s are dispersed to different, non-SAN storage locations, the underlying feature set of SAN architecture is ignored and your virtualization infrastructure becomes difficult to manage, backup and expand.

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Disaster and Business Continuity Preparedness

Hurricane season is right around the corner and the first tropical storm has already come and gone off the coast of  South Carolina.  Be prepared this year ahead of time.  Consider your options for stand-by business operations and remote communications with customers, vendors and employees.  Are you regularly backing up your critical data?  Do you have a plan in place to access this data during a disaster or business-down emergency?   Have you appointed key employees to manage certain aspects of your business continuity and disaster recovery plan?  One critical point to consider in your planning is the ‘recovery’ phase.  Think this through from end-to-end before purchasing additional hardware, software or services.

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Disaster Planning

Do you know what disaster planning should include when preparing your business for the unknown, unexpected and unprepared?  Planning for a disaster takes many different angles, revisions, discussions, due diligence and process review even just to successfully lay the groundwork for a plan… much less a tested and successful plan.  And, don’t forget, a plan is just that, a PLAN.

Your plan should be comprehensive, picked apart, reassembled and tested regularly by different members of your team.  Only during this vetting process will your plan become a solid foundation prepared for disaster.

And, one last thing to keep top of mind… a disaster of some magnitude will occur with your infrastructure during your leadership period.

Be prepared.

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Try This Ultrathin Keyboard for Your iPad

Logitech has created an aethetically pleasing companion keyboard to go along with your iPad.  The keyboard also doubles as a protective cover.  This is a must-have accessory for frequent travelers.  Here is a review and recommendation by Lauren Goode from our friends at AllThingsD…

Logitech’s Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad

Bluetowne will be testing this keyboard out before the end of the month.

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Is it Possible to be a Technology Industry “Fellow” Without Obtaining a 4 Year Degree?

Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal, thinks so.  The self-made venture capitalist turned Silicon Valley black sheep is stepping out on an intriguing limb.  He theorizes that a 4 year college degree could measurably reduce a young entreprenuer’s chance of success.  Furthermore, he calculates a 4 year college degree will ultimately bring down overall net income for those who attend.

I watched an intriguing interview with Mr. Thiel on 60 Minutes recently which highlighted these concepts. Dig up the video on YouTube and also review his fellowship foundation summary here>>> The Thiel Fellowship

Consider the impact of his hypothesises on the American economy, ability to expand our education for the right purpose and the passing and folding of multi century-old institutions.

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Personal Use of Workplace Computing Resources

Are your employees utilizing your resources to manage their personal life?  As an employer myself it is important to allow employees the freedom and flexibility to extend their personal life into their work area, desk or shop space… however, with a few duly noted boundaries (stay tuned for this a near-term blog entry).

All too often we are asked by customers to lock out a freshly fired employee, track a specific user’s Internet usage or urgently change a user password.  And, lets not forget the many times we have been requested to block Facebook, eBay and streaming music.  All of these items, and your stance on them as an employer, should be clearly stated in your corporate computing use policy and distributed to ALL users.  While it is not our intention to create a ‘big brother’ environment for employees, it is, however, our intention, as employers to respectfully deny use of resources which, ultimately, pay our employee wages.

In the end, your computing resources are the backbone of your business operations and the lifeline and mechanism for exchanging communication and revenue.  Consider your employee’s personal life extension into the work place carefully.

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Moving Your Office

There will come a time when your office space, for whatever reason, needs a change. Moving your operations to a new office takes thoughtful consideration and planning to be successful. Here are a few key topics to consider when moving your office and your information technology infrastructure.

Timing is everything when it comes to planning your move. Your Internet and voice service provider should be researched, quoted and ordered before you plan your move date. This install date often dictates the entirety of your move.

Service and Support Vendors
If you outsource your IT and phone equipment support service it important to, first, notify these vendors of your intended relocation day and immediately lock in this date with their calendars. Have each of your support vendors review the current state of your infrastructure and verify a physical move will not be unusually disruptive. The vendors should also be required to visit your new office space to verify forward planning and considerations such as network wiring, electrical placement, cooling considerations and generally physical moving requirements. If your core server and networking equipment is contained in a bulking rack mount cabinet have the vendors verify fitment in the new office space from pavement to the final server room. Moving a cabinet can be a physically challenging endeavor. Finally, your vendors should coordinate with each other and thoroughly plan your infrastructure move. It is important to identify which of the vendors will primarily drive the scheduling and project management. Often times this is the IT vendor and secondarily the voice equipment vendor. In any case it is your decision who to define as point person for the move.

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