Celebrate Tech Innovation with the VSS Baltimore Team!

On Wednesday, April 18th, VSS will be joining the City of Baltimore’s celebration of innovation, light and community during Light City. The VSS Baltimore team is hosting Light up the Sky with Innovation from VSS to showcase client projects featuring cutting-edge technology solutions that solve real-world business problems.


Shining Light on Innovation

Light City, America’s first large-scale festival of art, music and innovation, is where Baltimore comes together and where the world comes to Baltimore. Like the city, VSS is shining light on projects that have inspired our team. During our event at the National Aquarium, you will hear from clients, learn about their project experience and see demonstrations of their innovative technologies.

Local Spotlight

As Light City celebrates local artists and neighborhoods, we will be spotlighting local businesses that have excelled with technology innovations. Project topics include Internet of Things, networking and security.

Celebrate Innovation with the VSS Baltimore Team!

Join us at the National Aquarium on April 18th to celebrate innovation! RSVP now to reserve your seat:

Event Information: VSS presents Light Up the Sky with Innovation from VSS

When: April 18th, 2018

5:00 – 6:00 pm Tour the National Aquarium at Your Leisure

6:00 – 6:30 pm Cocktails and Heavy Hors D’oeuvres

6:30 pm Introduction to Innovation with VSS + SPS

Where: The National Aquarium

501 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202

Please contact us if you have any questions about the event. 

Overcoming the Pains of Supporting Open Source Software

Most of us know and use open source software (OSS) for its numerous benefits – cost savings, flexibility, freedom, security and accountability. Moreover, OSS has long-term viability, as it’s created and supported by a world-wide community of organizers and developers.

It’s easy to see why Open Source is highly appealing. However, OSS has been said to be “’free’ as in kittens.” The major pains of supporting Open Source Software is that it requires constant upkeep: maintenance, configuration and on-going support.

With the shift to OSS, several new challenges have presented themselves to our clients with regards to supporting open source software. Our maintenance team has categorized pain points into three areas and outlined methods to overcome open source software support concerns.

Managing multiple OSS providers.

This is a common pain point if you use and self-manage several different types of open source software. We like to think of this as the “DIY downside” of OSS. Having to regularly check compliance, version updates, community news and maintenance suggestions for multiple software packages can quickly become complex and overwhelming.

How do you overcome this?

Partner with a support service provider that has a similar OSS support platform as your hardware stack. Look for service features such as the ability to:

  • Assist with problem and resolution determination for a wide range of OSS
  • Provide Level 1 and 2 support, 7×24
  • Feature one phone number to call for all OSS types
  • Have one contract for all OSS needs

Hiring specific OSS consultants.

For most companies, hiring a specific consultant to support each OSS is simply too expensive.

How do you overcome this?

Don’t take on additional staff to support each OSS. You can benefit from an OSS support partner’s expertise in a wide range of packages, specific project knowledge and usually, save money in the process. Additionally, a proficient IT asset management partner should be able to provide consultative support for the environment around the OSS package.

Relying on communities and forums for supporting Open Source Software.

Community support is one of the awesome benefits of OSS. However, mining through support communities for an answer while a system outage is going on is not fun. Even when you aren’t in crunch-mode, spending valuable time looking through support communities is time consuming and can lead down rabbit holes.

How do you overcome this?

Treat your open source software like you treat the rest of your enterprise technology environment by having around the clock support in place. By partnering with a world-class support team, you should have guaranteed service level agreements that help create an “always on” environment. This translates into reduced downtime and helps save money.

VSS and IBM have adapted an award winning Multi-Vendor Portfolio Management and Maintenance Service Model to now provide end-to-end enterprise class support for your ecosystem – including Open Source Software.

Take advantage of World Class support with one, single source provider, guaranteed service level agreements and competitive pricing.

Contact our maintenance services team to talk about open source software.

Throw off the False Sense of Security Blanket

Throw off the False Sense of Security Blanket

Despite spending a substantive amount on enterprise security tools and experts every year, some CIOs and CISOs remain unsatisfied with the state of their organization’s security posture.

This disconnect seems to go hand-in-hand with an absence of central or holistic approach that takes into consideration all the people, processes and technology within the organization. Critical security management tends to fall to admins who deploy and interpret findings to the best of their abilities, but from a bottom-up approach rather than a top-down perspective.

Enterprise Security Tools

Gaining the Right Perspective

Threats, vulnerabilities, risks, security policies, compliance and consequences are all discussed within the context of any proposed enterprise security tool. A typical well-protected organization will have separate tools for application, data, network, endpoint, and mobile device management. Each tool will have its own set of admins, who will create their own set of security policies and rules, providing their own set of vulnerabilities, risk scores and consequences. This approach neglects the need for a central interface to aggregate the inputs to these tools such as security policies of the organization or aggregate the outputs of these tools such as offenses, vulnerabilities and risk scores. More recently, SIEM tools like IBM’s QRadarTM have taken an integrated approach and have started to address this integration and API capabilities to tie things together. Some SIEM platforms still leave a lot to be desired.

On their own, integrated enterprise security tools suffer from a lack of organizational context in the findings and offenses. The Security Management Services from VSS build upon those capabilities and provide CIOs and CISOs an organization-specific perspective; not from a “tool-up” view, but rather from an organizational view down to the tool, ensuring business needs and goals are met.

Focus on the Critical Areas

An organization, like a living organism, has its unique vulnerabilities specific to each critical functioning area.  The majority of today’s security tools do a good job focusing on securing a unique operation within the organization, but in doing so, can give a false sense of security that the entire organism is safe and healthy. Just like any healthy organism can fall prey to single humble virus, a very well-protected organization can be exploited by previously unknown threats. The emergence of new hazards like phishing, ransomware and the continued breach of respected and well-protected organizations is a testament to this now-familiar phenomenon. Today’s threats demand a fresh approach; an approach based on security management processes; focused on the people, processes and technology of an organization.

Security Management Services by VSS help make this happen by treating applications as a “composite asset”, or an asset comprised of more than one asset. Our security professionals help CISOs gather information about applications that need to be protected. We also track the internal team members who are responsible for using and managing these applications.

With VSS Managed Security Services, clients can expect:

Strategic Planning and Roadmap

We meet with executive leadership to capture the security management vision and goals of the organization. Based on this input, VSS proposes a phased, strategic roadmap with clear milestones and KPIs to measure progress. Transparency is maintained through scheduled annual, quarterly and monthly reviews, allowing all parties to assess the current state of security, and set goals for upcoming periods to mitigate risk and ensure compliance. Reviews cover:

  • Scope to ensure all assets are included
  • Asset vulnerabilities to identify and assign risk
  • Security policies to confirm and ensure compliance

Information Risk and Protection

Information Risk and Protection activities are ongoing. This includes:

  • Vulnerability testing and risk assessment
  • Security policy formulation and compliance
  • Application security reviews
  • QRadar log and flow expansion

Security Operations and Response

Our Security Operations Center offers 24x7x365 monitoring of the endpoints, networks, applications, and systems. This results in ongoing refinement of the security policies and the incident response plan.

Security Tools – Administration and Monitoring

Our team of Systems Administrators and Operators ensure that all security tools are working around the clock. This eliminates the need for our clients to hire expensive security resources to maintain their security investments.

Ready to take the first step in evaluating your organization’s enterprise security tools?

Contact our Security team to determine a holistic approach to security that takes into consideration the people, processes and technology that are involved in running your organization.

Throw off the False Sense of Security Blanket

8 Reasons You Should Be Evaluating New Backup and Recovery Solutions

Hint: your peers already are.

It's time to start evaluating and testing new backup and recovery solutions

In a 2016 study, Gartner reports that, “for years now, many organizations have continued to re-architect their backups in an effort to modernize their Cheap NFL Jerseys approach in handling new data types and deployment models, increased workload volumes, and improve backup and restore times to meet rising SLAs.”

If you are in the midst of, or beginning to evaluate backup and recovery processes, offsite encryption systems and testing methods o fully restore enterprise data, these eight Gartner research statistics will give you an idea of content://com.android.browser.home where colleagues and peers are headed and recent trends that have appeared over the last two years.

  1. By 2020, 30% of organizations will leverage backup for more than just operational recovery (e.g., disaster recovery, test/development, DevOps, etc.), up from less than 10% at the beginning of 2016.
  2. By 2020, over 40% of organizations will supplant long-term backup with data archiving systems — up from 20% in 2015.
  3. By 2020, 10% of storage systems will be self-protecting, obviating the need for backup applications, up from less than 2% in 2016.
  4. By 2019, 30% of midsize organizations will leverage public cloud IaaS for backup, up from 5% in 2016.
  5. By 2018, 70% of business and application owners will have more self-service control over their data protection services, up from 30% in 2016.
  6. By 2018, 50% of organizations will augment with additional products or replace their current application with another purpose built backup solution, compared to what they deployed at the beginning of 2015.
  7. By 2018, more than 50% of enterprise storage customers will consider bids from storage vendors that have been in business for less than five years, up from less than 30% in 2016.
  8. By 2018, the number of enterprises using the cloud as a backup destination will double, up from 11% at the beginning of 2016.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about how the ability to replicate and securely restore backups can impact your time to recovery, and ultimately, your peace of mind, contact the VSS Service Team.

Source: 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Software

VSS Named to CRN’s 2017 Technology Solution Provider 500 List for Fifteenth Straight Year.

VSS, LLC recently announced that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named the IBM Platinum Business Partner to its 2017 Solution Provider 500 list. The Solution Provider 500 is CRN’s annual ranking of the largest technology solution integrators, service providers and IT consultants in North America by revenue.

The Solution Provider 500 is CRN’s predominant channel partner award list, serving as the industry standard for recognition of the most successful solution provider companies in the channel since 1995. This year, for the first time since 2010, the complete list has been published on CRN.com, making it readily available to vendors seeking out top solution providers to partner with.

“Being named to this prestigious list is an incredible honor, as CRN’s Solution Provider 500 List is the industry-standard recognition for top IT solution providers in North America, based on revenue,” said Robert L. Jernoske, Jr., CEO of VSS. “The publication has been called the ‘unrivaled leader in covering the channel’ by B2B’s Power 50 Ranking, and we are thrilled to have been recognized for the fifteenth year in a row.”

“This distinction acknowledges VSS’ commitment and efforts to develop as a solution provider. Our goal has always remained to be a top provider of a varied range of high quality technology services and solutions to our robust list of clients, fitting each of their unique needs. We would like to thank George Iloka Jersey our dedicated VSS team and CRN for this honor and would also like to congratulate our fellow appointees!”

“CRN’s Solution Provider 500 list spotlights the North American IT channel partner organizations that have earned the highest revenue over the past year, providing a valuable resource to vendors looking for top solution providers to partner with,” said Robert Faletra, CEO of The Channel Company. “The companies on this year’s list represent an incredible, combined revenue of over $318 billion, a sum that attests to their success in staying ahead of rapidly changing market demands. We extend our sincerest congratulations to each of these top-performing solution providers and look forward to their future pursuits and successes.”

The complete 2017 Solution Provider 500 list is available online at www.crn.com/sp500, with a sample featured in the June issue of CRN Magazine.

About VSS, LLC

VSS, LLC provides creative, flexible and sustainable technology solutions. For over 25 years, the IBM Platinum Business Partner has fine-tuned the design and delivery of managed IT services, remote monitoring, data protection, virtual storage solutions and cloud applications. VSS allows businesses to customize a technology platform designed to fit specific needs, based on the organization’s goals and resources, with reliable automation and documentation. With over 35 service areas and offices in 10 cities throughout the nation, VSS is committed to providing the highest level of technical support and exceptionally personalized service. For more information, visit our website.
VSS is a subsidiary of VSS Holdings, LLC. The VSS logo is a trademark of VSS Holdings, LLC. All rights reserved.