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VMware Software-Defined Data Center is Strategic Move for Tribe

There’s virtualization. And then, there’s virtualization.

When MicroAge’s Shawn Anderson and Michael Zitar worked with a Native American tribe in the Southwest recently to help virtualize the tribe’s network, the tribe recognized that MicroAge could continue to be a valuable resource for the long term.

“As their project expanded, we were clearly the best fit to help,” notes Perry Peterson, MicroAge’s Director of Practice Management. “We helped them move from a traditional data center model to a software-defined data center model.”

A software-defined data center, he explains, “takes intelligence away from hardware and puts it in the software.” That means virtualized servers, storage and networking. “You’re taking the hardware and making it a software resource.”

A VMware Software-Defined Data Center is the Solution

For the Native American tribal government with 1,800 employees serving various functions to support the community, there was clear value in this strategic move.

They sought to build out their internal cloud environment, while addressing endpoint management, security and remote accessibility on various device types.

Michael and Shawn, who have extensive experience working with Native American tribes, sought first to fully understand the IT team’s objectives to ensure they were getting exactly what they needed to address their issues. They worked with the tribe’s CIO as well as virtualization and server administrators.

“We did several on-site meetings as well as technical review calls,” Michael says, noting that MicroAge demonstrated its unique value in helping plan the roadmap and outline the future vision of the environment. “We also were trying to ensure the client didn’t purchase too much licensing or incorrect licensing.”

For server virtualization, the client utilized VMware vSphere, which provides great hardware utilization, increased business and application continuity, and the ability to quickly adapt to requests for new applications and services. “It’s all about working smarter, not harder.”

“For example, they now have the ability to take an application and deploy it within days or even hours compared with six to eight months,” Perry notes.

In addition, the client went with VMware NSX for the network virtualization platform. NSX is key to managing networks within a software-defined data center. Networks can be created, changed, and deleted without ever altering the underlying physical network, which, Perry explains, was an important feature to the client. Plus, NSX boasts a full range of services, including logical switching, routing, firewalling, load balancing, VPN, QoS and monitoring. Micro-segmentation was a key driver for the tribe as it allowed them to taking their security initiatives to a whole new level.

Rounding out the VMware solution, MicroAge recommended AirWatch for enterprise mobility management and vRealize Operations to streamline and automate IT operations management.

“VMware vRealize Operations gives them increased insight into their environment,” Perry says. “It allows them to more intelligently monitor and manage their environment to increase efficiency and performance in both the virtual and physical infrastructures.”

Advancing Strategy

The client successfully managed the deployment in house with some assistance from VMware, using professional services that were included as part of the solution.

“The tribe has really advanced their technology strategy,” Michael says. “As a result of this solution, they’ll have a more secure and agile organization … And they’ll be able to more easily meet the demands of the business.”

Plus, as a result of the success of Michael and Shawn’s work to date, the tribe sees value in their MicroAge team.

“They truly understood the value of Perry’s virtualization specialization,” Michael says. “And now, they want to hear from all of our practice managers. With our practice managers and internal engineers, we’re able to bring a lot to the table and produce results for our clients.”

If you’re looking for an extension of your IT team that understands Native American tribes, Shawn Anderson and Michael Zitar are here to help, supported by practice managers with vast experience in their specialties. Contact Michael at 480-366-2120 or michael.zitar@microage.com and Shawn at 480-366-2167 or shawn.anderson@microage.com.

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Michael Zitar
11 Years Experience
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Shawn Anderson
17 Years Experience
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