Data

What is I.T.A.D. ?

Unlocking the Potential of ITAD: Understanding Information Technology Asset Disposition

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, new acronyms and terms frequently emerge, sometimes leaving individuals in the IT world puzzled. One such term that has gained prominence is ITAD, or Secure Information Technology Asset Disposition (SITAD). But what does ITAD entail, and why should it matter to your organization?

What is ITAD?

Let’s start with the basics. ITAD stands for Information Technology Asset Disposition. In some circles, it’s referred to as SITAD, emphasizing the “Secure” aspect of the process. In essence, IT Asset Disposition encompasses the responsible and environmentally friendly disposal of outdated, retired, or surplus IT equipment. ITAD service providers specialize in the intricate processes related to the disposal and remarketing of IT assets. Partnering with an experienced ITAD company can not only aid in reducing expenses but also in maximizing the value of used IT assets.

The Benefits of ITAD

But how can ITAD benefit your organization? IT Asset Disposition service providers offer a multifaceted approach to handling your IT equipment. They can assist in disposing of surplus IT assets or decommissioning your existing data storage infrastructure. What’s more, they won’t just handle the disposal; they can help you recover value from your equipment. When they purchase your equipment, they leverage their vast end-user network to extract as much value as possible. This process can be particularly advantageous for growing organizations seeking cost-effective solutions to equip their operations.

Understanding the ITAD Market

The IT asset disposition market is a vital part of the secondary IT sector. ITAD companies utilize this market to remarket the used and retired assets they acquire. In many instances, ITAD companies collaborate with various partners to sell the equipment to the highest bidder. Some ITAD companies engage with a broad network of buyers through platforms like Broker Bin, while others establish direct connections with other ITAD companies. In many cases, ITAD companies even sell directly to end-users.

Choosing the Right ITAD Partner

With the ITAD landscape bustling with hundreds, if not thousands, of service providers, selecting the right ITAD partner for your organization might seem daunting. Here are some key factors to consider when searching for the ideal ITAD partner:

  1. Inventory Size and Decommissioning Needs: If your organization deals with substantial inventory and requires comprehensive decommissioning services, consider a partner that offers on-site data destruction, decommissioning services, and electronic recycling.

  2. Shipping Convenience: For organizations with smaller quantities of inventory that they can ship independently, a partner offering free shipping, a clear chain of custody, and a certificate of data destruction may be more suitable.

  3. Data Sensitivity: If your organization deals with highly sensitive data on the equipment that needs decommissioning, opt for a partner with highly trained ITAD professionals, a proven track record in the industry, and strong references.

In the quest to find the right ITAD partner, it’s essential to request multiple quotes and evaluate which one aligns best with your organization’s specific needs. Recognize that no two ITAD providers are identical; this is a partnership that demands consideration and careful selection.

If your organization requires ITAD services for your used IT equipment, don’t hesitate to reach out and get a quote. We’re here to assist you.

The Future of ITAD: Paving the Way for Sustainable Tech Evolution

As the world hurtles into the digital age, the significance of IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) is becoming increasingly evident. ITAD is not just about responsibly disposing of outdated technology; it’s a pivotal component in the ongoing tech evolution that places sustainability and resourcefulness at its core.

In a world grappling with environmental concerns, responsible disposal of electronic waste is not a luxury but a necessity. The future of ITAD is set to be a catalyst for change, reshaping the IT landscape in several ways:

1. Circular Economy Advancements

The future of ITAD lies in embracing the circular economy model. In a linear economy, products are manufactured, used, and discarded. In contrast, a circular economy promotes the idea of refurbishing, reusing, and recycling. ITAD service providers play a crucial role in this transition by extending the life of IT assets, reducing electronic waste, and curbing the consumption of new resources.

2. Enhanced Data Security Measures

Data security remains a paramount concern for organizations. The future of ITAD will see a greater emphasis on data sanitization and destruction, ensuring that no sensitive information falls into the wrong hands. ITAD providers will employ advanced techniques to safeguard data, including thorough erasure, physical destruction, and chain of custody tracking.

3. Emerging Technologies Integration

With the rapid evolution of technology, ITAD services will need to keep pace. Emerging technologies like blockchain, AI, and IoT will be integrated into ITAD processes to enhance efficiency, transparency, and accountability. These technologies will offer new ways to track and verify the disposal and recycling of IT assets.

4. Sustainable Practices and Regulations

As sustainability becomes a central focus for individuals and organizations, governments and regulatory bodies are enacting stricter environmental regulations. The future of ITAD will involve adhering to these regulations while striving to exceed them. ITAD providers will adopt more sustainable practices, such as reduced energy consumption, minimizing electronic waste, and responsibly handling hazardous materials.

5. A Growing Market

The demand for ITAD services is set to increase as organizations recognize the value in responsibly disposing of their IT assets. This growing market will attract new players, fostering innovation and competition. As ITAD services become more mainstream, they will also become more accessible to organizations of all sizes.

6. Global Reach

In an interconnected world, ITAD services will extend their reach across borders. This global expansion will enable organizations to seamlessly manage their IT assets, no matter where they are located. The international scope of ITAD will allow for more efficient handling of assets and greater access to global markets for refurbished technology.

7. Education and Awareness

The future of ITAD will involve greater education and awareness efforts. ITAD providers will play a crucial role in educating organizations and individuals about the importance of responsible IT asset disposition. By raising awareness and promoting sustainability, ITAD services will contribute to a more environmentally conscious society.

A Sustainable Tech Future

The future of ITAD is intertwined with the future of technology itself. It’s a world where responsible disposal is not just a choice but a collective commitment to the well-being of our planet. ITAD services will be at the forefront of this movement, ensuring that the IT assets of today find new life in the IT landscape of tomorrow.

As organizations, individuals, and ITAD providers work together, the future of ITAD promises a more sustainable and technologically advanced world. In the end, it’s not just about disposing of IT assets; it’s about creating a future where technology serves us while preserving our environment for generations to come.

 

Stay tuned for more insights into the dynamic world of IT Asset Disposition, where the possibilities are endless, and the future is sustainable.

For further information on ITAD, server upgrades, and the ever-evolving IT landscape, continue to explore our website.

14 questions to ask before upgrading your servers

Maximizing Server Potential: Upgrade, Optimize, and Adapt

Servers are the unsung heroes of the digital age, working silently behind the scenes to keep businesses and enterprises running smoothly. As the backbone of IT functionality, servers play a pivotal role in an organization’s daily operations. Yet, as technology advances and business needs evolve, the time eventually comes for server upgrades. It’s a critical step that demands careful planning and consideration. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of server upgrades, helping you make informed decisions that enhance performance, prevent downtime, and ensure the longevity of your IT infrastructure.

The Significance of Server Upgrades

In the world of technology, change is the only constant. Servers, no matter how robust, eventually reach a point where they can no longer keep up with the evolving demands of your organization. When that moment arrives, it’s time to contemplate server upgrades. But why are server upgrades so important, and what should you consider before embarking on this journey?

1. Does It Fit Your Needs?

The first step in any server upgrade is to ensure that the new server aligns with your organization’s IT requirements. Start by determining these requirements, gather the necessary data, and base your decisions on these foundational insights. Your new server should be tailored to your specific needs, offering the performance and capabilities essential for your daily operations.

2. Is Integration Possible?

Don’t be quick to discard your old server. Consider if there are elements of your existing server that can be seamlessly integrated into the new one. This not only promotes cost-efficiency but also ensures consistency in staff knowledge regarding the technology. Upgrading doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning your old equipment; it could mean giving them a second life within the new infrastructure.

3. What Are the Costs?

Once you’ve determined your performance requirements, it’s time to evaluate which servers align most closely with your needs. Keep in mind that technology can be a significant investment, and you should only pay for technology that directly contributes to your organization’s output. Consider the costs carefully and opt for solutions that deliver real value.

4. What Maintenance Is Involved?

Even state-of-the-art technology requires maintenance. Downtime can be costly, so it’s crucial to establish a maintenance plan. While most new servers come with warranties, these warranties have expiration dates. Inquire about extended warranty options to ensure that your server remains well-protected and operational.

5. What About Future Upgrades?

Technology evolves at a rapid pace, and planning for the future is critical when dealing with new technology. Be prepared to adapt and grow your server infrastructure sooner than you might expect. Future-proofing your server upgrades can save you time, resources, and headaches down the road.

Critical Considerations for Server Upgrades

6. Do You Have a Data Backup?

Never undertake any server changes or upgrades, no matter how minor, without a comprehensive data backup. When a server is powered down, there is no guarantee that it will come back online. Protect your data with a backup strategy to mitigate potential risks.

7. Should You Create an Image Backup?

Many server hardware manufacturers offer disk cloning technologies that simplify server recovery in case of a failure. Some even provide universal restore options, allowing you to recover a failed server swiftly. In cases where upgrades don’t go as planned, disk images can help recover not just data but also the intricate configuration of your server.

8. How Many Changes Are You Making?

Avoid making multiple changes all at once. Whether you’re adding disks, upgrading memory, or installing additional cards, these changes should be implemented separately. In case something goes wrong in the days following the upgrades, isolating the source of the problem is much easier when changes are made one at a time.

9. Are You Monitoring Your Logs?

Completion of a server upgrade doesn’t necessarily mean all is well. Never assume your server is functioning perfectly just because it boots up without displaying errors. Vigilantly monitor log files, error reports, backup operations, and other critical events. Utilize internal performance reports to ensure that everything is running smoothly after upgrades or changes.

10. Did You Confirm the OS Compatibility?

An often-overlooked aspect of server upgrades is confirming the compatibility of your operating system (OS). A quick audit of the system to be upgraded can help verify that the OS is compatible and capable of utilizing the additional resources that are being installed.

11. Does the Chassis Support the Upgrade?

Server hardware can be notoriously inconsistent, with manufacturers frequently altering model numbers and product designs. Before investing in upgrades, carefully review the manufacturer’s technical specifications to ensure compatibility with your server’s chassis.

12. Did You Double-Check for Compatibility?

Don’t assume that new server hardware will seamlessly integrate with the server’s operating system. Due to the unique requirements of server environments, it’s essential to confirm that the component you’re upgrading is listed on the OS vendor’s hardware compatibility list. Checking the server manufacturer’s forums can also provide valuable insights.

13. Does the Software Need an Update?

Remember to keep your software up to date to align with the upgraded hardware. This includes adjusting server virtual memory settings following a memory upgrade. Ensuring your software is optimized for the new hardware can significantly impact your server’s performance.

14. Did You Get the Most Value for Your Money?

While less expensive components may be available, it’s important to remember that when it comes to servers, only high-quality components should be installed. Though they may cost slightly more, the benefits in terms of performance and uptime more than compensate for any additional expense.

Conclusion: Elevating Your Server Infrastructure

In the dynamic landscape of technology, server upgrades are a vital part of maintaining the performance and reliability of your IT infrastructure. Careful consideration of your organization’s specific needs, cost efficiency, and future growth is essential when planning server upgrades. Embrace the ever-changing world of technology and ensure that your server infrastructure remains agile, adaptable, and future-ready.

Remember, your servers are the lifeblood of your digital operations, and investing in their enhancement is an investment in your organization’s success.

For those seeking server upgrades, we also provide solutions for selling used servers, ensuring that your old equipment can find new life in other environments. Explore the possibilities and elevate your IT infrastructure today.

In a world of perpetual technological evolution, make certain that your servers remain at the forefront of innovation, delivering peak performance and reliability. Upgrade with foresight, and let your servers drive your organization forward.

For more information on server upgrades, server sales, and the dynamic world of server technology, continue exploring our website.

Using IT to Help First Responders Save Lives

Using IT to Help First Responders Save Lives

Imagine sitting in rush hour traffic on Friday afternoon and you see an ambulance approaching in your rear-view mirror with it’s lights flashing. Surely you assume there must be an accident ahead, but what if it were a relative on their way to the hospital?

The question you ask yourself is, “how is there not a better way?” With all of the emerging technology these days, there certainly has to be something to help those who need it most.

Low and behold smart cities. Smart cities are the trend of the future, and the technologies that empower them are likely to become a $135 billion market by 2021.

For first responders, the likelihood of smart traffic lights is a pleasant change. By operating with GPS technology in emergency response vehicles, smart traffic lights can help first responders avoid traffic jams and significantly reduce response times.

Even better is the sensors that can check the structural integrity of buildings, bridges, and roads can increase safety by identifying problems before they cause an accident. Such preventative maintenance can help cities avoid the costs associated with minor injuries to major and fatal accidents.

What could go wrong?

Strategically placed sensors have the potential to improve safety in a multitude of ways. However, city officials are justly concerned that the massive amounts of data collected might not be useful as well as overburdening current systems to their limit.

There are two main obstacles standing between city officials and smart city adoption. The first problem is the issue of integrating new technologies within existing systems, and the second problem is figuring out how to ensure the implemented sensors collect beneficial data.

The Apple Watch is terrific example of how technology can be both helpful and harmful. The ability of the Apple Watch to distinguish between a “fall” and a “drop” could be more than the health-care system bargained for. One could say that the technology has the potential to save lives, especially the elderly.

On the other hand, in the chance of a malfunction, the sensors could create an excessive number of 911 calls when they aren’t actually needed. With possibly millions of the devices in a densely populated city, it’s easy to see how the issue could escalate consume emergency call centers with false alarms.

IoT advantages

In spite of the complexities with integration, the cities that do transition to smart cities stand to benefit greatly. A network of connected sensors and devices can reduce the severity of accidents or eliminate them entirely. For instance, Tesla has installed sensors that intelligently avoid impacting other cars.

Recently the city of Corona, CA migrated to a smart city. They’ve implemented sensors can also provide an incredibly rich picture of what’s happening. Many of the most revolutionary technologies have yet to be invented, but the data gathered by these tools is already helping city officials use their resources more effectively.

For example, officers can distribute Amber Alert information to an entire population, and apps like Waze show transportation officials valuable traffic data so they can reduce bottlenecks. A smart watch might be able to give paramedics vitals of their patients before they even arrive on the scene. No matter the city, smart tech has the potential to improve safety, efficiency and quality of life for residents.

Features of LTO Technology over the Years

Linear Tape Open or better known as (LTO) Ultrium is a high-capacity, single-reel tape storage created and frequently improved by HPE, IBM and Quantum. LTO tape is a powerful yet scalable tape format that helps address the growing demands of data protection.

PROVIDING GROWTH FOR GENERATIONS.

Originally introduced at the turn of the new millennium, LTO technology is currently in its 8th generation out of a proposed twelve generations. LTO-8 supports storage capacity of up to 30 TB compressed, twice that of the previous generation LTO-7, and data transfer rates of up to 750MB/second. New generations of LTO storage have been launched consistently with higher capacity and transfer rates along with new features to further protect enterprise data. Furthermore, LTO storage is designed for backward compatibility meaning it can write back one generation and read back two generations of tape. Currently, LTO-8 Ultrium drives are able to read and write LTO -7 and LTO-8 media, ensuring the data storage investment.

WORM

LTO technology highlights a write-once, read-many (WORM) ability to make certain that your data isn’t overwritten and supports compliance regulations. The LTO WORM operation is designed to give users a very cost-effective means of storing data in a non-rewriteable format. With the increasing importance of regulatory compliance — including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), and SEC Rule 17-a-4(f) — there is a need for a cost-effective storage solution that can ensure security of corporate data in an permanent format. LTO WORM contains algorithms using the Cartridge Memory (CM), in combination with low level encoding that is mastered on the tape media to prevent tampering.

 

Encryption

LTO technology features robust encryption capabilities to heighten security and privacy during storage and transport of tape cartridges. Sadly, it seems like a common occurrence now when a company suffers a breach in security and endangers confidential or private information. Fortunately, recent generation LTO tape drives include one of the strongest encryption capabilities available in the industry to help safeguard the most vulnerable data stored on tape cartridges. LTO tape encryption is specific to all LTO generations since generation 4 (LTO-4). It features a 256-symmetric key AES-GCM algorithm that is implemented at the drive level. This facilitates compression before encryption to maximize tape capacities and deliver high performance during backup. With a rising number of laws and regulations and financial penalties, a security breach can be damaging for corporations. Data managers are called upon to develop effective security for sensitive data and are turning to tape encryption.

 

Partitioning

More modern generations of LTO technology include a partitioning feature, which help to enhance file control and space management with the Linear Tape File System (LTFS).

Beginning with the 5th generation (LTO-5), LTO technology specifications consist of a partitioning feature that allows for a new standard in ease-of-use and portability.

Partitioning allows for a section of the tape to be set aside for indexing, which tells the drive exactly where in the tape a file is stored.  The second partition holds the actual file.  With LTFS, the indexing information is first read by the drive and presented in a simple, easy-to-use format that allows for “drag and drop” capabilities, similar to a thumb drive.

Why Your Data Storage Strategy Should Include Tape

As most businesses utilize the latest in flash and cloud storage technologies to keep up with extensive data growth, tape technology continues to thrive. The decades-old storage platform has continued to be remarkably dependable throughout the multiple innovations in storage equipment. In fact, tape still offers numerous benefits when it comes to backup, archival and other mass storage of data.

 

Tape’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

 

The cost per gigabyte of tape storage is less than a penny compared to about three cents for hard disk storage, according to Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). In the long run, tape is also less expensive than cloud storage. The hardware, software, and operational costs are all more costly with other forms of data storage technologies. Additionally, tape has a smaller footprint and uses considerably less power than disk. ESG found that in a 10-year total cost of ownership (TCO) study, an LTO tape solution cost just 14% as much as an all-disk infrastructure, and 17% as much as a hybrid disk/cloud storage solution.

 

The Density of LTO Tape Technology

 

One of tape’s key value propositions is its density. The most recent release of Linear Tape Open (LTO) Ultrium 8 technology provides capacity of up to 30TB of compressed storage.

 

The Lifespan of Data Stored on Tape

 

Yet another major benefit of tape is its longevity of data storage. LTO tape media has a lifespan of 30 years or more, with the average tape drive lasting nearly 10 years. In contrast, the average disk storage lasts roughly four years. ESG conducted a lab audit of LTO-8 drives and found them to be more reliable than disk.

 

The Ever-Increasing Speed of LTO Tape

 

There are still several people that hold to the belief that tape is much too slow to be useful in today’s rapidly evolving IT environment. However, the increases in storage speeds over the 8 generations of LTO tape hasn’t been seen by any other storage solutions. For instance, LTO-7 provides compressed data transfer rates of up to 750MB per second, that’s more than 2.7TB per hour, compared to the 80MB per second of LTO-3 which was released only ten years prior.

 

Data Tape Software

 

Not only had tape increased in density and speed over the years, tape has also gotten smarter. Linear Tape File System (LTFS) allows tape data to be read as just another drive on a network. Users can drag and drop files to tape and can see a list of saved files using an operating system directory. LTFS is an open standard supported by LTO drives from any manufacturer. By making it possible to maneuver files on tape just as you would with disk, LTFS allows organizations to use tape for more than backup and archival. Tape becomes part of an “active” archival infrastructure in which data can be moved to the most cost-effective storage tier at any time. As a result, tape is increasingly used for audio/video and surveillance data, and in big data and regulatory compliance use cases.

 

The Future of LTO

 

LTO technology continues to improve. The LTO Consortium recently finalized the LTO-9 specification and announced plans for the development through 12 generations of the storage technology. LTO-9 is slated for release in Fall 2020. IBM introduced a tape drive based upon the most advanced LTO-8, which offers compressed capacity of up to 30TB (12TB native) and compressed data transfer rates of up to 900MB per second (360MB per second native). The drive comes with AME and AES-256 encryption and write-one-read-many (WORM) capabilities for data protection and is compatible with LTO-7 media.

 

Tape as a lower cost, portable, and simple to use storage solution has always made it a fantastic choice for long-term archival backup. LTO innovations over the past decade have produced unparalleled increases in capacity and greatly superior economics compared to other storage technologies on the market.

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