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Looking AHEAD 2016: Relive the Excitement!

By AHEAD July 26, 2016 at 03 41 PM

Can you believe it's already been one month (a little longer, actually) since AHEAD's most exciting day of the year? As originally predicted, we are happy to report and confirm that Looking AHEAD 2016 was, in fact, our biggest and best event to date! From the top-notch content presented by industry thought leaders to a beautiful, spacious venue overlooking one of Chicago's most iconic parks, Looking AHEAD 2016 did not disappoint—and that's not just our opinion, but the consensus of the overwhelming majority of attendees.

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Topics: Looking AHEAD, Looking AHEAD 2016, Events

AHEADians Selected to Receive VMware vExpert NSX Designation

By AHEAD July 20, 2016 at 01 51 PM

Just in time for AHEAD's platinum sponsorship at today's Indianapolis VMUG UserCon (come see us at table #409!), we are pleased to announce that AHEAD's Jason Nash, Consulting Architect, and Ted Spinks, Senior Technical Architect, have been selected to receive the VMware vExpert NSX designation. This is the first time that VMware has awarded the vExpert NSX and Jason and Ted were two of only 115 individuals selected worldwide in this inaugural group. 

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Topics: VMware, NSX, SDN, vExperts

AHEAD to Sponsor and Speak at the Biggest VMUG Event of the Year: Indianapolis UserCon

By AHEAD July 14, 2016 at 01 14 PM

Next week on Wednesday, July 20, you can find AHEAD at the 2016 Indianapolis VMUG UserCon at the Indianapolis Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Joined by dozens of other sponsoring partners, AHEAD will be platinum sponsoring this event (the highest level of sponsorship) with a premier location in the exhibitor space where some of our top experts will be waiting to meet you and hand out free AHEAD swag. In addition, two of our resident VMware vExperts will be conducting sessions throughout the day--including the keynote--that you won't want to miss! 

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Topics: VMware, VMUG, UserCon

Taking Network Virtualization One Step Further with Cisco ACI

By Scott Honey July 12, 2016 at 02 25 PM

As a follow-up to Ryan Alt's post introducing AHEAD's Strategy and Roadmap service that helps customers evaluate use cases for software-defined networking (SDN), last week, Tim Carr, Senior Solutions Architect at AHEAD, shared a post that introduced VMware's NSX virtualized network platform. 

In this post, Scott Honey, Senior Technical Architect and one of AHEAD’s CCIEs, takes this one step further and builds a picture of what Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) provides as an SDN solution. He discusses the ACI fabric architecture, deployment models, use cases, and finally the programmability of ACI with orchestration and automation tools.

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Topics: ACI, Software Defined Networking, Cisco, SDN, Automation & Orchestration

Taking Care of Basics: Network Virtualization, Automation, and Security with NSX

By Tim Carr July 06, 2016 at 03 12 PM

A couple of weeks ago, Ryan Alt, Delivery Manager, introduced AHEAD's Strategy and Roadmap service to help customers evaluate use cases for software-defined networking (SDN). In these engagements, AHEAD's subject matter experts help clients define both use case and deployment methodologies for various SDN technologies.

In this post, Tim Carr, Senior Solutions Architect and one of AHEAD's VMware VCDX experts helps to set the landscape and layout out of what VMware NSX is all about. In following, stay tuned for a subsequent write-up of Cisco ACI by Scott Honey, Senior Technical Architect at AHEAD. 

Network virtualization and automation are no longer nice-to-haves for organizations. Today’s customers expect a portal or an app store so that requesting an enterprise service is simple, seamless, and automated. Because this innovation is driving IT beyond simply provisioning virtual machines to providing full application stacks, optimizing virtual networking and providing network services—like load balancing and firewalls—is required to bring a whole service to market. Couple this with the fact that all major cloud providers leverage software-defined networking to take advantage of these types of virtual services and you’ll quickly see why the tipping point for enterprises to meet this demand has arrived.

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Topics: VMware, UCS-D, Architecture, NSX, Automation & Orchestration, Cloud Management and Automation, vRealize Automation

Nutanix .NEXT 2016: The Cloud is the Limit

By Yon Ubago June 29, 2016 at 10 18 AM

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Nutanix .NEXT annual conference for the first time, which concluded on June 22. It was a two-day event in Las Vegas with about 2,500 people in attendance. This represented    > 100% growth in attendees from Nutanix’s inaugural event in 2015. As part of this large turnout, the percentage of partners in attendance quadrupled from the year prior. This is a positive indicator of Nutanix’s ongoing impact on the IT ecosystem and how well their products are being received in the market. I enjoyed my time at the conference and came back with key takeaways to share.

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Topics: Nutanix, Hyperconverged Infrastructure, Events

Meet the Speakers Part 3: Unforgettable Thought-Leaders

By AHEAD June 17, 2016 at 02 00 PM

In parts one and two of the Meet the Speakers series, we introduced you to Looking AHEAD's keynote speaker, Dan Lyons, and the speakers of our afternoon session, Disrupt Your Data Center with Transformative CI & HCI Technologies, Chad Sakac, Dheeraj Pandey, and Matt Smorto. The fun doesn't stop there, though. In just a few days, you'll get to see 10 additional industry thought-leaders--from AHEAD, Intel, Amazon, and much more--take the stage as they share their takes on current technologies and IT industry trends. 

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Topics: Nutanix, VCE, Converged Infrastructure, Looking AHEAD, EMC, Cisco, Hyperconverged Infrastructure, Looking AHEAD 2016

An Introduction to the AHEAD Cloud Delivery Platform Part 1

By AHEAD June 15, 2016 at 02 47 PM

Over the last several months, whether it be on our website, in our emails, or from your colleagues, you've likely heard mention of the AHEAD Cloud Delivery Platform (CDP). And with Looking AHEAD right around the corner (REGISTER HERE!!), you can be sure that the CDP will be a dominating theme throughout the entirety of the day. So what is the AHEAD Cloud Delivery Platform? In case you've been living under a rock, or just need a little more clarification, AHEAD's Chief Technology Officer, Eric Kaplan, has broken down the basics of this comprehensive platform for you to digest a little easier. 

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Topics: IT, Enterprise Service Management, Mobility, Cloud Management and Automation, CDP, Cloud Delivery Platform, Data Center Infrastructure

Cloud Management Tools: Using vRealize Code Stream to Facilitate CI/CD

By Tim Curless June 14, 2016 at 04 04 PM

Part of the AHEAD Cloud Delivery Platform (cloud management and automation component) focuses on DevOps and modern software development methodologies. We understand that there is no point in building the world’s greatest cloud if no one uses it. As part of our journey, we’ve begun looking at tools that enable DevOps practices, namely Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD). One of the classes of tools that helps facilitate CI/CD is called Application Release Automation tools, and I’d like to focus on one example in this post: vRealize Code Stream.

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Topics: DevOps, Code Control, vRealize Code Stream, CI/CD

Your Top 10 Reasons for Coming to Looking AHEAD 2016

By AHEAD June 10, 2016 at 04 04 PM

If you've been following AHEAD to any degree in 2016, you know that Looking AHEAD is just around the corner. And if you haven't taken notice yet, now's the best time to start!

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Topics: Looking AHEAD, Looking AHEAD 2016, CDP

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