INS is End-to-End Provider 3 Customer Profile: YMCA 4 Cloud Computing & Disasters 5

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1 VOLUME 2 ISSUE 1 BUSINESS CONNECTIONS INS is End-to-End Provider 3 Customer Profile: YMCA 4 Cloud Computing & Disasters 5 Storage Area Network at DMU 6 FAQs about SAN 6 New 10 Gigabit Ethernet Ring 7

2 BUSINESS CONNECTIONS PS PS IF FSC_Labels_LNBW Landscape / Negative / Black & White (LNBW) Business Connections is a publication of INS Corporate Drive, West Des Moines, IA No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any FSC_MS_2_LNBW form, electronic, photocopying, recording, mechanical, or other- XX% FSC_MS_2_LNBW FSC_MS_2_LNBW wise without the prior written permission of INS. All rights are reserved. Editorial and Circulation Contact: Kristi Arp, 4201 Corporate Drive, West Des Moines, IA 50266, FSC_MS_3_LNBW FSC_MS_3_LNBW All brand names and product names used FSC_MS_3_LNBW in this publication are trade names, service marks, trademarks, or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Extra issues are available to business customer employees on a limited basis while supplies FSC_MS_4_LNBW last. FSC_MS_4_LNBW Contact: Kristi Arp, 4201 Corporate Drive, FSC_MS_4_LNBW West Des Moines, IA 50266, Copyright 2009 by INS and Cornerstone Publishing Group, Inc. Postmaster send changes to: Kristi Arp - Business Connections XX% Iowa Network Services 4201 Corporate Drive West Des Moines, IA FSC_100_LNBW FSC_100_LNBW FSC_100_LNBW FSC_MS_1_LNBW FSC_MS_1_LNBW FSC_MS_1_LNBW FSC_MS_5_LNBW FSC_MS_5_LNBW FSC_MS_5_LNBW Solutions to business problems come in many forms. You find a software application that increases productivity. You arrive at just the right message for your marketing campaign. You launch a benefit program that helps retain employees. Whether related to technical, personnel or process issues, the ability to find effective solutions is key to any company s continued success. This issue of Business Connections examines a variety of solutions that just might spark some ideas for your company. It begins on page 3 with a look at the benefits of choosing INS as your end-to-end provider. By having one company coordinate all of your communications solutions, you can significantly increase efficiency. On pages 4 and 5, we profile the YMCA of Greater Des Moines and their use of a cloud computing solution. By moving to a centralized computing platform, the YMCA has dramatically simplified and streamlined the process of maintaining their technology. You ll learn about centralized storage on page 6, with an overview of why Des Moines University chose a Storage Area Network as the solution to make their virtualization plans a reality. Solutions continue on page 7, with an introduction to our new 10 Gigabit Ethernet ring that provides enhanced security and redundancy. Whenever your business needs help finding the best solutions for your business, contact the technology experts at INS. Sincerely, Richard M. Vohs INS President and CEO EPS JPG TIF FSC_RE_1_LNBW FSC_RE_1_LNBW FSC_RE_1_LNBW

3 INS is Your End-to-End Provider One point of contact greatly streamlines communications services Communications technologies have grown dramatically in recent years in their numbers, capabilities and complexities. Your business may well require a diverse combination of communications services to operate most effectively. Yet trying to piece together services from several providers can be a drain on efficiency. You must take time away from your core business to coordinate and manage the services, call several different contacts for troubleshooting and process multiple monthly bills. Frees Up Your Staff Iowa Network Services is the streamlined alternative. We are a full-service provider, and offer a wide array of telecommunications and network services to businesses requiring end-to-end communications solutions. When you choose INS, you have just one point of contact for all of your needs. That means you won t have multiple providers giving you the runaround, with each pointing the finger at the other and blaming someone else for problems. When your services are with INS, you simply call us and we take care of everything. This also frees up your IT department from having to invest as much time on management issues, and reduces the need to cross-train your staff on multiple vendor offerings. Lowers Network Costs Keith Fraser, Manager, INS Sales Support, explains, From the beginning, INS has built strong relationships with our connecting partners. They include carriers like AT&T, Sprint, Level 3 and Verizon Business. These carriers realized that using the INS fiber network throughout Iowa was better and more cost effective than to build their own route. Due to our longstanding relationships with them, INS gets very competitive rates on their networks, which translates into lower rates for our customers. He adds this about the INS single-provider advantage, When a business lets INS take the lead for its communications needs, we can coordinate all the connecting orders, provide one bill for the overall circuit and be right on it when issues arise. Since INS is the customer of record with our connecting partners, it gives us the control to see the circuit end to end and be aware when or if there is circuit trouble. Enhances Reliability INS can also provide your business with enhanced Internet reliability. We have connections to several Tier 1 Internet backbone providers to ensure we are always up and able to consistently maintain an Internet connection for our customers, says Fraser. Let INS develop a customized Voice and Data Transport solution for your business. We provide: Redundant, High Capacity Fiber Network Scalable Bandwidth LAN/WAN Ethernet Transport Dedicated Connectivity Carrier-class Data Center Managed Security 24/7 Monitoring and Technical Support from experienced INS staff Ability to connect with your existing LAN network and equipment Cost savings compared to competitive data transport methods If you d like one point of contact, make one call right now. Call INS at

4 CUSTOMER PROFILE YMCA of Greater Des Moines Benefits from Cloud Computing The YMCA is an organization that s dedicated to building strong kids, strong families and strong communities. In order to help them fulfill their mission, they rely heavily on a plethora of technology, including computers and servers to help execute their daily operations. With approximately 200 administrative personnel and multiple locations across central Iowa, keeping computers and applications up to date is a necessity, but also very time consuming. Our employees can now login from anywhere and can access everything they need to do their jobs. VERNON DELPESCE, PRESIDENT OF THe YMCA OF GREATER DES MOINES We re in a situation where technology can t fail, said Vernon Delpesce, president of the YMCA of Greater Des Moines. According to Delpesce, the YMCA had tried to handle its information technology needs itself several years ago, but the task became too daunting. So the decision was made to outsource IT services, including a migration to a cloud computing solution provided by Alliance Technologies a company owned by Iowa Network Services. Cloud computing enables remote delivery and management of IT infrastructurerelated services through the INS Westown Communications Center. The YMCA of Greater Des Moines is one of the first central Iowa businesses to place all of its information technology operations on a cloud. Sharing Information Between Multiple Locations Prior to switching to a cloud computing solution, the YMCA was running multiple servers out of each of their 10 branch offices. There was limited connectivity between locations, which became problematic as branch offices began sharing employees. Because staff members were only connected to the servers at their main location, it made it difficult to access the applications and files they needed when they changed offices. By migrating to a centralized computing platform, delivered via the cloud, all employees can now access and share files and applications from one pool of resources, accessed via the Internet. This move has also been a great benefit for the YMCA staff. Delpesce notes, We have employees that may spend up to half of their time working at different branch offices or from home. One of our challenges was to better accommodate a mobile work force and we were seeking a solution that would provide accessibility via the Web. Cloud computing, supported by Alliance Technologies and INS, has been the answer. The YMCA has also switched many employees from a traditional desktop computer to a smaller, more flexible piece of equipment called a thin client. It costs about half what a PC does, uses less energy, and is about the size of a Des Moines phone book. Each thin client provides an Internet connection to the Alliance Technologies cloud where all of the YMCA s software applications are stored. Using thin clients connected to the cloud provides excellent mobility for our staff; we ve also found them to be more efficient and reliable. Our employees can now login from anywhere and can access everything they need to do their jobs, says Delpesce. 4

5 Managing and Maintaining an IT Infrastructure Moving to a centralized computing platform has dramatically simplified and streamlined the process of maintaining the YMCA s technology. This not only reduces labor costs, but also enables them to focus more of their time on the things they do best. Centralized computing delivered in the cloud also means no hardware to buy, install and maintain. Delpesce explains, Given the number of our locations and employees, there is a lot of hardware and software to keep functional. In the past, just updating anti-virus software on each individual computer could be a big project. Today this can easily be done in a centralized place and does not require us to separately manage each individual machine. Using the cloud also frees us from having to manage the IT infrastructure needed to run our business. Adding New Locations The YMCA is a growing organization, adding new employees regularly and planning for new locations throughout central Iowa. Traditionally, these expansions meant large cash outlays for new equipment such as servers and computers. By operating all of their technology through the Alliance Technologies cloud, the YMCA can easily and quickly expand their IT infrastructure to accommodate future growth. They don t have to plan expenditures for new hardware; the cloud enables turnkey access to network resources on a subscription basis which can easily be scaled up or down as their business needs change. They can also look forward to the added benefits of lower energy bills, lower expansion costs, and lower repair and maintenance costs. For more details on cloud computing service, contact Jason Lamping, Marketing Manager, at x7682 or Cloud Computing s Role in Disaster Recovery The flooding in June 2008 had a major effect on the YMCA s Riverfront location in downtown Des Moines. Vernon Delpesce, president of the YMCA of Greater Des Moines, recalls, We were fearful of losing electricity at this branch. As a result, we had to relocate to another branch and physically move everything, including all servers and computers. This was quite a task both time consuming and expensive to say the least. It also resulted in considerable downtime for our employees. Today, with a cloud computing solution from Alliance Technologies, all of the YMCA s computing resources reside in the INS Westown Communications Center. This provides monitored security and protection from natural disasters such as floods and fires, and gives them connectivity from anywhere. Delpesce adds, We no longer have servers at any of our YMCA locations. Everything is now located within the secure INS data center, which means we never have to worry about this again. For any organization, preparation is clearly the key to weathering nature s challenges. 5

6 FAQs about SAN What is a Storage Area Network (SAN)? As your business operates and grows, more and more data and information gets compiled, stored and maintained. A Storage Area Network (SAN) allows you to expand storage to keep pace with this data growth in a simple and economical manner. This specialized network provides access to high performance and highly available storage subsystems using block storage protocols. The main characteristic of a SAN is that the storage subsystems are generally available to multiple hosts at the same time, which makes them scalable and flexible. What drives an organization to implement a SAN? Organizations chose a SAN as a reliable solution for consolidated data storage, data backup and recovery, diaster recovery, and business continuity. Storage Area Network How Des Moines University benefits from centralized storage It was Des Moines University s interest in virtualization software that eventually led to a Storage Area Network (SAN) from Alliance Technologies. Bill Morton, Information Assurance and Support Specialist with Des Moines University, recalls, We were planning to implement virtualization software from VMware, and one of our first interactions with Alliance Technologies was through their involvement with the virtualization community. We were impressed with their depth of knowledge and expertise, and liked the fact that Alliance Technologies is here since we prefer to work with local companies. What are the benefits of a SAN? By implementing a SAN, your organization can expect to: Reduce disk expenditures by increasing usable disk capacity Dramatically reduce administrative labor costs by managing more data in less time Recover from disasters in minutes, not hours or days Minimize the environmental impact of power and cooling Reduce storage maintenance costs Reduce data center/rack floor space Our SAN gives us more reliability and higher performances than locally attached disks in servers. BILL MORTON, DMU INFORMATION ASSURANCE AND SUPPORT SPECIALIST Des Moines University has about 300 employees and 2,000 students, and all students receive a laptop for use during their education. A move to virtualization software would not have been possible for them without a SAN-based solution. So about two years ago, an entry-level SAN was installed and has since been expanded several times. Morton says, Our SAN gives us more reliability and higher performances than locally attached disks in servers. As we grow, we can continue to add units and tier the storage as needed. The university manages its SAN internally. Says Morton, We found the SAN to be simple to set up and maintain. It also doesn t require as much management as our previous system, which had frequent failures of hard drives. This greatly reduces our management load and gives one point of administration. We also benefit from having a much deeper feedback loop. We can see what the latencies are and what volumes will optimize resources. Steve Simpson, Alliance Technologies Sales Consultant, explains that Des Moines University uses a Dell EqualLogic SAN but other options are available. Alliance Technologies uses different SAN vendors to make sure each customer gets exactly what they need. And we don t just handle storage, the way some providers do. Alliance Technologies has both virtualization knowledge and storage knowledge, which enables us to help craft a customized solution which is what we did for DMU, Simpson notes. 6

7 INS Connects New 10 Gigabit Ethernet Ring Three-node Internet backbone enhances security and redundancy Iowa Network Services (INS) understands the vital importance of redundant circuits and remote data storage for businesses; these services have moved from being optional in the past to being necessities today. You need worry-free solutions that keep you connected to the Internet and keep your data safe. That s why INS recently connected our new Westown Communications Center to our other two data centers with a 10 Gigabit Ethernet ring. Robust, Survivable Network The expansion links these three geographically diverse INS data locations into a robust, survivable network. Because of the three-node design, the new Ethernet ring provides customers with an Internet backbone that s even more secure and offers improved redundancy in Internet service. It also offers greater scalability, reducing the amount of time needed to increase bandwidth to just days, which means businesses and other organizations will benefit from enhanced network performance. This upgrade came in direct response to customer demand for increased bandwidth. INS is committed to providing the latest communications technology solutions, says Marty Ouverson, INS Sales Manager. He continues, Our 10 Gigabit Ethernet ring demonstrates INS commitment to continually improve our network, ensuring that our customers receive the highest levels Our 10 Gigabit Ethernet ring demonstrates INS commitment to continually improve our network, ensuring that our customers receive the highest levels of performance and reliability. MARTY OUVERSON, INS SALES MANAGER of performance and reliability through the most technologically advanced and cost-effective solutions available. Secure, Offsite Storage The INS Westown Communications Center is a newly opened, carrier-class data center located in central Iowa. The secure, offsite storage facility features a fire protection system and 24/7 monitoring of security, temperature and power. Customers can house their network infrastructure at the INS Westown Communications Center and know that their most critical systems will be kept safe and protected. Ouverson explains, Our new Westown Communications Center with redundant connectivity allows INS to address our customers needs for disaster recovery, business continuity and transport solutions. With the upgrade to 10 Gigabit Ethernet, we are now able to offer these services with scalable bandwidth and the security of a 3-node Internet backbone. By partnering with INS, you get Business-Smart Technology to keep your business moving forward regardless of the challenges that may be ahead. For more details on the security offered by the INS Westown Communications Center and our 10 Gigabit Ethernet ring, call INS at or visit our Web site at 7

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