2013- IT was a good year.

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It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is here and 2014 is approaching.

Mashable_Zettabytes-Data-Compare_Infographic_6402013 was a busy year.  It was the year of storage, virtualization and the Cloud, and there’s no end in sight for storage vendors.  An article found on Mashable.com, earlier this year states, the amount of information being produced in the world is now doubling every two years.  In 2011, the amount of data that was produced and replicated was about 1.8 zettabytes – by the way, after megabytes and gigabytes, you have to get past terabytes, petabytes and exabyte before we get to zettabytes.  So one (1) zettabyte is about a billion terabytes.   To illustrate this, the article suggested that in order to store 1.8 zettabytes on 32GB iPads, we would need 57.5 billion iPads with which we  could build a mountain of iPads that would be 25 times higher than Mt. Fuji.  I’m sure Apple would be happy to make those.

Although virtualization has been with us for a long time, 2013 was really a year for its adoption of virtualization.  Clients of every size seemed to discover the power and benefits of virtualization and kept us quite busy by embracing that technology.  Virtualization seemed to start around the idea that, you could make much better use of your hardware if you were able to run multiple instances of server software on one physical server— but today, the benefits are about so much more than simply better utilizing your hardware.  It’s about the building of resilient systems, business continuity, distribution of computing power, optimizing licensing and more.  We went as far as considering that no physical server should ever leave our facility without some kind of virtualization engine installed, even if it’s not currently enabled.

And finally there was The Cloud.  There is probably nothing that has ever kept us busier than all of those “cloud providers” who went around telling everyone that you should move to the cloud, and you’d never need a solution provider again.  Of course, we may not be a typical solution provider. We built our first multi-tenant cloud platform in 2008, after years of supporting single-tenant data center environments – now often referred to as private clouds.

This year we designed, deployed and/or managed cloud environments for numerous clients.  We also helped them to leverage and integrate to public cloud vendors, when appropriate.  The one thing we learned, but probably already knew, is that most cloud vendors simply give you a  functional platform so that the customer no longer needs to own hardware, find a place to keep it, or have to worry about how it gets backed up.  The cloud providers, however, are a long way from being able to replace the personal touch of a solution provider, particularly one who can take holistic ownership of your computing ecosystem and ensure a positive and productive end-to-end experience.

As we move into 2014, we expect these areas to remain strong.  More important than ever, however, will be cybersecurity.  The bad guys have been getting particularly nasty, costing the everyday Internet user real money.  This year attackers added themselves to the payroll at numerous companies.  They stole personal information, then filed fake tax returns and got refunds that didn’t belong to them.  They even took personal computers hostage and demanded cash within a certain number of hours, otherwise all of your stuff (documents, photos, etc.) would go away forever.

Network security needs to become an integral part of the foundation of every computing environment— not an afterthought.  Instead of building systems as they’ve been built in the past, then adding security, network security needs to be at the heart of every computing environment.  We need plug-in security in our cloud environments, we need to secure our end-points (including mobile devices), and we need wide-awake traffic cops watching for the bad guys.  SLPowers is working closer than ever with our security vendors to bring these solutions to you.  Many of these are already available, already deployed to our clients, and already protecting things like GN on Demand ™, our cloud platform.

Expect even more from us 2014.

Always, we want to thank you for your business and we look forward to another year of helping you to conquer your business challenges.

Rory Sanchez, CEO SLPowers



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