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May 18, 2016

Bandwidth Cost Control


Mike McGuireI help big data, enterprise and e-commerce clients resolve slow page loads, traffic management, cost management and a number of other IT headaches – with a patented, unique device that most of these clients did not know existed.

In this blog I will share how I helped speed up these networks while lowering network cost using Internap’s unique patented route optimization device.

The Problem: Network Bandwidth Cost Control

Most enterprise and virtually all e-commerce networks have become multi-homed in order to provide diversity and redundancy which ensures some measure of survivability should one vendor fail. Smart thinking.

But multi-homing your network introduces another set of problems – among them is cost management (splitting requirements across two providers reduces negotiating power, meeting or exceeding commit rates, network engineering costs to manage traffic, paying for unused bandwidth, and so forth).

The solution: Reduce bandwidth cost

Internap’s Managed Internet Route Optimizer (MIRO) Controller is an intelligent network optimizer that not only optimizes traffic to guarantee the lowest latency possible, it also provides powerful analytics that enable clients to take control of and better manage their carrier costs.

Here are a few examples of the cost savings/cost management benefits you will see using this on-premise traffic optimizing device:

  • Organize your traffic to use the lowest cost provider available while still maintaining a good quality of service
  • Ensure all commit rates are met for each carrier, saving you from paying unused commit penalties
  • Reduce budgets used for network engineering staff / consultants because the device operates automatically, optimizing up 48,000 times per hour, or re-point these costly resources to focus on more meaningful projects not being addressed
  • Use reporting data to support carrier Service Level Agreement (SLA) rebate claims for latency and packet loss
  • Determine to replace a particular carrier if you are constantly moving traffic off their facilities in favor of other providers; similarly, you can decide to upgrade or downgrade capacities with individual providers and negotiate pricing accordingly

These measures provide huge benefits in both Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and Operating Expense (OPEX), therefore, clients are really surprised to learn the device has a typical ROI of less than nine months.

Even clients addressing more technical issues as their priorities are generally able to take advantage of a number of these benefits as well.

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May 4, 2016

Top 5 New Features in Microsoft SQL Server 2016


On June 1, Microsoft SQL Server 2016 became generally available. This edition of Microsoft’s database server delivers end-to-end data management and business analytics and includes mission-critical intelligence from complex workloads. With each version of SQL Server, Microsoft adds yet another layer to the already-rich feature set.

Here are the top 5 features added to SQL Server 2016:

1. Always Encrypted

SQL Server has long supported various encryption methods  —  from column-level encryption to encryption at rest and encryption in transit. All of these methods, however, require that they be configured independently, which resulted in frequent mistakes. Always Encrypted utilizes an enhanced client library to encrypt the data in transit, at rest and while it is live in the database. Beyond the obvious advantages of this methodology, it is of particular importance when considering the growth of public clouds such as AWS and Microsoft Azure, where ensuring the security of data in the cloud has become a top challenge for IT administrators.

2. In-Memory Improvements

The In-Memory feature was first introduced in SQL Server 2014 and designed to allow high-speed data loading without locking or session state issues. Initially, however, this feature had some limitations. In SQL Server 2016, this feature is vastly improved and includes support for foreign keys and check, as well as unique constraints and parallelism. This arrives in addition to an increase of In-Memory table size limits from 256GB to 2TB.

3. Row Level Security

One feature that SQL Server has lacked natively for years is Row Level Security. This feature has been available in a number of SQL Server competitors for some time now, so it is good to see it finally added to SQL Server. The initial implementation does have some limitations, but Microsoft is sure to improve the feature over time.

4. JSON Support

SQL Server 2016 adds support for one of the most commonly used languages in web applications today: Java Script Object Notation (JSON). As the use of JSON has grown, so to has the support for it in most database servers. To allow for quick movement into tables, Microsoft utilized the same format for JSON as they did for XML support.

5. Stretch Database

The growth of public cloud platforms has also increased the demand for balancing application workloads between on-premise environments and those in the public cloud. The Stretch Database feature provides the best of both worlds, in a sense. For instance, you can now move some parts of your tables to the Azure SQL Database in the cloud. When you query those tables, the query optimizer splits the workload between the local data and the data in the cloud.

Updated: January 2019

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