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Nov 30, 2018

A Day in the Life: Technical Account Managers (TAM) for Data Center and Cloud Solutions

INAP

As a Technical Account Manager (TAM) at INAP, I advocate for customers, working with them closely to understand their solution’s technical details and using my industry knowledge to advise them for growth. I partner with both C-level executives and their support staff to keep their unique IT environments stable.

The customers I’m assigned to support are different in many ways, but they all know they can call me any time with confidence. I usually talk with the customers I’m assigned to at least every other day, if not every day. As a TAM, I must know each customers’ solution from a technical standpoint and within the context of their business environment and vision.

Across the global reach of our 53 data centers in 21 markets, INAP’s TAMs are assigned to specific customers, serving as their point of contact to ensure continuity and efficiency.

The Day-to-Day of a Technical Account Manager

This role is often extremely satisfying—like when a customer expands to a new data center after deploying a large number of bare metal servers, and then I’m able to see how smoothly their test cases and support are handled.

There are also, of course, unexpected situations that arise: cut fiber, hardware failure or a particularly urgent support ticket. Those situations are educational in the end though, because as a TAM, I get to see the bigger picture and take steps to keep those issues from occurring again.

There are three specific areas that I am responsible for as a TAM: subject matter expertise, operational efficiency and keeping abreast of industry trends and relevant news.

Subject Matter Expertise

INAP TAMs are subject matter experts in many technology segments. I speak with customers daily about virtual machines, Open Stack (API), Windows, Linux, bandwidth, latency, security, backups, compliance and so much more. Having an understanding of a wide breadth of customer concerns empowers TAMs to speak intelligently not just with customers, but also with the INAP account and support teams.

This is how we are able to do everything from finalizing the statement of work for a new purchase order to resolving thorny technical issues.

Operational Efficiency

As a TAM, I am also involved with the customer’s maintenance activities and their tests before and after any major changes, such as upgrades to software, hardware or their network. This work often includes writing the methods of procedures that are followed during planned maintenance, reviewing recent support tickets and analyzing customer environments. The analysis that I do involves monitoring the storage, bandwidth, Simple Network Management protocol (SNMP) and security events.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

I also review the latest white papers and newsletters to stay up to date on the different technologies each customer uses, including Microsoft WSUS patches, VMware, NETAPP and vendor updates. INAP customers need these latest updates and details to stay compliant, agile and secure. The TAM helps make that happen with minimal distraction by staying involved with our customer environments and bringing relevant information on trends and new technology to the table when useful.

TAMs are also exposed to all of INAP’s products and solutions. This enables us to offer expert advice to our customers on taking full advantage of INAP’s services to optimize their IT infrastructure. The vision that INAP shares with the TAM exponentially increases the ability to help our customers achieve their goals and plan successfully.

We are involved in the growth of data center space, network bandwidth expansions and the daily achievements accomplished as INAP orchestrates behind-the-scenes maintenance and upgrades. We test the latest hardware for performance increases—as with our bare metal solutions—and ensure the security is in place to keep our customers’ environments stable and compliant. Since we are part of these tasks, we are able to describe the benefits and details to our customers throughout the process.

TAMs are equipped to use all this information to assist customers with proactive solutions and best practices for recommended changes to production. As TAMs, our commitment to you is to be honest, empathetic and exceed expectations, whether you’re using INAP Colocation, Cloud or Network solutions. Across all of our product offerings, an INAP TAM can support you from day one.

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Nov 30, 2018

The Latest Gaming Hardware, On Demand and Powered by HorizonIQ

Nick Chang, Editor

HorizonIQ is excited to announce our new partnership with gaming company Blade. Our IT solutions will be powering the expansion of their next-generation, cloud-based Shadow gaming computer, which puts the latest, high-end gaming hardware within reach of anyone through almost any internet-connected device.

Gaming in the Cloud

In the world of computer gaming, performance is paramount to an optimal experience. Every year, new titles push hardware to the limit, forcing gamers to make strategic decisions about when and how to upgrade their machines. But quick release cycles for state-of-the-art hardware make it hard for even the most dedicated gamers to keep up with the often-significant investment.

Blade has set out to change all that with its Shadow gaming service. “Shadow relocates the most powerful components of a high-end gaming computer into the cloud so hardware never becomes outdated or fails, unlocking customers from the endless cycle of spending and upgrading,” says Asher Kagan, Blade CEO and co-founder.

With a simple subscription, users across multiple states get access to a top-of-the-line gaming PC, streamed to almost any internet-connected device, hosted in HorizonIQ’s Dallas high-density flagship data center.

No Lag, No Problem

When it comes to cloud-based gaming, hardware is just one part of the performance equation. Connectivity and latency, which depend on the network connection between your device and your cloud-hosted PC, have an equally large impact on the experience. Even a few milliseconds of latency can be the deciding factor in winning or losing a close match.

For reference, at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Usain Bolt won the 100-meter men’s final by 80 milliseconds—a margin essentially imperceptible to the naked eye. But ask any gamer what 80 milliseconds means—let alone what it feels like—and they’d tell you it makes all the difference.

As an anchor tenant in our Dallas data center, Blade—and its customers—are also getting the benefit of Performance IP®, our automated route optimization engine. This proprietary technology puts all outbound traffic on the highest-performing, lowest-latency path.

Together with HorizonIQ’s high-density colocation and route-optimized network, Blade is poised to expand its capabilities, rolling out service to users across multiple Southern and Midwestern states.

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Nick Chang

Editor

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Nov 20, 2018

Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery: How the Cloud Brings Data Protection and Recovery Within Reach

INAP

Over the past decade, Disaster Recovery (DR) has matured from an abstract concept into a commonplace concern—and rightfully so, given that modern-day business is nearly always transacted online, both claimed and expected to be “always available.” Yet not so long ago, DR was something only the biggest organizations talked about, let alone could afford. What changed?

The Not-So-Good Old Days: “Traditional” Disaster Recovery

While threats of downtime have always existed for businesses big and small, the biggest organizations fully felt the effects of downtime caused by natural disasters, human error, mechanical failure, and malicious viruses that crippled IT systems. Large enterprises with globally distributed business units had very little tolerance for outages of critical systems that could affect their ability to transact business.

DR solutions were available for organizations that could afford the high price tag and had the expertise to implement their own systems. These “traditional” DR solutions came with enormous capital expenditures and required long-term investment in support and maintenance.

Smaller enterprises without these resources had to find other ways to weather an outage. Disaster recovery was simply out of reach for many businesses, and the risk of downtime was something that just became an accepted part of running a business.

DRaaS: How the Cloud Has Changed Disaster Recovery

Fast forward to today: Organizations of all sizes are conducting their business online. Nearly all IT products and services have been transformed by the cloud, making them both easier to consume and highly available.

And some good news: Disaster recovery is no exception. DR offerings can now be consumed as a service (DRaaS), and while they maintain the same benefits as traditional DR solutions, they are much more affordable and accessible to organizations of all sizes. HorizonIQ now offers two kinds of DRaaS: On-Demand DRaaS and Dedicated DRaaS.

On-Demand DRaaS

HorizonIQ’s On-Demand Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is an entry level, pay-as-you-go solution. Pricing is based on the storage and licensing used while in standby; you only pay for your private cloud resources when a disaster is declared. With On-Demand DRaaS, gain protection from unexpected downtime without paying month-to-month for redundant infrastructure.

Dedicated DRaaS

Suited for organizations with the strictest business continuity and compliance needs, HorizonIQ’s Dedicated Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) features a fully customizable, isolated Dedicated Private Cloud (DPC) environment for failover events. It delivers aggressive RPO/RTO times to minimize the threat of downtime, making it ideal for users with complex architectures and advanced configuration requirements, as well as for those who need a space for development and testing when not in use for disaster recovery.

The Value of Managed Services Providers and Our Cloud-Based DR

Regardless of which HorizonIQ DRaaS solution works best for you, you’ll get all the benefits of partnering with us.

By partnering with a cloud service provider like HorizonIQ, you can take advantage of a DRaaS solution that delivers enterprise-grade recovery in the cloud but without the high cost of investments in technology and human capital. We provide the cloud infrastructure and management expertise, delivering a complete DRaaS solution at a fraction of the cost of traditional DR. DRaaS has never before been so accessible and easy to consume.

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Nov 14, 2018

INAP Private Cloud Is Here

Jennifer Curry, SVP, Global Cloud Services

It’s no secret that there are good reasons for businesses to move their IT infrastructure off-premise. Whether seeking greater flexibility, scalability or speed of delivery, the move to the cloud is—and has been—in full force, with no sign of slowing down. But while hyperscale cloud providers offer value to many moving off-prem, they aren’t always a great fit for every application or enterprise.

At the same time, the ever-evolving role of IT and the need for transformation means things are changing for our customers and the industry alike—at a rapid pace. This explains at least in part the decision to move on-prem IT infrastructure to the cloud.

But to get all the benefits of a cloud solution, you need it to be as flexible and adaptable as your applications, your customers and the shifting IT landscape require. Without expert support and certified IT headcount, hyperscale clouds can be burdensomely difficult to optimize and manage.

This is why managed private cloud is an excellent middle ground. A managed private cloud allows you to gain the flexibility, scalability and performance of the cloud without requiring you to navigate alone the often-steep learning curve of hyperscale cloud solutions.

You can offload what you don’t need to—or can’t—do yourself to your managed service provider while maintaining control over what you need. Today, INAP has an enhanced cloud portfolio, anchored by our managed private cloud solutions, which come in two flavors: Dedicated Private Cloud and Virtual Private Cloud.

INAP Private Cloud

INAP Dedicated Private Cloud offers a fully isolated, secure computing environment, with an out-of-band private network that enables remote access to your servers for offline management and administration. DPC is well-suited for mission-critical applications, complex architecture or applications with strict PCI or HIPAA compliance needs. Our Dedicated Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution is built on our DPC.

INAP Virtual Private Cloud is a logically isolated private cloud that offers flexibility and cost-efficiency without compromising security. VMware NSX technology provides perimeter protection for your isolated network within our global public cloud platform, in addition to network services such as DHCP, firewall, NAT, static routing, VPN and load balancing. In addition, INAP’s On-Demand DRaaS solution is built on VPC.

The Benefits of INAP Private Cloud

Regardless of the type of INAP Private Cloud you may use, you get all the benefits of working with an expert cloud service provider:

Rightsized resources

Solution design and rightsized environments mean you won’t overpay for resources you don’t need—solving the 1:1 app-to-instance problem with public cloud deployments and protecting your investment. Mitigate financial risk with flexible terms, CAPEX or OPEX. Spin up as many VMs as you need, when you need them.

Flexible managed services

Whether you want full control or would prefer to let us handle day-to-day maintenance, we have a Managed Services solution that will work for you. Reduce time spent maintaining infrastructure without having to choose between control and performance.

Service First Support

Service First Support begins with a complimentary assessment of your current infrastructure configuration and our white glove onboarding services. Once the solution is deployed, our always-available team of certified technicians provide deep and knowledgeable expertise—making our Service First Support a true extension of your team.

On the Road to IT Transformation—You Don’t Have to Go it Alone

IT is changing—you probably don’t need us to tell you that. But in the face of necessary transformation, how can you ensure your IT infrastructure is as agile and adaptable as you need it to be? A flexible, expert managed services partner can be invaluable to businesses of all sizes.

At INAP, we are building thoughtful automation into our products and services, so you can have greater control and more choices. We believe that you should be able to get help when you want it and automated self-service when you don’t.

We can do the heavy lifting needed to ensure the health of your environment, provide resources you don’t have in-house and do the routine—but no less important—tasks of maintaining your infrastructure. As a trusted partner to thousands of customers across our portfolio of colocation, cloud, managed services and network solutions, we help them fulfill their purpose by providing the performance they need. We invite you to see the difference INAP makes.

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Jennifer Curry

SVP, Global Cloud Services

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Nov 8, 2018

New Look, Expanded Services: INAP 2.0 Is Here

INAP

Today, I’m pleased to introduce INAP’s new brand identity and corporate website.  

Everything you see on INAP.com—from the new logo to our enhanced portfolio of data center, cloud and network solutions—is the product of many decisions that are all anchored to a single guiding element: our mission.   

“Empowering purposeful, performance-driven IT transformations at global scale.” 

In this post, I’ll articulate the importance of this mission and share how INAP is uniquely positioned to fulfill it for enterprises across the globe.

INAP vertical black and teal logo

Transforming With Purpose

If you’ve followed INAP over the last two years, you know we’ve continually worked to position our brand and business to better serve customers, partners, shareholders and employees.  

In late Summer 2017, we changed our brand name from “Internap” to INAP. Since then, we have aggressively pressed forward with the evolution of our business. We added new flagship data centers anchored by tenants Coca-Cola and Bank of America. We strengthened our capabilities for high-density colocation and high-performance network services. And we acquired managed hosting provider SingleHop to bolster our cloud and managed services offerings.    

In a statement released today, Philbert Shih, managing director and founder of Structure Research, framed our evolution nicely: 

“INAP has built a full, end-to-end portfolio of infrastructure offerings, supported by a data center footprint that spans multiple metros and regions, and wrapped a managed services layer around it. These building blocks are the foundation of its ability to deliver truly hybrid IT infrastructure solutions.”

Our customers—along with IT departments everywhere—are increasingly taking advantage of multiple cloud platforms and data center solutions. Paramount to this endeavor: Ensuring each prong of their infrastructure strategy is covered—from business continuity and security to network connectivity and environment scalability.  

For this, leveraging a single infrastructure and managed services partner with cross-platform expertise will become essential, especially as IT’s role in organizations continues to expand and grow in complexity. INAP now has all the capabilities to deliver the infrastructure and managed services that modern organizations require.   

Performance for Your Purpose 

Central to our mission statement and brand are the concepts of performance and purpose 

IT leaders are not undergoing massive digital transformations just for the sake of change. They are motivated to innovate. They are seeking new ways to engage their end users. They are determined to play leading roles in their companies’ success.  

And they are driven by their organizations’ purpose.  

We’ve centered our first brand campaign, Performance for Your Purpose, around this insight. 

screenshot of INAP Performance for Your Purpose page

Josh Williams, INAP’s VP of Sales Engineering, explains how each of our customers’ purpose connects to ours.  

“Just as every organization has a purpose, so too does every application that enables it. We take pride in understanding the technical needs of every workload and application. It allows us to architect flexible infrastructure solutions that deliver. Through this understanding, our purpose is to alleviate our customers from the burden of data center and server management while they spend their energy on the important stuff under the hood.”

Whether deployed in a cloud or colocation model, the performance of an IT strategy depends on the performance of infrastructure—its speed, resilience and scalability. With our comprehensive portfolio, we’re equipped to deploy the performance our customers’ infrastructure requires and their customers demand.  

From day one, performance has been INAP’s guiding ethos, and that’s not changing: Nearly two decades after its first iteration, INAP’s patented automated route optimization engine remains one of the single greatest tools for ensuring peak network performance. It reduces latency, jitter and packet loss for critical applications through intelligent automation, and it underpins the low latency and high performance of our entire network. You can get a glimpse into how it works in this new animated video:

Our Brand Promise 

On our Q2 2018 earnings call, INAP President and CEO Pete Aquino confidently explained, “We are very excited about our progress to date and declare that INAP 2.0 is now on offense.” 

The enhanced INAP brand is just one outgrowth of this excitement. 

From the messaging found throughout the site and the thought leadership on our new Think IT blog to the updated visual aesthetic found in our logo and brand design, INAP 2.0 embodies the energy inside the company.  

If you take a moment to chat with us, I suspect you’ll quickly get a sense for how that energy is animating our efforts in the industry and among our community of global customers and partners alike.  

Our promise is simple: To deliver performance in everything we do.  

INAP 2.0 is here—and we can’t wait to get started.

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