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  • Now Available: Pumpkin Spice Machine Learning

    Now Available: Pumpkin Spice Machine Learning

    October 30th, 2018
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    Recently, High Availability was accepted as a Nvidia East Coast partner to sell and manage their Nvidia DGX-1 GPU platform, as well as reseller of PureStorage's new AIRI (AI Ready Infrastructure) and the Cisco UCS 480 ML M5 GPU Server.  

    When you think about PureStorage Orange, Winter time, and High Availability, what comes to mind?  Pumpkin Spice Lattes  

    There have been few trends as prevalent as the Pumpkin Spice craze of the last decade.  From Pumpkin Spice Lattes to Latkes, Pumpkin Spice PopTarts to PopRocks, Pumpkin Spice Beard Oil to Soaps, for 3 months of the year it's difficult to avoid. 

    When we think back upon the history of Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Spice, we see through the trend.  The first recorded recipes were from 1651 by Francois Pierre la Varenne, in 1763 Amelia Simmons put her spin on it by including a recipe in America's first printed cookbook, and in 1934 McCormick & Company made it mainstream by introducing their prepackaged "Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend".  

    What we are now seeing as a "trend" in AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning, is certainly not new.  As we can see illustrated below, the foundation math and scientific building blocks for that we now call Machine Learning and Deep Learning have existed for as long as the original "Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend". 

    For those readers which have never heard of Machine Learning or Deep Learning, or never thought about what AI really is, let's take a step back and look at them at a high level.

     

    • AI/Artificial Intelligence:  Give a computer the ability to follow a decision tree to make choices on input.  This can be as simple as IF-THEN statements, or Use Cases.  A basic rules engine.  If a caller presses 2#, transfer a call to Bob.
    • ML/Machine Learning: ML is part of AI, but AI may not be part of ML.  With Machine Learning, a computer or program learns over time and can be trained in a fashion.   As you use daily, machine learning will become better at keeping your mail Inbox free from spam, as you classify what spam is to you.  
    • DL/Deep Learning:  If you wanted to labeled a million pictures of dogs with their type, the program could learn the difference between a Poodle and a Pekingese, or Dachshund and a Hot Dog with mustard.  The more input, the better it gets.  Deep Learning does not stop there though.  Deep learning algorithms may reprocess aspects to get a higher "probability vector" for what it lacks confidence on.  OpenAI's FIVE video playing AI team learns as it plays and is constantly trying to best human players in DOTA, learning from new techniques that the humans throw at it.

     

    How does this help your Pumpkin Spice cravings?


    Farmers and Transportation companies have been early adopters of GPU accelerated machine learning.  Nearly every aspect of planting, harvest, and distribution of our food is a miracle of technology.

    • Seed Designers are using machine learning to predict preferred traits for new seed hybrids for different regions and soils
    • AI and Drones are utilized to monitor crop needs, and peak harvest times
    • Automated visual inspection of crops determines crop health
    • John Deere and Blue River have solutions to reduce pesticide and fertilizer use
    • GPS and Satellite enabled driverless tractors automatically harvest crops based on crop types and data
    • Trucking companies utilize machine learning to determine best routes and maximize transport load distribution
    • Self-driving trucks by Tesla, Volvo, Waymo, and Daimler are beginning to be delivered to trucking companies, since there is a shortage of truck drivers.  An HA customer is already testing these trucks on the road.
    • Maersk and other sea carriers utilize machine learning to route shipments and track shipping containers
    • Coffee Shops are using ML for big data analytic, customer preference and targeted advertising. 


    In the last few years, we have advanced to a level of technology where the hardware to utilize such approaches is affordable to every business and individual.   Simultaneously, the software to make best use of this hardware is much more easily integrated into business workflows. 

    The advancement in the last decade has come from Nvidia's investment of billions of dollars to scale their GPUs from gaming only cards, to the de-facto choice of computational processing.  Nvidia has created software and libraries which allow customers to integrate and expand their existing environments.  While Virtual Desktops may be the first thing legacy IT organizations think about with Nvidia GPUs in the datacenter, that is just a small piece of the pie.   

    Today, NVIDIA has a catalog of 550 applications 3rd-party which are GPU accelerated.  This does not include the tens of thousands of home-grown applications and systems in use which may use their librariescuBLAS to accelerate anything with linear algebra, or one-off algorithms from applications such as R

    The big winner is you.  Whether you are looking to use off the shelf analytical software, or develop with your own algorithms via a team of Data Scientists, we have solutions for it.  From individual GPUs, to Nvidia DGX-1 or PureStorage AIRI or Cisco UCS 480 ML M5, we can help.   If you do not have your own Data Scientists, High Availability has partnered with some of the best in the country.   Contact your local H.A. Sales Rep for more information. 

  • Everything You Need to Know About Palo Alto

    Everything You Need to Know About Palo Alto

    October 23rd, 2018
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    As many organizations realize, changes in the application and threat landscape, user behavior, and network infrastructure are changing! The security that traditional port-based firewalls once provided is often not enough. Users are accessing all types of applications using a range of device types these days. Datacenter expansion, virtualization, mobility, and cloud-based stances are forcing us to rethink how to protect networks.  

    Traditional thinking typically includes an attempt to lock down traffic through an increasing list of point technologies in addition to the firewall, which may hinder your business. Some allow all applications, which results in increased business and security risks. The challenge is that your traditional port-based firewall, even with bolt-on application blocking, does not provide an alternative to either approach. To balance between allowing everything and denying everything, the need to allow applications by using essentials such as the application identity, who is using the application, and the type of content as key firewall security policy criteria.

    A solid starting strategy is to Identify applications, not ports. Classify traffic, as soon as it hits the firewall, to determine the application identity, irrespective of protocol, encryption, or evasive tactic. Then use that identity as the basis for all security policies.        

    Customers of Palo can also link application usage to user identity, not IP address, regardless of location or device. Employ user and group information from enterprise directories and other user stores to deploy consistent enablement policies for all your users.   

    Another huge factor is the ability to protect against threats both known and unknown. Preventing known vulnerability exploits, malware, spyware, malicious URLs while analyzing traffic for, and automatically delivering protection against highly targeted and previously unknown malware is essential to a viable and long-term Firewall project.

    Many customers ask us how they can simplify policy management. With Palo Alto you can safely enable applications and reduce administrative efforts with easy-to-use graphical tools, a unified policy editor, templates, and device groups. Safe application enablement policies can help you improve your security posture, regardless of the deployment location. At the perimeter, you can reduce your threat footprint by blocking a wide range of unwanted applications and then inspecting the allowed applications for threats— both known and unknown. In the datacenter – traditional or virtualized, application enablement results in ensuring only datacenter applications are in use by authorized users, protecting the content from threats and addressing security challenges presented using the virtual infrastructure. Your enterprise branch offices and remote users are protected by the same set of enablement policies deployed at the headquarters location, thereby ensuring policy consistency.

    Businesses can enable applications with Palo Alto Networks next-generation firewalls that help address business and security risks associated with a growing number of applications in your network.

    Deployment and Management application enablement functionality is available in purpose-built hardware platform or in a virtualized form factor. When you deploy multiple Palo Alto Networks firewalls, in either hardware or virtual form factors, you can use Panorama, an optional centralized management offering to gain visibility into traffic patterns, deploy policies, generate reports and deliver content updates from a central location.

    Comprehensive applications require securing your network and growing your business that begins with in-depth knowledge of the applications on your network; who the user is, regardless of their platform or location; what content, if any, the application is carrying. With more complete knowledge of network activity, you can create more meaningful security policies that are based on elements of application, user and content that are relevant to your business. The user location, their platform and where the policy is deployed—perimeter, traditional or virtualized datacenter, branch office or remote user— make little or no difference to how the policy is created. You can now safely enable any application, any user, and any content. Complete Knowledge Means Tighter Security Policies Security best practices dictate that more complete knowledge of what’s on your network is beneficial to implementing tighter security policies.

    Enabling Applications and Reducing Risk Safe application enablement uses policy standards that include application/application function, users and groups, and content as a means determining the right option. At the perimeter, including branch offices, mobile, and remote users, policies are focused on identifying all the traffic, then selectively allowing the traffic based on user identity; then scanning the traffic for threats.

    Protecting Enabled Applications Safe application enablement means allowing access to certain applications, then applying specific policies to block known exploits, malware and spyware – known or unknown; controlling file or data transfer, and web surfing activity. Common threat evasion tactics such as port-hopping and tunneling are addressed by executing threat prevention policies using the application and protocol context generated by the decoders in App-ID. In contrast, UTM solutions take a silo-based approach to threat prevention, with each function, firewall, IPS, AV, URL filtering, all scanning traffic without sharing any context, making them more susceptible to evasive behavior.

    Block Known Threats: IPS and Network Antivirus/Anti-spyware. A uniform signature format and a stream-based scanning engine enables you to protect your network from a broad range of threats. Intrusion prevention system (IPS) features block network and application-layer vulnerability exploits, buffer overflows, DoS attacks, and port scans. Antivirus/Anti-spyware protection blocks millions of malware variants, as well as any malware-generated command-and-control traffic, PDF viruses, and malware hidden within compressed files or web traffic (compressed HTTP/HTTPS). Policy-based SSL decryption across any application on any port protects you against malware moving across SSL encrypted applications.

    Block Unknown, Targeted Malware: Wildfire. Unknown or targeted malware is identified and analyzed by WildFire, which directly executes and observes unknown files in a cloud-based, virtualized sandbox environment. WildFire monitors for more than 100 malicious behaviors and the result is delivered immediately to the administrator in the form of an alert.

    Data filtering features also enable your administrators to implement policies that will reduce the risks associated with unauthorized file and data transfers. File transfers can be controlled by looking inside the file to determine if the transfer action should be allowed or not. Executable files, typically found in downloads can be blocked, by this means protecting your network from unseen malware. Data filtering features can detect and control the flow of sensitive data patterns (credit card or social security numbers).

    Ongoing Management and Analysis Security say that your administrators should balance between proactively managing the firewall, whether it is a single device or many hundreds, and being reactive, analyzing, and reporting on security incidents.

    Each Palo Alto Networks platform can be managed individually via a command line interface (CLI) or full-featured browser-based interface. For larger deployments, Panorama can be licensed and deployed as a centralized management solution that enables you to balance global, centralized control. Role-based management is supported across all channels, allowing you to assign features and functions to specific persons. Predefined reporting can be used as-is, customized, or grouped together as one report to suit the specific requirements. All reports can be exported to CSV or PDF format and can be executed and emailed on a scheduled basis.

    Real-time log filtering facilitates rapid forensic investigation into every session traversing your network. Log filter results can be exported to a CSV file or sent to a syslog server for offline archival or additional analysis.

    Palo Alto Networks offers a full line of purpose-built hardware or virtualized platforms that range from the PA-200 designed for remote offices, to the PA-5060, which is designed for high-speed datacenters. All this is based on a software engine and uses processing for networking, security, threat prevention and management to deliver you predictable performance. Please consider HA Inc as your enterprise level networking solution provider as you approach future projects or have interest in learning more about what Palo Alto has to offer!

  • High Availability, Inc. Named CRN® Triple Crown Award Winner

    High Availability, Inc. Named CRN® Triple Crown Award Winner

    October 8th, 2018
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    High Availability, Inc. Named CRN® Triple Crown Award Winner
     
    Fifth Annual Award Program Recognizes Standout Solution Providers

     

    Audubon, PA, October 8th, 2018 – High Availability, Inc. today announced that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has recognized High Availability, Inc. for earning it’s 2018 Triple Crown Award. This year 46 solution providers in North America reached the qualifying revenue, growth, and technical expertise to be named on three of CRN’s prestigious solution provider lists, earning them the Triple Crown Award this year.   

     

    Each year CRN announces lists and rankings to distinguish solution providers who are outshining their peers in the IT channel. It is a great accomplishment for a solution provider to make any one of these lists; so being named in three, as this year’s Triple Crown winners have been, deserves special acknowledgement. This year’s CRN Triple Crown Award winners rank among the largest IT solution providers by revenue in North America on the Solution Provider 500 list; are among the fastest growing organizations in the channel today on the Fast Growth 150 list; and have made the Tech Elite 250 list by receiving the highest level certifications from leading vendors.

     

    “Each Triple Crown award-winner has simultaneously generated high enough revenue to be ranked on the Solution Provider 500 List, achieved double- or triple-digit revenue growth for recognition on the Fast Growth 150, and devoted significant time and effort to top certifications to attain Tech Elite 250 status,” said Bob Skelley, CEO of The Channel Company. “Congratulations to each one of these high-achieving companies who continue to raise the bar for success in the IT Channel.”

     

    The 2018 Triple Crown Award winners will be featured in the October issue of CRN and can be viewed online at www.crn.com/triplecrown.

     

    High Availability, Inc. is a premier solution provider and integrator of data center products and cloud services. High Availability, Inc. solves complex business challenges by architecting and implementing forward-thinking technical solutions, while forming trusting, collaborative relationships. By taking a hands-on, consultative approach, the High Availability, Inc. team creates custom tailored systems and solutions to fit both current requirements and future IT and business needs.

     

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    Media Contact:
     

    For more information about High Availability, Inc., please contact Liz Thompson, Marketing Manager, at (610) 254-5090 ext. 256 or lthompson@hainc.com

  • High Availability, Inc. Joins NVIDIA Partner Network to Provide Deep Learning, High Performance Computing, and GPU Virtualization for Customers

    High Availability, Inc. Joins NVIDIA Partner Network to Provide Deep Learning, High Performance Computing, and GPU Virtualization for Customers

    October 3rd, 2018
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    High Availability, Inc. Joins  NVIDIA Partner Network to Provide Deep Learning, High Performance Computing, and GPU Virtualization for Customers

    Audubon, PA, October 3rd, 2018 - High Availability, Inc., a premier solution provider and integrator of datacenter products, announced today that it has been accepted into the NVIDIA Partner Network as an official NVIDIA Solution Provider. High Availability, Inc. has been named a Preferred NPN Solution Provider for deep learning, high performance computing, and GPU virtualization.

    Deep learning uses the power of GPUs to enable computers to learn from data and write software to solve some of the most complex problems in computer science. High Availability, Inc. is one of a select set of authorized NVIDIA resellers in the nation, and one of two resellers in the Philadelphia area with an NVIDIA Deep Learning specialization.

    High performance computing focuses on leveraging NVIDIA GPU-accelerated computing to deliver scientific breakthroughs and game-changing innovations for the higher education, government, and industrial market segments.

    GPU virtualization leverages NVIDIA GRIDTM technologies to manage graphics in the cloud. NVIDIA GRID is designed for organizations benefiting from graphics-accelerated desktop and application virtualization.

    “It’s time for businesses to get more out of their data! Machine learning and deep learning bring a new era of intelligence, automation and efficiencies that will allow our customers to achieve new heights,” said Jarett Kulm, Principal Technologist at High Availability, Inc.  “High Availability, Inc. is very excited about being named a NVIDIA Preferred partner as their revolutionary technologies will enable our customers to leverage artificial intelligence today and in the future.”

    High Availability, Inc. is a premier solution provider and integrator of data center products and cloud services. High Availability, Inc. solves complex business challenges by architecting and implementing forward-thinking technical solutions, while forming trusting, collaborative relationships. By taking a hands-on, consultative approach, the High Availability, Inc. team creates custom tailored systems and solutions to fit both current requirements and future IT and business needs.

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    Media Contact:

    For more information about High Availability, Inc., please contact Liz Thompson, Marketing Manager, at (610) 254-5090 ext. 256 or lthompson@hainc.com

     
  • High Availability, Inc. Hosts 16th Annual Golf Outing

    High Availability, Inc. Hosts 16th Annual Golf Outing

    September 20th, 2018
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    Last Thursday, the mid-Atlantic region’s top IT professionals gathered for High Availability, Inc.’s Annual Golf Outing at the Downingtown Country Club. The event, which is now in its 16th year, is a customer appreciation event through and through. It brings our top clients, the entire H.A. team, and leading IT vendors together to kick-back, play a round of golf, and enjoy a few specialty drinks and craft beers!

    The day began with a shotgun start, which sent golfers on their way to the course. Each platinum-level sponsor had a branded tent on a designated hole, with activities and beverages to keep golfers entertained. In fact, golfers were often seen taking breaks from their round of golf to play a game of flip at the Rubrik tent, hydrate with a Pure Smokin’ Fast Bourbon at the Pure Storage tent, or battle it out at the Cohesity tent with rounds of Baggo or Lawn Jenga.

    After golf, attendees enjoyed a buffet lunch while Steve Eisenhart, CEO of High Availability, Inc., raffled off pro-shop gift cards, an Optishot 2 Golf Simulator, an Echo Dot, and even a Zepp Golf 2.0 Swing Analyzer. Our sponsors even got a chance to get in on the action with an elimination-style beer pong tournament.

    We already can’t wait for next year!

    A special thank you to our sponsors:

    Gold:

    • Cisco
    • NetApp
    • Pure Storage
    • Quantum
    • Park Place Technologies
    • Cohesity
    • Rubrik
    • Commvault

    Silver:

    • Veeam
    • Procurri
    • Schneider Electric
    • Riverbed
    • Crown Castle
    • Zerto

    Click Here to see event pictures.

     

  • Nutanix Beam – Multi-Cloud Management & Optimization

    Nutanix Beam – Multi-Cloud Management & Optimization

    September 19th, 2018
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    On March 1, 2018, Nutanix acquired Minjar Inc (the maker of Botmetric, a service that provides customers with unified cost control and enhanced visibility into their workloads running in public clouds.)  Botmetric, along with Minjar’s other cloud solutions SmartAssist Assurance and SmartAssist Managed Cloud, help enterprises embrace the cloud effectively and optimize their multi-cloud environments for performance and cost.

    On May 9, 2018, Nutanix announced Nutanix Beam which leverages code from Minjar Inc’s acquisition.  Beam is a multi-cloud cost optimization service delivered by Nutanix to help organizations gain visibility into cloud spend across multiple cloud environments. Beam enables organizations to multi-cloud with freedom.

    Nutanix Beam provides customers the following:

    Cost Visibility and Cloud Optimization: Provides businesses with deep visibility into their multi-cloud environment and ability to optimize cloud with one-click. With Beam, you can set policies that continuously maintain high levels of cloud cost efficiency.

    Centralized Financial Governance: Beam provides cloud operators and business owners with appropriate tools and controls to track overall cloud spend and map consumption to business units easily.

    Intelligent Consumption Planning: Beam uses machine intelligence and recommendation algorithms to analyze workload patterns and continuously suggest optimal purchasing decisions for cloud resources.

    Continuous Security Compliance: Beam enhances security management by automating cloud security compliance checks using built-in templates for security policies

    Nutanix is taking what was at first an on-prem hyperconverged platform purpose built for virtual workloads and rapidly expanded their capabilities to handle block services, files services, container services and soon to be object services.  When you look at these advancements plus tools like Nutanix Flow (software define network offering), Nutanix CALM (native application orchestration and lifecycle management), Nutanix Xi (DRaaS offering going GA later this year) and now Nutanix Beam (cloud management and optimization), it is clear that Nutanix is not just an HCI platform solution but rather an enterprise cloud solution helping customers put their data where it makes the most sense to their business while maintaining the same level of operational simplicity.

  • Pending Microsoft Price Hikes May be Your Office 365 Catalyst

    Pending Microsoft Price Hikes May be Your Office 365 Catalyst

    September 17th, 2018
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    Looming price increases from Microsoft are designed to make cloud skeptics and organizations with large on-premises footprints take another look at moving to the cloud.

     

    In a recently published article, Microsoft has made clear that they will be raising the price of Office 2019 by ten percent beginning October 1. According to a Microsoft spokesperson, this price jump "represent(s) the significant value added to the product over time and ... better reflect costs and customer demand and align with cloud pricing”

     

    Price isn’t the only thing changing. According to this announcement, beginning with Office 2019, the normal support lifecycle of five years mainstream plus five years extended support is being trimmed down to just two years of extended support. In addition, Microsoft will only support Office 2019 on Windows 10, not Windows 7.

     

    If these changes to Office are not cause enough to reassess your cloud strategy and timelines, get ready to see an increase in your on-premises server licensing costs as well. Come October 1 Windows Server 2019 Operating System licenses, “Productivity” server licenses, such as Exchange, SharePoint and Project Server, and Client Access Licenses (CALs) that enable personal computers to connect and access information on Microsoft servers, and Enterprise CAL and Core CAL suites will all see a ten percent price jump.

     

    Never a Better Time to Migrate

    For organizations who continue to hold on to their on-premises infrastructure, the handwriting is on the wall: at least some workloads should be transitioned to the cloud. This price hike from Microsoft presents an opportunity to create a migration strategy designed to modernize your business, increase scalability and flexibility, plus save money in the long run.

     

    Partner for Success

    A properly designed and implemented migration to Office 365 and Azure is key to your org’s success and you should not go it alone. Working with an experienced Microsoft partner will allow you to plan the proper migration strategy, prepare your end users and ensure a smooth cloud transformation while controlling potential runaway costs usually found in the “DIY” model.

    High Availability is a Microsoft Gold Partner with experience Office 365 and Azure migration specialists who will work together with your IT team to ensure a well-crafted migration that minimizes user impact, reduces downtime (and costs), and gets all your data to the cloud successfully. Contact us today to find out how to begin your cloud transformation.

  • High Availability, Inc. Named Best Place to Work in Pennsylvania

    High Availability, Inc. Named Best Place to Work in Pennsylvania

    September 12th, 2018
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    High Availability, Inc. Named Best Place to Work in Pennsylvania

    Audubon, PA, September 12th, 2018 - High Availability, Inc. has been named one of the Best Places to Work in PA for 2018. The awards program, created in 2000, is one of the first statewide programs of its kind in the country. The program is a public/private partnership between Team Pennsylvania Foundation, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Pennsylvania State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management, and the Central Penn Business Journal. 

    This survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Pennsylvania, who are benefiting the state's economy and its workforce. Employers are categorized based upon the total number of employees they have in the United States, 15 to 99 employees, 100 to 250 employees, or more than 250 employees.

    To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

    • Be a for-profit or not-for-profit business
    • Be a publicly or privately held business
    • Have a facility in Pennsylvania
    • Have at least 15 employees working in Pennsylvania
    • Be in business a minimum of one year

    Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the 100 Best Places to Work in PA. The first part of this process was evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, practices, philosophies, systems and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process.

    High Availability, Inc. will be recognized at the Best Places to Work in PA awards banquet on Thursday, November 29, 2018, at the Lancaster County Convention Center in Lancaster, PA. Rankings will be revealed at the ceremony. Tickets may be purchased online at www.CPBJ.com/events.

    In addition to the public/private partnership, the program is supported by the following organizations: Presenting Sponsor – Highmark; Lead Sponsor—Team Pennsylvania Foundation; Major Sponsors—Bybel Rutledge, Robertson Insurance & Risk Management, Spooky Nook Meeting & Events & S&T Bank; Founding Partners—Team Pennsylvania Foundation, the Pennsylvania State Council of the Society for

     

    Human Resource Management, and the Central Penn Business Journal; Program Partners—The Department of Community and Economic Development and PA SHRM.

    For more information on the Best Places to Work in PA, visit www.bestplacestoworkinpa.com or contact Emily Winslow, event coordinator at the Central Penn Business Journal at 717-323-5268 or ewinslow@cpbj.com. High Availability, Inc. is a premier solution provider and integrator of data center products and cloud services.

    High Availability, Inc. solves complex business challenges by architecting and implementing forward-thinking technical solutions, while forming trusting, collaborative relationships. By taking a hands-on, consultative approach, the High Availability, Inc. team creates custom tailored systems and solutions to fit both current requirements and future IT and business needs.

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    Media Contact:

    For more information about High Availability, Inc., please contact Liz Thompson, Marketing Manager, at (610) 254-5090 ext. 256 or lthompson@hainc.com

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