Shine a Light into the Darkness to Regain Control of your IT Services

Internal business units continue to bypass traditional IT in many organizations creating shadow IT leaving corporate data unsecured, networks exposed through unknown entry points, and the possibility of wasting IT resources by paying for services already provided by the company. CIOs must regain control of their IT sprawl to ensure security, resource allocation, and operational control of the business.  

RackN offers IT leaders a new way forward to take back control of their services by establishing a solid foundation capable of managing internal data centers, external hosting services, public clouds, and even the upcoming edge infrastructure opportunity.

Issue : IT & Business Conflict on IT Service Delivery and Ownership

  • Shadow IT – corporate services (internal and external) are delivered without the knowledge or control of the IT department  
  • Public Clouds – services are delivered via 3rd party hardware that may have noisy neighbors, unknown geographic location, and other issues requiring IT management

Impact : Loss of Operational Control of IT

  • IT Business Alignment – IT must engage with the overall business as more than just a delivery mechanism. IT is now a strategic MUST at the executive table  
  • Operational Failure – Without operational control and management companies are highly vulnerable to attacks and an inability to deliver on customer needs   

RackN Solution : Operational Flexibility & Excellence for Service Delivery

  • Operations Excellence – RackN’s foundational management ensures IT can operate services regardless of platform (e.g. data center, public cloud, etc)
  • Revitalize the Data Center – RackN delivers cloud-like operational capabilities for existing data centers offering internal business units less reason to create shadow IT

The RackN team is ready to start you on the path to operations excellence:

Podcast: Tim Crawford on Technology Choice, Patching, Edge and Competition in the Enterprise

In this week’s podcast, we speak with Tim Crawford from AVOA who is ranked as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Chief Technology Officers (#4) and Top 100 Cloud Expert and Influencer. He focuses on several interesting topics:

  • CIO selection of new technology for enterprise
  • Challenges for Enterprise to patch and upgrade software/hardware
  • Edge Computing – what it is, CIO thinking
  • Vendor Landscape
  • Open Source for CIOs – when to use and why

Topic                                                            Time (Minutes.Seconds)

Introduction                                                 0.0 – 0.35
Tim’s Background and Work                    0.35 – 1.55
When to select a new technology?         1.55 – 4.39 (Find Something Valuable and Try)
Signs company selected wrong              4.39 – 7.31
Security Vulnerabilities                              7.31 – 11.03 (Risk vs Reward)
Patching is a MUST? Maybe Not             11.03 – 19.40 (Patching/Upgrading are Disruptive)
Edge Computing Intro                               19.40 – 22.45
Why CIOs need to know Edge                 22.45 – 28.27 (Aircraft Example)
Is Edge diff than Cloud to CIO?                28.27 – 30.20
Does Edge need to be defined?              30.20 – 32.00 (Stop Defining & Talk How to Use Them)
Don’t need a new edge paradigm           32.00 –  34.25 (Tech vs Business Goals)
Hybrid                                                           34.25 – 36.57 (Hybrid is Heterogeneity)
Vendor Landscape Convergence            36.57 – 40.30 (Best of Breed)
Open Source and CIOs                              40.30 – 45.30 (OS is Free Like a Puppy)
Wrap-Up                                                      45.30 – END


Podcast Guest
Tim Crawford, AVOA

Tim Crawford is ranked as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Chief Information Technology Officers (#4), Top 100 Most Social CIOs (#7), Top 20 People Most Retweeted by IT Leaders (#5) and Top 100 Cloud Experts and Influencers. Tim is a strategic CIO & advisor to CIOs, large global enterprise organizations across a number of industries including financial services, healthcare, high-tech and major airlines. Tim’s work differentiates and catapults organizations in transformative ways through the use of technology as a strategic lever.

Tim is an internationally renowned CIO thought leader in the areas of IT transformation, Cloud Computing, Data Analytics and Internet of Things (IoT). Tim has served as CIO and other senior IT roles with global organizations such as Konica Minolta/ All Covered, Stanford University, Knight-Ridder, Philips Electronics and National Semiconductor.

Tim’s extensive experience includes strategic planning, organizational development, governance, program and portfolio management that aligns with business strategy. Additional experience includes mergers and acquisitions, business development, strategic sourcing, compliance, information security and risk management.

Tim serves on the Board of Directors for Modius and on the Advisory Board for CloudVelox. Tim holds an MBA in International Business with Honors and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems both from Golden Gate University.

September 29 – Weekly Recap Of All Things Digital Rebar And RackN

Welcome to the weekly post of the RackN blog recap of all things Digital Rebar, RackN, SRE, and DevOps. If you have any ideas for this recap or would like to include content please contact us at or tweet Rob (@zehicle) or RackN (@rackngo)

Items of the Week

Digital Rebar Community

The Community held its first Online Meetup on Tuesday to select the final name of the Mascot as well as cover the latest information on the Digital Rebar Provision 3.1 release. As for the Mascot, Cloudia is the official name of our bear!

Additional new DRP v.31 Videos available:

Events Updates

HashiConf 2017 

Messy yet Effective Hybrid Portability  Rob Hirschfeld Post on the Event

Last week, I was able to attend the HashiConf 2017 event in my hometown of Austin, Texas.  HashiCorp has a significant following of loyal fans for their platforms and the show reflected their enthusiasm for the HashiCorp clean and functional design aesthetic.  I count the RackN team in that list – we embedded Consul deeply into Digital Rebar v2 and recently announced a cutting edge bare metal Terraform integration(demo video) with Digital Rebar Provision (v3).

Overall, the show was impressively executed.  It was a comfortable size to connect with attendees and most of the attendees were users instead of vendors.  The announcements at the show were also notable.  HashiCorp announced enterprise versions of all their popular platforms including Consul, Vault, Nomad and Terraform.  For their enterprise versions include a cross-cutting service, Sentinel, that provides a policy engine to help enforce corporate governance. READ MORE


New Product Page on

Have you been to our newly launched product page? If not, click on over now to see the latest on our Data Center Infrastructure provisioning software solution leveraging Digital Rebar Provision 3.1.

Podcast – Challenges of CIOs and Operators for DevOps

Rob Hirschfeld, Co-Founder/CEO of RackN discusses the challenges of DevOps from the CIO and Operator viewpoint and how it is critical for each group to better understand the issues they each face. Only then can a true DevOps experience be had.


Rob Hirschfeld and Greg Althaus are preparing for a series of upcoming events where they are speaking or just attending. If you are interested in meeting with them at these events please email

If you are attending any of these events please reach out to Rob Hirschfeld to setup time to learn more about our solutions or discuss the latest industry trends.


Podcast – Challenges of CIOs and Operators for DevOps

Rob Hirschfeld, Co-Founder/CEO of RackN discusses the challenges of DevOps from the CIO and Operator viewpoint and how it is critical for each group to better understand the issues they each face. Only then can a true DevOps experience be had.

Follow the new RackN Podcast “L8ist Sh9y Podcast”