QTS/Herakles Sacramento Data Center Consulting ServicesThe Progent Test and Training Lab is located at the world-class QTS (formerly Herakles) data center in the Natomas area of Sacramento. The Tier III QTS facility provides the lab with N+1 network infrastructure and fast, redundant Internet access that can support powerful prototype systems built by Progent for a variety of purposes such as piloting mission-critical applications, developing efficient migration methodologies, assessing and optimizing performance, designing or verifying disaster recovery solutions, resolving compatibility issues, and creating training environments for new technologies. Progent's Test and Training Lab is used by Progent's consultants to stay current with the latest products from Microsoft, Cisco, VMware, and other leading IT vendors. Progent also makes the Test and Training Lab's resources available at no extra cost to help Progent's customers successfully complete major IT projects.

Features and benefits of the Progent Test and Training Lab include:

  • Located in the QTS Data Center in Sacramento
    The Tier III QTS colocation facility is sited in a seismically neutral zone yet is near to Silicon Valley and the . A team of Progent consultants live nearby and can perform onsite system integration and troubleshooting, and advanced computing equipment of all types is readily available from many local sources.
  • Advanced Cisco Network Infrastructure
    The lab includes a dedicated Cisco Catalyst 3560X Switch, an enterprise-class switch/router with features such as IPv4 and IPv6 routing, Multicast routing, advanced quality of service (QoS), and hardware-based security. Progent can provide additional routers as necessary, and Progent offers the expertise of Cisco-certified CCIE network engineers to help create, optimize, or troubleshoot sophisticated network configurations.
  • 64-node Static IP Address Subnet/VLAN
    The Test and Training Lab also features a public routable 64-node static IP address subnet/Virtual LAN (VLAN) that can handle typical test and training needs. Multiple dedicated VLANs can be provisioned to support more complex environments including failover clustering and load balancing, Preboot eXecution Environment (PXE) boot servers, Quality of Service (QoS) solutions, or bandwidth throttling.
  • Designed for Remote Management
    All power in the Test and Training Lab is controlled by dual Raritan Dominion PX power distribution units (PDUs), which can be managed through a web interface for socket-level power control and remote monitoring. Most testing and modeling in the lab can be controlled remotely, which can speed up projects and slash costs.
  • Dedicated Computer Room
    The Test and Training Lab has its own 15x12 foot room at the QTS colocation center that can be used for hands-on training or testing and which is regularly used by Progent's consulting team members to stay current with new products and technologies.
  • Expandable Computing Resources
    Progent maintains a pool of powerful lab servers that are accessible remotely. Progent also keeps a collection of spare servers that can be deployed quickly for projects that require more intensive computing resources.
  • Remote Network PXE Booting
    All lab servers are capable of remote PXE booting using Windows Deployment Services (WDS). The WDS server role allows remote booting of Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2003 as well as desktop versions of Windows including Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.1., and Windows 10 PXE booting can be expanded into other environments such as VMware ESXi, Citrix XenServer, Linux, and Bart's Preinstalled Environment (BartPE).
For more details about the QTS Data Center in Sacramento and for information about the onsite and remote consulting services available from Progent for QTS clients, visit Progent's consulting services offered at the QTS Internet Data Center.

Using Progent's Test Lab for Special Projects
When Progent's Test and Training Lab is used to help carry out customer projects, Progent provides lab resources at no extra cost, charging only for Progent's consulting time at regular rates. For Progent clients without sufficient internal resources to configure effective pilot systems, the Progent Test and Training Lab reduces capital costs and engineering risk while keeping critical IT initiatives on schedule.

Specifications of Progent's Test and Training Lab
In addition to benefiting from the enterprise-class infrastructure of the QTS Sacramento data center, Progent's Test Lab is fully provisioned to allow the creation of powerful pilot systems for simulating production environments. Redundant 100mbs Internet connections make it possible to test applications where non-stop availability and high performance are critical, such as hosting a private Cloud.

Use of the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI), accessible via any standard web browser, allows remote out-of-band management (for example, when the system is powered down or after an operating system crashes). Remote power reset further expands remote management capability, and Virtual CD mounting allows the remote loading of any type of media. Basically, almost any server management tasks required at Progent's Test and Training Lab can be performed remotely, minimizing consulting expense and expediting project development.

The Progent Test and Training Lab has ten powerful servers assigned exclusively for lab use, and additional servers can easily be added to support projects that require them. The dedicated lab servers meet or exceed these specifications:

  • Intel E5520 64-bit 2.26GHz CPU with Virtualization Technology (VT), dual socket, quad core with hyper-threading to appear as 16 processors
  • 16GB RAM
  • Intel I/O Controller Hub 10 (ICH10) and dual 300GB SATA hard disk drives
  • Dual gigabit network connections with Intel I/O Acceleration Technology (Intel I/OAT) and Intel Virtual Machine Device Queues (VMDq)
  • KVM-over-IP (IP KVM) for remote control of video, keyboard, and mouse data, plus full remote console and server power/reset control and support for virtual CD media to allow remote installation of any OS.
The Progent Test Lab provides fast and reliable Internet access via two different 100 Mbps network connections from two separate ISPs. The lab also offers enough public IP space to allow dedicated subnets for lab use. The lab's Cisco switch supports IGMP multicast snooping and can be used to create Microsoft network load balancing (NLB) and server clustering environments. Multiple NICs on each server make it possible to build and test advanced network solutions such as VLANs, load balancing and teaming for NIC failover, and load aggregation.

Progent can also install and configure specialized, client-supplied network equipment for temporary use in the Test and Training Lab as part of a project. In this case, Progent can provide consulting support to enable clients to manage their equipment remotely.

Collaboration Support and Knowledge Transfer
Because of the IP KVM support for each server in the Test and Training Lab, it is possible for multiple people to use the remote management console from different offsite locations. This enables collaboration between Progent's consultants and Progent's clients. This not only facilitates ad hoc knowledge transfer from Progent's experts but also improve the effectiveness of specialized webinar training because it allows all attendees to follow server installation steps in real time, learn configuration techniques, understand how to use management tools, and observe proven approaches to troubleshooting. For information about Progent's commitment to knowledge transfer, visit knowledge transfer to clients.

Consulting Expertise Available for Progent's Test and Training Lab
Progent's experts based in and around the Sacramento area can provide a broad variety of onsite engineering skills for IT projects that make use of the Test and Training Lab at the QTS Data Center. But because almost any server function performed at the lab can be set up and managed remotely, Progent's entire nationwide team of subject matter experts can provide effective support for most projects carried out at the lab.

Consulting services which Progent can deliver either onsite or remotely and for which the Progent Test and Training Lab is well suited include Windows Server 2019 migration consulting, Windows Server 2016 hybrid cloud integration,Windows Server 2012 R2 planning and deployment, Hyper-V consulting and support, Windows Server failover clustering solutions, Windows 10 migration planning, Windows 8.1 deployment automation, Exchange integration, SQL Server and Oracle database development and optimization, Cisco infrastructure design and troubleshooting, and disaster recovery planning.

Contact Progent for More Information About the Progent Test Lab
To contact Progent about the services available at Progent's Test and Training Lab at the QTS Sacramento data center, call Progent 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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