Author Archives: CloudTweaks

Cloud Infographic – The True Cost of Inexpensive Web Hosting

Cloud Infographic – The True Cost of Inexpensive Web Hosting

The True Cost of Inexpensive Web Hosting

The cloud pricing wars have really taken off this past year, with big players like Amazon, Google, Microsoft and many others slashing prices for their cloud and hosting solutions. As a result, there has been a much larger emphasis on service and quality over a cheap price, leaving many IT pros wondering: would I rather have low costs or high performance?

Peer 1 Hosting asked that question of 500 IT pros in the U.S. and UK and found a reluctance to compromise on security (82%), speed (52%) and customer service (42%), even if it meant paying less for hosting services. The research also revealed that more than half of IT decision makers in the US and UK do not trust cheap hosting offerings, assuming they have hidden costs or will result in lower quality service. Despite providers’ growing focus on low prices, only 15% of U.S. respondents consider the cloud pricing wars attractive.

2014 Cost of Cheap Infographic

5 Mistakes That Adversely Impact Seamless Cloud Migration

5 Mistakes That Adversely Impact Seamless Cloud Migration

There is absolutely no doubt migrating a section of your IT assets, non-core business processes or the entire spectrum of business systems to the cloud makes immense sense. There are plenty of business benefits linked to cloud computing; most astute businesses are using cloud computing in some capacity or other and if you aren’t doing the same, you are missing out big time.

However, a move to the cloud must be backed by a comprehensive understanding of cloud technology, the market, your needs and what you want to achieve with cloud adoption. Deciding to move business assets and data to the cloud shouldn’t be a half-baked decision. It needs to be well-thought out so that you are able to achieve your goals without any problems whatsoever.

There are also certain pitfalls you need to keep in mind when you are thinking of migrating applications to the cloud. These are the kind of mistakes that can prove very costly in the long run, and turn your cloud move into an unmitigated disaster.

So, let’s take a look at five such mistakes:

  1. Not choosing the Right Cloud Providers

Not all cloud providers are the same when it comes to reliability, scalability, connectivity, security and support. Research the market thoroughly before zeroing in on the cloud provider you believe is perfect for your needs. Choosing to go with one of the top cloud services providers is a good idea as the big players in this field will not only offer you the best prices but a wholly satisfying services portfolio as well. A word of warning – don’t get sucked into a service-level agreement without going through the agreement in detail. Avoid signing up for a service that you are not 100% happy with.

Another thing – you might come across a cloud player who is offering services for bottom of the barrel rates. Don’t just get attracted to the price; make sure the provider meets the highest standards of security compliance and offers the kind of elasticity and support you need. You don’t want to end up in a situation where your data gets compromised and the service is not to your liking.

This is why choosing the right service provider is an absolute must.

  1. Not Choosing the Right Delivery Model

What do you want to use cloud computing for? This is the question that needs to be answered threadbare. Inability to get a perfect understanding of your needs and requirements might see you choosing a delivery model that is not suited for your needs; as can be imagined this results in a failure to reap the benefits of the cloud.

If you want to affordably implement complex solutions like Human Resource Management (HRM), Management Information Systems (MIS) etc., you will need to pick Software as a Service rather than Platform as a Service. On the other hand, if you want to outsource complete infrastructure to support your business operations, Infrastructure as a Service will be a perfect choice. Making the wrong choice will deliver diminishing returns or no returns at all.

  1. Wrong Cloud Environment

What if you want to maintain complete control over the cloud and want greater levels of security and control? This is non-negotiable because your business is operating in a domain where the management, control and protection of data are of paramount importance. Now think of a situation where you decide to deploy some sensitive processes to the public cloud. The fact that such clouds are managed by third party providers means you will have to relinquish control. In this particular case, you have made a big mistake in choosing the public cloud; a better choice would have been a private cloud.

In case you are ok surrendering control of non-critical processes, and want to maintain control of the business critical processes, you could pick the hybrid cloud.

Picking the right cloud environment is therefore very important. In a worst case scenario, the wrong environment can lead to your sensitive data passing into unauthorized hands.

  1. Not Planning for Risks

Depending on cloud providers for running your applications or for data storage and trusting their security, maintenance and support structure is all well and good, but what happens if and when things go wrong. You need to plan for the unexpected before moving to the Cloud. For e.g. what happens if an unauthorized party breaches the cloud. What happens to your data then? How soon can this breach be plugged? In such cases, will the personnel administering the cloud at the service provider’s end be able to see your data? What happens if there are technical problems? Does your business have a system in place where it can still access necessary data?

You might think such situations are in the realms of conjecture and can never happen. But, they can. It will be a good idea to plan for them so that you have a solution on hand if and when things go wrong. For this to happen, you not only need to thoroughly assess the risks associated with the cloud but find a solution for the same.

  1. Not Having Cloud Expertise

This is another mistake that a business mustn’t make. While your third party providers have all the experience and expertise needed to ensure their cloud services run smoothly, you still need in-house technical expertise to make sure your use of the cloud is able to deliver the returns you are looking for. Also, somebody with the requisite knowledge of cloud technology can help you put in place solutions for the risks we discussed in the earlier point. You need a person/team that can implement your business’s cloud strategy for you and ensure it is optimally managed and controlled. This is how you can maximize the potential of the cloud for business benefit.


The idea is to make informed decisions when you decide to move applications/processes/data/IT assets to the cloud. Know everything there is to know about cloud technology, its deliverables, risks and the migration process before you actually get started on the whole exercise. This will help you take the right decisions and maximize your benefits from the cloud.

By Stan Roach

Cloud Infographic – 5 Ways That Big Data Can Help

Cloud Infographic – 5 Ways That Big Data Can Help

5 Ways That Big Data Can Help

While some businesses remain cautious about diving into the pool of big data, it is quickly proving to be unavoidable if you are looking to make it to the next level of business success. Although it can seem daunting, there are many benefits of embracing this trend. For firms looking to offer more personalized services to their clients, utilizing big data will help open up a whole new realm of information. This can not only help to tailor services to consumers, but also offer more meaningful insights that will be helpful for developing beneficial and long-lasting consumer relationships.

Embracing big data can also help companies optimize operations to create a smoother and more efficient workforce. This will allow business leaders to have more time to look into deeper data and therefore make better-informed decisions. With all of these benefits, it is a wonder why some firms are still dragging their feet when it comes to big data adoption. For more information on how this trend could help your business, take a look at the infographic below which is provided by Help/Systems

Help Systems Big Data Infographic-72dpi

Is your Organization Really Prepared for its Move to the Cloud?

Is your Organization Really Prepared for its Move to the Cloud?

Is Your Organization Really Prepared?

Cloud computing is playing a transformational role in how businesses function. It’s a disruptive technology that is influencing the growth trajectories of businesses. Irrespective of the industry, cloud computing is being adopted at breakneck speed. There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that if a business is to survive and prosper in today’s times, it needs to leverage the benefits of the cloud.


But making a move to the cloud or at least moving a section of your data to the Cloud is not easy and if you don’t go about it in the right manner, you are liable to make mistakes; this in turn interferes with your business’s ability to maximize cloud potential to trigger strategic growth.

One of the biggest errors that organizations make while thinking about moving to the cloud is that they see the cloud purely from a technical perspective. This is wrong because a move to the Cloud also impacts the work culture of the organization; roles, processes, deliverables, and objectives change.

Before you actually begin the process of migrating assets to the cloud, you need to be very sure that your organization and employees are actually ready for this move.

So, what are the aspects you must consider before you actually start migrating processes to the Cloud?

Let’s take a look:

  • Skillsets

Moving to the cloud is a good thing, but in order to make the most of this move, you need people with the right skillsets who can manage and control your organization’s presence on the cloud. It’s of mission critical importance that you hire people with expertise and experience in cloud technology. You also need to initiate training programs that help your existing employees get a better understanding of cloud technology and how its use can be optimized. There is a surprising lack of skilled cloud personnel on the market. You might be hard pressed to find a CIO who is well-versed in the Cloud and its interlinked technologies. So, first get this part sorted out, everything else comes later.

  • Is your Cloud Approach only about the Money?

One of the most prevalent myths about cloud computing is that the use of this technology only helps your organization save a lot of money (overheads).

A move to the cloud is much more than just a means of saving money. What your business essentially profits from is the elasticity, scalability and reliability of the cloud. Cloud technology allows you to improve business processes by enhancing collaboration and access to data. With the cloud, you can shorten the time taken to market your products, speed up product upgrades, and respond faster to the competitive challenges facing your business. This is what helps drive the growth of your business. And all this happens without making a massive investment into the proceedings.

Before you implement a cloud strategy, clearly underline what you want to achieve with the cloud; thinking of the cloud as a technology that helps you save money is self-limiting.

  • Transition of IT

The IT department of your organization must get used to the idea of a transition and change in priorities. There will be a rethink as far as their portfolio of responsibilities is concerned. IT personnel might find they are no longer in charge of systems administration and maintenance and don’t have to configure, secure and manage a computing service or application.

They will find that they are now asked to become innovators and tasked with generating more value for the organization.

Is the department ready to perform this role?

The cloud can take care of their usual responsibilities, thus making it possible for them to play a more strategic and proactive role in an organization’s growth strategy. It is important they are made well aware of this transition in advance and are imparted the necessary training that will help them make this transition smoothly.

  • Are you Thinking Long Term?

The cloud shouldn’t be seen as a short term solution for the existing lacunae in your organizational processes. It does fill the existing gaps, but it also helps you plan a long term growth oriented strategy for your business. The advanced infrastructure that you thought was beyond your reach is now available as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS); the platforms that were prohibitively expensive are now within your budget, courtesy Platform as a Service (PaaS); and all those software that you coveted but never got round to using because of the cost perspective can now be tapped into, with the help of Software as a Service (SaaS). This essentially means your business can leverage cloud computing for the long term and keep benefiting from it.

Learning from Mistakes

If you’ve already got the 4 pointers mentioned in this article sorted out, good for you! But this doesn’t mean your organization’s move to the cloud will be seamless. There is always a chance of missteps occurring for e.g. you might choose to move to a public cloud when a hybrid cloud has been the right choice for you. Or you might pick a cloud provider whose services might not reach the ideal levels of security compliance.

Such mistakes shouldn’t act as an impediment, but must be seen as a learning opportunity.

Learn from them and move forward with your cloud strategy.


Preparing your organization for a move to the Cloud is one of the most important parts of your Cloud strategy. If you want your move to succeed, make sure everybody in your organization looks at this move positively and has the required skillsets to accept this move and take it towards its logical conclusion.

By Suraj Kumar

Cloud Infographic – Stormy In The Cloud

Cloud Infographic – Stormy In The Cloud

Stormy In The Cloud

Provided is an infographic with some concerning statistics by Safenet regarding IT security.

  • 47% of respondents said the IT security team are hardly involved in the decision making process.
  • 44% of corporate data stored in a cloud environment is not managed or controlled by the IT department.
  • Only 34% of companies have policies that require the use of security measures such as encryption as a condition to using cloud services.

Also, be sure to take a closer look at this comprehensive visual on information governance.


News: Spanning Is Acquired By EMC Corporation

News: Spanning Is Acquired By EMC Corporation

Company Continues To Do Business as Spanning Cloud Apps in EMC’s Core Technologies Division; Serves as Foundation for EMC’s “Born-in-the-Cloud” Data Protection Strategy

AUSTIN, Texas – October 28, 2014Spanning Cloud Apps, Inc., the most trusted provider of data backup and recovery for cloud applications, today announced that it has been acquired by EMC Corporation. The company will continue to operate under the Spanning® Cloud Apps brand in Austin, Texas and will be the foundation of EMC’s “born-in-the-cloud” data protection strategy in its Core Technologies Division. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The acquisition was announced in conjunction with the launch of the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Solution, which underscores EMC’s commitment to customers to deliver choice and agility in hybrid cloud deployments. The combination of EMC’s data protection portfolio and Spanning’s services positions EMC to empower users to confidently deploy data protection solutions across all applications and workloads, regardless of where the data is created or where the applications reside.


We’re honored for this incredible recognition of our technology, our people and the successful business we’ve built,” said Jeff Erramouspe, Spanning CEO. “Joining forces with EMC validates our business and products as among the best for cloud application backup and recovery. This move provides the best of both worlds – the freedom to continue as Spanning while, at the same time, gaining a huge advantage in the marketplace through EMC’s sheer scale. This is an exciting new chapter. Spanning is now an even stronger company, ensuring that our customers will be able to count on us for their data protection needs for the long term, while our partners can confidently build businesses around our products.”

EMC is committed to providing world-class data protection and availability solutions that address the entire range of customer use cases and workload types,” said Guy Churchward, President, EMC Core Technologies Division. “With the addition of Spanning into our portfolio we are reaffirming that commitment. Born-in-the cloud applications are increasingly populating the landscape at enterprises and mid-market organizations and the data they generate needs to be protected. Spanning and EMC partnered productively long before this acquisition, so we’re excited to formally welcome Spanning and its employees into the EMC fold.”

Spanning has helped thousands of organizations and more than 1.8 million people use the company’s products. In addition to providing automated backup and recovery of Salesforce and the complete Google Apps suite, Spanning technology is also designed to provide customers with constant monitoring of data backups, allowing administrators to correct problems before they become issues. Spanning’s solutions mitigate risk of data loss caused by user error, hackers or system error and ultimately improve business efficiency.

EMC will leverage its global sales force and partner ecosystem to sell Spanning products and capitalize on the market opportunity for protection of born-in-the-cloud application data. Spanning technology enhances EMC’s industry-leading portfolio of enterprise data protection solutions, by extending protection to cloud-based applications and the business-critical data they create.

About Spanning Cloud Apps, Inc.

Spanning, the leading provider of backup and recovery for SaaS applications, helps organizations to protect and manage their information in the cloud. The company provides powerful, enterprise-class data protection for Google Apps and Salesforce. Spanning Backup is the most reliable and trusted cloud-to-cloud backup solution available. Learn more at

Will Virtual Reality Replace The Virtual Desktop?

Will Virtual Reality Replace The Virtual Desktop?

Ever since Facebook acquired the rapidly growing Oculus Rift, it seems like virtual reality has not stopped gaining attention in the tech world. Virtual reality is becoming more than just a sci-fi special effect as the quality and wearability continue to improve.

People like Oliver Kreylos, who works for the Institute for Data Analysis and Visualization at the University of California at Davis, are even pushing virtual reality to mainstream status with enterprise business and collaboration applications.

But even with all this excitement around VR and the advances we’ve seen recently in augmented reality devices like Google Glass, the fact remains that this technology is not advanced enough to be practical in the workplace and it’s likely that it never will be.

When we think about virtual reality’s place on the office, we have to consider innovation versus practicality. Sometimes advancing technology is not necessarily the most efficient use of resources and can actually slow productivity. With VR, this is no different. Let’s examine the benefits and costs of virtual reality in the workplace.

Infinite Virtual Desktops

Probably the biggest advantage of virtual reality in the workplace is the ability to create an unlimited number of virtual monitors. Say goodbye to all those cables you have snaking throughout your desk to get your 2 monitors working. How would you like to get your desk space back as well? In looking at the possibilities a VR environment would create, it’s possible that deploying monitors would be as easy as opening a new tab in your browser.

Imagine the benefits this would have for stock traders. You’ve seen these guys. They’re the ones with a 3 by 2 wall of monitors with real-time graphs updating on each one. Imagine if they could have 18 monitors all going at once.


In a virtual workspace, collaborating with colleagues across the country will be miles beyond web conferences or Skype conversations. Imagine your business partner or client is standing right by your side in a virtual office. You can both manipulate the environment in real-time, side-by-side.

Unfortunately the quality of putting projecting your whole body in a virtual envrionment is not quite up to snuff. You can see below in an experiment by Oliver Kreylos what it looks like when a person’s whole body is embedded into a virtual environment.



Adjustment Period

According to a recent TechCrunch article, one of the biggest drawbacks of a virtual reality system is that you cannot see your hands or the physical equipment in front of you. This means that if you’re operating a keyboard, you have to memorize the keys and motions.

Alex Sarnoff, CEO of Control VR, a startup in the virtual reality space, believes their own wearable technology and camera quality will actually make it possible to operate keyboards in the virtual environment. Sarnoff says, “The sensors and software we use provide for incredibly accurate clean data and are a testament to many years of research, development and progress by our founders.“

While that’s all fine and well, this means we’ll have to relearn to operate keywords and other equipment in a virtual world. It will be awkward and difficult and might take more time than it’s worth.

Feasibility vs. Productivity

Oliver Kreylos’ virtual desktop demo isn’t exactly on the same level as UC Davis’ CAVE VR installment (below) which surpasses it in quality and usability. But can you imagine if every office, or every cubicle for that matter, had a CAVE?



The point is that this equipment is not only expensive, it’s a hassle to house in a physical office space. There are multiple cameras that need to be set up, the equipment is likely awkward to wear and the quality of the virtual environment is quite poor. For most enterprise businesses it’s going to be difficult to justify the need for a setup like this unless you are the day trader mentioned earlier.

The reality is, this technology is “interesting” at best. The quality and feasibility is not there yet for most businesses. It’s exciting to think that one day we’ll get to a point where virtual reality is a part of our everyday worklife but right now it’s not ready for the mainstream and there is not enough need to justify it.

By Scott Taft

Entering The Next Wave Of The Internet

Entering The Next Wave Of The Internet

The Next Wave

While the Internet of Things is still in its infancy,” says a 2014 Acquity Group Study, “this technology is poised for massive growth in the next decade. We are already seeing computer- and sensor-infused objects in a variety of industries, including automotive, energy, consumer electronics and in-home appliances. As it becomes less expensive to integrate technology into physical objects, we will see more application and adoption of this technology. The Internet of Things will have major implications for both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies in the next five years.”

Nearly every industry in the modern economy, in other words, will soon be feeling the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT). Wearable technology such as Google Glass and the AppleAppleWatch Watch, both slated for consumer release some time in 2015, will probably be the first IoT devices to gain widespread adoption. But other industries are also looking into adopting similar technologies: Google’s self-driving car, for example, is still a long way from being street-legal, but once the kinks are worked out its descendants may well revolutionize the automotive industry. Similar stories can be told in the fields of education, construction, energy, and consumer electronics.

According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, the Internet of Things constitutes a “Third Wave” of the Internet, a kind of Web 3.0 just over the horizon. The article cites a number of factors that indicate the Internet of Things may become a practical reality within the next several years:

theinternetofthings2The cost of sensors, processing power, and bandwidth to connect devices has dropped low enough to spur widespread deployment. Innovative products like fitness trackers and Google’s Nest thermostats are demonstrating the potential for both consumers and enterprises. And corporate alliances are taking shape to set the standards needed to integrate the wide array of devices in a cohesive way.

This combination of technological advances and growing corporate infrastructures will form the backbone of the Internet of Things. Once the underlying backbone is in place, there will be no major restrictions on widespread adoption of web-integrated devices such as smart watches, smart buildings, and wearable technology.

Of course, this will mean a huge rise in the data needs of homeowners, businesses, and everyday people. Most smart devices on the Internet of Things will have only a limited on-site storage capacity, and will need to rely on cloud computing for their data storage needs. In addition to the increased availability of smart devices, the rise of the IoT will also probably bring about a huge rise in demand for cloud computing services.

By Gustav Steinhardt

CloudTweaks Comics
Reuters News: Powerfull DDoS Knocks Out Several Large Scale Websites

Reuters News: Powerfull DDoS Knocks Out Several Large Scale Websites

DDoS Knocks Out Several Websites Cyber attacks targeting the internet infrastructure provider Dyn disrupted service on major sites such as Twitter and Spotify on Friday, mainly affecting users on the U.S. East Coast. It was not immediately clear who was responsible. Officials told Reuters that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau…

Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

Security, Security, Security!! Get use to it as we’ll be hearing more and more of this in the coming years. Collaborative security efforts from around the world must start as sometimes it feels there is a sense of Fait Accompli, that it’s simply too late to feel safe in this digital age. We may not…

The Conflict Of Net Neutrality And DDoS-Attacks!

The Conflict Of Net Neutrality And DDoS-Attacks!

The Conflict Of Net Neutrality And DDoS-Attacks! So we are all cheering as the FCC last week made the right choice in upholding the principle of net neutrality! For the general public it is a given that an ISP should be allowed to charge for bandwidth and Internet access but never to block or somehow…

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

Botnets and DDoS Attacks There’s just so much that seems as though it could go wrong with closed-circuit television cameras, a.k.a. video surveillance. With an ever-increasing number of digital eyes on the average person at all times, people can hardly be blamed for feeling like they’re one misfortune away from joining the ranks of Don’t…

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy A few weeks ago I visited the global headquarters of a large multi-national company to discuss cloud strategy with the CIO. I arrived 30 minutes early and took a tour of the area where the marketing team showcased their award winning brands. I was impressed by the digital marketing strategy…

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Cloud Security Mindset Businesses are becoming wise to the compelling benefits of cloud computing. When adopting cloud, they need a high level of confidence in how it will be risk-managed and controlled, to preserve the security of their information and integrity of their operations. Cloud implementation is sometimes built up over time in a business,…

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Incident Response Planning – Part 1 The topic of cybersecurity has become part of the boardroom agendas in the last couple of years, and not surprisingly — these days, it’s almost impossible to read news headlines without noticing yet another story about a data breach. As cybersecurity shifts from being a strictly IT issue to…

Cloud-based GRC Intelligence Supports Better Business Performance

Cloud-based GRC Intelligence Supports Better Business Performance

Cloud-based GRC Intelligence All businesses need a strategy and processes for governance, risk and compliance (GRC). Many still view GRC activity as a burdensome ‘must-do,’ approaching it reactively and managing it with non-specialized tools. GRC is a necessary business endeavor but it can be elevated from a cost drain to a value-add activity. By integrating…

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

Hybrid-Cloud Approach For over 20 years, organizations have been attempting to secure their networks and protect their data. However, have any of their efforts really improved security? Today we hear journalists and industry experts talk about the erosion of the perimeter. Some say it’s squishy, others say it’s spongy, and yet another claims it crunchy.…

Micro-segmentation – Protecting Advanced Threats Within The Perimeter

Micro-segmentation – Protecting Advanced Threats Within The Perimeter

Micro-segmentation Changing with the times is frequently overlooked when it comes to data center security. The technology powering today’s networks has become increasingly dynamic, but most data center admins still employ archaic security measures to protect their network. These traditional security methods just don’t stand a chance against today’s sophisticated attacks. That hasn’t stopped organizations…

What You Need To Know About Choosing A Cloud Service Provider

What You Need To Know About Choosing A Cloud Service Provider

Selecting The Right Cloud Services Provider How to find the right partner for cloud adoption on an enterprise scale The cloud is capable of delivering many benefits, enabling greater collaboration, business agility, and speed to market. Cloud adoption in the enterprise has been growing fast. Worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow at a…


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