Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Steps For Migrating Data, Applications To The Cloud

Steps For Migrating Data, Applications To The Cloud

Steps for Migrating Data, Applications to the Cloud

As more companies move additional data and business applications to the cloud, chief information officers continue to develop recommendations to simplify the migration process.

CIOs, especially those who manage enterprise-class operations, note that project management is key to a successful migration of applications and data to the cloud. Despite the likelihood of cost savings over time, initial migration expenses for enterprises can be high. Moreover, moving functions to the cloud carries as much risk as implementing traditional hardware solutions because of pushback from employees who must learn new systems, integration issues with existing software and systems, and cost surprises.

data-migration

According to InfoWorld, chief information officers endorse establishing a plan that carries their organization through the entire migration process. In addition, one member of the information technology staff should be appointed as the lead for the project. That person should drive the migration process, including overseeing the strategy development, identifying needs, and writing a business case for the shift. The project manager can also serve as the point person in products, vendors, and providers and scheduling all facets of the migration.

Planning Cloud Migration

Selection of a project manager for a cloud migration should focus on a team member who either has experience with cloud-based solutions or one who is open to the idea of embracing a new technology. This is especially true for organizations that are new to the cloud or which currently use a minimum of cloud services. Nonetheless, the person in charge of the project should also have a keen understanding of existing hardware and software solutions as well as the business functions that will be addressed by the migration.

Although many vendors recommend migration to the cloud for cost efficiencies, the fact is that implementation of any new technology solution requires an initial outlay. Chief information officers increasingly suggest that companies earmark the funds needed to finance the entire migration at the outset of the project and expect savings to occur over subsequent business cycles. This measure enables organizations to complete their migrations in the shortest period possible without slowdowns due to budget red tape.

By Glenn Blake

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations

Everyone knows what the cloud is, but does everybody know where the cloud is? We try to answer that as we look at some of the most unusual data centre locations in the world.

Under the Eyes of a Deity

Deep beneath the famous Uspenski Cathedral in the heart of Helsinki lies a converted World War II bomb shelter, which sees an unlikely fusion of data storage and green technology.

Estimates suggest that in a typical data centre only 40 percent of energy use is for computing, with the remainder being used for cooling down the servers. The problem is so serious that data centres account for as much as 30 percent of a corporation’s energy bills and 1 percent of energy usage worldwide.

Finnish IT company Academica designed the 2MW underground data centre to try and address this problem. Rather than using a traditional means of power to try and cool the servers, they use pumped seawater from the nearby Baltic Sea. As the servers are cooled the water is heated, and this heated water is then used to provide warmth for 500 local homes, before being recycled back into the system.

The technology itself is not new, but there are no other projects in the world that operate on this scale. The centre now saves Academica a remarkable $235,000 a year in energy costs and is prompting other large data centre providers to follow in their footsteps, with Google now also operating two centres that run on recycled water.

In a Disused Coal Mine

While Academica’s $235,000 per year saving is impressive, it pales in to insignificance when compared with a $3,000,000 per year saving by Sun Microsystems.

The former cloud-computing giant lowered 10,000 of its self-contained Blackbox data centres into a 100 metre deep coal mine located in the Chubu region of Japan’s Honshu Island.

With groundwater used as the coolant and a constant site temperature of 15 degrees Celsius, no air-conditioning is needed outside the containers. This significantly reduces the energy required when compared with the surface-level Blackbox containers.

At the time, Sun stated that added benefits include security against unauthorised entry and terrorist attacks, and that have designed all the units to capable of withstanding 6.7 magnitude earthquake.

An Independent World War II Sea Fort

Few locations on earth have a story quite as unique as that of Sealand. Just six miles of the coast of England, the self-declared sovereign state has seen a hostile takeover, rebel government, and hostage crisis since coming into existence in September 1967.

The micronation is now home to HavenCo, a self-styled data haven that has no copyright or intellectual property on data that it hosts.

HavenCo was founded in the year 2000, but ceased operating between 2008 and 2012 as a result of a legal dispute over project financing. Since its rebirth, the company offers proxies and VPNs using European and American servers, whilst storing hard data on servers on Sealand itself. The only restrictions on hosted data are child pornography, spamming and malicious hacking.

Unusual-Data-Centers

 

Do you know another unique data centre location? Let us know in the comments below.

(Infographic Source: http://www.whoishostingthis.com)

By Daniel Price

BYOD Will Continue To Define Workplaces In 2014

BYOD Will Continue To Define Workplaces In 2014

BYOD Will Continue To Define Workplaces

The bring-your-own-device trend has been the subject of scrutiny ever since its initial formation. Given how quickly personal smartphones and tablets became a fixture in everyday life, it makes perfect sense that these mobile machines would slip into workplaces. While BYOD has caused headaches for many businesses, still others have discovered the benefits of it. This is achieved by recognizing that BYOD is not only inevitable, but also – as InformationWeek contributor Peter Waterhouse refers to it – “naturally occurring.”

More companies than ever are recognizing this as a key component to successful unified communications initiatives. According to Waterhouse, “BYOD is happening, whether IT likes it or not.” Personal devices in the workplace will continue to increase throughout 2014, and businesses will need to adapt to change in order to stay afloat.

Advancements In Technology Make Adoptions Easier

As mobile workforce management tools and techniques have matured, more companies have been able to integrate them as part of a UC program deployment. According to IDC analysts Christopher Chute and Raymond Boggs, this has been especially advantageous for small and medium-sized businesses. Their report, the U.S. 2014 SMB Corporate-Owned and BYOD Mobile Device Survey, determined that organizations of this size have seen the biggest increase in BYOD program launches.

With the availability of hosted software and easy-to-implement mobile solutions, SMB IT managers feel much more comfortable allowing personal devices access to internal IT resources,” Chute said.

Given that BYOD has shown no signs of slowing down, it is certain that more SMBs – not to mention major enterprises – will both have and need to manage personal smartphones and tablets in the office. This is especially true given that a new wave of devices is already on the horizon – wearables.

Wearable BYOD Tech To Enter Workplace

While it should still be a priority and must be addressed, mobile UC is expected to get a little more complicated in 2014. Much in the same way that tablets and smartphones started popping up in offices all over the world, wearable tech like Google Glass and the iWatch are highly-anticipated tools that will, with great certainty, enter the workplace.

These tools will ultimately be able to serve a wide variety of professional purposes, but BYOD strategies will have to be re-examined before wearables arrive. According to Krista Napier, IDC Canada’s manager for mobility research, there is a learning process that must occur for both management and employees regarding how these devices can and cannot be used for communications and other critical purposes.

By Katie Maller, Communications Manager at ShoreTel

(Image Source: Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com )

Are Cloud Servers The Right Choice For Your Business?

Are Cloud Servers The Right Choice For Your Business?

Are Cloud Servers The Right Choice For Your Business?

Cloud servers offer power, flexibility, reliability, and client friendly hosting for small and medium businesses that have outgrown shared hosting.

New business hosting clients are bombarded with an incredible diversity of different choices for their site’s hosting. It can be a challenge to negotiate the range of platforms and the marketing hype that many hosting companies use to promote their products.

Given the complexity of the hosting market, it’s possible to get decision fatigue and opt for a choice which at first seems to offer great benefits and prices, but may not turn out to be the best choice in the long-run. It can be a pain for a business to move from one hosting company or platform to another — although it’s certainly possible — so it’s best to make a choice that will provide the best foundation for your business well into the future.

With that in mind, in this article we’re going to focus on one form of hosting: the cloud server. Let’s take a look at what a cloud server is, how it differs from other hosting such as shared hosting or a dedicated server, and when it’s the right choice for a business.

What Is A Cloud Server?

A cloud server shares some features with both shared hosting and dedicated server hosting, but with a number of extra features that make it a very different beast from both.

A cloud server is a virtualized server. That means that cloud servers are virtual machines that run on a physical server, which can host multiple virtual cloud servers. Cloud servers are a complete server environment with full root access. They also usually include a guaranteed level of resources like processing power and memory.

To some of you, that might sound exactly the same as a virtual private server, but there are significant differences. The most important difference is the pricing model. Whereas virtual private servers are usually sold with per month contacts, cloud servers are on-demand machines that are charged for by the hour, so users pay only for the resources they use.

Is A Cloud Server Right For Your Business?

The major benefits of cloud servers are:

  • Flexibility — Cloud servers are the most flexible hosting option: they can be created, destroyed, replicated, and resized as needed.
  • Scalable – Hopefully, your business is going to grow, and that means more traffic to your website. A cloud server can grow with your business by simply increasing the resources available to it — known as vertical scaling. It’s also very easy to spin up additional servers to create a cluster of cloud servers. For example, you could replicate your web servers and put them behind a cloud-based load balancer — this is horizontal scaling.
  • Reliable — If you have a dedicated server and something goes wrong with the hardware, then your site goes down. Because cloud servers are so much more flexible, you can have redundant servers waiting to activate in case of a problem. You can completely back-up a cloud server and have a replica up and running in seconds. High availability cloud servers are configured so that there is no single point of failure. Using failover systems, proactive monitoring, and recovery, it’s possible to achieve levels of reliability that would be vastly more expensive with dedicated servers.
  • On-demand Pricing — Businesses pay for only the resources they use, and are not committed to a long-term contract.

If you think your business site has outgrown shared hosting and that you need flexibility, scalability, reliability, and a client-friendly payment model, then cloud hosting is for you.

By John Mack / Technical writer for Datarealm

Cloud News Round Up Post – February 15th

Cloud News Round Up Post – February 15th

Here is your cloud news round up post for the week.

front-desk

Front Desk Raises $4 Million to Expand Mobile Cloud Platform – Don’t turn your nose up at Front Desk, as the software startup are preparing for big things. Specifically, Front Desk are looking to process more than $100 million in payments in 2014. Spanning 20 countries with around 1,000 business signed up to make use of Front Desk’s payment offerings, that money could help them to process even more payments on mobile especially, where over 60% of their business takes place. Only around for one year, Jon Zimmerman, Front Desk’s co-founder and CEO says “This has been an incredible first year for Front Desk, and [they are] delighted to secure this financing from such a well-respected group of investors and entrepreneurs. The funding will help [them] step on the gas to meet [their] growing demand.” so that funding will be of good use.

Cloud Startup LoginRadius Raises $1.3 Million in FundingLoginRadius, the flagship product of a Canadian tech startup called Nya Concepts Inc., has successfully raised $1.3 million in a recent round of funding. The team behind the service, which allows users to register and sign up for websites by way of their Google and Facebook profiles (along with Yahoo, etc.), is set to use the money to “help businesses engage and understand their users by simplifying how users connect to the web. This financing gives [them] additional resources for rapid growth and product innovating so that [they] can continue to transform the way users connect to the web and mobile applications”, according to Rakesh Soni, co-founder and CEO of LoginRadius. The service seems to be useful, and the money will go a long way to furthering that, so it will be interesting to see where the tech goes in the future.

Microsoft Release Details on Oracle on Azure Cloud – It was recently announced that Satya Nadella would be Microsoft’s new CEO, and he was previously one of the driving figures behind Microsoft’s work with the cloud. Now, one of the very first outcomes of that has become apparent as Microsoft have no revealed information on the Oracle on Azure partnership that the tech company have been working on. In a new statement, they have said that “Beginning 12 March, [Microsoft] will charge for the Oracle software running in license included Oracle VMs in addition to [their] charge for the Windows Server VMs in which the Oracle software runs.” but as that’s not set to go live until next month, we’ll keep you posted once we know more.

By Jennifer Livingstone

Cloud Infographic: Preventing Disasters In The Cloud

Cloud Infographic: Preventing Disasters In The Cloud

Cloud Infographic: Preventing Disasters In The Cloud

Data backups form an important part of an enterprise’s Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity planning (DR/BC). Traditionally the data was stored on tapes and physical media, at an off-site location, to mitigate the effect of the disaster. Saving the data on-site would have negated the benefit of having a backup, since there is a high probability that the backup would have been as compromised as the original. Now, the availability of cloud based backup and recovery services have created an option for enterprises to store at a virtual drive off-site.

Included is an infographic provided courtesy of the group at Novastor

Backingup-cloud

Infographic Source: Novastor

Microsoft CEO Shows That Cloud Is The Way Forward

Microsoft CEO Shows That Cloud Is The Way Forward

Microsoft’s new CEO appointment shows that the world’s largest desktop software developer has seen that the cloud is the future of enterprise IT.

Microsoft’s long and public CEO selection process has come to a close, with veteran Redmond employee Satya Nadella taking up the reins to lead the company through what will be a period of unprecedented change.

In the four decades since Microsoft was founded both the enterprise and consumer IT space has undergone radical evolution. It was Microsoft more than any other company that lead the way in past decades, shaping the industry with its massively popular enterprise, productivity, and operating system software. But, although Microsoft is still the dominant player in those arenas, that dominance is being challenged by a changing environment. Those changes are largely the result of new IT paradigms brought about by the cloud, including SaaS applications and IaaS platforms.

Microsoft is a huge company with fingers in many pies, from gaming with the Xbox, to mobile devices with Windows Phone and its recent purchase of Nokia, and from productivity and collaboration software with Microsoft Office and SharePoint, to its own cloud services like Windows Azure and SkyDrive.

Microsoft-cloud

(Image Source360b / Shutterstock.com)

The choice of CEO for a company that has only had two leaders in the past, Bill Gates and his close friend Steve Ballmer, is a crucial indication of where it sees its future. The selection committee might have chosen to double down on the traditional PC market, put its entertainment division first and foremost, given the reins to someone with mobile experience — Steven Elop was considered a front runner by some — or brought someone from the outside to take the company in a new direction. Instead they chose Satya Nadella, an insider to be sure, but an insider who has had more influence than anyone else in shaping the company’s cloud and services strategy.

The 46-year-old Nadella has been with the company for over two decades, previously having worked at Sun Microsystems. He is currently head of cloud services and enterprise business, and his appointment clearly demonstrates where Microsoft believes its future revenue lies. The PC market is stagnating, including the market for enterprise desktops, and although it’s unlikely to dwindle significantly any time soon, that traditional cash-cow can’t be relied on to generate new business.

In spite of Xbox and its constant experimentation with consumer devices, the enterprise has always been Microsoft’s major money-spinner. In the modern IT space, enterprise IT spending is being increasingly transferred to the cloud as businesses seek to exploit the cost-benefits, reduced management burden, and scaling advantages of cloud platforms. If Microsoft is to flourish, it must provide cloud solutions that will enable it to generate revenue that will supplement its less successful operations. That makes Nadella the perfect choice — he knows how to build services and platforms that give businesses what they need.

We’re in a transitional phase between legacy IT strategies and new cloud paradigms. Microsoft was the winner in the legacy IT world. Nadella’s appointment shows that Microsoft is determined to win in the cloud too.

By John Mack,

John is a technical writer for Datarealm, one of the oldest web hosting companies. You can follow Datarealm on Twitter, @datarealm, Like them on Facebook, and check out more of their web hosting articles on their blog, http://www.datarealm.com/blog.

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – #NerdLove

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – #NerdLove



cloud_185-valentines-day

By David Fletcher

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CloudTweaks Comics
The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

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Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

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Big Data – Top Critical Technology Trend For The Next Five Years

Big Data – Top Critical Technology Trend For The Next Five Years

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Cloud Computing – A Requirement For Greater Innovation

Cloud Computing – A Requirement For Greater Innovation

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New Report Finds 1 Out Of 3 Sites Are Vulnerable To Malware

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Cloud Infographic – Big Data Predictions By 2023

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Predictions By 2023

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Cloud Computing – The Game Changer

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Global Cloud Index In October, Cisco released its Global Cloud Index (GCI) report for 2014-2019, projecting a near 3-fold growth of global data center traffic, with predictions that this traffic will reach 8.6 zettabytes (cloud data center traffic) and 10.4 zettabytes (total data center traffic) per year in 2019 and 80% of it will come…

Big Data and Financial Services – Security Threat or Massive Opportunity?

Big Data and Financial Services – Security Threat or Massive Opportunity?

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Fintech Investments Are Seeing Consistent Growth

Fintech Investments Are Seeing Consistent Growth

The Financial Services Cloud Fintech investment has been seeing consistent growth in 2015, with some large moves being made this year. The infographic (Courtesy of Venturescanner) below shows the top Fintech investors and the amount of companies they’re currently funding: Just this week, a financial data startup known as Orchard Platform raised $30 million in…

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

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Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

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Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

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Three Reasons Cloud Adoption Can Close The Federal Government’s Tech Gap

Three Reasons Cloud Adoption Can Close The Federal Government’s Tech Gap

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Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And Virtual Reality This is a term I created (Virtual Immersion). Ah…the sweet smell of Virtual Immersion Success! Virtual Immersion© (VI) an extension/expansion of Virtual Reality to include the senses beyond visual and auditory. Years ago there was a television commercial for a bathing product called Calgon. The tagline of the commercial was Calgon…

Three Tips To Simplify Governance, Risk and Compliance

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Governance, Risk and Compliance Businesses are under pressure to deliver against a backdrop of evolving regulations and security threats. In the face of such challenges they strive to perform better, be leaner, cut costs and be more efficient. Effective governance, risk and compliance (GRC) can help preserve the business’ corporate integrity and protect the brand,…

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

How to Identify and Authenticate in the Expanding IoT Ecosystem It is a necessity to protect IoT devices and their associated data. As the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, the need to create an identity to newly-connected things is becoming increasingly crucial. These ‘things’ can include anything from basic sensors and gateways to industrial controls…

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

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Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

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Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks Does cloud security risks ever bother you? It would be weird if it didn’t. Cloud computing has a lot of benefits, but also a lot of risks if done in the wrong way. So what are the most important risks? The European Network Information Security Agency did extensive research on that, and…