Category Archives: White Papers

Cloud Adoption: Tips and Considerations

Cloud Adoption: Tips and Considerations

Cloud Adoption

If your organization is currently planning a move to the Cloud, then you will want to know all the details about Cloud Adoption and find out the challenges in deployment, management and automation phases. Savision, recently released two whitepapers written by Microsoft MVP Alessandro Cardoso that are focused on Cloud Adoption from two different perspectives: Business and Technical. The whitepapers provide you with some tips and considerations to keep in mind before, during, and after the process of Cloud Adoption, depending on your role within the organization.

Business Whitepaper – ‘Investing in the Cloud: Assessing IT & Business Requirements’.
Technical Whitepaper – ‘The Technical Challenges of Cloud Adoption’.

To complement the whitepapers, MVP Alessandro Cardoso will host one webinar on each topic. Would you like to know more?

Download the whitepapers and register for the webinars now.

Should You Invest In A 3D Printer?

Should You Invest In A 3D Printer?

Innovation With The 3D Printer

3D printing awareness and application has been growing slowly but steadily for the last decade and it’s clear that its use will not be limited to prototyping for much longer but instead is likely to revolutionize mainstream commercial and industrial production. Harvard Business Review indicates that more than 30% of the top 300 largest global brands are either evaluating or using 3D printing. With advances in color 3D printing, lowered costs and rising quality, manufacturing companies are switching to volume production of 3D printed items while many education institutions now include 3D course content covering 3D printing, scanning and design. Investment in both the development and acquisition of this technology is up, and organizations both large and small are considering the potential for themselves.

Prototyping & Testing

Ford’s 3D Printing

A popular use of 3D printing technology to date is prototyping, creating models of new products and designs for consideration before going ahead with costly fabrication. Recently the speed of this process has increased and the cost decreased, saving time and money in the initial stages of product development. Beyond prototyping, 3D printing allows organizations to test products in the market before committing to production. Today Ford is printing brand new molds in four days at costs of approximately $4,000.

Prior to 3D printing, this process would typically require six months and hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s no wonder Ford will be partnering with startup Carbon3D going forward. The benefit to smaller companies is enormous, reducing the financial burden of invention – this 3D Printer Buyer’s Guide can assist in making an informed decision.

Production & Customization

3d-printing-buyers-guldeAnother benefit of 3D printing is the ability to produce lower volumes without risking profits. While regular manufacturing methods would require a large number of items produced and sold to recover the costs of the machinery and molds created, 3D printing requires no such commitment. And customization is simpler, quicker, and cheaper.

3D scanning and design allow for a greater level of modification in individual products, and the consumer benefits of this customization are generally accepted as worthy of premium prices.

Inventory & Spare Parts

3D printing gives organizations the options of creating virtual inventories. Instead of manufacturing in advance and storing for future sales, both product and spare part designs can be kept in computer databases for production as required. This strategy both reduces physical space requirements and increases product lifetimes. Because spare parts need only be stored in design formats, organizations are able to offer replacement parts many years after initial production has ceased. Notably, both aerospace and defense sectors are adopting 3D printing technology for smoother supply chains.

Invention

As 3D printers become more popular, so the costs associated with them decrease. Their use opens up the arenas of invention, and design possibilities become all the more probable. Capital required to test ideas is decreased quickly transforming imagined opportunities into physical creations. Instead of redesigning items using outdated methods and designs, organizations can now take advantage of the efficient and accelerated 3D printing techniques which allow the use of revolutionary techniques impossible with other manufacturing methods.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Webinar: Is Operations Manager Still Relevant In The World Of The Cloud?

Webinar: Is Operations Manager Still Relevant In The World Of The Cloud?

With Microsoft so focused on the cloud, it raises concerns about the future of technologies such as Operations Manager. To tackle this topic, Microsoft MVP Cameron Fuller has written a whitepaper which looks at Operations Manager and its future from a variety of angles. As a complement to the whitepaper, MVP Cameron Fuller will host two webinars in order to answer the question: “Is Operations Manager still relevant in the world of the cloud?

The webinars will be co-hosted by Savision’s co-founder and VP of Product Management, Dennis Rietvink.

During the webinars, the topics that will be covered are:

  • A history of Operations Manager and what conclusions we can draw from that history
  • Cloud first, mobile first, and it’s impacts on System Center
  • The Microsoft Operations Management Suite and how it compares with Operations Manager
  • Monitoring available within Azure, and solutions to monitor Azure
  • The Cloud Platform Stack, WAP, and Azure Stack
  • Architecting Operations Manager to run in the cloud

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Using The Cloud Effectively For Your Business Needs

Using The Cloud Effectively For Your Business Needs

Using The Cloud Effectively

Cloud computing offers large and small organizations various benefits, not least of all cost reduction, and Microsoft, believing the cloud to be the future of the company, has been investing heavily in it. Guru Focus reports that those investments are paying off with cloud revenue increasing by 106%. This growth is attributed primarily to small startups that, with the help of the cloud, now have access to tools and resources previously available only to large operations.

Developing Markets

developing-markets

In developing markets, mobile devices are bridging infrastructure gaps with the help of the cloud. Fortune discusses the mobile usage explosion and how companies focusing on mobile development are making their services easily accessible and top of mind. These benefits aren’t only for consumers though; Deutsche Telekom hopes to double their annual business cloud services revenue to approximately $2.24 billion in the next three years with Light Reading, stealing customers from Google and Amazon.

Forbes’ survey reveals that the majority of companies believe their IT will be completely cloud-based by 2020. It’s clear that the focus is no longer on whether or not to use the cloud, but rather how best to employ it. Tom Kelly has some advice for companies trying to use the cloud for best implementation of their strategies with From Fear to Fortune: Lessons from Leveraging the Cloud.

Don’t Fear The Cloud

Though it may seem daunting, Kelly advises that improving your business using the cloud needn’t be feared. Cloud solutions encourage growth, improve profits and provide unique solutions, and though customized solutions can be expensive, inexpensive one-size-fits-all options are often just as beneficial.

One of the very real benefits of the cloud is work shifting. Telework Research Network found that providing employees with flexibility significantly decreased absenteeism while increasing employee loyalty. The availability of accurate, real-time information, and 24/7/365 financial close processes can also be executed with the cloud, providing organizations with more information, more quickly. The knowledge and flexibility this provides gives many small businesses the tools to compete with much larger businesses.

Read The Report

fear-to-fortuneKelly also points to the benefits of efficient data flow and the transformation of the CFO role. Appropriate cloud adoption helps streamline processes while improving communication, and automating day-to-day transactions gives your financial employees the ability to exploit data to maximum benefit.

Global business management through the cloud provides organizations with real-time team collaboration and simplifies complexities such as currency conversion and local tax compliance. Using a cloud-based global accounting system ensures financial transparency and provides the information organizations need to get into the market at the right time and the right place.

It’s unlikely anyone needs to be convinced of the benefits of cloud conversion, but understanding the advantages isn’t always enough. Correct implementation and manipulation are key, and From Fear to Fortune provides you with the how.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Cybersecurity: Managing Systems, Conducting Testing and Investigating Intrusions

Cybersecurity: Managing Systems, Conducting Testing and Investigating Intrusions

Cybersecurity

Last week we discussed Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report and explored the increasing types and levels of cybercrime individuals and organizations are threatened with. This week’s free whitepaper, Cybersecurity: Managing Systems, Conducting Testing, and Investigating Intrusions, teaches practical skills for protecting networks, systems, and data against cyber-attacks, and provides you with the tools to survive today’s hazardous cyber environment.

security-cyberDivided into three parts, Cybersecurity first looks at security concepts for hands-on cybersecurity professionals and business managers, and details a vision for resolving cybersecurity issues by transforming enterprises. Cyber antipatterns are discussed, followed by a detailed look at using the Zackman Framework for enterprise security.

The second part is a hands-on tutorial for cybersecurity techniques, progressing from more basic to very advanced enterprise network security. This section deals with network administration, customizing security tools, vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, and more.

The final section covers important security application domains, such as small businesses, data centers, clouds, and healthcare IT. Cybersecurity for end users, social media and virtual worlds is examined, and detailed direction is provided for installing cybersecurity in small businesses and large enterprises. Cyber warfare and architecture for deterrence closes off the manual.

Thomas J. Mowbray, the Chief Enterprise Architect of The Ohio State University, has provided a user-friendly, hands-on cybersecurity roadmap guaranteed to show you how to update your cybersecurity by correctly managing systems, conducting relevant testing, and investigating intrusions. Valued at $48.99, Cybersecurity will be available free for download for a limited time.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Choosing A Cloud Hosting Provider With Confidence

Choosing A Cloud Hosting Provider With Confidence

Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider

Since cloud computing hit the commercial market, cloud service providers have exploded in popularity, with a huge variety of different services each tailored to its own unique variety of client. For clients, though, this presents a challenge: how to find the right provider? Out of all the numerous options, which one is best for your business?

Of course, in order to answer that question, you first need to know what needs a cloud provider will serve. In other words, what is your unique set of priorities in making the selection? For most people, the primary benefit of cloud computing is that it reduces costs, and so price will be a prime consideration in choosing a service provider.

Free Report

Cloud Hosting Provider - Free Report!

Price, though, cannot be the only consideration. For some firms (those with a large quantity of data), size and efficiency are key. For others, the availability of customized service packages is important.

But the most important priority for any firm, and the one too often overlooked by smaller businesses, is security. Security in cloud computing is a serious matter, as cloud servers cannot be protected through traditional means (i.e. by maintaining direct control over the physical server). In order to choose a cloud provider effectively, managers and CIOs need to understand the security provisions of each provider – and this can be difficult, since so few people have a security background!

The problem is compounded by regulatory demands: if a firm is attacked through the cloud, it may be legally responsible for any damage or data loss that affects customers. For example, if customers’ credit cards are stolen from the cloud, the firm that stored them can be sued for enormous damages, unless adequate security measures were taken from the beginning. Failure to comply with these regulations places a firm at tremendous, and largely unnecessary, risk.

Key Industry Standards

Fortunately, there are a few key industry standards that even a non-expert can easily use to identify which providers meet at least the minimum security needs. SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is the industry standard security protocol that all cloud providers should offer. This protocol involves a complex exchange of private and public keys between the domain and the browser, in what security professionals call the “SSL handshake.” This handshake opens up a secure channel for data transfer, preventing third parties from intercepting, tampering, or eavesdropping.

In order to reach minimum industry standards for security, cloud providers should offer at least 128-bit SSL encryption (ideally 256-bit encryption), along with robust guarantees regarding the physical security of data centers.

If you can follow these guidelines in choosing a cloud provider, you can minimize your risk of data loss, theft, or online attacks, and thus serve your customers better while ensuring regulatory compliance.

Contact CloudTweaks for more information on our consulting services and whitepaper listing opportunities.

By Brent Anderson

Cloud Load Balancing Services – Shared vs Per-Tenant

Cloud Load Balancing Services – Shared vs Per-Tenant

Cloud Load Balancing Services

With hundreds of enterprises migrating to cloud services each day, it looks like the march to cloud everything is inevitable and unstoppable. However, cloud computing is not without its risks.

Cloud computing puts your critical enterprise data and that of your users on the public internet. There is a significant probability that this data could fall into the hands of malicious hackers. One of the biggest concerns are a lack of sufficient standards. High stakes and huge rivalries are preventing the evolution of proper standards in the handling of data and applications.

Taking a Look at Load Balancing

load-balancing

For IT groups, the switch to a virtualized cloud environment – whether private, public, or hybrid – has not eliminated load balancing challenges. Furthermore, the scaled-out nature of cloud application deployment, further emphasizes the need for load balancing solutions. On the cloud, service level assurance (SLA) must be provided to all applications; security cannot be compromised; and operational agility and costs remain fundamental requirements.

To run critical business applications in the cloud, you must provide rich load balancing services, equal in reliability and functionality to legacy environments. This requires addressing a few basic questions.

radware1

  • Service Level Assurance (SLA) – Cloud load balancers must guarantee the availability and performance of each tenant application without it being affected by other applications or tenants. Cloud load balancers must provide enterprise-grade functionality like multi-site deployment, SSL-offloading or URI traffic steering, without one application being affected by another.
  • Operational Efficiency – Cloud services should enable easy provisioning and management of services for multiple tenants and applications, without increasing operational expenditure and risk of human errors.
  • Security – How can you keep business-critical applications secure on the cloud, secluding them from other hosted application failures or security breaches?

For more information of Load Balancing please sign-in with LinkedIn to review this special complementary eGuide.

Venture Capitalists’ Growing Interest In The Internet Of Things

Venture Capitalists’ Growing Interest In The Internet Of Things

Venture Capitalists’ Growing Interest In The Internet Of Things

Investors, even venture capitalists, can be a cautious bunch. While they may have a reputation for throwing money at a sector or industry just to see what sticks, the reality of their approach couldn’t be further from the truth. As we reported back in August last year, venture capitalists have been using big data for a long time to spot their next investment, but now the time to actually invest in the technology they are using appears to be edging closer.

CFO-Invest

As markets for wearables, smart TVs, connected cars and the smart home begin to mature, the venture capitalists are sensing the time for them to take the plunge is ripening. “The connected car and home are as big an opportunity as the connected phone,” said Venky Ganesan, a managing director at Menlo Ventures. “When the iPhone came out in 2007 we had a difficult time seeing all the things that would emerge out of that platform. Similarly, it will be tough to envision and predict all the innovations that are going to emerge out of this platform, but I am sure they will and it will be equally transformative”.

Ganesan’s observations are reinforcement by the reality on the ground. Undoubtedly a shift is taking place; increasingly investors are thinking less about hardware and more about software, infrastructure and security – the primary enablers of the internet of things. As Gartner expects the IoT market to double in the next two years and almost triple in the next three, the challenge for potential investors becomes when to ‘place their bets’, rather than if.

Dominate Fund Managing Partner Ben Parr is less cautious, and believes that it’s not too early to get involved. “I think we probably will make our first investment this year,” Parr said. “We know companies have trouble getting traction and getting prices down … but there will only be a small set of winners and we want to be one of them”.Jason Krikorian, a Partner at investment firm DCM is cautious. “The points of connectivity are proliferating”, he said, “but it’s imperative that all these devices and systems work together in a way that is comprehensive”.

invest

As we’ve discussed before on CloudTweaks, this lack of standards and interoperability is one of the biggest challenges facing the internet of things and wearable tech over the next two years. It means competing formats such as Bluetooth, ZigBee, HomeKit, Iris and SmartThings aren’t likely to converge this year, making investment bets complicated to time. Eventually one may emerge as the ‘winner’, but with the current market that is almost impossible to predict.

What do you think? Are you an investor? Would you put your own money into some of the smaller start-ups and young companies who have a chance to become the leader in Wed 3.0, or is the market still too immature and the risk too great? Let us know in the comments below.

By Daniel Price

CloudTweaks Comics
The Business of Security: Avoiding Risks

The Business of Security: Avoiding Risks

The Business of Security Security is one of those IT concerns that aren’t problematic until disaster strikes. It might be tomorrow, it could be next week or next year. The fact is that poor security leaves businesses wide open for data loss and theft. News outlets just skim the surface, but hackers cost business up…

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences Many people have heard of cloud computing. There is however a tremendous number of people who still cannot differentiate between Public, Private & Hybrid cloud offerings.  Here is an excellent infographic provided by the group at iWeb which goes into greater detail on this subject. Infographic source: iWeb

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us to Do Better The cloud has made our working lives easier, with everything from virtually unlimited email storage to access-from-anywhere enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. It’s no wonder the 2013 cloud computing research IDG survey revealed at least 84 percent of the companies surveyed run at least one cloud-based application.…

Cloud Infographic: The Future of File Storage

Cloud Infographic: The Future of File Storage

 The Future of File Storage A multi-billion dollar market Data storage has been readily increasing for decades. In 1989, an 8MB Macintosh Portable was top of the range; in 2006, the Dell Inspiron 6400 became available, boasting 160GB; and now, we have the ‘Next Generation’ MacBook Pro with 256GB of storage built in. But, of course,…

Do Small Businesses Need Cloud Storage Service?

Do Small Businesses Need Cloud Storage Service?

Cloud Storage Services Not using cloud storage for your business yet? Cloud storage provides small businesses like yours with several advantages. Start using one now and look forward to the following benefits: Easy back-up of files According to Practicalecommerce, it provides small businesses with a way to back up their documents and files. No need…

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War There’s little question that the business world is a competitive place, but probably no area in business truly defines cutthroat quite like cloud computing. At the moment, we are witnessing a heated price war pitting some of the top cloud providers against each other, all in a big way to attract…

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Consequences Of Combining Off Premise Cloud Storage and Corporate Data

Consequences Of Combining Off Premise Cloud Storage and Corporate Data

Off Premise Corporate Data Storage Cloud storage is a broad term. It can encompass anything from on premise solutions, to file storage, disaster recovery and off premise options. To narrow the scope, I’ve dedicated the focus of today’s discussion to the more popular cloud storage services—such as Dropbox, Box, OneDrive—which are also known as hosted,…

5 Considerations You Need To Review Before Investing In Data Analytics

5 Considerations You Need To Review Before Investing In Data Analytics

Review Before Investing In Data Analytics Big data, when handled properly, can lead to big change. Companies in a wide variety of industries are partnering with data analytics companies to increase operational efficiency and make evidence-based business decisions. From Kraft Foods using business intelligence (BI) to cut customer satisfaction analysis time in half, to a…

Cloud Infographic: The Explosive Growth Of The Cloud

Cloud Infographic: The Explosive Growth Of The Cloud

The Explosive Growth Of The Cloud We’ve been covering cloud computing extensively over the past number of years on CloudTweaks and have truly enjoyed watching the adoption and growth of it. Many novices are still trying to wrap their mind around what the cloud it is and what it does, while others such as thought…

Cloud Infographic – Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic – Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery Business downtime can be detrimental without a proper disaster recovery plan in place. Only 6% of businesses that experience downtime without a plan will survive long term. Less than half of all businesses that experience a disaster are likely to reopen their doors. There are many causes of data loss and downtime —…

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Data Governance Data governance, the understanding of the raw data of an organization is an area IT departments have historically viewed as a lose-lose proposition. Not doing anything means organizations run the risk of data loss, data breaches and data anarchy – no control, no oversight – the Wild West with IT is just hoping…

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap You’re out of your mind if you think blocking access to file sharing services is filling a security gap. You’re out of your mind if you think making people jump through hoops like Citrix and VPNs to get at content is secure. You’re out of your mind if you think putting your…

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

The Digital Twin  How smart factories and connected assets in the emerging Industrial IoT era along with the automation of machine learning and advancement of artificial intelligence can dramatically change the manufacturing process and put an end to the dreaded product recalls in the future. In recent news, Samsung Electronics Co. has initiated a global…

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

The Catch 22 The very same year Marc Andreessen famously said that software was eating the world, the Chief Information Officer of the United States was announcing a major Cloud First goal. That was 2011. Five years later, as both the private and public sectors continue to adopt cloud-based software services, we’re interested in this…

Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Customers in the Cloud Global enterprises in every industry are increasingly turning to cloud-based innovators like Salesforce, ServiceNow, WorkDay and Aria, to handle critical systems like billing, IT services, HCM and CRM. One need look no further than Salesforce’s and Amazon’s most recent earnings report, to see this indeed is not a passing fad, but…

3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

3 Keys To Keeping Your Online Data Accessible

Online Data Data storage is often a real headache for businesses. Additionally, the shift to the cloud in response to storage challenges has caused security teams to struggle to reorient, leaving 49 percent of organizations doubting their experts’ ability to adapt. Even so, decision makers should not put off moving from old legacy systems to…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

Box.net, Amazon Cloud Drive The online (or cloud) storage business has always been a really interesting industry. When we started Box in 2005, it was a somewhat untouchable category of technology, perceived to be a commodity service with low margins and little consumer willingness to pay. All three of these factors remain today, but with…

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…