Category Archives: Security

The Dynamic State Of Cloud Computing Monitoring And Evaluation

The Dynamic State Of Cloud Computing Monitoring And Evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation in cloud computing are essential processes. They determine whether a company’s applications on the cloud are effective, safe, and efficient. They also help eliminate failures in cloud computing’s functions, ensuring that business processes are not negatively affected or vulnerable.

So far, several providers have developed different cloud monitoring tools. In many instances, the intention is to create benchmarks for functions. These tools are also utilized to detect bottlenecks in cloud applications. Even then, whether these monitoring applications deliver the desired results to buyers and businesses remains to be seen.

Origin of monitoring and evaluation in cloud computing

Before demystifying contentious aspects of the cloud computing monitoring process, it’s important to look at how things were before. Cloud computing enterprise functions are in the hands of different entities. Because cloud computing requires constant information flow, evaluating and monitoring what works and what doesn’t are critical processes. Since security for the information stored on the cloud is likely sensitive and private for your business, you would want to know if storing it in the cloud could be dangerous or if it’s the best option you have.

Current views of cloud computing monitoring

Unified monitoring – All parameters of the monitoring process are captured by a single application which checks computers, server, applications, storage, virtualization, and general cloud computing.

Model-based monitoring – This is a form of evaluation where models are created across different cloud applications and functions on the basis of a working application. If there is a general glut, disparities are reported to compel a user to effect changes, abort operation, and so on.

Event-driven monitoring – This monitoring approach works around events. For example, when a system goes haywire, the tool will effect a change that will rectify that trouble. Sometimes, such tools can be used to correct errors as they come. This is because when things go wrong in the cloud, the effects can be catastrophic.

Extensible monitoring – This monitoring works on an API platform. It’s also among the most common in the market.

Verdict of monitoring cloud performances and evaluating performance

Monitoring and evaluation for cloud applications have never been more important. They represent the security you have when your organization decides to move operations to the cloud. Sometimes they require more hardware, funds, and expertise. Whereas these processes are still part of a growing sector with so much to improve or develop upon, businesses need to determine the best way to monitor and evaluate their cloud functions. In the long run, this can help them create a stable cloud environment for their organization’s evolution in the cloud.

By Walter Bailey

PaaS – Top 5 Trends Which May Rule This Lustrum

PaaS – Top 5 Trends Which May Rule This Lustrum

The latest buzz in the IT industry is not about iPhone5, but about PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service). The industry is already split into two groups—one shouting for the long life of IaaS and the other cheering for PaaS.

PaaS, with its end-user freedom and facilities, has already won many hearts as a much promising enterprise solution than its forerunner, SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). This fast-growing cloud computing service just requires an enterprise to buy or rent the server, storage, and network. Then, with the solution stack and some virtual tools, the enterprise can easily create or customize its own platform. If we go with the market analysis and prediction, this SaaS is all set to rule the IT world for at least the next five years.

Let’s take a look at how SaaS is going to shape up the coming lustrum.

1. More work equals to more SaaS

The workload in the next five years is not going to slow down. So in all probabilities, management will try to cut off unnecessary expenditures and increase productivity. Only PaaS can ensure the dexterity and competency the IT professionals need to meet the organizational expectations.

2. Public PaaS will take over SMEs

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will be flooded with different extensive public PaaS services. As more service providers will join the market, it is expected that the SMEs will be in a win-win situation and will reap thousands of benefits from the growing market competition. Market researchers say that the subscription price will notice a steep fall.

3. Open source PaaS will rule the cloud world

With the ever-growing workload, the business people will be in need of customizable cloud solutions. Only open source PaaS can provide the middleware on which the big companies will be able to craft their own cloud architecture.

4. Proprietary PaaS will top the demand graph

Big enterprises not only ask for open source platform, but also tight security; hence, it creates a chance that Proprietary PaaS will come to the fore and become more flexible about incorporating more languages, API, or various frameworks. At a glance, it will be a complete solution as a customized stack.

5. PaaS will open a new horizon of Mix & Match

The moment the whole IT industry will jump on embracing PaaS, different demands from different customers will start showing up, leading to a possibility that cloud service providers will be excited to mix and match multiple options without sticking to the conventional methods. ‘Hybriding’ will be the keyword, for sure.

By Sam Fontaine

How Small Businesses Can Optimize Their IT Efficiency And Costs With Cloud Computing

How Small Businesses Can Optimize Their IT Efficiency And Costs With Cloud Computing

Cloud computing services are becoming more popular day by day. As more businesses get onto the platform, the results are different. Some companies complain of lower efficiency and sometimes higher costs in their daily activities. Given that cloud computing has many benefits, adopting it might be a good strategy. Many businesses, especially small ones, don’t know how to optimize their cloud dependence, use, or strategy. This article looks at some of the ways businesses can optimize their operations with cloud functions to meet their needs and boost their cost efficiency.

Reducing server and recurring costs

Many small businesses scale their operations with more server expenses. These servers require scaling to lower the maintenance costs. With a consolidated cloud server, small businesses can take advantage of the lower cost incentives. This is because private cloud servers significantly lower labor, maintenance, and support costs. Moreover, the cloud server utilization increases, optimizing its use and hence, its benefits. This cloud function also extends to optimizing your databases to free up space and scale on efficiency.

Cutting labor costs with staff redistribution

Labor costs, especially those surrounding operations and management, can be high. Businesses need solutions that can help them scale these costs down. With cloud computing solutions, they can redistribute their IT workforce. Instead managing servers, the IT personnel can instead be involved in more strategic roles. With this, a business can free up more resources and increase efficiency by optimizing operations at a lower cost.

Lowering power costs

For some businesses, the utilities’ costs, such as electricity, can be exorbitant. Recent statistics indicate that IT costs make the largest part of the total electricity cost for most businesses. Cloud computing reduces IT energy consumption directly and indirectly. When physical servers are eliminated or consolidated, power consumption decreases. Decommissioning underused servers also cuts the energy needs. This directly cuts the costs of electricity.

Improving security for data and company information

The current business environment differs from how it was a few years ago. Employees are more mobile than they were. Cross-industry migrations, poaching, and talent hunting are higher than ever before. There are also more and more devices and gadgets employees come with in and out of the business premises. The risks of information leak, protocol breach, and others have never been higher. To protect their information, businesses need effective security measures. Under traditional circumstances, the costs are high. Cloud computing helps businesses scale down on the physical security dangers and costs attached. By partly or wholly eliminating the physical interactions, businesses can feel more secure on the cloud while keeping costs low. Cloud computing is a good way for businesses to scale down losses, security breaches, and expenses.

By Gregory Musungu

Cloud Infographic: The Modern Office

Cloud Infographic: The Modern Office

Cloud Infographic: The Modern Office

Freedom from the office and the promise of working from anywhere has been an illusion for many years. However, this illusion now seems to be closer to reality than ever before. Automattic, the hosting company for WordPress.com servers, knows the future is now. They have 123 people that operate like self-employed workers, taking advantage of cloud and mobile apps to communicate across 26 countries and 94 cities. Everyone works from home. 

The global slowdown has put pressure on all aspects of our society and the IT department is no exception. Company-provided mobile devices are also declining in favor of a BYOD (bring your own device) approach…

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microsoft Infographic

Infographic Source: Microsoft

Simple Ways For Businesses To Leverage The Cloud For A Competitive Advantage

Simple Ways For Businesses To Leverage The Cloud For A Competitive Advantage

Cloud computing is one of the best technologies of the century. It allows companies to leverage their computing functions on other company’s servers. When corporations, small businesses, or nonprofit organizations adopt this technology, they get many benefits. The common ones are streamlined costs, efficiency, and security. This article looks at ways businesses can boost their competitive advantage by adopting cloud computing services.

Cutting costs with cloud computing

Cloud computing allows a business to use other company’s hosted software and hardware at a lower price than the one for buying physical hardware and software. The maintenance costs are catered for by the hosting company. In the end, a business is able to benefit from optimized services at low costs, allowing it to increase its revenues. The extra revenues could be used to motivate its workers, finance expansions, and invest in marketing or other activities to boost their advantage in a competitive business environment.

Improving workflows and project management

Cloud computing can be used for project management. Most companies lack a synchronized project management system, in the detriment of their competitive advantage. This is because poor project management results in delays, rework, and higher costs. With a good project management system—provided by cloud computing—businesses can manage projects effectively. They can also communicate changes, monitor performance, and update schedules faster. All these will improve productivity and result in more revenues.

Fostering healthy working relationships and communication

Different expert reports have indicated that telecommuters are more efficient than office workers. Naturally, these workers spend less time in traffic, work at their own pace, and in an environment that motivates them. Cloud computing functions can be adapted to allow workers to telecommute. The revenues of the company will increase because they will spend less on electricity and office space and because its workers will improve their productivity. These will boost the competitive advantage of the business.

Saving valuable business time

Cloud computing can save businesses a lot of the time wasted in meetings because it offers e-mail solutions, online video conferences, voice and video calls. All these can be used instead of physical interactions to save business time. This means employees will spend more time in the work zones, which, in turn, results in better time management and productivity.

By Walter Bailey

How Mobile Cloud Computing Is Set To Change The Telecommunications Ecosystem

How Mobile Cloud Computing Is Set To Change The Telecommunications Ecosystem

Cloud computing has impacted the telecommunications industry across crucial fronts and now is in the process of amply changing its ecosystem. The ecosystem here is broad and spans business models, human behavior and technical issues like the Networks versus the End-user devices, Access points, core networks and the services. Just like in a natural ecosystem, adverse changes in the environment will cause organisms to change traits and behaviors in order to adapt to the change. The telecom world is now experiencing the ‘cloud wave’ and will inevitably have to adapt.

The change will come in many forms that may include;

As telecommunication architectures move towards a more cloud-oriented structure, there will be more demand on self-services. This is even more significant in the mobile telecoms where people are now basically utilizing the cloud as the processing power unit for their mobile devices, turning them into high performance utility tools.

Anne Bouverot, Director General GSMA gives an example of a real time translation service (cloud-based) by NTT DOCOMO in Japan. The need for such in a telecom ecosystem is infinitely vast and any ecosystem that supports the conception and sustenance of such will always thrive. Support may come in from the cloud technology, encouraging open source platforms like the Android system which will in turn enrich the ecosystem with billions of day to day solutions to complex applications courtesy of diverse developers.

As we move from the physical to the virtual, new players in the service sector are coming up to feed this need. Cloud service delivery in the new ecosystem is being offered through three kinds of services: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). These services too are anticipated to evolve with improvements or we could witness an entirely new set of services. This means that more telecom companies are relocating their infrastructure to the cloud as the point of service delivery, and more specifically through IaaS. Others will offer value added services through SaaS.

Telecom companies will also be faced with the options of necessary mergers and or strategic organizational and corporate overhaul. Mergers and partnerships will be necessitated by the need for infrastructure and capital consolidation in order to power such companies’ capabilities to set up and offer cloud services. The ecosystem has also been altered by the entry of new players, those whose entry is directly influenced by strategic business decisions. For example, when Amazon-an internet retail site, decided to invest in cloud services, many in the telecom industry had no idea why they were doing this. But as time progressed, their corporate foresight was continually being unveiled. Since traditional telecom service providers still have a sizeable share of the market, they are integrating both methods to improve and come up with new services that are essential.

We can never forecast enough the game-changing abilities of cloud computing technology but we can always be sure of little surprises (mostly pleasant) along the way. As long as the cloud lives, change in the telecom ecosystem is inevitable.

By John Omwamba

Cloud Infographic: Where Devices End Up

Cloud Infographic: Where Devices End Up

In the modern business world, carrying more than one device is most often a factor of available applications, device capabilities, or personal preferences rather than a solid-walled barrier between work and play life.

A “bring your own device” (BYOD) landscape exists because, over the last decade, the line has increasingly blurred between “business” and “personal” technology usage. BYOD may be defined as a business policy allowing employees to bring personally owned mobile devices to their places of work and use these devices to access privileged company resources such as e-mail, file servers and databases, as well as their own personal applications and data. Understandably, a BYOD world creates some challenges for business owners. Without formal acts of rebellion or revolt, the professional masses have forever reformed the landscape of corporate IT by simply using the available technology that makes sense to them—by bringing their own personal devices into the professional setting.  Continue Reading

Infographic Source: Seagate

What Small Businesses Need To Consider When They Go Cloud

What Small Businesses Need To Consider When They Go Cloud

Many small businesses are heading to the cloud. This is a fact, considering cloud computing companies are some of the fastest growing in the tech world now. Cloud computing offers promise for lower costs, heightened IT efficiency and security. Truth be told, even though the mentioned benefits are valid, cloud computing is not as glamorous as you might think. As a small business, all factors remaining constant, you must understand the ideal way to manage the benefits for optimal performance. Lower costs don’t necessarily mean efficiency. The following tips should get you there the smart way.

Keep your bandwidth efficient

Cloud computing technology runs on the internet. Speed matters. The bandwidth that is offered for whatever product or function your business adds on the cloud should be the most important factor when you select a provider. For example, when you have a small bandwidth yet your small business website is huge, the overall product will be extremely slow.

You have to ensure the bandwidth you are allocated works fast for you. It should be clearly define to ensure that your business runs optimally. Of course there are other factors you should also consider like reliability, outages, support and so forth.

Back up for all data

The world we live in is full of uncertainties. Changes happen every now and then. Some of them are positive while others-negative. When your small business makes a move to the cloud to leverage the opportunities there, you need to have a backup plan for negative eventualities. The backup is twofold. You must have a backup plan businesswise and technically just in case something negative happens in the cloud. Some of the questions you must have answers to at this stage are how you can reclaim you data if something goes wrong (it always does), how long such a lock down would take and if the provider will be available to help you move to another provider and so forth.

Security plans for the future

As you and similar small businesses join the cloud, sooner rather than later, the platform will be compromised. Rather, cloud security will become critical, but vulnerable than it is today. When this happens, what contingencies do you have to deal with this?

Small businesses need to realize that the threats are real and they will come to pass. You need to work closely with your cloud solution provider to ensure that any security breach or threat is dealt with immediately its detected.

Be realistic about expectations

When most small businesses shift their business model to the cloud, pomp is what drives them. They imagine they can kill all birds with one stone. That all problems are solved, lower operation costs, huge profits and so forth. Whereas this is attainable, the opposite could be true. Your business could be wiped out in a day if something goes wrong. Small businesses need to create a plan to manage expectations, model growth and avert risks each time when their businesses are in the cloud. This can really help them optimize their cloud experience.

By Walter Bailey

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