Category Archives: Security

Would You Like ‘Gravy’ With Your Cloud Monitoring?

Would You Like ‘Gravy’ With Your Cloud Monitoring?

Would You Like ‘Gravy’ With Your Cloud Monitoring?

The Hyperlocal antidote to FOLO (the fear of losing out)

CopperEgg and GravyA timely addition to the acronym-laden family tree of modern language, right up there with YOLO (you only live once), and many evolutionary steps beyond the great-grandparents OMG and ROTFL, comes the wonderful term FOLO. This stands for “fear of losing out,” and quite concisely reflects the attitude of many millions of busy and connected people of all ages, for whom 24/7 access to Internet-based information remains a necessity – multidimensional and ever-expanding, with data both incoming and outgoing across a range of social media platforms. For these types of people there exists an appetite for knowledge and awareness that cannot be satiated.

The need to know is a very human one, and hence FOLO, the fear of losing out, of not knowing about every activity or item of knowledge that is out there, is a natural outcome. This desire, at least on the entertainment and leisure side is being answered by increasingly sophisticated hyperlocal mobile apps such as Gravy, which shows its customers every event happening nearby, and which can find solutions for their entertainment wanderlust by using their phone’s geolocation features combined with a smart recommendation algorithm.

Gravy is an aggregator, pulling together more than 1 million events per day from over 100 sources, providing nationwide coverage and presenting them to the viewer in a highly personalized, intuitive and easy-to-use palette. During its infancy, the company was called timeRAZOR. Its dynamic collection of events and opportunities included personalized events such as 15-minute beauty consultations in New York City for its client L’Oreal, who wished to generate greater awareness of its new Vichy beauty line by inviting people to come in and try it out, on their own schedule. Hyperlocal mobile apps such as Gravy thus represent an even fresher approach to the personalization of customer experience, and consequently are an excellent opportunity for retailers and sellers of any type of product or experience to get right in front of individual consumers with tailored suggestions and special promotions.

The data for all these events and opportunities, stored on a number of virtual servers and cloud-based databases, needed a highly dynamic approach to monitoring – one that can spin up rapidly to match demand without manual onboarding of servers, which is why, after assessing several providers, Gravy’s Cloud Hosting Administrator, Ed Ritter, turned to Austin, Texas based CopperEgg to manage the demand.

The behind-the-scenes work provided by CopperEgg represents a type of dynamic and specialized support that is essential for any organization contemplating a move to the cloud, and/or who is looking to partner up with a managed resource provider (MSP) to offload the heavy lifting of data management. There exist a great number of MSPs across the globe who are ready to host, of course, but as CopperEgg’s VP of Customer Service, Mike Raab points out, few major cloud providers offer a whole package. “Niche specialists such as CopperEgg fit into the ecosystem by providing software-as-a-service (SaaS) amenities such as cloud sizing, used by the MSP on behalf of a customer, as well as high resolution Hybrid and Cloud performance monitoring.”

For Ed Ritter’s timeRAZOR/Gravy configuration, CopperEgg’s integration with Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) allowed for the gathering of granular data with real‐time monitoring, and required a simple and quick setup procedure. This allows Ritter to monitor multiple servers at the same time and drill down to high-resolution details of Processes, Disk IO, CPU and Network stats, from the same interface, while knowing he can receive health reports and alerts via email.

The Gravy interface represents a customizable user experience, one which reacts in real time both to the demands of its users as well as to the information being supplied by its clients, either by widget or API. It also represents the complexity of cloud-based data management by highlighting the dynamic, second-by-second nature of information demand – something that needs to be factored in to any cloud strategy: awareness, diagnostics and system alerts – these are subsets that may best be left to niche players such as CopperEgg.

CopperEgg offers a free trial of their monitoring and optimization solutions here.

By Steve Prentice

Post Sponsored By CopperEgg

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.

Cloud-Tweaks-Hyper-V-Disaster-Recovery (1)There are many causes of data loss and downtime — UPS battery failure, human error, exceeding UPS capacity, cyber attacks, and IT equipment failure, just to name a few — and many of these factors cannot be prevented. In order to be prepared, businesses must implement a disaster recovery plan by performing a business impact and risk analysis, and then putting solutions into place to manage these risks.

This helps to guarantee that your data is safe and your customers can continue shopping in the event of a disaster.

Provided is an infographic courtesy of SingleHop.

disaster-recovery-infographic

Infographic Source: SingleHop

Cloud Infographic: Application Performance Monitoring

Cloud Infographic: Application Performance Monitoring

Cloud Infographic: Application Performance Monitoring

CopperEgg surveyed 150 IT professionals to check on the state of Application Performance Monitoring today. Results proved that apps are not being monitored due to expense, time, and difficulty. Also, it appears end-to-end and unified coverage are some of the main areas lacking. Check out more of our survey results in the Infographic below.

Infographic-1-App-Perf-Monitoring-Survey-Infographic-v3

Infographic Source: Copperegg

By Steve Prentice

Six Things You Didn’t Know About Cloud-Currency

Six Things You Didn’t Know About Cloud-Currency

Six Things You Didn’t Know about Cloud-Currency

50-facts-about-bitcoin-infographic

News broke recently about a massive securities failure at leading Bitcoin currency exchange MtGox. Formerly the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, MtGox filed for banckruptcy following a combination of inexperience, gross mismanagement and criminal negligence that saw hackers steal $460 million from its accounts.

With the future of cloud-based crypto-currencies now firmly under the spotlight, we take the opportunity to look back at six little known facts about the online phenomenon.

1. Illegal

While the popularity of Bitcoin has been rocketing in the West, the attraction of an online digital currency wasn’t so attractive to lawmakers in Thailand. In July 2013 the South-East Asian country became the first jurisdiction in the world to ban it, citing a lack of regulation and capital control.

2. Mining in the Cloud

‘Mining’ is the term given to receiving Bitcoins as payment for allowing your computer’s processing power to be used to maintain the company’s software. Cloud mining is a new concept that allows users to form groups and complete all their mining in the cloud via massive data centres, rather than using their own equipment. This removes frequent mining issues such as connectivity problems, electricity consumption and hosting difficulties.

3. Bitcoins vs Gold

Not many things in the world are worth more than gold, but Bitcoin achieved this distinction in November 2013 when a single unit of the crypto-currency was briefly more valuable than an ounce of the precious metal.

4. 21,000,000

Bitcoins are more akin to a finite commodity than a currency. Only 21 million Bitcoins are ever going to be made available, leading to a high risk of deflation if the cloud-based money becomes widely adopted as a payment method. Although the release of Bitcoins is designed to continue for a long time, in practical terms the supply will start dwindle rapidly around 2028.

5. Satoshi Nakamoto

Purportedly the founder of Bitcoin – no one knows who he is, his nationality, or if ‘he’ is actually a group of people. Satoshi and his group have had no involvement with the currency since 2010 – yet are believed to be owners of more than 1 million Bitcoins, an amount equivalent to 1.1 billion USD.

6. One of Many

Although it is the most well-known, Bitcoin is not the only crypto-currency available. Competitors include Dogecoin, Litecoin and Namecoin, and each have alternative benefits with different operational methods.

What do you think is the future of cloud-based currencies? Is crypto-money here to stay, or is it a passing fad with no real value? Let us know in the comments below…

By Daniel Price

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

CompTIA: Cloud Services Gaining Traction For Unified Communications

CompTIA: Cloud Services Gaining Traction For Unified Communications

CompTIA: Cloud Services Gaining Traction for Unified Communications

The proliferation of cloud solutions has motivated many companies to integrate cloud-based unified communications into their technology suites; in addition to rapid update capabilities, cloud solutions for unified communications offer simplified scalability options while reducing overall information technology redundancies.

comptia

According to a new study from CompTIA entitled “Trends in Workflow Automation and Communications,” real-time cloud-computing video and voice systems are gaining considerable traction among organizations in the United States. Although experts attribute the change to such factors as cost and vast improvements in cloud services, they also note that companies appreciate the availability of such solutions for mobile devices. CompTIA points out that the anywhere, anytime capabilities offered by mobile devices makes them invaluable for managing all functions of business, including unified communications.

The study queried 500 firms about their overall communications objectives and strategies. More than 60 percent of participants listed cost reduction as their major priority, but nearly the same number of firms also seek improved staff productivity and enhanced customer engagement as critical goals. Approximately 50 percent of firms hope to achieve better collaborative capabilities and superior business metrics. While cloud-based solutions offer all of these benefits, they only deliver these advantages if employees can be convinced to utilize them.

Among the 500 firms surveyed by CompTIA, here are the top priorities:

• Reduce costs (61 percent of companies)
• Improvement engagement with customers (59 percent)
• Improve employee productivity (57 percent)
• Improve collaboration ability (49 percent)
• Improve business metrics (48 percent)

Seth Robinson, the director of technology analysis at CompTIA, recommends that cloud providers consider offering education to entire workforces rather than just technology and implementation team members.

Descriptions of capabilities and features should be tailored to specific job roles and specific devices, whether it’s a laptop, smartphone or tablet,” he said, adding that employees often revert to more familiar means of communication because they feel uncomfortable with newer, less familiar options.

Without utilization of unified communications tools available via the cloud, companies that make investments in such solutions fail to realize the full potential of this technology. By focusing on education, cloud vendors and providers gain a valuable opportunity to win over a much larger number of a company’s employees. This type of buy-in could lead the way for the adoption of additional cloud and infrastructure services.

By Mary Elizabeth

3 Missing Cloud Implementations In Mobile Technology

3 Missing Cloud Implementations In Mobile Technology

3 Missing Cloud Implementations In Mobile Technology

I like the mobile technology that surrounds us. I’ve gotten to the point where I wouldn’t function to the same level without my phone, and I don’t even think that’s a bad thing – hey, if a couple of years ago we could have carried our desktop PCs around with us, I bet everybody would’ve jumped at the opportunity. In previous articles, I have talked about how much the mobile industry has advanced by implementing cloud computing. While this is definitely true, it’s still quite a long way from being perfect. Here’s what is left to be introduced, in my opinion:

Backing up app data. In the past few months I went through a couple of Android phones. Unlike the older iPhones, where you had to manually install every app on your phone after going through a software update or switching your phone, this time it was a lot easier: I just had to sign in with my Google account and the apps I had on the previous installation started to pour in from the cloud. The only way I would improve on this would be if all of my app data synced as well – and apps have started to do this by syncing your account with the cloud. However, we’re not there yet, and for a ton of apps you simply lose all of your data.

A proper file management system. And I’m not talking about the files on your phone. I want the stuff from Minority Report, a system where you just “throw” files from one screen to the other. This point is beginning to be true, though, as there are some apps that are already available which kind of do this. But I’d like a more in-depth implementation into the software!

Sci-fi

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Better yet, better PC integration. And I don’t mean just file management. I’m waiting for a time when your phone will become an extension of your computer, a unified solution which makes your mobile gadget a small extension of your display. This would be easily achievable with cloud computing, and it would make life so easy – got to go somewhere? Grab your phone and don’t even stop what you’re doing on your computer.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is this: we’ve come very far until now in terms of mobile computing, and most of that progress has been due to the cloud. In my opinion, we’re just three steps away from living the way ‘80s and ‘90s Sci-Fi envisioned us, and I think we only need a bit more time to get there.

By Andrei Maguleanu

Federal Agencies Moving To The Cloud: Bellwether Report

Federal Agencies Moving To The Cloud: Bellwether Report

Federal Agencies moving to the Cloud: Bellwether report shares Feds’ progress and collective wisdom.

In December 2010, the U.S. Government’s Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra issued a 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology Management, designed to streamline and modernize the Government’s use of IT, primarily by shifting three “must-move” services to the cloud within 18 months. Now, more than three years later, a comprehensive report has been released by the Government IT Analysis organization MeriTalk which reviews the progress being made by the agencies who were able to comply with the mandate.

Report chart

The report entitled Cloud First Consumer Guide, provides valuable insight from 15 federal agency IT heads, each of whom has had to analyze various cloud deployment approaches, work with a variety of cloud service providers, and assess the pros, cons, costs and benefits of large-scale migration to the cloud, on behalf of the American taxpayer.

The report contains some highly valuable insights, both positive and negative, but with an overall conclusion from all agency heads that moving to the cloud makes sense.

Some of the problems highlighted in the report focus on “soured relationships” with vendors as well as ever-present cash flow and budgeting challenges, which were exacerbated by sequestration and government agency shutdowns, both threatened and real.

Skepticism and Discovery

Skepticism as to actual cost savings was a recurrent theme among many agencies at the start of the project, but many clear examples of tangible improvements were later recorded, whether the migration focused solely on email management, as was the case with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), or more complex Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) migration, as performed by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board (RATB). Agency heads were able to identify benefits in both cost savings and cost avoidance.

The agencies discovered that cloud migration was not merely a cost-saving opportunity, but that there was significant opportunity for innovation, both in terms of deployment as well as the economics of maintenance. As MeriTalk puts it, “cloud delivered cost savings plus a new level of agility in meeting mission demands,” specifically in areas such as reliability, accountability, mission focus and flexibility. Interesting developments in this area included NASA, who opted for cloud-based disaster recovery options to “geographically expand its resilience without paying for independent infrastructure,” and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which saw a benefit in using a “pay-as-you-go model” in place of a more traditional investment-return scheme.

Making things meaningfully simple.

One of the greatest learning opportunities from the Cloud First report comes from the agencies’ approach to implementation and vendor selection. As the report states, “most Federal decision makers aren’t looking for complex – they are looking for meaningfully simple.” From this MeriTalk was able to categorize Cloud First offerings into five groups: Cloud Company, Cloud Offering, Cloud Broker, Specialty Vendors, and Systems Integrators.

Ultimately, the report delivers some sound takeaways for companies of any size considering a similar migration to the cloud, as delivered by those agencies who have already taken the plunge. Firstly, you must define your objectives beyond simple compliance with a mandate. Secondly, do the math – plan and budget thoroughly. Third, perform a reality check on your business case and your project plan. Fourth, take a more hands-on approach to managing suppliers and procurers. And fifth, expect challenges along the way.

Steve-o'keeffe

Steve O’Keeffe, founder of MeriTalk, hails the results of the plan to date as a great step forward in both the sharing of collective wisdom and the realization of significant cost savings for the many branches of the US Government. “The Government has 777 supply chains,” he says, “and cloud provides an opportunity to break up some of the silos and their inefficiencies.” He points to the fact that $80 billion is spent annually on federal IT infrastructure, with 70% of this spent just to maintain legacy systems. A move to SaaS offers an opportunity to streamline processes significantly.

Similarly, the prospect of increased transparency in the knowledge-sharing sphere is starting to become more appealing to the country’s various agencies. “None of us is as smart as all of us,” O’Keeffe states, “and mutual access to information, suppliers and best practices allows the various agencies to make better use of every tax dollar.”

Ultimately, as O’Keeffe points out, the US Government represents the largest customer in the world for almost every product and service imaginable. The report concludes that migration to the cloud is a worthwhile endeavor for Government organizations. The challenges encountered during the migration are matched and exceeded by the gains achieved, and ultimately, the trail blazed by the agencies who participated in this undertaking may actually help streamline the process for organizations that choose to follow, in both public and private sectors around the world.

By Steve Prentice

CloudTweaks Comics
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…

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…

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter The city of the future is impeccably documented. Sensors are used to measure air quality, traffic patterns, and crowd movement. Emerging neighborhoods are quickly recognized, public safety threats are found via social networks, and emergencies are dealt with quicklier. Crowdsourcing reduces commuting times, provides people with better transportation…

15 Cloud Data Performance Monitoring Companies

15 Cloud Data Performance Monitoring Companies

Cloud Data Performance Monitoring Companies (Updated: Originally Published Feb 9th, 2015) We have decided to put together a small list of some of our favorite cloud performance monitoring services. In this day and age it is extremely important to stay on top of critical issues as they arise. These services will accompany you in monitoring…

Cloud Computing Myths That SMBs Should Know

Cloud Computing Myths That SMBs Should Know

Cloud Computing and SMBs Cloud Computing is the hottest issue among IT intellects of Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs). Like any other computer-orientated technology, Cloud Computing has some misconceptions and myths that often kick-start arguments among the two opposing groups: Cloud Supporters and Cloud Opponents. Both of these groups have their own ideology and reasons…

How Your Startup Can Benefit From Cloud Computing And Growth Hacking

How Your Startup Can Benefit From Cloud Computing And Growth Hacking

Ambitious Startups An oft-quoted statistic, 50% of new businesses fail within five years. And the culling of startups is even more dramatic, with an estimated nine out of ten folding. But to quote Steve Jobs, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” So while…

Cloud Infographic – The Future (IoT)

Cloud Infographic – The Future (IoT)

The Future (IoT) By the year 2020, it is being predicted that 40 to 80 billion connected devices will be in use. The Internet of Things or IoT will transform your business and home in many truly unbelievable ways. The types of products and services that we can expect to see in the next decade…

Explosive Growth Of Data-Driven Marketing

Explosive Growth Of Data-Driven Marketing

Data-Driven Marketing There is an absolute endless amount of data that is being accumulated, dissected, analyzed with the important bits extracted and used for a number of purposes. With the amount of data in the world has already reached into multiple zettabytes annually. A Zettabyte is one million petabytes or one thousand exabytes. With data…

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most Cloud computing is rapidly revolutionizing the way we do business. Instead of being a blurry buzzword, it has become a facet of everyday life. Most people may not quite understand how the cloud works, but electricity is quite difficult to fathom as well. Anyway, regardless of…

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…

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…

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Five Requirements for Supporting a Connected Workforce It used to be that enterprises dictated how workers spent their day: stuck in a cubicle, tied to an enterprise-mandated computer, an enterprise-mandated desk phone with mysterious buttons, and perhaps an enterprise-mandated mobile phone if they traveled. All that is history. Today, a modern workforce is dictating how…

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…

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

There is a Difference – So Stop Comparing We are all familiar with the old saying “That’s like comparing apples to oranges” and though we learned this lesson during our early years we somehow seem to discount this idiom when discussing the Cloud. Specifically, IT buyers often feel justified when comparing the cost of a…

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Paying Attention To Data Security Your biggest data security threat could be sitting next to you… Data security is a big concern for businesses. The repercussions of a data security breach ranges from embarrassment, to costly lawsuits and clean-up jobs – particularly when confidential client information is involved. But although more and more businesses are…

What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

What the Dyn DDoS Attacks Taught Us About Cloud-Only EFSS

DDoS Attacks October 21st, 2016 went into the annals of Internet history for the large scale Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that made popular Internet properties like Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify and Box inaccessible to many users in the US. The DDoS attack happened in three waves targeting DNS service provider Dyn, resulting in a total of about…

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? Find Out

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? Find Out

ERP Deployment You know how ERP deployment can improve processes within your supply chain, and the things to keep in mind when implementing an ERP system. But do you know if cloud-based or on-premise ERP deployment is better for your company or industry? While cloud computing is becoming more and more popular, it is worth…

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Password Challenges  Simple passwords are no longer safe to use online. John Barco, vice president of Global Product Marketing at ForgeRock, explains why it’s time the industry embraced more advanced identity-centric solutions that improve the customer experience while also providing stronger security. Since the beginning of logins, consumers have used a simple username and password to…

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises: It’s About More Than Just Dollars

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises: It’s About More Than Just Dollars

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises The surface costs might give you pause, but the cost of diminishing your differentiators is far greater. Will a shift to the cloud save you money? Potential savings are historically the main business driver cited when companies move to the cloud, but it shouldn’t be viewed as a cost-saving exercise. There…