Category Archives: Technology

Cloud Infographic: Small Business Data Backup

Cloud Infographic: Small Business Data Backup

Cloud Infographic: Small Business Data Backup

If your company isn’t utilizing cloud computing technology, you risk falling behind in the marketplace. The cloud makes it easier to manage, share and store content and data, and the figures show that your competition has most likely already moved to the cloud or is about to make the switch.

Gartner predicts global IT spending will exceed $3.7 trillion this year, and the chief analyst at IDC estimates that 90 percent of the growth driving the IT industry from 2013 to 2020 will be driven by mobile, social, cloud and big-data technologies. To meet this rising demand, cloud service providers are stepping up their game to remain competitive—and this puts your business in good shape to take advantage of the cloud.

Implementing cloud infrastructure can reduce many of the costs associated with maintaining your own physical infrastructure and compensating the staff to support it. The cloud also revolutionizes business operations and strategies, especially for small businesses. Continue Reading

Included is an infographic provided courtesy of Intronis which delves into the very important and hot market of backup management and disaster recovery.

INF_WhatToBackup_All_FINAL

How To Take Advantage Of “As-A-Service” To Build Business Value

How To Take Advantage Of “As-A-Service” To Build Business Value

How To Take Advantage Of “As-A-Service” To Build Business Value

For an IT professional whose status was typically defined by the performance efficiencies of the technology in their data center, it can be a difficult reality to accept that the business value users are able to realize from technology has become the new standard by which all of IT is now being measured. It’s not the technology alone that transforms a business. It’s the way the business accesses and uses that technology that is transformative.

Successful organizations today, as a result, are focusing on transforming their businesses not their technology. For example: “The cloud,” while using enhanced technology at its core, is fundamentally business-model based. For businesses to most effectively harness the power of the cloud, they must change their thinking from how to obtain, manage and pay for technology to how to build, expand and strengthen their business.

Focusing on business outcome instead of acquiring technology is leading savvy CIOs and IT pros to embrace the “as-a-service” model. The business case is compelling: Outsourcing aspects of the IT department’s function by purchasing those functions “as a service” can offload repetitive tasks, reduce capital expenditures and increase the time the IT team has to focus on more strategic work. The key is determining which “as-a-service” functions will be of most benefit to your business.

Here are seven ways to build business value with “as-a-service” solutions:

IPO-Cloud-Companies

  • Software as a Service (SaaS): Software providers excel in designing solutions for vertical markets, but the delivery of that software in an as-a-service model can be challenging. By partnering with a cloud provider who can tailor a SaaS solution to the provider’s product and market, software providers are better able to provide consistent, always-up service to their clients without the cost and hassle of creating and maintaining the in-house infrastructure required to do the job. Likewise, for enterprise organizations that want to access software on a subscription basis, finding a software provider that is going to market in this manner means faster implementations and a subscription fee that can spin up or down with required usage.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Need access to additional compute resources from time to time, but not often enough to justify building them in house? Consider an on-demand IaaS offering that is a self-managed, multi-tenant public cloud infrastructure providing the flexible compute resources, memory and storage necessary to complete projects such as test and development, proof of concept, training, bursting or other short-term needs.
  • Data Center-as-a-Service (DCaaS): Data centers are typically purpose-built with a 15- to 20-year lifespan, while hardware refreshes must happen every three to four years. So it’s safe to say that, if a data center is between five and 10 years old, there are going to be some major deficiencies. Outsourcing select data center functions to the cloud, co-locating a data center, or deploying an energy-efficient, high-density computing modular data center may be the answer.
  • Storage as a Service: Legacy storage simply wasn’t designed with today’s uses in mind. That means there are systemic gaps that may leave an organization exposed to new pressures placed upon it by unpredictable workloads and unrestrained data growth. Most organizations can take advantage of cloud storage, particularly if they have legal requirements to retain large volumes of data for years, including unstructured data like pictures, films and radiology studies, which can result in petabytes of storage and prohibitive costs for media and physical storage. Storage-as-a-service offers affordable monthly terms and the ability to easily increase storage service levels as needed.
  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS): DRaaS solutions are prepackaged services that provide a standard DR failover to a cloud environment. Customers can buy these services on a pay-per-use basis with varying rates based on required recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs). Service providers either deploy agents to replicate data and applications or use image-based backups to send data to the cloud.
  • IT Service Desk-as-a-Service: Certain IT functions contribute to the competitive advantage of an organization, but running a service desk is not usually one of them. If outsourcing an IT service desk can cut costs and increase the level of service to end users without sacrificing quality or impacting competitive advantage, it’s clearly something that IT pros should examine for their organization.
  • ITSM – The Mortar in an As-A-Service World: Worried about maintaining control with so many “as-a-service” choices? IT Service Management (ITSM) is a discipline that aligns the delivery of information technology (IT) services with the business at hand. The purpose is to deliver end-to-end services that meet end-user needs. This task has been made more difficult by the introduction of services into the business from providers other than IT, such as cloud services and SaaS, and by the consumerization of service consumption. ITSM is the mortar that holds together the individual components of the new IT delivery model. It’s the solution that maintains order and keeps the reins of control firmly entrenched in the hands of the IT department.

kevinBy Kevin Gruneisen, Logicalis Senior Director Cloud and Data Center Solutions

Kevin has nearly 30 years of experience in the Infrastructure Technology business. His key responsibilities at Logicalis are focused on matching Logicalis’ capabilities with the cloud and data center needs of its customers. Kevin joined Logicalis in 2004 when Logicalis acquired Solution Technology, Inc. He began his career in technology with IBM in 1984. 

Cloud Infographic: Big Data Investments

Cloud Infographic: Big Data Investments

Cloud Infographic: Big Data Investments

We have covered the evolution of Big Data several times over the years and have more recently discussed new areas of interest such as big data in films, advertising and even sports. With the growing interest in this area there is certain to be considerable interest and investments being made. Included as an excellent infographic provided by the team at BigData-Startups which jumps right into the topic of investments.
Big Data Starups Investment Infographic - Big Data means Big Buc

 

Cosplay And LARPing: Bringing All The Excitement Of Cloud Video Gaming To Real Life

Cosplay And LARPing: Bringing All The Excitement Of Cloud Video Gaming To Real Life

Cosplay and LARPing: Bringing All the Excitement of Cloud Video Gaming To Real Life

The mechanics behind why video games in general, and cloud gaming in specific, are so addictive are simple to understand. The ability to interact with a situation completely different than those found in normal life, effectively putting any problems or decisions you have on your plate aside for a time and releasing anger and tension while playing, can be intoxicating.

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(Infographic Source: sayeauillustration.tumblr.com )

What if you could take things a step further? Instead of being forced to interact with your surroundings in only a virtual capacity, what if you incorporate them into real-world events? The excitement and freedom felt while playing video games could easily be heightened by an order of magnitude if put into a scenario where it is acted out physically, as opposed to virtually.

Enter cosplay and LARPing.

Cosplay is the action of dressing up as one of your favorite characters from video games, comic books or movies. LARPing, which stands for live action role playing, is exactly what its name indicates: acting out different scenarios based on popular media in a real-world environment.

Both cosplay and LARPing have been around for quite a while. The first instance of cosplay can be dated back to 1939, from the first World Science Fiction Convention. The first instance of LARPing, a game called Dagorhir, emerged in the 1970s and is still going strong today.

Events

The worlds of both cosplay and LARPing have grown into enormous activities, especially within the last decade with the rise of cloud gaming. Initially, the primary focal points were comic books, movies and television shows. However, as more and more video games began garnering huge followings, cosplay and LARPing events and activities associated with this form of medium began to emerge.

PAX East, one of the premier yearly cloud gaming events, will include a contest this year designed specifically with the cosplayer in mind. Wizard World St. Louis, an event associated with ComicCon, also held cosplay contests this year, with participants receiving prizes in many different categories.

Given that a large amount of preparation and planning has to go into them, LARPing events are usually much more localized. The LARP Alliance provides a complete list of national LARPing events, as well as those broken down by state.

Gear

Participation in both cosplay and LARPing requires the need for special gear. With cosplay, this means a costume mimicking the specific character you are emulating, thus its shortened name from costumed play. These costumes can be hand made, or purchased from a number of different places online.

With LARPing, not only do you need a costume to participate, many times you will also need specialized and safe weapons. For example, Sabertron, a new Kickstarter project, is a foam sword that acts much in the same way as a laser tag weapon, only with a sword instead of a gun.

Conclusion

No longer are we forced to sit behind a computer if we want to take on the roles of the video gaming characters we know and love. Now, with the extreme proliferation and attention these video games enjoy, you can jump into a costume and take your gaming to a whole new level. Do you enjoy cosplay or LARPing? Let us know in the Comments section below!

By Joe Pellicone

Cloud Infographic – Computer Virus Facts And Stats

Cloud Infographic – Computer Virus Facts And Stats

With the recent news of Heartbleed affecting millions of websites security, malware is on the minds of tech consumers more than ever. Being informed about this bug is vitally important for anyone with online accounts. In this infographic by toptenreviews, many important statistics are shown such as the infection rate in the top 10 most infected countries and the infection rate of the top 10 least infected countries. In the United States, 30 percent of households are infected by some form of malware, with viruses and Trojans being the most common types.

Cloud Infographic: Data Security Risk And Prevention

Cloud Infographic: Data Security Risk And Prevention

Cloud Infographic: Data Security Risk And Prevention

Cloud Security Tips

Cloud computing inherits the security issues pertaining in the technologies that it uses, which consists chiefly of the risk of a breach in the integrity or confidentiality of information. One security measure is encrypting stored data, but there are drawbacks with encryption and it does not always protect data.

In cloud services, it is very important that the service provider has the trust of his customer and he does not exploit this in any way. There is no way to be 100% sure of your cloud service providers being trustworthy. There are certain legal issues entangled with cloud security as well, because there are certain laws that cloud service providers should comply with and these laws vary from country to country. Users have no idea or control over where or in what jurisdiction their data is being physically stored over the cloud. Read CloudTweaks Article

Attached is an excellent infographic provided by ContinuityCentral covering security and prevention.

Cyber-Security

Pinup: WalkMe Secures $11 Million Venture Capital Funding

Pinup: WalkMe Secures $11 Million Venture Capital Funding

WalkMe Secures $11 Million in Recent Round of Venture Capital Funding

The aptly-named startup WalkMe is revolutionizing the way customers navigate company websites, and they provide a more effective method for businesses to use to train their employees. Their product makes help menus and FAQs, which can themselves be a headache for users, obsolete by offering a cloud-based platform that provides on-screen guides for site navigation, with step-by-step instructions popping up as text balloons, so users never even have to leave the page when they need help.logo (1)

The quality of their product has earned WalkMe some serious attention from investors. WalkMe secured $11 million in a recent round of financing led by Scale Venture Partners. This surge of funds more than doubles the company’s overall investment total, which, including the recent addition of $11 million, now stands at $17.5 million since WalkMe was founded in 2011. With this money, WalkMe plans to continue to fuel its expansion by adding new, highly skilled employees and reaching out to prospective customers. WalkMe has already worked with big names like Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Black & Decker, and US Foods.

Over the past year, WalkMe has doubled the size of its staff. The $11 million brings with it a new addition to the staff: Rory O’Driscoll, a partner at Scale Venture Partners, will now be a member of the WalkMe Board of Directors. O’Driscoll had this to say about WalkMe: “Great companies start with great products and the best software products need no explanation once you see them. The minute I saw WalkMe, I knew that enterprises would adopt it. [Their product] puts a stake in the heart of the passive, offline FAQ and Help menu and instead, provides a step-by-step guide at the point of interaction.

Dan Adika, CEO of WalkMe, commented on the future of his startup: “We see a considerable growing market demand for technologies that simplify the user experience and allow for increased productivity, higher overall value and lower total cost of ownership. We have big plans for 2014 and beyond, and we have plenty of positions open for smart people who share our passion. We chose Scale Venture Partners because they were excited, not intimidated, by our ambitious vision of changing the way people use software and websites.”

Businesses in the United States collectively spend more than $150 billion annually on employee training. These businesses would be smart to use WalkMe to cut costs and chip away at this $150 billion figure, and many reputable corporations have already done so. WalkMe is another example of a startup that is using cloud computing in an innovative manner to make the business community more efficient as a whole, while making a tidy profit for themselves along the way.

By Adam Ritchie

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

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

Big Data and Financial Services Cloud Banking Insights Series focuses on big data in the financial services industry and whether it is a security threat or actually a massive opportunity. How does big data fit into an overall cloud strategy? Most FI’s have a positive mind-set towards cloud IT consumption as it not only enables…

Lavabit, Edward Snowden and the Legal Battle For Privacy

Lavabit, Edward Snowden and the Legal Battle For Privacy

The Legal Battle For Privacy In early June 2013, Edward Snowden made headlines around the world when he leaked information about the National Security Agency (NSA) collecting the phone records of tens of millions of Americans. It was a dramatic story. Snowden flew to Hong Kong and then Russia to avoid deportation to the US,…

Report: Enterprise Cloud Computing Moves Into Mature Growth Phase

Report: Enterprise Cloud Computing Moves Into Mature Growth Phase

Verizon Cloud Report Enterprises using the cloud, even for mission-critical projects, is no longer new or unusual. It’s now firmly established as a reliable workhorse for an organization and one that can deliver great value and drive transformation. That’s according to a new report from Verizon entitled “State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud 2016.” which…

The Storytelling Machine: Big Content and Big Data

The Storytelling Machine: Big Content and Big Data

Bridging The Gap Between Big Content and Big Data Advances in cloud computing, along with the big data movement, have transformed the business IT landscape. Leveraging the cloud, companies are now afforded on demand capacity and mobile accessibility to their business-critical systems and information. At the same time, the amount of structured and unstructured data…

How Data Science And Machine Learning Is Enabling Cloud Threat Protection

How Data Science And Machine Learning Is Enabling Cloud Threat Protection

Data Science and Machine Learning Security breaches have been consistently rising in the past few years. Just In 2015, companies detected 38 percent more security breaches than in the previous year, according to PwC’s Global State of Information Security Survey 2016. Those breaches are a major expense — an average of $3.79 million per company,…

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 Computing – The Real Story Is About Business Strategy, Not Technology

Cloud Computing – The Real Story Is About Business Strategy, Not Technology

Enabling Business Strategies The cloud is not really the final destination: It’s mid-2015, and it’s clear that the cloud paradigm is here to stay. Its services are growing exponentially and, at this time, it’s a fluid model with no steady state on the horizon. As such, adopting cloud computing has been surprisingly slow and seen more…

Why Small Businesses Need A Business Intelligence Dashboard

Why Small Businesses Need A Business Intelligence Dashboard

The Business Intelligence Dashboard As a small business owner you would certainly know the importance of collecting and analyzing data pertaining to your business and transactions. Business Intelligence dashboards allow not only experts but you also to access information generated by analysis of data through a convenient display. Anyone in the company can have access…

Cloud Computing – The Game Changer

Cloud Computing – The Game Changer

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…

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

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

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions Running a cloud server is no longer the novel trend it once was. Now, the cloud is a necessary data tier that allows employees to access vital company data and maintain productivity from anywhere in the world. But it isn’t a perfect system — security and performance issues can quickly…

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…

Cloud Services Providers – Learning To Keep The Lights On

Cloud Services Providers – Learning To Keep The Lights On

The True Meaning of Availability What is real availability? In our line of work, cloud service providers approach availability from the inside out. And in many cases, some never make it past their own front door given how challenging it is to keep the lights on at home let alone factors that are out of…

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

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

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…

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 Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…