Category Archives: Technology

The Hyperconnectivity Enabled By The Internet of Things

The Hyperconnectivity Enabled By The Internet of Things

Many pundits and security researchers have focused on the security threats posed by the hyperconnectivity enabled by the Internet of Things. The high profile hack of a Jeep Cherokee by security researchers, who were able to take control of the steering, brakes and other critical functions by exploiting a vulnerability in the infotainment system, is just the latest example.

While some CIOs and IT security folks might feel overwhelmed by the security challenges posed by all of these IoT devices connecting to their network, Earl Perkins, research vice president at Gartner, has some advice: “Don’t despair.”

Perkins wrote in a blog post that most IoT security is not esoteric, it is basic IT or operational technology security. “So before too much panic sets in, know that many of the practices, technologies and skills that have been developed over decades are still applicable to securing the IoT,” he observed.

Read Full Article At FierceMobileIT

Why Your Cloud Project Needs A Strong PMO

Why Your Cloud Project Needs A Strong PMO

Cloud Project Needs A Strong PMO

Cloud projects are highly complex. Without a strong project management office, they have a tendency to go off track. As enterprises in all verticals look to modernize application and infrastructure stacks, Project Management Offices (PMO) will de-risk the process and help organizations get to where they want to be on-time and on-budget.

PMO is the Central Brain

PMO

(Image Source: Pinterest)

While the project managers in some enterprises are responsible for planning and meetings, there is often far greater success when project managers are responsible for meeting a project’s core objectives and empowered to make important decisions. Instead of living on the sidelines of a project as facilitators, they are the central brain for ensuring the strategy is executed. They know what is happening on each level of the project, from the status of an engineer’s tickets to understanding the CEO’s vision for the next three years.

Successful project managers for cloud projects should be experienced technologists with PM skills. This gives them a place of authority and allows them to drive the discussion around planning with engineers and business leaders alike.

PMs are normally the first to spot when strategy and execution diverge. After the initial planning phase of a project, CTOs are typically not involved in execution day-to-day. PMs fill the gap and report directly to CTOs and line of business directors. When engineers go off-plan, the PM has the authority to say “no” — and their knowledge of the full plan allows them to back up their case.

Similarly, when business leaders make the case for the engineers to work on a new project, PMs can articulate exactly what the impact of such a decision would be. Because they know the backlog, they can assess what other high-priority items would get pushed back, how this would affect delivery timelines and budgets, and make a business case for either maintaining the current plan or changing it.

Unite 30,000 Feet + Ground Level

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Depending on complexity or scale, cloud plans can take time to execute fully. During this time, strategy can changes. Engineering staff can change. New lines of business can launch.

All too often, there are business leaders operating at 30,000 feet and engineering teams at ground level, and “weak” project managers running in between them. Engineers see a bulleted list of strategies that have little impact on their tickets, and business leaders see a list of in-progress features with unclear ties back to their vision.

Because PMs take part in daily meetings or other interactions, they can answer detailed questions, like, “How many VPCs do we have?” or “How long will it take to install Alert Logic?” PMs then absorb high-level priority discussions and help technical leaders set priorities.

Focus Engineering Time

When a strong PMO is not in place on a cloud project, engineers are often the ones who suffer most. Frequently, it means an overload of tickets for unrelated projects in multiple lines of business, which lowers efficiency and increases dissatisfaction.

Strong PMs set the right priorities and give the business context for engineers. They may even choose to focus certain engineers on certain lines of business to increase their efficiency as well as give engineers the opportunity to build depth while giving them sanity. PMs may also help spot gaps in engineering talent, advise their CTO accordingly and help hire the right engineer(s).

Control Cost

Engineers should not have to worry about how much an instance costs; they should be busy implementing the best technology solution. CTOs should worry about cost, but they cannot and should not get involved in every decision about instance size, backup frequency, dedicated storage, etc. PMs fill the gap.

PMs should understand their cloud platform’s cost structure backwards and forwards. They should be able to balance cost with risk, and know when to escalate a decision or let an engineer choose. They can even be accountable to the CFO’s office to report daily, weekly, or monthly costs.

Mitigate Risk

No matter how much planning happens, the journey to the cloud can be unpredictable. Unforeseen issues and roadblocks can present themselves in any complex undertaking – especially when organizations are new to a paradigm-shifting technology like the public cloud.

PMs identify risks through a big picture lens of strategy, planning and execution. This enables them to proactively identify risks before they happen and put plans in place to address them. PMs also ensure issues get the right level of escalation and visibility, and help come up with the right solution.

Project managers not only act as a single point of contact for both the engineers and the management team, but they also act as a single point of accountability. They are experts at communicating bad news because they can account for why it happened, articulate the exact effects of the failure, and present a plan for preventing future mistakes.

This works both ways. PMs may take flak when business-level strategy changes, and they may be at the front lines of manager frustration when downtime happens. In both cases, they remain focused on the overall success of the project rather than the blame game, and are close enough to the ground to take measurable steps to ensure failure does not happen again.

If you are about to kick off a new cloud project or are struggling to keep your current cloud on track, create a PMO team or outsource cloud orchestration. This team will be worth their weight in gold as your infrastructure scales and grows more complex.

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By Vinny Hu, Sr. Director of Services, Logicworks

Vinny is responsible for client services and service delivery, working to make Logicworks an extension of our clients’ technology teams. Prior to joining Logicworks in 2013, Vinny founded an eSports startup before becoming a Vice President during nine years at Goldman Sachs. Vinny holds a BEng from the University of Manchester.

10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups

10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups

10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups

Traditionally actors headed for Hollywood while techies made a beeline for Silicon Valley. But times are changing, and with technological job opportunities expanding (Infographic), new hotspots are emerging that offer fantastic opportunities for tech jobs and startup companies in the industry.

ZipRecruiter, an online recruitment and job finder business, has identified the top ten cities that are poised to become the new tech capitals of various US states. They tracked hiring patterns, and analyzed the various metropolitan areas that currently show positive employment growth and appear to be on the verge of a boom in the tech industry.

silicon-valley

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

They also identified common factors these cities share including:

  • A cost of living that is lower than usual, and therefore affordable
  • Reputable colleges and universities that provide an entry level workforce continuously, and also offer good resources for research

Additionally, the company reports that the tech industry as a whole is revitalizing economies that were previously depressed essentially refocusing what has been referred to as the Rust Belt at the forefront of the American economy.

One of the top ten tech cities is Indianapolis, and today we spoke to two Indy-based startups to get an indication of how successful they have been. We also tracked the top tech cities listed by ZipRecruiter, to see which tech jobs are on offer.

Top Ten Tech Cities and Their Top Five Tech Jobs

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Business is booming in these ten cities:

1. Austin – Round Rock, Texas, known as “Silicon Hills”, where companies including Google, Facebook, and eBay are currently offering more than 50,000 tech positions for Java developers, development analysts, technical writers, software engineers, and network administrators.

2. Raleigh – Cary, North Carolina, in the so-called research triangle where companies are looking primarily for infrastructure architects, design engineers, tooling engineers, Java developers, and SQL developers.

3. Provo – Orem, Utah, where many software companies operate and which is a pilot location for Google Fiber. There are currently about 8,570 jobs available in IT, the top one offering positions in technical support, and as Python developers, field technicians, software engineers, and net developers.

4. Fort Collins – Loveland, Colorado, that is home to computer companies including Hewlett Packard and Intel. Fort Collins’ top five tech jobs are software QA, SQL server database developer, application software developer, test engineer, and lead systems programmer.

5. Hartford (West and East Hartford), Connecticut, where the top tech jobs are applications engineer, systems analyst, infrastructure engineer, Java developer, and data architect.

6. Indianapolis – Carmel, Indiana, that boasts a high quality of life coupled with a low cost of living, and has recently attracted numerous tech companies to the area. Top tech jobs are available for senior Java developers, infrastructure architects, Java developers, operations managers, and net developers. Startups are more varied (see below).

7. Boise City – Nampa, Idaho, that currently has about 8,180 IT jobs available, the top five being positions for application engineers, firmware engineers, software engineers, mobile software developers, and net software engineers.

8. Manchester – Nashua, New Hampshire, which seems to have an increasing number of tech jobs available. The top five here are for UI software engineers, systems architects, Java developers, senior IT project managers, and sharepoint administrators.

9. Nashville – Davidson – Murfreesboro – Franklin, Tennessee, which while number nine on the list, has more than 20,000 tech jobs available right now. The top five are for senior programmer analysts, information security engineers, systems administrators, IT managers, and iOS developers.

10. Eugene – Springfield, Oregon, known as the Silicon Forest because they manufacture a great deal of tech hardware and they emphasize clean, renewable technologies.

Indy Tech Startups

The two startups interviewed by CloudTweaks were Formstack, an Indy business that provides data capture solutions, and Roust Community, a social network that connects like-minded people.

Formstack started out nearly a decade ago, in 2006, and has subsequently become very involved within the Indy tech community, recognizing the importance of giving back to the city in which they are currently based after relocating from San Francisco.

The company has subsequently experienced a 110 percent increase in new revenue over the last year, and it expects to see a further 80 percent year-over-year revenue growth in 2015. This illustrates how a successful startup can – and has – helped the Indy community develop, and how it is operating on what has become one of the top ten havens for tech startups.

An advantage of headquartering out of Indy, says Ade Olonoh, (Founder of Formstack), is that the city has the ability to “bring in members from all over the world, but still help increase the overall revenue of the city and have an impact on our city’s economy.”

form-stack-ade-olonohRoust Community, created by Mark LaFay to move dialogue off Facebook and provide real value for those wanting “good conversation” relating to polarizing topics including politics, religion and social issues, also has it’s heart and soul in Indianapolis. “Indiana continues to become not only the crossroads of America, but also a growing technology metropolis,” says LaFay.

Certainly these are two startups that are doing their best to nurture talent within their own fast developing tech communities.

By Penny Swift

The Growth Of Cloud Based Phone Systems

The Growth Of Cloud Based Phone Systems

Cloud Based Phone Systems

Cloud based phone systems allow the use of the internet for making and receiving calls and with the growth in cloud computing and cloud services these systems are gaining popularity. With cloud phone system integration with Office 356, the significant savings available are now more accessible. RingCentral Office’s integration with Microsoft Office 365 blends the cloud business phone system with productivity work environments, bridging the divide between communication and throughput. Users will be able to click-to-call numbers within the Office 365 interface, and call both internally and externally using a corporate directory. Online video meetings and audio conferences can be established and will automatically appear in the Office 365 calendar.

Why Cloud Calling

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Cloud based phone systems provide a host of benefits, some similar to other advantages in the cloud environment, and others unique to telephony:

  • Amalgamated Communications – with seamless integration between devices, making and answering calls can be directed to whichever device is accessible in the moment, be it mobile, handset, tablet, or PC. You can even check your voicemail from your email inbox.
  • Cost Reduction – as with many other cloud applications, the cost benefits of cloud calling are notable. No PBX system is required, no copper wiring, and hand-in-hand, the only maintenance necessary is of the actual devices used for calling.
  • Management – cloud phone systems can be managed through a web browser from any location, and handling rules, users, and remote details can be changed or updated as. Billing can also be accurately monitored, with all costs specified and reports available for drilling down into the finer details.
  • Feature-rich – small and medium businesses now have access to a host of communication features often out of reach through standard telephony systems. Call diverting, call logs, conference calling, and auto attendant are standard features of most cloud based phone systems.

Implementing Cloud Calling

BYOD

Installing these systems is a hassle-free and inexpensive process. There are a number of cloud communication phone services from providers such as Grasshopper, 8×8, Vonage, RingCentral and Thinkingphones.  Many promise specialist implementation for smooth transitions for both local and remote employees using existing IP phones or rented devices, and PCs and smartphones can be connected to their service applications. Employees no longer need personal and business devices, but can literally bring their own devices to work to be integrated into the corporate system. Many providers are offering advanced cloud based phone systems with message management, call forwarding, voicemail, and both traditional-styled phones as well as mobile phone connection. Benefits to small businesses include the professional appearance created, lowered cost, and a blend of flexible, mobile, and productive features.

Call Revolution And Growth Hacking

Though social media, email, and text interactions are popular methods of communication today, a large percentage of the world still relies on and prefers telephonic communication. Knowing when and how to reach your audience is as important as your infrastructure. While stats show a greater answer rate late at night, the wise man understands that this isn’t the time to offer new telephone services, though it might produce higher sales of death insurances.

ThinkingPhones, an innovator in developing mobile-enabled, analytics-driven business communications has released a report  “Answer Rates in the US: Knowing When to Call,” revealing ideal times for businesses to call prospects and generate qualified leads. The report, which examines over 25 million inbound phone calls, identifies exactly when individuals are most and least likely to answer a call based on their location and whether or not the call originates from a known or unknown number.

ThinkingPhones Infographic - US Answer Rates (FINAL)_001

(Infographic Source: ThinkingPhones.com)

Shrewd businesses are cognisant of the impact of IPv6 and know how to use the cloud for increased productivity in a variety of areas.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Blocking The Cloud – Ad Blocking Profits & Pitfalls

Blocking The Cloud – Ad Blocking Profits & Pitfalls

Ad Blocking Profits & Pitfalls

A German court recently ruled that ad blocking software is legal, with Adblock Plus beating out Die Zeit and Handelsblatt claims that their plug-in is anti-competitive. While ad blocking does cause considerable strain for online publishers and marketers, Adblock has encouraged advertisers and content creators to work with them to create non-intrusive and useful advertising.

Handelsblatt, however, states that ad blocking “is an inadmissible and anti-competitive practice“, and followed the judgment with comments that “it infringes the freedom of press. Therefore, we will await the written reasons for the judgment, analyze them and examine the prospects of an appeals procedure.”

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(Image Source: Shutterstock)

More recently it’s become clear that Apple will be allowing ad blockers on iPhones. Documentation released after the Worldwide Developers Conference suggests that developers will soon be able to create ad blocking software for Safari, and as implied by Wired it appears Apple is trying to pull iPad and iPhone users off the web and into only Apple-certified apps and content – thus ensuring all news and revenue is theirs alone. Though Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the likes run on ads, Apple does not. The New York Times states that 75% of Google’s mobile search ad revenue comes from ads viewed on iOS devices, and Tim Cook, Apple CEO, has criticized tech companies that rely on data mining, stating, “you might like these so-called free services, but we don’t think they’re worth having your email or your search history or now even your family photos data-mined and sold off for God knows what advertising purpose, and we think someday, customers will see this for what it is.” While an ad-free Safari may specifically benefit Apple, ad blocking software is already available to Android users, and so it could be argued that Apple is merely providing a tool that consumers want.

StudiesSFU-Test have found that installing ad blocking software can reduce bandwidth usage by 25%, and even more dramatically by 40% when used for streaming video, but according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau ad blocking is a grave threat to marketers, entertainers, and publishers since for many of these sites ads pay the bills and aren’t only designed to track and annoy consumers.

Forbes reports that ad blockers have cost publishers $22 billion this year, with 198 million people employing ad blockers, and the use of such software growing 42% in the last year. By 2016, it’s expected that ad blockers will cause an estimated loss of $20.3 billion in the U.S. alone.

PageFair is an Ireland-based startup that’s teamed up with Adobe to help sites “survive the rise of Adblock.” Providing free tools for measuring your block rate, PageFair’s 5-minute install promises to unlock revenue with non-intrusive ads targeting the ad blocking audience. Some sites and applications offer ad-free versions for a small price, but most people won’t actually pay for these benefits, preferring the free tools already available, and so companies that depend on online advertising are going to have to find new streams of revenue, or employ novel advertising strategies in the future. Take a look at How to Tame the Digital Marketing Beast to understand how digital marketing impacts your organization and how best to maximize marketing investments as well as increase marketing agility and efficiency.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Cloud Infographic: The IT Job Market

Cloud Infographic: The IT Job Market

Where The Jobs Are 

It’s Monday and there are a number of people searching classifieds for a career change or to simply break into the exciting tech job market. We’ve covered job trends on a number of occasions over the years here on CloudTweaks. Data Science, Wearable Technology and M2M are just a few of the exciting industries looking for new skilled workers. Attached is an infographic by computersciencezone.org which focuses on some of the more specific and traditional roles in computing science technology.

ComputerJobs

Top 5 Cloud IT Predictions For Finance Sectors

Top 5 Cloud IT Predictions For Finance Sectors

The Banking Systems Legacy

Financial technology systems, like the banks they serve, have been built over decades through a long series of mergers and acquisitions. Already operating across a complex set of siloed departments and systems (core banking, payments, trading, etc) each merger or acquisition has resulting in further systems being bolted on to create ever greater and more complex IT systems connected by a maze of spaghetti. Most large banks are now creaking at the seams, with more budget devoted to supporting legacy systems than to innovation. Many banks have core banking systems as much as 40 years old, but these systems are so critical to their operation and so heavily integrated into other systems that they have become near impossible to replace. Doing so has been likened to trying to change the engine on a jet airplane mid-flight.

This does not mean that there is no new banking technology available, or that new entrant banks aren’t basing their operations on the latest technology. Often making significant use of cloud technologies, challenger banks typically see their IT operations as a major source of competitive advantage. At the same time most of the older retail banks are experimenting with newer technology in some of their peripheral operations, but at their heart in their core systems they are still stuck with what they have – that is until now.

Banking in the 21st century

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Technology within the financial sector has changed considerably over the last decade. Information technology systems post the dotcom boom (those that survived) evolved into systems that were intertwined with nearly all of the other IT Services utilised within each respective organisation. This came with challenges and benefits post the outsource/offshore trend that amassed much confusion to everyone working inside the finance industry, as well as for the regulators. Virtualisation was still in its infancy with complex infrastructures that were, (and still in the majority are) replicated in its entirety to a separate location for contingency purposes. Automation of technology was cumbersome and Application Service Providers (ASP) were rife, wrestling with coding for crude web presences coupled with the continued efforts for centralization of IT Infrastructure made more difficult by the recent outsourcing trend.

What followed towards the end of the decade were phases of cost cutting and consolidation, that were inevitable post 2008 and the financial crisis. It was at this stage of technical evolution within the Finance sector that cloud technologies were truly realised. Starting with the easiest of services to untangle, outsourcing had started again but this time with an educated experienced head on the shoulders of the incumbent IT departments. Today the financial market place is a very different landscape and cloud technologies are common amongst regulated and non-regulated industries. You may have heard the phrase “Omnichannel Approach” on numerous occasions and if you haven’t, you will. In this age of digital transformation all business sectors are being affected, not just finance. It is extremely important to have a consistent approach across all aspects of technology and business. To put this into context, the these statistics will speak for themselves:

  • 69% of customers already use the Internet to buy financial products – PWC
  • Mobile banking usage will exceed 1.75 Billion by 2019 representing 32% of the global adult population – Juniper research
  • Nearly 50% of the world’s banks will disappear through the cracks opened by the digital disruption of the industry – BBVA Chairman and CEO Francisco Gonzalez
  • 72% of millennials would be likely to bank with nonfinancial services companies with which they do business (like Google, Amazon), compared to 27% for those over 55 – Accenture
  • The digital transformation is upon us and every industry needs to change!

With the emergence of cloud technologies, the World has never seen such a constantly evolving state of technology as we do today. Just as other industries have changed over the past 5 years including (if you are old enough to remember) the Amazon and Borders struggle where Borders never saw the end coming by the new industry book seller chomping at their heels. The same can be said for many other industries where diversification and strategy go amiss.

However we do have the benefit of hindsight and thus, armed with the knowledge and understanding of more data analysis ever available in our history, the finance sector can not only stay in the game but ahead of the curve.

There are 3 main focus points to ensure you stay ahead of the curve:

1) Be customer focused and achieve excellent customer service. We are living in the “ME” generation and such should accommodate the demanding needs of the youth of today, across whatever medium that is convenient to them. “The majority of Millennials would rather lose their sense of smell than their technology” – Newscred

2) Make the IT Strategy shift to accommodate point 1. The need to change your roadmap of service delivery is essential. Do not think for one minute that the majority of your clients will even pick up the phone to you if they are unhappy, they will not and simply move to one of your competitors. “2/3 of contactless payments since October have been through Apple Pay” – Tim Cook, CEO Apple

3) Data is the new currency in this digital age. Banks have amassed huge amounts of data from their clients, use it. “The vast majority of data never gets used. Only 0.5 percent of all data is ever analysed” – MIT Technology Review

So, this leads onto some predictions for Financial Institutions and technology. We have compiled a “TOP 5” list of emerging trends that we believe will be seen over the next 5 years.

TOP 5 EMERGING TRENDS OVER THE NEXT 5 YEARS

1. ANALYTICS EVOLVED

Big Data is not a new concept and financial institutions have been using big data in one form or another via trading systems for years. Employ a data strategy to cultivate the unstructured information you have already. There are many providers, cultivators and providers of the technology and toolset that can be used. You may of heard of IBM Watson, the artificial intelligence computer that back in 2011 made the headlines by beating former “human” winners of the quiz show Jeopardy? This technology is now mainstream and available at a fraction of the cost of developing anywhere near the same results – cloud based!

2. APP DELIVERY

Application delivery of your products and services is key when your clients have used smart devices from the age of 12 years old. Technically speaking we are in a constant change of major IT Infrastructure, however you should be embracing this change as it will also drive down your cost of ownership. Open source technology, once shunned within regulated industries, is now a major driving force within any industry that requires enterprise IT. OpenStack has emerged onto the scene and has many benefits to your organisation for the orchestration and management of resources. There is also a new way of thinking based around container technology (Docker) which in essence share a single operating system (and binaries) for application delivery without the vast amounts of virtual machines that would normally be required. This technology is in its infancy but is definitely one to watch for the near future.

3. INDUSTRY CLOUDS

There is much debate around public/private and hybrid clouds. Rarely you do hear any talk around industry clouds and the massive benefits that they bring. Imagine a cloud based system that is designed for the financial industry, has the IT Governance applied to the infrastructure that meets regulators requirements and data sovereignty laws, is resilient and meets all of the check points set out by your governing body. Bringing cost synergies of shared implementations of bespoke and expensive vendor infrastructure that is secure. A cloud for your industry, designed by your industry specialists (with the regulators input) that allows you to reduce your expensive staff base of unique skills to manage and secure the technical environment. As well as allowing you access to previously unavailable products and services that would have required a large capex, we’re looking at this as a possibility within the next 5 years.

4. FINTECH INVOLVEMENT

Financial institutions have always been trusted with clients money. We see another potential trend that has started to emerge, financial institutions offering IT Services to accommodate the new currency, data. This would make sense to investigate this business model, just as other industries (tech) have done so offering financial services. We also see financial institutions being more involved, from a Venture Capitalist prospective investing in hi-growth tech startups. This too also makes sense to assist and guide these new breed tech firms, courting them at an early stage of development.

5. DRAAS – DISASTER RECOVERY AS A SERVICE

With the emergence of cloud technologies and providers also comes the reliance of governance from said providers. Disaster Recovery is mandatory for regulated financial firms and this will get more important when outsourcing to cloud providers. Specialist disaster recovery/business continuity providers will be emerging into the marketplace with the knowledge and understanding of not just your technology but also your business. This service is of course available today, however with the added security vulnerabilities that go hand in hand with cloud provisioning, specialist providers will undoubtedly emerge.

At FinTech Connect along with our Partners at Compare the Cloud we monitor the level of comment and debate on cloud in every technology and industry segment. While the use of cloud in the financial services sector is increasing all the time, there is still relatively limited comment and debate on cloud within banking. In the table below we highlight some of those that have been most outspoken on this topic in the last few months.

By Diaz Ayub

Leveraging Carrier Ethernet To Connect To The Cloud

Leveraging Carrier Ethernet To Connect To The Cloud

Connecting To The Cloud

Determining the Best Cloud Connectivity Solution

With the Cloud only being as good as employees’ ability to effectively access it, the overall user experience depends highly on enterprise network connectivity. Today, the Internet is the predominant method to connect to Cloud applications services. Internet connectivity is readily available in all markets. The challenge is that larger enterprises are hesitant to move mission-critical applications to the Cloud when delivered via the Internet due to concerns with security, network performance, data governance and regulatory compliance.

Internet Challenges

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To date, many companies have used the public Internet as their principal method of connecting to and consuming Cloud application services. While Internet connectivity is well-suited for Web research, email and accessing shared business Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, the Internet is a shared network resource that does not have the performance required for more complex Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) computing, storage and business-critical applications such as Open Source Software (OSS) and SAP used by large, distributed workforces. Moreover, the public Internet cannot be used for connecting to the Cloud by organizations requiring a more secure connectivity solution to comply with certain regulatory guidelines, such as healthcare or financial verticals require.

As Cloud computing proliferates and both connectivity as well as applications grow in complexity and requirements, the industry is seeing a fundamental shift in how enterprises connect to and consume the Cloud. To address some of these early concerns, a more reliable, higher performance connectivity solution is needed to continue the exponential increase of Cloud adoption.

Carrier Ethernet for Cloud Connectivity

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(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Ethernet Private Line (EPL) has become the connectivity technology of choice for enterprises to directly connect to a Private or Public Cloud service provider at a data center. With its unique service attributes, Carrier Ethernet also supports virtual connectivity to multiple Cloud services. Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) services enable an enterprise to leverage existing connectivity for multiple services.

Overall, Carrier Ethernet is well-suited to make Cloud connectivity simple with:

  • Secure Connections – Connecting to the Cloud via a dedicated, private Ethernet connection ensures increased security, performance and scalability over the shared resources and unpredictability of the public Internet, whether choosing an EPL with a dedicated port or an EVPL service with assigned Quality of Service (QoS) by service type.
  • Predictable QoS – Designed for both business traffic traversing corporate networks as well as data being sent over supplier networks, Carrier Ethernet delivers end-to-end QoS, flexible bandwidth and desired levels of performance due to its ability to prioritize applications, users, or data / traffic flows. The technology supports multiple classes of traffic, including VoIP, videoconferencing, client / server, streaming video, email, FTTP and HTTP, and minimizes latency, jitter, delays and packet loss to ensure more predictable performance.
  • Normalized Last-Mile Delivery – Last-mile connections account for 82 percent of all downtime-related activity, 68 percent of overall network cost and 99 percent of complexity found in the network market today. Carrier Ethernet provides scalable bandwidth and flexibility in the number of technologies that can be leveraged to deliver standardized EPL and EVPL services. A network marketplace aggregates the broadest range of these Ethernet Services to enable the right connectivity to each location.
  • Consistent Implementation Across the Globe – The standardization of Carrier Ethernet led by the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) ensures that users can expect the same attributes, management support and service levels globally. This consistency enables simpler, more efficient Cloud connectivity for enterprises with locations all over the world.
  • Ability to Add New Services – Today, large enterprises rarely use just one Cloud service. In fact, different organizations within global enterprise can use multiple different Cloud software, platforms or infrastructure. Enterprises can leverage EVPL to spin up dedicated, secure and QoS-based connectivity to multiple Cloud services over one reliable shared Ethernet circuit. This saves them the cost of additional Ethernet connections on their equipment.
  • End-to-End Performance – Carrier Ethernet also enables enterprises to gain end-to-end visibility into the performance of these services. The traditional best-effort delivery model is not adequate for Cloud service connectivity. As network traffic increases, congestion and inappropriate data prioritization become issues that can seriously affect traffic flows and delivery. Service providers must guarantee, monitor and manage predetermined quality of service, regardless of traffic levels. Carrier Ethernet services that ensure service level agreements are met under normal and congested conditions require end-to-end visibility across technologies and networks. Network Interface Devices (NIDS) offer visibility into service performance along with improved test and turn-up.
  • Simple Network Design, Pricing, Ordering and Management – By leveraging a marketplace of networks, an efficient and cost-effective platform highlighted in the article: “A Marketplace of Networks: Simplifying Enterprise Cloud Connectivity”, enterprises can connect their entire Cloud ecosystem – from network design to pricing, ordering, service delivery and ongoing management – with one platform, simplifying the service lifecycle.
  • Connectivity to High-Demand Destinations – Network marketplaces have pre-established External Network-to-Network Interfaces (ENNIs) and peering points to Cloud service providers, the Internet and other application service providers leveraging virtual cross-connects over Ethernet to quickly provision and turn-up new services. By creating aggregated connectivity to the Cloud, enterprise customers can directly connect their Cloud services into their Wide Area Network (WAN) environments.

With this in mind, it is clear that Carrier Ethernet is critical to meet the requirements for delivering external Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud services. In subsequent installments of our monthly Cloud connectivity CloudTweaks articles, we’ll further explore the challenges of connecting to Private, Public and multiple Clouds. We will also examine how EVPL provides secure, reliable connectivity to business applications found in multiple Clouds, enabled through the same secure, direct Ethernet connection being leveraged for other enterprise services.

By Mary Stanhope

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The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

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Cloud Infographic – The Data Scientist

Cloud Infographic – The Data Scientist

Data Scientist Report The amount of data in our world has been exploding in recent years. Managing big data has become an integral part of many businesses, generating billions of dollars of competitive innovations, productivity and job growth. Forecasting where the big data industry is going has become vital to corporate strategy. Enter the Data…

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…

5 Reasons Why Your Startup Will Grow Faster In The Cloud

5 Reasons Why Your Startup Will Grow Faster In The Cloud

Cloud Startup Fast-tracking Start-ups face many challenges, the biggest of which is usually managing growth. A start-up that does not grow is at constant risk of failure, whereas a new business that grows faster than expected may be hindered by operational constraints, such as a lack of staff, workspace and networks. It is an unfortunate…

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Analytics Trends

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Analytics Trends

Big Data Analytics Trends As data information and cloud computing continues to work together, the need for data analytics continues to grow. Many tech firms predict that big data volume will grow steadily 40% per year and in 2020, will grow up to 50 times that. This growth will also bring a number of cost…

Digital Marketing Driven by Cloud, Big Data and IoT

Digital Marketing Driven by Cloud, Big Data and IoT

Digital Marketing Successful digital marketing campaigns are being driven largely by trending technologies, specifically the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and The Cloud. These may be used for a huge number of marketing applications, from optimizing the performance of sports teams to improving science and research, even helping to aid law enforcement. Amazon Web…

Shadow IT To Remain A Focus For Both Cloud Vendors And CIOs

Shadow IT To Remain A Focus For Both Cloud Vendors And CIOs

Shadow IT To Remain A Focus Shadow IT, a phenomenon defined as building internal IT systems without the official organizational approval has been a growing concern for CIOs over the last few years. In 2015, it climbed to the top of the list of the emerging IT threats, with as much as 83% CIOs reporting…

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…

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

Data Insecurity In The Cloud Today’s escalating attacks, vulnerabilities, breaches, and losses have cut deeply across organizations and captured the attention of, regulators, investors and most importantly customers. In many cases such incidents have completely eroded customer trust in a company, its services and its employees. The challenge of ensuring data security is far more…

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…

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

Cloud Security Missteps Cloud computing remains shrouded in mystery for the average American. The most common sentiment is, “It’s not secure.” Few realize how many cloud applications they access every day: Facebook, Gmail, Uber, Evernote, Venmo, and the list goes on and on… People flock to cloud services for convenient solutions to everyday tasks. They…

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups Cloud platforms have become a necessary part of modern business with the benefits far outweighing the risks. However, the risks are real and account for billions of dollars in losses across the globe per year. If you’ve been hacked, you’re not alone. Here are some other companies in the past…

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…

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,…

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Hybrid Cloud Environments After several years of steady cloud adoption in the enterprise, an interesting trend has emerged: More companies are retaining their existing, on-premise IT infrastructures while also embracing the latest cloud technologies. In fact, IDC predicts markets for such hybrid cloud environments will grow from the over $25 billion global market we saw…

Disaster Recovery – A Thing Of The Past!

Disaster Recovery – A Thing Of The Past!

Disaster Recovery  Ok, ok – I understand most of you are saying disaster recovery (DR) is still a critical aspect of running any type of operations. After all – we need to secure our future operations in case of disaster. Sure – that is still the case but things are changing – fast. There are…