Category Archives: White Papers

Cloud Adoption: Tips and Considerations

Cloud Adoption: Tips and Considerations

Cloud Adoption

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

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

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

Download the whitepapers and register for the webinars now.

Should You Invest In A 3D Printer?

Should You Invest In A 3D Printer?

Innovation With The 3D Printer

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

Prototyping & Testing

Ford’s 3D Printing

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

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

Production & Customization

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

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

Inventory & Spare Parts

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

Invention

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

By Jennifer Klostermann

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Using The Cloud Effectively For Your Business Needs

Using The Cloud Effectively For Your Business Needs

Using The Cloud Effectively

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

Developing Markets

developing-markets

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

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

Don’t Fear The Cloud

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

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

Read The Report

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

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

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

By Jennifer Klostermann

Cybersecurity: Managing Systems, Conducting Testing and Investigating Intrusions

Cybersecurity: Managing Systems, Conducting Testing and Investigating Intrusions

Cybersecurity

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

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

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

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

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

By Jennifer Klostermann

Choosing A Cloud Hosting Provider With Confidence

Choosing A Cloud Hosting Provider With Confidence

Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider

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

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

Free Report

Cloud Hosting Provider - Free Report!

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

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

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

Key Industry Standards

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

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

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

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

By Brent Anderson

Cloud Load Balancing Services – Shared vs Per-Tenant

Cloud Load Balancing Services – Shared vs Per-Tenant

Cloud Load Balancing Services

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

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

Taking a Look at Load Balancing

load-balancing

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

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

radware1

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

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

Venture Capitalists’ Growing Interest In The Internet Of Things

Venture Capitalists’ Growing Interest In The Internet Of Things

Venture Capitalists’ Growing Interest In The Internet Of Things

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

CFO-Invest

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

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

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

invest

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

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

By Daniel Price

CloudTweaks Comics
Business Analytics Vs Data Science

Business Analytics Vs Data Science

Big Data Continues To Grow Big Data continues to be a much discussed topic of interest and for good reason.  According to a recent report from International Data Corporation (IDC), “worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics will grow from nearly $122 billion in 2015 to more than $187 billion in 2019, an increase…

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…

Cloud Infographic – What Is The Internet of Things?

Cloud Infographic – What Is The Internet of Things?

What Is The Internet of Things? “We’re still in the first minutes of the first day of the Internet revolution.”  – Scott Cook The Internet of Things (IOT) and Smart Systems are based on the notions of Sensors, Connectivity, People and Processes. We are creating a new world to view and measure anything around us through…

The Internet of Things – Redefining The Digital World As We Know It

The Internet of Things – Redefining The Digital World As We Know It

Redefining The Digital World According to Internet World Stats (June 30th, 2015), no fewer than 3.2 billion people across the world now use the internet in one way or another. This means an incredible amount of data sharing through the utilization of API’s, Cloud platforms and inevitably the world of connected Things. The Internet of Things is a…

The Cloud Above Our Home

The Cloud Above Our Home

Our Home – Moving All Things Into The Cloud The promise of a smart home had excited the imagination of the movie makers long ago. If you have seen any TV shows in the nineties or before, the interpretation presented itself to us as a computerized personal assistant or a robot housekeeper. It was smart,…

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing Benefits A growing number of small and medium businesses in the United States rely on as a means of deploying mission-critical software products. Prior to the advent of cloud-based products — software solutions delivered over the Internet – companies were often forced to invest in servers and other products to run software and…

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud One of the least considered benefits of cloud computing in the average small or mid-sized business manager’s mind is the aspect of disaster recovery. Part of the reason for this is that so few small and mid-size businesses have ever contemplated the impact of a major disaster on their IT…

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies Clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities are embracing new mobile technologies in order to be more efficient in their daily tasks. With faster communication and better collaboration, clinicians can spend much less time handling medical devices and more time administering care to their patients. Industry experts are stating that mobile connected technologies…

Most Active Internet Of Things Investors In The Last 5 Years

Most Active Internet Of Things Investors In The Last 5 Years

Most Active Internet Of Things Investors A recent BI Intelligence report claimed that the Internet of Things (IoT) is on its way to becoming the largest device market in the world. Quite naturally, such exponential growth of the IoT market has prompted a number of high-profile corporate investors and smart money VCs to bet highly…

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…

Three Tips To Simplify Governance, Risk and Compliance

Three Tips To Simplify Governance, Risk and Compliance

Governance, Risk and Compliance Businesses are under pressure to deliver against a backdrop of evolving regulations and security threats. In the face of such challenges they strive to perform better, be leaner, cut costs and be more efficient. Effective governance, risk and compliance (GRC) can help preserve the business’ corporate integrity and protect the brand,…

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart  Breaches Formal verification is not a new concept. In a nutshell, the process uses sophisticated math to prove or disprove whether a system achieves its desired functional specifications. It is employed by organizations that build products that absolutely cannot fail. One of the reasons NASA rovers are still roaming Mars…

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Once upon a time, only a select few companies like Google and Salesforce possessed the knowledge and expertise to operate efficient cloud infrastructure and applications. Organizations patronizing those companies benefitted with apps that offered new benefits in flexibility, scalability and cost effectiveness. These days, the sharp division between cloud and on-premises infrastructure…

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…

Beacons Flopped, But They’re About to Flourish in the Future

Beacons Flopped, But They’re About to Flourish in the Future

Cloud Beacons Flying High When Apple debuted cloud beacons in 2013, analysts predicted 250 million devices capable of serving as iBeacons would be found in the wild within weeks. A few months later, estimates put the figure at just 64,000, with 15 percent confined to Apple stores. Beacons didn’t proliferate as expected, but a few…

Technology Influencer in Chief: 5 Steps to Success for Today’s CMOs

Technology Influencer in Chief: 5 Steps to Success for Today’s CMOs

Success for Today’s CMOs Being a CMO is an exhilarating experience – it’s a lot like running a triathlon and then following it with a base jump. Not only do you play an active role in building a company and brand, but the decisions you make have direct impact on the company’s business outcomes for…

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Out-of-the-box Cloud Solutions Although people may argue that data is not safe in the Cloud because using cloud infrastructure requires trusting another party to look after mission critical data, cloud services actually are more secure than legacy systems. In fact, a recent study on the state of cloud security in the enterprise market revealed that…

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…