Author Archives: Harpreet Kaur

Running Databases In The Cloud Era

Error-prone IT architectures are being consigned to history as most businesses are now moving to the advanced and efficient public and private clouds that offer high availability. Cloud environments make it easy for businesses to manage their applications better and in a cost-effective manner.

Database applications play a key role in all enterprise infrastructures. However, these applications are not up to the mark when it comes to using cloud power and this is specifically more applicable to relational databases. They are used as monolithic applications and pose a huge challenge when you attempt to run them in a scalable manner.

Traditional databases are usually deployed as multiple isolated database instances, especially for distributed environments. Data spread is created when multiple physical copies of the production database are created in the background for test/development environments. It is difficult to achieve full cloud integration with these solutions. The focus is on the locality of data. The use of distributed systems features takes a backseat.

How these databases can be used for solving these problems for various types of databases?

Highly Available Databases

These types of databases are designed to be compatible with both public and private cloud and are also highly scalable. In this system, any hardware or network failure will not affect business continuity. The core design of the system helps remove single points of failure and delivers a seamless experience to users.

Database Replica Pair (Both Active and Passive)

With the view to ensure that a unit master server can serve all database requests, the database is deployed in replica architecture. It helps copy data from the main server by utilizing the replication feature of the vendor or by using a third-party replication tool. When and if the master server fails, the replica server takes over simultaneously and seamlessly. It makes use of the replicated data to restart the database precisely from where it was at the time of the failure. However, if you use a third-party replication tool, there are chances that there could be some amount of inconsistency after the failover.

Database with Built-In High Availability

The other option is to choose a database that has high availability. Databases with built-on availability such as MongoDB and Cassandra are in demand because of their ability to create data replicas from the database layer consistently. It must be noted that this arrangement might not work for some types of enterprises as they lack the capability.

Test/Dev Databases

For these types of databases, cloning is a common need. They generally run in an isolated infrastructure. Multiple copies of the database are created to support backup and quality assurance.

Snapshot and Cloning

This feature enables users to copy the database to a different site. This is done by taking a snapshot of the database and cloning it to a remote location. A solution such as Oracle RMAN can be used for tracking the changes between snapshots and taking backups and carrying out recovery on a regular basis.

Storage for Private, Hybrid and Multi-Cloud

The best solution is to delink the database from the storage layer and allow the storage solution deal with high availability for the application. An SDS or Software defined storage comes with such capacities. It offers data protection from all types of software and hardware failures. It also offers flexibility and is compatible with any kind of storage hardware.

Such a solution can be used with private or public cloud and should also work smoothly regardless of whether it is an on-premises or public-cloud location.

Entire database systems in the cloud best suits applications such as social media, gaming, investment and the like. Using DBaaS or Database as a service is the best way to spin databases in the cloud and reduce the time needed to buy servers and create the appropriate infrastructure. You will also have to build a fairly large team to manage these databases.

The following problems must be first set right before considering any cloud-based database installation:

Choosing Vendor:

Each provider offers their unique orchestration framework. This can make moving from one provider to another quite a challenge for consumers.

Synchronization of Data:

You will need am an efficient external tool to copy data from one location to another in a consistent manner. It is seen that these tools and not only complex in nature but expensive as well. If you are building an environment across multiple locations, there are chances that you will run into a bottleneck situation.

Cloud Cost Analysis:

It is imperative that you do a careful and comprehensive cost analysis before you shortlist the applications to be placed on the cloud and premises. A wrong move can prove costly and can send your budget on a toss. Focus on simplicity and flexibility when you choose applications.

While databases have survived more than 50 years of competition, if you want to gain a competitive edge for your business, using cloud solutions for running modern databases is highly recommended.

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How Private Cloud as a Service Can Enhance Security

While online data storage and on-demand resource availability can save companies a lot of money there are many companies, especially in the healthcare and finance sectors, which are still not keen to hand over their data to a third party. They are afraid their critical data will be hacked or accidentally lost or even stolen by rogue employees. But, today new solutions are coming out of which there is one which can verify the provider’s claim that the data will be safely kept in one’s own server. For instance, Amazon like many other cloud hosting service providers offers a private cloud service where the customer can get his own separate server. So, in short, cloud computing has dramatically changed the way businesses think of security for their data.

With businesses are continuously adopting cloud services for backing Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things etc, they are still wary of security for their assets. In other words, cyber security is the main concern for businesses which are moving their data to the cloud. To address these security concerns, there are some companies that are establishing on-premise private clouds. These private clouds can guarantee a much higher degree of agility and flexibility compared to the public cloud. Not only do they have better control over the data, they also have the power to address compliance requirements specific to different industries.

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These do-it-yourself clouds will have their distinct security risks and problems. Simply because you will have a private cloud inside an on-premise data center is not enough to guarantee that security will be better than in a public cloud. So, if you do not have teams of experienced and well-trained cyber security experts, you may find that such DIY private clouds are more vulnerable than public clouds. The problem lies in the fact that when businesses shift to the private cloud, they must take up more responsibilities. When there are not enough resources at hand, or not sufficient workers with expertise or a dearth of trained staff, such businesses find it very hard to keep their environments secure.

If you do not want to recruit such experts, there is an alternative too. You can always sign up with a managed service provider. So, now many businesses are slowly reaching out to managed cloud service providers in order to ensure that their security needs are properly addressed. These “as-a-service” solutions like the private cloud-as-a-service focus mainly on the end product and they can successfully wipe out all worries about how this end product will be created. All these “as-a-service” solutions have been popular because they are more effective in resolving consumer problems.

When you sign up for private cloud as-a-service, you can substantially cut down on the security risks. You can also enable your business to meet industry norms backed by robust cyber security measures and cloud expertise. Since the vulnerabilities may happen even during day-to-day tasks, it is important to monitor the whole cloud stack. This is why the managed cloud service providers will offer 24x7x365 supports and offer relevant and regular security patches, updates and new technologies.

A strange thing that a recent Palo Alto Networks survey discovered was that a prime threat to security in the cloud is the wrong configuration of cloud platforms. This is followed by insecure interfaces, improper access controls and abuse of employee credentials. So, many threats actually emanate internally and from behind the firewall. When you do not have a rightly configured private cloud, there may be security risks. If the cloud lacks the existing patches for plugging the known vulnerabilities, disasters are bound to occur. When you cannot lock down the entire network easily it is very difficult to satisfy the compliance standards.

The security statistics which compare clouds may be misleading and contradictory because of differences in methodologies of comparison. While IT experts may have clear ideas of security threats, research shows that almost 90% still have concerns about application and data security in the public cloud services. This is why compliance and security experts usually recommend using a private cloud as the latter can offer significant advantages over the public cloud. Any cloud will need anti-virus or firewall measures, but a private cloud operates on specific physical servers and therefore, it is easier to enforce physical security. Cloud access will always be far more secure within a private cloud as it can only be accessed through secure and private networks and not the Internet. The private cloud can guarantee more redundancy and a redundant server and Storage Area Network will ensure that the system runs with no downtimes. It will also improve disaster recovery solutions time. Businesses which shift from legacy on-site systems to the cloud find it simpler to deploy their workload on a private cloud. This is because these can be easily customized to support any type of application.

In case of any hosting requirement, you can easily contact us for Hosting Requirement.

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Key Tips to Manage Transition to Dedicated Server from Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has transformed IT infrastructures of organizations across the globe and is all set to revolutionize hosting industry. Many companies have moved their digital assets and hosting resources to cloud in order to explore innumerable benefits that are promised by cloud hosting service providers.

Neutral overview

In spite of a great number of articles and lengthy discussions that speak in favor of cloud hosting there is a significant proportion of website owners that are moving their resources to dedicated servers from cloud environment. Unless we look at both these options without any preconceived ideas, it would be difficult to know the underlying truth.

Traditionally, dedicated servers have been catering to the demands of users that need to operate resource intensive websites or websites that must operate in total privacy on account of sensitivity of the data. Hosting service provider offers dedicated server on rent with unrestricted access to all features of the standalone server. Charges for leasing dedicated servers depend on the number of facilities being offered to customers.

cloud-hostingUnlike a cloud server, a dedicated server requires an initial setup and a customer will have to wait for some time before it becomes fully functional. In contrast, a virtual server instance can be provisioned in few minutes.

The hosting industry has undergone revolutionary changes on account of cloud computing, which can resolve most of the issues being faced by customers in terms of storage of information and procuring multiple resources including software and even IT infrastructure among others.

In cloud computing, service providers offer virtual servers that can be outsourced by customers from remote locations. These virtual servers are in fact, virtual instances that are derived from single physical servers. From the user’s perspective, the virtual server is nothing but a complete dedicated server with total privacy and ability of controlling all resources including root access and so forth.

Moving from cloud to dedicated servers

A shift from dedicated server to cloud server can become a necessity to fulfill demands of greater security and controls over a server’s operating environment. This kind of shift is possible only if you have thoroughly understood intricacies of the process.

Understand your bandwidth needs– In order to offer a gratifying user experience to visitors of your website, the web server must be supported by optimum bandwidth. Bandwidth availability can hardly be a cause of concern if one is operating in a cloud environment. This is mainly due to excellent scalability of virtual server instances. However, you are usually unaware of the port that is being used in a virtual instance.

On the other hand, users of dedicated servers need to have complete knowledge of the ports that would be required to prevent roadblocks due to insufficient availability of bandwidth. If you want a port that allows access to higher bandwidth, than a dedicated server may charge you for such additional requirement of bandwidth.

Contractual details– It is observed that providers of cloud services leave many things to be desired in terms of contracts and Service Level Agreements. This is not the case with providers of dedicated server hosting services in general. Following are the few key points that must be checked by users of dedicated servers before signing on the dotted line.

In a web hosting contract, an SLA plays a vital role and provides a prospective customer with details of the important aspects of hosting including a guaranteed uptime. One must carefully go through the document and understand the meaning of outage from the service provider’s perspective. Even a small and seemingly insignificant clause can impact the very purpose of such agreement.

Terms of services are listed in these contracts that are also supposed to discuss certain eventualities such as a DDoS attack. Many web service provider companies are reserving their right to switch off your server even if the attack is of minor nature.

Server management– This probably the most underrated aspect while planning a transition from a cloud server to dedicated server. Management of various aspects of server is an essential feature of dedicated server hosting. This may not be the case with cloud hosting because the service providers look after management of virtual servers.

Your leased dedicated server requires you to gain in-depth knowledge about configuration and other operations such as server-reboot, installation of applications, security patching, monitoring server’s performance and so forth. It would be better to understand the difficulty level involved in data accessibility as well.

In conclusion

Dedicated servers are aimed at satisfying extremely high computational requirements of users including maintenance of voluminous databases. If your website is designed for management of mission critical operations, then a more robust and stable dedicated server may become essential. Transitioning from a cloud to dedicated server environment is as complex as making a move from dedicated server to the environment of cloud.

In case of any hosting requirement, you can easily contact us for Hosting Requirement.

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Security-based Services which Every Acute Business should have

When aiming for business success, it is good to take a smart look at various managing services for some acute and ‘mid-sized’ businesses, and understand how you will selection for the ones which are working for the organization.

Various mid-size and acute businesses are struggling for executing and then maintaining strong security-related controls for the protection of the particular data along with that of the concerned customers. It is due to the reason which is concerned with the lack regarding ‘active-commitment’. This may happen due to lack of several resources and the process of ‘know how’. Optimistically, various IT-based managed security processes enable themselves to get outsourced: They basically are quite cheaper with respect with a specialized organization for delivering as compared with an organization for providing several related equipment and staff.

The idea of ‘Outsourcing security’ generally leads towards the high-grade security, along with some potential benefits for reducing operating expenses and capital. Various security-based services of all kinds are always available. But if we talk about SMBs and its working with a planned, limited and defined IT based security budget, it is very crucial for selecting various services which is going to enhance the entire security at a peak level.

1. Various Security-related Consultants

There exist quite limited amount of SMBs which possess the precise budget for putting an IT-based security specialist on the concerned payroll. For few, budgets cannot even get stretched up for employing a complete trained and specialized network administrator. With most of the SMBs, the specific employee is given a task about “keeping everything running,” and almost all of those employees perform an amazing job.

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Although, the lack of experience and training particularly under an IT-based security which defines that they are not knowing whether on network, they are possessing various insecure settings. Several systems might seem to be executing smoothly, but Configuring applications and poor system may weaken the entire security of the concerned network, with various unrecognized vulnerabilities letting the company open for attacking.

SMBs will help in filling this particular void by conducting under a consultant. When evaluation of various consultants is done, you might ask for seeking defined evidence of various qualifications along with experience of few persons or few people, basically who are going to get assigned under your company. There exist a handful of IT-based security qualifications, which consultant must possess.

2. Management of Security Services

There occur various attacks which are against business’ related IT systems which might happen at any moment of the entire day. Most of the SMBs are not possessing the resources which are needed to ensure watching out for along with responding to various attacks all the time (24/7). Any solution existing for SMBs which possess a presence of Internet and might be targeted for cyber-based criminals with an objective for subscribing towards a management security-based service provider for keeping various viruses, or malware, and some other attacks away from negatively influencing the affecting operations and network.

As several MSP services are an objective at the organization level, ISPs like AT&T provide a huge variety of security-based services on peak of the connectivity of network they offer. Users ISP is under a prime location for offering a primary line of ‘defense’, thus recognizing attacks and then responding to various suspicious activities. It will also be beneficial for enforcing various corporate security-based policies plus compliance along with significant federal and various industry regulations.

An MSP is going to monitor the concerned network, thus scanning the traffic for helping and identifying attacks and tackling those intrusions actively.

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How Can You Keep Your Site Away From Hackers?

When you make your site live it is similar to keeping your office door unlocked with the safe open. In other words, it is an open secret that your data is vulnerable to anyone who enters the premises. And people with malicious intent are not rare to come by. So, the website needs to be protected at all costs from hackers. Site protection is somewhat similar to why you install locks for your safes and doors. The only difference being that you will perhaps not realize a theft has happened when you do fail to install protection systems. Cyber thefts happen quickly and the cyber criminals are fast and invisible. Hackers can target your data hosted on the data center for stealing or they may simply want to mar your reputation online. While undoing the damages inflicted by hacking may be tough, it is indeed possible to prevent these from happening in the first place.

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Tips to protect sites from hackers:

– One of the first things that you can do to safeguard your site from possible break-ins is to keep yourself updated with all possible threats. When you have basic idea of what kind of threats are possible, you can understand how best to protect the site.

– The admin level is where an intruder can get access into a website. So, your duty is to use passwords and names which cannot be easily guessed by hackers. You can also limit the number of times a user can try to log in, since email accounts are also prone to hacking. Login details should also not be sent through emails because unauthorized users can easily get access to your account.

– Updates are costly but absolutely imperative to protect websites from hackers. Whenever you delay routine updates, you are exposing the site to threats. Hackers are equipped to scan hundreds of sites in a very short time to detect vulnerabilities and when they find one, they will not wait. Since their networking is super strong, if any one hacker knows the way in, others will know it in no time.

– While you may feel that your site contains no information which will make it valuable for hackers, the truth is that hacking takes place all the time. These may not be done for stealing data only; the hackers may be interested in using your emails for transferring spam or they wish to install a temporary server to serve illegal files.

– It is important to beware of SQL injections that occur when hackers will use URL parameters or web form field for getting access to your database so that they can manipulate this. If you are using the Transact SQL, inserting a rogue code is simple and this may be used by hackers for changing tables or deleting data or extracting sensitive information. So, it is recommended that you use parameterized queries as most web languages will offer this easy-to-use feature.

– Another critical measure to keep website free from hackers is to protect them from XSS attacks. The cross-scripting attacks or XSS attacks will introduce malicious JavaScript in the web pages that run in your users’ browsers and they can alter the content or steal data and send these to the attackers. This is an important security concern especially with regard to all modern day web apps where the pages have been created mainly from user content. So, you need to focus on ways in which user-generated content is bypassing the limits you are setting and getting interpreted by browsers as something which is not what you intended it to be.

– You can install Web Application Firewall (WAF) which is either hardware or software based and this is between your data connections and site server. So, it will read every bit of information which goes through it. Most modern WAFs run on cloud technologies and are offered as plug-and-play features for modest charges.

– You should also be wary of the amount of information that is being shared on error messages. You are expected to give your users only minimal errors and ensure that these do not give away your server secrets, like database passwords or API keys.

– You can also hide admin pages because you do not want these indexed by the search engines. When these are not indexed, hackers will find it hard to find them. Besides, you can limit file uploads as these will often let bugs pass through even if the system checks them thoroughly. It is best to store these outside root directories and use scripts for accessing them when needed.

– You can also use SSL encrypted protocols for transferring user data between the database and website. This will make sure that the data does not get intercepted in transit or accessed by unauthorized users.

– Leaving auto-fill forms on sites make it vulnerable to attacks when the user phone or computer has been stolen or lost.

– To prevent the data from being corrupted or lost permanently, it is best to keep all data backed-up. You can conduct backups many times and each time, the backups should be carried out in multiple locations for data safety.

– You can also use website security tools which are known as penetration testing tools. You can choose from many free commercial products. For instance, Netsparker which is ideal for XSS attacks and SQL injection attacks, SecurityHeaders.io which reports security headers any domain enables and configures.

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Vital Parameters to Look for While Selecting a Cloud Host

One of the most significant advantages of cloud hosting is secured and seamless performance of website with support of backup facilities for business continuity. Majority of organizations that decide to adopt cloud infrastructure are also amazed by remarkable cost efficiency of cloud services in comparison with running onsite IT resources.

Role of Cloud Services

Management and maintenance of on-premise IT can be a complex and demanding proposition with no guarantee of website security in the face of growing cyber crime related events. Onsite IT infrastructures need to be managed by expert professionals and monitored on round the clock basis. This can add significantly to the overall costs of manpower, electricity, bandwidth, security, and cooling.

In contrast, a standard cloud hosting service can effectively eliminate all hassles of maintain cost-intensive IT equipment so that your website can efficiently manage spikes in demands for uninterrupted visibility of the web applications in a feature-rich cloud environment. In this post, you can get accustomed with the most empowering benefits of cloud services.

Web hosting services have undergone several changes and cloud computing has truly revolutionized the way resource hungry websites are supported with scalable resources and redundant data storage facilities. Cloud hosting services also guarantee instant failover migration if your web presence is threatened with any unexpected outage.

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Secured Hosting

Security of website is a hotly debated topic these days on account of growing events of ransomware attacks and many more cyber crimes that involve data hacks resulting in irreparable damage to the reputation of business. It takes years to build a robust image of any business but a single malware or DDoS attack can destroy everything in a blink of time.

Highly reputable cloud service vendors are extremely serious about security of their clients’ web applications and sensitive data. They employ an impressive array of security measures including user authentication, data encryption, firewall protection, and other advanced measures of anti-virus protection.

In addition to these anti-hacking and antivirus measures, some of the most dependable cloud hosts implement routine security audits just to make sure that there is no breach of security at any level. Cloud Security must be the foremost consideration while choosing a service provider because after all you will be storing your business critical data in the cloud infrastructure. Make sure that there are multiple layers of security being offered by your prospective service provider as part of the hosting plan.

User-friendly and Reliable Hosting

Cloud hosting provides seamless access to the intuitive control panel among multiple iterations such as Plesk, cPanel or any other control panel that enhances controls without any complexities. Cloud hosting services boost your business focus by reducing need to spend hours in attending to technicalities of web hosting. Established cloud hosting providers are capable of empowering their clients with proven experience of managing a great number of user accounts with ease.

Supports growth

No business can hope to remain stagnant and any plan for business growth must be supported by assurance of instant provisioning of additional resources such as compute power, disk space, and RAM. Reputed cloud hosting service providers offer highly scalable plans as part of their cloud hosting offerings.

In order to access this features users need not be concerned about reboots or downtime that can cause serious interruptions as far as availability of web based applications is concerned. Additional resources can be provisioned without any hassles as it is only a single click operation.

Rapid Page Loading

Speed of page loading determines the overall site speed. It must be noted that latency can be detrimental to your business prospects since the page load speed has remarkable influence on the ranking of your website. If you wish to drive hordes of customers or potential visitors to your site, then a slow loading site can never be able to achieve this objective.

There are several reliable surveys that can be cited to establish the correlation between conversion rates and the speed of page loading. Your visitors will either abandon or will never return to your site even if there is mere 3 second delay in loading pages.

Website speed can be enhanced by placing servers in proximity of your visitors and cloud hosting services follow exactly the same method to boost page loading speeds. If a US based website has servers placed in various locations across Asia, then visitors from Asia will experience blazing fast page loads.

Uptime and other Hosting Features

Any cloud host that offers guaranteed uptime not less than 99.99 percent must back this claim by offering SLAs to that effect. Greater uptime is certainly a factor that will decide your web application’s performance when it is up and running. A service provider with top of the line low-density servers and branded world-class hardware is sure to support your website in the cloud environment with 99.99 percent uptime.

Cloud hosting features such as CMS, WP blogs, open scripts, and Wiki hosting are some of the vital parameters to look for while assessing a cloud service provider’s ability to enrich your hosting experience.

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Considerations for choosing a suitable Web Application Firewall

With the deployment of a strong web application firewall, one can be ensured and secured for critical web applications wherever they reside such as within a virtual software-defined data center (SDDC), managed cloud service environment, a public cloud, or traditional data center. A powerful WAF solution contributes towards organizations to protect against OWASP top ten threats, various application vulnerabilities, and zero-day attacks.

There are many organizations, which deliver updated rich and complex web content to customers without having an adequate security measures and which inculcate significant risks and are exposed to many potentially malicious attacks from frequently changing IP addresses. A powerful WAF also allows compliance with some key regulatory standards like HIPAA and PCI DSS.

In today’s era, enterprises are exploring their businesses with the usage of more web-based along with cloud-hosted applications, so a more powerful web application firewall (WAF) isn’t a luxury—it’s a requirement, a need.

At present, these cloud-based applications have become very popular, and so such malicious attacks have increased tremendously thus threatening enterprise data. This particularly makes it far more complicated for administrators and various security teams to keep in check with these latest attacks and protection measures. Also, meanwhile, the various security teams ought to meet the compliance requirements for the purpose of data sharing and online commerce across various traditional and cloud environments.

wafHere’s a checklist of some of the key factors that you must keep in consideration when selecting a WAF for the protection of your enterprises:

• Deployment Models

Various enterprises might continue for the usage of a hardware WAF appliance to protect their critical applications which are managed in a traditional data center. They can also obtain their application related security requirements using other WAF deployment models. Traditionally, the concept of WAF was deployed as hardware appliances on premises in various enterprise data centers. But with the migration of applications to cloud-based Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) environments and organizations leveraging cloud Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps, administrators and security teams are challenged for protecting applications beyond their data center. That means they cannot compromise on factors like performance, scalability, and manageability. Organizations usually struggle quite a lot to keep in check and maintain required control over new enterprises which offers limited security options for critical web applications residing beyond the controlled environment.

• Network Architecture and Application Infrastructure

In this specific inline model, there are three very significant methods that can be used to pass and control traffic: reverse-proxy mode, router mode, and bridge mode.

– Reverse proxy is the most common and used mode of operation. It basically works by terminating all incoming traffic and doing interaction with the server on behalf of a requestor. Reverse-proxy is the Go-To mode for security capabilities.
– Router mode is quite similar to reverse proxy mode, but it does not work by terminating requests intended for the server and actually offers few services. It is also called transparent mode. Frequently, transparent mode usage id conducted for traffic logging along with reporting.
– In bridge mode: In this mode, the WAF functions as a layer 2 switches with a very defined and limited managed firewall services.

Technically, the mode of operation will be determined by knowing how the application is basically set up on the network. Thus, before opting for a WAF, we must carefully consider various deployment option that suits best for the network infrastructure and network environment, and must understand the scope of services that one will need to use.

• Security Effectiveness and Detection Techniques

Traditionally, the most popularly used WAF configuration is a negative security model, which basically enables all the possible transactions except those that contain a malicious threat or attack. Both positive and negative models are capable enough of obtaining the delicate balance between “security” and “functionality.” In recent decades, positive security models have become more popular. This security approach blocks maximum traffic, allowing only such transactions that are known to be safe and without threat. The concept is based on strict content validation and statistical analysis. However, none of these alone can deliver the most effective and economical solution in every environment.

• Performance, High Availability, and Reliability

WAF should include following features that address these factors directly:

– Burden on back-end web servers is reduced by Hardware-based SSL acceleration.
– Performance is optimized by Load balancing web requests across multiple back-end web servers
– Efficient network transport is offered by automatic content compression.
– Back-end server TCP is reduced by connection pooling which is done by enabling requests to use same connection.
– Virtual Patching and Scanner Integration.

Web application malicious attacks or vulnerabilities are usually the most common causes of data breaching. Enterprises with a WAF can easily detect any malicious attacks and provide a solution by providing virtual patches. Virtual patches are basically fixes for vulnerabilities for preventing various cyber exploitation by hackers and attackers. However, developers and programmers put their best practices in secure coding, and might ensure adequate security testing of such applications, but all applications are somehow prone to vulnerabilities.  Fixes doesn’t requires any immediate changes to the software, and it allows various organizations to secure applications. Various malicious attacks and exposures which are specific to each application make companies web infrastructures exposed to vulnerabilities such as cross-site scripting, SQL injections, cookie poisoning, and others. Virtual Patches comes with automatic attack detection and anti-fraud capabilities.

• PCI DSS Compliance

The PCI DSS requirements are being efficiently revised in a security attempt to avoid any malicious attacks and keep user’s data secure.  Various malicious attacks are manufactured to steal sensitive credit card information. At present era, more and more security breaches and data thefts are occurring regularly. So, if in case your organization works with sensitive credit card information, you must attempt to comply with PCI DSS requirements. Web applications must be strengthened for protection with security purposes, they are often pathways for vulnerable malicious attackers to obtain wrong access to user’s sensitive cardholder data.

• Visibility and Reporting

Along with protecting the firewalls, this helps an organization to collect and analyze the data securely so that it has a better understanding of the current threat landscape—and gives a picture of how secure your applications are.

It provide reports on various web-based attempts to obtain access to user’s sensitive data, might subverting the database, or executing DoS attacks against the database.

• Device ID and Fingerprinting

Browser fingerprinting basically grabs browser attributes in a motive to identify a client. This is basically a great feature to identify or re-identify a visiting user, user agent, or device. Such persistent identifications of a client is very significant, allowing tracking across sites.

However, it cannot be said that Fingerprinting-based identification is always reliable. It may not work with all device or browser types. It is advisable to check with your WAF vendor for a relying list of supported devices/browsers, specific features supported, a list of attributes etc.

• SSL Offload

The process of offloading SSL computation to other network resources basically allows various applications to dedicate significant CPU resources to other processing tasks, which are performance oriented.  However, SSL processing can cause a strain on application resources. Firewalls which support SSL certificates offloading increases the utilization of the applications they protect, along with eliminating the need to buy additional hardware, and increase the value of the WAF itself.

• Behavioral Analysis

Behavioral analysis capabilities provides a helping hand and makes it easier for your organization to predict, easily identify, and respond to attacks. There are some WAFs that can analyze and understand volumetric traffic patterns. Also such WAFS scan for anomalous behavior based on some set of related rules. An excellent WAF will assesses average server response time, various transactions per second, and various sessions that request abundance of traffic for determining that whether an attack has taken place.

• Ease of Management

Earlier, in previous decades, deploying a Firewall used to be a somewhat difficult and time-consuming job as well for configuration and implementation of manual rules. Due to policy creation, firewalls can be processed with security policies that quickly addresses common vulnerabilities and exposure of attacks on web applications, including HTTP(S). Attacks. Management brilliantly compares the policies and provide a genuine evaluation of their functionalities across different firewalls, thus eventually strengthening overall security posture.

• Scalability and Performance

Organizations need to ensure about applications availability, even when they are under attack. It can provide the desired performance by optimizing applications and accelerating technologies like fast caching, compression, and TCP optimization. They are performance-oriented. The best WAF, with robust appliances and through centralized management, easily enables to handle large volumes of traffic.

• Vendor Release Cycle

It is advisable to enquire with your WAF vendor about their release cycle. As the threat landscape basically changes so quickly and dynamically, vendors that provides more common release, can help decrease your possibility of exposure and minimize the risk of your applications being compromised by a new or emerging threat.

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Common Mistakes Made in Auto Scaling AWS

When we speak of cloud computing, you cannot overlook auto scaling features of cloud hosting. Incidentally, this is one of the most attractive features of cloud hosting which has made it so popular. But, auto scaling is very often misinterpreted and these common misconceptions end up misleading IT personnel. They are seen to believe that setting up auto scaling is rather simple and hassle-free, and that this features will always guarantee 100% uptime.

– One of the first things which most IT personnel take for granted in auto scaling is that the process is simple. The IaaS platforms will usually take care of auto scaling of resources. The process is supposed to be far easier and direct than scaling within a datacenter. However, on visiting AWS or Amazon Web Services, one will see that there is no auto scaling provided by this public cloud. If you want a set-up which can scale up on its own and does not need human involvement, or a self-healing set up which can replace fail instances, you will need to make big investments at first. While installing load balancing between multiple AZs or Availability Zones may be easy to achieve, auto scaling with least stand-up times and perfect configurations is not as easy and will need a lot of time.

amazon web services

– Another common misconception is that the elastic scaling is usually used more often than fixed auto scaling. Auto scaling is not the same as load-based scaling; rather, it will focus on availability and redundancy and not on elastic scaling methods. Auto scaling is mainly needed for resiliency. In other words, instances are incorporated into fixed-size auto scaling systems to ensure that in case any instance crashes or fails, it will be replaced automatically. Using auto scaling, one can add capacity to the worker server queues; this helps in projects for data analysis. So, workers within such an auto scaling cluster can follow a queue and then carry out prescribed actions. The queues will be added till the time that it is affordable. In short, capacity will only be added when it is possible to have it.

– Thirdly, it is also believed that the capacity must necessarily match the demand. Auto scaling that is load-based has been considered to be suited for any environment. But there are some cloud hosting deployments which are found to be more resistant in the absence of auto scaling. For instance, this is true of startups having lower than 50 instances. Here, the demands and capacity when closely matched may have unplanned consequences. For instance, when a business has highest traffic at a specific time every day, it knows it will require more servers during that time but not at other times of the day. To save money, this business may decide to use the auto-scaling feature to put instances in auto scaling groups. But, if on any one occasion the traffic peaks at a different time, the site goes down. Here, in spite of auto scaling the site is found to go down. This is because adding new instances takes time and when the new instances finally do get added; it is not in time to handle the sudden surge in traffic at a different time as had happened. Moreover, since there are not ample instances for handling the workload, it triggers extra non-helpful instances and the existing servers get so overloaded that they slow down. If you consider the real world, demands will grow slowing and predictably. However, there are times when traffic spikes suddenly and auto scaling fails to match the demands. So, auto scaling is perhaps better for businesses which scale many servers instead of only a handful. Whenever you allow the capacity to drop below a particular amount, you will become prone to downtimes.

– Balancing between what configuration management tools can do and what is baked into AMI is challenging unlike what many people believe. What really happens is that you will configure an instance only depending on how quickly it can be installed. Using configuration management tools helps when you run many machines and you get to update the packages all in one place. But, in auto scaling events, you will not want to wait for scripts to download packages. Besides, with a Puppet script, many things can go wrong. When the initialization does not fail properly, it may mean huge money losses because the instances die and have to be rebuilt each time.

These arguments reveal some of the common myths which people have about auto scaling. Installation of auto scaling is anything but simple. It is a time consuming project too for engineers. So, it is believed that eventually there will be third party tools that can make this process simpler. Tools like OpsWork from Amazon need to become stronger; till that time, auto scaling will have to rely solely on the expertise and skills of engineers.

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies – A Brief Tutorial

Cryptocurrencies have become a rage among the investors over the years. However, there is extreme volatility witnessed with this new kind of currency. Many say that it’s the new way of existence in the new global economy. Crypto currencies are nothing but agreement between willing parties that calculate crypto of each participant. The experts dealing with this currency type say that people can create their own crypto currency till the participants do it among any group of people in a logical as well as consistent manner. However, there are also sceptics who compare these online currencies with that of the Dutch Tulips market bubble the market witnessed during 1600s. These are the reasons why it has become important to have a closer look at cryptocurrencies and have a clear idea about them before investing or owning them.

The Most Popular Currency till Date – Bitcoin

Bitcoin is definitely the first and most popular decentralized digital currency. The entire system works in such a manner where there is no central bank or any specific administrator. It’s a peer-to-peer network where transactions happen directly between two users. Mind it there is no intermediary in such a transaction. However, there are network nodes for verifying each transaction, which is again done with the help of cryptography. In fact, a blockchain is maintained for recording every transaction made. Blockchain is nothing but a publicly distributed ledger, maintained digitally throughout the network. Per available information, Bitcoin was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto. However, it’s still not known whether it’s a single person or a group of people. After creating this technology those anonymous persons released Bitcoin in 2009 in the form of a open-source software. Bitcoin process starts with the mining process. This currency is a reward for the effort of mining. These cryptocurrencies can be exchanged for other products, currencies, and services.

What are the other Crypto Currencies Available?

Though Bitcoin is the most popular crypto currency available, there are other popular ones too. Some of them include Ethereum, Ripple, and Light Coin blockchains. While Ethereum is backed by Ether, Ripple blockchain is backed by Ripple.

Another popular crypto is Light Coin that is nothing but classical Bitcoin’s modern variation. There are many others and loads more are being added to the list on a regular basis. So, there are many cryptocurrencies available at present.

Is there a Trend Emerging that is Preferring Other Cryptos than Bitcoins?

Bitcoin is definitely ahead of others in terms of popularity. However, experts point out that. Inspite of the fact that Bitcoin has started a sort of digital currency revolution of sorts, experts believe they are inadequate in meeting the stated objectives as well as requirements. Hence, it can be said that Bitcoin is not at all decentralized as the objective states. In fact, it also comes with a transaction cost. In fact, the volatility of Bitcoin’s price is extreme and that’s why many sceptics have started showing concerns about it. Some have also started predicting that Bitcoin will have the same fate as it was the case in the 1600s with Dutch Tulips and the associated market bubble. Many have started saying that Bitcoins are not suitable for transactional purposes, especially from the perspective of the true sense electronic currency. When we say digital currency then the first thing that comes to mind is the feature of facilitating legitimate commerce online.

To fill in the gap and move towards the stated decentralized objective of digital currencies, many more currencies are being developed. One such effort is in the form of utility settlement coin. This effort is channelized by a London based company called Clear Matics. In this case, the currency is has a direct linkage with that of Fiat currency. There are other instances too. One such effort is being carried out by a MIT faculty along with other experts in the field where they are trying to conceptualize a currency backed by assets. They say this currency will meet the needs of the general perception of people, which is nothing but storage of value by each account. Many experts are of the opinion that cryptocurrencies are still in the evolving stage and more exciting things are yet to come and surface.

Can Cryptos be part of Real World Finance?

That’s definitely a million dollar question. However, there are ominous signs that indicate that crypto currencies can definitely become real world finances and drive the world finance in the days to come.

There are multiple obstacles that are there and they are required to be overcome. The first most vulnerable aspect of Bitcoin or other cryptos is that it has become more volatile with many more participants getting involved in the process and transaction. A person who bought Bitcoin at $1000 would definitely be happy when the value reaches $20,000. However, the same will not be the case where a person bought the same at $20,000 because the value has now come down to $11,000.

Once these issues are sorted out, cryptocurrencies will become the norm of world finance and will definitely drive them.

In a nutshell, you can opt for Bitcoin mining and other cryptocurrency mining to earn great ROI and become a part of crypto community.

Dedicated Hosting

Will Dedicated Hosting Lose Its Relevance in a Cloud World?

The fact that cloud computing has overshadowed benefits of dedicated hosting for a business is much debated. While cloud computing tends to be the buzzword these days, dedicated hosting has certainly not lost its importance. A dedicated infrastructure still continues to offer many advantages over cloud hosting models in specific scenarios.

What are some myths about dedicated hosting?

There are some cases where dedicated hosting seems to be very much necessary unlike what most people would think. There is a general tendency to assume that private clouds are the safest bet when security concerns are high. However, the truth is that dedicated infrastructure services can often provide far better security options for your data. You have the freedom to set up custom security measures for protection against breaches.

Many businesses feel that dedicated hosting services involve more hassles. However in reality, dedicated hosting offers far more flexibility and control than any other form of hosting especially when it comes to meeting specific security, compliance and performance needs. As a matter of fact, using a dedicated infrastructure can often help to reduce complexities. This is possible because users will get the freedom to make changes in the configuration of servers; they can carry out customizations seamlessly within a single-tenant environment, something unheard of in any shared environment like a cloud.

Another commonly held myth about dedicated hosting is that it is costlier compared to the cloud. However, the truth is, that by making predictable workloads run on dedicated servers and using public clouds to cope with traffic spikes, businesses can actually save money. Dedicated hosting will actually offer you an environment which you do not have to install or manage but one that you can completely customize. So, you can enjoy significant cost savings through dedicated hosting plans too.

Many clients feel that to manage dedicated hosting plans, you will need a lot of expertise. This is not entirely true when you have a quality team of experts that are there to support you in the planning and implementation stages. When you can sign up with a good hosting service provider, you can count on their 24×7 support. These experts will instruct you on how best to optimize the infrastructure, how to cut down on costs with dedicated hosting plans and how to troubleshoot problems.

Dedicated hosting plans are also much easier to manage as they provide a lot of flexibility. They help to introduce simplicity in your system as you have the freedom to install custom features and change server configurations.

Another huge benefit that dedicated hosting seems to provide over cloud hosting is high availability. The same benefits may also be guaranteed by the cloud through load balancing. With the help of advanced cloud set-ups, users can even drag-and-drop balancing solutions at any place. In dedicated hosting, problems relating to availability or capacity can be conveniently corrected without much difficulty. Dedicated servers are powered by advanced technologies and they have redundant load balancers which guarantee high availability for all sites. This means that even if a single server or more than one server crashes, there are other standby servers which will step in to take its place to ensure that availability is not disrupted.

With cloud servers, application infrastructure can be easily scaled up and down, depending on your business requirements. So, businesses do not have to go through the hassle of adjusting their systems all the time to cope with the fluctuating business demands. Dedicated servers will provide the same flexibility and scalability at much lower costs. One of the biggest reasons to choose cloud hosting solutions is scalability. However, although computing resources may be scaled up, the applications might not be prepared for the same. So, your options are limited. But when you have dedicated servers, you also have the option of moving into the cloud when you need to scale out. Creating complex software which can be scaled up is a huge challenge and needs a lot of time. This is also the most important reason why dedicated servers have not lost their charm yet. With dedicated hosting, you always have enough room to grow and the full freedom to do what you want with the software and hardware. So, even if you need to scale up the resources, you can count on your dedicated server to back you up till the transition is made to the cloud.

These are specific benefits which enterprises can obtain from dedicated servers and these are not going to fade anytime soon. Even with the growth and popularity of cloud hosting, dedicated hosting is not likely to lose its relevance in a cloud-dominated world. The cloud hosting solutions are undoubtedly far more cost effective and viable for businesses but the dedicated hosting infrastructure is one which provides certain special advantages which cloud hosting cannot compete with. At the same time, organizations that realize the value of dedicated hosting also understand that the cloud is definitely the future of hosting. So, they are making a constant effort to learn how to integrate the advantages of dedicated infrastructure with their cloud infrastructure.

Multi Cloud

Understanding Striking Attributes of a Multi-cloud Approach

There are many reasons why more and more enterprises are developing a growing interest in cloud solutions. In addition to greater profitability of economical cloud services, flexibility and improved scalability are also some of the vital goals for cloud adoption.
 
Cost efficiency of cloud solutions is not only due to elimination of capital expenditure but can also be attributed to a highly competitive cloud service market. Costs of cloud services are significantly declining over the last few years, owing to a fiercely competitive cloud providers’ market.

Presently, many C-level executives are struggling to find a right cloud solution, which is able to provide a perfect mix of various cloud services such as public and private cloud offerings. Integration of these services into the enterprise IT infrastructure is an overwhelming process.
 
Multi-cloud infrastructure
Deployment of an IT infrastructure across many cloud offerings including OpenStack, AWS, SalesForce, Azure and Google is associated with a multi-cloud environment. It is designed to facilitate availability of data across the entire gamut of applications. There is a possibility of confusing a multi-cloud arrangement with a hybrid cloud offering.

In fact, these are inherently different as a hybrid cloud is associated with use of an application on multiple platforms such as public or private cloud and in a multi-cloud environment the entire IT ecosystem is spread across clouds. In some instances, a multi-cloud strategy can also be aimed at encompassing data centers.

Sometimes, a multi-cloud environment is automatically created because various departments of the organization can consider leveraging individual cloud arrangements according to their specific requirements.

Multi-cloud strategy aims at streamlining the haphazard adoption of clouds across organization to explore the most compelling value propositions of a multi-cloud strategy. It also takes into account matters of governance and approach to choose particular clouds.

Improved cost efficiency and scalability
Optimization of costs can be considered as one of the most vital value propositions offered by a multi-cloud approach. Greater use of cloud infrastructure reduces a variety of costs including maintenance, procurement of IT hardware, and manpower expenditure for running onsite IT. Cost efficiency is also boosted by market forces that push vendors to improve their offerings by keeping check on the costs.

Organizations are able to adopt innovative ways to support development due to improved scalability. Moreover, a scalable infrastructure of cloud enables enhanced agility as far as management of capacity and workload is concerned.

Smoother cloud adoption
Enterprise or business customers can explore wide ranging benefits of SaaS offerings including greater ease of cloud adoption. They can move workloads to cloud without interfering with enterprise IT approach. In fact, modern IT infrastructure should be designed in such a way that there is ample room for cloud adoption.

This should be done by implementing all necessary security precautions for maintaining integrity of mission critical data. Ideal IT approach must be driven by resiliency and robust security.
 
Greater risk cover
It is observed that multi-clouds are able to deliver a fair degree of risk coverage. This covers more reliable and faster recovery from events of unexpected outage or natural catastrophes.

Latency mitigation with greater availability
Performance and availability can be considerably improved by adopting a well-designed multi-cloud approach. It is easy to deploy workloads in an environment that involves multiple cloud service providers providing different IaaS solutions with an optimum architecture of multi-clouds. The inherent redundancy of infrastructure provides an ideal and fault-tolerant environment.

Mitigation of latency is usually achieved because the cloud service providers operate from diverse locations to help users operate with enhanced proximity. This makes latency to be a vital aspect of any strategy that considers a multi-cloud approach.

Moving towards specialization
Cloud service providers are finding ways to be able to cater to niche market segments. They have succeeded in offering focused and specialized cloud solutions to client enterprises by rising above the conventional segments of SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS among others. It is observed that segment leaders in these services have already moved beyond their core offerings to cater to niche consumers.

Yet another advantage of a multi-cloud approach is freedom from lack of choices with growing number of new and best of breed CSPs. There will always be a competition among different CSPs leading to availability of more efficient providers of with highly focused approach.

Ease of mobility and management
We have already highlighted the development of more and more cloud service providers with ability of providing greater choices. This will further empower enterprises to move among different best of breed cloud providers. The growing competition itself will force CSPs to offer services with ease of portability.

Takeaway
The wide spectrum of advantages of multi-cloud encourages modern enterprises to adopt strategies for adoption of the model. The trend appears to be steadily gathering steam as more and more organizations are empowering themselves with a well-designed multi-cloud strategy.

Interesting Topic :

Can Start-ups Use Multi-Cloud Strategy Effectively?

 

VPS Hosting India

Powerful VPS Hosting for an Improved Web Performance

Website owners prefer to go for Virtual Private Server hosting for enhanced control and availability of more options in terms of customizable solutions for management of specific business processes.  VPS facilitates instant start to new business ventures without need to build costly hardware or networking infrastructure.

However, a Virtual Private Server can be conceptually perplexing to new entrants due to its unique architecture that combines vital functions of a dedicated server hosting and economy of shared hosting.

Therefore, a Virtual Private Server can be considered as a hybrid server that offers some of the most fascinating attributes to its users. It is not just a blend of shared and dedicated server but is far more superior to these hosting options.

Enhanced ROI

If the page loading time of your website happens to be longer than just few seconds, then the visitor is most certainly going to move away from your website. This will not only impact the ranking of your business on leading search engines but will also be detrimental to revenue generation.

Faster loading websites facilitate easy browsing and also enable online sessions such as chatting. Most of the Virtual Private Services are found to support instantaneous page loads for an assured online existence.

Every website is supposed to offer a faster browsing experience to its visitors without fear of downtime for higher Return on Investment (ROI). VPS hosting enables businesses to achieve this by improving page loading speeds so that there is a better scope for conversion.

Control and affordability

As mentioned earlier, a Virtual Private Server covers the best features of shared as well as dedicated server hosting. Moreover, you will enjoy an unrestricted accessibility to your server with facility to install software of your choice and authority over most of the important features of server. This is one of the most sought after features of a dedicated server. Needless to mention, a shared hosting environment does not provide any control on the hosting environment to users.

Nevertheless, a shared hosting facility is able to ensure economy of a multi-tenant arrangement. Although, a majority of providers of shared hosting services boast of unlimited services. This can often prove to be unrealistic, since no service can be considered to be unlimited without an assurance of seamless performance without any downtime.

Superiority over shared hosting

Services of Virtual Private Server hosting are not only superior to shared hosting in terms of quality but are also as affordable as shared hosting. This is mainly due to a multi-tenant environment of VPS hosting. Although, a Virtual Private Server has an individual existence, it is sharing the main server with other websites in a common environment which is similar to shared hosting arrangement.

Users of Virtual Private Server are provided rebooting facility for grater individual control over the entire sever ecosystem. It also allows you to reset the controls in the manner that suits your business priorities.

Cost of any VPS hosting plan can be adjusted to suit individual budget by way of customization. If your business does not need some of the features of a given VPS plan, then you are allowed to reduce number of such features for greater cost efficiency.
 
Choosing the right VPS service

Finding a perfect provider of VPS service can be an extremely daunting process due to presence of a large number of hosting companies. However, you can reduce the complexity of this by understanding your priorities and then finding a service provider that fulfills these.

To begin with, you need to find out what type of an operating system would be ideal for your website. This will help you select either a Linux distribution or a Windows operating system.

Security aspects

Secured web hosting is primarily concerned with security of your server such as a Virtual Private Server because it holds vital data in relation with operations of your website or business.

Security in web hosting has a broad connotation because it must take into account storage, management and retrieval of data, in addition to enabling a strong visitor management.
VPS hosting providers must be able to guarantee seamless performance of websites and their vital features in spite of ups and downs in number of concurrent visitors. You need to check uptime guarantee along with a host of technical specifications such as RAM, disk space and CPU. These features should be in accordance with the volume of traffic.

Unique hosting plans

Web hosting companies try to design different hosting packages to suit individual needs of businesses. Thus you can have hosting plans for beginners, professionals, small enterprises, or large conglomerates. In addition to these standard plans, reputed hosting services can also help clients design bespoke hosting plans if the requirements happen to be more individualistic.

You will find VPS hosting plans to be a shade costlier than shared hosting plans but considerably more rewarding in terms of their features. You can choose a VPS hosting option for operating business critical website without incurring huge costs of dedicated server hosting.

GST Ecommerce

GST from the Perspective of an Ecommerce Website

GST (Goods and Service Tax) has been introduced to expand the tax net through 101st amendment of constitution. They say 101 is an auspicious number and therefore the rolling out of GST will have good effect in the economy. Goods and Services tax has come to effect from July 1, 2017. This new tax has rattled many small to medium sized businesses.

No matter which vertical a business belongs to, it has been affected – either positively or negatively.  It can be said without any doubt that implementation of GST was not easy especially in a country of such size and diversity. Such an enormous task has not been done by any other country of similar size as well as complexity. Simplifying tax structure is not an easy task. However, GST is aimed at simplifying as well as rationalising taxes, thereby helping goods to move from one part of the country to another seamlessly without any kind of discrimination among regions. This is expected to increase growth and at the same time improve ease of doing business.

In this blog, a comprehensive analysis will be done on the effects of GST on ecommerce website.

A section of the industry, especially from the online industry believes that GST is the best thing that could have happened to B2B ecommerce throughout India. One of the major advantages of ecommerce industry from this tax reform is the ability to maximize distributed inventory benefits. Here, there is no requirement of dealing with variables including optimisation of tax net.

Currently, it is being seen that different states of India impose entry taxes as per its requirements and many times from its whims. With GST in place now, the time is now not far away when these kinds of state-specific entry taxes will be done away with, thereby leading to rationalisation as well as simplification of taxes with the help of GST. From now on, there will be only one tax for the businesses to pay and that is GST.

Ecommerce and GST

There are three challenges regarding implementation of GST and they are –

1. Collection of tax at source itself
2. Proper treatment of returns on sales, cancellations, discounts, and replacements
3. There were certain clauses that are restricting or delaying implementation of GST bill.
Ambiguity around a few specific clauses in the GST draft bill still persists. Now, let’s check out how these challenges can be combated.

How to Combat These Challenges?

The bill suggests that ecommerce platforms have the responsibility of collecting the TCS on sale of goods as well as services that are made by the supplier. The filing of return is needed to be done on a monthly and yearly basis. This is needed to be done by the ecommerce platform. This becomes a huge accounting burden for the ecommerce sites because lakhs of sellers carry on transactions on these platforms on a daily basis through the ecommerce sites.

GST law suggests that it is the ecommerce aggregators that have to collect and deposit tax from each transaction at the rate of 1 per cent. If you are a trader or dealer then you would get the payment after the deduction of 1 per cent tax is done. Every online traders or dealers have to get registered under Goods and Services Tax even if the yearly turnover is less than 20 lakhs.

Till now in India, the Cash on Delivery (COD) mode is still a prevalent mode of ecommerce transaction. This is one of the reasons that the rate of cancellations as well as returns stand at around 15 to 18 per cent. In addition, it takes anywhere from 7 days to 15 days for cash reconciliations. This is a big challenge on part of the ecommerce platforms because unlike other offline business models there are certain distinctive variations and special problem scenarios such as –

• Returns take place in a different month than the sales booking
• Interstate cancellations of orders are quite common in ecommerce platforms

In case of returns, there are special provisions too. The GST law suggests that the reported supplies of ecommerce companies will be matched with the figures provided by the supplier in its return for outward supplies. If there are any kind of mismatch then redetermination of vendor’s output liability will be re-determined.

The law suggests that in case of returned products (especially the ones that are returned in the next month or even in the same month) the ecommerce firms have to claim refund of the tax from government.

What’s the Way Ahead?

GST brings with itself benefits as well as concern for ecommerce companies. However, the benefits outweigh the concerns when seen in aggregate. The present situation is that the ecommerce industry needs more clarity especially in terms of different ecommerce verticals such as tourism, ticketing, booking of resorts and hotels, events, and adventures.

 

Related Story :

How the GST Will Change IT Set-Ups in Organizations

Go4hosting gst-cloud-infrastructure

Dedicated Server

Points To Consider When You Buy A Dedicated Or VPS Server

Installing servers does not have to be a Herculean task because the provider usually takes care of this for you. But, to be able to exploit the features of the hosting plans and to optimize the server to boost your business, you need to make some changes to default settings. Your web host will typically install and also configure the server for you, the main programs and services which you need. However, you can request the support staff to analyze and install your servers properly to optimize default settings and cater to your business demands well. So, once you have already bought a virtual private server or a dedicated server, you may look into these following factors:

 Modifying Security Policies: Since you own the server and enjoy admin access to it, you can decide on the degree of client access or security limits. This means that you will be essentially provided with some fundamental security tools. These may not be enough to keep away advanced threats or risks. So, you may have to request and empower the host support teams for tightening the security arrangements according to your specifications. In other words, you may ask the provider to set the host and IP-based limits for WHM, SSH and the Plesk login panels. You could ask them to disable unused ports and vulnerable PHP or system function, configure the password strength, and install more firewalls and antivirus detection measures according to your needs. You could also make sure the users are stopped from overriding the PHP configuration values in the .htaccess files and php.ini files.

 Optimizing Memory Resources Management: Your CPU and RAM will determine the system performance. But you may fail to get a high loading speed even with a high-end server unless the server has been properly optimized to work together with your site. So, there are going to be default PHP and MySQL settings in the control panels for servers which have been set up. You need to ensure that the LAMP settings are properly adjusted depending on your application needs and the resources available. When you host free and open source applications, you can get information about the environment settings from the README section of the software. But, when you customize an open source app like a CMS or script, you can request developers to coordinate with the tech support staff to make the necessary arrangements. When the host can successfully optimize the LAMP settings, your site performance is improved. You can also prevent server overloading.

 Backup and Recovery Arrangements: When your hosting provider offers you paid or free backup services, you should definitely get these optimized to suit your needs. The host tech support staff will either configure backups according to your specifications or will wait for your directions. It is your duty to request support teams to adjust the backups from time to time, whether it is on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. You should ideally set both the local and remote options for backups to make sure that data is secure even if the server malfunctions.

 IP Address: It is important to send information to your support staff for installing the email servers according to the best practices available. You also need to keep follow-ups in case of problems with the IP address.

 Software Updates and Upgrades: Site performance improves when the software is regularly updated and upgraded. It is better to choose automatic upgrades and also request the support staff to perform manual upgrades when needed. This will ensure that messages are not overlooked and the support teams are on board as soon as there are server issues. Routine updates will deploy new security arrangements and bug fixes to enhance performance. The support teams will also send alerts if there are major security issues. Such emails must never be overlooked and the support teams must be immediately called to install patches. To get information about vulnerabilities and new releases, you can subscribe to emails from leading software vendors such as cPanel and CentOS.

It is advisable to install the latest Apache, PHP or MySQL versions on any new server. When the server runs outdated versions of software, you need to contact the web developers to check for script compatibility. The team must also carry out upgrades as and when needed.

 Maintenance and Administration Alerts: If you find that the server must be rebooted because of some programming updates or it must be shut down to carry out some support tasks, you must ideally keep these for the weekends or during midnight. These are periods which are likely to witness least traffic. Side by side, you must also make sure that there is another portal on another remote server which can store downtime updates regarding the server or instances of server disruptions. Your clients and staff must be duly kept informed about all of this through threads and emails to prepare them in advance.

Related Story :

How To Use Dedicated Server?

VPS Hosting India

Can Adopting VPS Solutions Improve Site Page Speed?

The relationship between a website’s page loading speed and the hosting solutions used by the site owner cannot be undermined. Without the right web hosting solutions, your website page speed can be significantly slow which may adversely affect your profits. With the emergence of new technologies, users expect sites to load much faster than before. Studies on this factor have revealed that most users will not visit a certain site if it fails to upload quickly. So, for better profits and higher sales, it is absolutely imperative that the web pages load faster. You can guarantee better customer satisfaction and ensure that they find your content relevant. This means increase rates of conversions and higher profits as there are more recorded sales.

What happens when pages take longer to load?
There have been numerous studies to establish the close relation between user experience and page loading speed. With a low loading website, user experience suffers and this can mean big losses for the business. For instance, surveys undertaken by Gomez.com and Akamia reveal that about 47% of buyers will leave a site after two seconds if the page does not load in that time. When the site fails to load in 3 seconds, they shift elsewhere. So, page loading speed will impact viewership significantly. Other related studies have also proved that when a high number of buyers have experienced a slow loading site while shopping, they are likely to share their experiences with their friends.

It has been site that ecommerce sites like Shopzilla witness a 25% hike in viewership and generated higher revenues when it could upgrade its page loading time. Ecommerce websites which earn huge revenues can lose a huge amount of money even if there are delays of a second. Search engine optimization includes critical factors like page loading speed alongside keywords and relevant back links. Google has reiterated the value of a fast loading website for everyone. When the pages load quickly, users are satisfied and likely to spend more time on the site. But, when pages take long to load, buyers will spend minimal time on that site. With the help of SEO tools like Google Analytics, it is now possible to determine and assess page loading times with a view to improving them.

How can you ensure that page loading is faster?
To enjoy higher rankings in search engines, it is not only enough to have faster page loading times. Along with this, the content should be keyword-rich and there should be relevant back links. However, when you can take care of the page loading time, you can enjoy an advantage over the others. This is because there are thousands of other sites out there seeking to get more clients.

Which hosting plans can offer better page loading times?
When you must upload a web page, there are many codes that will run to respond to different user requests. To generate only a single page, there may be hundreds of database queries being run. Such activities are to take place on the servers where your ecommerce site is getting hosted. When the servers are powerful and reliable, the pages get loaded faster.

When you choose shared hosting, you are expected to share resources with many other sites housed on that same server. So, chances of resources getting over-used by some clients are very high. As a result, your site may slow down. You need to choose the right type of hosting solutions to ensure that this does not happen.

How does VPS hosting help in improving website speed?
With VPS hosting, you can get an adequate amount of memory, CPU, bandwidth which is allotted to your hosting account. Each of the virtual servers housed on a physical server is independent and has its own resources. Users are given root access to servers. So, they can reboot the server is needed and adjust its settings. They can install custom software to satisfy their business requirements. They may even tweak the server settings to improve page loading speeds.

In order to understand how far VPS hosting plans can improve page loading speed, tests have been conducted. They were carried out on the better known content management systems like WordPress, Magento, Drupal and Joomla, on SSD VPS packages and also on shared packages. Marked improvements were noticeable when hosting was upgraded from a shared package to a VPS package. This shows that VPS plans are preferred by businesses which are resource-rich and receive high volumes of traffic.

When you have access to servers and its resources, you are going to have higher processing power and better memory. This implies that the servers will be able to respond to the queries much faster. A VPS SSD or solid state drive will be able to load the files faster compared to a hard drive. This will indirectly guarantee better site performance. When you have your databases and resources on your server, your site performance is automatically upgraded because you do not have to share resources from some other server.

Go4hosting personalized VPS server India plans include everything that a business may need to manage current and futuristic business needs. To fulfill your business requirement mail us at : [email protected] and you can directly reach us at 1800-212-2022.

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