Tag Archives: Cloud Server

Cloud Migration

Portfolio and Discovery as Drivers of Successful Cloud Migration

In the entire gamut of moves that are necessary for digital transformation of the organization, cloud adoption can perhaps be the most vital step to be taken. This is the most significant and complex move, which is full of challenges and roadblocks unless it is backed by prudent planning and a structured approach.

Importance of a planned cloud migration

In the absence of proper planning, the cloud adoption process can impact the organization in terms of incremental costs, and inordinate delays in addition to the failure of achieving much anticipated success at the end of the day.

The right and structured cloud migration must go through the five most important stages that must begin with a through a clear understanding of business planning and in-depth preparation for migration. The second step forms the very crux of cloud migration and is an extremely important aspect of a successful cloud adoption. It involves identification and planning of portfolio and delivers data to update every component that may be part of the process from beginning to the end.

The subsequent phases include migration of onsite applications to cloud and validation, followed by smooth running of cloud operations.

We will be focusing our attention on the second phase of a cloud migration process because unless the application or asset dependencies are clearly understood, one cannot plan migration to cloud with help of building a case for a business that is driven by data.

Clear understanding of portfolio discovery is an essential prerequisite to determine the best possible way to embrace the cloud. Portfolio discovery delivers the optimum efficiency without impacting seamless infrastructure operations at the level of applications.

Power of knowledge in cloud migration

The second phase of cloud adoption offers valuable insights about operating the application in the most optimized manner. This knowledge is essential for designing a flawless migration plan that addresses the business case by focusing on data assets.

The proposed migration plan can thus deliver the highest efficiency because it takes into account every application and portfolio.

Clear knowledge of application is required to develop a migration plan that focuses on priorities as far as applications are concerned. The second phase can be explained by understanding the processes of discovery and planning.

In the discovery part, dependencies and assets are mapped after precise discovery. In this process, one can also appreciate correlation of assets and dependencies in view of business services that are being supported. Planning provides opportunity to gather information in terms of costs so that a proper migration plan can be designed for a better performance at lower costs.

Great benefits of discovery

Many enterprises lack the ability of discovering the assets and capabilities from the contest of their businesses. It is not very difficult to list down almost every asset but majority of companies find it hard to associate these assets with reference to business services.

This can be further complicated due to the technological changes that are commonplace in modern digital infrastructures. In order to simplify the discovery process, one should gather comprehensive inventory of all resources including servers, storage, applications, software, and network components to name a few.

Dependencies must be mapped properly and documented thoroughly across the entire infrastructure of organization. This process should take into account load balancing, relationships between servers, hosts and edge networks, and complex deployments such as hybrid clouds.

The knowledge gathered by these processes is a valuable raw material to build a consistent and reliable framework to analyze and evaluate every single workload as well as application with respect to its feasibility for cloud migration.

You will be able to gain a more meaningful insight to help arrive at informed decisions and choices. The plethora of options to choose from can include retiring an application or device, re-hosting of a software, or using a PaaS service for building it again.

How to ensure a smoother cloud migration

A quick identification of applications that are the right candidates for cloud migration is necessary to avoid analysis of all applications irrespective of their cloud-worthiness. There are four major categories of applications including location specific, virtualized, cloud-friendly, and SaaS like applications that are built for cloud only.

Process of cloud migration must begin by bucketing of applications according to their individual characteristics and features.

It is hardly any wonder that some enterprises are moving all their digital assets and applications to cloud, obviously due to greater cost efficiency of cloud services. However, this may not be the right way to embrace cloud as there is always a lurking danger of failure.

Therefore a more prudent and practical solution would be to drive cloud adoption by selecting small projects and then going ahead by learning from the past experiences.

In summary

Cloud migration process should focus at reducing the time to value by maintaining a consistent pace of migration. Portfolio identification and its discovery can guarantee a successful migration.

Key Features of a Cloud Strategy

Key Features of a Cloud Strategy

Every business benefits from a distinct cloud strategy which must be designed in keeping with the needs of the business. There is therefore no single cloud solution that can benefit all businesses equally. Below are provided some of the basic principles which should be included in every cloud strategy:

Software as a Service: The main aim of cloud solutions is user engagement and therefore the SaaS solutions must be innovative and respond to trends such as collaboration, mobility etc. This means that businesses will get to use the most recent cloud technologies when they sign up for cloud computing solutions from a provider. While user experience is of utmost importance, the user interface alone is not responsible for this. It is really the consistency which makes a difference. For instance, a visually attractive app may not offer a positive user experience when you try to use it for solving other business related issues. So, it is imperative to have multiple innovation cycles in a year to help you adapt to the changing conditions around you. Course correction is vital in a cloud strategy and before you sign up, you need to find out whether the solutions offered by your vendor are consistent across all platforms, whether you use desktop or mobile interface. You must also find out how information can be transferred to enable better collaboration, how often innovations are undertaken in a year, whether customers are involved in such innovations, whether they use analytics etc.

Platform as a Service: You cannot hope to deploy good applications without having good platforms. Since many vendors fail to appreciate the value of this idea initially, they end up having to make many changes later. It is important to have an open platform which can be adapted conveniently. You should be able to develop new solutions and build add-ons whenever needed. So, it is necessary to find out from your provider whether their cloud strategy supports only a single platform or it allows for the creation of new solutions too. You must find out what kind of innovations the platform offers such as in-memory, streaming, predictive analysis etc. The biggest risk when you adopt new cloud solutions is that customer experience can suffer when solutions from different providers are not able to integrate with one another seamlessly. So, there should be integration among solutions to lessen burden on users and consistency in user experiences. This implies there must be a consistent system of diagnostics or metrics which remains uniform across different platforms. So, you need to find out the kind of prepackaged integration the vendor offers, what the remedies are in case of problems with these, the people responsible for integrations and updates.

Infrastructure as a Service: Any cloud computing solution must be founded on a solid infrastructure. At the same time, it should be able to support diverse settings from various vendors. You will therefore need a set-up which can deploy cloud computing solutions, and at the same time easily shift existing applications into models of cloud computing when innovating. So, you must inquire which tools are available to virtualize the existing infrastructure, how the vendor can help you migrate your on-site apps to private clouds etc.

Security: This is perhaps the most important concern when discussing cloud hosting solutions. So, it is important to inquire about data location, business continuity and portability, backup solutions and disaster recovery plans offered by your provider. You need to know how the cloud vendor plans to “harden” the existing security structures, where it keeps the data, what its data center strategy is, the certifications it has relating to security etc.

Public Cloud: A public cloud is guaranteed to offer you cost efficiency by allowing resource-sharing amongst many servers interconnected in a network. Here, the vendor will own and run the infrastructure across the Internet. You will however need to find out whether the vendor is able to offer high scalability because at time, the configuration options are limited for each vendor. The vendor on its part is not always able to maintain a single code base and if forced to insert client-specific complexities into code line which in turn affects performance and delivery cycles. So, you have to ask how the vendor plans to handle multi-tenancy and whether it will use a hybrid approach or a custom one. You need to know how it will manage integration in diverse settings with its cloud plans.

Private Cloud: This is a great way to transfer the existing assets to a cloud solution. Here, the infrastructure will be run for one organization alone, whether it is internally managed or externally managed by third parties. You need to see how private clouds can benefit your business. The hybrid cloud is a combination of more than a single cloud model where both private and public cloud solutions are blended. This offers advantages of multiple cloud models but you need to ensure that your vendor knows exactly how to get the right mix. So, you have to ask your vendor what it can offer for transferring your existing solutions and how it will innovate these, how it will handle hybrid cloud settings and make the different cloud models integrate with one another etc.

For Interesting Topics :

Key Trends for the Future in Public Cloud Computing

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How to Migrate your Data Center to Cloud IaaS

How to Migrate your Data Center to Cloud IaaS

Any journey must be backed by sound planning initiative and the journey of onsite data center resource to cloud IaaS is obviously no exception. Chief Information Officers are entrusted with the responsibility of migrating onsite IT infrastructure to cloud. They have to make in-depth analysis of the entire process even if a single application has to be shifted to cloud.

Vital aspects of cloud migration

There has to be a sound understanding between a cloud provider and users of cloud services in order to optimize resource consumption without impacting scalability and efficiency.

Recent surveys have confirmed that embracing the enterprise cloud is a vital force that is boosting transformation to digital technology adoption and is considered as a major growth driver. It is therefore hardly any wonder that sixty five percent of enterprises are about to shift their digital assets to cloud or remote data centers through colocation.

The speed of cloud adoption has been gaining amazing traction and at the end of current decade, sixty to seventy percent expenditure on software and technology related services will be directed at cloud computing.

Steps to successful migration

As mentioned earlier, the journey to data center migration should begin with planning that includes three stages. The entire operation should be planned with a view to maintain undisturbed performance of business operations and seamless data protection. Proper planning and careful execution of the plan can guarantee all advantages of cloud adoption including compliance, scalability, cost efficiency, and reduction in time to market.

Plan and designing stage- By understanding current workload and data requirements, you will be able to clearly demarcate cloud resources as independent billing accounts, DHCP blocks, and subnets. To begin with you can establish main features of your end users who are going to consume your offerings such as applications and IT solutions.

Interconnectivity within clouds- Usually the aspect of cloud interconnectivity is considered at later stages. However, it is possible to establish an affordable and efficient cloud infrastructure with excellent scalability if this attribute of cloud is considered in the beginning itself.

More and more enterprises are able to exploit wide ranging benefits of interconnectivity in a multi-cloud environment. Moreover, you can enhance the performance of cloud based applications by allowing close proximity of between users, applications, and data.

Setting up and categorization of networks as per their size should be performed by studying security aspects. This process should be executed by keeping in mind continuity of accessibility in a post-migration scenario. Applications can be broken down into categories to facilitate manageability.

Migration process

You need to consider the fact that many instances of cloud migration have not offered the expected benefits to enterprises in terms of agility and efficiency. These were found to lack in appropriate level of transformation thereby leading to cost intensive migration. In order to choose the right approach for migration, one must align specific needs of organization and objective of migration with the process.

Moving as it is – The approach is termed as ‘lift and shift’ by experts and involves moving of workloads without modification of application management tools to the destination cloud IaaS from current position. In such process the modification is not done unless required in exceptional cases. The straightforward process involves no utilization of cloud’s inherent features and offers hardly any value addition. The option is generally not adopted due to excessive costs.

Use of virtual automation- If you are planning to steer clear of operating your own data center and wish to adopt prompt adoption of innovative technology, then this could be the perfect approach for you. Modification of IT processes is an important highlight and pre-requisite if this process. This approach leverages cloud based features including automation to provide a greater scope for standardization. Sanitization of workloads is the process of making these more secure, cost-effective, and secure.

Transforming the DevOps way- Maximum use of cloud specific agile approach is the main attribute of transformation to cloud IaaS by leveraging DevOps based tools. If you are proposing to lay significant stress on infrastructure as code and automation, the advanced DevOps transformation can ensure technology renovation so that your enterprise is fully prepared to address needs of Mode 1 and Mode 2.

However, the approach does not support full transformation since it is found to be highly complex and disruptive proposition. However, if you looking forward to induce agility as well as DevOps throughout the enterprise IT infrastructure then this can be a perfect approach.

In conclusion

The three approaches to migrate existing data center infrastructure to cloud IaaS cover different use case scenarios. For a faster and flexible cloud deployment, CIOs can think of obviating server rebuilds by leveraging cloning and migration of VMs. Clear analysis of hybrid cloud infrastructures in terms of SLAs and compatibility of applications continues to be an important aspect of DC migration to cloud IaaS.

For Interesting Topic :

Cloud Migration: Is it a Boon or Bane for Enterprises?

Multi Cloud Hosting

Essential Attributes of a Multi-cloud Strategy

Significant majority of enterprises is adopting a multi-cloud approach and the number of such organizations is growing every year. It is predicted that all enterprises will have to gain multi-cloud capabilities in near future. In fact, only about fifteen percent organizations are yet to implement multi-cloud computing and will have to engage multi-cloud providers sooner or later.

Importance of a multi-cloud strategy

Even if the major players in cloud services have made sure that their offerings include a wide assortment of cloud solutions, these players differ from each other in their focus areas. Hence you will find that Amazon Web Services has been busy expanding the range of cloud services in the domain of storage to stay ahead of the competition in this category.

If you are contemplating to deploy apps associated with Windows client, then Microsoft Azure would be a better choice. This explains the need to have a multi-cloud strategy. If you want to empower your enterprise terms of cloud services having diverse functionalities, then there is no alternative to adopt a broader approach.

Key guidelines for a sound multi-cloud strategy

Unless you have been able to perceive the entire system having multi-cloud functionalities as a unified entity, there is no sense in adoption of a multi-cloud approach.

In practice, users should be able to use a single login console to access different clouds instead of juggling with a multiple procedures for every cloud. A single window approach can certainly facilitate management of multiple clouds irrespective of the applications.

Using a single interface to operate multiple clouds can also considerably enhance overall efficiency of users. In the initial phase of designing a multi-cloud approach, one should be ready with an in-depth assessment of applications and their expectations from different cloud services. This must be followed by analysis of workloads and the entire gamut of IT infrastructure.

Getting ready

It is often observed that users are generally not keen to find out which cloud service is behind their applications. This calls for development of platform oriented expertise that would streamline overall IT operations. This knowledge can definitely help them develop, manage, and install various workloads in different clouds.

Ideally, the team members should develop keen knowledge and gain in-depth expertise in whichever cloud service they are using. This underlines the need to train your own people instead of outsourcing the staff from other third party cloud service providers.

Instead of relying on every platform’s data protection strategies, you must develop flawlessly compliant regulatory policies in terms of security, backup or restore. Your entire staff should be trained to bridge security policies of all existing cloud providers so that there is no scope for aggressive intrusion from cyber criminals.

Adopting a simplified environment of multi-cloud

As mentioned earlier, the secret of handling diverse cloud providing services that individually offer distinctive features is to be able to manage these as a singular system. The best approach would be to institute an environment that is guided by software defined systems and a well-researched policy.

Simplified data transfer and intercommunication between different cloud providers needs to be achieved for the purpose of unified control. This must be aimed at integration of services provided by AWS, GCP and Microsoft Azure.

A well laid out software defined approach helps transparent as well as automatic communication and also facilitates mirroring, remote mirroring, and remote replication. It can also address application failover support between clouds. Reputed service providers offer Software Defined Solutions and make sure that storage arrays are built at cloud providers’ facilities as well as at user side.

Use policy as a foundation

In order to implement a seamless multi-cloud environment, you need to build a rock-solid foundation by designing a feasible and practical approach to adoption of a multi-cloud system. Management of a multi-cloud system is only possible by leveraging the SDS software which is backed by a robust policy that provides a set of directives regarding behavior of every individual component as well as its role in overall system.

Attributes of the multi-cloud platform

Basically, a multi-cloud deployment should supported by guidelines to adopt right cloud solutions that allow users select their specific deployment needs. This would facilitate the platform to select the most viable cloud service model.

Once you have a proper understanding of the architectural design, you can easily compare different service providers in terms of performance and pricing. This enables proper selection of the right service provider by comparing different options.

Reputed multi-cloud management platforms provide a feature for monitoring with help of a centralized console that enables users to view entire information with regards to different services. You can track CPU consumption, disk utilization, and also gain valuable insights with help of real-time metrics.

Cost optimization is an essential attribute of the right multi-cloud management solution. By analyzing patterns of utilization in terms of all available cloud services, one can fine tune the service allotments with needs of the infrastructure.

 For Interesting Topic :

What Is Cloud Hosting Definition?

Cloud Security

Top 5 Benefits of Using Cloud-Based Security Solutions

In recent years, a lot of businesses from across diverse sectors and industries have moved their operations, either entirely or in part, to the cloud. It is apparent that those who haven’t moved their operations to the cloud so far will be doing so soon or have started planning for the migration. The cloud has become an attractive proposition for many because of the multiple benefits it offers to businesses. Some of the apparent and visible benefits of moving to the cloud are improved control, better visibility and enhanced scalability. However, not everything is hunky dory in this domain. There are some key challenges too that businesses have to deal with while making the move to the cloud and post migration.

There is this popular theory doing the rounds for long that by hosting application data on the cloud, businesses might possibly be at a larger risk of cyber-attacks. This fear is not entirely baseless and unfounded as there have been some instances in the past where hackers have been able to break into the data storage system and illegally access files and documents. Cloud-based networks are particularly more prone to cyber-attacks and have been the target of attackers who want to access data illegally.

However, hosting experts are of the opinion that such attacks can be prevented if the right cloud hosting service with the highest level of security and other features are chosen by organizations for their data management. Cloud services with antivirus, firewall, sandbox and other tools for dealing with a variety of threats and for monitoring traffic can help businesses make the transition to the cloud smoothly and successfully.

Listed below are the key benefits of choosing cloud-based security:

Helps Avoid Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks

DDoS attack is the bane of hosting solutions and can immense damage to businesses. In this type of attack, traffic is redirected from numerous sources to the website server that’s on the radar of the hacker. The high volume incoming traffic overwhelms the system making it incapable of responding to general and legitimate requests by genuine users of the website. In such instances, the website can be rendered inactive and unusable for long period of time – even for many days at times – resulting in major losses. To help avoid such problems, advanced cloud security solutions are activated to run scanning systems in real-time so that the attack sources can be identified. On detecting an incoming attack, website managers are alerted, the incoming traffic absorbed and distributed among various points of presence.

Provides Superior Protection Against Data Breaches

One of the key concerns for internet users as well as businesses is data breach. Reports show that billions of pages of online records were illegally stolen or compromised in 2016. This can be avoided by using high quality cloud security solutions that comes with various security protocols. Different controls can be used for enhancing security. Businesses can decide who should have access to critical data that have been placed in the cloud. These security solutions can also help identify steps taken by hackers to tamper data. In most instances, such solutions can even help in recovery of lost data.

Ensures Compliance with Data Storage and Usage Laws

Cloud security solutions from top service providers come with a range of report generating features and controls. They are provided to comply with various regulations and rules framed by bodies and government agencies. By complying with these rules, organizations can easily avoid problems associated with cloud computing. These rules and guidelines generally cover issues related to data storage and usage. It is recommended that you choose solutions that are capable of generating audit trails and help in detecting any attempt to tamper data.

Round the Clock Support Assured

By migrating to cloud-based solution, companies can enjoy support round the clock. Almost all top cloud security solutions providers have 24 hours live monitoring as one of their key features. They have built-in redundancies that can not only help in tracking downtimes but also provide copies of data that has been deemed as lost or are inaccessible.

Expenses Can Be Watched and Managed Better

It can cost companies quite a sum if they plan to buy data security solutions outsight and install them. For small and medium-sized companies, this can result in major expenses which might be beyond their budget. Such costs can be easily avoided if the security needs are outsourced to a third-party agency. Of course, hiring the services of an agency means paying a regular monthly fee but the cost of an annual subscription would be significantly less than what it would cost companies to install such an infrastructure in-house. Another key benefit of hiring cloud security solutions provider is that it would also save the cost of having to hire a dedicated security team.

For Interesting Topics :

Cloud Storage Offers Better Security and Accessibility

Understanding Relevance of Cloud for Enhanced Data Security

CloudComputing

Attributes of Cloud Computing that Differentiate Cloud Hosting from Legacy Hosting

It is very common nowadays, to learn that more and more enterprises are embracing cloud technology by adopting cloud hosting or by leveraging cloud based applications. Some individuals are however skeptical about cloud adoption and may wonder as to what is meant by moving to cloud.

Understanding cloud adoption

Cloud adoption is a broad concept that may encompass migration of enterprise IT resources and workloads including digital assets, applications, software, and email just to name a few. Cloud adoption is increasingly being sought after due to unrestricted accessibility and seamless availability of resources to end users.

Cloud is an omnipresent entity and most of the end users of cloud technology are unaware of the fact that they are leveraging cloud computing technology while accessing online apps, listening to music or watching movies on Netflix. Cloud technology not only enriches our daily lives but can also transform businesses and online enterprises.

Business scenarios that prompt cloud adoption

There are multiple reasons why enterprises choose to move their IT infrastructure to cloud by abandoning traditional systems. One of the commonest reasons is to meet exponential growth in customer base that may have caused traffic spikes or slow page loading issues.

Hosting requirements of any growing business can multiply over the period of time, thereby necessitating a more resourceful hosting environment. The need for highly scalable and accessible hosting environment can even surpass the most premium types of hosting such as Virtual Private Server or dedicated server hosting.

Boosting the server’s uptime

It is no secret that a server that can deliver outstanding performance, only if it is backed by guaranteed uptime. In a cloud hosting environment, an array of inter connected servers offers assured redundancy to deal with ant situation that may lead to failure of one of the servers.

In contrast, a conventional hosting arrangement provides only a single server and cannot guarantee seamless uptime in case of a server crash. The websites cannot provide dependable performance due to chances of hardware failure in a traditional hosting setup.

Assured economy

Cloud adoption is mainly sought after due to its excellent cost efficiency as it obviates the need to procure costly hardware equipment and purchase of cost intensive licensed software programs. Moreover, the utility style billing system guarantees payment of cloud services and resources as and when these are consumed.

If you shift your onsite IT infrastructure to a cloud hosting environment, then there will be no need to employ software professionals to look after operation and maintenance of the on-site systems. This is because all these tasks will be performed by providers of cloud hosting services in a remote data center facility.

Freedom from confinement

All types of conventional hosting arrangements are managed at fixed locations. This underlines the need to choose a right hosting location by considering your site’s visitor base. However, in a cloud hosting setup, users can operate independent of the location of cloud hosting provider.

Cloud servers are positioned across a wide geographical area to eliminate dependence on host’s location. This will help support future expansion plans to cover extensive customer bases. Cloud hosting can also improve site’s speed of loading due to assured availability of cloud servers in a wider area. Users can access cloud servers from any location and by using any device with internet connectivity.

Resource scaling

In a highly competitive environment, businesses must be empowered with on-demand scalability of resources to cater to needs unexpected traffic additional spikes. Unlike a traditional hosting arrangement, a cloud hosting is designed to provide incremental resources to address traffic surges. Alternatively, resources can also be scaled down after the traffic returns to normal.

Sharing and collaboration

Since the cloud servers are designed to be accessed from any given location and at any time, it is possible for diverse teams of an enterprise to collaborate with each other on a particular project. Employees from different locations can also share vital documents or spread sheets to update each other. Cloud computing has enabled employees work from the comforts of their homes or even while on the move.

Secured and safe

Since cloud hosting is not confined to a specific location, users need not be concerned with natural disasters blocking their server infrastructures to cause unexpected outage. In contrast to shared or dedicated servers that need adoption of individual security measures, cloud hosting features multiple security arrangements at physical as well as network levels.

Clients can be assured about data level security, application level security, and network level security with help of sophisticated technologies such as data encryption, backup recovery management, user identification, firewall applications and much more.

Committed to environment protection

Since there is far less dependence on in-house servers, a cloud hosting setup can significantly minimize the carbon emissions. Moreover, by adopting cloud application, one can also save energy and contribute to a greener environment.

Multi-Cloud Strategy

Can Start-ups Use Multi-Cloud Strategy Effectively?

One of the biggest challenges to cloud based SaaS start-ups is to ensure high availability as well as performance. There are many cloud providers available in the market currently, right from the large cloud platforms (such as Microsoft Azure, Google cloud, AWS, and many others) to the small ones. Not all cloud platforms provide similar performances for comparable services. That’s why making the right choice in selecting the right platform is very important. That is the reason why there has been a rise in the use of combination of cloud service platforms, which is also known as multi-cloud strategy. Per multi-cloud strategy, the best service offered by a cloud platform is chosen in the first step. Secondly, the different services are combined for creation of possible business solutions. By following this strategy, two important aspects are achieved –

• Helps in picking up the best service from the platform that provides it best.
• Helps in mitigating downtime risk through intelligent distribution of application throughout different platforms of cloud.

In the year 2017, a report published by Right scale point out that there has been a 3 per cent rise in usage of multi-cloud by the cloud based enterprises. While in 2016, the percentage use of multi-cloud by cloud-based enterprises was 82 per cent, this year it has increased to 85 per cent.

There is no doubt in the fact that extra complexities are involved in the multi cloud format.

Still they have become popular among users because of the simple fact that the larger business organization have budget as well as resources in meeting these complexities. However, the problem that needs to be checked is whether the start-ups are capable of handling multi-cloud strategy, especially when these start-ups suffer from fund, budget, and resource constraints.

Is Multi Cloud Strategy a Good One for Start-ups?

Yes, multi clouds can be very effective solution for start-ups as well as small businesses. This is because of the fact that it ensures best solution for a company. If you start off with a multi-cloud set-up then the strategy will streamline as your company grows and the traffic starts picking up. Even if you don’t adopt the multi-cloud set-up initially, it is very important that you keep this need at the back of your mind. Keeping interoperability in mind is very important especially when you are beginning. This is because of the simple fact that you can save loads of money in mindless migration when there is a need of bigger supplication stack.

We all know that start-ups suffer from budget constraint. However, this is not a problem for the start-ups because every cloud service provider provides credits to companies at any point of time of the life cycle. These credits are given by the service providers to lure start-ups. These credits are very important for the start-ups because they help in the development process of the same, covering up the costs associated with the infrastructure. Some of the known service providers such as AWS, Google, and many more names are known to be offering startups with credit program. Another service offered by the service providers is the free-tier facility for getting started. So, a start-up can go for multi-cloud strategy by picking and choosing hosting solutions appropriately, especially after checking the free-tier and credit facilities. Now, let’s check out the benefits associated with multi-cloud strategy so that the small business owners or managers can know and act accordingly.

What are the Benefits of Multi-Cloud Strategy for a Start-up?

1. The first thing that can be experienced is the minimization of vendor lock-in. It must be kept in mind that the cloud provider that provides you cloud solution at the beginning of the cycle may not be the ideal one when a start-up expands and grows beyond a certain point.  In such a case when a business has grown from a start-up to a growing one, they get locked in to the service. It has also been seen in such cases that the highly cheap cloud solution becomes expensive (especially when compared with that of other service providers providing similar services). If you start off with a multi-cloud platform, you will never get locked even when you have grown beyond a certain point.

2. With multi cloud strategy you can pick and choose from the services that are most efficiently and effectively provided by the service providers. To get the best possible solution, a start-up or a business entity of any size can create a customised solution by availing the best service from the best providing service provider. Therefore, you can get the perfect mix of optimal service and affordability from this solution.

3. A startup can use NDS routing as well as auto-scaling facilities for your applications so that there can be significant reduction in downtime possibility. Such a design can be done by the small business for either the entire stack or individual service, in accordance with the requirements of a business.

These are the ways through which a business entity can use multi cloud strategy in an effective manner.

Data Centers in Cloud

Relevance of Colocation and On-premise Data Centers in Cloud Age

Cloud growth can be perceived in more ways than one. Cloud computing is growing in terms of number companies that are adopting cloud and total number or workloads that are being shifted to cloud environment from onsite IT infrastructures.

Migration of workloads to cloud

Although there is a considerable volume of software workloads being moved to cloud the onsite enterprise IT is not shrinking at the comparable rate. There is a remarkable improvement in on premise data centers’ facilities that are marked by adoption of cutting edge technologies. However, one must admit that these legacy data center infrastructures have ceased to expand in size and capacity parameters.

These observations are based on the survey and opinions of IT executives, and managers who have been assigned tasks of managing enterprise data center facilities of critical organizations including manufacturing, banking, and retail trading.

It is hardly surprising that almost fifty percent of the respondents that are operating IT infrastructure facilities have confirmed that they are engaged in upgrading infrastructures and redesigning power and cooling facilities that form the significant portion of capacity planning initiatives.

There are efforts to compensate the demand by leveraging cloud services as well as consolidation of servers. It is also worth noting that a considerable chunk of respondents have agreed that they are looking forward to build new Data Centers in Cloud

The results of these surveys confirm that in order to offset the additional demand, many organizations are leveraging third party service providers. These are the same organizations that have appreciated value of investments pertaining to on-site data center infrastructures that were made just before the beginning of 21st century. 

Data center expansion and upgrade

Thanks to cloud adoption strategies, many organizations have been able to get a bit of breathing time while handing the impact of data influx. There is considerable prudence in enhancing capacity and efficiency of the existing data centers rather than going for an entirely new data center infrastructure for catering to growing data processing demands of large corporate enterprises. In fact, a move to build large data center facility would not have been acceptable just about few years ago.

Modern IT executives are more inclined towards investing a small amount in upgrading the existing facility than pumping huge sum for creating an entirely new data center infrastructure. There is a greater need to extract as much workloads as possible from the current resources of data centers.

This explains the move to adopt colocation services, cloud computing, and processor upgrades for enabling enterprises to achieve more with less number of servers. These moves also reduce the stress on organizations to establish new sites and also save huge expenditure that is required to build entirely new facilities.

The surveys have also confirmed that there is a considerable quantum of organizations that have adopted an approach of moving lock stock and barrel to the cloud. One of the global news paper giants have begun moving all workloads to Amazon’s as well as Google’s cloud platforms from three colocation data centers.
 
The only exception is number of conventional systems, which are not possible to transfer to cloud and are being serviced by the colocation data center that exists only for supporting these legacy systems.

In case of one of the major technology vendor Juniper Networks, the company has shrunk its network of eighteen data centers that were owned and operated by the company to a single data center facility. The vendor has also adopted the approach of shifting majority of workloads to cloud similar to the corporate news conglomerate mentioned earlier. The single colocation facility is enabling its legacy workloads that are not possible to move to cloud.

Continuing with established infrastructure

It is also observed that instead of building newer facilities, many service providers are busy upgrading or expanding their existing data center facilities. It indicates that providers of data center facilities are reducing their expenditure for construction of new facilities but are not making any compromise with capacity expansion of their overall service offerings.

This leads us to believe that in spite of an apparent exodus of workloads to cloud, the importance of physical data center facilities has not eroded. Enterprise IT infrastructures and colocation centers are being leveraged by many organizations as established resources of managing critical and legacy workloads.

Colocation underlines the importance of owning a rack space without significant investment in on-premise facility. This can also free up IT workforce of the organization for more innovative projects. Colocation is also more reliable way to manage critical workloads.

From all these real life examples and the results of the survey we can conclude that over sixty percent of enterprises are adopting cloud computing, server virtualization, and optimized server performance to shrink its on-site data center footprint. Colocation as well as on site data centers are time tested and established resources for managing mission critical information and vital workloads.

Ways to Make Cloud Storage More Effective

Ways to Make Cloud Storage More Effective

With data volumes growing at an incredibly fast rate, managing cloud storage is becoming increasingly more complex. The high storage demands have made more and more businesses sign up for cloud hosting. According to survey conducted by the Global Digital Alliance which surveyed 647 IT professionals, it was found out that about 35% want cloud storage immediately. The survey respondents suggested within a couple of years their data storage in clouds will increase dramatically and almost one-third will be housed in public clouds or SaaS environments.

This growth can be attributed to many reasons, the most important being that the cloud is viewed as an economical alternative for storing archived and inactive data. Such data are not affected by security or latency issues. But, so far, the growth in cloud hosting has been mainly on a temporary basis. It has happened because organizations felt the need to store data in remote off-site servers. So, the cloud policies have also been designed in spurts. For instance in a SaaS environment, the IT staff is only concerned with security and there is hardly any interaction with infrastructure. Policy is not given much thought. So, the result has been a mix of reactive approaches as far as cloud storage is concerned.

Traditional businesses lack a definite strategy to manage growth and handle data in the cloud. While now only about 16% respondents have their data stored off-site, the numbers will rise to 26% in the next two years. This also means that the haphazard strategies for managing cloud storage need to be changed as more and more critical data makes its way into the clouds. Businesses have to come up with long-term strategies to assess cloud storage in regard to their broader business objectives. Seth Robinson of CompTIA argues that data and storage need to go hand-in-hand.

When you have a proper cloud strategy, you must assess your cloud storage requirements. It is advised that you should use a cloud storage tree for easy decision making. This will help you understand whether you should have data stored in the cloud, or on-site or in a combination of both. The decision depends on many factors, namely, the kind of application you support, the performance requirements for that application etc. If you can answer these questions, you will know whether to bring the data to application or vice versa.

The cloud strategy needs to be looked at also; while studies suggest that more than 90% of respondents in a 2016 survey have sought cloud computing for their enterprise needs, the cloud is still found to be lacking in some aspects. Senior analyst Hill recommends that businesses must choose the cloud when it is the right time. The advantages of a mixed cloud environment which offers public clouds, on-premise private clouds and many managed clouds should not be disregarded, according to Robinson. The trick is to understand which model is best suited for your architecture. For this reason, it is important to assess the factors like security, manageability, scalability, costs and performance.

  • According to both Robinson and Hill, security is of utmost significance. Robinson is of the view that enterprises should rethink security of data storage. So, instead of just worrying about backups and data recovery, they should focus on business continuity. All data which has been backed up may not be vital. So a business has to understand which data is valuable and then deal with it accordingly. Businesses have to know what the cloud vendor can deploy to protect data. They must know who can access the data and who has the encryption key. They may also have to take actions on how vendors must protect the data. So, they have to verify whether the vendor gives in-house protection; else, they should look for another vendor.
  • Integration is vital because only a few businesses will shift to the all-cloud storage. Cloud storage uses the object-based model while Network Attached Storage or NAS and Storage Area Network or SAN use block and file storage. This means that data may be lost in transfer between these two and so, you need software which can integrate the systems. Businesses which have experienced cloud growth will have applications that depend on data stored in many clouds. There are many access points and this can be risky for data movement. Hill argues that both clouds in this case must use the same architecture; else, data transfer may become complicated.
  • Performance demands better speeds and lower latency. These two situations are necessary for getting the right performance benchmarks. So, data has to be stored such that latency is minimized when you access this data. So, users should be able to access the data seamlessly, regardless of the platform. Moreover, for some data, downtime may have less impact but, for some others, even a few seconds could turn out to be disastrous. Business owners have to understand the difference and they must deploy the measures needed accordingly to prevent downtimes.
  • Cloud hosting leads to cost-saving but cloud storage may raise your expenses. The good thing is that most vendors have lowered costs and are likely to cut these down further in the coming days. So, you should assess what you are paying for and then enter into a contract.
  • Finally, one cannot undermine the importance of scalability. Most respondents are of the opinion that scaling up SaaS services and cloud is easier than traditional services. Businesses will differ from one another in terms of scalability needs. When a business has steady storage needs, the power to scale resources up and down may not be the most important criterion for choosing a vendor. So, when you have the right strategy, you can deliver your products and cater to client needs better while innovating the business.
Understanding Key Differentiators between Cloud and CDN Services

Understanding Key Differentiators between Cloud and CDN Services

Enhanced operational efficiency is the holy grail of modern organizations and it can only be achieved with help of seamless connectivity and greater speed. The most significant challenge to drive efficiency is bridging the gap between service provider and users.

In case of online enterprises such as ecommerce companies, their websites provide the sole medium to gain greater reliability and confidence of customers. Business websites must exhibit optimum availability and speed of page loading by leveraging a dependable and high performance hosting platform.

The recent advent of cloud is also a revolutionary development that is aimed at better performing website for an enhanced browsing experience. Thanks to sharing of important resources in public cloud environment, cloud computing enables superior efficiency at affordable costs. Cloud’s pay as you go billing method further boosts cost efficiency of cloud hosting solutions.

Content Delivery Networks are being leveraged by a large number of websites to provide gain attributes of latency mitigation and instant accessibility to website content in multiple formats. CDN can effortlessly distribute static pages, live streaming, scripts, and graphic images to remotely located end users.

Content Delivery Networks operate through an assortment of remotely distributed data centers that are designed to deliver content to users in the closest proximity of the nodes. CDN aims at transporting and positioning the content in the nearest data centers to facilitate instant delivery of requested files.

Purpose of a CDN and cloud solution is to enhance efficiency by improving speed. This calls for an in-depth comparison of two resources to find out which one is better and why. In order to improve our understanding, it would be great if it is possible to know how the two significant tools are able to resolve issues that are regularly being faced by websites.

Mitigation of latency
Page loading speed has been a hot topic of discussions that are centered on enhancement of customer’s browsing experience and improving potential of your business websites to covert visitors to customers. A mere few seconds’ delay in page loading can cost you thousands of potential customers.

Cloud computing leverages an extensive network of underlying servers and thus offers better user experience for the visitors. Any enterprise can choose appropriate location of data centers to make sure that the target audience is offered benefits of low latency.

On the other hand, the very purpose of a Content Delivery Network is to accelerate dissemination of content for an enhanced browsing experience. Content Delivery Network maintains availability of cached content in edge servers positioned at geographically scattered data centers for mitigation of latency.

Therefore we can conclude that CDN hosting offers superior user experience by acceleration of page load speed and improving conversions.

Website performance
Speed of page loading and uninterrupted availability can be considered as the two important parameters of a high performance website or web application. Content Delivery Networks as well as cloud server hosting have proven efficacy to elevate site’s performance by improving availability and speed.

If you take a critical view of Content Delivery Network solution, then you will find that the basic purpose of CDN is to increase availability of content by providing additional stock points in different geographical regions. Improvement of website’s performance can be attributed to the servers that are enabling transmission of cached content through CDN POPs and not to Content Delivery Networks as such. In contrast, cloud hosting services enable an efficient platform for delivery of broad spectrum of resources. These resources can be in the form of infrastructure, software, or platform and can be procured as per need.

Cloud hosting services are divided as public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud hosting solutions for delivering IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS as few of the cloud service models. These can be leveraged as development platforms or for hosting one’s own infrastructure or applications.

Cost considerations
Comparison of Content Delivery Network and cloud on the basis of cost efficiency can be done in order to find a more affordable option. Web hosting providers offer CDN hosting either as part of regular hosting plans or as a separate offering. It is also found that many hosting service providers offer free CDN services to their clients.

CDN solutions are therefore more economical than cloud computing. Cloud services can also prove to be cost efficient, thanks to utility style billing methods adopted by many providers. Clients are required to pay only for the services that are actually consumed by them.

Dependability
Reliability of a hosting platform is measured in terms of uptime guarantee and scalability of server resources. In contrast, the overall performance of a CDN solution relies on the origin server. Reputed hosting service providers offer highly dependable cloud hosting platforms and therefore cloud hosting services can be considered to be more reliable than CDN services.

While considering CDN or Cloud services, one must analyze individual needs to choose the right alternative. While a cloud service can provide a large array of hosting services, the features of CDN hosting are comparatively restricted.

Interesting Topic:

What Does Cloud Hosting Mean?

How Do Content Delivery Network Work?

Choosing The Right Solution For Disaster Recovery

Choosing The Right Solution For Disaster Recovery

Nowadays we often hear the term DRaaS, short for Disaster recovery as a service. What does this term mean? It is the simulation or creation of mimic of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide failover in case of a disaster, either man made or natural.

Typically DRaaS requirements are stipulated in the Service Level Agreements (SLAs), so that the hosting vendor provides failover to the client.

But before we discuss DRaaS, let us understand the importance of disaster in an IT setting.

All IT companies put in place a disaster recovery plan (DRP).

After all, a business must continue to work without interruption. In particular the mission critical functions must have stability.

Disaster can come in various avatars. It can be a storm tearing apart your power lines, or some telecommunication staff digging and damaging your underground communication lines.

In whichever mode a calamity strikes, the result can be disastrous to your company’s business.

Companies experience a disaster due to any one or a combination of the following causes.

  • Mission critical application failure
  • Network failure
  • Natural disasters
  • Network intrusion
  • Hacking
  • System failure

“Disaster recovery is an important part of our business process management”, says a CIO.

No wonder companies go to great lengths to firm up recovery strategies. They perform a business impact analysis as well as risk analysis to establish the recovery time objective.

Cloud computing offers extremely fast recovery times at a fraction of the cost of traditional disaster recovery.

How?
With virtualization, the entire infrastructure including the server, OS, applications and data is condensed in a single software package or virtual server. This entire virtual server can be replicated or backed up to an offsite data center.

A compelling benefit of such a strategy is that the virtual server is not dependent on hardware and hence the entire bundle can be migrated from one data center to another easily.

This process radically reduces recovery time compared to traditional non-virtualized methods where servers must be loaded with the operating system and patched to the last pattern before the data is restored.

IT companies typically have two options to choose from as a disaster recovery solution – Cloud DR and DRaaS.

Which one is better?
This is not an easy answer by any standard. A company must choose either of the one after a thorough evaluation of both the solutions.

Cloud DR
Cloud DR is within reach of any company.

“Whatever drawbacks a cloud may have, one thing is clear. It is extremely effective when used as a tool for a disaster recovery plan”, says an IT manager.

“We are now able to create a cloud based recovery site as a backup to the primary data center”

Before creating a suitable DR strategy, you must keep in mind the following.

Assess your data protection requirements
An evaluation is essential to come to a conclusion as to what kind of infrastructure and configuration is needed to facilitate cloud DR.

Companies keep the primary backups on-premise but they mimic them to cloud storage so that they can disable the data center in case of any natural disaster.

Select the appropriate cloud provider
You must remember that not all cloud providers are alike. Some of them offer only storage. That is why it is essential to select the vendor who has the capability to build the right disaster recovery site for your needs.

Moreover, costs must never be ignored. The manner in which the vendor bill’s you can have a decided impact on your finances. A good strategy is to use a reliable cost calculator tool.

Control bandwidth
Cloud backup can consume copious amount of bandwidth. A judicious approach will ensure that the bandwidth consumption will not exceed to the extent that other workloads suffer.

DRaaS
Several small and medium businesses are not too keen to put in place a disaster recovery plan. They feel such exercises are for those with deep pockets.

Many of them perform frequent backups and store data offsite. These measures are no doubt satisfactory, but sluggish by today’s standards.

Taking help of DRaaS vendors seem to be a sensible policy.

Yet, it is important that clients must weigh-in each vendor carefully. Some vendors may offer an apparently straightforward solution while others may offer a comprehensive solution tailored to your specific needs.

Whichever solution you seek, the following points must be kept in mind.

  • The vendor’s capability to backup critical data
  • Fast recovery with minimal user interface – the vendor must specify the time limit for hosting the recovery environment.
  • Transparent and easily understandable billing modes
  • Solution has numerous backup options

Moreover, the DR solution offered must make it easy to move from the backup to the live state.

Business continuity is not just about backing up data; it is also about fast recovery from a disaster.

For more information on various types of hosting and plans, call 1800-212-2022 (Toll Free).

For Interesting Topic :

Disaster Recovery

Cloud Computing for Disaster Recovery

Relevance of Cloud Computing for Disaster Recovery

Every organization that operates online business such as ecommerce or any other business that depends on internet must have a clear understanding about impact of an unexpected outage.

Understanding the impact of downtime

There is a general opinion that unplanned downtime is most commonly caused due to natural disasters. However as confirmed by a study, that took into account feedback from 400 IT professionals, more than half of organizations have suffered from downtime impact lasting for more than eight hours which could be attributed to power outages and hardware or system failure.

Downtime can play havoc with organization’s operational efficiency and digital assets. It is common for enterprises to face annual downtime that can last for more than ten to twenty hours. Irrespective of the size of an organization, downtime can be a costly proposition. However, the effect of downtime can be avoidable if one is ready to face the curse of nature or sudden equipment failure.

Virtualized and cloud based disaster recovery

Virtualization guarantees availability of dynamically scalable resources. This can obviate need to maintain and operate additional data replication facilities at other locations. Running a parallel site to physically maintain replicated data to avert impact of downtime at primary location leads to double costs of operations.

Cloud based DR option minimizes these costs while offering assurance of instant failover capability, thanks to virtualization of data replication.

Importance of cloud based disaster recovery

If the events of unplanned outages are going to be unavoidable, then the best defense would be to make sure that the organization is prepared with a robust disaster recovery plan. Disaster recovery solutions offer the most practical and affordable approach to deal with severe impact of any unexpected downtime.

Since failure of mission critical applications can lead to operational irregularities and business loss, disaster recovery should be an inseparable part of organization’s IT strategy.

Common or traditional Disaster Recovery solutions follow the course of data replication. This can involve highly resource intensive process of replicating an entire infrastructure along with data to a remote location to serve as a backup site during downtime events at primary facilities.

Physical Disaster Recovery facilities involve huge costs of maintaining and operating the additional infrastructure. On the other hand, a virtualized infrastructure provided by cloud service providers can reduce hardware and other costs that are associated with physical DR solutions.

Cloud based DR resource can remain idle during ‘peacetime’ and would instantly scale up to meet the challenges of downtime that are about to impact business continuity at primary site.

Cloud based disaster recovery services are more popularly known as Disaster Recovery as a Service or DRaaS. Since these solutions do not need addition of any physical hardware to a primary site, users are not expected to maintain or manage any additional resources. It is possible to use DRaaS as a managed solution as you will not be required to upgrade or update the same.

On-demand provisioning

Time is an extremely vital factor during downtime. DRaaS solutions facilitate operation of your infrastructure in a cloud environment as soon as an unplanned outage strikes the facility. This allows the business to run seamlessly without any interruption of business continuity.

The backup facility of DRaaS is always prepared to support your business critical applications no sooner than an issue is about cause any outage. Users can look forward to a seamless transition of their facilities to cloud environment without impacting website availability.
Total time required for recovery from an outage can be minimized to reduce expenses of using a DRaaS resource. Once the primary site is ready to operate again, the applications are transferred back to the original site from DR environment with a negligible amount of downtime.

DRaaS and cost efficiency

One can expect significant cost savings by adopting a DRaaS capability instead of a physical DR infrastructure. In order to provide a reliable disaster recovery capability to your primary site, a Cloud based DR solution is only required during actual time of outage and will essentially remain un-operational during the rest of the period.

Thanks to the utility style billing method of cloud computing, your organization will be required to pay only for the period of activity, thereby considerably mitigating DRaaS associated costs.

Security considerations of DRaaS

Securing mission critical workloads from hazards of unplanned outages involve extreme care and concern. Thanks to the recent advances in security measures, cloud based DRaaS services ensure addition of multiple security layers and extensive data encryption facilities while the data is being moved to and from the cloud environments. Encryption of replicated data assures seamless protection and guarantees peace of mind to users.

State of the art data encryption, automated backups and other cost efficient security measures ensure that the users are able to save costs and ensure protection of mission critical workloads during unexpected outages.

Interesting Topic:

What Is Your Cloud Provider’s Disaster Recovery Plan?

 

Hybrid Cloud

The Leading Predictions Of Which Way The IT Technology Will Move In 2017

With every passing year, the world is becoming a better place to live in and that’s an opinion that’s unanimous across the globe. A major share of the credit for an improving world has to be given to technology. IT or Information Technology is leading the charge and the trend is expected to continue in 2017 as well.

In 2016, we saw major developments in the field of IT. Experts prefer IT to take the world to greater heights of development in the year 2017. These are the top 5 predictions for the IT industry in 2017.

FaaS Is The New SaaS:

FaaS or Functions as a Service is expected to be one of the big ticket developments in the IT industry this year. Customers can use this cloud computing technology to create and manage applications are run them smoothly without having to bother about backend infrastructure management. IT professionals can use the FaaS technology to develop more efficient programs that come without the conventional drawbacks and barriers. FaaS can be expected to help developers run nearly any type of application without having to worry about infrastructure administration.

Using Blockchain – Making The Right Decision

Bitcoin is the first example of peer-to-peer ledger technology also known as blockchain technology. While financial institutions have been impressed by this development, the further development of this technology will delight other industries too as it can make the complex task of data management and security simple and hassle-free. With blockchain, the integrity of your data is assured. While arriving at a consensus on a common protocol is a major hindrance, this problem is expected to be resolved in 2017. Data management issues can now be solved more effectively with block chain technology.

Cases of Data Breaches Can Drop Dramatically

Data breaches continue to happen even as newer technologies have been introduced to fortify this specific area of IT over the last few years. Even major business conglomerates and large business houses have fallen victim to data loss despite using the latest technology available for data protection. In 2017 too, data protection will be under sharp focus. Experts are not sure if there will be a foolproof system in place in 2017 but businesses can take a calculated risk by separating critical and general data. The loss of the latter will not cause any major harm to businesses. Remember, advances in the area of automation works to the benefit of hackers and rogue elements too. Network breach can now happen at a much faster pace in 2017. A practical approach to the problem is needed.

Better Adaption To Changing IT Technologies

Many IT experts are of the opinion that 2017, education and certification in the IT arena will take center stage yet again. Administrators will have to learn how to work with developing technologies in newer IT environments such as hybrid cloud. IT professionals with the capability to learn and grasp newer and more complex technology and skills faster are likely to be more successful in 2017 than those resting on past laurels. There will be pressure on IT professionals to specialize in the new and unlearn the old so that they can have a holistic understanding of the general developments in the area of newer IT technologies.

Hybrid IT – The Idea Is Here To Stay

Most organizations are now rooting for hybrid IT because they believe this will be the driving force of the future. The core IT technology is now leaning heavily towards hybrid IT and there is a definite and visible tilt towards this concept among leading and emerging companies and professionals. Experts are of the opinion that in 2017, hybrid IT will gain further ground to be the center of everything that’s IT and going by developments that have happened in 2016, this could well be true. Specific solutions that are influenced by hybrid IT is expected to be adapted by most IT businesses in 2017. At the same time, experts aver that when it comes to VDI or virtual desktop infrastructure, the cloud could serve interests of organizations better. Cloud IT comes with the elasticity and flexibility that organizations require for better management of their IT environment.

By moving all their workload to the cloud, companies can enjoy a host of benefits that can prove crucial for improving efficiency in the longer run. It can relieve the pressure on IT professionals to control and manage the infrastructure. They can use their time and energies to focus better on other key aspects of the project.

Going ahead of 2017, it will become imperative for IT departments to make use of cloud technology to ensure that decisions are made faster and more accurately in critical areas of business. The changes will happen gradually as there is still a slight tentativeness among small and growing businesses to put everything on the cloud unless they are fully assured about the security aspects.

Cloud-Security

Simplifying the Seemingly Difficult Task of Establishing Security in Public Cloud

Security related concerns continue to act as barriers for cloud adoption by Fortune 500 organizations. The major apprehensions that are related to security in cloud computing are hijacking of account information, breach of data integrity, and data theft among others.

Need to change perception of security in public cloud

These concerns are further reinforced with data breaches that have recently hit some of the important organizations such as JPMorgan, Home Depot, and Target, just to name a few.

There are many more instances that have been adding to fear of data loss in public cloud environments. In fact, large organizations are inherently skeptical about integrity of data any environment other than their own on-site data centers that facilitate robust physical control and have established a strong bond of trust.

However, with the advent of security solutions that are based on software technology, there is a considerable shift in overall perception of security as far as storage of business critical data is concerned.

Public cloud enables implementation of impregnable security measures for protection of data. Extensive adoption of software solutions has slowly and steadily resulted in shifting of security related paradigm, which was focused on physical security provided by on-premise data centers.

Organizations that are focused on IT and security must get accustomed to the fact that they will not be able to sustain direct control over cloud’s physical infrastructure. It is prudent to leave the task of worrying about security of their apps and other digital assets in cloud environment.

The contemporary status of data is influenced by extensive distribution among millions of visitors via broad array of cloud service models including IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS in addition to private, hybrid, and public cloud. The challenges to data security can be attributed to shifting of data from traditionally secure on-premise infrastructures that characterize physical boundaries to highly extensive cloud environment that is marked by logical boundaries.

Significance of data-driven cloud controls

Implementation of robust security controls for data center layers is on topmost agenda of Cloud Service Providers. There has been a remarkable progress in logical integration of software with visibility tools, host based security mechanisms, logging solutions, and security controls for commonly deployed networks.

Notwithstanding these best practices, a vital security gap continues to be a matter of concern for cloud service providers. Data oriented security controls continue to dodge experts who are focusing on protecting the data no matter where it resides. Security measures in cloud must act independent of the underlying cloud infrastructure and should adopt a data oriented approach.

Security policies for cloud computing environment need to be designed for enabling customers with direct control and the security measures should be independent of data location. Considering the exponentially growing volume, there is hardly any point in banking on perimeters and network boundaries.

It is therefore not surprising that a large number of enterprise customers are looking forward to mitigation of security risk by compartmentalization of the attack surface so that even the memory of a Virtual Machine that runs on a hypervisor is seamlessly protected.

Sharing security burden

The complexity of security in a cloud computing environment is compounded further due to e presence of a shared responsibility model of cloud providers. The model expects cloud users to look after the security of their applications, operating systems, VMs, and the workloads that are associated with these.

Cloud service provider’s responsibility in a shared security model is only restricted to securing physical infrastructure and not beyond the level of hypervisor.

Establishing new best practices

This kind of a shared security model can create havoc with mission critical data of the organization and force the company out f business in matter of hours as was witnessed during the recent Code Spaces attack.

There is an ever growing need to establish security measures that are focused on data to free up enterprises from carrying the burden of securing apps, data, and workloads that are running in a shared security environment.

The situation demands for development of new best practices to design a data-centric security model, which can provide capabilities as mentioned ahead.

Cloud customers should be able to operate independent of Cloud Service Providers by enabling an isolated layer of virtualization that has ability to separate data as well as applications from other tenants and the Cloud Service Provider as well.

The new boundary of trust must be associated with encryption in order to ensure that the data is consistently accompanied by controls and security policies. This also obviates the need for customers to adhere to security measures designed by Cloud Service Provider.

Performance of application must not be hampered while tightening of security measures is being executed. This calls for the need to use advanced cryptographic segmentation and a high end key management system that offers exceptional security. Similarly, security measures should never become a hindrance in deployment of applications.

 

Interesting Topic:

How Secure Is Your Cloud?

How Secure is Cloud Hosting?

Tips For Getting The Best From The Cloud And Make Smart Savings Too

Tips For Getting The Best From The Cloud And Make Smart Savings Too

Question that were commonly asked by IT departments of organizations about IT readiness in the past are not relevant anymore in today’s situation as a vast array of cloud solutions are now available. These IT options are designed to satisfy almost all types of work load requirements in any type of organization. Also, they offer a much enhanced level of data protection and security than what conventional data centers offer.

Moving to the cloud is not only about saving cost as many think rather erroneously. With diligence, detailed planning and efficient management, the cost of operations can be kept under control in any cloud-based environment say many experts. It must be also noted that a rental model works better than on-premise cloud model in most cases. This might seem to be in sharp contrast to the common notion that agility is the biggest driving force when it comes to cloud technology. The cloud has the ability to respond to new business needs with ease than any other technology.

It is not uncommon to find some organizations make the transition into the cloud without identifying their real long term objectives. It is important to know what kind of governance of various stages of cloud usage is needed to achieve cost-effective operation while keeping operations in control. Companies that make use of the best automation strategies and policies can expect to get the best outcome from their move to the cloud. However, decisions related to automation must be done after careful consideration of all aspects.

The Horses For Courses Approach:

While making hosting decisions and deciding whether to go for the cloud, it is important to understand whether the infrastructure chosen meets your workload demands. A critical analysis of the capacities and demands situation will prevent future disappointments and help you get the best value for your money. This is where choosing the right cloud hosting service assumes critical importance. Over the past few years, the cloud has evolved to a significant extent. If you have the finances, you can buy any type of technology you want for your business.

Are You Paying The Right Price:

Getting the right technology at the best possible price is what you should be aiming for but it is easier said than done. It is not hard to come across companies who have turned to cloud-based applications but at a hefty price. Many have discovered to their horror that they are having to pay bills twice or even thrice the value of what they expected. It is important to note that cloud based services does not come cheap – at least not all of them. Hire a cloud expert to guide you on which cloud applications to choose in a cost effective manner. Some of the ways of doing this are:

Getting the Sizing Right:

Many organizations do not get this right despite detailed planning. Poor planning can cause you heavily as you will have to a hefty price. Be diligent and know exactly what you would be paying for a specific service and whether that cost outgoing will cover your returns adequately.

Proper Execution:

You may get the sizing bang on target but that will be of little help if your application is running on an incompatible infrastructure. Optimum utilization of resources and a pay plan that allows you to pay only for the resources actually used indicates proper execution of the technology. A recent survey has clearly shown how many organizations fail to follow this simple execution principle and end up spending lots more than what is needed.

Planning Demand and Supply

Top cloud vendors are now offering users the option of purchasing reserved instances or bare-metal servers. You can enjoy lower housing costs if you can identify your needs in advance and accurately. You will have to commit to a specific level of usage and then live up to that commitment. This involves understanding the existing slew of applications available and your workload patterns. This can help in freezing the level of demand that your operations will utilize for a specific time frame. You will be able to strike a profitable deal from service providers if you can plan your demand fairly accurately and in advance.

Cloud hosting is going to catch up in a big way with more and more companies joining the cloud bandwagon. However, it would be foolhardy to imagine that making a transition to the cloud is the magical solution to all your operational problems. You must be able to find a scientific way of managing decisions related to cloud hosting. This is critical for ensuring that all the services you run on the cloud is smoothly and efficiently managed and the data involved in such operations remains fully protected and secure. You must find ways of deploying new applications quickly and also in a cost effective manner.