Oct 212011
 

Achieving Optimum Services from Cloud Computing

by Scott, Walter

The new era comes with different versions of doing business. More and more practices are followed to save energy, which, in turn saves our natural environment. Emphasis is given on actions that will promote environment-friendly products and services. This is primarily what compels governments and business organizations to push for a total ban in plastic cellophane. Loud voices for paperless transactions are heard. This leads to cutting less trees and reinforcing the need for reforestation. This is related with how online business runs. Instead of employing a large of pool of employees, be stressed with face-to-face marketing programs and other disadvantages, bringing your business over the Internet saves a lot of resources. When it comes to web hosting service, there is also a lightweight type and that is the cloud computing service.

Cloud Computing Australia : Optimum Services from Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing Australia : Optimum Services from Cloud Computing

Truly, the concept of cloud computing is quite complex and difficult to decipher. For the purpose of gaining knowledge and to clear some issues, it is better for you to get acquainted with it. You have to do it by extracting the general concept of cloud computing. The most basic explanation about it is this, the “cloud” refers to the aggregate of software, infrastructure, storage and applications put into one over the Internet. I know that you have, for a long time now, been using this service in the form of email services, like those supplied by Hotmail and Gmail, and social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

By nature, cloud computing allows you to get the resources you highly need in the Internet. With this, it is correct to say that it is an on-demand service. For as long as there is electricity and Internet connection, there is nothing that can stop you from what you want to do. Also, it is closely associated with grid computing. This is so because cloud computing can harness large collections of resources, both software and hardware, to perform multiple and large tasks. These qualities that cloud computing can offer is what makes it the most exciting thing in the IT development. It is clearly creating a loud impact in the business community.

There are three most common services provided through the use of cloud computing services. These are the SaaS (Software as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service). Well, their names speak of their functions. In the case of SaaS, it receives international fame because software applications are delivered over the World Wide Web. As for the IaaS, servers and storage capacity are remotely accessible. The PaaS, on the other hand, is a computer and software platform which permits developers to create and deploy Web applications.

Now, let us talk about the gains you can receive by signing up for this kind of service in Australia. One thing is for sure, you are relieved of purchasing large and costly hardware and software for your needs. Since all are housed in the Internet, the burden of repairs and maintenance is eliminated. Furthermore, you can expand your resources if the need arises and it only consumes minutes to finish this task. Another good thing is the remote accessibility. You can actually access your resources anywhere you so desire. As opposed to claims that security is one of the weaknesses of cloud computing, it is not actually true. In fact, hacks and data loss rarely happens. Lastly, this Internet hosting service is proven to be environment-friendly. Since computers and other components are absent, electricity is saved.

So, if you like to apply for a cloud computing service, be sure that you have gingerly assessed your chosen hosting provider, and never settle for less than the best. In your evaluation, give emphasis on the price tag, performance, security and assurance, service level agreement and customer support. Among the group of service providers, web hosts in Australia are one of the finest. They are known to be providers of relentless customer service support, good performance and maximum security for the best available price.

Walter Scott is a professional web hosting solutions consultant. To learn more on web hosting providers in Australia, visit http://www.webvisions.com.au

Article Source: Achieving Optimum Services from Cloud Computing

Oct 212011
 

Tips to Avail the Best Cloud Computing Services

by SaumyaAggarwal

With cloud computing becoming a buzzword tossing around, IT providers are looking forward to modify the way their infrastructure should be deployed. According to the concept, your computing resources will be located somewhere out and you will be connected to them and utilize them as required.

Cloud Computing Australia : Tips to Available the Best Cloud Computing Services

Cloud Computing Australia : Tips to Available the Best Cloud Computing Services

Outlined below are some tips that businesses can follow to avail the best cloud computing services:

• Set Your Priorities – Before jumping to cloud computing wagon, make a list of your business requirements and take decisions accordingly. Do you need agile, faster and secure application? If yes, at what cost? Focus on how many applications can be adapted to cloud-based environment and keep a note of the factors like deployment time, cost, value and performance. A sound homework would save you from any future hassles.

• Select a Trusted Service Provider – Having a trusted cloud computing partner by side can resolve all the cloud related concerns. Select a company that has widespread expertise in running a standard, global enterprise infrastructure and can meet your enterprise-wide hosting and application management needs. Most importantly, the offered infrastructure should be reliable and ready to grow with your ever demanding business needs. Overall, an ideal cloud computing provider is the one who can handle all facets of your cloud environment. Also, try to obtain the complete information about your service provider prior to signing any agreement.

• Access to Enterprise Features – Ensure that the cloud computing services you are paying for include exclusive enterprises features. This would ensure the availability of numerous standard components like static IP, persistent storage, free bandwidth etc.

• Build a Cloud Prototype – Don’t rush to transform the entire IT set up. Begin with a small prototype – a cloud of, say around, less than 50 machines. Choose to avail hosting services for the applications which are supposed to get most benefits from the cloud computing environment. Compare the applications’ past performance, cost, value etc. to the cloud-based results. And then move forward accordingly.

• Evaluate Control Level – Evaluate how much control you have on your applications as cloud is famous for providing you greater choices of how you want to run your applications and what you can apply from a service-level agreement standpoint to those applications. Go for the comprehensive documentation and evaluation of internal control that will be needed to support management’s assessment.

• Commit to a short-term service contract – Initially avoid making a long-term contract. A short-term contract of six months or so will give your company more leverage over service quality and related things. This will help you judge the service provider in proper measures.

It is interesting to note that tough economic conditions are forcing companies to look into hosted private cloud services. With greater emphasis on cost savings and increasing business efficiency, the future of cloud is certainly bright.

Now, if you are thinking to leverage cloud computing platform for your business, think NaviSite. NaviSite’s inexpensive cloud computing infrastructure has helped established enterprises manage their IT infrastructure. The result is a highly scalable platform for delivering cost efficient, on demand, usage based infrastructure and application services.

To explore more about how NaviSite could help you with cloud computing, please visit NaviSite

Article Source: Tips to Avail the Best Cloud Computing Services

Oct 212011
 

Business Week’s Big Cloud Computing Article

by Grant Deken

The June 15th, 2009 issue of Business Week published a rather robust article on the emergence of cloud computing and what it means for the future of business and the IT industry. This article, written by Steve Hamm, does an exceptional job highlighting the application of cloud platform technology in the marketplace as seen in the examples listed below:

Cloud Computing Australia : Business Week’s Big Cloud Computing Article

Cloud Computing Australia : Business Week’s Big Cloud Computing Article

1. Avon – Will equip 150,000 sales leaders with cloud-based computing systems accessible via smartphone and PC. Platform will keep sales leaders informed on performance of sales representatives, order quantities and overdue payments. “The idea is to increase the sales and efficiency of Avon’s distribution system.”

2. Virtual Personal Assistants – Siri, a Silicon Valley based start up is using cloud technology and artificial intelligence to create applications that help people with travel arrangements and entertainment. The company plans to soon move into developing applications that are tailored for business solutions. The article gives the following as an example: A sales person asks the application to put together the best sales pitch she can make for a prospective client. The Virtual assistant then draws on information from a variety of sources to formulate the pitch.

3. OptumHealth – Utilizing eSync, the company’s cloud driven system, can improve service quality and reduce costs by identifying gaps in care and helping people to respond to minor issues before they become emergency problems.

Luring the unsuspecting in with a sleek name and big promises, cloud computing seems to be the answer to all of our problems. But is it without its own challenges and risks? Gartner’s article, titled “Seven Cloud Security Risks” helps to bring everyone back down from the cloud and see the big picture: that cloud-based computing is by no means free of its own challenges. Here are a few examples they list:

1. Data segregation. Data in the cloud is typically in a shared environment alongside data from other customers. Encryption is effective but isn’t a cure-all. “Find out what is done to segregate data at rest,” Gartner advises. The cloud provider should provide evidence that encryption schemes were designed and tested by experienced specialists. “Encryption accidents can make data totally unusable, and even normal encryption can complicate availability,” Gartner says.

2. Recovery. Even if you don’t know where your data is, a cloud provider should tell you what will happen to your data and service in case of a disaster. “Any offering that does not replicate the data and application infrastructure across multiple sites is vulnerable to a total failure,” Gartner says. Ask your provider if it has “the ability to do a complete restoration, and how long it will take.”

3. Long-term viability. Ideally, your cloud computing provider will never go broke or get acquired and swallowed up by a larger company. But you must be sure your data will remain available even after such an event. “Ask potential providers how you would get your data back and if it would be in a format that you could import into a replacement application,” Gartner says.

While these challenges are very real, industry experts are working very hard to tackle these issues and provide platforms that are low risk for users. As an emerging technology cloud computing must be tested, praised, patronized, tested, and praised some more.

Here is what Industry research leader Gartner has to say about cloud computing and the IT industry:

1. The IT industry is expected to shrink 3.8% in 2009, but forecasters have high hopes for portables, wireless networks and cloud computing over the next few years.

2. Gartner predicts the market for cloud products and services to increase from $46.4 billion to $150.1 billion in 2013.

Some Notable Quotes on Cloud Computing:

“We’re shifting to more of a people-and information-centric world.”

-Paul maritz, CEO VMware

“The big vision: We’re finally getting there. Today, wherever you are, you can connect to all the information you need.”

– Donagh Herlihy, CIO, Avon

“Our goal is simple and practical: To help people perform tasks in their lives faster, easier, and in a more personalized way.”

-Adam Cheyer, VP Engineering, Siri

Hamm, Steve. “Cloud Computing’s Big Bang for Business.” Business Week 15 June 2009: 42-46. Print.

Brodkin, Jon. “Gartner: Seven cloud-computing security risks.” InfoWorld. IDG Network, 2 July 2008. Web. 8 June 2009..

Trackback: http://www.grantdeken.com/?p=48

Article Source: Business Week’s Big Cloud Computing Article

Oct 192011
 

What Are the Benefits of Private Cloud Computing For Businesses?

By Mike T Klein

A Private Cloud computing platform is a stack of network, server and storage hardware dedicated to you for the purpose of cloud computing. When a managed cloud computing service is utilized, the stack of hardware becomes a customizable cloud of computing and storage resources that can be configured and re-configured when and as you wish. Why is this ability to configure and re-configure your server resources with a Private Cloud computing platform so valuable? Here’s why.

Cloud Computing Australia : Benefits of Private Cloud Computing For Businesses

Cloud Computing Australia : Benefits of Private Cloud Computing For Businesses

With a typical dedicated server stack, which is either managed by you or outsourced, you select your server, storage and networking needs, purchase them, and then live with that configuration for 3 to 5 years. During the course of those years, you might add memory, which isn’t too difficult. You might need to upgrade disk drives, which proves a bit more difficult. Over time, you might need to upgrade CPU’s, which is very difficult and expensive because this essentially requires changing the entire server.

When speaking to finance professionals, the following analogy can be used to describe the benefit of Private Cloud computing:

Imagine you were responsible for bus transportation in a metropolitan area. You are getting ready to order new busses that your community would need to live with for the next 7 years. Busses are available in 20, 30, or 50 seat configurations. You need 1,000-1,100 total seats to accommodate your population and the routes you’ve designed to service their needs. Each line is designed to maximize the use of a 20 or 50 seat bus. So, you guess and buy twenty, 20-seat buses, and twelve, 50 seat busses, and then hope it’s efficient for the next 7 years.

Interesting puzzle huh? Even if done really well, at the end of the day, there’s still tons of room for inefficiencies and wasted resources.

Instead of being forced to live with the same resource configuration for several years, imagine you could purchase a “cloud with 1,000 bus seats” and re-configure those seats at will into whatever size busses you want, at any point in time. Busses could be as small as a single seat or you could have one bus with 1,000 seats. Got a convention? Make 4 x 200 seat busses between hotels and the conference center. Having this flexibility is really powerful and valuable. Why? Because with the increased flexibility you can have more seats being used at any one time, thus requiring significantly fewer seats while providing a better experience.

That could be called “cloud transportation”, and it would be every Transportation Officials dream. Now think of each bus as a server and you have “private cloud computing” – every IT-finance manager’s dream come true.

An Important New Requirement

We just saw the power of the flexibility provided by Private Cloud computing. Unfortunately, it introduces a level of complexity that wasn’t present before. There are a few unique abilities that must exist in order to really gain the benefit of a Private Cloud.

Continuing with the transportation analogy… you now have this new on-demand flexibility for your busses. All you need now is a staff of people monitoring the traffic flow and re-designing the busses with more or less seats based on demand and utilization. They would work feverishly to reduce the wait and route times for anyone wanting a seat on any bus. The flexibility is powerful but to get the most out of it you need fairly sophisticated and complex (i.e. expensive) abilities to dynamically change your configurations and obtain the full benefit of the flexibility.

In the computing world, what you need to do is watch the server, storage and network resources. When one appears to be causing a bottleneck, provide it more resources. You also have to remember to reduce the number of resources allocated to a server that doesn’t need it. If you don’t, it sits idle and unavailable for another server that might demand it. This resource allocation process is powerful, but not inexpensive.

That’s where you need to pay attention when designing your Private Cloud. You need it to automatically change the cloud configuration in real-time so resources are where they need to be when they need to be there! In the blink of an eye and automatically, it needs to turn cloud servers off that aren’t being used and turn them back on when they are needed. This means that a small, extremely smart piece of software will have to constantly monitor your server, storage, memory and network resources and compare that to work-loads. It will then estimate and forecast which servers need more resources. After estimating, it then needs to automatically, in real-time, re-allocate resources so that you are always using your cloud computing resources in the most efficient manner. How cool is that? The dream continues…

Cost

The beautiful ending to this story is that the ultimate savings of idle capacity can be passed on to you. The cost for a well designed Private Cloud computing platform is less than a dedicated server on a per server basis! So, not only is it more flexible and can deliver a lower total cost of ownership, a managed Private Cloud can be outright cheaper. That’s the benefit of Private Cloud computing.

About Online Tech
Online Tech owns and manages SAS-70 secure and reliable multi-tenant data centers across the Midwest. Their private cloud computing services combine the benefits of cloud computing – flexibility and cost-effectiveness – with the security, data integrity, and service level agreements (SLAs) of Online Tech’s SAS 70-certified, dedicated environment. Visit http://www.onlinetech.com for more information.

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