Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Benefits of Cloud Storage Australia Services

The Benefits of Cloud Storage Australia Services

Author: Unified IT

Data needs to be stored safely for quicker retrieval when need arises. There are numerous IT services Australia has on offer for companies and businesses that are keen in minimizing risks associated to data loss. There are numerous benefits that come with cloud storage in Australia. First of all, you'll only be required to purchase the capacity that you require. This means that there is no wastage of resources. Another benefit is that service providers will get your system up and running in a matter of few minutes. The programs are easy to use and seldom necessitate assistance from the representatives of the company.

[caption id="attachment_1078" align="aligncenter" width="450"]The Benefits of Cloud Storage Australia Services The Benefits of Cloud Storage Australia Services[/caption]


Many companies agree that cloud storage Australia is convenient since the data remains within the region. No entity is capable of accessing it in another region outside of Australia. In case you need to share content with your contacts, this option will come in handy in enabling you to do so via email and even social media networking sites. Archiving of important files has also never been easier as it is now. Although the process of uploading, sharing and retrieving data is simple, free live support is still available on a 24-hour basis. This basically includes: - email, live chat and telephone assistance.


Cloud backup storage in Australia will also ensure that large data is uploaded efficiently. In such a case, the company will ask you to provide your hard drive so that they can handle the entire process and return the component as soon as the process is complete. Data will be controlled in a much more effective manner because of the reliable high speed access and first class security. There are many features that ensure errors are corrected quickly. The software programs enable users to undo previous actions meaning that any files that are deleted by mistake can be retrieved instantaneously.

Easy to use

In general, the amount of training required for operating the programs is quit minimal. After the initial installation process, the software will function just like the traditional computer hard drive. In addition, there is no need to worry about compatibility issues since the service providers design the cloud storage Australia software to work with PCs, Android and even iPhones. You'll also enjoy viewing your files just the way they are since there is no need of compressing them prior to uploading them. Now, you have the power of setting privacy controls for all users.

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About the Author

Mike Simmon is a professional author lives in Melbourne, Australia. He loves to write about IT services in Australia. For more information visit

7 Misconceptions About Cloud Computing

7 Misconceptions About Cloud Computing

By Dan Barrowclough

Cloud computing is a term that is thrown around fairly freely; however, the subject remains shrouded in an air of confusion. Many people have a limited understanding of the subject, which in turn has led to many common misconceptions. The following article will debunk seven of the most common cloud computing misconceptions in a bid to reduce confusion.

[caption id="attachment_1072" align="aligncenter" width="464"]7 Misconceptions About Cloud Computing 7 Misconceptions About Cloud Computing[/caption]

The cloud solves everything

Cloud-computing (or whatever else you want to call it) doesn't solve everything.

As I mentioned above, cloud computing has received a lot of attention in recent years. While browsing through the masses of information on the Internet, one thing became clear - people are expecting too much. This is partly down to the hype, publicity and hyperbole surrounding the subject. Although some cloud solutions have the potential to benefit budgetary, management and IT resources, it is unlikely to be the holy messiah that solves all business issues. When considering a particular service for your business, it is important to understand what it does and how it will benefit your business; but expect nothing more.

The cloud is a single entity

The cloud is spoken about as though it is a single entity, this has led to many people believing that cloud computing is a one size fits all solution to business and IT issues. In reality, this isn't the case.

The great thing is that it is tailored to each individual client and is a very adaptable solution.

The Cloud is a Fad

The term may be a relatively new introduction, but the technology behind it has been around for many years. Although adoption has not been as speedy as some expected, growth has been steady and industry forecasts predict that steady growth will continue. Cloud computing (the term and the technology) isn't going anywhere.

Cloud computing is unreliable

The cloud will not have 100% uptime, but neither will any other system. However, the uptime to costs ratio shows that cloud is likely to give a far higher level of reliability when compared with similarly priced in-house systems.

Another myth is the 100% uptime that some vendors promise. As I mentioned above, that is just not realistic. This is just a tactic to make clients feel more at ease than they should and is damaging to the industry's reputation

Cloud computing is only for SME's

It is undeniable that SME's are usually quicker to adopt new technology than large-scale enterprises, but the notion that a company can be too big to make use of the cloud is laughable. Larger businesses usually have far larger IT budgets compared to SME's, so it is arguable that enterprises can make more use of it

By hosting data in the cloud, I relinquish sole ownership

This point is partly dependent on the provider in question, however, any reputable provider will have a clause written into the contract which explicitly states that the client retains sole ownership of any data stored. Although, it is still worth reading the fine print of the contract before signing it, the last thing you'd want to do is sign ownership of your data over to somebody else.

Stormy weather affects cloud computing

It doesn't.

For more information about cloud services or cloud computing in general, visit the Interoute website.

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Top Three Cloud Computing Applications for Small Businesses

Top Three Cloud Computing Applications for Small Businesses

 By Dan Barrowclough

Cloud computing is a great technological resource that can be utilised by businesses - small and large - in an enormous variety of ways. The following article will focus on the best cloud based applications for small businesses

There are a number of benefits of having access to cloud based software. The most prominent one being global access. Since the applications can be delivered to your device over the internet, users are free to work and use the application wherever they see fit. Generally, software updates are free; this is in contrast to in-house software where software updates are purchased. Other benefits include faster run time and access to global management.

[caption id="attachment_1066" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Top Three Cloud Computing Applications for Small Businesses Top Three Cloud Computing Applications for Small Businesses[/caption]


CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is the process of acquiring, retaining and extending a business's relations with its customers. This process is essential in the modern business world and because of this, the sale of CRM systems is big business. Recently though, many companies have been offering cloud based CRM solutions to businesses. Cloud based CRM solutions have a number of benefits. For one, they are usually deployed quickly (typically in a few days). For such an important business process, rapid implementation is essential. Another benefit to hosted CRM is that there is no hardware to purchase and therefore no need to hire technical staff to manage it. With many cloud based solutions, security is often cited as a major concern; CRM systems even more so due to the nature of the data that they contain. As I mentioned earlier though, CRM is a competitive market and because of this competition, each vendor has to ensure that data center security is top notch. Free upgrades to the software are also a benefit, although as I mentioned earlier, this isn't limited to cloud based CRM systems alone.

There is a large number of cloud CRM vendors that small businesses can use, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. The best one can only be determined on a situation-by-situation basis. Popular platforms include, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Oracle, Rightnow and SugarCRM


Email has been an integral part of our business activity and personal lives alike over the past 10-15 years. Because of this, having a cost effective, feature rich, cost efficient email is not just important, it's imperative.

Cloud based email systems are not a new invention, we have been using cloud based email services for as long as we have been using email - especially for personal use. Having your email hosted in the cloud makes a lot of sense. There are a number of benefits to cloud hosted email to go along with the repeat benefits such as free software upgrades. The first is the scalability it offers, with a resource intensive system such as email, it makes sense to have a system that allows for equal resource distribution and scalability. Cloud bases solutions allow for this to happen.

Another benefit is the freeing up of IT resource, this time we are not talking about hardware resource but the human resource. By removing the in-house hardware element of E-mail allows your technical staff to allocate their time to more important tasks.

There are countless cloud based email providers for your company to choose from, the one that this author would recommend though is Zimbra as it has everything that you could want from an email provider.


As with CRM, cloud based accounting has seen a real surge in the past few years. There is a reason for this, as accounting based in the cloud has some huge advantages. The biggest one being price. Accounting software is expensive and it can often be difficult for small businesses to cover the costs. By using a cloud based solution, there is no need to shell out on any expensive hardware or software as your accounting system will be accessible through your internet connection. The cloud based systems aren't stripped down though, many boast feature sets that are as good if not better than a comparable non-cloud system. What's even better is that you can pick and choose the features that your company needs, rather than selecting a 1 size fits all package.

Again, the choice of service providers at your disposal is large, however the recommended package is Xero. This is because it offers arguably the most power of all the cloud accounting services as well as boasting a rich feature list.

I hope readers have found this article interesting and have, at the very least, had their eyes opened to the possibilities of cloud computing.

For more information on Cloud Computing and various Cloud Services, please visit Interoute's website. Interoute is Europe's leading cloud provider.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Security Challenges Faced by Cloud Hosting - Handling Data

Security Challenges Faced by Cloud Hosting - Handling Data

By Stuart P Mitchell

The final part of this article looks at how and where data is stored or handled and the issues that arise in cloud computing through the process of creating multiple instances of data across multiple server platforms. Cloud computing relies on this mechanism for many of its key benefits but, by doing so, invites further challenges for data security.

[caption id="attachment_1055" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Security Challenges Faced by Cloud Hosting - Handling Data Security Challenges Faced by Cloud Hosting - Handling Data[/caption]

Data Protection

Data collection and storage is usually bound by legislation or regulation which varies depending on the jurisdiction under which a service falls. Most prominent regulations, however (e.g., those in the US and Europe) share certain principles in common that demand, for example, that data is collected with the subject's permission, with their full understanding of what the data will be used for, only if the data is relevant to the stated purpose, only for that stated purpose, with transparency and with accountability. For the subject of the data this should mean that they consent to the service provider collecting data relating to them, they know what data that is, who has access to it and why, as well as how to access it themselves if they want to.

It is therefore paramount for IT service providers, who have stewardship of any data, that they are able to identify where data is stored within those services that they provide, how to access it and whether it is secure. However, the abstraction of cloud services in particular can cause challenges for those who utilise them to store or process data because they cannot necessarily guarantee where this data is at any given time. The physical location and guardianship can be obscured, with data hosting sometimes crossing different sites, geographical boundaries and even jurisdictions.

In such cases where private information is involved, the answer often lies with private clouds employing on-site hosting as mentioned in earlier parts of this article, but there is often a trade off with some of the other benefits of cloud which are discussed below.

Multiple Data Instances

Two of cloud computing's biggest selling points are that of redundancy and scalability. These are often achieved by utilising multiple servers to provide the underlying computing resource, with, therefore, the data within a cloud service being ultimately stored across these numerous servers. Moreover, cloud structures will also create multiple instances of data across these servers to provide a further layer of redundancy protection. However, the more servers that data is shared across, the greater the risk that this data may be susceptible to security vulnerabilities on one of those servers (e.g., malware, hacks); whilst the more instances there are of a piece of data, the greater the risk (by definition) that that data may be accessed and used by unauthorised users. Essentially, data in one place needs to be protected once, data stored in a 100 places, will need to be protected 100 times.

What's more, as each server and platform is likely to be shared, particularly in the public cloud model, each data instance may be subject to another security threat introduced, inadvertently or otherwise by the 3rd party users who share the resources. In a private cloud, however, this threat is reduced as the cloud resource exists behind the one organisation's firewall and fewer instances of the data are created in the first place (fewer servers to pool). Consequently there is always a degree of trade off between introducing security risk and the level of redundancy and scalability built into a system (although of course redundancy can prevent data loss in itself). Private clouds may be more secure but with smaller pool of resource they cannot match the levels of redundancy and scalability offered by the vast capacities of public clouds.

© Stuart Mitchell 2013

To find out more about overcoming the security challenges faced by cloud hosting you can visit this blog on cloud hosting and IaaS.

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Security Challenges Faced by Cloud Hosting - Building in Security

Security Challenges Faced by Cloud Hosting - Building in Security

By Stuart P Mitchell

As mentioned in part one of this article there are multiple stages at which information stored through cloud hosting platforms must be protected against data loss and unauthorised access. The first step is to secure the physical elements of a cloud hosting platform as described, however, the additional steps involve architectural and software based security measures to protect not only the platforms on which the data is stored, but also the data in transit and the subsequent points of access that allow valid users to interact with the data.

[caption id="attachment_1057" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Security Challenges Faced by Cloud Hosting - Building in Security Security Challenges Faced by Cloud Hosting - Building in Security[/caption]

Public Cloud Models

Cloud offerings, including cloud hosting, can be broadly categorised, in terms of the way they are deployed (regardless of whether they are Infrastructure, Platform or Software as a Service), as either being Public Cloud, Private Cloud or Hybrid Cloud (a combination of the two). Much of the distinction between public and private clouds revolves around levels of security and privacy rather than technical specifications. As the name suggests, public clouds use points of access which are accessible on public networks (e.g., the internet), public networks to transfer information and shared clustered cloud servers to store information. Essentially anyone can 'knock on the door' of the cloud service, attempt to intercept its information in transit and potentially share its server resources. The services, should of course be protected by end point authentication, data encryption and anti-virus/firewall measures on the server platform to keep data secure but they are exposed to 'attack' at almost every point in their architecture. It is therefore important that consumers of such services are aware of what risks each service carries and what the provider puts in place to safeguard their customers' data.

Private Cloud

For organisations dealing with highly sensitive data, however, they may demand more restrictions on who can attempt to access the cloud service, the networks it utilises and the sharing of cloud servers. In particular, some organisations will be governed by regulation which demands that they retain control of data for which they are ultimately responsible.

Private clouds may employ differing architectures, but they are defined by providing the aforementioned security measures. Servers can be located on an organisation's own premises or within a data centre facility but they will be ringfenced for the use of that sole client; whether it be with physical hardware separation or virtualised separation between server clusters, an organisation's cloud platform will be behind their own firewall. What's more, to protect data in transit, and to prevent untrusted users from accessing the cloud, private clouds can again use either physical or virtualised separation from public shared networks. For example, an organisation can utilise local area network (LAN) connections to access a cloud which hosted on internal on-site servers or a physically distinct leased line when connecting to servers in a remote location. Alternatively, technologies such as MPLS (Multi-Label Switching Protocol) can be used to provide organisations with trusted network connections, controlled by individual providers, across public network infrastructure. The latter can provide more flexibility and allow the organisation to benefit to a greater extent from the scalability that cloud hosting providers can provide.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud combines elements of public and private clouds and so can provide the security that organizations require for their sensitive and private data whilst allowing them to access cost efficient scalability in the public cloud for their non-sensitive operations. For example, an organization may store all of their protected client data in systems and databases hosted on site in a private cloud as required by regulation but pull computing resource from a public cloud for their brochureware website's hosting platform.

Data Centre Expertise

The previous part of this article mentioned the benefits of a data center location in terms of the physical maintenance of servers preventing data loss. Similarly it is worth noting that both public clouds and private clouds which utilise a third party data center location for their server hosting (whilst introducing vulnerabilities in data transfer) can benefit from on-site expertise in the maintenance of software and anti-virus measures, including for example patching, to optimise both the preservation and security of data.

© Stuart Mitchell 2013

To find out more about overcoming the security challenges faced by cloud hosting you can visit this cloud hosting blog.

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Security Challenges Faced by Cloud Hosting - Physical Security

Security Challenges Faced by Cloud Hosting - Physical Security

By Stuart P Mitchell

The following three posts explore the topic of cloud hosting and the challenges it faces in providing secure data environments for enterprise consumers. In addition, it discusses the measures taken to combat these challenges, whether they be physical risks to hosting platforms or cybercrime.

[caption id="attachment_1059" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Security Challenges Faced by Cloud Hosting - Physical Security Security Challenges Faced by Cloud Hosting - Physical Security[/caption]

The Need for Secure Data

The concept of security in all aspects of computing can be said to fall into two areas, the preservation of data and the control of data. The first of these concerns is the ability to ensure that data is not lost or corrupted, whether it be sensitive (i.e., private) or not. Data preservation may be essential for the effective operations of a business, for example, to be able to contact suppliers/clients or monitor and analyse business performance (business intelligence). In many cases firms are required to preserve data for periods of time by regulatory bodies in order to provide audit trails on their activities and where data is deemed personal, sensitive or private in relation to customers, suppliers or employees, firms will also be required by data protection laws to maintain that data.

The second issue pertains to the risk of sensitive data being seen by those who should not have access to it. Again data protection laws govern firms when it comes to only obtaining personal data with an individual's permission and then ensuring that they control who has access, restricting unwarranted access. In addition however, firms will invariably want to keep their own business operations private as well to prevent competitors gaining an advantage on them.

All IT infrastructure needs to confront these security issues whether it be personal or enterprise level computing and this has been a particular challenge for cloud computing in general, including cloud based hosting.

The Vulnerabilities

Cloud computing services ultimately require networks of physical servers to create the pool of computing resource from which clients can access their computing as a service, which means that all cloud resources always have some form of physical location. In addition, cloud services rely on a point at which the end users can access them, often publicly available on the internet as well as of course a public network such as the internet to transfer the data used by the service. These three elements to a typical public cloud service each have their own vulnerabilities in terms of the protection and preservation of data.

Physical Security

In terms of the physical infrastructure used to build a cloud service, many of the security challenges are the same as those faced by any other hosting platform. To keep data secure, providers first need to keep the infrastructure secure and running, and the data centres where cloud servers are housed take great measures to these ends. In terms of access, they ensure that the facilities themselves are secured against unauthorised personnel by using tools such as biometrics, security cameras, guards and limited access to individual server suites. This not only controls the risk of intentional sabotage or physical hacks but also the risk of accidental damage caused by one engineer affecting another organisation's servers, for example.

Furthermore, servers and network infrastructures are protected against physical damage using advanced fire protections systems and environmental controls such as temperature management. Controlling the temperature inside data centres is one of the primary expenses of a data centre provider due to the vast amount of heat generated by working servers. The aim of the exercise is to ensure that servers can run at their optimal temperatures but if left unchecked the damage caused could take servers offline completely. Data centres employ techniques such as chiller units, ventilation and water cooling to keep temperature regulated and servers running smoothly.

Cloud servers and their networks also benefit from the general expertise of data centre providers to keep the hardware maintained and up to date, ensuring that the chances of other hardware failures are reduced. As with alternative hosting solutions which locate servers in data centres, such as colocation, dedicated hosting and VPS (virtual private servers), this expertise may be accessed at a fraction of the cost it would take for businesses to deploy in-house.

However, these physical security measures are only the first step. The second part of this post explores the efforts taken to keep cloud hosting software operating smoothly and prevent data from falling into the wrong hands.

© Stuart Mitchell 2013

To find out more about overcoming the security challenges faced by cloud services you can visit this blog from a cloud industry expert.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting - Part 4: Security

Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting - Part 4: Security

By Stuart P Mitchell

Having compared cloud with traditional dedicated hosting solutions on their respective costs and performance issues in the preceding posts in this series, the final instalment provides further analysis of the two in regard to security issues.

[caption id="attachment_1034" align="aligncenter" width="480"]Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting – Part 4: Security Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting – Part 4: Security[/caption]


For many private and enterprise customers, security is the primary area of concern when making the switch from traditional localised computing to cloud computing solutions, particularly when it comes to the topic of hosting. Businesses that require high levels of security to be applied to their hosting platforms have traditionally flocked to dedicated hosting solutions, to avoid the vulnerabilities introduced by sharing servers with other companies or business functions. These enterprise customers have since been somewhat reticent to make the switch to cloud (despite the efficiencies mentioned previously).

Dedicated Server Security

Dedicated servers have, by design, features which are conducive to high levels of security in that they are individual platforms on discrete servers which are operated for single purposes - i.e., they do not share disk space or computing power with other services or businesses. This distinction leads to a number of security benefits in terms of both protecting access to hosted data and the preservation of that data. To achieve these twin aims, the risk of hackers or malware accessing the data and/or corrupting it is minimised; by not having any other functions/companies sharing the hosting platform it reduces the number of possible points of entry/access and therefore the number of security vulnerabilities on the server. What's more, a business sharing a host server would have no control over the effectiveness of the measures taken to secure these vulnerabilities if they are sharing the server with third party businesses. The dedicated model also removes the competing demands placed on the physical computing capabilities of the server by other hosting platforms/solutions stacks/businesses' IT projects, meaning that there is less risk of server or network failures leading to the unavailability or loss of data.

Cloud Hosting Security

Cloud Hosting platforms therefore need to re-address these issues as they fundamentally rely on the concept of shared or pooled computing resource. Public cloud models will struggle to offer the same protection as a dedicated platform because they not only share physical hosting infrastructure across multiple virtualised hosting platforms for disparate customers, but have further vulnerabilities in that the access points to such services are across public networks - in other words anyone can 'knock on the door' and any information being transferred between access point and server is at risk of being intercepted. Furthermore, one organisation who is a consumer of the service has no influence or control over the trustworthiness of others who may have signed up to share these pooled resources.

The answer to dedicated platforms for cloud computing is the private cloud. This model relies on the concept of ring-fencing a pool of computing resources for the use of a single organisation to eliminate the vulnerabilities of sharing. The concept has a variety of ways in which it can be physically implemented but where it involves a physically distinct pool of servers it can remove the aforementioned risks of sharing with third parties. In addition the use of a physically distinct line for access or on-site location of the servers can negate the risks of data being intercepted in transit or of unwanted access to the platform. However, by implementing measures such as these, organisations eliminate many of the economies of scale that make the cloud so attractive in the first place. Consequently, private clouds are often created using virtualisation to create ring fenced virtual networks of servers and secured access to those with technologies such as MPLS and VPN. These virtualised private clouds are becoming more and more secure and whilst they may not quite rival the physical independence of dedicated servers of localised private clouds there is a determination in the industry to close the gap and allow enterprise to benefit from the cost efficiencies and scalability benefits of cloud hosting without compromising on their security.

© Stuart Mitchell 2013

If you want to find out more about the respective benefits of cloud and dedicated hosting platforms then you can check out this blog from inside the cloud hosting industry.

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Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting - Part 3: Enterprise Focus

Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting - Part 3: Enterprise Focus

By Stuart P Mitchell

The third post in this series looks at some of the pros and cons of dedicated and cloud hosting solutions when it comes to providing the services that enterprise customers actually demand. Much focus in the industry has in the past been concentrated on the technical capabilities of the respective platforms but the key to adoption across enterprise is how that technology sates business requirements.

[caption id="attachment_1013" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting – Part 3: Enterprise Focus Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting – Part 3: Enterprise Focus[/caption]

Customer Experience

A traditional weakness of cloud computing, and perhaps a consequence of its on-demand access model is the area of SLAs and targeting enterprise consumers' needs effectively. The utility style of the service means that consumers have to some extent fitted their computing needs to the cloud services available rather than vice versa in order to benefit from the economies of scale and reduced costs. After all, the service is to a large extent defined and packaged up by the provider with the consumer tapping into it as and when they need it.

Dedicated platforms have, in the past, outperformed cloud in this area with the ability to provide customisation and control over individual servers and the use of more suitable SLAs on better defines services. Businesses have been able to take their IT requirements to a provider of dedicated hosting and build the platform around it (cost permitting) leading to a more bespoke set up.

However, there is now a concerted effort within the cloud sector to provide better targeted enterprise applications with in-built flexibility, scalability and security as well as SLAs which accurately reflect the performance of these services and the needs of enterprise. An example of this move away from a one-size-fits all model is the development of the idea of cloud application stores where organisations can purchase the components they need individually to construct a cloud package which is tailored to their business needs. In other words, providers create and define individual components but customers configure their overall bespoke service using these elements.


The benefits mentioned above and in the preceding posts in relation to the cloud result in arguably the key long term driver for enterprise adoption of cloud hosting and cloud computing in general, that of choice. Ultimately, the flexibility of the model means that anything is theoretically possible for an enterprise customer if they have the budget and their provider has the resources.

The same can be said about traditional dedicated platforms (at a greater cost) but the scalability issues encountered by businesses using dedicated servers are, as stated, negated with cloud hosting by the removal of the concept of capacity. As mentioned previously dedicated platforms can be used to provide a bespoke hosting solution for enterprise customers at any level but once the platform is established any further changes to it may require time and expense. With cloud hosting, if a business wishes to try a particular project or campaign as a short term venture they can so with minimal lead time, pay-as-you-go costing, and responsive scaling, thus reducing these costs and the resulting risks of the venture.

Part 4 of this series of posts goes on to focus in more detail on the topic of security and how the two hosting solutions compare.

© Stuart Mitchell 2013

If you want to find out more about the respective benefits of cloud and dedicated hosting platforms then you can check out this blog on Infrastructure as a Service.

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Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting - Part 2: Performance

Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting - Part 2: Performance

By Stuart P Mitchell

The second installment of this series of posts looking at how cloud hosting platforms match up to traditional dedicated hosting platforms focuses on a number of issues which businesses look for in a package, including reliability, flexibility and responsiveness.

[caption id="attachment_1032" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting - Part 2: Performance Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting - Part 2: Performance[/caption]


For both the provider and the consumer there are considerable differences between cloud and dedicated in the time in which the services can be up and running. As mentioned previously, dedicated hosting platforms require considerable input from the provider, often in consultation with the client to understand the business requirements, quote for a service and then set up and provision that platform (one of the reasons for providers seeking a fixed term lock in to ensure return on that invested time).

However, cloud hosting does not require the latter of these processes. Once the level of resources required by a business customer has been defined a quote can be calculated much quicker, because the resource is already in place, and the setup time is much reduced - in some cases almost instant - as the configuration needed to provide the final service is reduced. Consequently, dedicated hosting platforms may take weeks to provision whereas cloud hosting platforms can be provisioned in a matter of minutes or hours.

What's more, when extra resource is required from a cloud hosting platform this again can often be provided and scaled in no time at all without the need for further server setups regardless of the demand. Instead already configured pooled computer resource can be tapped into as it is required. Dedicated platforms on the other hand may require the installation of further hardware and solution stacks, for example, when the capacity of the existing setup has been exceeded, and so the time lag that that entails.


Each hosting platform has its own plus-points in the area of reliability and, conversely, it own issues on which it may be bettered. Cloud computing fundamentally relies on the premise of pooled computing resource and so redundancy is built into the core model. Whether it be within a public or private cloud, the physical liability for the hosting platform will be spread across numerous servers and so the risk of hardware/solution stack issues causing downtime is greatly spread and reduced. If one server goes offline, the hosting service will be maintained without interruption on the remaining servers. What's more, if the hosting service utilises services from disparate data centres it can also negate the risk of localised failures (e.g., power cuts) causing downtime.

However, for a consumer the cloud model can involve ambiguities as to the stability and reliability of the underlying physical resources and the hosting provider themselves if they do not plump for a trusted provider with known network capabilities. The cloud moniker is easy and popular to apply to computing services without the necessary resources to ensure high reliability and performance and so the level of service experienced across providers can vary greatly.

Dedicated platforms however, benefit from reduced risk of failures in the first place as the server's resources are not shared with other business's functions and therefore are not at risk from their potential security vulnerabilities (see Part 3) or from these functions draining shared resources (bandwidth, disk space etc). The flip side of this is that any failures may take the entire server offline, although dedicated services will employ back up systems (often tape back ups which are low maintenance) to ensure that functions can be restored as quickly as possible if failures do occur - albeit not necessarily seamlessly as with cloud platforms.

© Stuart Mitchell 2013

If you want to find out more about the respective benefits of cloud and dedicated hosting platforms then you can check out this blog on cloud hosting.

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Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting - Part 1: Cost

Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting - Part 1: Cost

By Stuart P Mitchell

The following trilogy of articles investigates the benefits and drawbacks of cloud hosting in comparison to the more traditional 'all singing, all dancing' hosting solutions of dedicated servers. It aims to discuss why enterprise consumers in particular are so tempted to migrate to the cloud as well as the barriers that often prevent them taking the leap.

[caption id="attachment_1013" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting - Part 1: Cost Cloud Vs Dedicated Hosting - Part 1: Cost[/caption]


The first great migration to cloud computing was centered on its most obvious benefit in comparison to traditional computing, that of cost efficiencies. Cloud hosting, more specifically, is no different and offers a number of cost savings for enterprise which are missing from traditional dedicated platforms. Although dedicated servers can offer a good number of services which are much desired, in particular by enterprise consumers, the physical investment in them comes at a certain cost.

The Cost of Dedicated Servers

A dedicated server may be completely 'at the disposal' of that one customer and, as such, may provide numerous security and performance benefits (as listed further on in series of posts) but maximum efficiency, in terms of the cost of the platforms versus the resource used, can only be realised if the platform is running at full capacity. If not, the consumer will inevitably be paying for capacity which they are getting any use from, because the cost of such platforms is met upfront. Essentially, customers are paying for physical capacity and it is then up to them to make use of it. Furthermore, if they need to increase resources (disk space, processing power etc) beyond current capacity, it requires upfront investment into the next 'step up', including the unused capacity that comes with that, as well as any reconfiguration and set up work that is required.

The Cost of Cloud Hosting

Conversely, the cloud computing model, including cloud hosting, revolves around the concept of tapping into pooled computing resource on demand. In other words a consumer can access the resource they need as and when they need it, and, moreover, only pay for what they use. It can operate in a fashion akin to a household utility such as water or electricity where the consumer is plugged into the public service and is then charged for what they consume. The capacity of the shared resource is vast and so there is no stepping up from one fixed capacity to another and no additional setup costs therefore involved. In practice, if a business wants to try a new venture they need only invest in the resource they require whilst they require it, without taking on damaging longer term costs. What's more, the costs incurred by the maintenance of the underlying infrastructure (i.e., the pooled computing resource) can be diluted by economies of scale where there is no need for bespoke environments to be created for each consumer. This saving is perhaps less significant with cloud hosting on IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) than other cloud services such as SaaS (Software as a Service) because there are less opportunities to standardise elements of the service, although it still returns sizeable savings compared to traditional localised computing environments. Finally, cloud platforms are less likely to involve lock-ins to long term contracts. This is largely caused by the fact that there isn't the need for a cloud provider to invest so much upfront in the creation and configuration of the cloud platform and consequently seek a return on that investment over a fixed term. Without this need for set up each time a platform is provisioned, cloud hosting services, like other cloud services can be simply turned on or off for the customer as and when needed. Part 2 of this article investigates some of the performance comparisons between cloud hosting and dedicated servers.

If you want to find out more about the respective benefits of cloud and dedicated hosting platforms then you can visit this dedicated and cloud hosting provider.

© Stuart Mitchell 2013

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Attain best data management services with Cloud Computing

Attain best data management services with Cloud Computing

Author: Document Management Services

Due to the advent of technology and office structures getting far more complex and modern, there has always been an increasing demand for effectively managing the data that is generated by employees using different software's. There has been a boon in the number of data and document management companies providing extensive software and hardware solutions to the various demands generated by small, medium and large sized organizations.Document management is a set of computers and software applications which store, manage and track electronic documents that is generated within the database of a company. Document management process allows data to be stored, modified and managed according to the preference of the user but lacks the record retention ability for managing records. Some of the main aspects of this technology are audit trails, check in/ checkout controls, rollback, summarisation etc.

[caption id="attachment_1004" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Attain best data management services with Cloud Computing Attain best data management services with Cloud Computing[/caption]

Document management system enables the connectivity of all the servers within the organization wherein one server can be assigned as the master computer which enables the editing, processing and retrieving of the data from one central location. This is particularly useful in ensuring that the data is not manipulated by an external or unauthorized user. With the availability of companies and experts who can guide you and your company with their data management services, it eventually reduces the dependability of the organization on various expensive individual software applications that were earlier used for handling complex data of huge capacity. One of the most convenient devices that have been widely used by individuals and organizations for taking a back up of their precious and valuable data is the SSD or the Solid State Drive/ Disk. It uses integrated circuit assemblies that are compatible with input/ output hard disk drives. SSD is less susceptible to electronic shock, have lower access time and latency. These disks are not widely used as they are still 10 times more expensive when compared to HDDs.

Another technology that has recently replaced all the traditional applications is cloud computing Australia, which manages all your data applications in a simpler, effective and cost free manner. You do not have to pay unnecessary for maintaining hundreds of daunting software and hardware applications, instead you pay only for what you need and the upgrades are automatic with flexible scalability. Data that is once stored in the cloud can be accessed, modified and stored from anywhere and everywhere, all you need is a secure internet connection around you. There is almost unlimited data storage with feasible recovery options. Hence, cloud service providers are competent enough to carry out the recovery process effectively that makes the entire process simpler than traditional methods of data storage. The cost of configuring cloud computing services differs for every vendor and on the total capacity of the data to be configured.

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About the Author

IDS G is an Australian author who always writes about data management services, Document management, SSD, cloud computing Australia.