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Volume 27, Issue 4

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DRJ Blogs

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Jan 10

Should I Back Up to the Cloud?

Posted by Adnan Raja in Data Backups , cloud server hosting , Cloud Provider

Adnan Raja

Lately, the cloud has emerged as a popular solution for data backup for small to medium sized businesses.  Data backup has always been a popular subject for the SMB market and with the recent trend in data growth, cloud-based backup solutions, like cloud server hosting, are here to stay.  Backing up your data to the cloud does however create a few challenges that need to be considered.

First of all, certain data policies require specific protection regarding where data can be stored and transmitted.  Investigate the policies specific to your data to make sure that outsourcing to a cloud provider is not outside of data regulations.  For example, health care facilities are responsible for maintaining the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of their patients’ Protected Health Information (PHI), as they must ensure it meets HIPAA compliance.  Also, consider the data policies, especially the security practices, of the cloud provider to determine if a public or private cloud solution best fits the needs of your data.

Dec 28

2013 – The Year Cloud Changes the Way We Do Business

Posted by Adnan Raja in Cloud Provider , Cloud Hosting , Cloud Computing

Adnan Raja

In an article published last week, Forbes predicted a substantial shift to the cloud by corporate IT in 2013, saying “whether it is public, private or personal clouds, we will undoubtedly look back on 2013 as the year that cloud computing became an integral part of IT.”  With the rise in cloud adoption predicted for the coming year, it is imperative that IT managers make a conscious effort to become better educated on cloud best practices, data security, trends in cloud utilization, and new cloud-enabled technologies so that they can help their businesses leverage all the appropriate benefits of the cloud.

Forbes predicts that soon, enterprises will no longer think of themselves as strictly 9 to 5 businesses, but rather embrace the notion of being a 24/7 entity because, thanks to cloud computing, not everyone must be chained to his or her desk to get work done.  Cloud computing allows employees to access data via any device connected to the Internet and in turn, enables them to complete work, manage projects, communicate with clients, share files, and more without needing to be physically present at the office. 

Dec 20

Programmatically Manage Your Cloud Servers with RESTful API

Posted by Adnan Raja in Cloud Computing

Adnan Raja

Most cloud applications are built with APIs, which perform key tasks in helping the application operate effectively.   Cloud APIs can modify the resources available to operate the application, provide an interface that enables a specific capability, and offer methods to interface and extend the application on the Internet.  Administrators can now integrate applications and other workloads into the cloud using these APIs.

The Atlantic.Net cloud API is a RESTful query interface designed to allow users to programmatically manage Atlantic.Net cloud servers.  A RESTful API is a web service implemented using HTTP and the principles of REST (uniform interface, stateless, client-server, cacheable, layered system, and code on demand).  REST is focused on accessing named resources through a single consistent interface.  For example, in Atlantic.Net’s case, calls are made over the Internet by sending HTTPS requests to cloud API server.

Dec 14

Using Desktop as a Service to Increase Business Continuity

Posted by Adnan Raja in Cloud Hosting , Business Continuity

Adnan Raja

Desktop as a Service is a relatively new concept in the cloud computing industry.  It is similar to Software as a Service, except it’s not only the software, but the entire desktop environment that is provided as a service.  In essence, the desktop is made available as a service to users, regardless of location or environment.  For example, an employee could work on a client database using his desktop computer and then later, access this same information through his laptop, tablet, or smartphone when he leaves the office.

Desktop as a Service, also known as desktop virtualization, lets users sync their data using a client-server model with all of the computing power coming from the cloud server.  The monitor, laptop, phone, or tablet is simply there to display the information resulting from the processing and to relay information to the server regarding simple control signals, such as the click of a mouse or typing on a keyboard.

Dec 10

Tackling a Few Cloud Computing Concerns

Posted by Adnan Raja in Cloud Hosting , Cloud Computing

Adnan Raja

By far, the biggest concerns surrounding cloud computing are issues regarding security and privacy in the cloud.  The notion of giving up total control of important, sensitive data scares people, as it is no longer “safe” behind the corporate wall.

A lot of people fear that moving their data to be stored offsite will expose it to various risks and security breaches.  However, the cloud is actually a very safe place to store and share data.  Cloud providers offer varying levels of security, but you can also “beef up” your security by various measures such as integrating your encryption key management solution with your cloud management solution.

Dec 03

Using the Cloud to Ensure Business Continuity

Posted by Adnan Raja in Disaster Recovery Hosting , Cloud Hosting , Business Continuity

Adnan Raja

In today's fast-paced society, companies of all sizes need affordable ways to deliver quality IT services reliably and continuously.  One of the key benefits of cloud computing, one that is also often overlooked, is how cloud computing can help ensure business continuity, as well as speedy disaster recovery.  Cloud hosting offers a low-cost disaster recovery and business continuity solution for small to midsize businesses and a more cost-effective DR alternative to larger, cost-conscious corporations.

With the cloud as your disaster recovery solution, you can use your in-house systems to run your core business and work with a cloud hosting provider for your business continuity and disaster protection.  With cloud hosting, your data and software are replicated automatically in the cloud, creating increased redundancy.  You don't have to buy extra hardware or software to mirror your data center environment.  Instead, cloud servers can be easily partitioned to create multiple environments in the cloud, and these cloud servers can be spun up and configured in a matter of minutes.  In addition, with cloud computing and cloud storage, you only pay for the resources you use, so the cost is minimal.

Nov 30

How Do Data Centers Support Private Clouds?

Posted by Adnan Raja in Private Cloud , Cloud Servers , Cloud Hosting

Adnan Raja

A private cloud is infrastructure operated solely for a single organization, whether managed internally or by a third-party and hosted internally or externally.  Put simply, it is a layer of cloud applications running on private, dedicated hardware.  By addressing any special privacy and/or security concerns, private clouds offer all the benefits of cloud technologies to your business, along with an infrastructure dedicated entirely to your use.

If desired, private cloud services offer the ability to host applications on your company’s own infrastructure, thus providing more control for enterprises that require it.  Since many companies may have compliance or regulatory issues preventing them from jumping into public cloud, the cloud service tiers are replicated within a private cloud environment, behind the firewall, and maintained within the parameters of the host organization, allowing them to keep their existing infrastructure if desired.

Nov 15

Data Can Be Just as Secure (If Not More So) in the Cloud

Posted by Adnan Raja in Untagged 

Adnan Raja

According to a survey performed earlier this year by CIO.com, 54% of all IT security professionals cite cloud computing security as their top priority.  Another 32% cite security as a middle priority for them.  However, 85% of IT professionals are confident in their cloud provider’s ability to provide a secure environment for their data. 

Security has always been a concern when sensitive data is involved and this concern is heightened when it comes to cloud services outside of the corporate wall because no longer is it under the company’s direct supervision.  It is human nature to be afraid of the unknown, but the risks of cloud computing come with a plethora of benefits as well.  For example, the cloud offers greater flexibility, scalability, and agility, allowing IT staff to complete tasks in hours rather than weeks or months.

Nov 08

Cloud Based Data Helps Disaster Recovery from Hurricane Sandy

Posted by Adnan Raja in Disaster Recovery Hosting

Adnan Raja

In the months following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, businesses in southern Louisiana tried to get back to business as usual, but some of these businesses were gone for good.  Financial records, customer information, investor reports, and other electronic data was completely lost if it was stored locally on hard drives or external flash drives.  An important and very costly lesson was learned that year regarding the importance of data backup in the cloud

Fortunately, this time around many companies did rely on the cloud as a data backup/disaster recovery solution.  And, because of this, they were able to continue working off of Smartphones and laptops without a break in operations when Hurricane Sandy hit their offices.  With time, companies in the Northeast that were affected by Hurricane Sandy will start to pick up the pieces and get back on their feet.

Oct 31

What Can Hurricane Sandy Teach Us About Disaster Recovery?

Posted by Adnan Raja in data center

Adnan Raja

As Hurricane Sandy headed towards Manhattan earlier this week, data centers across New York tested their emergency systems and prepared for the hit.  However, for one ISP, this was simply not enough to prevent this freak storm from affecting their data center in lower Manhattan. 

Hurricane Sandy flooded the entire basement of Datagram’s data center on Monday, requiring it to be shut down to avoid infrastructure damage.  Luckily, many of Datagram’s clients already had backup and disaster recovery services with the company’s secondary location in Connecticut and were able to remain up during the storm because of the failover protection provided to them.  That's the good thing about cloud hosting - your data is never in just one location. One data center could undergo failure and your company data will remain completely safe.