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When looking for someone to hire to add an extra bedroom to your home, you have to perform thorough research to find the perfect individual that will suit your personal needs. So, why wouldn't you do the same when it comes to searching for a web host? Before jumping into a contract with a company, you will need to do your homework. 

The ideal cloud hosting provider should be able to deliver a solution that is easily scalable with minimum effort at the most optimum price, resulting in lower costs and thus improved productivity. Still, selecting the perfect hosting provider can be difficult due to the vast amount of competitors on the market. How do you find your right match? 

One of your first concerns when researching hosting providers should be that of security. Without proper security measures, your website and applications can be at risk of infiltration from hackers with malicious intent. An appropriately secure cloud infrastructure will prevent these situations from ever happening. 

Tagged in: Cloud Hosting

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Do you have different products to protect different types of data or different systems? If so, you need to start thinking about standardizing on a single product.  Think of all the time, training and resources you would save.

Unified recovery management (URM) brings under one user interface the ability to manage data protection throughout the business, supporting different applications and types of data on different operating systems in different locations and with different policies and backup requirements. From a single point, administrators can manage multiple data protection and recovery tools, including diverse solutions that are dedicated to different tasks. It helps eliminate the costs and complexities associated with deploying and managing multiple point solutions.


Can two of the same things have two different prices? Heck yes! Not only can they have different prices, but they can also be dramatically different. 

In the last few years, data protection solution providers have started to offer something besides “core-” or “server-” based. When buying software you need to consider all the options. One of the new options is capacity. 

When purchasing data protection solutions, look for a company that offers pricing options that allow you to pay for solutions in the manner that makes the most financial sense for you. In the past, licensing models were based on the number and power of processor cores in the servers being protected. They also had cost advantages for organizations with a relatively large amount of data and  small number of servers or for organizations with other software products licensed this way.


By Rob Giffin, Avalution Consulting
Originally posted on Avalution Consulting’s Blog

Have you ever recommended additional redundancy for a process, department, or facility, only to be told that your organization couldn't afford it or have the project repeatedly delayed until next year? I have. It’s pretty common in our profession. 

Casey Haskins and Peter Sims recently wrote an article that you should consider a must read (and so should your senior leadership team responsible for continuity). It may just provide the viewpoint needed to help your organization be more resilient.


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Andy Osborne's blog from last week was truly timely: I've just been assigned a new task by my boss: Take a recovery management plan done for one company site, and sinter it down into a suitable "template" for other "small" company sites.  The task has already shown indications of Andy's experience: the work done by predecessors causing more work.  It's not that wrong things were written, but the document doesn't "flow" like a plan should.  I beieve a "plan" is like a recipe, only longer and without the rewarding aroma to savor at the end.  ;-)

Of the many kinds of plans I've seen over my years in this profession, few really read like a recipe, rather more like a cross between a dictionary with a mixture of random essays.  No flow.  But this time, I feel much better about the prospects, because the plan I'm to use as the starting point has, on one of the early pages after the Table of Contents, a FLOW CHART!!!  It has been my contention since my earliest months in this business, that recovery is a process, meaning it must flow - start at Square One and start marching until you're done.

Perhaps, if you've found yourslef feeling like your plan lacks something, maybe it needs some improvement in its flow.  Developing recovery plans can't (easily) effect a timely recovery without flow, because no matter how many people you throw at the disruption, the lack of flow will have them bumping into one another.

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The emergence of the data center began in the 1990s, when companies began installing servers on their premises, replacing clunky and outdated mainframes. As technology improved, these spaces moved to off-site facilities with more dedicated resources. Today’s data centers are impressively sized, with countless premium features. In fact, the world’s largest data center—located in Las Vegas, Nevada—covers over nine acres of data real estate!

A traditional data center is an industrial building in which space is provided for server infrastructure, along with power resources, cooling systems, cabling, natural disaster suppression technology, and the most up to date security measures. To maintain cost efficiency, data centers are normally built where overhead costs such as electricity and real estate are low, but still have the ability to maintain an adequate staff. It is important to note that traditional data centers can be expensive to build in terms of monetary value and time; this cost is likely handed down to the customers down the road.

Prefabricated data centers (also referred to as modular data centers)—ones that are able to fit within standard shipping containers—are becoming the new norm. These modular centers give companies the ability to customize server architecture on demand as necessary. A modular data center can be placed anywhere data capacity is needed.

Tagged in: data center

It is not all about data deduplication! Many data protection products and providers talk about data deduplication as if it will save the world. In fact, data deduplication is only a small part of the solution. What we need to be talking about is across the board data reduction.

Data reduction technologies are the first line of defense against rapidly expanding data volumes and costs. STORServer provides built-in data reduction technologies, such as progressive-incremental backup, data deduplication and data compression, enabling organizations to reduce backup storage capacity by as much as 95 percent.  STORServer also provides advanced tape management and efficient tape utilization capabilities, which can further reduce data storage capacity requirements.

While competing solutions create massive amounts of duplicate data through repetitive full backups, necessitating expensive data deduplication solutions, Tivoli Storage Manager provides progressive-incremental backup technology that avoids the duplicate data in the first place by creating only an initial full backup and then capturing only new and changed data. Built-in data compression and data deduplication operate at multiple storage layers to minimize the amount of data being retained for operational and disaster recovery.


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You may have been researching the process of incorporating a cloud hosting solution into your business practice, or you may just be curious about this relatively new phenomenon. Either way, you will soon see that there is nothing but love for the cloud.

Traditionally, running a server required paying monthly subscription fees for chunky, lagging systems that you could either maintain on your own premises or pay even more for it to be occasionally maintained by a data center staff member. No more! The new technology of the cloud allows customers to pay for what they need, and only what they need.

To create cloud server, cloud service providers cluster together resources and create a singular server that can be divided amongst various clients. Because the space is shared instead of allocated to one single client, customers can change their bandwidth and power needs as necessary. Also, uptime is practically 100% guaranteed due to the fact that if there is any sort of hardware failure on one portion, the others will absorb and cushion the damage.


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Before considering cloud-based data protection, it is important to first understand the basics of cloud, which can sometimes be foggy (at best). With trade magazines and publications defining the "cloud" in a number of different ways, IT managers and executives are often confused about the true meaning of the term; however the recent maturation of cloud-based services has helped the definition become more focused.

 In a nutshell, there are two main types of cloud-based data protection services: public and private. The public cloud is where data is on a shared infrastructure. In a private cloud, data is on dedicated infrastructure and the owners of that data share no part of it with others. There are variations of the public and private cloud, including combinations of the two that result in a "semi-private cloud," but for the sake of clarity, we will stay away from that topic.

In data protection, there are some popular configurations to consider. The first is disaster recovery to a private cloud, which assumes an existing solution is onsite and has a backup copy and perhaps an archive copy. Usually this involves a system with disks and/or tape that keeps the data protected for a set duration of time. It then assumes that users want to automate disaster recovery to another location. Customers who need this cloud offering typically want to move away from a tape solution or have not yet installed a disaster recovery technology.


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By Andy Osborne, Consultancy Director, Acumen Author of Practical Business Continuity Management

I've just finished doing one of those straightforward "I'll knock that off in a day or two" type 

jobs. It only took me seven days. Over a period of four and a half weeks. The last stint used up pretty much the whole of my weekend. As a result, I now have the backache from hell, serious hockey withdrawal symptoms and a bad case of boarder's knee. That's floorboarder's, rather than snowboarder's, knee by the way - I don't think they suffer particularly from sore knees, although most of them must suffer terrible frostbite of the derrière from all that sitting in the snow, but that's another story (see "Ski boots and celery").


You may have heard the terms “public cloud” and “private cloud,” but what does it all mean? What happens when you combine the two to create the mysterious “hybrid cloud?”

Large corporations with the monetary resources available to build, develop and manage a server infrastructure most often use private cloud services. While obviously more expensive, a private cloud gives the builder complete control over the infrastructure and surrounding environment. It is important to note that those in charge of such a solution must be extremely skilled and confident in running a massive environment.

Most small to medium-sized businesses opt for a public cloud environment. This type of cloud offers web‐based applications and other cloud services. The hardware and operating systems are not owned by the client, but instead rented through a third-party vendor (a cloud hosting provider). One disadvantage to this solution is that the data is not stored locally; instead, data is stored and managed by the provider.

Tagged in: Cloud Hosting

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So you have planned.  You have a strategy.  You are ready.

Are you really?

Sure you have done planned testing.  But... people knew it was coming.   You probably made all the plans for your test weeks in advance.  You knew where you were going, when your were going and who was responsible for what.  That hardly seems fair.  That is not going to happen in real life.


The phenomenon of cloud computing has been a trending topic for the past few years. As the technology improves, companies are increasingly coming to rely on cloud hosting capabilities and the countless benefits it offers. You may just be surprised by the various industries that have much to gain by adopting the cloud.

The need and demand for education will never decrease, and is actually one of the fastest‐growing industries in the world. By incorporating cloud services into the everyday business routine, educators will be able to host classes remotely, interact on a more personal level in online classes, and collaborate with peers and students with greater ease.

Modern technology within the healthcare industry is astonishing, and by utilizing cloud servers, medical professionals can easily access medical reports, give patients thorough advice and discuss administrative business with office staff.

Tagged in: Cloud Hosting

The relocation of your company’s technical infrastructure to the cloud may appear to be a frightening one—every aspect of your technology will need to be adjusted to appropriately reflect its new location. However, there is good news: according to a recent article in CIO, more than half of businesses are moving their capabilities to the cloud, and the majority of these companies are noticing increased profit.

One of the core reasons cloud solutions save customers money is because companies no longer need to utilize resources such as manpower (and the salary to fuel this manpower) to keep their infrastructure running. A cloud server will practically run itself, since there is no complex architecture to maintain.

Money that is saved through the use of a cloud server can be turned back around and invested in increasing employee count, raising current wages and promoting an innovative environment.

Tagged in: Cloud Server


If you are new to the cloud hosting industry, you may be slightly confused by the variety of options available regarding cloud storage. You may keep hearing the term “cloud computing” and not quite understanding what it means. You may not even be sure if the cloud is just hype. Choosing a cloud hosting provider can be difficult, but with just a few tips, you will be fast on your way to your new host.

Do I need my data in a specific location? While many initially believe that the cloud is actually an invisible force located high above our heads, the cloud actually serves as a platform hosted in a number of data centers. If you work in an industry where the location the data resides is important, you should look for a provider who provides the option of controlling the location of the cloud.

Tagged in: Cloud Hosting


Each day on the news, there is a new headline regarding a large corporation that has had its website intruded by anonymous hackers who have released a surprisingly large amount of personal information. The first step to maintaining a large website is to understand the fundamentals of network security.

For any large business with multiple cloud servers, perhaps the most critical step to take is to install a firewall between the cloud server and the Internet itself. Firewalls can be configured to restrict the flow of traffic and examine the websites visited by traffic. Malicious users can be easily thwarted.


Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is a great solution for those whose needs and expectations are not met by shared hosting or whose website has outgrown their shared hosting plan. Virtual Private Servers provide users with root-level access to the server, while still keeping the ease and simplicity of a shared hosting account.  Essentially, VPS is like a dedicated server, except that you “own” only part of the server’s resources.

You may ask, why not choose dedicated server hosting then? Businesses who choose VPS hosting usually cannot afford dedicated servers, but would like more from their hosting services than provided by shared hosting. While dedicated servers are a big financial and technical investment, VPS offers an “in between” option between this and shared hosting - complete with technical support and no requirement to own the hardware.

A few benefits of VPS hosting include:


The business world today is all about staying current and competitive in your industry. As your small business looks to the future, consider these tech upgrades to help your business remain up to date and competitive in today's market. The following suggestions are relatively easy and affordable for most small businesses to implement:

Ensure Your Internet Speed is Up To Par

As a growing small business in today's world of instant information, optimal connectivity is essential, no matter the industry you are in. Make sure your Internet is fast, and don't be afraid to invest in it because a faster Internet helps increase productivity and efficiency. It can also mean faster upload and download speeds.


For both small- and large-scale businesses, there appears to be a growing trend: executives are adopting cloud computing into their everyday activities with little to no aid from their in‐house IT departments.  In fact, the role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is changing at a rapid pace due to the quick evolution of cloud computing and cloud hosting

Since the introduction of the computer, IT departments have been tasked with fixing various infrastructure issues regarding storage, email and accessibility.  As cloud technology evolves, it would appear that these positions are also evolving; the use of applications such as Dropbox and Google Apps have virtually eliminated these issues, allowing IT employees to work on more critical problems.

CIOs who can see the growing benefits that cloud adoption offers are the ones who will be most successful in the future, as the deliberate non‐adoption of such technology is not only bad for business, but has negative effects for employees who wish to adopt the technology in their daily business routine.


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The word “downtime” is one that the customer of any hosting provider dreads to hear. It is used to explain the common occurrence in which a server or website hosted on that server is busy or unavailable as a result of scheduled maintenance or even a system failure. Any time a server is down, all the information you have stored on the server—whether it is an application, a website, or files—will also be down. 

One of the most notable benefits of cloud hosting is the fact that downtime in the cloud is virtually eliminated. Cloud solutions are extremely reliable, and if a cloud server does happen to go down, it is often only for a few seconds. Cloud service providers have back-up systems that kick in when the main server experiences problems.