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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.


Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

When it comes to cloud computing, expectations are high for 2013. Businesses of all sizes—from garage-based startups to multinational corporations—are putting their resources into utilizing cloud computing technologies and services to help them deliver products and services, while reducing overhead operating costs. 

Nearly 50% of all enterprises in North America and Europe are predicted to set aside budgets for cloud investments this year. Additionally, 50% of software development companies are planning to deploy applications in the cloud. According to a research report by 451 Market Monitor, the cloud computing marketplace will reach $16.7 billion in revenue this year, compared to a revenue of $8.7 billion in 2010. 

Perhaps the most astonishing prediction was one released by Markets and Markets in their Cloud Storage Market-Worldwide Forecasts and Analysis research report: the cloud storage market will astronomically increase in revenue from $5.6 billion in 2012 to $46.8 billion in 2013! 


Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

The term “cloud computing” refers to any activity or service that involves the “cloud.” No—not a literal cloud! This metaphorical cloud is a virtual system that is accessible online, where users can perform a wide variety of IT tasks. Cloud hosting is just one of the many utilizations of this technology. 

Cloud hosting allows a website to no longer be limited to a single server, as previously seen with dedicated and VPS hosting. A cloud-hosted website will have access to multiple cloud servers. One of the greatest benefits of cloud hosting is the virtually unlimited processing power, as users can always scale up if necessary. 

The cloud can easily cope with changing client demands without needing to revamp the architectural framework. Users and service providers can easily predict new requirements, whether it is processing speed, bandwidth or data storage. Cloud computing is also extremely cost-efficient—especially for businesses—because users only pay for what data they actually use.


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.

Depending on the size and nature of your business, entrusting your data to a cloud provider may be every bit as secure (if not more so) than your in-house security. This is because top-quality cloud hosting providers invest a significant amount of resources into security, much more than most small to medium-sized businesses can afford.  Also, most cloud providers make an effort to always keep up with the latest in security so that they can provide the best service to their customers. 


Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

By Sameer Sule

SANDY- if you live in the northeast you will not forget her name for a long time. Every CEO, business owner and home owner was holding his/her breath as Sandy blew over us. I know I was. My house is surrounded by trees and every time a 50 mph gust came, I was praying to the higher power that the branches held up. Unfortunately a tree on the adjoining street couldn’t hold up and came down, knocking the power out from our neighborhood for a day. We were the lucky ones! Others in the NY and NJ area weren’t so lucky. 

The damage to people, property and businesses in NY and NJ  is unimaginable.  According to early estimates over 100,000 homes and businesses were completely destroyed or severely damaged. Many business owners have lost everything and may never recover. All their life’s work gone in a blink of an eye.  My prayers go out to people who have been disastrously affected by Sandy. Could they have done more to protect their businesses? In some cases the answer is no; we are powerless in front of mother nature and despite our best preparations things can go real bad. But in many cases, I am sure business owners are cursing themselves for not being better prepared. Most businesses do not have disaster recovery plans in place. Simple things like backing up data in a secure place, having redundant power supply such as a portable generator are not in place.Taking these simple steps can mean the difference between business recovery or business death. 
Events like Hurricane Sandy remind us how close we get to losing everything. Its just a matter of luck that one business or home gets destroyed and another doesn’t. Yet many of us thank our stars and move on without really considering what we can do to protect our family, home and business in the event of a disaster. We live in an information age and our life is practically a collection of bytes. Apart from a few hard copies most of our information is now stored in electronic format. Now is the time for those of us lucky enough to escape unscathed from Sandy to take a look at what is important in our lives and take steps to safeguard it. Do we have all our important documents in a safe place? How about all our electronic data- our files, family pictures, legal information, financial information? Have they been backed up online and can we recover them easily afterwards?
Knowing that we can recover our critical data after a disaster will make the recovery process relatively easier. So unless your data is a cat with nine lives, Sandy just used up one. How many more lives does your data have?


Spring World 2013 Features Exclusive Senior Advanced Track

Senior practitioners are invited to attend our one-day track on Monday at Spring World 2013. This exclusive track, How To Achieve True Enterprise Resiliency, will feature General Session 3 in the morning (attended by everyone)and then a separate breakout track in the afternoon. The one-day track will conclude with an exclusive “Meet the Expert’ reception in the evening. There is no additional cost for this new track.

Reserve your space in this exclusive track! It is an excellent way to receive top information from some of the industry’s most experienced C-level+ executives. Learn from those who make the decisions and implement the programs! To find out qualification requirements, email patti@drj.com


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The issue I would like to think about this week is how, as business continuity people, we should approach big disasters and what should our attitude be to them. If we are affected by the incident, then our job is simple, we implement our business continuity plan and hopefully we recover our organisation successfully. If we are not affected by the disaster how should we approach it?


If we are an in house business continuity manager should we be using this as a good opportunity to re-engage with our senior managers and remind them of our existence? Should we also use it as an excuse to get all within the organisation to review their plans? As it is the end of the year should we also use this time as a good opportunity to put forward a case for increasing our business continuity budget for next year?


It's about time. Someone has admitted that DR/BCP writers have ignored the personal issues of employees following a disaster when creating business continuity plans, reviewing them, or just writing about them. Eric Krell wrote in Business Finance on November 6, 2012, an article entitled "Sandy Exposes the Human Side of Continuity." I was alerted to the article by Phil Rothstein. Perhaps for Mr. Krell, Sandy was HIS first exposure to the human side of continuity. I've been teaching a unit called "Take Care of Your People" with my colleague Deidrich Towne, Jr. at DRJ conferences since 1999. We have presented lessons learned from our real experience of "people" issues associated with disaster response.

People, including employees, have routines that must be followed daily. Examples are taking care of children, pets, elderly parents, and farm animals. If you were to review Maslow's hierarchy, you wouldn't find work or career in the list of critical, life-sustaining functions. Let me give you an example. When putting together a strike plan, management employees were assigned duties requiring they work 6 days, 12-hour shifts. I got a call from a woman who said she couldn't work that many hours in a week. I told her it was a "condition of employment" for management personnel. She responded, "Dr. Phelan, three months ago my husband and I adopted a child on the condition I would not work outside the home more than 35 hours per week. If I accept the strike assignment, I will lose my child." I called her boss and set up a job-sharing arrangement to cover the duty.

There are human considerations that "trump" reporting to work. These are escalated when disaster strikes.


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.

Atlantic.Net is offering free cloud server hosting services to businesses that rely on data centers still experiencing issues due to the storm in order to allow businesses to get back on their feet until they can establish a more permanent solution for their business hosting needs.  Atlantic.Net’s world-class infrastructure allows for cloud servers to be provisioned in a matter of minutes, making business continuity possible and cold site disaster recovery a thing of the past.


Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

Despair. Anger. Frustration. Hopelessness. Sadness. Disappointment.

This is just a brief list of the emotions that folks impacted by Hurricane Sandy are feeling. It is impossible to understand what the citizens of the hard-hit areas are feeling. Many have lost everything - homes, belongings, businesses, and likely along with this - optimism.

While Hurricane Sandy occurred a little over a week ago, the east coast was blasted again today with a nor'easter. Normally a nor'easter does not garner much attention, but when people are still without power, heat, housing, gas, and jobs - the impact of such a storm only escalates.

Tagged in: hurricane sandy

Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

As you likely know, the team at Disaster Recovery Journal holds two conferences each year: DRJ Fall World and DRJ Spring World. DRJ is not alone in hosting, organizing, and managing these learning and networking opportunities. A quick search of the Internet reveals a range of conferences, workshops, and seminars focused on the issues of business continuity and disaster recovery.


Now of course - we’d like you to attend DRJ Fall World and DRJ Spring World - but we understand that there are only so many “conference dollars” available and you have to make smart decisions. 

Tagged in: DRJ Spring World

We have all heard the news that gasoline is in short supply along the east coast, especially in New York City, New Jersey and the shore of Connecticut. But why is gasoline selling at 19 cents lower per gallon in Upstate New York?

Refineries and distributors of petroleum products have a supply chain that demands they "move" product and accept new deliveries. With fewer sales along the east coast due to power outages, the supply on hand must go somewhere else. No one can purchase normal amounts of gasoline in the nation's most demanding market.

So, suppliers look for half-full tanks in outlets (gas stations) away from the coast. How far away, you ask. A FaceBook Friend yesterday told the story of driving from Poughkeepsie (75 miles north of NYC, up the Hudson River) to Red Hook (90 miles north of NYC) looking for a gas station that had gas. Yet, here in Central New York, gasoline has dropped from $4.04 per gallon to $3.85 per gallon. Why, because tanks in Central New York gas stations are taking the fuel that distributors can't sell along the coast. In order to make room for these deliveries, gas stations have lowered the price per gallon to sell more gasoline. The Federal Government kills two birds with one stone. They supply free fuel using military resources that are not electricity dependent, and they support the oil companies by purchasing the excess fuel the oil companies have no way to distribute.


Posted by on in DRJ Blogs

Well, in theory the worst of Hurricane Sandy is now over. But for hundreds of thousands of people, the destruction left behind is a large barrier to getting over the storm's destruction. With some people trying to get back to normal - battling traffic to get into Manhattan there are many many other people who are facing lost homes, missing belongings, the loss of businesses and many unanswered questions.

The East Coast is in the early days of realizing how much Sandy has really impacted folks. While some will be wringing their hands suggesting that people, government, and business should have been better prepared - there really are no clear cut answers. In coming days we will learn of communities, businesses, people and institutions that were prepared for such a disaster and we'll hear and read stories of those that weren't. Now is not a time for placing blame and pointing fingers - but rather a time to come together and support those that we can.

As we did earlier in the week, we've pulled together some links about Hurricane Sandy:

Tagged in: hurricane sandy

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. 

Hurricane Sandy has definitely taught the community a few lessons, but overall it has reinforced the notion that an effective, efficient disaster recovery plan is essential for every business that relies on stored data.  Cloud hosting is a great option for disaster recovery because it is flexible, reliable, and cost-effective.  Cloud hosting also facilitates very fast recovery times in the event of a disaster like Hurricane Sandy, as cloud servers can be spun up in minutes.

Tagged in: data center