Cloud Computer

Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all

Month: May 2018

Reason Cloud Computing Is Important

Help Companies Save Money

Companies can save a lot of money in their investment into cloud computing technologies that can help organizations take the burden of acquisition of servers, software, and people that are needed to stand up enterprise services, shared technology solutions, and deployment of customized or custom off the shelf solutions that are needed to support mission requirements of the enterprise.These solutions that are normally performed “in-house” within the boundaries of the organization can now be performed by outside vendors that specialize in niche technologies allowing them to provide cheaper solutions to their customers. These vendors have the resources, servers, software, and infrastructure in place that are needed to provide a specialized service to an organization. Companies end up saving more money because they do not have to do all the work that is required to set up the service, they just sign up with the vendor and outsource the service to the third-party that manages the technology that is delivered to their clients.

Help Small Business Become More Efficient

The economy is making it really difficult for small businesses to compete with mid-size and large scale organizations to gain new customers in their industry. These new customers allow companies to gain revenue which leads to organizations investing in their technologies to improve their efficiencies. When you are a small business, the chances are that you are getting a smaller piece of the revenue in your industry. The assumption could be made that small business can not afford the technology that is needed to compete with the large companies to improve their competitiveness. When you are purchase software, you have to purchase the hardware, and resources to support the service. This can add up to a lot of expense for an enterprise service for an organization and can make it impossible for a company to even think about a technology product. Cloud computing is a technology that is changing the game all together in how small businesses are now able to compete with larger companies. Cloud computing allows companies to buy into a service because the infrastructure is hosted by the vendor. The company can pay for more licences as their business grows but they will be able to get the software that is needed to allow their company to prosper.

Help Save the Environment

Organizations that implement cloud computing technologies can have a significant impact on their ability to reduce their electricity bills dramatically. If you ever seen your company’s data center, you could see up to hundreds or more servers depending on size of your company’s business. Each of these servers generates heat and if they generate to much heat then the servers stop working. When servers stop working then mission critical applications go down and this leads to a lot of customers complaining to the help desk. Data centers have built in cooling systems to help keep the room cool and at certain humidity. All of this cost the company a lot of money to keep the servers running at optimal performance. Now, if each organization has a data center and each has their own cooling system this is leading to a lot of electricity that is being used to keep all of these data centers running around the world. Cloud computing helps save the environment because it is shared infrastructure resources that a vendor provides to an organization. Cloud computing vendors that specialize in infrastructure service have built up data centers around the country and offer their data centers to other companies. Companies do not need to have their own data centers, they can just have their applications hosted with the cloud computing provider to help save energy through sharing resources.

Access to Information Anywhere at Anytime

The Internet and cloud computing technology is a winning combination. These two technologies have allowed vendors to develop a product called “cloud drives”; which is an online storage medium that allow people to save their documents, videos, photos, and music over the Internet. The advantages of a cloud drive is that it provides the capability for people to access their information from any computer around the globe at anytime during the day. This type of simple technology allows people to become more productive by improving their access to information. There are a number of vendors that have entered the cloud computing market to offer cloud drives such as Google, Amazon, and Dropbox to name a few. These cloud drives have built in security, a file directory system that people are familiar with navigating, the capability to upload your files from your computer to your cloud drive, the capability to download your file from your cloud drive to your computer, and share your files with other people that you grant access to your account. The access to information is going to play a key role in the workforce’s ability to telecommute remotely for organizations to save on facility costs. This is going to be the next big trend for companies as they try to reduce their expenses by finding alternative ways to cut their expenses to fight lost revenues because of the economy. We just provided an example in how technology can help companies make their workforce more mobile, productive, and collaborative by using the cloud.

Cloud Computing Solutions Are Easy to Use

The reason why cloud computing is catching on is because of the simplicity that vendors have been integrating solutions to use this technology in the first place. If you ever had the chance to access your email such as Outlook or Gmail then you know how simple it is to access a cloud services. People like simplicity, excellent customer service, and more sophistication in the services that they are receiving from companies. As long as vendors make it this simple and enjoyable to access cloud technologies then it will become more integrated with other products. Ease of use means more product adoption which equates to more reasons why cloud computing is important.

Increased Demand for Resources

As the demand for cloud resources continue to grow then there will be the need to develop a workforce to continue to innovate, cultivate, and maintain the services to meet customer demand. This will have a dramatic effect on the information technology market that is looking for new ways to develop opportunities in a weak economy. The need to grow these resources will have a trickle effect on the institutions and trade schools that will develop curriculums to meet the training requirements that are needed to fill the void for these requirements. Companies will then also develop their own certification standards and develop governance procedures to manage how people get certified in their products. The increased need for a technology increases not only the need for resources but education and dollars that are associated with the services that are delivered. Innovation and ideas are important to our economy and the cloud is proving to be the next big idea.

Integrate Part of a Disaster Recovery Solution

Organizations need to protect their critical data to ensure that they can provide services to their customers and that can continue their daily operations to support their corporate mission. Most companies develop a disaster and recovery plan that discusses the necessary steps that they need to take for any type of events that the company may face. The company prepares for these events by having an alternative computing facility to save mission critical data for the organization at some remote location away from the corporate headquarters. Companies also routinely take full and incremental backups on a daily and weekly basis that is stored on some type of storage storage device. Companies can now integrate cloud computing as a type of storage device that they can integrate with their disaster recovery plan in addition to their other methods that they are using to save their data. Having a cloud storage solution helps provide additional safeguard procedures to help ensure that customer data will be safe and that your organization will continue to operate based on any type of event.

Will Lead to New Product and Platform Innovation

The need for new product ideas and innovation is critical to the success and growth of the global economy. These new product innovations can come from improving on older technologies or collaborating with existing technologies to form new ones. Cloud computing is positioned to be an important ingredient that companies can use to bundle with other services that can provide customers with new experiences. The number of possibilities that companies can combine with cloud computing is infinite and we are excited about the future innovations that may rise from this technology. We are already seeing innovations from companies such as Amazon, Google, Rackspace, IBM, and Microsoft. Cloud computing is new technology that has just begun to assemble the policies, technologies, disciplines and is not at a mature state yet. There is so much potential to grow this domain forward and it will be exciting to see what will happen in the next ten years in the evolution of the cloud. We expect to see more synergies from different technologies and possibly more collaborations from vendors in offering customers better solutions.

How To Choose Cloud Computer Service

In recent months, cloud computing is a topic that is getting a lot of attention especially when applying the technology in healthcare. Cloud computing is becoming more attractive to medical organizations predominately due to the benefits that the technology offers including reduced enterprise IT infrastructure and power consumption costs, scalability, flexibility, and accessibility.

At the same time, cloud computing pose significant potential risks for medical organizations that must safeguard their patients protected health information or PHI while complying with HIPAA Privacy and Security rules. The increased number of reported PHI breaches occurring over the past two years along with ongoing HIPAA compliance and PHI data privacy concerns, has slowed down the adoption of cloud technology in healthcare.

To help medical organizations and providers mitigate PHI data security risks associated with cloud technology, consider the following five best practices when selecting the right cloud computing provider:

1. Understand the importance of SSL. Secure socket layer (SSL) is a security protocol used by web browsers and servers to help users protect data during transfer. SSL is the standard for establishing trusted exchanges of information over the internet. SSL delivers two services that help solve some cloud security issues which includes SSL encryption and establishing a trusted server and domain. Understanding how the SSL and cloud technology relationship works means knowing the importance of public and private key pairs as well as verified identification information. SSL is a critical component to achieving a secure session in a cloud environment that protects data privacy and integrity

2. Not all SSL is created equal. The trust established between a medical organization and their cloud computing provider should also extend to the cloud security provider. The cloud provider’s security is only as good as the reliability of the security technology they use. Furthermore, healthcare organizations need to make sure their cloud provider uses an SSL certificate that can’t be compromised. In addition to ensuring the SSL comes from an authorized third party, the organization should demand security requirements from the cloud provider such as a certificate authority that safeguards its global roots, a certificate authority that maintains a disaster recovery backup, a chained hierarchy supporting their SSL certificated, global roots using new encryption standards, and secure hashing using the SHA-1 standard. These measures will ensure that the content of the certificated can’t be tampered with.

3. Recognize the additional security challenges with cloud technology. There are five specific areas of security risk associated with enterprise cloud computing and medical organizations should consider several of them when selecting the right cloud computing provider. The five cloud computing security risks include HIPAA Privacy and Security compliance, user access privileges, data location, user and data monitoring, and user/session reporting. In order for medical organizations and providers to reap the benefits of cloud computing without increasing PHI data security and HIPAA compliance risks, they must select a trusted service provider that can address these and other cloud security challenges.

4. Ensure data segregation and secure access. Data segregation risks are a constant in cloud storage. In a traditional client hosted IT environment, the internal IT administrators of the organization controls where the data is located and the access granted to clinicians and support staff. In a cloud computing environment, the cloud computing provider controls where the servers and the data are located. Even though certain controls are lost in a cloud environment, proper implementation of SSL can secure sensitive data and access. A medical organization will know that they are on the right path to selecting the right cloud provider if they provide the organization with three key elements as part of their cloud hosting solution: encryption, authentication, and certificate validity. It is highly recommended for organizations to require their cloud provider to use a combination of SSL and servers that support 128-bit session encryption and should also demand that sever ownership be authenticated before one bit of data transfers between servers.

5. Make sure the cloud provider understands HIPAA compliance. When a medical organization outsources their IT infrastructure to a cloud computing provider, the organization is still responsible for maintaining HIPAA compliance with all Privacy and Security rules. Since healthcare organizations can’t rely solely on their cloud provider to meet HIPAA requirements, it is highly recommended to select a cloud provider that has experience with HIPAA compliance and has compliance oversight processes and routines in place. Cloud computing providers that refuse to participate in external audits and security certifications are signaling a significant red flag and should be dismissed from further consideration.

SSL is a proven technology and a cornerstone of cloud computing security. When a medical organization is evaluating a cloud computing provider, the organization should consider the security options selected by that cloud provider. Knowing that a cloud provider uses SSL can go a long way toward establishing confidence. The right cloud computing provider should be using SSL from an established, reliable and secure independent certificate authority. Furthermore, when selecting a cloud computing provider, healthcare organizations should be very clear with their cloud provider regarding the handling and mitigation of risk factors beyond SSL.

Medical organizations that effectively performs PHI security and HIPAA compliance due diligence as part of their cloud computing provider selection process, will be best positioned to consolidate IT infrastructure, reduce IT cost, mitigate the risk of PHI data breaches, and increase business sustainability resulting from the adoption of cloud technology. This outcome will allow healthcare providers to focus more of their energy and resources to patients thus improving care and outcomes.

History of Cloud Computing

As the IT field evolves, it becomes more mature, the need to optimize cost naturally drives the innovation and creativity. The new concept coupled with technology, which is now doing rounds is ‘cloud computing’.

I had come across people, with limited IT knowledge enquiring me as what is ‘cloud computing’?. Though, I had tried to explain to them in best possible way, most of the time, I end up a vacant stare from them, which was indicative that they did not understand the concept or background behind cloud computing.

What is cloud computing?.

Quite recently, I have started giving them example of home with kitchen Vs restaurant towards explaining the concept behind ‘cloud computing’. A kitchen at home is dedicated for home, the resources – may it be the vessels or appliances or the cooking person is dedicated to that home. The owner of the home invests in kitchen and avails the benefit of having the kitchen to him or her or the members of his family. It’s the owner of the house who has to maintain the kitchen. When one compares home kitchen with restaurant, the end objective is same, which is specific food is offered, but how food is prepared or serviced is different. One does not own anything is a restaurant except for the food offered. In a nutshell same is concept between Traditional IT offering Vs cloud computing.

Just like home kitchen, in case of traditional IT offering, the company owns the hardware and licenses for software and at times company outsources application development to a 3rd party which is comparable to chef hired (if a person is rich) to prepare food at home. With evolution of IT sector in hardware & software, we are marching towards ‘restaurant’ model of IT services; you just pay for what is your end objective – ‘processed food’ or ‘services’. Like in a restaurant, in which you are only concerned about the quality of food and expected service offering and not much bothered about who is the chef, waiter or the kitchen appliances or even where the kitchen is, so is the case with ‘cloud computing’, the customer is focused on service offering and not on hardware, software, raw information or resources employed to provide the service offering or end product.

Organizations are not going to jump into cloud computing, they would evolve and move towards characteristic of cloud computing infrastructure over period of time as they feel confident about the same. As far as cloud computing is concerned, I believe we are at stage, similar to, as of early 90’s with respect to IT services outsourcing. IT services were outsourced, so that organization could concentrate on the ‘core’ business area, cloud computing could well be a further step forward.

Now, let look at the service models normally considered in cloud computing.

SAaS: Software – as – a service:

This model is talked about quite some time now, business application are hosted on server maintained by data centers. Legal issues, security, integration and confidentiality of data of the deterring factors on this model at this point of time. Once policies, procedures, standards get defined and refined our the period of time, this is bound to get adopted, over period of time.

In terms of usage, the application are accessed through web browser and terms and condition could be governed by service level agreements.

Possible examples could be simple free generic email service to complex ERP system..

IaaS: Infrastructure – as – a service:

Computation servers, storage, hardware are considered under this service model. One would also find free on storage offered in web, this could be referred as IaaS.

PaaS: Platform – as – a service:

Development and deployment platform could be offered as a service to developers to build, deploy manage, application on SAaS.

If one looks at cloud deployment strategy, its normally, public, private and hybrid clouds. I feel the name itself quite significant to describe about the type.

The next question is any one’s mind would be, what kind of hardware does one require towards hosting cloud computing?.

At this point of time, normally cloud computing is deployed in traditional model. By traditional model, I mean one might have a server to cater database tier or application tier, which is almost a ‘silos’ based model. But, since cloud computing, one need to have efficient hardware and manpower(refer to my example of restaurant) to manage cloud better in a data centre. This is where hardware could play a main role, the new technology like grid computing, real application clusters, automatic storage management, server scale up and server virtualization features plays in important role toward better management and deployment of cloud.

As we progress, we would well be moving away from ‘Silos’ based computer system and application. Cloud computing infrastructure would be residing in data centre, this would call for efficient use of hardware and more over manpower would need to support multiple servers or application. Optimization and effective control would play larger roles in infrastructure management of these data centre towards cloud computing.

Standards in cloud computing are evolving and as per a leading standards organization, some of the key characteristics towards cloud computing are,

Resource Pooling:The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources.

Rapid elasticity: Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time.

Measured service: Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported, providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.

As this leads to a situation where, cloud computing needs to provide services wherein there is zero downtime and resources being shared, so naturally hardware for cloud computing is getting evolved, the technology related to Grid computing, clustering – RAC, better performing servers and server virtualization has been increasing offered by vendors towards satisfying the characteristics of cloud computing.

A brief look at the terminologies and technology used,

A cluster consists of a group of independent but interconnected computers whose combined resources can be applied to a processing task. A ‘clusterware’ is a term used to describe software that provides interfaces and services that enable and support a cluster. The combination of clusterware, automatic storage management provides a unified cluster solution that is the foundation to real application cluster database.

Real application clusters allows multiple nodes in a clustered system to mount and open a single database that resides on shared disk storage. Should a single system (node) fail, the database service will still be available on the remaining nodes.

It might still require few more years before cloud computing matures and it might well re-define the IT outsourcing map.

Tips To Managed Cloud Service

Keeping up with the technical side of business these days is a challenge that many company owners are ill-prepared for. Marketing can be a tricky endeavour if you are not up to date on the most recent technological advances in reaching audiences and customers of all kinds. With the development of the Internet at one’s fingertips, there are open opportunities for companies to advertise and promote their services. Unfortunately, many companies fall short because they do not have the ability or strategy to make sure their efforts pay off, and wind up collapsing under the pressure of the competitive market. Furthermore, security breaches can be costly and difficult to repair without the proper manpower, knowledge, and skill. It is important that business owners become more familiar with the services out there that have recently been developed to address these typical issues that companies face worldwide. One of the most helpful developments is the initiation of managed cloud services. Cloud services have become a standard for many businesses to store and access their data and company information at any given moment, from any given location.
Here are some other things you may not know about managed cloud services.

It’s not just about storage & accessibility
Firstly, cloud services do not just manage the storage and accessibility of company information. They also offer other services such as supplying companies with software via the web that are tailored to that specific company’s needs. There are neat and clean payment options that come with cloud services; sometimes it is based on a flat rate, other times it is based on the software and services that you utilize most. You should be sure to look into whatever you will use the most and how the company charges for the services. Furthermore, business owners don’t have to worry about updating their software regularly or staying on top of business security; cloud services routinely update and build your security by backing up your information on a regular basis, without need for your prompt or involvement.

Company data is omnipresent
A second thing you may not know about managed cloud is that company employees are able to collaborate and consult from any location. You can link the company data to any employee’s technical devices and it routinely syncs the information on its own so you don’t have to worry about saving documents, it simply does it for you with each revision or modification. Sharing theses capabilities in real-time is one of the most incredible developments in technology in recent years, and businesses are taking advantage of the perks. For instance, employees across the country do not need to be flown in for business meetings, going over spread sheets, or making changes to business plans-they can simply all modify and view the same document at the same time.

It saves business money
Thirdly, and lastly, cloud services help businesses become and stay Cloud Computing financially efficient. This can be particularly useful for smaller businesses that cannot afford to pay for many employees. Managing the IT side of businesses is complex and difficult to navigate for individuals who are not well versed in technological jargon and software applications, which is precisely why it requires skill and knowledge to successfully run this side of companies. Cloud services eliminate the need to hire an IT staff to manage software updates and security, or even analyze company data to ensure efficiency. Cloud services are excellent for people who need technology to be simplified for them. In the end, it saves businesses ample amounts of money in staff alone.

Final words
Cloud services are the wave of the future. Without it, hard copies of files are still being used worldwide. Not only do cloud services eliminate a huge amount of paperwork, helping the environment and saving our wrists from turmoil, but also they eliminate a lot of guesswork that could potentially be devastating to a business. Staying current with marketing is critical to businesses nowadays, especially if they wish to expand in the future. Cloud services are helpful for business fluency, expansion, and cost-effectiveness; it takes businesses from average to competitive with the click of a mouse.

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