Archive for November, 2012

 

Small companies should consider cloud-based disaster recovery programs

Thursday, November 29th, 2012 by

In the past, every new technology implemented by a company needed to have a positive return on investment or reduce costs in some way for it to have a sound impact on an organization. While saving money is still important today, it is not necessarily the main reason companies are deploying innovative solutions.

As new cyber dangers and natural disasters pressure small organizations to be prepared with robust disaster recovery and business continuity plans, decision-makers are turning to cloud computing for scalable and automated environments, according to a study by InformationWeek Reports. Since the cloud comes in a variety of forms, enabling executives to leverage on- or off-site structures to host mission-critical information, small companies can use the services to promote long-term safety.

Small companies should consider cloud-based disaster recovery programs

The study revealed that the cloud is also raising awareness of the importance of businesses continuity and disaster recovery programs, as 67 percent of respondents said they currently have a plan in place, while another 23 percent have a strategy to launch an initiative within the next 12 to 24 months. Only 10 percent of respondents lack any plans.

The survey also found that 17 percent of decision-makers are using cloud-based services to enhance disaster recovery programs, while another 26 percent are considering doing so.

Why use the cloud for disaster recovery?
In addition to the scalable and financial benefits associated with incorporating cloud computing into a business continuity strategy, executives can also ensure their initiatives are on pace with evolving demands through frequent testing programs, InformationWeek Reports said. While legacy disaster recovery tools often enable companies to check operations every so often, the cloud provides decision-makers with the ability to ensure sensitive applications and data are recoverable at any time.

InformationWeek Reports said cloud-based business continuity programs enable small firms to have end-to-end backup orchestrated for their entire data center. This lets executives migrate massive volumes of records to the public or private cloud on demand.

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Riding the Gartner Hype Cycle Roller Coaster: Hang on to your Magic Quadrants!

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012 by

Every year, vendors and companies watch to see how providers are positioned in Gartner’s Magic Quadrants. Gartner has been providing Magic Quadrant analysis for many years in different industry verticals, and although the analysis isn’t necessarily the gold standard, it does help those making buying decisions understand each industry a little more clearly.

Since 2009, GoGrid has been in a Gartner Magic Quadrant, and this year we’re happy to announce our inclusion in the 2012 Cloud IaaS Magic Quadrant. Instead of analyzing the comments and positioning of the cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers, I wanted to take a different approach by focusing on how the Magic Quadrant has evolved over the years in relation to cloud computing, hosting, and IaaS in general.

What’s all the “hype” about?

Many of you may be familiar with another Gartner graphic and report called the “Hype Cycle.” The Hype Cycle graphically represents the evolution of a new technology from its introduction through its maturity. The Cycle is broken into five distinct “slopes,” and looks like this:

Gartner_Hype_Cycle.svg

  • The Technology Trigger phase is where a breakthrough or new technology first begins to garner interest.
  • The Peak of Inflated Expectations is the phase where a technology is seen as the solution to all ills. At this point, the technology is pushed to the limit, with some successes and plenty of failures. There’s a lot of media, marketing, and PR hype during this phase, as its name implies.
  • Once reality sets in, the technology enters the Trough of Disillusionment. In this phase, there isn’t as much media interest and there’s possibly more criticism than praise.
  • As the technology begins to mature and users continue to experiment and innovate, we reach a level of clairvoyance where potential risks and benefits are clearer and there are more solutions that use the technology. This phase is the Slope of Enlightenment.
  • When real-world applications appear and are accepted and the value proposition gains traction, the technology hits the Plateau of Productivity, where more widespread adoption occurs. Once the technology reaches this level, it has become established and viable.

Like many transforming technologies before it, cloud computing is working its way through this Hype Cycle roller coaster. Five years ago, the cloud was chugging up the hill to get ready for the ride, and more recently, it’s sped down the descent as the technology gained momentum. Where does it stand currently? There are many opinions, of course, but I believe we’re enjoying the ride to the Plateau of Productivity. (more…) «Riding the Gartner Hype Cycle Roller Coaster: Hang on to your Magic Quadrants!»

Security Basics: 4 Steps to Tighten up Linux Security

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 by

Our previous security articles from GoGrid discussed 5 steps to enhance your security on Microsoft Windows and how to tighten up Windows security. But what about making your Linux server security a bit more robust?

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Overview

Security studies strongly demonstrate that most systems will be attacked within 5 hours after becoming publicly accessible—in some cases, in less than 2 hours. The sources of the attacks are often unsuspecting users whose systems have been compromised by malware and are in turn being used to attack and infect other systems. The majority of attacks target two common threats:

  1. A combination of commonly used system accounts (e.g., the root account) with weak, dictionary-based passwords
  2. Systems that are missing critical or high-security vulnerabilities

Solution

This article provides GoGrid’s security recommendations for Cloud Servers running Linux. Perform these 4 steps in sequential order immediately after provisioning new GoGrid Cloud Servers to maintain the security (confidentiality + integrity + availability) of your system. (more…) «Security Basics: 4 Steps to Tighten up Linux Security»

You Don’t Need a Superstorm: Disaster Recovery Basics

Monday, November 12th, 2012 by

In this blog post, I’m going to discuss disaster recovery. After superstorm Sandy on the East Coast, there were people without power weeks after the storm. Data centers were affected by the storm as well. And although GoGrid’s East Coast data center didn’t experience an outage, some providers did. So it is timely to consider geographically redundant solutions rather than wait for the next superstorm.

Geographic Redundancy

There are three basic strategies you can implement today on GoGrid to make your application better able to recover from a data center outage: cold standby, warm standby, and full geographic-redundancy with multiple active data centers. Let’s start off with a definition:

Redundancy: (noun) the ability of an application or system to resist the failure of one or more constituent parts, or recover quickly from such failure.

Systems administration and IT management boils down to that proverbial 3:00am phone call. Your application is down. How do you respond? Having the proper plan and appropriate recovery assets in place is the key to surviving this all-too-real scenario. How current are your backups? Do you have standby servers already in place? If not, how quickly can you bring new ones online?

It’s pretty standard to have offsite backups. If the offsite backups are in a secondary data center, they can be used to springboard reconstituting your application. GoGrid offers two products that make this process easy to implement: (more…) «You Don’t Need a Superstorm: Disaster Recovery Basics»

hack/reduce – Boston’s location for Big Data Innovation

Friday, November 9th, 2012 by

November 8, 2012 marks an important milestone in the Big Data revolution. With the opening of hack/reduce, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit created to cultivate a community of Big Data experts in Boston, technologists now have a state-of-the-art facility to develop ideas and incubate the next generation of technology innovation. When Fred Lalonde (CEO and founder of Hopper) and I co-founded hack/reduce, our goal was to help young technologists experiment with Big Data, share ideas, and cultivate a community of thought leaders without the burden of raising capital.

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We have raised more than $1 million from local venture capital firms and leading global technology providers to aid in the creation of the facility; additionally, we’ve been able to establish partnerships with MIT CSAIL and Harvard, which we believe will turn the tide on where entrepreneurs look to establish roots and nurture their ideas from inception to company formation. hack/reduce also looks to create the next wave of disruptive Big Data companies; consider that Boston has produced some of the hottest Big Data startups. including DataXu, Hadapt, Recorded Future, and Sqrrl. These companies continue to lead in their respective markets and draw Big Data talent from all over the globe to the Boston area.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has been incredibly supportive, not only announcing the Massachusetts Big Data Initiative, but also providing a $50,000 grant for the support of hack/reduce. If you haven’t been to the website (http://www.hackreduce.org) or followed all of our recent activities on Twitter (http://twitter.com/hackreduce), I’d strongly encourage you to do so. There are workshops taking place, the chance to access a 1,000-node cluster, and networking opportunities with others interested in exploring the data tsunami.

hack-reduce

One of the things I’ve been most excited about since starting down this path with Fred has been the overwhelming response we’ve gotten from the local community. The event celebrating the opening of the space is no exception. We’ve received thousands of requests, but only had room for a few hundred. Not to worry: For those of you who weren’t able to attend, November 8 is just the beginning. We’ll continue to update you on our progress and keep you informed of events to come. I look forward to collaborating with all of the entrepreneurs at hack/reduce, each of whom is helping to drive the resurgence of technology leadership in Boston.

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