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Archive for March, 2013

 

Convincing the Workforce to Get On Board with Cloud

Thursday, March 28th, 2013 by

As the cloud computing market grows, business decision-makers around the world are recognizing the potential benefits associated with leveraging the services in the workplace. By using the cloud, companies of all sizes can reduce costs, improve operations and enhance collaboration between off-site employees, road warriors and the increasingly popular teleworkers. Despite these advantages, some individuals are still hesitant to adopt the cloud, largely because it is unfamiliar territory.

Convincing the workforce to get on board with cloud

Convincing the workforce to get on board with cloud

The cloud represents major change for all businesses, enabling organizations to do more with less. While some companies experience implementation challenges, many of these obstacles are associated with people and processes, not necessarily the technology itself, according to a report by ReadWriteWeb. This means that the cloud is relatively easy to deploy in the workplace – once executives get employees on board.

Overcoming resistance to change can sometimes be difficult. By demonstrating to individuals that the way they currently work is outdated and inefficient, decision-makers may have better luck convincing the workforce that implementing a cloud infrastructure can be extremely effective.

The old ways no longer work
The saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” rings true in the enterprise, as many employees cling to outdated practices, despite the presence of advanced technologies capable of improving efficiency. The emergence of cloud services in particular offers businesses the chance to automate processes and implement new best practices that will augment operations, ReadWriteWeb noted.

Other employees will stick with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” routine, noting that the presence of tools used to improve efficiency doesn’t mean companies have to conform. Unfortunately, the real problems lie with apathy and not doing anything, the news source said. If an organization neglects the cloud, it will become increasingly difficult to stay competitive in today’s economy, especially because that firm will have trouble capturing, storing and analyzing big data – one of the key differentiators between a successful enterprise and one that is doomed to experience challenges.

(more…) «Convincing the Workforce to Get On Board with Cloud»

Why SMBs love the private cloud

Friday, March 22nd, 2013 by

The emergence of cloud computing has forever changed IT, allowing decision-makers to have more control over their infrastructure than ever before. In the past, teams had to wait weeks for a new application to be developed, tested and launched throughout the company. This delay meant mission-critical tasks may not be completed in time and executives were forced to pay out of pocket for projects that didn’t meet deadlines.

Fortunately, the private cloud has changed all of that by giving internal IT departments more robust administrative capabilities and the ability to perform critical tasks more efficiently without interruption. Today, end users are given the power to manage applications moving between servers without those solutions being impaired or experiencing a decrease in performance, according to a report by the Aberdeen Group.

Why SMBs love the private cloud

Why SMBs love the private cloud

Analysts said this ability to reduce the complexities associated with traditionally challenging tasks has made it easier for firms to compete, reduce costs and meet short- and long-term demands. For this reason, organizations of all sizes are making the migration to the cloud to experience a wide variety of benefits and introduce new growth opportunities.

The current private cloud landscape
The Aberdeen Group said more organizations than ever before have implemented cloud servers and server virtualization. Although only about 40 percent of applications were implemented on virtual servers in 2010, approximately 55 percent were in 2012. In many cases, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are deploying the cloud more than larger enterprises because the hosted technology gives the former group the unique ability to gain a competitive advantage over rival firms that have more exhaustible resources.

A separate report by IDC noted that spending on global private cloud computing services will increase at a compound annual growth rate of more than 50 percent between 2012 and 2016, eventually exceeding $24 billion. Organizations are deploying the private cloud to have more choices with access control and resource allocation.

(more…) «Why SMBs love the private cloud»

As Big Data Evolves, Cloud Comes into Focus

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 by

The ongoing adoption of digital technologies has created mountains of information for the private sector, enabling decision-makers to capture, analyze and use resources to improve operations. This occurrence, commonly known as big data, is one of the main drivers behind cloud computing adoption strategies because the flexible hosted environments offer firms a scalable, on-demand infrastructure that is perfect for managing the ever-increasing volumes of information.

As big data evolves, cloud comes into focus

As big data evolves, cloud comes into focus

Gartner recently highlighted the growing demand for big data, noting that 42 percent of companies have either already adopted the strategies or plan to do so within the next year. This suggests that 2013 will be a major year for the trend, giving the private sector new opportunities to leverage information to their advantage.

The report said necessity and conviction are the two main reasons to leverage big data, though many firms are still in the early phases of adoption and have yet to understand the best ways to embrace technologies associated with the movement.

“Business and IT executives regularly say that information is one of their company’s greatest assets,” said Doug Laney, research vice president at Gartner. “Businesses are increasingly managing and deploying information more effectively than ever, but certainly not with the well-honed asset management discipline applied to their traditional material, financial or other intangible assets.”

The big data-enabled future
While the big data phenomenon is not necessarily a new trend in the business world, it is rapidly picking up momentum as organizations continue to use tools like social media and mobile devices that produce mountains of information per use. In the coming years, leveraging big data will be a necessity to remain competitive because the insight gathered will allow firms of all sizes to reduce costs, improve customer service and strengthen efficiency in the workplace.

(more…) «As Big Data Evolves, Cloud Comes into Focus»

Software Defined Networking on the Edge

Thursday, March 14th, 2013 by

One of the recent trends in technology is the movement toward software-defined networks (SDN). With SDN, networking is no longer tied to a specific proprietary device but rather integrated via software. GoGrid has adopted this software defined networking architecture for its new product offerings starting with Dynamic Load Balancers and now with our new Firewall Service.

SDN typically means that the control plane is separated from the forwarding plane and is centralized. This setup is easier to manage and enables a more distributed system. In addition, management of the network is typically programmatic with SDN. In GoGrid’s architecture, for example, management is centralized while the activities are distributed. This design allows for greater resiliency and self-healing capabilities, meaning there’s always a way to return a failed distributed node to its previously stable state. We also enable access to these services via our management console and a public RESTful API.

Although most people think of SDN as it applies to the core (switches and routers), GoGrid’s strategy has been to start at the edge and then work toward the core. Dynamic Load Balancers and the Firewall Service are considered to be on the network edge. However, other services closer to the core, such as Private Network Automation (PNA), have adopted this architecture as well. Details about the Dynamic Load Balancer are explained in this previous blog post.

Firewall Service

GoGrid is introducing a new Firewall Service designed to be self-healing and available to all customers in all our data centers. Customers can deploy this service through the management console or API. Having a Firewall Service available to all our customers is an important step in further securing infrastructure in the cloud. Although GoGrid has secured its data centers and has built-in security measures to protect our customers’ infrastructure, our customers want greater granular control of port access for their individual servers. Our new Firewall Service is designed to meet and exceed those needs by making it easy to set up security wherever Cloud Servers are located.

This service comes with several key features: (more…) «Software Defined Networking on the Edge»

What is Auto-Scaling, How Does it Work, & Why Should I Use it?

Monday, March 11th, 2013 by

When I think about the phrase “auto-scaling,” for some reason it conjures up the word “Transformers.” For those not familiar with the Transformers genre of cartoons, toys, games, and movies, it is essentially about cars that turn into robots or vise versa, depending on how you look at it. When they need to fight or confront a challenge, Transformers will scale up from a vehicle (a car, truck, airplane, etc.) into a much larger robot. Then, when the challenge subsides, they scale back down to a vehicle.

Transformers 4 Movie

Image source: teaser.trailer.com

Scaling Explained

Scaling – in terms of infrastructure – is a similar concept, but applied to the horizontal or vertical scaling of servers. Horizontal scaling means adding (or removing) servers within an infrastructure environment. Vertical scaling involves adding resources to an existing server (like RAM).

Let’s look at an example. An author of a content creation website may write an article that attracts the attention of the social media community. What starts as a few views of the article per minute, once shared by many in social media, may result in hundreds or thousands of requests for this article per minute. When this spike in demand occurs, the load to the server or servers handling the website’s content may experience extreme load, affecting its ability to respond in a timely manner. The results can vary from long page loads to the server actually crashing under the additional peak load. In the past, this scenario used to be known as the “Digg effect” or “Slashdot effect.”

Although this type of success is great publicity for the author, it’s bad for the brand hosting the content. And, if users encounter slow or inaccessible websites, they’re less likely to return for other content at a later point, which can eventually result in a loss of revenue.

(more…) «What is Auto-Scaling, How Does it Work, & Why Should I Use it?»