Archive for the ‘Cloud Computing’ Category

 

What Cloud Computing Means for Industrial Infrastructure

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by

Just as cloud computing has revolutionized how corporate IT departments interact with their networks, the way in which business is conducted across all markets has also changed significantly. Because the technology provides employees with a different way of performing tasks, the manner in which managers and executives make decisions has been radically influenced by an influx of data points.

A construction grew surveys an ongoing project.

A construction crew surveys an ongoing project.

When it comes to traditional business practices, everything has become a lot easier thanks to cloud computing. For most large enterprises, it’s not an arduous chore for employees to access a Word document from a tablet, edit the file, and share it with coworkers. As far as the industrial sector is concerned, reporting mechanical deficiencies or malfunctions can happen in near real time because many workers are now equipped with smartphones, some of them supplied by their employers.

Digital information changes everything 
In an interview with InformationWeek, former Chief Cloud Architect for Netflix Adrian Cockcroft noted that a strong integration of all teams and departments is imperative for a company to ensure its survival. Cockcroft spent 7 years with the company developing the necessary architecture to launch new ways of finding and showcasing films. In 2008, Netflix ceased operating through on-premise databases and moved to cloud servers. Afterward, the former CCA began noticing some fundamental changes throughout the organization.

Cockcroft told the news source that the increased speed and flexibility offered by the off-premise solution gave Netflix its competitive edge. During its fledgling years, the company’s size couldn’t compare to that of its competitors, requiring it to develop and act on particular incentives quicker than others film distributors. Basically, the company had to make a consorted effort to eliminate inefficient communication between software designers and engineers.

“We put a high-trust, low-process environment in place with few hand-offs between teams,” said Cockcroft.

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Comparing Cloud Infrastructure Options for Running NoSQL Workloads

Friday, April 11th, 2014 by

A walk through in-memory, general compute, and mass storage options for Cassandra, MongoDB, Riak, and HBase workloads

I recently had the pleasure of attending Cassandra Tech Day in San Jose, a developer-focused event where people were learning about various options for deploying Cassandra clusters. As it turns out, there was a lot of buzz surrounding the new in-memory option for Cassandra and the use cases for it. This interest got me thinking about how to map the options customers have for running Big Data across clouds.

For a specific workload, NoSQL customers may want to have the following:

1. Access to mass storage servers for files and objects (not to be confused with block storage). Instead, we’re talking on-demand access to terabytes of raw spinning disk volumes for running a large storage array (think storage hub for Hadoop/HBase, Cassandra, or MongoDB).

2. Access to High RAM options for running in-memory with the fastest possible response times—the same times you’d need when running the in-memory version of Cassandra or even running Riak or Redis in-memory.

3. Access to high-performance SSDs to run balanced workloads. Think about what happens after you run a batch operation. If you’re relating information back to a product schema, you may want to push that data into something like PostgrSQL, SQL, or even MySQL and have access to block storage.

4. Access to general-purpose instances for dev and test or for workloads that don’t have specific performance SLAs. This ability is particularly important when you’re trialing and evaluating a variety of applications. GoGrid’s customer’s, for example, leverage our 1-Button Deploy™ technology to quickly spin up dev clusters of common NoSQL solutions from MongoDB to Cassandra, Riak, and HBase.

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Be Prepared with a Solid Cloud Infrastructure

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 by

The more Big Data enterprises continue to amass, the more potential risk is involved. It would be one matter if it was simply raw material without any clearly defined meaning; however data analytics tools—combined with the professionalism of tech-savvy employees—allow businesses to harvest profit-driving, actionable digital information.

Recovery disks shattering

Compared to on-premise data centers, cloud computing offers multiple disaster recovery models.

Whether the risk is from a a cyber-criminal who gains access to a database or a storm that cuts power, it’s essential for enterprises to have a solid disaster recovery plan in place. Because on-premise data centers are prone to outages in the event of a catastrophic natural event, cloud servers provide a more stable option for companies requiring constant access to their data. Numerous deployment models exist for these systems, and most of them are constructed based on how users interact with them.

How the cloud can promote disaster recovery 
According to a report conducted by InformationWeek, only 41 percent of respondents to the magazine’s 2014 State of Enterprise Storage Survey stated they have a disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity protocol and regularly test it. Although this finding expresses a lack of preparedness by the remaining 59 percent, the study showed that business leaders were beginning to see the big picture and placing their confidence in cloud applications.

The source noted that cloud infrastructure and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) automation software let organizations  deploy optimal DR without the hassle associated with a conventional plan. Traditionally, companies backed up their data on physical disks and shipped them to storage facilities. This method is no longer workable because many enterprises are constantly amassing and refining new data points. For example, Netflix collects an incredible amount of specific digital information on its subscribers through its rating system and then uses it to recommend new viewing options.

The news source also acknowledged that the issue isn’t just about recovering data lost during the outage, but about being able to run the programs that process and interact with that information. In fact, due to the complexity of these infrastructures, many cloud hosts offer DR-as-a-Service.

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Cloud Computing Relieves Stress for IT Professionals

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 by

The growing requirement for superior network performance has significantly increased demand for IT professionals. Every successful business, regardless of the industry in which it competes, needs a team of knowledgeable personnel capable of assisting the rest of the company with maintaining customer satisfaction. Many industry watchers agree that if an IT team doesn’t possess the appropriate tools, a company won’t be able to keep pace with its competitors. With new technology being implemented on a regular basis, businesses are looking toward cloud computing to assist in-house experts with day-to-day operations.

A technician diagnoses a data center issue.

A technician diagnoses a data center issue.

“Implement a structure that gives shared visibility and metrics to development and IT teams, so the health of an application is easily viewed by both,” said Jennifer Schiff, a writer for PC Advisor.

The report stated that IT managers would be able to easily access project status reports and information updates via a cloud management system.

Resolving the issues
Let’s say an issue arises with the company’s email, for example, and a member of the IT team is assigned to solve it. The problem is that his computer lacks the applications necessary to do so, forcing him to travel to a separate location. According to Cloud Tweaks, a cloud server possesses the capability required to resolve a problem from a remote location. All the employee needs to do is communicate with another machine connected to the hosting cloud that can perform the required task. After the problem is solved, the remote machine delivers the data back to the employee.

With Big Data collection expected to rise significantly in the near future, a business must be able to use a platform capable of handling the information. If an on-site data center is overwhelmed by an influx of information, it’s likely that a member of the IT team will be required to physically upgrade the hardware.

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The Big Data Storage Opportunity in the Cloud

Friday, February 21st, 2014 by

The Big Data phenomenon has encouraged organizations to pursue all options when accumulating increasingly diverse information sets from highly disparate sources. The trend has essentially expanded the network and caused an influx of traffic. Unfortunately, conventional IT systems with minimal or limited bandwidth simply can’t live up to the constantly changing levels of data transit. This complication is causing some organizations to stop in their tracks, ending Big Data initiatives before they can provide any proof of positive returns.

The big data storage opportunity in the cloud

The Big Data storage opportunity in the cloud

The good news is that the volume of Big Data doesn’t have to be a deterrent. Instead, experiencing problems with increasingly large amounts of information can be a wake-up call for businesses to implement new technologies like a flexible storage and warehousing environment that are capable of scaling on-demand.

Enter: cloud computing.

Although the cloud has received a lot of attention in the application development, backup, and disaster recovery markets, its highly agile nature makes it an especially beneficial solution in the Big Data realm. By implementing a cloud storage architecture, for example, organizations can gather massive amounts of information without worrying about hitting capacity. And because the cloud is so scalable, decision-makers pay only for what they need when they need it, making the hosted environment ideal for the constantly changing demands of Big Data.

So what’s the catch?
There’s no doubt that cloud infrastructure services can be an appealing technology for companies looking to take advantage of the Big Data movement without encountering bandwidth or performance issues. However, that doesn’t mean the cloud is perfect. Some firms may encounter issues when using the cloud for the first time because the hosted services themselves are relatively new. The initial migration to the cloud, for example, can be difficult for enterprises that aren’t used to outsourcing or have never used managed services of any kind.

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