Archive for the ‘General’ Category

 

Capitalizing on cloud cost-saving opportunities

Friday, April 12th, 2013 by

In most cases, cloud computing can replace traditional data center infrastructure solutions for less money, making them an affordable alternative for maintaining and potentially improving operations in today’s unpredictable economy. However, these financial benefits are only achieved when decision-makers take the time to plan the deployments carefully and understand the fundamentals of how their organizations carry out mission-critical tasks.

Capitalizing on cloud cost-saving opportunities

Capitalizing on cloud cost-saving opportunities

A recent InformationWeek report highlighted how many cloud implementations are underutilized, largely because executives impulsively migrate to the hosted environments without first identifying best practices for optimizing the services. This means that many of the cloud’s potential financial opportunities are discarded, making the technology less efficient than it can be.

Several technology evangelists told InformationWeek that cloud vendors love charging less than traditional service providers, as doing so gives them the opportunity to reach new customers and introduce significant improvements to internal operations. When executives over​-provision the hosted services, however, organizations are forced to pay for unused resources, diminishing some of the cost-saving opportunities. Fortunately, there are ways to circumvent these challenges.

Ensuring the cloud delivers financial benefits
Understanding and monitoring usage is among the best ways to ensure a cloud infrastructure is able to capitalize on all of the financial perks the technology is widely known for, InformationWeek stated. Decision-makers should not simply pick a random budget and assume each month is the same. Instead, IT directors should observe how the environments are used and whether certain months or time periods require individuals to consume more resources. If a company is using fewer tools than initially expected, executives need to understand why.

In addition to consolidating all cloud services through a single provider, which may qualify for some price breaks, organizations should think about how they can use the cloud to optimize servers, according to the news source. Many cloud vendors today offer automated scaling services, which enable firms to use more infrastructure tools when they are needed and deactivate those same assets when they are not necessary. This means many solutions will no longer be running 24-hours a day, allowing businesses to reduce maintenance expenses.

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Public, private clouds disrupt future data centers

Thursday, April 11th, 2013 by

In the past, small businesses and large enterprises both solely used on-premise data centers because they were the only real technology available for decision-makers looking to improve operations through the use of digital technologies. Today is much different, as many organizations are now migrating massive workloads to external cloud computing environments in an attempt to reduce costs, relieve internal stress and ensure individuals have access to mission-critical resources from virtually anywhere at any time.

Public, private clouds disrupt future data centers

Public, private clouds disrupt future data centers

Yet decision-makers are still unsure which route to take in their deployment of the “next-generation data center.” In some cases, executives will continue migrating operations to external cloud-based environments, while others will keep sensitive information on internal clouds. Others still will adopt a hybrid approach, in which both internal and external clouds are used. The question remains, which method will be the most effective for 21st century companies?

In reality, this question can only be answered when decision-makers understand how their organization works. If an enterprise is pursuing teleworking trends, which enable employees to work from anywhere, the public cloud can introduce significant benefits. Because the hosted environments are managed by a third party, they are accessible via any device from any location. This means individuals in a coffee shop down the street can access the same resources as colleagues working inside the office – if they are authorized to view the same content, that is.

Conversely, if an organization is charged with managing highly sensitive information that can cause substantial problems if released, the private cloud may be a better option. Private services are not multi-tenant environments like their public counterparts, making it less likely that confidential data will be exposed.

Still, companies often take various approaches when augmenting their data center.

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Riding for a Cause – AIDS/LifeCycle

Monday, April 8th, 2013 by

You might call Mark Kratt a “driven” man, especially when you see him riding the custom-built bike on which he logs 300+ miles every week. He’s driven by his dedication to a cause: to raise money and awareness for HIV/AIDS outreach and services throughout California. For the second consecutive year, Mark will participate in the AIDS/LifeCycle (ALC) ride, joining more than 2,000 other cyclists who’ll make the 545-mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles in June 2013.

Mark-Kratt_ACL-prep

“I’d been a biking fanatic and a volunteer with the Stop AIDS Project and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation for years, so participating in ALC-11 in 2012 seemed like a natural next step,” Mark recalls. “And it really helped that GoGrid supported me. More than half my pledges last year came from a corporate donation and my coworkers. The company culture really focuses on giving back to the community.”

In addition to supporting Mark’s ALC participation, GoGrid works with Family Giving Tree and the San Francisco Food Bank every year to collect and share much-needed items during the holidays. The company also sponsored a “team in training” to help fight cancer by raising money for every mile walked or run during the Nike Marathon in San Francisco last October, with donations going to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Mark, who started at GoGrid in 2002 as a billing and accounting associate, recently celebrated a decade with the company and now manages GoGrid’s billing team. Every day before he starts work, Mark takes a ride across the Golden Gate Bridge and to the top of Conzelman in the Marin Headlands. He also regularly takes part in ALC training rides helps with reaching out to new riders. “I’ve gotten more involved in motivating and mentoring first-time riders this year,” he said. “ALC is a signature biking event because it’s meant for recreational riders rather than professionals or racers. Even so, a 7-day ride is a huge commitment—and can be intimidating.” That’s one of the reasons Mark’s also on the planning committee for the 2013 Jonathan Pon 2-Day Memorial Ride, which takes place in May. “The Jon-Pon gives first-time riders a taste of what it’s like to ride 2 days back to back and camp overnight with other cyclists,” he said. Not to mention that the 150-mile ride through Marin and Sonoma counties, with an overnight beside the Russian River, is just plain gorgeous.

Mark explains, “ALC is a wonderful experience because for 7 days, the people involved behave the way you wish everyone would behave every day. It’s an open, honest, and trusting environment where no one complains about standing in line for food or the bathroom. The shared experience of the ride creates such a secure community; we don’t even worry about locking stuff up at night. And the mutual support for how tough the ride is—and how much we’re all challenged physically—is unbelievable.”

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The Top 3 Private Networking Use Cases for CloudLink

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 by

Public clouds are fantastic for a majority of infrastructure use cases. And interconnectivity between clouds enables myriad solutions to empower businesses to have multiple synchronized points of presence across the world. Companies can easily set up connections that traverse the public Internet as a means to transmit and potentially synchronize data between cloud data centers. But these connections need to be reliable and more often than not, private.

CloudLink private network between cloud data centers

CloudLink private network between cloud data centers

With public network connections between clouds, users are at the mercy of hops and latency. For example, data may take one route with a particular number of hops, and a second later, may follow a completely different path and take a longer or shorter amount of time based on the connection.

In terms of securing the transport, some companies rely on point-to-point VPN connections using a hardware or software solution or some combination of the two. However, these solutions are also constrained by the connection and have limited speeds.

There are some scenarios or use cases that warrant using dedicated private networking to join geographically dispersed clouds. This is where GoGrid’s CloudLink service comes into play.

GoGrid’s CloudLink is a data center interconnect product—a redundant 10 Gbps pipe that is isolated to GoGrid traffic only. CloudLink enables private network traffic between different servers in GoGrid’s US data centers. As part of our “Complex Infrastructure Made Easy” mission, we designed this service to be basic yet powerful and still meet the needs of demanding organizations. Because this is a private network, much like the private network within GoGrid’s standard cloud infrastructure, there are no bandwidth costs. You simply decide on the connection speed (10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, or 1 Gbps), configure your connection, and pay for just the dedicated connection. (more…) «The Top 3 Private Networking Use Cases for CloudLink»

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.

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