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Posts Tagged ‘cloud’

 

Cloud Migration: Whatever You Do, Have a Plan

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 by

Every company adopting public cloud computing as part of its IT service delivery strategy is faced with the decision of which applications to migrate to the cloud and how. Some common cloud migration options we discuss with customers include:

  • Migrating to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider
  • Rebuilding an existing application in the cloud
  • Migrating an existing application “as is” to the cloud

Determining the right option depends on your business objectives and the application itself. Each option has benefits and drawbacks, but a business will often decide on an approach without adequately researching a comprehensive migration strategy. And without ample planning and consideration, the cost and complexity of migrating these applications can lead to delayed cloud projects that are over budget.

Cloud Migration - have a plan

Migrating to SaaS

For a new business looking for application services at a low up-front cost, a SaaS application is often a “no brainer.” However, when a business decides to migrate from an existing on-premise application to a new SaaS application, things get more complicated. There are data migrations to consider, transition time and labor, lost customizations, training, and “sunk costs” that can’t be recovered to factor in. Many SaaS vendors offer tools and services to help customers migrate data from legacy applications to the new SaaS application, but it’s important to research the migration process thoroughly before making a purchasing decision, especially if you’ve invested a lot of time in customizations or IT service integration.

Depending on the application and the availability of migration tools to assist in the migration, these factors can offset some of the gains of SaaS. Plus, the business risks additional time and expense if unforeseen migration challenges arise along the way. Businesses considering moving to SaaS should also consider what I call “SaaS in a box” or “SaaS-lite” applications. These applications are typically offered by vendors as part of a partner program or ecosystem like the GoGrid Exchange and deliver some SaaS benefits with more customer control. These templates can also be used to simplify the migration of an existing on-premise application to the cloud. (more…) «Cloud Migration: Whatever You Do, Have a Plan»

Cloud risk assessments critical to keeping resources safe

Friday, May 3rd, 2013 by

As businesses around the world continue to pursue mobile, social and cloud computing technologies in an effort to improve operations and stay competitive, more organizations are falling victim to sophisticated digital threats that are being reengineered with next-generation infrastructure environments in mind. To keep mission-critical resources safe, decision-makers will need to be vigilant and implement innovative solutions to reduce risk.

Cloud risk assessments critical to keeping resources safe

Cloud risk assessments critical to keeping resources safe

Unfortunately, the cloud risk landscape is not standardized, meaning organizations are often on their own when it comes to assessing and guarding against potential threats. A recent TechTarget report highlighted how a variety of consulting agencies have come forward during the past several years with documents containing information about the potential cloud threat landscape, although these resources may not provide companies with all the information they need to truly mitigate risk.

Understanding cloud security risk assessments
Enterprise executives need to develop a robust cloud risk assessment framework if they are to migrate mission-critical resources to the hosted environment without exposing those assets to malicious cybercriminals who are targeting the private sector with more enthusiasm than ever. For the most part, Cloud service providers are aware of the expanding threat landscape, however, and have adjusted their offerings to make them more defensive against problems, TechTarget said. Still, the overall risk of doing anything digital is growing, forcing companies to take initiative.

To begin, IT directors should develop a model that defines potential risks and the relationship between those incidents and the data center, the news source stated. This is an important first step because it enables decision-makers to understand what potential threats are associated with using a particular cloud infrastructure model or solution. This approach also allows IT managers to evaluate the residual risk after any controls have been implemented to reduce challenges.

Because every organization is different, each will have its own unique definitions and problems to be on the lookout for. Retailers, for example, need to be aware of payment card industry compliance requirements and how cybercriminals will be on the prowl for financial data. Meanwhile, healthcare institutions must be vigilant when protecting personally identifiable information, as failing to do so will leave existing and prospective patients at risk.

(more…) «Cloud risk assessments critical to keeping resources safe»

Advertising in the Cloud

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 by

If you’re an online advertising company, you know how important it is to have infrastructure that performs and is resilient, reliable, and available globally. You want to spend your time optimizing your ad delivery across the world, developing your delivery platform, and not on worrying about whether your infrastructure can deliver your content quickly and accurately.

We get advertising. We all click on an online ad or read the messaging or watch the videos. We have customers that are pushing the technology envelope to deliver their advertising to end users. And many of our advertising customers have complex cloud infrastructure powering their platforms.

Advertising in the Cloud - Ad Network architecture

From Big Data architectures to Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to multi-data-center deployments, our solutions are carefully designed to meet the unique needs of advertising providers. And although you could do it all yourself in our global cloud, we view ourselves as your partner. Our Solutions Architects are available to help you identify the best services we provide for crafting your advertising delivery platform. Remember: You need to design your infrastructure to take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, and we believe you shouldn’t go at it alone.

Download Gartner’s “The Future of the Mobile Cloud”  for free which discusses how mobile and cloud are experiencing explosive growth! [download]

Three Advertising Leaders

The network architecture charts above are actual representations of 3 of our advertising customers, specifically Brilig (Merkel), Excite Digital Media, and Martini Media. The case studies below discuss the unique challenges each of them faced and how we worked together to develop powerful cloud solutions.

(more…) «Advertising in the Cloud»

How To Enable & Manage the New, Free GoGrid Firewall Service

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 by

Security and infrastructure don’t always go hand in hand. In fact, many non-adopters of cloud computing have cited the lack of good security as one of the primary reasons they are not wholeheartedly embracing the cloud and all its glory. In some ways, these naysayers are correct: You shouldn’t deploy a cloud or frankly any type of infrastructure without some type of security, whether it’s software-based controls or a hardware device. At GoGrid, it is this desire to overcome security concerns that compelled us to release our free (that’s right FREE) Firewall Service.

When we developed our Firewall Service, we wanted to do more than simply offer a set of blocking rules or a hardware device. We wanted our solution to be centrally managed, easy to use and configure, fully featured, integrated across all our data centers, reliable, programmatically controlled, highly available, flexible, elastic, self-healing…whew! And did I mention, free? As we did for our new Dynamic Load Balancers, we embraced the concepts of software-defined networking (SDN) when architecting our Firewall Service.

Our research showed that for small environments, software-based firewalls (like IPtables or a Windows Firewall) worked just fine, provided the infrastructure didn’t need to scale. Similarly, hardware-based firewalls were great for enterprise-grade installations (but remember, if you get one hardware device, you typically need another one ready as a failover). We wanted to do it better. You can read more about the theory behind our cloud Firewall Service in this article.

As with my previous How To articles, there are 3 easy steps in the Firewall Service setup:

1. Create a Security Group
2. Define
a Policy
3. Add
a Connection

GoGrid’s Firewall Service is distributed and global. That means that once it’s configured, it automatically synchronizes across all our data centers. If you have multiple web servers in multiple GoGrid data centers, you simply define the Security Groups and Policies, connect the servers, and you’re done. Any future policy changes are automatically synchronized to the connected servers. Simple, right? Let’s see how to set up the Firewall Service. (more…) «How To Enable & Manage the New, Free GoGrid Firewall Service»

How To Create an Auto-Scaling Web Application on GoGrid (Part 1 – Theory)

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 by

Creating an auto-scaling web application is an ideal use of cloud computing. Although manually scaling your infrastructure is easy in the GoGrid cloud, programmatically controlling your infrastructure to scale automatically is an even better example of the power of the cloud. This scenario–an application that can increase and decrease its server count, and therefore capacity, based on the load it’s experiencing at any given time–makes IT professionals, sysadmins, and application developers alike extremely happy. And it’s also something you can build using out-of-the-box tools in GoGrid.

We’ve divided this topic into two articles:

Part 1 (this article) – The Theory of Auto-Scaling:

  • Background: traditional vs. cloud hosting
  • Programmatically architecting a solution
  • The underlying Orchestration methodology

Part 2 – A Proof of Concept of Auto-Scaling:

  • Do-it-yourself Orchestration
  • Proof-of-concept examples

(more…) «How To Create an Auto-Scaling Web Application on GoGrid (Part 1 – Theory)»