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Posts Tagged ‘New Years’

 

10 Cloud Resolutions for 2013

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 by

It’s the New Year! Have you resolved to get in better shape? How about the shape of your business? Are you going to keep trudging along at the same pace with the same old hardware clogging up your data center? Don’t you think it’s time to look to the future and get a head start on your competition by moving to cloud computing?

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In case you’re still shaking the cobwebs out of your head from the holiday celebrations, I’ve put together a list of 10 cloud resolutions for 2013. Just pick a few of these to help you and your business start 2013 right!

  1. I resolve to spend less time in the data center and get my hearing back. Have you ever walked around a data center? You can’t talk without shouting, and you can easily catch a cold from the refrigeration needed to keep all those machines running cool. Besides, if you spend too long in there, you’ll tend to speak a lot louder in the regular world.
  2. I resolve to ensure other people understand that clouds aren’t just those fluffy things in the sky. It seems that many people still think clouds are what produce rain or sometimes block the sun. But more and more companies are turning to the cloud to solve real business problems.
  3. I resolve to donate my unused hardware to charity instead of letting it gather cobwebs in my data center. When you use cloud computing, you can control your spend and use of server resources at a much finer level. And because you “lease” the virtual resources, you can afford to give up the physical ones.
  4. I resolve to understand the difference between SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS so I don’t sound like an “aaS.” There’s a difference between software vs. platforms vs. infrastructure as a service. Think varying levels of control and capabilities.
  5. I resolve to better forecast my infrastructure use instead of just rolling the dice. You wouldn’t build a house without a budget, and you shouldn’t build out infrastructure without knowing how much you’re going to use it.
  6. I resolve to take more vacations while managing my infrastructure remotely. With the cloud, you can get out of that loud data center and into the real world. The nice thing about having scalable, controllable infrastructure is being able to manage it remotely from a web browser using an API or a mobile application.
  7. I resolve to scale my flexible infrastructure much the same way my tummy scales after the holiday (thank goodness for sweatpants)! Programmatic control of your infrastructure and IT spend means you now have the flexibility to adapt your business to market conditions and customer demands.
  8. I resolve to convince my IT department to get their heads out of the clouds and invest in the cloud. If your IT department is still manually provisioning out-of-date physical servers that take weeks or months to deploy, it’s high time they look into cloud computing so they can focus on other stuff.
  9. I resolve to stop throwing my cash out the window by spending it on physical hardware. The cloud lets you to control your costs and requisition virtual environments on-demand.
  10. I resolve to test out GoGrid’s high-performing cloud infrastructure. It’s the start of a new year, and time to start a new cloud project! Contact a GoGrid cloud specialist for a $100 service credit to help you get started, and be sure to mention this cloud resolutions blog post!

Happy 2013! May our clouds help produce success for your business this year!

Reflection on “5 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2010″

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 by

As 2010 draws to a close, I thought that I would take a look back at some predictions about Cloud Computing that I made at the beginning of the year, but with a bit of an added spin. This reflection could be pretty lengthy so I will focus mainly on how GoGrid matched up to the predictions. While that can be perceived as a bit one sided, I believe that it is important for the Cloud Computing community to contemplate on what they did for the Cloud from a “personal” perspective and how they are driving this evolutionary movement forward.

Here were my predictions from January 2010:

  1. Cloud Outages – There will be several Cloud Outages that get high visibility this year. As complexity and associated infrastructure grows and more users turn toward the cloud, any hiccups therein will receive quick and broad media coverage, with naysayers quickly stating “I told you so”. Unfortunately, any type of outage may be perceived as a “cloud failure”, resulting in the masses becoming increasingly doubtful in the reliability of the cloud. This “F.U.D. Factor” will be a steep hurdle that cloud providers and partners will have to overcome. Those companies with sound IT strategies and best practices in place will be able to weather any outages well, assuming they employ Disaster Recovery (DR) solutions and have them implemented.

    End of Year Update:
    Yes, there were outages in the cloud but the term “cloud” expanded to include a variety of items that were indirectly related to the Cloud Pyramid. No hosting service or data center is fully immune to outages or disruptions. Several SaaS providers had disruptions of service that were pretty high profile (most recently Tumblr, a micro-blogging platform, affected countless customers across the globe). ReadWriteWeb has a good listing of significant disruptions that occurred including Wikipedia, WordPress, Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, and yes, even WikiLeaks.
    GoGrid Update: I’m happy to say (knock on wood), that GoGrid has maintained a 99.99% uptime throughout the year which means that customers who have implemented their infrastructure solutions within our cloud offerings have made an important choice. With our rollouts of new service offerings as well as an East Coast data center, our customers now have a choice on the type of infrastructure to provision and where they want it to reside.
  2. The Rise of Hybrid Hosting Solutions – While relatively new in 2009, more providers will consider implementing the ability to have the “best of all worlds” hosting solutions. Whether this be the combination of physical and cloud environments or, cloud bursting, or private and public clouds working congruently, there will definitely be a blurring of lines between what hosting is.

    End of Year Update:
    There was definitely some significant movement in this arena, with a couple providers announcing “Cloud Connect” or “Hybrid Connect” features that cross-connect physical and virtual environments. This is an important item for corporations looking to have flexible network topologies.
    GoGrid Update: We first launched Cloud Connect back in November of 2008 as we understood this need by businesses to have hybrid environments. Coincidentally, it was released using the “Cloud Connect” name which other providers seem to have attempted to capitalize on. However, back in February 2010, we released our GoGrid Dedicated Servers offering that effectively integrates physical and virtual infrastructure within the GoGrid Cloud. More recently (December 2010), we announced that GoGrid Dedicated Servers and our Hybrid Hosting environment was available within our East Coast data center as well, thus providing these hybrid solutions in multiple locations. The important take-away here is that 2 years ago we realized that this would be an important service that enterprises, businesses and corporations would desire, so our products and engineering teams ensured that the physical and virtual components that comprise our offering were tightly integrated and easy to use, all within the same web portal and private network.
  3. Security Concerns, Vulnerabilities and Malware – this is an only logical prediction. As the number of cloud or virtualized environments increase due to their ease of use and lower cost, the possibility of environments being created and left unattended also increases. Also because of the ease of use, with “average” users deploying environments that are not hardened or at least audited from a security standpoint, there are more possibilities for hackers or users to unintentionally open their systems up to malware, botnets or other malicious code.

    End of Year Update
    : With the exception of DDoS attacks which any hosting provider is susceptible to (and which are typically targeted at a specific site, not a provider), and with the obvious exception of the WikiLeaks attacks, cloud “hacks” or vulnerabilities seemed to remain fairly low. There is still obviously the FUD factor (fear, uncertainty and doubt) but since cloud computing has really seemed to have hit mainstream IT, companies are doing their due diligence when selecting a cloud hosting provider, obviously looking toward robustness and security as core requirements for IT implementations.
    GoGrid Update: We have strengthened our DDoS mitigation services, engaged with new technology partners and service providers, and continue to provide robust support should malicious activities occur. GoGrid has been conducting regular educational webinars (including some with our partners) to help our customers reduce risks associated with technology as well as develop redundant, N-level architectures designed for fault tolerance and resiliency.
  4. A “Cloud” for Everyone – Towards the end of last year, we started to see a blurring of the definition of “cloud” and “cloud computing”. The mainstream media is to blame for much of this confusion. To that end, people seem to be ubiquitously interchanging the word “cloud” and “cloud computing” where they are actually quite different. Most people are simply using the word “cloud” to describe anything where the data is stored somewhere else, whether it be truly using a “cloud computing” environment or simply a cluster of servers somewhere. I predict that this confusion will get worse long before it gets better. People will continue to interchangeably use “cloud” and “cloud computing” thus forcing those of us in the industry to (re)define what “cloud computing” truly is. However, as the word “cloud” becomes incredibly mainstream, it will grow to mean anything that is delivered via the web, regardless of if it is applications, services, infrastructure, data or what have you. (In fact, I used “cloud” interchangeably throughout this post…for me, I’m talking about “cloud computing.”)

    End of Year Update
    : Unfortunately to those of us in the Cloud Computing industry, the term “cloud” continues to morph into an encompassing of anything related to “stored on the Internet somewhere”. Recent advertising campaigns now throw the term “cloud” around extremely loosely, polluting the true definition. We believe that Gartner’s definition of Cloud Computing is one of the best in the space currently: “A style of computing where scalable and elastic IT-related capabilities are provided ‘as a service’ to customers using Internet Technologies.”
    GoGrid Update: At GoGrid, we make it our mission to adhere to the important qualities of cloud computing: self-service, scalable, on-demand, pay-as-you-go and as a service. While we may use the term “cloud” loosely, our core competency is “cloud computing”, being the largest “pure play” provider in the space. What I mean by pure play is that our business is devoted to providing infrastructure services entirely, not diluted by other add-on services or products or physical items. This year we developed our Unique Value Proposition (UVP) – “Complex Infrastructure Made Easy™” which we live and breath by. So while the term “cloud” continues to become fractured, representing many things that it wasn’t initially supposed to, we fully believe in ensuring that our “cloud” represents industry definitions and standards.
  5. Analysts will Shorten their “Coming of Age” Stories – Many of the big name players predicted that cloud computing wouldn’t really be adopted by the mainstream for another few years. I believe that they will retract or refine their statements to show how much closer to mainstream cloud computing really is. While Fortune100 companies may still be slow to adopt, the “rest of us” will get on the cloud a lot faster than analysts originally predicted.

    End of Year Update:
    Cloud Computing continues to “infiltrate” corporations and enterprises as these companies look to alternatives to traditional IT requisitioning. While corporate entities as a whole might not fully throw themselves at replacing their existing infrastructure with cloud infrastructure, business units and other departments therein are seeing the advantages and embracing them. I still believe that the adoption curve is moving a lot faster than what analysts are predicting.
    GoGrid Update: Our increase in corporate and enterprise customers clearly indicates that there is a significant uptake in interest as well as implementation of cloud and hybrid scenarios and solutions. Also, our ever-growing numbers of SMB and Web 2.0 customers reflect an even healthier adoption of cloud computing as outsourcing of IT services remains a critical component of financial savings, human resource optimization and other unrealized IT rearchitecture.

So there you have it. A quick look back at my predictions for 2010 and how the market and GoGrid faired. What are your thoughts on the past year and how Cloud Computing did therein? What about 2011? Would love to get your read! And Happy Holidays from all of us at GoGrid.

(more…) «Reflection on “5 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2010″»

Cloud Computing 2009 New Year’s Resolutions

Monday, December 29th, 2008 by

new_years_hat The start of a New Year is upon us so it is time to get a list together of things that you will do (or do your best to do) in the coming year. Everybody has their own personal Resolution lists, but what about your Business ones? How are you going to remain competitive? What steps are you going to take to cut your budget to remain lean and mean? Are you going to stick with your current methods or adopt some new strategies?

Here are some “Resolutions” that you can think about as you ready your business for 2009.

  1. Invest some time in understanding the term “Cloud Computing” – there are several easy-to-understand definitions and movies that have come out that make Cloud Computing a bit more understandable. This one was done at the 2008 Web 2.0 Expo. Then came the GoGrid “Cloud Computing in Plain English”. Recently, there is a new “In Plain English” from the actual Common Craft folks (whom we got our inspiration from). And here is a more technical presentation that came out recently. Regardless, there are lots of sources out there for quick understandings. I have been maintaining a Bookmark RSS feed as well of many of the Cloud Computing blogs and sites. Subscribe to that feed for updated links. Also, read through the popular Cloud Computing Group on Google. Lastly, you can check Wikipedia for their ever evolving definition of Cloud Computing.
  2. Do some research on different Cloud Providers – no Cloud Computing provider is the same, and the differentiation is continuing. Last year (2008), I introduced the idea of the Cloud Pyramid which has Cloud Applications (SalesForce) at the top, then Cloud Platforms (Google App Engine or Microsoft Azure) in the middle and finally Cloud Infrastructure (GoGrid and Amazon EC2) as the bottom foundation. Also hooked into it are Cloud Extenders (e.g., Amazon’s SQS) and Cloud Aggregators (RightScale). It’s pretty obvious that there are many choices to be made and that these are very specific to the type of business you are running. In fact, we will be further segmenting the IaaS (Cloud Infrastructure) section more over the next few weeks. Briefly, GoGrid is now being positioned as a “CloudCenter” (which is essentially, a DataCenter equivalent but in the Cloud). More on that later. In the meantime, compile a series of questions for yourself and for your prospective provider. We will get a list together of things you might want to ask (post to come).
  3. Review your IT Budget – If you are like most companies out there, you are going through your 2009 budgeting (or have done so already and are probably on your 10th revision now). One way to make your CFO happy is to reduce your Capital Expenditures (CapEx). The easiest way to do that is to really take a hard look at Cloud Computing. If you can slash your CapEx spend by downsizing your physical server footprints, you can easily upsize that same footprint in the Cloud.
  4. Empower your Programmers – Cloud Computing offers something new to Programmers: the ability to programmatically control their IT infrastructure. Using an API, Programmers can skin the functionality provided by Clouds as well as develop “intelligent” applications that scale dynamically, for example.
  5. Empower your IT Staff – Be sure that you don’t ignore your IT Staff as you look at the Cloud as a physical IT infrastructure alternative. They have some best practices and standards that should be incorporated in what your IT strategies will be. Let them experiment with the Cloud so that they fully grasp what it can do for your organization. They may tell you that it is a great direction to go in, or, they may say that your current infrastructure simply cannot be ported to the Cloud. There may also be some hybrid solutions (like GoGrid’s Cloud Connect) that will give them the best of both worlds.

These are just a few Cloud Computing New Year’s 2009 Resolutions to get you thinking. What are your business resolutions for 2009?