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06Nov 2014

Global standards organisations have been attempting in recent years to define exactly what cloud computing is, removing some of the confusing jargon and trying to make it crystal clear what precisely this powerful and in-demand service is.

Many people in the business sector and elsewhere may already know that cloud computing is a fairly nebulous term for IT networks based in vast data centres where there are enormous computing advantages and large economies of scale – but it’s often the providers of these services who perplex, with unclear descriptions about what they offer.

Now, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), based in Geneva, Switzerland, and whose members are comprised of standards bodies in countries around the world, has come up with its own definition of cloud computing and what it does.

The ISO said it wanted to create “order out of chaos” in a cloud-computing landscape that’s altering the computer sector with its “game-changing technology”. With increasing numbers of data centres offering cloud services, it wants to impose a standard across all so that quality is maintained. IT professionals from more than 30 countries were involved in coming up with two new international standards for the cloud-computing sector, and the results are available in a paper entitled Cloud computing – Overview and vocabulary; it’s available here: http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=60544.

Basically, the ISO says that cloud computing is a “paradigm shift” in the provision of IT services and it could affect the way future networks and IT products are developed and operated. The ISO said it is trialling various service-level agreements as well as the handing of data across cloud-computing services.

Previously, the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the US released its own definition of cloud computing, calling it, “a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources … that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”

One of the leaders in cloud computing in South-East Asia and around the world is Amazon Web Services; it defines cloud computing as “the on-demand delivery of IT resources and applications via the internet with pay-as-you-go pricing”. That’s about as clear as you can get.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

30Oct 2014

Amazon Web Services, in conjunction with The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), has begun trialling a data as a service project, which both organisations believe will heighten the visibility of data sets held in the private sector.

The pilot scheme is a part of the “Smart Nation” initiative unveiled by the Singapore government this year. The scheme aims to improve efficiency among the public and private sectors by utilising cloud services, big data and Internet of Things platforms.

In what the IDA are calling a federated approach, the pilot program’s main aim is to streamline the discovery of private sector data sets, something has been challenging in the past.

“Currently, there is no coherent mechanism for users to easily discover private sector datasets made available from data providers across various industry sectors,” commented an IDA spokesperson.

“IDA encourages data providers from all industries to participate in the DaaS pilot to increase visibility of their datasets and contribute feedback on how the platform can be improved.”

It is the IDA’s hope that by working with Amazon Web Services to establish metric guidelines at data quality, it will be easier for providers to categorise and gain access to their data. The first 25 companies to pledge themselves to the pilot will receive $3000 (US) in usage credit, a sum that will help cover the hosting costs of registries and datasets, as part of a Memorandum of Intent cosigned by Amazon and the IDA.

By building the world’s first Smart Nation, Singapore aims to overcome difficult city challenges. They are going to gather huge amounts of data, that they can then analyse and use to take action in areas including energy and healthcare.

“It is exciting for us to be exchanging ideas with top leaders in this space. Our goal is to challenge ourselves to keep finding new ways to better use data to serve citizens of all ages,” commented the IDA’s executive deputy chairman, Steve Leonard.

This is just one of many exciting new initiatives undertaken by the IDA, who are hard at work transforming Singapore into the region’s foremost “data and analytics hub.”

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

24Oct 2014

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is most the favoured enterprise cloud service among businesses, according to new research, while the company says it’s not cost savings that are driving firms to the cloud but flexibility.

In a quarterly report by cloud-security firm Skyhigh Networks that examined the data of over 13 million users, AWS emerged as the most popular enterprise cloud service, followed by Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce.

The research, entitled Cloud Adoption and Risk Report, also contains some surprising statistics that underscore the growing importance of the cloud. It says that in the past year, usage of cloud-computing services leaped by 52 percent, and that ordinary companies are currently using 831 services that are based in the cloud. The Skyhigh report is available at www.skyhighnetworks.com/cloud-report.

Meanwhile, Amazon has been busy promoting its marketing-leading cloud services. AWS chief Iain Gavin said at an AWS conference that while many in the business world might think cost advantages are the primary motivator in making the transition from in-house networks to cloud-based computing, in actuality it’s the flexibility offered by the cloud that’s proving as, if not more, attractive to clients.

The key benefit of the cloud is “agility”, he said, allowing firms to become far more efficient and therefore more competitive. But Amazon is not denying that cost savings are also a motivating factor in shifting IT operations to cloud services such as theirs. The company points out that affordable services such as AWS make much more sense than running on-site networks and employing specialised staff to operate them – and in many cases those in-house systems are not used to capacity and therefore waste resources such as power.

There are also the added advantages of automatically updated software, disaster recovery options and stringent security with the cloud, as well as access from anywhere and high levels of uptime. Even better news for companies considering the move is a current price war between the major players, including AWS, that is making cloud-based computing more affordable than ever. Google, for instance, has just slashed its cloud services pricing by 10 percent, as it tries to gain a lead over AWS.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

 

19Oct 2014
In a further indication of the growing clout of cloud computing, a new study among chief financial officers shows a real fear that their companies will not be able to compete in the marketplace if they don’t make the transition, and soon.

Research carried out by French IT services firm Atos reveals that three quarters of CFOs questioned were concerned that their firms would be negatively impacted – as in losing out on revenue-generating opportunities – if they didn’t have top-level cloud-computing services.

For those that do move to the cloud, CFOs project their companies will gain an additional €123 million in the coming year as they take advantage of a wide range of services and scale back their own costs, according to the study.

So why haven’t these companies made the switch to cloud computing, and are instead relying on their own IT systems? For some, there may be a degree of uncertainty, as they adopt a wait-and-see stance in case cloud computing turns out to be something of a fad, and if they did transition and it all fell apart, they’d then have to set up their in-house network all over again. The multibillion-dollar business of cloud computing is proving to be anything but a short-lived trend, however.

The advantages of operating in the cloud – essentially vast banks of servers at data centres, up to 1 million each at the big players – include: ease of use as programs and applications can be accessed from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection; drastic cost reductions, because there’s no need to have IT staff to run an in-house network; high levels of security and uptimes; and constantly updated software and hardware. This all helps to make firms more efficient, and it’s why those that are not in the cloud are so concerned.

For companies looking to make the transition from in-house networks to cloud computing, it’s never been easier nor more affordable to do so. Firms in Singapore and right across South-East Asia can benefit from huge leaps in information technology from market-leading clouds such as Amazon Web Services.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

07Oct 2014

Many businesses are reaping the rewards of shifting to the cloud, with increased profits and an easier infrastructure for their employees; however, the impact of cloud computing on the environment cannot be ignored. In an age where we need to do all we can to reduce our footprint on the world and seek out alternative energies and resources, cloud computing could offer a more sustainable answer whilst we search for the next big revolution.

With a huge reduction in on-site resources and energy needs, cloud computing can reduce the amount of power used to keep these businesses afloat. A recent study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Northwestern University showed that moving common applications for 86 million users to a cloud-computing model saved enough energy to power LA for a year. Not only does this dramatically reduce outgoings for larger corporations, but it also gives these companies green credentials and the ability to focus on an environmentally-friendly method of conducting business.

Furthermore, carbon emissions can be reduced dramatically through using cloud-based software. A study by Accenture shows that for large businesses of around 10,000 users, there could be potential savings of around 30-60% – this would be achieve by keeping critical software and databases on the cloud rather than on-site using the company’s own servers. Outsourcing the location of these valuable resources means that the company’s carbon footprint in a number of ways – the advance infrastructure used for cloud computing has improved cooling and power management to reduce emissions, the capacity of the server is better matched to actual demand in order to prevent time wasting, and flattens peak loads on the server by allowing users and groups to share resources on the cloud.

The world of cloud computing, therefore, can make an enormous difference on the world of business by allowing it to take advantage of the latest innovations whilst still being considerate towards the environment. Studies have shown it to be a useful way of reducing a business’ carbon footprint, and once integrated into the company’s infrastructure it can simplify the way employees work as well. If you’re looking at cloud computing as a possible future for your company, then it’s vital to remember that it can affect far more than the business itself; it can in fact help to keep the world going just a little longer.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

02Oct 2014
The cloud computing industry has grown dramatically since 2008. 6 years ago, the global industry was estimated to be worth $46 billion. This is still a massive amount and not to be discounted, but by the end of 2014 the industry is expected to have more than trebled to $150 billion.

From its humble beginnings in 2008, the cloud computing industry has now become very much a part of the fabric of business computing services, and by 2016 experts anticipate that cloud computing will take up much of the IT budget in businesses.

It is also predicted that the Asia-Pacific market will account for 1.5 Zb (zettabytes) of cloud computing storage – that’s 1.5 billion terabytes.

Of course, among the most used cloud computing services is Amazon, along with rivals Microsoft and Google. Cisco and Oracle have recently announced plans to match Amazon’s pricing and have stepped up their efforts to compete in the cloud market, with Cisco recently purchasing the company Metacloud.

So why is cloud computing growing?

The rapid transition from desktop to mobile devices is a large factor driving the explosive growth of cloud computing. With the many different models of smartphone and tablets, each using applications with a front-end interface but a back-end stored in the cloud, the demand for cloud storage space is an ever-increasing one.

Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have a never-ending battle on their hands as the amount of data they provide increases exponentially on a daily basis.

In addition, the ability to store data and content by private users in a third-party location has become popular, with Google’s free Google Drive, Amazon’s web services, and applications like Dropbox offering affordable storage solutions for the everyman.

For businesses the concept of cloud storage is a no-brainer – a totally scalable IT infrastructure that grows or recedes with the business, without the need for expensive investment into on-site hardware.

Thousands of businesses across Singapore and Southeast Asia are embracing cloud computing to meet their needs. Are you ready to join them? Find out now how Cloud Comrade can help you with all your cloud computing needs.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

27Sep 2014
Cloud computing has changed the IT landscape for businesses and consumers alike. There’s very little in our current IT universe that doesn’t operate in the cloud somehow – social media, online shopping, email and more all rely on this new technology.But just how much has cloud computing changed the way companies operate?

Perhaps the most important aspect is growth.

No longer is a business restricted to its own IT infrastructure nestled in a server room. A business needn’t worry about upgrading to the latest technologies, spending hundreds of thousands on hardware and maintenance when it wants to increase.

With cloud computing, growth is as simple as deciding you need more room. In effect, a cloud hosting provider is renting out space to businesses, and there’s always space to offer.

The direct byproduct of this rapid scalability? There isn’t a lengthy waiting period of weeks and months until the space is available. Most cloud storage is ready to go within hours or days.

In addition, the business needn’t worry about investing hefty sums of money in hardware. The hosting provider already deals with this, and the cost of “renting” the space is comparatively minimal.

Another aspect of this change is mobility. Because of the fact that cloud computing is not location specific, many businesses are no longer physically tied to one location.

Cloud computing has opened up opportunities for businesses to operate in multiple locations, simultaneously. For instance, a digital agency that recruits freelance workers can easily employ hundreds of people from around the country without having to collocate them. This makes their own scalability quick and efficient because they can very quickly employ more staff without undertaking the standard procedures of a brick and mortar location.

In addition, it also means that businesses can collaborate around the world. It could be that a business in Southeast Asia wants to work with a consultant in North America. Despite the thousands of miles that physically separate them, cloud computing means that the consultant can very easily work without having to travel around the globe, saving both time and money for the company.

Cloud computing is changing the business landscape as we know it, and many businesses in Singapore and Southeast Asia have already enjoyed the benefits of moving to cloud hosting.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

18Sep 2014

Cloud computing is becoming more widely utilised in both domestic and business environments. There are many services now that offer cloud storage as standard in their products, and many businesses are choosing to migrate to the cloud and outsource their infrastructure.

Many businesses in Southeast Asia and Singapore are moving across to a cloud hosting solution which makes use of Amazon Web Services infrastructure.

So why should you migrate your infrastructure to the cloud? What are the benefits of outsourcing to an external supplier?

Cost savings

The immediate cost benefit of migrating to the cloud is the savings you will gain on hardware. Whereas before you would need to invest heavily in hardware to handle your data needs or just keep the current infrastructure running, by migrating to the cloud you are simply paying to use someone else’s equipment. This enables a quick and more cost-effective means to grow your data storage needs.

The initial investment is minimal compared with investing in an in-house server, which often requires a lot of money spent on maintenance.

Reliability

The infrastructure you rely on is off-premises. Although this means putting your faith in another entity to ensure your data is kept safe, it means that you have eliminated a single point of failure in the equipment. All cloud providers have built-in redundancies and backups.

Accessibility

Cloud hosting is more often much quicker than an in-house solution, providing information on demand in a very short time. In addition, as it’s not location specific, the data can be accessed from anywhere. This opens up a lot more options for collaboration between multiple employees or cross-organisation project work.

Scalable

With cloud storage, you can increase your data storage on demand as your business grows or your data needs increase. Unlike the traditional model where you need to invest and deploy hardware to increase storage capacity, you can very quickly expand your storage needs with a cloud hosting solution. This is also true for downsizing, and in either case is far more cost effective than investing in equipment.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

09Sep 2014

Singapore’s small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) are among the world’s fastest adopters of cloud computing services, according to a new report from hosting and cloud automation platform specialist Parallels. According to the report “Parallels SMB Cloud Insights”, Singapore SMBs are set to spend S$520 million (US$415.26 million) on cloud computing solutions and services this year.

Much of that amount (S$195 million or US$155.72 million) is earmarked for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solutions, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing infrastructure which Cloud Comrade specialises in delivering and tailoring to suit the needs of to its business customers. Singapore’s SMBs are also set to spend S$142 million (US$113.4 million) on software-as-a-service. Other cloud investments will include S$126 million (US$100.62 million) on unified communications and S$57 million (US$45.52 million) on web presence services, including collaboration software, email and hosted PBX.

These are impressive figures by any standards, especially when the size of the Singapore business market is taken into account. In the report, Pavel Ershov, Parallels’ vice president of service providers business for the Asia-Pacific and Japan regions, remarks that “The size of the Singapore SMB cloud services market may be smaller than the other mature markets in the region, but the country’s SMBs are amongst the fastest adopters of cloud services – both in usage and sophistication.”

It is easy to understand the enthusiasm of Singapore businesses for the cloud infrastructure, when you realise that migrating to the cloud can deliver significant benefits in terms of saving both time and money. For example, businesses that Cloud Comrade has helped to migrate to AWS have discovered that the solution’s manageability and scalability have helped to boost productivity and, as a result, increased profitability. Pavel Ershov notes in the report: “SMBs today have the best of both worlds to help them grow their businesses–cloud services offerings with enterprise-grade capabilities at affordable costs.”

For those Singapore SMBs which haven’t yet embraced the Cloud, the latest Parallels report may give them a fresh reason to consider the benefits, such as cost savings and enhanced levels of productivity, that migrating from a physical IT infrastructure to cloud computing can deliver. Indeed, they may not want to postpone the migration for too long, as, according to the report, businesses that do not use cloud computing in one way or another are now in the minority, with sixty three percent of businesses turning to solution providers like Cloud Comrade for managed or hosted services.

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

06Sep 2014

Migrating your business storage infrastructure to the cloud is a serious consideration for cost savings as well as taking the pressure off your existing infrastructure while your business grows. Here are the most frequently asked questions about using Amazon Web Services Storage Gateway.

1. How does the AWS Storage Gateway work?

To get started, you download a virtual machine (VM) image on a host within your datacentre. Your gateway is then installed. Once you are ready to go, you can use the Amazon Web Services console to either create Gateway-Cached, Gateway-Stored storage volumes or Gateway-VTL virtual tape libraries.
Your Gateway-Cached storage is data your need to access regularly and your Gateway-stored is data which can be archived. This means you won’t have to worry about the cost and time implications of scaling up your on premises storage facility and at the same time you will still have access to your most regularly used data, all of the time.

2. Is my business suited to the AWS Storage Gateway?

Every business can benefit. If you are a large or mid-size company that is looking to migrate your on-premise infrastructure all you need is a specialist AWS provider and they help you to set up an Amazon Web Services account as well as providing support throughout the whole process. Onboarding a Cloud Computing Migration Service Provider means you are guaranteed a safe, fast, and seamless application migration to the cloud using the best in class technology.

3. Is my existing hardware set-up compatible with the AWS Storage Gateway’s VM?

The Amazon Web Services Storage Gateway VM has to be installed on a host in your datacentre which currently runs supported versions of VMWare ESXi or Microsoft Hyper-V. The minimum resources required are as follows:
• 4 Virtual Processors
• 7.5 GB of RAM
• 75 GB of disk space for installation of virtual machine image and system data

Speak to the cloud computing experts at Cloud Comrade

At Cloud Comrade, we specialise in providing our clients in Singapore and South East Asia with best in class cloud technology solutions that put them ahead of their competitors and which keep their critical data highly accessible and secure. Ready to take your business forward? So are we:www.cloudcomrade.com/

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