Cloud

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/

29Aug 2014

By gaining clearance to host the most sensitive unclassified US Department of Defense data, Amazon Web Services has scored a first in the cloud computing industry. AWS had already been cleared to host level 1 and 2 information in March of this year. It can now host level 3-5 data.

The new clearance allows Amazon to host the bulk of the data that the Department of Defense handles, thereby giving the company a competitive advantage over rival providers. The only DoD data that can’t be handled by Amazon is level 6 classified data.

Teresa Carlson, AWS’ world vice president for the public sector, told NextGov, “In a nutshell, we’re very excited to announce we’ve received the DOD provisional ATO through impact levels 3-5 – we’re the first commercial cloud provider to achieve this. I think it highlights our continued commitment to being a leader in cloud computing. This opens up a whole new world of opportunities for DOD to do what other groups have been doing.”

The AWS GovCloud is a region of the Amazon cloud service that is entirely dedicated for United States Government use. It is this region that can now be used by the Department of Defense and its contractors via a private connection, giving them the option of using the cloud for the first time. One of Amazon’s new customers is the Central Intelligence Agency.

Amazon was already one of three companies that had been given clearance to host data at levels 1 and 2. AWS and other cloud computing providers have been winning contracts across the civilian US Government. The additional security requirements of the Department of Defense meant that they had lagged behind the rest of the government in moving towards the cloud. AWS are allowing them to catch up.

The Department of Defense currently plans to introduce five pilots for hosting cloud data by this September. AWS is now well placed to be at the centre of this work.

Carlson hinted that level 6 might be next for Amazon, saying that their goal is to “meet every standard the federal government has for their 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/

23Aug 2014

Good business sense means keeping costs down and increasing productivity so the company is more profitable. Companies struggle with this simple but vital formula all the time – but one sure-fire way of doing it is with cloud computing.

Migrating your on-site infrastructure and systems to the cloud saves a whole host of costly resources, while dramatically increasing the efficiency of operations. Due to the large economy of scale in running enormous numbers of server banks in data centres, costs for clients are driven down right across the board.

Take staff, for instance. Having your own in-house network means hiring expensive IT personnel to operate it; their salaries are high, along with benefits and incentives. Operating in the cloud means you don’t need your own information technology personnel because it’s all handled by IT staff at the cloud centre.

Plus, there’s the added bonus of not having to deal with the time-consuming issue of recruitment to find the right IT people, and if they suddenly leave you could be left high and dry and having to recruit all over again.

Many small and medium-sized companies around the world, from the United States to Europe and South-East Asia and beyond, are turning to enterprise cloud services such as those provided by Amazon Web Services, a leader in the field and hosting many firms’ online operations, because of far lower power costs, which can be a big issue as the bills roll in.

With cloud computing, servers, or parts of them, are optimised to run only when needed and maximised to provide the best computing ratio per server. They are therefore vastly more power-efficient than servers running firms’ in-house operations that are always on and frequently idling and needlessly gobbling up electricity. In addition to that, many good data centres guarantee high levels of uptime, due to several layers of power supply in case the main one goes out.

Other money-saving features of transitioning to the cloud include guarantees of security as the server banks are often housed in extremely secure locations, as well as excellent disaster management plans and updates of software and hardware.

It makes financial sense to leap into the cloud.

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/

21Aug 2014

Cloud computing can assist medium and small businesses in a plethora of ways – from preventing large-scale and expensive data loss to facilitating easy collaboration between different individuals and groups. However, some can be wary of security risks with this relatively recent form of technology, especially when dealing with sensitive data. Whilst the security of cloud computing is at the forefront of developer’s minds, for total peace of mind we’ve come up with some tips to help ensure your business is protected.

1. Know how your data is protected and where it is

Make sure you know what data encryption services and firewalls are used. Also by knowing where your data is stored, you have a much better idea of what to do if problems are encountered later down the line.

2. Always back up your data

This covers the business’s back more than anything else. Having a secure backup copy of, for example customer’s data, then the risk of losing vital information is reduced.

3. If in doubt, test

Expert hackers can be hired by businesses to test their security. These hackers can attempt to reach your documents and then advise you about gaps in security. This is a good way of testing your security measures, but internal scanning and assessments within the cloud is important as well. You getting unauthorised access to your data is an indication that others could too.

4. Take advantage of Amazon’s Trusted Advisor

This programme carries out 33 different tests including tests related to malware or hacking attempts. 4 of these tests are now available for free for all users. Make the most of this great service!

5. Take passwords seriously

According to Deloitte, 90% of user-created passwords can be cracked within 90 seconds. The old rule of including numbers, capitals and lowercase and keep the length at a minimum of 8 letters doesn’t cut it anymore. There is a lot of advice out there for developing more secure passwords – be mindful of the risks and use this advice to develop safer passwords.

We hope these tips will set you in good stead for making secure use of cloud technology.

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/

16Aug 2014

If you’re seriously considering integrating cloud computing services in your existing IT infrastructure, but are worried about security, you’re not the only one. In fact, data security is the paramount concern for most IT professionals, and making such a bold move can seem intimidating, especially when you have little control over where your data actually is. Because of this fact, many IT professionals are adopting private cloud hosting rather than public cloud services. Still concerned? In order to reassure you, we’ve put together five important security tips to consider when making the move to the cloud.

Know where your data resides

Knowing where your data is and where it goes when you terminate your cloud service is important. We may have things like data encryption, firewalls, intrusion prevention and detection in place to protect our valuable information, but simply being able to identify a machine and knowing that’s where your data is really says a lot in the cloud computing world, and inspires trust. The key to most cloud services to pass strict security guidelines really comes from using dedicated hardware.

Always back-up your data

It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Embracing new information technology is great, and to be applauded, however, it’s easy to overlook the fact that having your own secure data back-up system in place will ensure your data will never be lost, if worst comes to worst. It certainly can’t hurt to have a back-up plan, can it? Even big companies such as T-Mobile have lost customers’ data, simply by not backing up.

Check if your data centre is secure

You should be able to ask which data centre and server is storing your data, before checking which security measures are in place and up-to-scratch. Check if they are SOC 2, SSAE 16 and SAS 70 audited, and if their clients are PCI or HIPAA certified, along with managed services like antivirus, firewalls and intrusion detection for increased security.

Get client references

What other clients are currently with your cloud computing company? Organisations that require a lot of security, in sectors such as insurance, financial, healthcare, or even government organisations, indicate the services provided will be secure and trustworthy. If possible, see if you can contact these clients for references.

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/

29Jul 2014

“Nobody likes change except a wet baby,” said Mark Twain. Yet, change, such as migrating to the Cloud, is necessary for businesses to progress effectively. While companies prioritise the technical aspects of moving processes and data to the Cloud, the emotional side of the upgrade can often be underestimated, putting the success of the move at risk.

Here are eight essentials to ensure a happier and smoother move to the Cloud for your organisation and your people.

Loop HR in from the start

It’s definitely not news to you; your organisation’s best assets are its people. And as the department that exists to optimise your human resource capital, HR must be engaged in all meetings from the get-go. With all the new skills and responsibilities that will come with the migration, HR will provide a unique people-perspective that will anchor the success of your move.

Plan early

Draw up a plan – early – on how the migration is expected to happen. This helps everyone know what needs changing, why and how the process will take place. Keep on track with targeted milestones and responsibilities in place.

Educate your staff

Sell the idea to your staff by educating them on the features and benefits of the Cloud. Remind them that ultimately, people come first, and technology is only here to help them and the business grow. Set their expectations. Half the battle is won when they’re convinced that migrating is the right way to go.

Address fears, including your own

Some employees may perceive that new technology can take away their jobs, rendering them redundant. Assure them that while migrating to the Cloud does ultimately cut down on manpower costs, what it really means is streamlining business processes so that employees can be better engaged in higher valued skills and services. On top of that, management may find, in engaging employees in this dialogue, that its own fears and anxieties can be allayed.

Make opinions count

Get key users involved early in the implementation process and take their feedback into account. By doing so, it gives them a sense of ownership to ensuring a successful migration.

Update stakeholders frequently

Communication is key. Let users know if they will be affected by any downtime as a result of the migration, so that they’ll be able to work as smoothly as possible.

Be mindful that change takes time

Any kind of change takes time to get used to. Ensure that your IT department remains as patient in addressing any users’ concerns or queries, or even in the face of frustration.

Choose your Cloud Migration specialist wisely

Finally, when looking for a cloud solutions provider, engage one that effectively understands both hardware and heartware for a successful migration to aid your business.

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/

22Jul 2014

It’s no secret that businesses are embracing and migrating to cloud computing. But the reality is that it is hard to break away from the technology and infrastructure you’re used to. Leaping straight into the world of enterprise cloud computing is a decision not to be taken lightly, and it’s good to know there are options available that could ease the transition for you.

Many companies feel more comfortable working with their own, private solution rather than following the trend into publicly hosted clouds. But there may be a way to explore the benefits of the public cloud without losing control over the private infrastructure you have grown so fond of.

Hybrid cloud computing runs a public and private cloud in parallel, and is a popular choice for medium and large businesses taking on cloud computing. This method allows you to enjoy the security of a private cloud, and the flexibility of a public solution together. To help you better understand if going hybrid could work for you, here are some pros and cons to consider.

Pros

 

Flexibility
Your network could gain more flexibility and scale by sharing its load across a public and private cloud solution.

Save money
A private cloud solution can be pricey, so going hybrid could be an affordable solution for a medium size enterprise.

Go green
A hybrid cloud solution will add to your green credentials with its environment friendly infrastructure.

Cons

Security
In some cases (in the financial sector, for example) where information is considered confidential, a public cloud could increase security risks.

Complicated networks
Hybrid cloud computing could lead to a messy and complicated network if not taken care of properly.

Complex Service Level Agreement
A detailed Service Level Agreement for both your private and public cloud providers will ensure its performance meets your expectations.

Now is the right time to invest in enterprise cloud computing, and with the support of experts like Amazon Web Services, you’re in good hands. Explore the benefits of enterprise cloud computing by going hybrid, and see how it could help you take your business forward, fast.

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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