Business Cloud – Risks, Threats, & Vulnerabilities in Moving to the Cloud

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Business Cloud – Risks, Threats, & Vulnerabilities in Moving to the Cloud

Organisations continue to develop new applications in or migrate existing applications to cloud-based services. The federal government recently made cloud adoption a central tenet of its IT modernisation strategy. An organisation that adopts cloud technologies and chooses cloud service providers (CSP)s and services or applications without becoming fully informed of the risks involved exposes itself to a myriad of commercial, financial, technical, legal, and compliance risks.

The threats and vulnerabilities involved in migrating to the cloud are ever-evolving, and the ones listed are by no means exhaustive. It is essential to consider other challenges and risks associated with cloud adoption specific to their missions, systems, and data.

There are a few characteristics and models for cloud computing:

    • Essential characteristics: on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service.

 

 

    • Deployment Models: private cloud, community cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud.

 

Cloud Computing Threats, Risks, and Vulnerabilities

Cloud environments experience--at a high level--the same threats as traditional data centre environments; the threat picture is the same. Cloud computing runs software, the software has vulnerabilities, and adversaries try to exploit those vulnerabilities. However, unlike information technology systems in a traditional data centre, in cloud computing, responsibility for mitigating the risks that result from these software vulnerabilities is shared between the CSP and the cloud consumer. 

As a result, consumers must understand the division of responsibilities and trust that the CSP meets their obligations. Based on our literature searches and analysis efforts, the following list of cloud-unique and shared cloud/on-premise vulnerabilities and threats were identified.

Cloud-Unique Threats and Risks

 

Consumers Have Reduced Visibility and Control. 

When transitioning assets/operations to the cloud, organisations lose some visibility and control over those assets/operations. When using external cloud services, some of the policies and infrastructure move to the CSP.

The actual shift of responsibility depends on the cloud service model(s) used, leading to a paradigm shift for security monitoring and logging agencies. Organisations need to monitor and analyse information about applications, services, data, and users, without using network-based tracking and logging, which is available for on-premises IT.

On-Demand Self Service Simplifies Unauthorized Use

CSPs make it very easy to provision new services. The on-demand self-service provisioning features of the cloud enable an organisation's personnel to provide additional benefits from the agency's CSP without IT consent. Using software in an organisation that the organisation's IT department does not support is commonly referred to as shadow IT.

Due to the lower costs and ease of implementing PaaS and SaaS products, the probability of unauthorised cloud services increases. However, services provisioned or used without IT's knowledge present risks to an organisation. Unauthorised cloud services could increase malware infections or data exfiltration since the organisation is unable to protect resources it does not know about. Unauthorised cloud services also decrease an organisation's visibility and control of its network and data.

Internet-Accessible Management APIs can be Compromised.

CSPs exposes a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that customers use to manage and interact with cloud services (also known as the management plane). Organisations use these APIs to provision, manage, orchestrate, and monitor their assets and users. These APIs can contain the same software vulnerabilities as an API for an operating system, library, etc. Unlike management APIs for on-premises computing, CSP APIs are accessible via the Internet, exposing them more broadly to potential exploitation.

Threat actors look for vulnerabilities in management APIs. If discovered, these vulnerabilities can be turned into successful attacks, and organisation cloud assets can be compromised. From there, attackers can use organisation assets to perpetrate further attacks against other CSP customers.

Separation Among Multiple Tenants Fails 

The exploitation of system and software vulnerabilities within a CSP's infrastructure, platforms, or applications that support multi-tenancy can lead to a failure to maintain separation among tenants. An attacker can use this failure to access one organisation's resource to another user's or organisation's assets or data. Multi-tenancy increases the attack surface, leading to increased data leakage if the separation controls fail.

This attack can be accomplished by exploiting vulnerabilities in the CSP's applications, hypervisor, or hardware, subverting logical isolation controls, or attacks on the CSP's management API. To date, there has not been a documented security failure of a CSP's SaaS platform that resulted in an external attacker gaining access to tenants' data.

No reports of an attack based on logical separation failure were identified; however, proof-of-concept exploits have been demonstrated.

Data Deletion is Incomplete

Threats associated with data deletion exist because the consumer has reduced visibility into where their data is physically stored in the cloud and a reduced ability to verify the secure deletion of their data. 

This risk is concerning because the data is spread over several different storage devices within the CSP's infrastructure in a multi-tenancy environment. In addition, deletion procedures may differ from provider to provider. Organisations may not verify that their data was securely deleted and those remnants of the data are not available to attackers. This threat increases as an agency use more CSP services.

Cloud and On-Premise Threats and Risks

The following are risks applicable to both cloud and on-premise IT data centres that organisations need to address.

Credentials are Stolen

Suppose an attacker gains access to a user's cloud credentials. In that case, the attacker can have access to the CSP's services to provide additional resources (if certificates allow access to provisioning) and target the organisation's assets. The attacker could leverage cloud computing resources to target the organisation's administrative users, other organisations using the same CSP or the CSP's administrators. An attacker who gains access to a CSP administrator's cloud credentials may use those credentials to access the agency's systems and data.

Administrator roles vary between a CSP and an organisation. The CSP administrator has access to the CSP network, systems, and applications (depending on the service) of the CSP's infrastructure. The consumer's administrators have access only to the organisation's cloud implementations. In essence, the CSP administrator has administrative rights over more than one customer and supports multiple services.

Vendor Lock-In Complicates Moving to Other CSPs

Vendor lock-in becomes an issue when an organisation considers moving its assets/operations from one CSP to another. The organisation discovers the cost/effort/schedule time necessary for the move is much higher than initially considered due to non-standard data formats, non-standard APIs, and reliance on one CSP's proprietary tools and unique APIs.

This issue increases in service models where the CSP takes more responsibility as an agency uses more features, services, or APIs, the exposure to a CSP's unique implementations increases. These individual implementations require changes when a capability is moved to a different CSP. If a selected CSP goes out of business, it becomes a significant problem since data can be lost or cannot be transferred to another CSP promptly.

Increased Complexity Strains IT Staff

Migrating to the cloud can introduce complexity into IT operations. Managing, integrating, and operating in the cloud may require that the agency's existing IT staff learn a new model. IT staff must have the capacity and skill level to manage, integrate, and maintain the migration of assets and data to the cloud in addition to their current responsibilities for on-premises IT.

Key management and encryption services become more complex in the cloud. The benefits, techniques, and tools available to log and monitor cloud services typically vary across CSPs, further increasing complexity. There may also be emergent threats/risks in hybrid cloud implementations due to technology, policies, and implementation methods, which add complexity. This added complexity leads to an increased potential for security gaps in an agency's cloud and on-premises implementations.

Insiders Abuse Authorized Access

Insiders, such as staff and administrators for both organisations and CSPs, who abuse their authorised access to the organisation's or CSP's networks, systems, and data are uniquely positioned to cause damage or exfiltrate information.

The impact is most likely worse when using IaaS due to an insider's ability to provision resources or perform nefarious activities that require forensics for detection. These forensic capabilities may not be available with cloud resources.

Stored Data is Lost

Data stored in the cloud can be lost for reasons other than malicious attacks. Accidental deletion of data by the cloud service provider or a physical catastrophe, such as a fire or earthquake, can lead to the permanent loss of customer data. The burden of avoiding data loss does not fall solely on the provider's shoulders. 

If a customer encrypts its data before uploading it to the cloud but loses the encryption key, the data will be lost. In addition, an inadequate understanding of a CSP's storage model may result in data loss. Agencies must consider data recovery and be prepared for the possibility of their CSP being acquired, changing service offerings, or going bankrupt.

This threat increases as an agency use more CSP services. Recovering data on a CSP may be easier than recovering it at an agency because an SLA designates availability/uptime percentages. These percentages should be investigated when the agency selects a CSP.

CSP Supply Chain is Compromised

If the CSP outsources parts of its infrastructure, operations, or maintenance, these third parties may not satisfy/support the requirements that the CSP is contracted to provide with an organisation. An organisation needs to evaluate how the CSP enforces compliance and check to see if the CSP flows its requirements down to third parties. If the conditions are not being levied on the supply chain, then the threat to the agency increases.

This threat increases as an organisation use more CSP services and are dependent on individual CSPs and their supply chain policies.

Insufficient Due Diligence Increases Cybersecurity Risk

Organizations migrating to the cloud often perform insufficient due diligence. They move data to the cloud without understanding the full scope of doing so, the security measures used by the CSP, and their responsibility to provide security measures. They make decisions to use cloud services without fully understanding how those services must be secured.

More risks in cloud computing

Before cloud computing, companies had to budget for buying hardware (servers and network just to mention some) and software (operating systems, security suites, productivity programs). With the advent of cloud computing, they now can tap into shared resources without even needing to sacrifice office space!

Cloud computing is the right choice for many SMBs that are okay with outsourcing and comfortable using another party's facilities to store their data, software, and devices. Providers are paid a subscription cost and offer a pool of services, including updates, IT assistance, and training if needed. If so wished, companies are freed from the need to have their own IT department, IT server rooms, etc.? Of course, cloud computing cannot be for everyone.

Companies that have specific privacy concerns, however, still have the option to subscribe for hybrid systems. They can maintain control over their data, for example, while still using shared resources to cut costs. Cloud computing is also essential when a business has employees in satellite offices or works remotely while on the road or visiting a client through laptops or tablets. The cloud makes it much easier for them to access needed information and resources.

So why isn't cloud computing the choice for all companies? The answer is obvious: the inevitable risks of cloud computing. Switching to this new way of defining IT requires an in-depth evaluation of the business' needs and an analysis of how much trouble can be tolerated.

The impact on a business return on investment (ROI)

Migration to the cloud might sound like the most cost-effective option. Still, businesses should carefully compare the costs of owning software and equipment with the price of "leasing" IT technologies. Parameters like speed, security, usage, quality of service, scalability, and support must be considered.

Compatibility

Migration to the cloud might pose problems of compatibility with an existing IT infrastructure or with a company's security requirements and organisational policies. Pre-planning is once again crucial in considering all these aspects before committing to the change.

Trust

Not all providers are equal. Services through cloud computing may be interrupted by unforeseen events. Outages from a service provider, for example, can happen. Since providers are unable to guarantee no service disruptions will occur, data may not be available 24/7.

In a disaster situation, communications may be slow or shut down for some time. Once again, a careful assessment of the cloud service provider is paramount. Businesses need to consider the risks associated with trusting all their operations to an external party and what would happen in case of default and interruption of service. What guarantees the cloud service provider offers if disaster strikes are what a business needs to consider.

Confidentiality

Probably the main concern, confidentiality is often mentioned as the reason for not embracing cloud computing. If a company's operations require the handling of sensitive data, the protection of these data becomes a priority and a concern. A business might not feel confident in sharing with an external party their vital information. Responsibility for a data leak could be hard to assign when data are handled and transmitted between two parties.

Compliance

There are risks involving non-compliance with existing policies and contractual obligations related to the handled data or the business operations. The legal implication of using an external IT provider should be carefully reviewed.

Security

Not just confidentiality, but the entire structure should be evaluated. Where's your data going to be stored? Who will have access to the information? What security measures and protection does the cloud provider offer? Is all information (even when non-sensitive) transmitted in unsecured plaintext or is it encrypted at all times?

Lack of control over performance

There is always the risk that the system quality may be inadequate or that a cloud service provider is unable to provide quality services at all times. It should be clear what guarantees the provider can offer in terms of systems performance and, especially, how prompt is its corrective action in case of a disruption of service. Not having direct access to the infrastructure means that a business must rely on the prompt action of the provider when something goes wrong.

Lack of control over the quality

A business needs to trust the quality standards that a provider can offer over time. How easy would it be to switch providers in case of an obvious degradation of quality?

Many of these risks can be mitigated by careful planning and attention to detail when drafting service contracts with cloud providers. For example, risks related to privacy and data confidentiality can be reduced by using hybrid cloud computing? sharing only some resources but not relinquishing data control.

Cloud computing is most certainly revolutionizing the way small-medium businesses (SMBs), and companies in general, use IT. Cloud computing has allowed businesses to access high-end technology and information at an affordable cost. In most cases, SMBs can access new technology and more resources without the premium price it would have cost in the past.

Regardless of the risks and adverse opinions, however, it seems cloud computing will continue its growth. Only time will tell if the benefits of this IT revolution will outweigh for good the risks involved.

Is SaaS a managed service?

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    Difference Between SaaS & Managed Service?

    Small and medium-sized businesses these days have various kinds of services available to them in terms of handling any IT-related needs. Managed IT services and software-as-a-service (SaaS) enable you to handle complex technical areas without the added cost of upkeep and installation, on-call staff, and software engineering.

    Besides, these outsourced services minimize the costs involved in carrying regular IT tasks and the implementation of certain applications. In this blog, we will tackle the differences between managed IT services and SaaS and how both resources can help elevate your business. Not that long ago, if an organization needed software, they would call the software provider, get them to deliver a bunch of CDs and license keys, load the product on their systems and then start using it. But with the advent of the cloud and continually evolving business models, much has changed. And let's be honest, it's sometimes confusing. Nowhere is this confusion more apparent than in the realm of the difference between managed services and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

    In recent years, swift technological developments have changed the business and information technology domain. For non-technical business owners who are struggling to stay up-to-date with the latest technological advances, this is both good news and bad news. There are two solutions that businesses can outsource to save themselves from confusion. These are managed services and software as a service (SaaS) model. 

    Organizations of all sizes are adopting these solutions to beat the costs and hassles of managing their IT systems and using traditional packaged applications. There are essential differences between these two outsourced models. In this article, we will be tackling these differences between managed services vs. SaaS that every organization needs to understand and some tips on which model works best for an organization's specific needs. 

    What is Software-as-a-Service, and why do businesses love it?

    If your business has ever used any product through the cloud, then it has used SaaS. Take Gmail, for instance. The search giant's email service is, technically, SaaS because it's software that's distributed through the cloud: you can access your Gmail account on any internet-connected device at any location.

    In general, SaaS refers to services delivered through the cloud that your company pays for. Office 365 from Microsoft, for instance, is SaaS, because the company provides it through the cloud and charges firms a subscription fee for the privilege of using it, depending on the number of users.

    Top reasons to implement a SaaS model:

     

      • Reduced Time To Implementation. It can take a long time to install a new software update on a legacy system. But with SaaS, you can start using a service immediately through the cloud: there's often no delay at all.
      • Lower Costs. When installing software on legacy systems, firms not only have to pay for the software itself but the time and expense of installing it. Cloud-based solutions avoid all of this, leading to lower costs overall.
      • Scalability. Cloud-based services can scale as business scales. The cost of purchasing ten licenses for Office 365, for instance, is much lower than buying one hundred.
      • Easy To Use. The app-like nature of most SaaS solutions means that you don't have to invest so much time and money training staff to use features effectively. Many services are highly intuitive and self-explanatory.

     

    Managed Services vs. SaaS

    Managed services are different. While SaaS provides companies with software that they can use over the cloud (with all of the attendant benefits), managed services go a step further. They often offer additional support by taking care of both networking and hardware requirements.

    Take SIEM software, for instance. SIEM software might be a SaaS if the developer provides it through the cloud. Still, it doesn't qualify as a managed service until another third-party company takes over things like monitoring from in-house IT staff. A fully-managed security solution, like BitLyft's partnership with LogRhythm, would not only provide a firm with SIEM software but also have a dedicated SOC with trained analysts processing security logs and events.

    Customer relationship management tools also provide an excellent example of the difference between SaaS and managed services. A company like Salesforce offers CRM as SaaS. Salesforce allows companies to access their CRM facilities through cloud portals, charging them a fee depending on the number of users (for instance, the number of customer reps at a real estate agency). Salesforce's CRM services only become managed services when clients outsource tasks like communicating with customers or analyzing CRM data to Salesforce itself. Salesforce certifications are required to offer such services. Suddenly, SaaS turns into a managed service which takes over the human component.

    Managed services can also go further than managing software and help businesses on the hardware side too. Suppose, for instance, that a firm outsources the task of maintaining security on its IT network to a third-party firm. That third-party firm might do things like event reporting and threat detection, but it could also offer firms support to upgrade and improve their hardware. A managed security company, for instance, could recommend that a firm switch out its ailing servers and replace them with services rendered through the cloud. Managed services, therefore, are more comprehensive than SaaS, and can spur the transformation of the overall company IT strategy.

    Managed Services vs. SaaS: Defining the terms 

    Managed IT services are IT tasks provided by a third-party vendor to a customer - this can be businesses of all sizes. The managed service provider has the responsibility to maintain the IT operations of the organization that avails the service. There are different types of managed services, but it all boils down to the transfer of IT management from the customer to the service provider. 

    On the other hand, the software as a service model is a category of cloud computing alongside infrastructure as a service and platform as a service model. The SaaS model involves software distribution in which a third-party vendor hosts, maintains and upgrades applications that are available to customers via the Internet. If an organization has ever utilized any software from the cloud, then it has used SaaS. 

     

    The software as a service model might be a good fit for businesses that have full commitment to staff their IT infrastructure but need outsourced applications to have cutting edge services and be on the next level. In short, the businesses that will get the most advantage out of SaaS are those that have existing IT infrastructure. On the other hand, managed IT service providers collaborate with their customers and provide IT expertise and pre-built IT infrastructure. There are also remote IT service providers that fully maintain and control their customers' IT operations so that these customers will focus on more critical business projects and processes. 

    Managed Services vs. SaaS: The Cost 

    Many companies love the SaaS model because it provides a low-cost alternative to traditional software solutions. It offers businesses the flexibility to scale up or down and implement the latest products without having to experience expensive processes. On the other hand, managed IT services are more expensive. Although the methods are costly, managed services offer far more comprehensive operations and solutions. Managed service providers can provide support in integrating, maintaining, and upgrading software to give a better flow of work. 

    There are different types of pricing models for managed IT services and SaaS. Let's start with managed services pricing models that are most popular for businesses. These are the following: Per-user, per-device, monitoring only, and tiered pricing models. 

      • Per-User pricing model typically charges a monthly flat rate per end user. It covers IT support on all user devices and is a straightforward pricing model that can help minimize the guesswork.
      • Another pricing model for remote IT services is the per-device option. This provides a flat rate for each type of supported device. For example, a basic per-device pricing model may assign a monthly flat rate of $99 per managed network, $29 per network printer, $299 per server, and $69 per desktop. This pricing model makes the pricing structure simple and more comfortable to give customers a quotation or estimate of the cost.
      • Monitoring only pricing model is another option for utilizing managed services. Managed service providers are in charge only of monitoring the network and alerting their customers. Customers are billed for remediation tasks identified through monitoring.
      • Lastly, one of the most popular pricing models is the tiered pricing option. This model sells bundled packages of IT services. The price increases as the business avail more services. This option is the most flexible pricing model for remote IT services. 

     

    The software as a service solution also has different pricing models popular to businesses, and these are as follows: flat rate, usage-based, tiered, and per-user pricing models. 

      • The simplest pricing model for SaaS is the flat rate option. SaaS providers offer a single price, a single product, and a single set of features. This is billed monthly and has similarities to the software licensing model before the cloud existed.
      • The usage-Based pricing model is also known as Pay as You Go model. This pricing option relates to the cost of SaaS products to its users. If businesses use more of the product, the bill increases and if they use smaller, the fee decreases.
      • Another option is the tiered pricing model. This allows for multiple-package offers, with different combinations of features charged at various price points.
      • Lastly, the per-user pricing model is the go-to SaaS pricing option. It's popular because of its simplicity. A single user spends a monthly flat rate; add another user, and the cost doubles and so on. 

     

    Managed Services vs. SaaS: Services offered 

    The most common services offered when using remote IT services are remote monitoring and management of servers, desktops, and mobile devices. Remote monitoring and management are usually the foundational services provided by managed service providers. However, there are also other services offered. One popular option is the managed security services since businesses demand IT security support from their remote service providers. Following this, service providers have been developing practices when it comes to IT security. They have also been partnering with third-party vendors that specialize in cybersecurity. 

    Remote IT services have also progressed to provide cloud services with the advent of cloud computing. In other words, it can offer one of the categories of cloud computing, which is SaaS. 

    On the other hand, SaaS offers two standard service models: the hosted application management model and the software on-demand model. In a hosted application management model, the provider hosts the customer's software and with the use of the Internet, delivers the software to approved end-users. In the software on-demand model, the SaaS provider offers customers access to a single copy of a software that the provider created particularly for SaaS distribution. The source code of the software is the same for all the users. When there are new functionalities or features, these are rolled out to all the users. 

    There are specific SaaS applications for essential business activities and tasks, such as sales management, customer relationship management, email, financial management, billing, and collaboration. 

     

    Managed Services vs SaaS: Security 

    Every business investment carries certain risks. Perhaps the most significant asset to any organization is the assurance of cybersecurity. 

    Remote IT services offer different benefits to keep an organization's data secure. These benefits include constant remote monitoring and the creation of relevant reports to inform the organization about the state of its system. Another security benefit is the supply of compliance assistance, risk assessment and correlation analyses to keep a steady overview of the activities of the network. 

    With SaaS, on the other hand, the customers don't have complete control over their data since the data is hosted in the cloud. Although a customer has the advantage of accessing SaaS applications anywhere with the use of the Internet, the customer must perform a security review of the application before subscribing, especially when it is deployed on a public cloud. 

    Managed Services vs SaaS: Stability and Predictability 

    One of the most promising things that managed IT services offer is their stability. Unlike the break/fix model where an IT professional is only available when there is an issue, managed IT service providers have a 24/7 availability and prevent all issues from happening. 

    In the SaaS model, on the other hand, data portability can be the problem. The situation can become unpredictable and unstable. What happens to an organization's data stored in the cloud if the SaaS providers go bankrupt? Unfortunately, this is one of the risks an organization needs to take when opting for a SaaS solution. 

    Managed Services vs SaaS: Scalability 

    Businesses grow, and their needs change. At some point, the solution business has invested in may be necessarily changed or updated. Scalability and flexibility are vital to any business using different IT solutions. 

    With remote IT services, an organization doesn't have to worry about switching up approach as it gets bigger because a managed service provider is already setup to do just that seamlessly. They can address day-to-day IT issues, maintain and monitor the network or system, and help an organization plan for future needs when it comes to technology. 

    SaaS solutions usually reside in scalable cloud environments that can integrate with other SaaS offerings. Using SaaS, users don't have to buy another server or software as compared to traditional models. SaaS applications are scalable by enabling an organization to choose the delivery model and changing it when the requirements of the business change. With SaaS, it is easier to turn on an additional set of components, integrate to other systems, and get new application users. 

    Managed Services vs SaaS: Updates and Upgrades

    For managed IT services, there are basics services offered for upgrading the system. This includes software updates, patches, and upgrades for servers and desktops. Any machines covered by the agreement with the service provider have an automatic you updates run on schedule. Organizations availing these services don't have to worry about the time it takes to check for updates and apply necessary patches. Updating and upgrading happen automatically using managed IT services. 

    For SaaS model, upgrades are also done automatically by the service provider. The SaaS provider ensures that organizations they are partnering with have the most up-to-date version of the software. This is done without having to re-customize or reimplement any of the preset features. Service level agreements between the SaaS provider and the availing organization typically includes frequent, automatic, and frequent upgrades as part of the subscription.

    Managed Services vs SaaS: Availability and Accessibility

    With the right managed IT, service provider, 24/7 help is available, which means all-day and all-night services are provided. This also includes weekends, holidays, and in the middle of the night. This kind of IT support provides and ensures a superior level of productivity for the availing organization, regardless of the time and date. 

    On the other hand, the SaaS model can be available and accessed in all locations with an Internet connection. This is unlike licensed software that provides limited access because it is dedicated only to a specific number of devices and can't be accessed using foreign computers. Location is not only the advantage of SaaS when it comes to accessibility. SaaS model is compatible across multiple devices, and this advantage increases mobility and independence.

    Though the cost for a SaaS application is often much less than for a managed service application, users pay for up-close attention, maintenance and support, seamless upgrades, and customization that MSPs can offer. When weighing one model against the other, first consider how integral the software you're purchasing is to your organization.

    Some applications may be vital to the organization but may not need much differentiation from those used by competitors, and a SaaS is fine here too, he adds. The customer relationship management (CRM) application Salesforce is one example. For areas of the business that need customized software or software that must be tightly integrated with other areas, consider the hands-on help an MSP can offer.

    But as great a solution as SaaS can be, it only applies to your software headaches - and if you need to customize your software heavily, it may not even go that far. A managed services plan, on the other hand, does much more than merely handle your software logistics. Managed services also include taking care of all your hardware and networking needs (by dealing with multiple vendors, so you don't have to). Still, they can also include everything from regular backups to troubleshooting and repair. It costs more, but it's worth it - so contact us and get the details!

    How to Keep Your Cloud Storage Safe and Secure

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    With Business Cloud Storage now so tightly integrated into desktop and mobile operating systems, we're all syncing more data to and from the cloud than ever before: our photos, videos, documents, passwords, music, and more.

    There are plenty of benefits to having access to all of your data anywhere and from any device, of course, but it does open the door to someone else getting at your files from a different device too. Here's how to keep that from happening.

    Use Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication

    All the standard security tips apply to your cloud accounts as well: Choose long and unique passwords that are difficult to guess, and use a password manager. Keep your passwords secret and safe, and be wary of any attempts to get you to part with them (in an unexpected email, for example).

    You should also switch on two-factor authentication (2FA) if it's available (most popular cloud storage services now support it). Enabling 2FA means unwelcome visitors won't be able to get at your cloud storage files even if they know your username and password-another code from your phone will be required as well.

    Only you should know your passwords. It is confidentiality that makes for a strong password. Creating a password and then writing it down on a Post-it note isn't wise. Anyone can come across that note and use it to access your data. If you have a hard time remembering passwords, consider using password managers.

    Audit Your File and Folder Shares

    Cloud storage services are fantastic for sharing files with other people-from family members to work colleagues-but it can leave your data open to unauthorised access if someone else finds those links or manages to access the account of a person you've shared files with. Be careful who you share files and folders with, and add passwords and expiry dates to your shares if these features are available.

    It's also a good idea to run a regular audit of all the currently active shares on your account-in the Dropbox web interface, for example, click the Shared button on the left. For those shares that do need to stay active, use whatever options you have inside your cloud storage accounts to make these shares read-only unless the other parties need to edit files (Google Drive is one service where you can do this).

    Clear Out Your 'Deleted' Files

    Many cloud storage services run a recycling bin of sorts, keeping deleted files around for a few days or weeks just if you want them back. This is often very helpful and can be an advantage if someone tries to wipe your account. That said, you might want to make sure specific sensitive files are wholly obliterated and no longer able to be recovered.

    If you're deleting something that you don't want to get back and that you don't want anyone else to find either-especially if the file or folder is shared-dig into whatever undelete options the service has and make sure the files are really, truly gone. In the case of iCloud on the web, for example, click the Recently Deleted link to view and permanently wipe deleted files.

    Check Your Connected Apps and Accounts

    Even if hackers aren't able to get into your accounts through the front door, they might try and gain access through a side window-in other words, through another version that's connected to your cloud storage. While it can be convenient to have connections to your calendar or email apps set up, it also makes your account more vulnerable.

    At the very least, make sure you're regularly checking which third-party applications have access to your cloud storage, and remove any that you're not actively using (you can always add them again if you need to). For example, if you're in the Dropbox web interface, click your avatar (top right), then Settings and Connected to see connected apps.

    Turn on Account Alerts

    Most cloud storage services will be able to send you alerts about significant account events, such as new sign-ins, and it's essential to make sure these are switched on. You might also be able to subscribe to alerts about activity inside your accounts, such as new shares that have been created or files and folders that have been removed.

    At the very least, you should be able to check in on what's been happening recently in your cloud accounts, and it's worth doing this regularly. In the case of Google Drive on the web, click My Drive, then the Info button (top right), then Activity to see recent changes in your account.

    Deactivate Old Devices That Still Have Access

    Most cloud storage services let you sync files from multiple devices, so if you upgrade your phone or switch jobs and use a new laptop, it's vital that you properly disconnect and deactivate the old ones-just in case whoever inherits those old devices somehow has access to your old data.

    This usually just means signing out of the relevant app before uninstalling it entirely, but you should also sign out inside the browser that you've been using as well (see below). You can also do this remotely inside most accounts: In the case of OneDrive, go to your Microsoft account online and click All devices to view and remove devices associated with your account.

    Enable Account Recovery Options

    Your cloud storage account is only as secure as the weakest link attached to it, which means you need to keep the account recovery options as well protected as your login credentials. Is the password reset email sent to an email address that you have full access to, for example?

    What this looks like depends on the account, but the recovery options are usually in the account or security settings. Make sure they're up to date. If you have security questions associated with account access, these should be ones that can't quickly be figured out by someone you live with or work with (or who is following your social media accounts).

    Sign Out When You're Not Using Your Accounts

    For the sake of convenience, you'll probably want to stay signed in to your cloud storage accounts while you're using them. When you're done, it's essential that you sign out to stop anyone else from gaining access to your files-especially if you're on a computer that's shared with other people (such as the rest of your household).

    The option to sign out should be pretty prominently displayed (cloud storage providers don't want you getting hacked either): In the case of iCloud on the web, click on your name up in the top right-hand corner of the browser tab and pick Sign out.

    Protect Your Devices, Too

    Physical security is important too. Keep the phones, laptops, and other devices where you use your cloud storage accounts guarded against unauthorised access. Otherwise, someone could get straight into one of your accounts if they get physical access to your phone or laptop. You don't want to have a phone or laptop lost or stolen, only to discover that whoever ends up with it also ends up with all of your personal information.

    Some cloud storage apps will let you add extra protection inside the app itself as an additional PIN or face unlock. For example, Dropbox for Android and iOS both offer this, so look out for a similar feature in the apps you use. In Dropbox, find the settings menu inside the app and then choose Configure passcode (Android) or Change passcode (iOS).

    Still a relative innovation, cloud storage has attracted a lot of scrutiny in recent months. Before entrusting sensitive data to third-party storage facilities, consumers want to know that their information will be stored safely and reliably. And is it? The simple answer is yes. Despite scare tactics devised by hackers to undermine consumer perception of the cloud, cloud storage remains one of the safest ways to store your data today. Let's take a look at why.

    If the Cloud is Secure, How was Apple's iCloud Hacked?

    After the well-publicized attack on Apple's iCloud, polls showed an immediate drop in the popularity of cloud storage. Users reported feeling more vulnerable and began questioning the security of their data. But what happened? The headlines said that the cloud had been hacked, that nude pictures had been stolen from the private accounts of 26 celebrities. While the photos were indeed stolen from the victims' accounts, the critical distinction that the popular media never made was that the cloud wasn't hacked. The breach resulted from vulnerabilities in Apple's password security system, enabling persistent hackers to guess the passwords and security questions of select users. The cloud itself was never actually breached.

    How is the Cloud Protected?

    To keep data secure, the front line of defence for any cloud system is encryption. Encryption methods utilise complex algorithms to conceal cloud-protected information. To decipher encrypted files, would-be hackers would need the encryption key. Although encrypted information is not 100% uncrackable, decryption requires a considerable amount of computer processing power, forensic software, and a lot of time. 

    Can it be done? Yes, the only way to keep your data safe for sure is to lock it up in a safe beneath the ground. That being said, your cloud-stored data is generally safer than your locally stored data. Cloud services utilise more complex security methods than the average computer owner can devise, giving your cloud-stored data an added level of protection.

    What Can I Do to Help Keep My Cloud Data Safe?

    Keeping your data secure is your responsibility, as well as your cloud provider's responsibility. As hackers demonstrated through the celebrity iCloud breach, poor password security can give cybercriminals an all-access pass to your private data. 

    To keep your password safe, avoid using the same password over multiple platforms, add letters, numbers, and symbols to your password, and do not utilise a password that is in any way related to your personal life. Any hacker worth his salt will know your address, your husband's name, the type of car you drive, and your favourite restaurant.

    Data security is a significant concern, and although options are currently limited, they exist. The most secure is likely military-grade encryption from providers like Creedon or encrypted Cloud. This allows users to encrypt and store data with their specifications and securely share files with other parties that can view files with a key management system.

    However, the most significant cause of concern for Cloud storage isn't hacked data; it's lost data. Dropbox recently had a glitch in their sync system that left many subscribers with lost files. There was no possible way to retrieve those who only had their files hosted on Dropbox. In this case, redundancy to another cloud platform would have been a good idea.

    Is Cloud Storage Reliable?

    Your data might be safe if the system that it is stored on has failed, but that won't do much to mollify you in the event of a system outage. While cloud storage keeps your data secure from fires, floods, hurricanes, and computer meltdowns, it is still vulnerable in the sense that it is in the hands of a third-party system. Fortunately, since there are no geographical limits to cloud storage, you don't have to use your local Joe schmo's cloud services. Before selecting a cloud storage provider, do your research. Top cloud providers can keep your data safe and consistently accessible. If the company you are working with has a history of data loss and security breaches, then it's time to move on to a new provider.

    Cloud storage is much more reliable when used in tandem with another storage system, such as Google Drive. As stated earlier, the biggest concern with cloud storage is lost data, not hacked data. But that issue is eliminated if the cloud is used more as a "sharing" platform instead of a "storage" platform. 

    By taking shared files and storing them into something like Google Drive, you can ensure that you can quickly locate them through the other platform if your data is lost. Services like cloudHQ offer seamless integration via the cloud and Google Apps, Box, and Dropbox, making it impossible to lose your files.

    Remember to Log Off

    Always log out after you are done working on cloud data. Develop the habit of logging out of all websites, including emails and social media accounts. That way, even if you leave your device unattended (or it gets stolen), your data remains safe. Also, configure your browser to delete all historical data (including passwords) when you close it.

    Don't Trust Public Networks.

    Never access your cloud data on public devices. You can't be sure what kind of malware has been installed on them or what sorts of viruses lie in wait for you. Whenever possible, avoid accessing sensitive information through a public WiFi connection. If you must do it, do so with utmost care; take precautions and keep your access to confidential data to a minimum.

    Go Easy on the Downloads

    Don't install software packages unless you are sure what they do, and it has been proven that the companies that make them have stellar reputations.  Even then, be careful; software previously thought to be safe has later been found to be otherwise.

    Steps to Take in a Business

    Looking into ways you can protect your business' data, we have the following.

    Internal Policies 

    Draft and enforce an IT policy that covers data access, usage, and protection that your staff should strictly adhere to. Your business's security is only as strong as the weakest link - a reckless employee.

    Let them know about the dangers of ignoring policy, so they understand why they have to follow them in the first place. Organise meetings, tutorials to explain why it is essential for everyone to keep their devices secure. Explain how one slip-up could put their jobs and even the business at risk.

    Locked Devices

    No one should be granted access to any soft- or hardware without the proper authority. Company devices should be administratively locked so only authorised applications run on them. Only tech support should have complete administrative control over software installation and device maintenance.

    Strict Role Assignments

    Audit roles regularly in removing privileges and accesses that are no longer required. Account privileges can be delegated to HR, who can authorise new accounts, upgrades/downgrades as an employee moves around the company, and delete accounts when they leave.

    Steps to take in the cloud

    Finally, let's look at steps you can take directly in the cloud.

    Backups

    Making sure you have a well-tested backup plan in place guarantees a quick recovery in case of an attack. So, opt for a hosting package that includes regular backups.

    Monitor Upgrades

    Keeping an eye on your cloud hosting provider's upgrade schedules ensures no exploits exist for hackers to take advantage of. Regular meetings should give you an idea of how often they patch their applications and software.

    Protect Your Data

    Have the latest versions of the best antivirus, anti-malware, and network security technology in place. Always go for a company that takes its server and network security seriously.

    Do a cost-analysis to see if encrypting your data will be worth the latency it might cause due to encryption/decryption times. While you might think this slight delay is insignificant, it isn't. Every second a page takes to load, for example, affects your SEO ranking and UX (user experience).

    Also, whenever you need to transfer sensitive data using one of our best VPN picks will thwart eavesdroppers and data hijackers. However, make sure the VPN software itself isn't stealing data from you.

    If you have any doubts about your data hosts' security setup, keep your confidential data off their servers. You can instead create a secure data environment locally where you will be able to keep a closer eye on it. This, though, will mean you need to invest in servers and their maintenance.

    Take Care with Overseas Servers

    Make sure you read the small print about who owns your data - and under what conditions - to avoid costly litigation battles with your cloud storage provider. This is especially true in cases where they store your information on overseas servers. Should a falling out occur between you and your storage providers, it could quickly turn into a legal nightmare as you try to recover your data from them.

    Finally, remember that the struggle to keep the bad guys at bay is an ongoing one, with the baddies staying one step ahead of the people trying to stop them. But, with the tips we have seen above, you will ensure that you keep your data safe.

    Top 40 Cloud Computing Interview Questions & Answers

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    Top 40 Cloud Computing Interview Questions & Answers

    Table of Contents
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      What are the advantages of using cloud computing?

      The advantages of using cloud computing are

        • Data backup and storage of data

       

        • Powerful server capabilities

       

        • SaaS ( Software as a service)

       

        • Information technology sandboxing capabilities

       

        • Increase in productivity

       

        • Cost-effective & Time saving

       

       

      Mention platforms that are used for large scale cloud computing?

      The platforms that are used for large scale cloud computing are

       

       

       

      Explain different models for deployment in cloud computing?

      The different deployment models in cloud computing are

        • Private Cloud

       

        • Public Cloud

       

        • Community Cloud

       

        • Hybrid Cloud

       

       

      What is the difference between cloud computing and computing for mobiles?

      Mobile computing uses the same concept as cloud computing. Cloud computing becomes active with the data with the help of the internet rather than the individual device. It provides users with the data which they have to retrieve on demand. In mobile, the applications run on the remote server and access storage and management.

      How a user can gain from utility computing?

      Utility computing allows the user to pay only for what they are using. It is a plug-in managed by an organization that decides what type of services must be deployed from the cloud.

      Most organizations prefer a hybrid strategy.

      For transport in the cloud, how you can secure your data?

      To secure your data while transporting them from one place to another, check that there is no leak with the encryption key implemented with the information you are sending.

      What are the security aspects provided with the cloud?

       

        • Identity management: It authorizes the application services

       

        • Access control: permission has to be provided to the users to control the access of another user who is entering into the cloud environment.

       

        • Authentication and Authorization: Allows only the authorized and authenticated user only to access the data and applications

       

       

      List out different layers which define cloud architecture?

      The different layers used by cloud architecture are

        • CLC or Cloud Controller

       

        • Walrus

       

        • Cluster Controller

       

        • SC or Storage Controller

       

        • NC or Node Controller

       

       

      What are system integrators in Cloud Computing?

      In Cloud Computing, systems integrator provides the complicated process strategy to design a cloud platform. Integrator allows creating more accurate hybrid and private cloud network, as integrators know the data centre creation.

      What is "EUCALYPTUS" stands for?

      "EUCALYPTUS" stands for Elastic Utility Computing Architecture For Linking Your Programs To Useful Systems."

      Explain what the use of "EUCALYPTUS" in cloud computing is?

      "Eucalyptus" is an open-source software infrastructure in cloud computing, which is used to implement clusters in the cloud computing platform. It is used to build public, hybrid and private clouds. It can produce your own data centre into a private cloud and allows you to utilise its functionality to many other organizations.

      What is the requirement of a virtualization platform in implementing the cloud?

      A virtualization platform in implementing cloud requires to

        • Manage the service level policies

       

        • Cloud Operating System

       

        • Virtualization platforms help to keep the backend level and user level concepts different from each other

       

       

      Before going for a cloud computing platform, what are the essential things to be considered by users?

       

        • Compliance

       

        • Loss of data

       

        • Data storage

       

        • Business continuity

       

        • Uptime

       

        • Data integrity in cloud computing

       

       

      Mention some open source cloud computing platform databases?

      The open-source cloud computing platform databases are

       

       

       

       

      What are the security laws which are implemented to secure data in a cloud?

      The security laws which are implemented to secure data in the cloud are

        • Processing: Control the data that is being processed correctly and entirely in an application

       

        • File: It manages and controls the information being manipulated in any of the files

       

        • Output reconciliation: It controls the data which has to be reconciled from input to output

       

        • Input Validation: Control the input data

       

        • Security and Backup: It provides protection and backup it also controls the security breaches logs

       

       

      Mention the name of some large cloud providers and databases?

       

       

       

       

      Explain the difference between cloud and traditional datacenters?

       

        • The cost of the traditional data centre is higher due to heating and hardware/software issues.

       

        • Cloud gets scaled when the demand increases. The majority of the expenses are spent on maintaining the data centres, while that is not the case with cloud computing.

       

       

      Explain what are the different modes of software as a service (SaaS)?

       

        • Simple multi-tenancy:  In this, each user has independent resources and are different from other users, it is an efficient mode.

       

        • Fine-grain multi-tenancy: In this type, the resources can be shared by many, but the functionality remains the same.

       

       

      What is the use of API's in cloud services?

      API's ( Application Programming Interface) is instrumental in cloud platforms

        • It eliminates the need to write the fully-fledged programs

       

        • It provides the instructions to make communication between one or more applications

       

        • It allows easy creation of applications and links the cloud services with other systems

       

       

      What are the different data centres deployed for cloud computing?

      Cloud computing consists of different datacenters like

        • Containerized Datacenters

       

        • Low-Density Datacenters

       

       

      In cloud computing, what are the different layers?

      The different layers of cloud computing are:

        • SaaS: Software as a Service (SaaS), it provides users access directly to the cloud application without installing anything on the system.

       

       

        • PaaS: Platform as a service, it provides a cloud application platform for the developers

       

       

      How important is the platform as a service?

      Platform as a service or PAAS is an essential layer in cloud computing. It provides an application platform for providers. It is responsible for providing complete virtualization of the infrastructure layer and makes it work like a single server.

      What is a cloud service?

      Cloud service is used to build cloud applications using the server in a network through the internet. It provides the facility of using the cloud application without installing it on the computer. It also reduces the maintenance and support of the application, which are developed using cloud service.

      List down the three basic clouds in cloud computing?

       

        • Professional cloud

       

        • Personal cloud

       

        • Performance cloud

       

       

      Infrastructure as a service, what are the resources that are provided by it?

      IAAS ( Infrastructure As A Service) provides virtual and physical resources to build a cloud. It deals with the complexities of deploying and maintaining of the services provided by this layer. Here the infrastructure is the servers, storage and other hardware systems.

      What are the business benefits involved in cloud architecture?

      The benefits involved in cloud architecture is

        • Zero infrastructure investment

       

        • Just in time infrastructure

       

        • More efficient resource utilization

       

       

      What are the characteristics of cloud architecture that separates it from the traditional one?

      The characteristics that make cloud architecture above traditional architecture is

        • According to the demand, cloud architecture provides the hardware requirement

       

        • Cloud architecture is capable of scaling the resource on demand

       

        • Cloud architecture is capable of managing and handling dynamic workloads without failure

       

       

      Mention what the difference between elasticity and scalability in cloud computing is?

      Scalability is a characteristic of cloud computing through which increasing workload can be handled by increasing in proportion the amount of resource capacity. Whereas elasticity is one of the characteristics that highlight the concept of commissioning and decommissioning a large amount of resource capacity.

      Mention the services that the Window Azure Operating System provides?

      Window Azure provides three core services which are given as

        • Compute

       

        • Storage

       

        • Management

       

       

      In cloud architecture, what are the different components that are required?

       

        • Cloud Ingress

       

        • Processor Speed

       

        • Cloud storage services

       

        • Cloud provided services

       

        • Intra-cloud communications

       

       

      In cloud architecture, what are the different phases involved?

       

        • Launch Phase

       

        • Monitor Phase

       

        • Shutdown Phase

       

        • Cleanup Phase

       

       

      List down the essential characteristics of cloud computing?

       

        • Elasticity and Scalability

       

        • Self-service provisioning and automatic de-provisioning

       

        • Standardized interfaces

       

        • Billing self-service based usage model

       

       

      In cloud architecture, what are the building blocks?

       

        • Reference architecture

       

        • Technical architecture

       

        • Deployment operation architecture

       

       

      Mention in what ways cloud architecture provides automation and performance transparency?

      To provide performance transparency and automation, there are many tools used by cloud architecture. It allows managing the cloud architecture and monitor reports. It also allows them to share the application using cloud architecture. Automation is the critical component of cloud architecture which helps to improve the degree of quality.

      In cloud computing, explain the role of performance cloud?

      Performance cloud is useful in transferring the maximum amount of data instantly. It is used by professionals who work on high-performance computing research.

      Explain hybrid and community cloud?

      Hybrid cloud: It consists of multiple service providers. It is a combination of public and private cloud features. It is used by the company when they require both private and public clouds.

      Community Cloud:  This model is quite expensive and is used when the organizations have common goals and requirements and are ready to share the cloud service's benefits.

      In the cloud, what are the optimizing strategies?

      To overcome the maintenance cost and optimize the resources, there is a concept of three data centres in the cloud that provides recovery and backup in case of disaster or system failure and keeps all the data safe and intact.

      What is Amazon SQS?

      To communicate between different connectors, Amazon SQS message is used, between various components of AMAZON, it acts as a communicator.

      How buffer is used for Amazon web services?

      To make the system more efficient against the burst of traffic or load, the buffer is used. It synchronizes different component. The component always receives and processes the request in an unbalanced way. The balance between various components is managed by the buffer and makes them work faster to provide faster services.

      Mention what Hypervisor is in cloud computing and their types?

      The hypervisor is a Virtual Machine Monitor which manages resources for virtual machines. There are mainly two types of hypervisors.

      Type 1: The guest Vm runs directly over the host hardware, e.g. Xen, VmWare ESXI

      Type 2: The guest Vm runs over hardware through a host OS, e.g. Kvm, oracle virtualbox

      Advantages and Disadvantages Of Cloud Computing

       

       

      What is Cloud Computing?

      Cloud computing is a term referred to storing and accessing data over the internet. It doesn't store any data on the hard disk of your personal computer. In cloud computing, you can access data from a remote server.

      Now, we will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of Cloud Computing.

      Advantages of Cloud Computing

      Here, we will learn what are the benefits of Cloud Computing in your organization:

      Cost Savings

      Cost-saving is one of the most significant Cloud Computing benefits. It helps you to save substantial capital cost as it does not need any physical hardware investments. Also, you do not require trained personnel to maintain the hardware. The cloud service provider does the buying and managing of equipment.

      Strategic edge

      Cloud computing offers a competitive edge over your competitors. It is one of the best advantages of Cloud services that it helps you to access the latest applications any time without spending your time and money on installations.

      High Speed

      Cloud computing allows you to deploy your service quickly in fewer clicks. This faster deployment allows you to get the resources required for your system within fewer minutes.

      Backup and restore data.

      Once the data is stored in a Cloud, it is easier to get the backup and recovery of that, which is otherwise a very Time taking process on-premise.

      Automatic Software Integration

      In the cloud, software integration is something that occurs automatically. Therefore, you don't need to take additional efforts to customize and integrate your applications as per your preferences.

      Reliability

      Reliability is one of the most significant benefits of Cloud hosting. You can always get instantly updated about the changes.

      Mobility

      Employees who are working on the premises or at remote locations can easily access all the could services. All they need is Internet connectivity.

      Unlimited storage capacity

      The cloud offers almost limitless storage capacity. At any time, you can quickly expand your storage capacity with very nominal monthly fees.

      Collaboration

      The cloud computing platform helps employees who are located in different geographies to collaborate in a highly convenient and secure manner.

      Quick Deployment

      Last but not least, cloud computing gives you the advantage of rapid deployment. So, when you decide to use the cloud, your entire system can be fully functional in very few minutes. Although the amount of Time taken depends on what kind of technologies are used in your business.

      Other Important Benefits of Cloud Computing

      Apart from the above, some other Cloud Computing advantages are:

        • On-Demand Self-service

       

        • Multi-tenancy

       

        • Offers Resilient Computing

       

        • Fast and effective virtualization

       

        • Provide you low-cost software

       

        • Offers advanced online security

       

        • Location and Device Independence

       

        • Always available and scales automatically to adjust to the increase in demand

       

        • Allows pay-per-use

       

        • Web-based control & interfaces

       

        • API Access available.

       

       

      Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

      Here are significant challenges of using Cloud Computing:

      Performance Can Vary

      When you are working in a cloud environment, your application is running on the server, which simultaneously provides resources to other businesses. Any greedy behaviour or DDOS attack on your tenant could affect the performance of your shared resource.

      Technical Issues

      Cloud technology is always prone to outage and other technical issues. Even the best cloud service provider companies may face this type of trouble despite maintaining high maintenance standards.

      Security Threat in the Cloud

      Another drawback, while working with cloud computing services, is a security risk. Before adopting cloud technology, you should be well aware that you will be sharing all your company's sensitive information with a third-party cloud computing service provider. Hackers might access this information.

      Downtime

      Downtime should also be considered while working with cloud computing. That's because your cloud provider may face power loss, low internet connectivity, service maintenance, etc.

      Internet Connectivity

      Good Internet connectivity is a must in cloud computing. You can't access the cloud without an internet connection. Moreover, you don't have any other way to gather data from the cloud.

      Lower Bandwidth

      Many cloud storage service providers limit the bandwidth usage of their users. So, in case if your organization surpasses the given allowance, the additional charges could be significantly costly.

      Lacks of Support

      Cloud Computing companies fail to provide proper support to the customers. Moreover, they want their user to depend on FAQs or online help, which can be tedious for non-technical persons.

      Conclusion:

      Despite all the Cloud Computing advantages and disadvantages, we can't deny that Cloud Computing is the fastest-growing part of network-based computing. It offers a great gift to customers of all sizes: simple users, developers, enterprises and all types of organizations. So, this technology here to stay for a long time.

       

      How Hard is Cloud Computing

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      A new study confirms what most of us have said for years: cloud computing has a high degree of difficulty. However, worthwhile endeavours are rarely easy.

      Unexpected cloud complexity has put so much stress on the newly formed clouds groups that they have risked outages and breaches. This issue has not yet been discussed, but I believe it to be the reality, based on information from this report and the fact that 2019 had flatter than expected cloud growth. Growth will continue to flatten out until the complexity issue is resolved.

      Second, the myths around lift and shift have led many enterprises to move applications to public clouds on this speedy and least-cost path. Then they realise the applications must be refactored to be optimised and take full advantage of the public cloud host. They end up migrating twice.

      Third, a lack of cloud talent restricts growth. A majority of senior executives (63 per cent) say a talent shortage is one of their organisation's primary concerns. This according to Gartner's Emerging Risks Survey for 2019.

      The answer to all of these problems is to return to pragmatic, fundamental leveraging of cloud technology-or any technology, for that matter. This means understanding that successful cloud computing requires realistic expectations and solid planning, including picking standard services such as security and governance.

      Cloud technology providers need to offer their clients more assistance to understand the practical use of cloud computing technology. The overpromising comes from way too much marketing hype that touts easy migrations to the public cloud when very few easy migrations exist.

      Don't lose sight of the fact that, for most enterprises, moving to the public cloud is a worthwhile journey with both short- and long-term benefits. However, you need to understand the realities.

      It is hard to begin when you can't find the starting point

      If you are in the IT industry but not a coder, the chances are that you might find it difficult to locate which certification to do. This holds for most of the technologies, leave alone Cloud computing. Training courses and certifications more often than not require knowledge of a coding language.

      Talking of career opportunities, Cloud Computing offers various career opportunities that serve different purposes in different forms. If we are to take a look at numbers that Cloud Computing attracts, then it is one of those skills that is the second most popular in terms of hard skills that companies are looking for in 2021

      What Coders Can Do with Cloud Computing?

      With all that we have discussed so far, we are sure you must have guessed Cloud Computing is a blessing for developers. As a developer, individuals can build, host, and manage applications on Cloud platforms easily. Thus, making it easy for them to create an application on the Cloud. With various services offered by Cloud Service vendors, users can migrate their existing code to the cloud or even set up an environment to write code within minutes.

      Platforms like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure make it easy to implement many end-to-end DevOps practices on Cloud with numerous services they offer. It becomes insanely easy to build an application on a cloud that supports deployment and production management with automation.

      If you know API, then your transition into the computing world becomes more accessible. This helps communicate with third-party tools and applications on offer. These platforms support popular programming and scripting knowledge so that you can feel at home on these cloud platforms. Platforms like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure have specialty certifications or role-based certifications that certify you as a developer or a DevOps engineer. Is Cloud for coders? Definitely, as a coder, you will enjoy your work in Cloud Computing.

      What Non-Coders can do with Cloud Computing?

      So can non-coders have a career in Cloud? They can. But, it is not as easy as it would be for a developer or administrator. So to start with, we have already listed the benefits of knowing to code for cloud computing. So it is clear that having coding skills is always a plus for Cloud Computing.

      However, it is important to address why we are using Cloud Computing. As mentioned, platforms such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform offer numerous services, many of which do not require you to code. So knowingly or unknowingly, we are already using Cloud.

      Even if we look at prerequisites, it clearly states that it is good to have these skills but not mandatory. That means people wanting to make a career here can either have these or not. Let us understand this from a choice perspective.

      Let us assume that you do not know to code but want to learn. In that case, it is good to have knowledge on following the points or develop skills in the following areas:

        • Basic Bash Fundamentals
        • Learn a programming language

      Two to three months' investment of time is good enough for you to get started. This will give you more control over API usage, and you can advance into cloud computing very smoothly.

      Choose the proper cloud computing certification.

      If you're wondering how to start a career in cloud computing, start by knowing what you want to accomplish and what you're interested in. There are multiple providers out there you could get certified with, but here are the top three public cloud providers.

      Amazon Web Services (AWS) 

        • AWS cloud careers are plentiful. Like nearly all areas of cloud expertise, the demand for cloud skills outpaces the supply. (Which is suitable for those getting into entry-level cloud computing jobs.)
        • AWS certifications are some of the highest-paying certifications in tech, and they typically appear the most in job board search results for cloud careers. 
        • Which AWS certification is proper for you? There are four levels of certifications and specialties, all with different scopes and prerequisites. Do your homework to know what is expected for each one, and determine which one is the best fit. 

      Microsoft Azure 

        • Why should you get an Azure certification? AWS may be the public cloud frontrunner, but the gap is closing. Over the past couple of years, Azure adoption has been increasing in enterprises while AWS adoption remained relatively flat. Businesses continue to adopt Azure as Microsoft pushes hard into the enterprise space. 
        • Also, Azure has historically been the preferred choice for hybrid deployments and integrates easily with the Microsoft solutions businesses have been using since the days before the code clouded.
        • Top-paying Azure certifications include the Azure Solutions Architect Expert and the Azure Administrator Associate. There are more than a dozen Microsoft Azure certifications to choose from, and the Azure Fundamentals certification is the starting point for most.

       

      Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

        • If you're looking to start a career in cloud computing, it can be tempting to go with AWS as it's the closest thing to a household name out there in cloudland. But focusing on other cloud providers (and specialising) can mean great things for your career. 
        • Case in point: the Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect certification. For 2019 and 2020, it was the highest-paying IT certification out there. Money isn't everything and probably shouldn't be your sole motivating factor if deciding to pursue a Google Cloud career. Still, with an average salary of around USD 175,000, it's hard not to take notice.
        • Which Google Cloud certification is best for you? GCP certs range from foundational level basics for beginners to role-based certs that tie to some of the most in-demand jobs in the cloud.

      Which certification route you pick, don't worry about being locked into a single path. Multi-cloud skills are in high demand, so you can easily hop around between cloud providers and make yourself even more desirable to potential employers in the process. And there are plenty of tools and skills that work across clouds that are worth investing time in, like DevOps skills and Kubernetes.

      For building the skills to get certified, make sure you choose a training program that provides hands-on cloud experience so you can put what you learn into action and keep developing your skills while you're looking for a job.

      Build your cloud portfolio

      Create a portfolio using projects from your training experience. Make sure your work is consistent from one project to the next as this is a characteristic employer USD 175,000 want. Redact any confidential information if you use a previous employer or internship project and show your work. How you got there is just as important as a result. Your certification proves you know - your online portfolio proves you can put it to use. Be sure and bring a digital and physical copy of your portfolio to your interview.

      Have reputable references

      Compile a list of former or current supervisors, mentors, and colleagues who can vouch for your knowledge, character, work ethic, and drive. Strong references coupled with a cloud certification and a strong portfolio can beat candidates with more experience.

      (Temporarily) work for free

      You may be able to find non-profit organisations looking for extra help. Performing free work for their IT team allows you to build your portfolio, gain references, and gain hands-on experience in a professional setting. It also shows prospective employers that you take the initiative and care about your community.

      Network

      AWS Serverless Hero Forrest Brazeal has helped many people find their first job in the cloud - enough to know that résumé roulette is a losing game … even if you get hired! Networking is key. Networking is a four-letter word to some. While you may prefer computer networks, your professional network can be more effective in landing you a job.

      Many engineers tend to bristle at this idea that they might have to go out and meet people and make connections to get the job they want in the career direction they want. A lot of us tend to think, 'My skills should speak for themselves. I should be able to go and get a job just by passing a coding test and demonstrating that I can do the job - I shouldn't have to go and meet people and gladhand. What a lot of people miss is that connections go two ways.

      Making human connections is an excellent way to get a sense of what potential jobs might be like, so you're not throwing your hat in the ring for a gig that you're going to end up being miserable at.

      You'll also want to start reaching out to people you know. Let them know you're interested in career opportunities in the cloud and are pursuing training. They can help you find the best training programs, introduce you to other contacts who can help you in your job search, act as references, and help you find projects to expand your portfolio.

      If you don't have a deep network or many contacts in the cloud computing field, proactively find people in your desired area and ask for advice or a meeting (see the video above for more on this). Build those relationships with a focus on your mutual interest in cloud computing. If you can prove your value to those contacts, they will help you land a job.

      Be curious enough to play in the cloud.

      Cloud technology changes so often a person's skill set needs to change with it. Curiosity is an essential trait for cloud engineers and can be a more significant asset than experience because it means you'll take the initiative to grow your skills.

      Earning your cloud certification already shows initiative and curiosity. Let curiosity lead you into hands-on experience playing with cloud applications and services.

      There are plenty of opportunities to do this for free or with minimal cost. The more hands-on experience you have, even if it's just playing around, the more you'll be able to discuss the elements of cloud applications and services. Highlight your curious nature in your interview, and discuss how it led you to gain cloud experience.

      Show determination

      Don't give up if you get rejected a few times or fail to land interviews. Commit to your goal and let those rejections drive you to work harder.

      As you wait for the right opportunity, stay on top of the latest cloud trends as they are ever-evolving, and keep your skills sharp with cloud labs and exercises. The more you immerse yourself in the cloud community and practice using cloud technologies, the closer you'll be to landing your ideal job.

      Earning a certification proves you know about cloud computing. Even if it does not work experience, your hands-on experience shows you can put it into action. The best cloud engineering jobs are always tough to land, and you will face stiff competition. Earning certifications can give you a competitive advantage, and taking the proper steps to ensure you put your knowledge into practice will advance your career. While accreditation doesn't guarantee you'll land your dream job, it will get you closer to it than you are right now.

      How can you jump-start your cloud career? 

       

      Why should you start a career in the cloud?

      Cloud skills are in high demand, to a point where some analysts have said a career in the cloud may be almost futureproofed. The future may not be sure, but the path to the present tells a convincing story: cloud computing has been one of and often the single most in-demand hard skills for six years running.

      What are the most in-demand skills for cloud computing?

      Cloud skills are in high demand across the board, but you can look at some top-paying certifications in IT to get a good sense of what employers are (literally) valuing the most.

      How to get your cloud certification?

      Study! And get hands-on with cloud technology. Learning by doing is key to understanding the cloud. Most cloud providers make it easy to get started with free accounts to play around with. Or, if you're using a skills development platform like A Cloud Guru, Hands-on Labs, and Cloud Playground, make it easy to learn by doing without any fears of breaking anything or racking up a colossal cloud bill. When you're ready to get certified, you can now take your exam online or in person, making getting approved on your time more accessible than ever.

      While cloud computing can reduce the cost and complexity of computational provisioning capabilities, it also can be used to build new shared service centres operating with greater effectiveness "at the edge" of the business where there's money to be made. Front office requirements focus on people, expertise, and collaboration in any-to-any combinations.

      There will be many ways the cloud will change businesses and the economy, most of them hard to predict, but one theme is already emerging. Companies are becoming more like the technology itself: more adaptable, more interwoven, and more specialisedin pursuing. These developments may not be new, but the advent of cloud computing will speed them up.

      How do I choose a Managed Service Provider?

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        A Managed Services Provider (MPS) is an organisation that manages technology products and services for other businesses; the potential source of a great deal of frustration or peace of mind, depending on the vendor you choose.

        Managed Service Providers have an economy of scale on their side, allowing them to charge less for essential IT services while offering a wide range of expertise. Of course, that's assuming that you've hired a good one. The wrong Managed Service Provider can result in poor communication, network downtime, lack of follow-through and general mistrust all around. And with your technology on the line, a brush with a bad vendor can cost you.

        It feels like the term 'managed service provider' (Managed Service Provider) has been around since the beginning of computer technology. In a nutshell, a managed service provider is a company which can be outsourced to manage some part or all of an organisation's IT platform.

        Before Managed Service Providers became the norm, companies predominantly worked around a break-fix model of outsourcing when an issue couldn't be handled in-house; however, over time, the market demanded more proactive solutions. Managed Service Providers filled this gap by offering services around monitoring equipment and identifying future issues.

        Like practically everything that relates to technology, Managed Service Providers have had to function in a state of flux, meaning that they have had to evolve through the years to avoid irrelevance.

        The advent of cloud computing, for example, has added a great deal of complexity and challenges to the mix as Managed Service Providers now need to find ways to maintain complex hybrid environments. This has also given them great opportunities to grow cloud-based offerings, like cloud-based backup and disaster recovery.

        With so many different types of providers offering such a wide range of services, making a decision can be challenging. 

         

        What is Managed IT?

        A managed IT service is an information technology (IT) task provided by a third-party contractor and delivered to a customer.

        In a managed service arrangement, the managed service provider retains responsibility for the functionality of the IT service and equipment, and the customer typically pays a monthly fee for receipt of the service. There are many different types of managed IT service offerings. Still, the idea behind all of them is to transfer the burden of maintaining IT from the customer to a service provider. In an effective managed services relationship, a customer benefits from predictable pricing and the ability to focus on core business concerns rather than IT management chores.

        Managed IT services allow businesses to delegate their IT operations to an expert third-party organisation that specialises in handling these responsibilities. These third-party organisations, known as Managed Service Providers (Managed Service Providers), are responsible for the entirety or portions of a business' IT systems, as agreed upon in a Service Level Agreement (SLA). The client typically procures IT equipment and depending on the SLA, Managed Service Providers may provide round-the-clock monitoring, issue resolution and reporting, and more.

        According to the SLA, managed service providers charge a flat fee for delivery of their services over a set time. The SLA defines precisely what services will be furnished and the degree they will be offered, as well as metrics for measuring the success of these services.

        Cloud computing has allowed managed IT services to expand beyond the regions and borders that would constrain the average break/fix IT through the adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS) technologies, as well as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service(PaaS) also. These capabilities allow managed IT services to scale at a rate dramatically larger and faster than in-house IT operation or break/fix providers.

        It is now a common trend in the enterprise world to undergo a digital transformation doctrine, whereby old and onsite hardware and infrastructure get replaced with digital systems and services. 

        But moving from old to new systems and IT operations can be a daunting task. There are numerous advantages but to get the most out of digital transformation, IT leaders and teams need to have a very careful and considered approach, which can be time-consuming and require a lot of ongoing work post-transformation. 

        This is why managed services have ballooned in popularity, with some two-thirds of businesses now partnered with at least one managed service provider. Such external firms can work with the client enterprise to ensure their new digital services and infrastructure are running smoothly and effectively for their business operations. 

        The overall idea is that a managed service provider takes care of all the maintenance and day-to-day running of such systems and services. This will free up time for an in-house IT team to explore new ways in which technology can benefit a company's daily operations and potentially boost its bottom line. 

        It aligns the outcomes of the organisation. An IT company is incentivised to do an excellent job; they want to minimise problems for your organisation because they have KPIs directly linked to the efficiency of your IT.

        IT experts give you peace of mind

        You're not an IT expert. Managed service providers take care of your IT, so you can focus on running your business.

        Proactive support

        Managed services offer proactive support. So instead of your IT firm always fixing problems, they will actually try to identify issues before they happen, keeping your systems up and your problems down.

        Strategic IT planning

        What IT systems do you need in 12 or 24 months? Managed services help you think ahead and give you advice on what you need to be planning from an IT department. This links to proactive support and ensures that your IT infrastructure and software is upgraded and updated to minimise risks such as downtime, viruses and crashes.

        Complete outsourced IT

        Managed services give you access to a complete IT department. You don't just get day-to-day IT support; you also get an IT manager and a virtual CIO so you can think strategically about how IT fits into your organisation.

        Why do we need managed services?

        Computer networks are more powerful, efficient, but more complicated than ever. Every small business has multiple computers, mobile devices, and critical business applications running on cloud services. While computers provide a platform for intelligent business operations, it also creates access points for hackers to try and to get into your network. Information security should be a primary concern. A business computing network requires full-time attention, but can your organisation afford an IT manager, let alone an IT team?

        Fortunately, there's a more cost-effective approach. A managed service provider can handle all aspects of your network maintenance for a fixed monthly rate. With a Managed Service Provider, you get the reliability and security which a full-time IT staff provides at a fraction of the cost.

        Both small, medium and large businesses are becoming acutely aware of the reasons to choose the managed-services business model, and the demand is strong. Here's an outline of some of the reasons why your business should choose IT managed-services.

        Why is technical expertise important in choosing a managed service provider?

        As the person responsible for IT, your job is to take a strategic view of your IT environment and map technology investments to business goals. Managed Service Providers can be invaluable at helping you succeed in this role. On the one hand, they take the hassle of managing basic infrastructure off your plate. On the other hand, a leading Managed Service Provider will have technical specialists on staff who can act as part of your team when you need advanced or specialised knowledge that your staff doesn't possess. Collaborating with a Managed Service Provider is a way to both efficiently and cost-effectively augment your team's skills with deep expertise in security, networking, or communications, without increasing payroll.

        Expanding on bringing Managed Service Providers into staff meetings, IT companies need to make sure they are getting the most out of their services.

        If you look around at the market, the expertise offered by Managed Service Providers has expanded dramatically through the years, such as data analytics, business intelligence (BI) and advanced application monitoring.

        The right managed services provider will sit down with you and assist in your technology planning for the future. Look for their advice and expertise to assist you with yearly planning and look for ways for you to save money and improve efficiency on technology that will help your company grow to the next level. Make sure your managed services provider is forward-thinking and looks out for your interests.

        Industry Relevant Managed IT Service Provider

        Most IT professionals will be excited to face a new challenge, but it is best for your business if your managed service provider has real experience working in your industry. If you run a restaurant, then an IT expert with foodservice industry experience will be able to serve you much better than one who has primarily worked with accounting firms. Industry experience ensures your managed service provider will be able to foresee potential problems and also anticipate your operational needs.

        OK, so they're offering some great sounding solutions, but what level of expertise do they have with these applications and partners? Are they an Amazon Web Services certified partner for instance, and what other certifications and qualifications can they show you?

        When trying to gauge these criteria, take a look at the personnel working at the Managed Service Provider. After looking at the expertise and experience of each employee, partner, and founder - gauge the company holistically, to measure what their weaknesses and strengths are.

        Don't be afraid to ask questions to gain further insight into this important factor to consider. A Managed Service Provider is only as good as the people who are working in it.

        The most advanced technology

        The reason that Managed Service Providers can offer you such sophisticated services at such competitive rates is that they've leveraged their investment in advanced technologies-and in training for their staff-over a large number of customers. By taking advantage of this shared model, you get the latest technology and most sophisticated IT talent available without having to make those investments yourself. And when it's time for an upgrade, you no longer bear the expense and the pain-all of that is handled behind the scenes by your Managed Service Provider.

        How flexible should be a managed service provider?

        The Managed Service Provider should understand your unique service needs rather than just offering cookie-cutter solutions. You should have your choice of data plans, telephony options, and business applications, as well as flexibility as to deciding on what hardware is installed in your office. And, as your requirements change, the Managed Service Provider can scale either up or down as needed.

        Make sure that you have options to choose among private, public and hybrid cloud solutions for data, voice, infrastructure and applications. And you should be able to choose the level of service you want from your Managed Service Provider: whether consultation-only services for planning purposes, management of existing onsite equipment you own, or fully hosted solutions that supplement or replace existing systems' assets.

        Involve Your Managed IT Service Provider in Staff Meetings

        Just because a managed service provider is outsourced, it does not mean they should act like they are. In this day and age, it is common for Managed Service Providers to sit in on staff meetings, not only to keep in line with the strategy but to contribute and share experiences. Given the apparent benefits, CTOs mustn't be afraid to push the dynamic of the relationship in their favour.

        Despite the technicality of being separate organisations, if something needs to get done working as a team is the best way to do it. After all, if you're using Managed Service Providers to deliver things that are mission-critical to your enterprise and it goes down, it's still your job at risk.

        Business needs to change quickly, and technology changes even quicker. You need a Managed Service Provider that has the flexibility to take on additional projects and services as needed, as well as the ability to guide you as you consider new technologies.

        While you probably do not want your company to be the guinea pig that discovers all of the bugs in the latest technology, you also do not want to fall behind. Offering the latest services and adopting new technology early on will ultimately give your business an edge over its competition. A managed service provider who stays on top of the latest innovations and offers the most advanced options in IT will ensure your company remains contemporary, functional, and relevant.

        What should be the infrastructure services of a Managed Service Provider?

        Your Managed Service Provider should provide more than essential infrastructure services. It should offer you the option of subscribing to business services that run on top of the network-services such as collaboration tools, email, and remote data backup. After all, these services are just as essential to running your business as infrastructure components-and can be easily managed remotely at a cost that is probably lower than if you tried to do it all yourself.

        Proactive stance

        Your Managed Service Provider should make infrastructure management invisible to your users. Rather than reacting to them complaining when something breaks, a top-line Managed Service Provider will automate IT management as much as possible to avoid problems from occurring in the first place. For example, your Managed Service Provider should detect bottlenecks in your network long before users report slow system response times. And if an issue does occur, your Managed Service Provider should have an automated response to resolve it as quickly as possible. Also, your Managed Service Provider should make you aware of any issues that arise before they impact your users.

        At a busy, growing company, often the temptation is only to fix technology when it is not working. A managed services partner will make sure you are proactively running the updates you need now to avoid problems later.

        Third-party Vendor Partnerships

        An advantage of using a managed services provider is that they can handle technology vendors for you, saving you the time of tracking down multiple vendors for service and support. When evaluating a provider, look at who they partner with and make sure they have expertise on the tools you use.

        Visibility

        You should have complete visibility into your IT environment through a web-based customer portal that provides a centralised management dashboard. You should know at a glance what has been done to your IT infrastructure, as well as what is currently being worked on, and what still needs to be accomplished. Additionally, you should also be able to both view your IT environment from a high level and drill down into individual components to see how they are functioning. Not incidentally, you should also be able to run reports on your IT infrastructure to help you with long-term IT planning.

        How should a Managed Service Provider respond?

        The Managed Service Provider should support and proactively monitor its data, voice, and security services on a 24/7/365 basis. Although this should primarily be done remotely-meaning you won't have to wait for a technician to come to your office should something go wrong-the Managed Service Provider should also offer prompt onsite servicing for those things that can't be diagnosed and fixed from a distance.

        In the midst of an IT emergency, you don't want to be wondering if your vendor's help desk will really have your back. 

        Find out how IT support is managed

        Are support team members outsourced? Is support online 24/7? How do you get in touch when you need something? Answering these questions will give you a true sense of the Managed Service Provider's disaster response abilities.

        You don't work 24 hours a day, but your computer network needs to, and so does your IT provider. When choosing any managed services offering, you must make sure your provider is available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Your business depends on it.

        A managed service provider should be able to give you an upfront estimate of response times in any given situation. This will provide you with a good idea of the time it will take to fix problems which arise in the future.

        Many times technical support issues are what drive businesses to a new Managed Service Provider in the first place. The headaches of downtime, coupled with security threats and slow response from existing support, make outsourcing the IT department and gaining cloud computing capabilities very alluring. Thus, businesses are laboriously searching around seeking the right provider for them.

        Do Your Research

        Check out the Managed Service Provider's technical support promises and options within their services. For example, do they offer a guaranteed response time for service requests? Do they rank customer satisfaction through continuous surveys? How do they cover after-hours support? Are they available to handle emergency requests 24/7/365?

        Then check out what past clients say about them, concerning their technical support abilities. Ask them direct questions about how they plan to provide technical support and the price structure around it. This should give you a good picture of what sort of Managed Service Provider you're choosing.

        Why is it important for a Managed Service Provider to have financial stability?

        As with any vendor, you should check out the financial strength of the Managed Service Provider. The last thing you want is to have to go through the selection and provisioning process all over again. Choose a Managed Service Provider that's going to be around for the long term.

        You want to select a managed service provider who will be around as long as your company (hopefully forever). You can verify a provider's history by searching for press releases, asking for financial statements, or checking with references.

        Why do I need to consider business-class service level agreements (SLAs) in choosing a managed service provider?

        A Managed Service Provider's SLA tells you how successful they are at maintaining the system and network availability. These SLAs should be quantitatively measurable and easy to understand. To make sure that SLAs have some teeth in them, leading Managed Service Providers will have triggers and penalties built into your contract so that you get customer credits if SLAs are missed. However, leading Managed Service Providers will rarely miss their SLAs.

        Whatever expectations you set for an Managed Service Provider, the best way to assess their commitment is to look at their service level agreement (SLA). The SLA sets out what the vendor will provide. If the vendor is unable to meet their obligations, the SLA will also offer a customer with recourse.

        Service level agreements vary on a case by case basis. However, typical components usually contain:

          • Warranties: These agreements should spell out legal fine points, such as compensation policies.
          • Client Duties: It's common that Managed Service Provider users also agree to a code of conduct.
          • Procedures for when problems arise: This should cover how problems are reported as well as distinguishing the various levels of severity of different problems. It should also indicate the Managed Service Providers response time.
          • Performance agreement: Typically, an SLA should outline what metrics will be used to quantify and report on service levels.
          • Termination: The agreement must specify under which circumstances the Managed Service Provider or client can end the relationship.

        Chief Technology Officers should use the contracting process to build an understanding of what they want from their Managed Service Provider. By setting clear expectations in black and white, clients can allow providers to build an understanding of their duties.

        Be sure your provider offers a contract and list of services which covers the entire scope of your company's needs, including computers, laptops, phones, tablets, payment systems, and even cloud computing. You do not want to get stuck in a contract with a company that cannot handle the entire job.

        What are the pricing models for managed service providers?

        To differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace, suppliers offer a diverse range of payment models, below is a quick explanation of some of the popular ones:

          • Per-device monitoring: Customers are billed a flat fee for monitoring selected devices, for example, mobile devices and desktop systems. This is a very common payment structure, mainly because it offers predictability and flexibility as you can scale up and down the number of devices as needed. One drawback with this structure is that it can get expensive as the number of devices used by workers multiplies.
          • Per-user: This model is similar to the per-device pricing model, the difference being that the flat fee is billed per end-user on a monthly basis. This will cover support for all devices used by each user.
          • Tiered pricing: This is perhaps one of the most popular pricing models. Essentially, the service offered will have different price points. The more you spend on a service package, the more services you get.
          • Value-based pricing: This revolves around setting the price of a product or service based on the economic value it offers to customers. If a company wants to do this, they need to be certain what value means to them.

        The way provider bills will affect more than your accounts payable; it can also reveal the quality of the company's integrity. Avoid those who strictly charge by the hour, looking instead for providers who charge flat fees for certain services. For these managed service providers, doing the job right the first time is mutually beneficial.

        How do I look for the best security in choosing a managed service provider?

        Last but not least, ask the Managed Service Providers you are considering for their security certifications and their ability to meet HIPAA, PCI or other qualifications that help you comply with regulatory and industry statutes.

        One of the areas the lack of available skills is hurting the most is in cybersecurity. This is why many organisations are looking for managed service providers to help prevent and counter threats.

        When it comes to having the talent to keep up with the security landscape, some providers are better than others. According to their research, most providers are following standard recruiting and retention best practices, while others are taking more creative approaches to ensure that they have enough talent to serve clients and mitigate future risks.

        Another thing that customers are pushing for from their Managed Service Provider is that they take on responsibility for regulatory compliance, such as the General Data Protection Regulation. 

        However, Chief Technology Officer's regulatory compliance is a critical issue across most industries, especially if engineers will be working with confidential data.

        When it comes to security and regulatory compliance, the best thing you can do is to ask if the Managed Service Provider has undergone a third-party accreditation. You should also ask if the Managed Service Provider has adopted any business continuity standards.

        A good managed services firm will help protect your network from cyber-criminals and hackers. Make sure that your plan includes regular security testing and monitoring for attacks.

        Whether it is improving efficiency by saving time, saving money on problems before they occur, or avoiding costly disasters and repairs, a managed services provider can bring great value to your business and improve your bottom line. Finding a true partner to look out for your technology needs will help your business grow to the next level.

        It might sound contrary, but keeping IT infrastructure management in-house often prevents you from focusing on important IT issues. The right Managed Service Provider can free you up to do what you're best at strategizing on what technology investments will best advance the business. You get a true partner in IT for the long haul as well. By considering all the above characteristics, and choosing wisely, you could achieve much more than if you go it alone.

        When choosing a Managed Service Provider, considering these factors will help ensure a good fit for your business. Remember, not all Managed Service Providers are the same, and you should heavily vet them to find one that speaks your language and connects with your ideals. This way, when problem-solving occurs, a profitable relationship will be formed. This relationship should have mutual respect and consideration for the success of both.

        How Cloud-Based Accounting Software Replaces the Traditional Ones Steadily

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          Yes, I know you will say there are several offline accounting software available, but those are quite tedious. Staying traditional can suck up a lot of time and energy off your business. Being bland, such standard tasks can take out the fun of the company. There is no doubt that cloud software is famous for saving money and time.

          Cloud is More Familiar to You than You Think

          Two Words - Internet Banking & Mobile Wallets. I bet these are a part of your routine. Anytime you do any transaction, you are using a cloud! You can access any data, information, and software via this cloud platform.

          Why is Traditional Accounting Software Tiring?

           

            • The data and the software are mostly never up-to-date, as there are licensing issues as well. Therefore, you never get a full-fledged system.
            • The software is stored on the computers, and the data is transferrable via USBs to other machines; hence there is no reliability and security.
            • The accessibility of the data is usually with the person handling the software. Not all the authorities have access to it.
            • Not always you keep back-ups of the data, and if done, it is costly.
            • Upgrading the software is difficult, costly, and time-consuming.
            • Slow-paced customer support and yet expensive.

           

          Why Should Cloud Accounting Software be Your Choice?

          First of all, the accessibility and availability of the software is your prime benefit. Any internet-connected device can help you in using your cloud-based software. Due to online accounting, business owners can connect with their accountants and access the data. There can be a lot of add-ons that can enhance the usefulness of the software. Besides, scalability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use give a lift to your business.

          Moreover, you don't have to install and use the applications over any computer due to the cloud. Plus, you only pay for the software on the cloud as you use, every month.

          Cloud Security is the Highest When Compared to Others

          Business owners are concerned about their data, tiny businesses. But, there are no two ways about the fact that there exists no more secure way to store your data than the cloud.

          There can be some unwanted events like your laptop or phone getting stolen or the occurrence of a human-made or natural disaster. There is extra protection of the insurance in case of theft, and no one can log in to your account on the cloud as they don't have the details. Keeping devices locked is the primary step you need to take.

          Also, you can lock down the login access for your account when your device gets stolen.

          When there is an occurrence of any natural or human-made calamity, your business productivity won't be hampered as you won't experience downtime in that case. Back-ups are taken frequently, and hence there is an assurance that your data is not lost.

          Besides, you can control who sees your data and give privileges differing as per the levels. So, your data doesn't travel just like that via a USB stick, via emails, or file transfer.

          Esteemed cloud service providers always guarantee the security and privacy of your data.

          Five Ways in Which Cloud Accounting Software Helps Your Business

           

            • In real-time, you can set your financial goals as you get a clear overview.
            • Secure collaboration with the teammates and advisors due to the accessibility.
            • The automatic updates help you not waste time on this task and do the jobs that need more focus.
            • The benefit of being online is that there is no hassle of installation and back-up.
            • The overheads like maintenance, upgrades, system administration, repairing failures are significantly lessened as the cloud service provider manages everything.

          Getting Smart with Cloud is the Necessity of the Era

          Having cloud-based accounting software serves you more than you expect. Its beauty is the scalability, accessibility, reliability, and flexibility you get all-in-one as a package.

          You get a certainty that your software is up-to-date and your data safe. Everything is taken care of by your cloud service provider.

          When you have cloud-based accounting software or any cloud-based software for that matter, you can function remotely irrespective of the location. The possibilities get endless with such access and that too with precise control.

          Strategies of Virtualisation in Cloud Computing

          The modern era has paved the way to think about the virtual world. In this era where things are moving towards digitisation, Cloud computing has also taken a pledge to contribute to virtualisation worldwide. With the dawn of the internet, cloud hosting has become extremely important in terms of sharing information. In the cloud environment, Virtualisations becomes the must-have technique for data exchange. Since the cloud itself is a virtual entity, Cloud Computing is located somewhere under the umbrella of virtualisation. The method of virtualisation involves creating virtual servers, infrastructures, devices and computing resources. Virtualisation has become a vital part of cloud-based computing by changing hardware-software relations. This makes cloud computing capabilities to be utilised fully.

          The virtual technology manager is used to encapsulate virtualisation in cloud computing.  It separates the physical hardware and its emulated parts like CPU memory, I/O and network traffic. This enables the software operating system to interact with the hardware that is a software emulation. The virtualisation of hardware leads to increased flexibility, control, and isolation by removing the hardware platform's dependency. The cloud is nothing but a virtual environment formed by the combination of multiple virtual machines. So, virtualisation is a critical factor for the creation of cloud infrastructure.

          The acceptance of cloud computing is threatened by the unresolved security issues that damage both the cloud provider and the cloud user. Virtualisation can provide improved security to both the guest virtual machines and the components of the cloud environment. The integration of virtualisation in cloud computing has brought about convenience and efficiency, and data security and privacy protection.

          Cloud Virtualisation eases managing the workload by making it more scalable, economical and efficient. Sharing of applications to multiple customers and companies becomes more accessible with the virtualisation technique in cloud hosting.  So, a combination of virtualisation and cloud computing can be the ideal solution to deliver desired results for organisations.

          Here are some strategies to implement virtualisation in cloud computing:

          1. Network Virtualisation

          Network Virtualisation indeed has given wings to the success of cloud computing. In this method, the available resources in a network are combined by splitting up the available bandwidth into independent channels. These channels are assigned or reassigned to separate devices in real-time. Segmenting the media reduces the network complexity and makes it easier to manage the devices.

          Network Virtualisation consists of a variety of hardware, software and the combining network components. It also involves storage virtualisation, which enables managing all storage as a single resource.  Network Virtualisation is beneficial, especially to the networks experiencing a rapid, significant and unpredictable increase in usage.

          2. Storage Virtualisation

          Storage Virtualisation is used to create an artificial view of the storage; thus, keeping the physical infrastructure hidden from the clients and servers. It enables the pool of physical storage from several interconnected storage devices to appear as a single storage entity managed by a single console. This technique is mostly used in storage area networks. It helps the storage administrator to back-up, archive and recovers data more efficiently and quickly.

          It is a critical technology in both virtual and cloud environments. It enables the applications to access the desired storage without any information of where its housed.

          3. Server Virtualisation

          Server Virtualisation is a heavily used concept in building IT infrastructure to minimise costs by increasing the existing resources' utilisation. The technique involves the masking of server resources. It replicates the physical servers by completely changing their identity, numbers, operating systems and processors.

          Server Virtualisation reduces the chances of continuously managing complex server resources. It allows sharing and utilising a large number of resources and can expand the resources when in need.  It is the best solution for small and medium-scale applications with limited budgets.

          4. Data Visualisation

          Data Visualisation technique involves gathering data from different information sources to create a single, logical and virtual view of information. This information is accessed by the front end users like applications, dashboards with any knowledge of the data storage location. The technique consists of collecting, transforming, federating and delivering the processed data to the front end sources.

          The data visualisation technique's main aim is to provide a single point of access to the information collected from various data sources.

          5. Desktop Virtualisation

          The popularity of desktop virtualisation grew long before cloud use increased tremendously. Desktop virtualisation helps you emulate the workstation load rather than the server; thus, enabling access to the desktop remotely.  It is similar to the SAAS model of cloud computing, which allows accessing the desktop environment remotely.

          Desktop Virtualisation allows secure and portable access to both the workstation and data centre since it runs in the data centre. Thus, it is nothing but a technique of isolating the operating system, a logical operating system instance from the client used to access it.

          6. Application Virtualisation

          Application Virtualisation is also known as application service virtualisation. In cloud computing, application virtualisation means abstracting the application layer separating it from the operating system. It allows the computing resources to be distributed dynamically in real-time.

          It enables us to overcome the existing problems like application incompatibility with the current hardware and the faults like bugs.

          Conclusion

          Virtualisation sounds to be a fascinating field. It has been widely accepted in combination with cloud computing as the best alternative to local data hosting. Virtualisation in cloud computing has a diverse range of uses and benefits that are expanding day by day.  With technological advancements, virtualisation has become an indispensable tool.

          The industry's demanding needs have led to an increase in the number of virtualisation techniques for cloud computing. The evolution of these techniques or strategies is about to change the traditional methods of cloud hosting.  It will be interesting to see how these strategies contribute to the future development and acceptance of cloud hosting.

          How Cloud Platforms Can Enhance Customer Experience

          Customer satisfaction is the most significant achievement when businesses successfully serve customers. This is the only thing that matters when a specific company aims to achieve a big chunk of market share and a happy & loyal clientele. There are services out there that fall in the premium category but end by neglecting the customer's basic needs by failing to satisfy them after paying for it.

          Customer experience or customer satisfaction is an essential element for an organisation's bright future because it shows the quality of services being provided, customer's fulfilment with the end service and the most important of all, customer support. To attain all this, organisations need to take a step further where using the right technology can help them achieve all their targets. Some businesses stick to their traditional method, which brings in good company, has a high customer retention rate and even makes a fair profit. But eventually, when their business grows, some issues arise like matching the customer's demands or providing higher efficiency services. And this is precisely the point where traditional companies fall behind.

          On the other hand, cloud-based services assist organisations in changing the way they serve customers. Organisations who have implemented cloud technology in their business have already taken up efforts to achieve better customer satisfaction because the advantages include financial savings, increased agility and uninterrupted service, to name a few.

          "According to Forrester, 72% of businesses say that improving customer experience is their top priority. A study from NewVoiceMedia indicates that companies lose more than $62 billion due to poor customer service."

          Mentioned below are some of the points are the areas that improve impressively after the adoption of cloud computing:

          Allows continuous focus

          Customer satisfaction is essential when you want a happy customer. But what's more important is that the customer needs continuous follow up to understand whether he is satisfied with the services provided to him or not. In future, the customer might need some support, and here's where the cloud comes into the picture. The IT support which cloud service provides is fast and agile, which addresses the concern quickly without hampering the customer's business processes. This cloud service trait allows continuous check-up on customer's requirements so that they can be provided with instant solutions.

          Offers present-day Updates

          Applications on the cloud need constant improvements to provide expected performance, and so continuously updating cloud applications will ensure higher productivity and more significant results. Continually updating cloud applications brings changes to their functionality, making them stable and ready for new tasks and processes. Customers experience a more brief application on the cloud when updated, which provides a reasonable pace for business functions.

          Personalising the experience

          Your entire customer's data is on the cloud these days, which offers an opportunity to make the most of that big data. The cloud enables you to analyse this data with multiple tools and segment the customers based on their behaviour for personalised experience and interactions to improve the customer experience. This allows you to reach the targeted customer accurately and efficiently in a more focused fashion. You can even quickly convert your prospects through real-time communications, emails and more.

          Department Alliance

          Multiple departments in an organisation can collaborate and access the same information at once from any desired location. This is possible because of the data stored on the cloud, which significantly benefits all the departments where they can share their data and make decisions for better customer support. When various departments combine their data by working simultaneously, they get a specific customer conduct pattern to attain the best possible solution for a more significant experience.

          Conclusion

          Cloud has been a game-changer in every aspect of a business. Day-by-day organisations are increasingly adopting cloud technology because of its benefits, which build an efficient business process. On the other hand, customer experience is an essential element for customer satisfaction, which in return is beneficial for a business and reaps higher benefits. By taking our example, we can conclude that a better customer experience is equivalent to being pampered by our parents where are receive care, support and attention.

          Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

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            If you want to deliver digital services of any kind, you'll need to estimate all types of resources, not the least of which are CPU, memory, storage, and network connectivity. Which help you choose for your delivery - cloud-based or local - is up to you. But you'll want to do your homework first. You'll need to understand the pros and cons of cloud computing and how to contextualize any existing disadvantages.

            Cloud computing has benefited many enterprises by reducing costs and focusing on one's core business competence rather than IT and infrastructure issues. Despite the general hype on the subject across the IT world, cloud computing can be disadvantages, especially in smaller operations. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of cloud computing and show you how to understand and contextualize any existing disadvantages.

            This article will explore some of the critical disadvantages and share tips and best practices that your teams can employ to address them. You can streamline this process by using a thorough, process-built approach to understanding cloud security, such as Cloud Academy's Security - Specialty Certification Preparation for AWS Learning Path.

            Disadvantages of cloud computing explained

             

            1). Downtime

            Downtime is often cited as one of the most significant disadvantages of cloud computing. Since cloud computing systems are internet-based, service outages are always an unfortunate possibility and can occur for any reason.

            Can your business afford the impacts of an outage or slowdown? An outage on Amazon Web Services in 2017 cost publicly traded companies up to 150 million dollars. Unfortunately, no organization is immune, especially when critical business processes cannot afford to be interrupted. In June and July of 2019, many companies and services were hit by outages, including Cloudflare (a significant web services provider), Google, Amazon, Shopify, Reddit, Verizon, and Spectrum.

            Best practices for minimizing planned downtime in a cloud environment

             

              • Design services with high availability and disaster recovery in mind. Leverage the multi-availability zones provided by cloud vendors in your infrastructure.
              • If your services have a low tolerance for failure, consider multi-region deployments with automated failover to ensure the best business continuity possible.
              • Define and implement a disaster recovery plan in line with your business objectives that provide the lowest possible recovery time (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO).
              • Read the fine print on your Service Level Agreement (SLA). Are you guaranteed 99.9% uptime or even better? That 0.1% downtime equals about 45 minutes per month or around eight hours per year.

             

            2). Security and privacy

            Although cloud service providers implement the best security standards and industry certifications, storing data and important files on external service providers always opens up risks. Any discussion involving data must address security and privacy, especially when it comes to managing sensitive data. We must not forget what happened at Code Space and the hacking of their AWS EC2 console, which led to data deletion and the company's eventual shutdown.

            Their dependence on the remote cloud-based infrastructure meant taking on the risks of outsourcing everything.

            Of course, any cloud service provider is expected to manage and safeguard the underlying hardware infrastructure of a deployment. However, your responsibilities lie in the realm of user access management, and it's up to you to carefully weigh all the risk scenarios.

            Though recent breaches of credit card data and user login credentials are still fresh in the public's minds, steps have been taken to ensure the safety of data. One such example is the General Data Protection Rule (GDPR), which was recently enacted in the European Union to provide users with more control over their data. Nonetheless, you still need to be aware of your responsibilities and follow best practices.

            Best practices for minimizing security and privacy risks

             

              • This is important: Understand the shared responsibility model of your cloud provider. You will still be liable for what occurs within your network and in your product.
              • Implement security at every level of your deployment.
              • Know who is supposed to have access to each resource and service, and limit access to the least privilege. If an employee goes rogue and gains access to your deployment, you would want their impact to be over the smallest area possible.
              • Make sure your team's skills are up to the task. The Top 10 Things Cybersecurity Professionals Need to Know is a great article to understand how to mitigate security and privacy concerns in the cloud.
              • Take a risk-based approach to certain assets used in the cloud and extend security to the devices.
              • Implement multi-factor authentication for all accounts accessing sensitive data or systems.
              • Encryption, encryption, encryption. Turn on encryption wherever you can - easy wins are on object storage such as Amazon S3 or Azure Blob Storage, where customer data often resides. The simple act of turning on encryption on S3 could have prevented the Capital One data breach in July 2019 that exposed 100 million users' information.

             

             

            3). Vulnerability to attack

            In cloud computing, every component is online, which exposes potential vulnerabilities. Even the best teams suffer severe attacks and security breaches from time to time. Since cloud computing is built as a public service, it's easy to run before learning to walk. After all, no one at a cloud vendor checks your administration skills before granting you an account: all it takes to get started is generally a valid credit card.

            Best practices to help you reduce cloud attacks.

             

              • Make security a core aspect of all IT operations.
              • Keep ALL your teams up-to-date with cloud security best practices.
              • Ensure security policies and procedures are regularly checked and reviewed.
              • Proactively classify information and apply access control.
              • Use cloud services such as AWS Inspector, AWS CloudWatch, AWS CloudTrail, and AWS Config to automate compliance controls.
              • Prevent data exfiltration.
              • Integrate prevention and response strategies into security operations.
              • Discover rogue projects with audits.
              • Remove password access from accounts that do not need to log in to services.
              • Review and rotate access keys and credentials.
              • Follow security blogs and announcements to be aware of known attacks.
              • Apply security best practices for any open source software that you are using.
              • Again, use encryption whenever and wherever possible.

             

            These practices will help your organization monitor for the exposure and movement of critical data, defend crucial systems from attack and compromise, and authenticate access to infrastructure and data to protect against other risks.

            4). Limited control and flexibility

            Since the cloud infrastructure is entirely owned, managed, and monitored by the service provider, it transfers minimal control to the customer.

            To varying degrees (depending on the particular service), cloud users may find they have less control over the function and execution of services within a cloud-hosted infrastructure. A cloud provider's end-user license agreement (EULA) and management policies might impose limits on what customers can do with their deployments. Customers retain control of their applications, data, and services but may not have the same level of control over their backend infrastructure.

            Best practices for maintaining control and flexibility

             

              • Consider using a cloud provider partner to help with implementing, running, and supporting cloud services.
              • Understand your responsibilities and the cloud vendor's responsibilities in the shared responsibility model to reduce the chance of omission or error.
              • Make time to understand your cloud service provider's basic level of support. Will this service level meet your support requirements? Most cloud providers offer additional support tiers over and above the necessary support for an additional cost.
              • Ensure you understand the SLA concerning the infrastructure and services you're going to use and how that will impact your agreements with your customers.

             

             

            5). Vendor lock-in

            Vendor lock-in is another perceived disadvantage of cloud computing. Easy switching between cloud services is a service that hasn't yet completely evolved, and organizations may find it difficult to migrate their services from one vendor to another. Differences between vendor platforms may create difficulties in relocating from one cloud platform to another, which could equate to additional costs and configuration complexities. Gaps or compromises made during migration could also expose your data to other security and privacy vulnerabilities.

            Best practices to decrease dependency.

             

              • Design with cloud architecture best practices in mind. All cloud services provide the opportunity to improve availability and performance, decouple layers, and reduce performance bottlenecks. If you have built your services using cloud architecture best practices, you are less likely to have issues porting from one cloud platform to another.
              • Properly understand what your vendors are selling to help avoid lock-in challenges.
              • Employ a multi-cloud strategy to avoid vendor lock-in. While this may add both development and operational complexity to your deployments, it doesn't have to be a deal-breaker. Training can help prepare teams to architect and select best-fit services and technologies.
              • Build-in flexibility as a matter of strategy when designing applications to ensure portability now and in the future.
              • Build your applications with services that offer cloud-first advantages, such as modularity and portability of microservices and code. Think containers and Kubernetes.

             

            6). Cost concerns

            Adopting cloud solutions on a small scale and for short-term projects can be perceived as being expensive. However, the most significant cloud computing benefit is in terms of IT cost savings. Pay-as-you-go cloud services can provide more flexibility and lower hardware costs, but the overall price tag could end up being higher than you expected. Until you are sure of what will work best for you, it's a good idea to experiment with various offerings. You might also make use of the cost calculators made available by providers like Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.

            Best practices to reduce costs

             

              • Try not to over provision your services, but rather look into using auto-scaling services.
              • Ensure you have the option to scale DOWN as well as UP.
              • Pre-pay and take advantage of reserved instances if you have a known minimum usage.
              • Automate the process to start/stop your instances to save money when they are not being used.
              • Create alerts to track cloud spending.

             

            Disadvantages of cloud computing: Closing thoughts

            Many organizations benefit from the agility, scale, and pay-per-use billing that cloud services offer. However, as with any infrastructure service, cloud computing's suitability for your specific use case should be assessed in a risk-based evaluation. Build-in time for research and planning to understand how the cloud will affect your business.

            10 Disadvantages & Risks of Cloud Computing

            Have you ever asked where precisely a company stores all data until the virtual world's activities? The answer is cloud computing. Cloud computing is where information is permanently stored on a server on the Internet and stored temporarily on a user's computer or clients such as desktops, tablet computers, notebooks, wall computers, handhelds, sensors, monitors and others.

            However, there are disadvantages of cloud computing behind this technology. Before it's explained, let's see about cloud computing overview.

            What is Cloud Computing?

            Cloud Computing is a combination of computer technology (computing) and Internet-based development (cloud). Cloud is a metaphor for the Internet, as is the cloud that is often depicted in computer network diagrams.

            Cloud computing is a general concept of other recent technology trends widely known to include SaaS, Web 2.0, with the general theme of being dependent on the Internet to provide users with computing needs. For example, Google Apps offers available business applications online that are accessed through a web browser with software and data stored on the server.

            As the cloud in the computer network diagram, cloud in Cloud Computing is also an abstraction of the complex infrastructure that is hidden. It is a computational method in which information technology-related capabilities are presented as a service so that users can access them via the Internet without knowing what is inside, being expert with them, or having control over the technological infrastructure that helps them.

            Cloud computing systems are using an Internet-based service to support business processes. The words "Cloud" refer to the cloud symbol in the IT world used to describe the internet network or internet cloud.

            It is clear that every system has advantages and disadvantages, and cloud computing is not an exception. Its benefits for business, such as minimizing public infrastructure investment costs so that companies can be more focused on aspects of its functionality. SaaS services enable rapid development and implementation of applications to increase productivity, open new markets for information technology development service industries, increase the use of these SaaS services, increase the use of internet bandwidth, and integrate applications with various devices. However, everything has its weakness include cloud computing. Cloud computing pros and cons are debated to its user. What are the disadvantages of cloud computing?

            Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

            There are benefits from cloud computing usage, but it is undeniable that this system also has some disadvantages. The risks of cloud computing you should know, such as:

            #1. Risk of data confidentiality

            There is always a risk that other people can access user data. So data and cloud protection must be useful because if it won't be dangerous for data confidentiality.

            #2. It depends on an internet connection

            The Internet is the only way to cloud computing. When there is no internet connection in your place or the internet path to the cloud provider is in trouble, automatically access to your cloud computing machine will be disconnected. Now, this is where the biggest obstacle is happening in developing countries and remote areas that do not have good internet access. And the weakness of the public cloud is where everyone accesses the same server and server and will increase the risk of attack and down the server.

            #3. The level of security

            Secrecy and security are among the most doubtful things in cloud computing. Using a cloud computing system means we are entirely entrusted with data protection and confidentiality to companies that provide cloud computing servers. When you experience a problem, you cannot sue the server for errors in the data. When you experience pain, you cannot sue the server for errors in the data.

            #4. Compliance

            This refers to the risk of a level compliance deviation from the provider against the user's regulations.

            #5. Vulnerable in the event of an attack

            There are many arguments against cloud computing, one of which is computing because the Cloud Computing work system is online. Each component of Cloud Computing can be exposed to a wide range, a wide-open opportunity for attacks on data or activities stored on the server. When hackers carry out an attack, the problems that occur are data security and data privacy.

            #6. Data Mobility

            This refers to the possibility of sharing data between cloud services and how to retrieve data if one day, the user makes a process of terminating cloud computing services. And there is local storage where the data can be used at any time as needed.

            #7. Technical problem

            Besides that, Cloud Computing makes you unable to manage it yourself when there is a problem or a problem; you must contact customer support who is not necessarily ready 24/7. This is a problem because for some help you also have to pay more money.

            #8. Low Connection

            It does not work well if the connection is slow. The quality of cloud computing servers is one of the most important considerations before we decide to provide a cloud computing server service providers. When the server is down or the performance is not right, we will be harmed because of low server quality.

            Well, that's the advantages and disadvantages of using Cloud Computing services. The use of the cloud is all just good; there is also a shortage of cloud. However, never be afraid to use what is called Cloud Computing. What readers need to note is that there is no single safe and sound system. If there is a safe and fair system, there is no need for a system update and bug fixes.

            What Type of Businesses Get Impact of Cloud Computing Disadvantages?

            Marketplace companies such as Amazon, Alibaba and Airbnb have considered cloud computing risks and benefits. Quoting from Hitwise.com, Amazon did over 17 million transactions made on Amazon over Prime Day 2018, and all of them were done online. Imagine if there was a problem like a server that had to be down for some time, Amazon could lose millions of dollars. This can also happen to Alibaba, Airbnb and e-commerce, and various other online-based marketplaces that make transactions online.

            Also, for health companies, patient data is a confidential matter and privacy. Disadvantages of cloud computing that has less security can cause data leak to the public. Law firms will also potentially get losses when using cloud computing if a problem occurs. This is because law firm cloud computing is at risk in security, and the flexibility of work will hinder the performance of law firms. That is why a law firm should use trusted and professional cloud providers for the business.

            What do we do to overcome the disadvantages of cloud computing?

            Cloud Computing sounds so dangerous because it has various disadvantages, but you need to remember that Cloud Computing also has several advantages that can help your business grow. It is undeniable that Cloud Computing is a unique system, although there are various disadvantages because there is no truly perfect system. Besides, cloud service technology is always improving from time to time. The future of cloud computing will be more sophisticated and better managed. But the first essential thing you need to do is finding the best cloud service is before moving to the cloud.

            What you need to do to overcome the shortcomings in cloud computing is to find service providers who want to provide for your business needs and ensure your server's security. Also, inadequate infrastructure is one of the often experienced problems; for this, you can also use Cloud Hybrid, where service providers will handle the transition and reduce time & costs greatly using personnel and technology for your business.

            Our company provides the best cloud computing system for your business needs, and we are confident in protecting our client data. We serve security assurance for any business, but we specialize our scope in the legal area.

            Cloud Computing FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

            Frequently asked questions about Cloud Computing

             

             

            Is Cloud computing the same as software-as-a-service?

            You might say SaaS kicked off the push toward cloud computing by demonstrating that IT services could be made available over the Web. While SaaS vendors originally did not use the word Cloud to describe their offerings, analysts now consider SaaS to be one of several subsets of the cloud computing market.

            What types of services are available via the cloud computing model?

            Public cloud services are breaking down into three broad categories: software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service, and platform-as-a-service. SaaS is well known and consists of software applications delivered over the Web. Infrastructure-as-a-service refers to remotely accessible server and storage capacity, while platform-as-a-service is a compute-and-software platform that lets developers build and deploy Web applications on a hosted infrastructure.

            What types of applications can run in the Cloud?

            Technically, you can put any application in the Cloud. But that doesn't mean it's a good idea. For example, there's little reason to run a desktop disk defragmentation or systems analysis tool in the Cloud, because you want the application sitting on the desktop, dedicated to the system with little to no latency.

            More importantly, regulatory and compliance concerns prevent enterprises from putting certain applications in the Cloud, particularly those involving sensitive customer data.

            IDC surveys show the top uses of the Cloud as being IT management, collaboration, personal and business applications, application development and deployment, and server and storage capacity.

            What is cloud computing?

            Cloud computing is described as the process of using a network of remote servers, hosted via the internet, to store, manage and process data, rather than hosting it locally. Essentially, cloud computing is using someone else's infrastructure and hardware, reducing the number of capital investments your business needs to make.

            How do I know if Cloud is right for my business?

            Companies that choose to shift to the Cloud do so for several reasons. The benefits of flexibility, scalability, cost savings, etc. are weighed against availability concerns. It is essential to evaluate if Cloud is right for you from a strategic and operational perspective. Does your demand for IT vary throughout the year? Are the costs of your IT impacting your ability to grow as a business? If so, you may consider a cloud option that can be easily scaled.

            You should also evaluate your current IT setup to understand the benefits of moving to the Cloud, especially in the following areas:

              • Service - how important are security, reliability and flexibility to your business? Is your current solution meeting your needs? Is there room for improvement?
              • Technology landscape - how many business users are there? What is the geographic distribution of your user base? Do your employees require remote access?
              • Cost - Are you satisfied with the costs of your on-premises solution? Are the prices to scale up or upgrade services acceptable?
              • Ease of migration - when did you last invest in significant capital expenditure? Do you have any contractual and vendor commitments that constrain migration?

            Answering these questions can help to understand if Cloud is a good fit for your business.

            How do I develop a cloud strategy?

            Developing a cloud strategy begins with outlining your technical and business objectives. Understand what the drivers are for your company to shift to the Cloud and what solutions these drivers require. Your cloud strategy may be to start small and gradually, or your business may be in a position to dive right in. Once you identify your needs, you can better understand if your cloud strategy should include public, private or hybrid cloud solutions. Lay out a road-map and timeline to execute your shift to the Cloud.

            What do I need to do to prepare for the Cloud?

            Many companies do not take the time to consider what they may need to put into place before shifting to the Cloud. For the most part, preparing to shift to the Cloud is simple and just requires you having a Cloud Service Provider handle the transition. However, one of the biggest things to consider is your network bandwidth. With the strain put on local internet connections from cloud computing, you may consider upgrading your bandwidth or investing in SD-WAN technology to increase connectivity.

            What workloads can I move to the Cloud?

            There are many options for moving workloads to the Cloud, and most will depend on your business and cloud strategy. You may choose to slowly move your complete IT environment to the Cloud or just one task. Most businesses use the Cloud for data backup, both short term and long term. Application-based workloads can also be moved to the Cloud (i.e. CRM, Marketing Automation, Etc.). Test and Dev operations can also be outsourced. In fact, the ability to spin up environments in a matter of minutes, scale them up or down on demand, and access data from anywhere is an enormous appeal. Other outsourcing can be discussed with your cloud service provider.

            What is the most comfortable workload to move to the Cloud?

            By and large, the easiest and most common workload to shift to the Cloud is backup. Backup as a Service (BaaS) is easy to use and helps to mitigate major business continuity concerns around downtime and data loss. Cloud-based backup can be used for multiple environments or just one environment - depending on what restrictions your company decides to place on cloud usage.

            Will my company need to hire more IT staff to handle the transition?

            Since one of the major appeals of working with a cloud service provider is that they handle the ins and outs of your cloud transition, you shouldn't have to hire additional staff when shifting to the Cloud. However, having some IT expertise in house is helpful to make the transition smooth. If you do not have an existing IT team, consider hiring an IT professional to help take advantage of the services that cloud providers offer and provide advise.

            What type of security parameters does the Cloud have in place?

            These days, with cyberattacks on the rise, security is a major concern. Cloud providers put numerous security parameters in place so that, in the event of an attack, your data is secure and can be restored. These tactics include encryption, identity management, and physical security. Providers should also have business continuity plans in place that utilize redundant hardware, backup generators, and other measures to prevent downtime. Data center locations will also have security in place like badge access restrictions, security cameras, fences and more.

            Is the Cloud Safe for personal information?

            With numerous high profile hacks of personal information in recent years (most notably Target and Anthem) cloud providers have worked to step up the security game for personal information. If a cloud provider has certifications in place for HIPAA, PCI-DSS and SOC, they have been evaluated by a third party and deemed qualified to handle personal/ private information.

            How do I make sure I can access my data?

            Cloud providers will outline your access, security, services and support when you partner with them. To ensure the accessibility of data, cloud providers develop a service level agreement (SLA). The SLA will detail what happens in the event of an outage and protects the customer in certain situations.

            WHAT IS "THE CLOUD"?

            Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing resources as a service. This term generally makes reference to a three-tiered architectural computing model or cloud stack that is inclusive of SaaS (software as a service), PaaS (platform as a service) and IaaS (infrastructure as a service) delivery that may be obtained from a variety of cloud solution providers or hosted internally via a private cloud. Cloud computing may also include the delivery of other types of IT assets as a service; including storage as a service, databases as a service, security as a service and backend as a service offering. This article contains answers to several frequently asked questions about cloud computing in the section provided below.

            What are the benefits of cloud computing?

             The adoption of cloud computing by organizations has increased exponentially in recent years, due to the efficiency and cost-saving benefits that this computing model promises to deliver, which is especially appealing to organizations with limited IT staff and/or limited IT budgets. Independent Software Vendors (ISV's) in particular, can also substantially benefit from the cloud computing model for the delivery of software applications as a service, which offers many operational and administrative cost saving advantages over the traditional model of on-premise software delivery for software providers.

            What are the drawbacks of cloud computing?

             There are very few disadvantages that apply to cloud computing, with one key exception: the risk of low-quality service delivery from a cloud provider. Choosing the wrong cloud computing service provider can be extremely detrimental for any organization, as their reliance on Cloud SaaS, PaaS and/or IaaS solutions from a single vendor may place all of the responsibility for IT service delivery within their business on the shoulders of a third party. Likewise, any enterprise that is considering the use of cloud computing services needs to ensure that they have properly assessed the scalability, availability and flexibility of the cloud solutions they plan to adopt. They also need to investigate the reliability of the cloud solution provider(s) that their organization plans to engage.

            I don't want to move all my computing workloads into the Cloud right now. Is there anything I can do to sort of "get my feet wet" in cloud computing?

             Yes, moving computing workloads into the Cloud is a big part of cloud computing, but to get a taste of cloud computing, you can begin using application services located in the Cloud. Software-as-a-Service or SaaS provides a spectrum of application services you can access in the Cloud. Your cloud navigator has in-depth knowledge of these services and can guide you in the choosing ones that will work best for you.

            How much can I save by using cloud computing services?

            There are many aspects to the IT savings you can achieve by using cloud computing services. The rule of thumb is that you can expect to save 20% to 80% of the cost of running a premises-based application by moving to a cloud-based service (SaaS). Your cloud navigator can work with you to determine more precisely your IT savings by moving to cloud-based services. 

            Will my current Internet connection support my use of Cloud computing services?

             It depends on the number of users and the number of cloud-based services you will be using. Your cloud navigator recommends having two separate Internet connections arranged to provide redundancy, bandwidth bonding and load balancing. When you depend on the Cloud for application services, you need reliable Internet connectivity. 

            What are the types of Cloud?

            Clouds can be public or private, though public clouds are more commonly associated with cloud computing. Public cloud platforms, such as AWS and Microsoft Azure, pool resources in data centers often distributed around the globe, and users access them via the internet. Resources are provided to customers through metered services, and the cloud vendor is responsible for varying degrees of backend maintenance.

            Private clouds are walled-off environments hosted in a corporate data center or a colocation facility. They lack the massive scale of public clouds. But they do have some elasticity, and a company's developers and administrators can still use self-service portals to access resources. In theory, private clouds provide greater control and security, though it's up to a company's IT team to ensure that happens.

            Public clouds and private clouds can be linked to create a hybrid cloud, or two or more public clouds can be connected to create a multi-cloud architecture.

            Broadly speaking, there are also three tiers of cloud computing: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS). IaaS pertains to foundational building blocks, such as compute, network and storage. It provides the most flexibility for application development, but it also requires the most overhead. PaaS abstracts those lower-level elements and provides sandbox environments for app developers. The least hands-on cloud model, SaaS, consists of licensed software delivered as web apps.

            Is the Cloud secure?

            The clouds themselves are generally more secure than most private data centers since companies such as Amazon and Google can hire talented engineers and automate many of their practices. Cloud infrastructure providers also offer tools and architectural options to isolate workloads, encrypt data and detect potential threats.

            However, public clouds operate on a shared responsibility model, where the user secures the data and applications hosted on the Cloud. This division of security responsibilities varies based on the tier of cloud computing.

            The process to secure a cloud environment is different from more traditional data center practices, so cloud adoption requires a learning curve for IT teams. Unauthorized access to resources is the most common cloud security threat; many high-profile exposures of sensitive data resulted from misconfigurations.

            Organizations also must be mindful of data residency requirements and other governance restrictions since they don't have precise control over the location of the servers that host their data in the Cloud.

            What training does my IT staff need to manage the Cloud?

            This depends on the layer of the cloud stack being used. For IaaS, administrators must manage all aspects of the virtualized environment that's delivered as a service. The higher up the cloud stack you go, the less management involved. For SaaS, oversight might be limited to data and identity and access management.

            Major cloud providers and third parties offer training and certifications to familiarize IT staff with these processes. Enterprises that plan to transition to the Cloud should factor training into every aspect of the process, so they're ready to take the reins as soon as the cloud environment goes live.

            Do I have to bring my whole company to the Cloud?

            Absolutely not! One of the benefits of utilizing the Cloud is that you can take the parts that you want and leave the ones you don't. Cloud computing solutions scale from backing up your files online to moving your entire server infrastructure to the Cloud. The tricky part is figuring out which cloud computing solutions fit your business needs.

            Hybrid setups have servers in your office and in off-site data centers. Connecting them up via a private VPN allows for virtually seamless integration.

            How do I get my old application server to the Cloud?

            Rebuilding an older application server from scratch is tricky. Many times the technology is so old or heavily customized, its virtually impossible to recreate it. Sometimes the answer is P2V (Physical to Virtual). We take an image (snapshot in time) of your server and upload it to the hosting facility.

            Can I get a copy of my data?

            Yes. Each provider may have different methods of obtaining that data, but every file you access has a physical copy that can be taken from the Cloud to a local server or storage device. But it's a great question to ask before you sign up!

            What cloud computing security solutions your business needs to consider?

            Above all, secure cloud computing solutions rely on experienced Solution architects, who consider all possible security risks while creating a cloud architecture. When your solution is up and running, there is an array of cloud computing security solutions that help enterprises face threats on different levels. They include Preventive controls (for example, strong authentication and proper identity management) and Detective controls (individual prevention mechanisms and continuous cloud infrastructure monitoring). In case of a breach, Corrective controls step in to restore the Cloud's operation and lost data. Other reliable ways to secure your cloud computing solutions is by SSL encryption and enforcing strong API security.

            What characterizes the best cloud computing solutions?

            The best cloud computing solutions are secure, well-integrated into your operations and do not impede them, as well as allow your business to process the required amount of data efficiently. As every business uses cloud technology in its way, the best cloud solutions providers always cater to the exact needs of their clients.

            What kind of services and applications are considered cloud services?

             Examples of cloud services include but are not limited to, Microsoft Hotmail, Microsoft 365, Yahoo mail, Gmail, Facebook, MySpace, Skydrive, Google Apps, YouTube, Dropbox and Mozy. 

            This is why so many researchers rely on the Cloud in this era of Big Data. Individual cloud machines come in many state-of-the-art flavors: GPU-intensive, compute-intensive, memory-intensive, low network latency, general-purpose and so on. But there's also a double-win for intensive science computation in the Cloud: You do not have to wait for resources to become available and, if you can parallelize your work, you can spin up large (or very large) clusters to finish your tasks quickly.

            How do I fund cloud computing?

            Most cloud providers offer a Free Tier of usage, good for one year, which will enable you to explore cloud computing at low financial risk.

            Cloud providers often offer additional research computing credits through a managed program available by filling out a one-page application and coordinating your efforts with us. Once you determine whether the Cloud works for you, there are various funding agencies that can help pay for your research. 

            Can I put a database in the Cloud?

            Yes.

            There are two options:

              • You can allocate a virtual machine in the Cloud, install your favorite database on it, and operate it as if you were operating a database server that you own.
              • You can also simply pay for a database-as-a-service and dispense with worrying about the underlying machine, operating system or installation of a database management system.

             

            Both options have supporting arguments, and we can help you decide which path is best for you.

            What is Cloud Bursting?

            Cloud bursting relates to hybrid clouds. The idea is that a given application normally runs in a private cloud or a local computing environment. If a situation arises where the application needs additional resource (computing power, storage, etc.), it can "burst" into the public Cloud and use Cloud Computing for those additional resources.

            Of course, this can add complexity to the application design. There are vendors that provide hybrid cloud solutions that facilitate taking advantage of cloud bursting.

            What is Cloud Washing?

            The term "wash" is probably borrowed from the painting technique. When painting with a wash, it could be seen as freshening whatever is being painted. Cloud washing refers to freshening a product by adding "Cloud" to it in some way. This could be just a marketing effort. So, it is important to look beyond the label to see if the product truly supports Cloud Computing.

            Do I have a choice on where my data is stored?

            A limited number of ERP and CRM providers offer a choice on where your data is located. Many offer SaaS only or On-Premise Only. Our Cloud ERP offers three options (SaaS, SoP and On-Premise). The customer always owns the data so they can move between deployment options.

              • SaaS - Software as a Service (annual rental of software and hardware)
              • SoP - SaaS on Premise (annual rental for software, the customer provides hardware, OS and SQL)
              • Perpetual - Onetime fee to purchase the software with an annual maintenance fee for updates.

             

            How does Cloud storage work?

            With Cloud storage, the files and data you need are placed on highly secure remote systems stored in a provider's facility rather than on your computer's hard drive or local server. Internet access allows you to connect your computer or device to the remote cloud solution to retrieve what you need.

            How challenging is it to switch from physical servers to the Cloud?

            Without guidance from an experienced professional, switching to the Cloud can be incredibly challenging, time consuming and costly. There will be inevitable customizations that need to be made to the Cloud storage system to fit your business needs, and navigating those tasks on your own can be burdensome. Overall, the greatest challenge is planning out the right balance of Cloud services vs. on-premise technology to meet your business needs. Another migration challenge is teaching employees how to use the new technology. Enlisting expert consultants to assess your needs, develop a migration plan and train employees helps the transition go more smoothly.

            How is the Cloud backed up?

            That depends on the Cloud system you have in place and your provider's capabilities. Different providers offer different strategies to protect their systems. It's important that you consider the risks associated with the potential loss of those Cloud services and make sure the provider you choose has the right components in place to meet your unique risk mitigation needs.

            What are the benefits of Cloud storage versus on-premise servers?

            Besides the cost differences, Cloud storage offers access to your data from a remote location, increased security and control over data versus individually controlled computers, and protection from hard drive failure that affects 140,000 machines each week. Cloud storage also has the ability to grow with your business. Start out only paying for the capacity you need and quickly add storage as you scale your business.

            What's the cost difference of Cloud storage and on-premise servers?

            Undoubtedly, Cloud storage can offer cost savings via both reduced hardware capital and IT staff. However, depending on the amount of data you're storing and any levels of security compliance requirements for highly sensitive data, on-premise servers may have an overall lower cost of ownership.

            No matter how you choose to store your data, it's critical to protect it. If you're concerned with data security or data loss, reach out to a professional. We're happy to help find solutions that work for you.

            What are the basic pros and cons of cloud computing?

            The benefit of cloud computing is that the provider takes care of the infrastructure your application runs on. You can eliminate the start-up costs associated with hardware. But that's only a benefit if the provider does a good job. Now all your applications are dependant on the performance of a single WAN link. It is possible to lose data, as well as access to business-critical services when cloud services fail.

            What is a quick way to tell if a vendor is really talking about true cloud computing services or about virtualization?

             Virtualization is a software-based technology. They have versions with numbers after it. That is when you know you are dealing with software; if you hear about versions, you know you are not in the Cloud. Cloud computing is a service that goes beyond what software alone can provide.

            Should we choose virtualization or cloud computing?

            Which approach is right for your application? Virtualization can certainly save companies money in both the short- and long-term. But it is still necessary to purchase and provision hardware and software upfront in order to run an application on virtualized infrastructure. The IT costs associated with managing the virtualized application is also a factor.

            Cloud computing, in contrast, costs less upfront because you don't have to buy and manage the infrastructure. But the more cloud-based resources you use, the higher your costs will be. Ultimately, cloud computing might cost more than running virtual servers on your hardware, depending on your expertise and many other factors.

            Another key choice factor is data security. In a virtual environment, you control the hardware, the access permissions, the backup/recovery, etc. In a cloud computing environment, the service provider handles those concerns, for better or worse.

            How do cloud servers differ from dedicated servers?

            When buying a dedicated server, there is usually a lead time on the hardware, and it is difficult to change the server specification as your needs evolve, forcing you to buy something large enough for your application to grow into. You pay for the server 24 hours a day, not just when you want it up and running. Our cloud servers, on the other hand, can be deployed immediately from our easy-to-use web control panel and have no setup charge, a low minimum price, and no commitment to a contract. As your requirements change, you can instantly scale the resources you use, both up and down, and can even pay-as-you-go simply for the hours your servers are running.

             How does cloud hosting differ from shared hosting?

            Shared hosting solutions usually only give access to your server through a web control panel, where you can manage a number of websites hosted on that server. With our cloud server, you have full administrator control over your server, install any software as well as configure it to meet your needs.

            What is a private cloud?

            A private cloud attempts to mimic the delivery models of public cloud vendors but does so entirely within the firewall, for the benefit of an enterprises user. A private cloud is highly virtualized, stringing together mass quantities of IT infrastructure in one or a few easily managed resource pools.

            What happens if hardware fails?

            The Cloud has a completely self-healing architecture. This means that if any hardware node should fail, any cloud servers running on resources on that node will be re-provisioned on alternative hardware. This happens without the need for any human intervention. We can also engineer solutions for instantaneous failover for customers with specific availability requirements. Contact us, and we can discuss the various options available.

            What is the difference in cloud computing and computing for mobiles?

            Mobile computing uses the same concept as cloud computing. Cloud computing becomes active with the data with the help of the internet rather than an individual device. It provides users with the data which they have to retrieve on demand. In mobile, the applications run on the remote server and gives user access for storage and management.

            What are the security aspects provided with Cloud?

             

              • Identity management: It authorizes the application services
              • Access control: permission has to be provided to the users so that they can control the access of another user who is entering into the cloud environment.
              • Authentication and Authorization: Allows only the authorized and authenticated user only to access the data and applications

             

             What are the security laws which are implemented to secure data in a cloud?

            The security laws which are implemented to secure data in Cloud are 

              • Processing: Control the data that is being processed correctly and completely in an application
              • File: It manages and control the data being manipulated in any of the file
              • Output reconciliation: It controls the data which has to be reconciled from input to output
              • Input Validation: Control the input data
              • Security and Backup: It provides security and backup it also controls the security breaches logs.

             

            What are the characteristics of cloud architecture that separates it from the traditional one?

            The characteristics that makes cloud architecture above traditional architecture is 

              • According to the demand, cloud architecture provides the hardware requirement
              • Cloud architecture is capable of scaling the resource on demand
              • Cloud architecture is capable of managing and handling dynamic workloads without failure

             

            In the Cloud, what are the optimizing strategies?

            To overcome the maintenance cost and to optimize the resources, there is a concept of three data center in Cloud which provides recovery and backup in case of disaster or system failure and keeps all the data safe and intact.

             

            Cloud Computing Costs & Pricing Comparison

            Cloud-hero

            By 2021, 94% of the internet workload will be on the cloud, according to our friends at Cisco. Take a moment to let that sink in. Most companies use a hybrid strategy, with the 'big three' commodity clouds going head to head to make their cloud offering the most cost-effective. 

            Cost Benefits of Cloud Computing

            The overall cost benefits of the cloud come down in large part to hardware responsibilities. If your on-premises hardware fails, that's a hefty cost on your business bottom line. On the cloud, even if a VM, a server, or an entire data centre goes down - that's the responsibility of the cloud provider, and you can continue with business as usual.

            Running costs can also be a lot cheaper on the cloud than on-premises, because of PAYG pricing and elastic scaling capabilities, for example. To understand how each of the primary public cloud providers handles their customer pricing - let's turn to a cloud pricing comparison - and break down their unique pricing benefits with some of the cost innovations that each provider is particularly proud of.

            Amazon AWS Cloud Pricing & Costs

            AWS splits its cloud pricing benefits into three categories. The first is Pay as you Go. They compare this to the way that you pay for your utilities. You pay only for the services that you use and when you use them. This diagram shows how they compare the cost of on-premises to using AWS, complete with the added expenses of underutilisation.

            AWS's following tool is Reserved Capacity. This is a shared cloud concept and means that if you know you're going to need a certain amount of computing or storage, for example, you can reserve this ahead of time and slash your costs. This could save you as much as 75% over the on-demand pricing, a great way to reduce costs on AWS.

            Lastly, AWS offers Volume-based Discounts based on economies of scale. For something like storage, when looking at Amazon S3 pricing, for example, the more you use, the less you'll pay for each GB. Up to 50TB of storage is 0.023 GB/month, while 500TB+ will reduce the cost to 0.021 GB/month. These can add up. The AWS pricing calculator can be used to estimate AWS cloud pricing ahead of time.

            Google GCP Cloud Pricing & Costs 

            Google Cloud pricing is also built around a pay-as-you-go model and promises no activation or termination fees. On top of this, your Google Cloud cost can be considered alongside the following added cost benefits:

              • Preemptible VM Instances: If your workloads don't need continuous availability, such as background processes for data management, for example, set them up to be interrupted where necessary, and save up to 79%.
              • Per-second billing: With Google Cloud VM pricing, you pay for exactly what you use, by the second - and no further.  
              • Sustained-use Discounts: Thinking about Google Cloud compute pricing? If your workloads are running a significant amount on Compute Engine and Cloud SQL each month, you'll be automatically eligible for a discount of up to 30%, as seen below.

            Committed-use Discounts: While sustained-use discounts help you reduce costs on long-term or larger projects, committed-use discounts are great for users with just a few projects. These can be agreed upon ahead of time, and you'll get a discount of up to 57%, without any lock-in.

            Microsoft's Azure Cloud Pricing & Costs

            Microsoft Azure's cloud pricing also comes with the ability to reserve instances ahead of time, but with a one or three-year commitment to lock in the price savings. You can exchange or cancel your instances at any time to make it work for a growing or evolving business model. There are some bonuses when it comes to Azure cloud cost control.

            First, you will pay less for development and testing resources, including zero software charges for Azure VMs, and reduced dev-test pricing on additional Azure cloud services.

            Azure also has a similar process to preemptible VM instances on GCP. Spot VMs are 90% most cost-effective than traditional Pay-as-you-Go VMs on Azure and are used for interruptible workloads.

            You can also use Reserved Instances in a similar way to Reserved Capacity or Committed Use Discounts. By agreeing ahead of time, cost savings can be more than 70% over Pay-as-you-Go. On top of this, Azure has a Hybrid Benefit offering, which means you can use your existing licenses from Windows Server or SQL Server with software assurance. As you can see below, this results in even deeper savings where applicable. Here's the Azure pricing calculator that can help you make sense of it all.

            How Much Does It Cost To Build Cloud Computing Service?

            Dedicated resources are a reliable source for handling the business. The cost of infrastructure and the requirement of hiring system engineers increases the cost. This fears the new organisations from setting up the infrastructure. The lack of scalability and the urgent necessity of the resources are met by Cloud computing. Cost investment funds are one of the principal reasons why organisations are moving to the Cloud.

            Even though Cloud Computing services can offer your organisation numerous budgetary favourable circumstances, it is essential to plainly comprehend the cost ramifications of the Cloud and how it could affect your organisation.

            Probably the most basic cost investment funds include:

              • No enormous forthright capital investment
              • Diminished programming costs with upgrades included in the month to month charges
              • Decreased spending for IT support
              • Business Continuity is inculcated in the Cloud condition
              • Reserve funds increase through higher human capital productivity and more noteworthy effectiveness
              • Tax cuts

             

            The cloud can eradicate recurring large capital expenditures

            With cloud computing services, you never again need to spend many upfront capitals on the software and hardware essential to run your system. In most cloud environments, these expenses and the cost to keep up your system are recognised for a level, month-to-month charge. Moreover, when the server and system spine (switches, firewalls, stockpiling) should be improved, the cloud supplier must do these redesigns - with no additional expense to the client. In this way disposing of enormous monetary responsibilities of performing future company-wide updates.

            Cloud Servers and Network Hardware are of Higher Quality

            A significant distinction in the foundation of the onsite-based system versus a cloud-based system is that the servers and hardware of the network are the absolute best and most excellent when obtained for cloud situations. An excellent premise-based server may cost $10,000 - $15,000 through a Cloud-based server may cost $70,000 - $100,000 or more. The same is found for the switches, the firewalls, and the remainder of the hardware utilised in a cloud situation. Sap development services suppliers can't bear the cost of hardware failure, so great gear is utilised, and every last bit of it is exceptionally redundant inside the data centre.

            No expenditures on costly hardware

            When all is said and done, big data solutions don't require the outright acquisition of server equipment, storage of network, reinforcement frameworks, recovery systems for disasters, power or cooling frameworks, utility costs, or data centres. When a business moves to a cloud environment, they dispense with the requirement for servers and the physical space expected to house those servers.

            No requirement for the Upfront Expense of Capital for Infrastructure Software

            Cloud Integration services eradicate the requirement for the upfront capital prerequisite of obtaining programs like Windows Server, SQL Server, Application and Database Servers, Client Access Licenses, Middleware, SharePoint, Citrix Server, and customer licenses, etc. These expenses are paid in the month-to-month charges for the cloud condition and backing.

            Less Expensive Software Upgrades

            Many developers include free programming upgrades for applications that are facilitated in the cloud and are paid as a membership inside the month-to-month cloud environment charges. This implies no costly programming updates and none of the interference that product upgrades make in organisations.

            The Cloud renders unsurprising IT costs

            The unpredictable nature of the current "Break-Fix" arrangement for PC systems has baffled entrepreneurs for a long time. One of the largely favourable circumstances of cloud computing for entrepreneurs and their staff is the consistency that it brings. Cost of continuous updates, replacement of outdated servers, and other variable expenses are dispensed with Cloud processing. Most organisations that have moved to the Sap development services enormously welcome the predictability and consistency of paying a fixed month-to-month cost for their IT needs.

            This consistency occurs on two or three levels. To start with, organisations pay for the services they use, rather than paying for software, hardware, power, and the help for keeping these things secure, steady, and working appropriately.

            Second, in the old, on-premise model, when you buy programming, you are left with that adaptation for a long time, alongside the product's multi-year upgrade cycles. While you can work around this with additional outsider items, it's not so proficient as cloud programming.

            Cut-down expenses made on IT Operations

            This is ordinarily perhaps the best wellspring of reserve funds when a business moves a few or the entirety of its frameworks to the Cloud. Staffing costs in the IT division or for redistributed IT Support for sending, working, and keeping up applications and hidden foundations can be way too expensive, and a considerable lot of these expenses are incredibly decreased in a cloud domain.

            When a business is working in the cloud, the big data cloud solutions' merchant takes on almost the entirety of the expenses related to introducing, running, and keeping up the applications, the primary programming framework, and the associated equipment. For most organisations, this speaks to reserve funds of a full-time IT proficiency. Also, this doesn't constantly mean disposing of employees in the IT office - it can likewise be viewed as evacuating unnecessary, low-worth work from IT, which permits the IT group to concentrate on increasingly vital, esteemed services.

            Tax advantages of Cloud Computing

            As opposed to representing hardware and software as a capital cost and afterwards devaluing those costs over the long run, with the Cloud's membership-based model, those costs are viewed as operational and can be deducted each year, instead of more than quite a while.

            Is Cloud Storage Expensive?

            When it comes to the cloud, there are still many differences between countries. The European cloud market is much more fragmented than the American one for several reasons, including the slightly different regulations in each country. Cloud adoption is slower in Europe, and many organisations still like to maintain data and infrastructure on their premises. The Australian approach is quite pragmatic, and many enterprises take somewhat advantage of the experiences made by similar organisations on the other side of the pond. One similarity is cloud storage or, better, cloud storage costs and reactions.

            Data is growing everywhere at an incredible pace, is nothing new, and often faster than predicted in the past years. At first glance, an all-in cloud strategy looks very compelling, low $/GB, less CAPEX and more OPEX, increased agility, and more, until, of course, your cloud bill starts growing out of control.

            There are at least two reasons why a cloud storage bill can get out of control

             

              • The application is not written correctly. Someone wrote or migrated an application that is not explicitly designed to work in the cloud and is not resource savvy. This often happens with legacy applications that are migrated as-is. Sometimes it's hard to solve because re-engineering an old application is simply not possible. In other cases, the application behaviour could be corrected with a better understanding of the API and the mechanisms that regulate the cloud (and how they are charged).
              • There is nothing wrong with the workload, it's just that data is being created, read, and moved around more than in the past.

             

            Optimisation

            Start by optimising the cloud storage infrastructure. Many providers are adding additional storage tiers and automation to help with this. In some cases, it adds some complexity (someone must manage new policies and ensure they work properly). Not a big deal, but probably not a huge saving either.

            Also, try to optimise the application. But that is not always easy, especially if you don't have control over the code and the application wasn't already written with the intent to run in a cloud environment. Still, this could pay off in the mid to long term, but are you ready to invest in this direction?

            Bring Data Back

            A standard solution, adopted by a significant number of organisations now, is data repatriation. Bring back data on-premises (or a colocation service provider) and access it locally or from the cloud. Why not?

            At the end of the day, the bigger the infrastructure, the lower the $/GB and, above all, no other fees to worry about. When thinking about petabytes, there are several ways to optimise and take advantage of which can lower the $/GB considerably: fat nodes with plenty of disks, multiple media tiers for performance and cold data, data footprint optimisations, and so on, all translating into low and predictable costs.

            At the same time, if this is not enough, or you want to keep a balance between CAPEX and OPEX, go hybrid. Most storage systems in the market allow to tier data to S3-compatible storage systems now, and I'm not talking only about object stores - NAS and block storage systems can do the same. I covered this topic extensively in this report but checked with your storage vendor of choice, and I'm sure they'll have solutions to help out with this.

            Multi-cloud

            Another option that doesn't negate what is written above is to implement a multi-cloud storage strategy. Instead of focusing on a single-cloud storage provider,  abstract the access layer and pick up what is best depending on the application, the workloads, the cost, and so on, all determined by the moment's needs. Multi-cloud data controllers are gaining momentum with prominent vendors starting to make the first acquisitions (RedHat with NooBaa, for example), and the number of solutions is growing at a steady pace. 

            In practice, these products offer a standard front-end interface, usually S3 compatible, and can distribute data on several back-end repositories following user-defined policies. This leaves the end-user with a lot of freedom of choice and flexibility regarding where to put (or migrate) data while allowing them to access it transparently regardless of where it's stored. Last week, for example, I met with Leonovus, which has a compelling solution that associates what I just described to a strong set of security features.

            There are several alternatives to significant service providers when it comes to cloud storage, some of them focus on better pricing and lower or no egress fees, while others work on high performance too. As I wrote last week in another blog, going all-in with a single service provider could be an easy choice initially but a considerable risk in the long term.

            Closing The Circle

            Data storage is expensive, and cloud storage is no exception. Those who think they will save money by just moving all of their data to the cloud as-is are making a big mistake. For example, cold data is a perfect fit for the cloud, thanks to its low $/GB, but as soon as you begin accessing it over and over again, the costs can rise to an unsustainable level.

            To avoid dealing with this problem later, it's best to think about the right strategy now. Planning and executing the right hybrid or multi-cloud strategy can surely help keep costs under control while giving that agility and flexibility needed to preserve IT infrastructure, therefore business and competitivity.