Cloud News & Insights

The Case for Migrating From a Dedicated Server Environment to the Cloud

In my previous post I discussed various aspects of server load and its implications. The crux of the problem is the difference in perspective between the server administrator and the operations manager looking after the website.   As a result, the operations manager keeps complaining about the poor performance of the website, while the System administrator maintains that everything is fine and couldn’t be better.

Why this difference in perspective?

Let’s look at the systems administrator’s point of view. As long as the server is up and running, he claims that there is no problem from his side. The parameters which he monitors are probably the load on the server and the response. Beyond this, he has no reason to suspect anything.

The operations manager looks at some other aspects of website performance. He looks at the download speed of web pages. He is concerned about slow online transactions. He is bothered when users complain about dropped website access.

Now, when the operations manager complains to the server administrator, it is obvious that they are looking at two different aspects of performance. In actual fact, as the server is loaded beyond a certain level, the website performance starts deteriorating. The server administrator is not able to appreciate this fact.

Now, the only solution here is to add an additional dedicated server, when the load reaches a certain point. If you have a dedicated server in a traditional data center, this would mean doubling your expenditure on hardware. The management of many organizations would never buy this argument. As a result the website hobbles along without giving desired performance. This can be a disastrous situation.

The cloud as an alternative

This is where the system administrator and operations manager can find a solution together. IAAS can be considered as an elegant solution to both their problems. Here, you can specify under what conditions of load the server instance is to be added. This has several advantages. Your website performance remains stable at all times. If the traffic suddenly increases beyond a certain level, thereby influencing performance, you can automatically add additional resources. When the demand on the server reduces, the additional resources can be automatically released. This is termed ‘high availability‘.

Auto scaling features in a cloud environment

Every cloud service provider may have his own flavor of auto scaling. In short, this feature allows for automatic expansion or shrinking of resources according to demand. As I explained earlier, there is no direct method to estimate server load in terms of traffic. For this, you have to look at CPU load and memory utilization. The real problem in server performance is managing the spikes and sudden loads. It is difficult to cater for such situations. Load balancing becomes essential under the circumstances. The cloud computing environment once again score high on this count. Distribution of load evenly between server instances can mitigate sudden spikes in traffic. You can learn more about load balancing here.


Cloud computing can ensure that the performance of your online operations are not compromised due to fluctuating load. The solution is both elegant and economical.

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About the Guest Author:

Sankarambadi SrinivasanSankarambadi Srinivasan, ‘Srini’, is a maverick writer, technopreneur, geek and online marketing enthusiast rolled into one. He began his career as a Naval weapon specialist. Later, he sold his maiden venture and became head of an offshore Database administration company in Mumbai. He moved on as Chief Technology Officer of one of the largest online entities, where he led consolidation of 300 online servers and introduced several Web 2.0 initiatives. He holds a Master’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunication.

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Cloud Computing and the Asian Hedge Fund and Investment Market

Various hedge fund and investment firms have expanded their cloud computing capabilities in Asia in recent years. Through the use of private clouds, thousands of hedge fund professionals around the world have streamlined their operations, reduced their up front costs, increased their resilience, and improved their response time to market fluctuations.

More importantly, cloud computing providers have allowed smaller investment firms and independent hedge fund professionals to gain access to advanced, expensive IT infrastructure that is usually only available for hedge funds dealing with billions of dollars.

In today’s rapidly changing investment market which requires the fastest possible computing power to handle millions of micro-transactions, access to the necessary computing equipment is a must for these firms to stay competitive. Gradually, cloud computing has gained a hold around the world with hedge funds and investment firms, and the Asian market is no exception with a drastic shift in the adoption and attitude towards cloud computing.

The most important hedge fund markets in Asia, without question, are located in Hong Kong and Singapore. An important reason for these markets’ importance in this sector is the fact that they have access to high speed telecommunications and governments have friendly policies to financial firms and technology.

The Asian hedge fund market is peculiar in the sense that large funds tend to struggle more than smaller funds. This may be due to smaller funds’ increased flexibility and manageability, an important factor in the modern financial markets that require quick reaction times and efficiency. To deliver positive results and become competitive, firms in the Asian market are looking to streamline their operations and gain the flexibility and agility available typical of smaller firms, an aspect that is helped tremendously by cloud computing technology.

Cloud technology adoption among Asian hedge fund firms

Cloud service providers have an enormous untapped market in Asia, especially those that can deliver increased security and speeds. Most of the demand among financial firms and hedge fund managers is for private cloud services. There is no doubt that the potential is far from realized in the region. Regulations in different countries have led to vast differences in the levels of cloud computing adoption around Asia. Today, many companies are taking a cautious approach to the cloud, waiting for clearer regulations from governments and for a clearer picture of the benefits that the cloud has to offer hedge funds and investment firms.

What are the obstacles for cloud technology in the Asian financial market?

It is often difficult for companies to enter the Asian market due to its competitive nature and the importance of already established players in the region. This also comes from increased regulations in the West, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. Many hedge fund managers have run into obstacles from regulations such as AIFMD (Alternative Investment Fund Directive) which have blocked them from attracting investment capital.

There are also differences in how firms do business, and hedge fund managers in Asia tend to be more cautious when it comes to making significant expenditures in infrastructure and technology at the beginning of a new business venture. There is still widespread ignorance when it comes to how the cloud works and unfounded concerns about privacy have also held many firms back from taking advantage of the many benefits of cloud computing technology.

These attitudes were common in the West only a few years ago, but today most hedge fund firms there have adopted the cloud in some form or another. This bodes well for the future of cloud computing in the Asian hedge fund market. Many aspects, such as expensive real estate and infrastructure have meant that hedge fund firms are looking to outsource many of their infrastructure needs. The most important benefits cloud computing has for this market include:

- Increased speed in operations
- Simplified IT
- Improved flexibility and scalability
- Disaster management and recovery

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Our articles are written to provide you with tools and information to meet your IT and cloud solution needs. Join us on Facebook and Twitter.


About the Guest Author:

Nida Rasheed

Nida Rasheed is a freelance writer and owner of an outsourcing company, Nida often finds herself wanting to write about the subjects that are closest to her heart. She lives in Islamabad, Pakistan and can be found on Twitter @nidarasheed.

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Infrastructure-as-a-Service is Leading the Cloud Computing Race

It is an undisputed fact that cloud computing technology is experiencing rapid growth. The huge impact of cloud-based services on business performance is forcing companies to re-evaluate their concerns and move to the cloud. Recent analysis from Gartner, an IT research and advisory company, explores the overall trends of cloud computing models.

Gartner says the market for public cloud services is expected to rise to 18.5% to $131 billion in 2013, up from $111 billion in 2012. It is interesting to note the trends of different cloud computing models. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) continues to lead the pack, with 42.4% growth in 2012 and is expected to reach 47.3% in 2013.

Why is IaaS attracting more entrepreneurs?

It is not difficult to understand the growing demand for the IaaS Cloud Computing model. Businesses get the flexibility to scale up resources automatically according to their requirements. By creating virtual machines in the cloud, network administrators can use existing infrastructure to run multiple operating systems, platforms, and applications. While available resources are optimized, managing the infrastructure is simple and easy. With a rich web-based interface, users can control networks effectively.

Another important feature of IaaS for businesses is its ready-to-use infrastructure. With a cloud-based IaaS, setting up networks is simple and quick. By handling your infrastructure needs, IaaS allows you to concentrate on your core business processes. By improving the quality of applications, you can provide more value to your customers. Moreover, businesses can try this system by paying for the services on the go. If the method is producing amazing results, companies can continue using these services. If they require something more, IaaS services can be adapted.

IaaS versus PaaS

The IaaS model has an advantage over PaaS and other cloud computing services. It offers flexibility to create databases and configure servers according to the requirement of the specific business. PaaS comes with pre-installed and pre-configured infrastructure. On the other hand, IaaS users need to configure the servers and create databases on their own.  However, the line that divides these two services is becoming thinner. Today, cloud computing services offer IaaS augmented by additional PaaS services.

The two service types should not be viewed as opposites, but rather complements. For instance, GMO Cloud offers primarily IaaS but offers operating systems and applications for easy installation.

IaaS and SMBs

Another important reason for moving to the IaaS setup is its appeal for small and medium businesses (SMBs). While the majority of large enterprises have already embraced cloud computing technology, SMBs are still exploring various options in the cloud. However, 2012 saw more of them moving into the cloud. IaaS offers highly efficient computing networks for such businesses.

The quality of the infrastructure, highly secure features, and scalable solutions are, otherwise, not in the reach of SMBs. The IaaS model allows businesses to work on highly scalable IT infrastructure while saving costs on Capex. However, IaaS is not for everyone. Businesses need to define their IT requirements, and expertise levels in handling the associated complexity clearly. Then they need to compare the pricing structure with and without the cloud.

While there are certain concerns, the amazing benefits offered by IaaS far outweigh them. The key to success lies in embracing this innovation immediately.

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About the Guest Author:

Kaushik Das

Kaushik Das is an engineer, research analyst and a technical writer in the areas wireless, IT, enterprise software, next-generation hosting, storage and renewable energy. He specializes in competitive analysis, market research, industry insights, white paper and actionable web content development.

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The 3 Big Cs in Modern Technology

gn: center;”>Catch-up on Current Crazes IT Connoisseurs Say Are Not Going Away!

Technology is supposed to create ease.  But often it only creates headaches and frustrations,especially for business owners. Whether you are a realtor in Phoenix, Arizona or a stock broker in New York City, everyone needs to have a good grip on the technology they used for businesses.  There are 3 Cs in modern technology that can make our professional lives easier. Here is a brief look at all three: cloud computing, colocation and consulting.

Cloud Computing:  Cloud computing gives every business owner an important element they desperately need to properly function in a fast paced market: accessibility.  Cloud Computing is basically saving your information on the internet, so that no matter if your computers crash, get damaged or stolen, all of your information will be safe.

If you have ever lost or damaged your phone beyond repair, you know that sinking feeling of realizing that you have lost all of your contacts and any other important data that you stored on your mobile device.  When a computer’s hard drive crashes or water damage or theft occurs, for example, it’s not just an inconvenience but it also affects your livelihood and business sustainability.

If you are a business owner and are not using any aspects of the cloud, you’re missing out. Find out more about cloud’s benefits and advantages by visiting GMO Cloud’s Features page.

Colocation: Colocation or data centers have been popping up all over, so you have probably heard of the word but might not have a good understanding of what it is. A colocation center is simply an offsite location where you can safely house your servers and IT equipment. Colocation centers have high security, redundant power and internet sources and are temperature controlled so they are an extremely safe place to store your sensitive IT equipment and information.

One thing that you will want to keep in mind if you decide to utilize a data center is the level of service offered. Some locations only offer colocation and basic monitoring while others offer fully managed IT services. Facilities that provide these types of services will monitor and manage your problems for you. If a server goes down, they can fix it, if software needs to be renewed, they will automatically update it and in some cases they can also serve as help desk for your employees.

Consulting: Many businesses are outsourcing their IT to professional companies so that they do not have to employ their own IT department. But for those who decide to keep it in-house, there may be a need for some direction and advice from time to time. Hiring an IT consultant is a route that many firms take because figuring out technology on your own without the proper experience or knowledge can take up too much time and mistakes can be costly. IT consultants can help you move your business in the right direction with expertise in everything from cloud computing, disaster recovery and backup, to strategic planning and patch management among other things. An IT consultant can even help with special projects!

So there they are – the 3 Cs that you should be aware of. As with anything, knowledge is power, so start educating yourself and looking into IT services around your business area. Learn about all of the options that are out there to help business and business owners with the ever changing world of technology.


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About the Guest Author:

Stephanie DrescherStephanie Drescher is a professional blogger for CyberTrails, the leading provider of managed IT services to businesses in the Southwest; including cloud computing and IT consulting. CyberTrails, the company that thinks beyond technology.

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Mapping Cloud Computing’s Future Success in the Asia Pacific Market

Analysts expect IP cloud services worldwide to at least double in the next five years. This comes after staggering growth in the industry in the last five years. In fact, growth in the cloud computing industry tripled in the period from 2007 to 2012 and it shows no signs of slowing down. This is because the technology brings fundamental changes which are responsible for breaking ground in areas previously unexplored.

The financial crisis had an enormous, positive impact on the cloud services industry

While many businesses suffered greatly from the worldwide financial crisis, cloud services providers actually saw benefits to their proposed business model. This is because what those providers offer businesses is a way to cut costs while also maintaining their current quality of service. A slower economy makes such cost cutting measures especially attractive to companies. How can costs be reduced with cloud computing? This is done by a different type of model where users only pay for resources that are actually consumed. In this way they can ensure that no resources are wasted.

Looking at newer offerings in the cloud computing market

Due to its great potential, some of the world’s foremost technology companies have started to jump into the cloud services business. In recent years, we have observed some of the biggest names start to offer cloud solutions, including Amazon, Microsoft, Dell, and Apple. This is because cloud computing is not only an emerging technology, it is a prime business opportunity. This is especially true in the Asian market, which traditionally has always had a higher than normal demand for new technologies.

What does cloud computing have to offer to future businesses? It is ideal for businesses that require servers that are custom made, optimized, and that operate on a large scale. This applies both to hardware and software. Combining both means that businesses can have access to optimized hardware and software solutions, optimizing their IT infrastructure to suit their specific needs. This allows businesses to save by only acquiring the services and features that they need.

The Asian market is aware of the potential of cloud computing

The cloud services industry today is poised on the edge of a key developmental point. IaaS and SaaS services are at a point where there is an ideal balance between quality, security, and affordability. This is especially ideal for small and medium businesses in the Asian market, particularly in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines. In fact, small businesses in Asia are aware of the potential of cloud computing and many are evaluating the use of this technology in their business. Surveys have shown that a high percentage of companies in the region have already adopted, or plan on adopting cloud technology for their IT operations in the next year.

The combination of rapid growth in this technology, the emergence of new companies providing cloud services in the region, and the increased demand point to a scenario where the Asia Pacific region could quickly develop an IT market with a level of growth and competition never seen before. This is especially true because the advance in cloud computing is not only driven by cloud technology advances and specific products, there is a combination of market forces that has led to this positive situation:

1. Businesses are searching for the funds needed for growth in market segments that are very important for cloud technology service providers.
2. There are entrenched problems associated with finding these funds and carrying out growth in the traditional manner. However, the shortcomings associated with the traditional approach are not enough to dissuade established businesses from adopting them.
3. There is pressure from competitors that have adopted the new technology because they have very little to lose and almost everything to gain by adopting it.

The combination of these market forces has meant that cloud computing will drive the market for the next decades, especially in the Asian market. This is especially true because the growth of cloud technology is not driven by product fads, or passing phenomena; it is driven by a real economic need in the market for these kinds of services.

Be Part of Our Cloud Conversation

Our articles are written to provide you with tools and information to meet your IT and cloud solution needs. Join us on Facebook and Twitter.


About the Guest Author:

Nida Rasheed

Nida Rasheed is a freelance writer and owner of an outsourcing company, Nida often finds herself wanting to write about the subjects that are closest to her heart. She lives in Islamabad, Pakistan and can be found on Twitter @nidarasheed.

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