Your Business’s Customers Deserve The Cloud’s Reliability

Cloud ReliabilityYou’d be surprised, or perhaps not, by the number of businesses whose revenue and relationship with customers are dependent on an old server sitting under a desk or in a closet, the maintenance and continued functioning of which depends on the IT expertise of someone who is not entirely qualified for the job.

It makes me cringe when I talk to small business owners about the state of their IT infrastructure and they tell me that mission critical applications and databases are running on creaky old servers that haven’t been replaced for years, often because there’s no one around who understands exactly what the server is doing and they are afraid to touch it in case they break something. Read more

It’s Not Easy Being Green, But The Cloud Helps

Being Green With The CloudInformation technology is essential to the economy. We used to say the online economy, but that forms such a large part of the economy as a whole, and almost all activity within the wider economy depends in some way on computing infrastructure and information technology that the distinction is losing its usefulness.

Computing infrastructure forms the substrate on which the economy runs. To accommodate the demand for infrastructure, data centers are being built at an ever faster rate. Data centers consume massive amounts of energy, up to one hundred times that of the average office building. Information technology uses ten percent of the world’s annual energy consumption — more than the aviation industry. It behoves companies to try to reduce their energy consumption; deploying applications and infrastructure into the cloud is one of the easiest ways to reduce energy consumption on IT. Read more

How Does High Availability Cloud Hosting Minimize Downtime?

Using Cloud To Minimize DowntimeTraditionally, when a server suffered a catastrophic failure, the sites it hosted went down and stayed down until it could be repaired or replaced. On a long enough timeframe, servers will fail — components don’t last forever, particularly those with moving parts like hard drives, but also electronic components. It was once an accepted feature of web hosting, some downtime was expected.

It’s almost impossible to guarantee zero downtime, even on the most advanced cloud platform, but modern cloud technology allows us to implement systems that make it an extremely rare occurrence.

To be considered a High Availability system, a cloud platform has to have a couple of features which are closely related to each other: the absence of single point of failure and failover in the case of a server going down. Read more

How You Can Use The Cloud To Improve Your Dedicated Server

Use Cloud To Improve Dedicated ServerThe dedicated server is frequently held up as the most powerful option available to hosting clients. Even though it tends to be more expensive than the alternatives; it offers the best performance, the most control, and the greatest stability of any plan – bar none.

If you’re running resource-intensive, high-demand services or applications, a dedicated server is clearly the superior choice; the cloud cannot yet match its performance without a significantly higher investment. Meanwhile, if scaling and flexibility are your main concerns, you’re probably better off sticking with the cloud. Those are, after all, the things it’s known for.

There appears to be very little middle ground. Read more

How Cloud Computing Plays A Role In The Digital Enterprise

Cloud Digital EnterprisesThe enterprise world looks very different today from how it looked twenty (or even ten) years ago. Due in large part to advances made in networking and computer hardware, technology has come to play a greater role in business than ever before. This has, in turn, given rise to an entirely new paradigm; one which persists across industries: the digital enterprise.

I should explain what I mean with that term; it’s not just a buzz phrase. Read more

What Is A Private Cloud?

What is a Private Cloud?Among all the various pieces of cloud terminology, the one that many people, even tech experts, have trouble with is the concept of a private cloud. I’ve heard people describe Gmail as a private cloud service, because users have private accounts. I’ve heard people insist that the only platforms correctly described as private clouds are those where organizations themselves purchase, deploy, and manage the underlying physical hardware.

The second group are closer to the truth, but far enough from capturing the real meaning of a private cloud that it’s worth devoting some time to explaining in simple terms exactly what a private cloud platform is. Read more

Achieving 100% Uptime With Your Cloud Hosting Provider

Achieving 100% Uptime In The CloudThere was a time – over a decade ago; an eternity in the world of tech – when 100% uptime was impossible. No matter how well a server worked, no matter how capable the administrator, it would eventually need to be taken down. Infrastructure failed. Vulnerabilities and glitches needed to be patched out. New features needed to be implemented.

Back then, outages – however small – were simply a fact of life. Servers like the one documented by Ars Technica user Axatax were the exception rather than the rule. The expectation that a server always be available to its users was unreasonable at best.

Much has changed since those days. Read more

Cloud Providers Have A Responsibility To Safeguard Data Sovereignty

Cloud Data Sovereignty ResponsibilityIn an ideal world, we might be able to think of the cloud as a vast undifferentiated pool of compute and storage resources. Users wouldn’t have to care about the what and the where of the underlying infrastructure; they’d just spin up as many servers as they need or upload whichever files they want to store, and that would be that. In an era of plummeting prices, the commodification of cloud resources, and the prevalence of open standards, users wouldn’t even have to care much about which vendor they chose to handle their company’s workloads.

If you work in corporate IT, the above scenario probably made you wince. For you, the global cloud is just pie in the sky. You are deeply concerned with the what and the where of infrastructure deployments — particularly the where. Data sovereignty is key to mitigating the regulatory and business risks of infrastructure deployment. It matters where data is stored and processed because it matters which legal and regulatory frameworks will apply — countries across the world have radically different privacy and security standards for data. Companies can find themselves in serious trouble if they plan for adhering to EU or Canadian standards within those jurisdictions only to find that chunks of their users’ data is sitting on servers in the US or elsewhere.

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If Businesses Ignore The Cloud, Employees May Make The Decision For Them

Businesses Ignoring Cloud DecisionBusinesses move slowly. Decisions can take an age to work through the various levels and departments of a large enterprise. Entrenched thinking, vested interests, and regulatory concerns frequently prevent large businesses from being as agile as they might, especially when it comes to big decisions like IT deployment. In many cases, that leaves employees working with legacy tools and systems. Most employees want to be as productive as possible, which means using the most efficient tools. When it comes to information technology, those tools are to be found on cloud platforms.

A recent study from Skyhigh Networks revealed that rather than conforming to company IT policies, employees are doing an end-run around glacial decision-making processes and adopting cloud platforms and technologies on their own initiative, creating “shadow IT” systems that fall outside of corporate oversight. Read more

A Look At Our Cloud Hosting Platform

CirrusHosting Cloud Hosting PlatformWe’ve been in the hosting business for a long time. In that time we’ve seen huge upheavals in web hosting brought on by the headlong pace of technological innovation. Virtualization technology has created a hosting landscape undreamed of when we first embarked on our journey as a company. Virtualization and the cloud platforms it enables are the way of the future for web hosting, but not all clouds are equal.

The combination of our years of experience managing and supporting hosting clients, our advanced networking infrastructure and server hardware, and the cutting-edge OnApp cloud technology, have enabled CirrusHosting to build an unbeatable cloud hosting platform that offers high availability, supreme reliability and redundancy, and support levels well beyond those offered by competing cloud products. Read more