Cloud computing

In the world of information technology, delivering cloud-based services is the next train barreling down the tracks. This ever-expanding, ever-evolving opportunity is moving at a remarkable speed (which is why there are so many aaS acronyms out there).

Even with big players like Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce.com and Google in the mix, there’s plenty of opportunity for service providers to jump aboard.

In today’s business world, we need to justify every dollar that we spend, lowering costs, and delivering a return on investment on everything we do. Nowhere is this more true than in IT, where Big Data, Mobility and BYOD are changing the way we work across the globe, requiring companies to an IT depratments to invest and change to remain competitive.

Consider the following facts:

  1. More data is being generated, copied, moved, stored and kept for longer periods of time than ever before
     
  2. Demands for storage keep growing dramatically, but in general, budgets don’t follow the same curve, and don’t increase in the same proportion to keep up

Research shows that even during the recession of 2008-2009, businesses experienced an approximately 40-percent annual increase in storage demand. Now, as the economy is back on track, that growth rate is closer to 60%.

Not too long ago (even 5 or 10 years seems an eternity) life was easy. Most of us were tied to our desks. The ones that were not, like sales people, would carry boxes with printed materials and price lists in the trunks of their cars. Remote workers would dial in and connect via VPN to access their file servers.

Things are different now. Mobility is changing the way we do business. We work wherever we are, at the office, at home, on a plane, at a client’s site, out in the field. We are mobile. We use mobile devices. And all companies, large and small, benefit from this new scenario. Competitive organizations empower their users with mobility solutions maximizing their productivity to drive better service, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately increase revenue and profitability.

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Automate, automate, automate. According to Forrester Research (The State of Business Technology Resiliency, Q2 2014), “The complexity we face today in technology is beyond what humans can manage”.

Everybody knows: it’s better to hear it once from the real customer than thousand times from a vendor. Nobody can tell you better than the actual user how the solution works, how the deployment process went, and what support they are getting. Especially so in DR space: customers don’t like talking about it, as if being (even potentially) associated with a disaster makes them look bad. Only those who really trust their solution, have tested it and know it works, are capable to freely share this information. Some even see it as a competitive advantage – like in case, the statement “Your Money is Safe with Us” goes beyond and above of what it usually implies when coming from a bank with strong, proven DR solution in place. Your data is safe, your applications will be accessible, and our service will be available. In the end of the day, it’s all about peace of mind – for the management, internal users, and their customers.

How to Avoid Hardware/ Software Drift

I’ve been writing about the hidden hazards of do-it-yourself disaster recovery. One of these hazards is hardware/software drift. Since your disaster recovery site represents a working replica of the production environment, it will need to be maintained on an ongoing basis. There are several strategies for how hardware and software are provisioned for your DR site. The strategies you choose will determine the how much maintenance will be needed to keep your DR site running at an optimal level.

There are two main techniques for acquiring hardware for a disaster recovery site, although you may want to use a combination of both. One technique is to replace hardware (i.e. a server) that is no longer covered by warranty with new hardware and use the old hardware for disaster recovery. Another strategy is to buy or lease new equipment to use at the DR site.

Shared Article: Overcoming Fear Of The Cloud

In my perusing of various blogs and articles this morning I ran across this one, “Overcoming Fear Of The Cloud

A paragraphs in the article says:

“The fears range from the personal (Will I lose my job?) to the operational (How can we make sure we are backed up?) to the strategic (Will we be locked in to one cloud?). Some of the fears expose long-standing weaknesses in traditional IT practices, while others are new to the cloud. While most of us don’t like to admit we are constrained by fear, it is worth taking an inventory of these fears to see if we are missing out on important opportunities.”