Tag Archives: Cloud Computing

Making Administration of Compliance Easy

Compliance has been made frightening to most organizations through multiple regulatory mandates. It is now a difficult and tedious task to organize a product for SOX and PCI or HIPAA compliance. The manual workaround, auditing failures as well as intimidating pressure of disciplinary action under various acts makes gradual compliance unreasonable and undesirable. Therefore, enterprises are longing for easy compliance that are highly automated, tightly integrated, extensive, scalable and reliable solutions. Cloud computing services that incorporate superior capabilities, at the same time allow you to be in control of proliferating information and compliance requirements are now in high demand.

Automated cloud service that enable data collection, benchmark mapping, change of tracking, and report are designed to make auditing simple and easy, for both inside or outside the enterprise. For legal compliance, upbeat and proactive controls are created. In addition, they allow numerous compliance management and bring easy, centralized structure that permit definition of policy, as well as computerized compliance auditing process across platforms and environments. There is also provision of extensive library policies that set rules tackling some problems associated with compliance, which is built into some of the computing solutions in the cloud. This can be beneficial for automatically defining and scanning results on the dashboard that share similarity with the specific legal mandates. The outcome is that simplified compliance and permits viewing of data at a glance.

Majority cloud backup and storage systems come with uninterrupted features that burn out users that are unauthorized and tracks user’s activities. Changes to files, directories, registry keys, and provision of visible and immediate checkmating so as to avoid incident that may result in data compromise are kept by file integrity monitory software. The read and write protection and reconciliation maps in cloud backup systems, which follow changes to the original system, safeguarding sufficient security. For that reason, there is a reduction in management complexities while security is vastly made stronger.

Below are the functions of computing services in the cloud which you need to know:

– Help to centralize data management for the purpose of policy inspection, strategy, and reporting;
– Provide uninterrupted change management and integrity of configuration;
– Permit integration of software to prevent hosting intrusion, management against vulnerability, and control of application.

Users of cloud computing can be made aware of the incessant compliance expectations with uninterrupted visibility. With the help of cloud computing, labour intensive mistakes, errors of disconnected compliance products can be avoided. In addition, there is absolute reduction in the cost of compliance, as well as dramatic reduction in the complexity of operation with the help of cloud compliance. In fact, there are more to the benefits associated with cloud computing than what we have discussed above.

Effective Business Case for Tiered Cloud Storage

One of the most appreciable parts of the cloud economics discussion is the profiling of real money versus assumed risk. Supporters of cloud computing will have problems when it comes to making business case for the cloud if they are not aware of the amount of real money they will be able to save for their enterprise by taking their business to the cloud (in other words, need to know the real ROI before making a decision).

Best guess is that cloud computing is less expensive. Indeed, the guess is true as cloud computing is less expensive when you compare it with the other computing systems. However, the problem is always how one will be able to explain that cloud computing is cheaper. The cost of a data center is categorized into two, which are direct and indirect cost, as well as the issues associated with floor space, power, and IT operation, storage, scalability, network and other issues. Before deciding on the cost of cloud computing, you will need to determine the above mentioned data center issues in financial terms. Looking at the other side of the coin, it is obvious to know that cloud-computing services are priced per GB per month, using only bandwidth usage as the only associated cost, without considering (at least for the user) any of the data center mentioned above.

In order to build a case for saving of real money in the cloud, appropriate cloud based data storage usage should be defined. In addition, it is important to note that some data are suitable for storage in the cloud while others are not. In order to make effective business case for tiered cloud storage in monetary terms, the following questions must be answered:

What are the performances needed for storage of certain category of data?
In terms of platform construction, deployment, application, time required for completion and compute rates, what are the needed performance requirement?
In creating and deploying application in each platform, what are monetary cost and the specific resource requirements?
It is possible to use cloud computing platforms along side with local offsite systems so as to enhance effectiveness of cost?

The compliance for security is automatic in the cloud, and legal discovery is known to be made easy. Therefore, one should not look down the real money savings just by avoiding legal actions and improved compliance to legal mandates. With all these being said, it is vital to make clear that infrastructures and cloud services need to be monitored constantly. Though cloud services can be helpful in up-front cost of enterprises through dispersal of the expenditures over the period which may be months and even years, it is important for CIOs to be watchful so as to avoid creeping in pricing services known as “pay as you go”. The company will find it difficult to reduce the costs, as well as maintain their storage in the cloud at low and economical rate if they do not remove unwanted data to create space on their device.

Effects of Bandwidth in Cloud Computing

The term “bandwidth” has been used in Electrical Engineering for years to mean “the difference between the upper and lower frequencies in a continuous set of frequencies, measured in hertz”. In the early 1990’s Telcos started to use the term “bandwidth” to describe the volume of data handled and defined it as “the transmission rate of data across a network”. Bandwidth in data transmission is measured in bits per second and it represents the capacity of network connection. Increase in the capacity means improved performance, considering other factors like latency. We will further discuss the effects of utilisation of bandwidth to the challenges associated with cloud computing.

Cloud computing providers usually calculate required bandwidth of customers just by considering the available quantity of bandwidth as well as the mean bandwidth utilisation needed by variety of applications. In addition, cloud computing providers consider latencies in transmission to calculate the required time to upload both the initial backup and all subsequent backups. For that reason, Internet based cloud backup service providers work hard to enhance the overall Internet bandwidth. They also do everything within their power to reduce the amount of data that flows through their pipes. There are many things the cloud service providers do to achieve such goals. They can use incremental backup technologies, link load balancing technologies or even some exceptional binary patching to transmit and extract file’s changes so as to reduce/ balance the transmitted amount of data. In addition, both de-duplication and file compression techniques may be used to decrease the quantity of files that are transmitted over the network.

Information Technology administrators are often advised to determine, as accurately as possible, the quantity of bandwidth that will be needed by the organisation for both data storage and transfer operations in the cloud, and also the latency, expressed in milliseconds. Therefore, they have to consider the number of users and systems that will be responsible for pushing data into the available network space for data storage and other functions at non-peak and peak hours.

The online backup that is built with self-service enabling features, augmented by administrative interface that is user-friendly can easily be built with tools that allow customers to select the things that can be backed up at any point in time. There is also inbuilt filter, which enables users to add or remove files as well as folders from their sets of backups. There may be scheduling of backup sets for upload at different points in time in the Internet based servers. Massive data transfers can be scheduled during off-peak times of the organisation, increasing the speed of the transfer of data to when there is enough bandwidth.

Nevertheless, it is important for you to know that there is interconnection between bandwidth and latency. The connection speed of the network is the function of latency and bandwidth. Latency cannot be decreased drastically, however, bandwidth can be increased at anytime.

The Role of Telco Companies in the Cloud

It has been observed that Telecommunication companies are now moving to the cloud. The Telecom companies are now being driven to the cloud revolution by economic necessity. These companies are putting themselves into the cloud in such as way that shows their network assets as well as other network related capabilities. In addition, Telecom companies have been observed to be taking their place in the cloud and ceasing the opportunity to provide oodles of services including retail services for organizations, software developers that based on consumer applications and also in building network controlled services. These processes help the companies to enhance their business models making it easy for them to play vital roles in supply chain of cloud services.

Then, you may like to ask about the roles Telecom companies do play in the cloud — data backup and cloud computing services. You may like to know whether they are not just providing themselves opportunity to get their own share of the profit or they have important contribution to make in the cloud network. Telecom companies are the major providers of cloud service. These companies were said to have been in the cloudspace for many years through their sheer tenant which they normally use to render their services like: network enabling services and dial tone for both intra and inter switching, as we as other routings that make connection between point to multipoint connectivity possible, IP telephoning, Audio conferencing and others. For that reason, you should not be surprised to see them transforming the the network from just wires and cables to a globally optimized applications.

There are lots of benefits which telecom brought into the cloud revolution and some of the benefits include: High availability and scalability services based on inexpensive models. In addition, these companies normally make use of anchored data centres to manage functionality of users, and centralize services using a service delivery model known as front-end cloud. Really, Telecom companies define quality levels, optimize on the use of resources, as well as provide multiple services to multiple customers.

Telcos have definite contributions in the cloudscapes categorically. Telco’s can anchor themselves in either Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS) and they have the ability to monetize their network by selling on wholesale. These telecommunication companies can come up as full service telecommunication companies using a data centre footprints. With the use of data center footprints, service delivery platform Telco’s can handle oodles of services, including creation, distribution, as well as management of the infrastructure and other application-oriented capabilities of organizations, consumers, SMBs, prosumers and partners. In fact, there are more to what Telecommunication brought to the cloudscpace than listed on this article. Therefore, the cloud is expected to provide Telco’s with both opportunities and challenges.

Cloud Computing & Virtualization: Counterpart in Information Technology

Virtualization has some basic characteristics which help organizations to reduce hardware investment, operating cost, maintenance charges, and consumption of energy. It improves performance of system, as well as capability to recover data in disaster. Virtualization plays an important role in the growth of cloud computing.

Abstraction is important for cloud computing; therefore, virtualization separates applications as well as operating system from underlying machines. Decoupled procedure makes them able to travel across clusters, data centers, and servers. Side by side, virtualization brings together memory, resources and storage into particular virtual environment, and makes it easy to share applications and computing capacity through cloud.

Infrastructure Management
As far as cloud computing is concerned, it is linked with notable features. Some of familiar characteristics are as follows:

IT Management
On-demand Delivery

Virtualization is recognized as primary source to help with the growth of cloud computing. On the other hand, the cloud offers a variety of benefits to virtual environment. When resources are librated and organized in virtual settings, they are dispersed and provisioned as needed. The cloud offers on-demand access, automated delivery and flexibility to particular resources and accommodates growth requirements. As a result, complexity and cost are reduced; and resources can be best utilized and extra attention can be directed towards business operations.

Growth of Non-Virtual Clouds
It is a fact that the cloud does not need virtualization to flourish; however, pairing of these two help in harvesting maximum benefits easily. It is the basic reason why the cloud platform is assisted through hypervisors like Hyper-V, as well as VMware Sphere. Moreover, there are a variety of technologies which are targeting to authorize the cloud to grow without assistance of virtualization any more.

Open source community has presented CoreOS as simple and easy to use operating system. It is based on Linux Kernel, which is familiar to may around the world. Services which are not important are stripped and Linux allocation makes use of particular containers to deliver security, performance and dependability advantages of virtual machines by using similar abstraction parts for which virtualization is renowned for. There is no use of hypervisor to get maximum advantage. Conversely, CoreOS assures nominal performance operating cost, as well as capability to strap up the cloud power by utilizing a few machines only.

One more open source alternative is Docker. It is best for those who are concerned to tap into cloud with no virtualization hassle. It is a particular type of tool, planned to containerize applications in an environment (Linux) without the need to virtualize the whole operating system. Cloud deployment is given power from Docker to enable the delivery of processes, tasks and application easy across a single physical machine or group of virtual machines. It works flawlessly with system CoreOS and improves the efficiency, speed and flexibility of available containers, as well as their significant applications.

If your organization is getting benefit from virtual environment, it means you have taken initiative for an infrastructure (cloud based) for an easy conversion. Though virtualization administration come with their own challenges, technologies such as CoreOS and Docker can be adopted as alternatives.

How Unpatched Software Give Way To Data Breaches?

It is a fact that IT related business is growing by leaps and bounds, and has changed the usage of organizational devices significantly within the last decade. With the growth of business, it has become essential to have some security measures. IT professionals have warned about risks associated with hyper-connectivity. Enterprises face great risks because the shortcomings of unpatched software are exposing data to cyber crime attacks. Therefore, it is the need of the hour to use advanced systems for data security.

Windows XP has lost its value due to security issues and instabilities which are associated with the operating system. When an OS developer like Microsoft cannot provide patches and critical updates to cope with security issues, the need for a new and well-defined operating system emerges.

What are the consequences of data breaches when complying with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)?

HIPAA Breach Rule

HIPAA is an act related to accountability and health insurance portability. In order to give maximum protection and privacy to health information, federal law has set some rules and regulations. OCR (Office for Civil Rights) is responsible for enforcing security law. For data security, OCR gives notification to organizations when certain information is breached. When businesses do not apply latest software patches, customers could get affected by data breaches and their social security numbers and/or credit card numbers could be stolen; and as a result, HIPAA penalty could be levied. Organizations have been fined by OCR because many have become the victim of malware caused by failure in selecting software patches.

It is notable that HIPAA or OCR does not inform organizations to keep their software updated. When companies do not pay attention to software flaws and keep on working with patching software, issues such as data breaches become unavoidable.

How to Run System Smoothly?

To check data security, it is significant to use vigilant approach and observe applications of third-party against protection vulnerabilities. Unsecure data can be the result of supportive software or operating system that is functioning in the environment. To cope with data issues, security updates and advanced patches should be applied. For a small business or an enterprise, assistance of IT administrator is the only solution to get peace of mind.

In a nutshell, the penalty of data breaches should not be only in form of levying fines, but there must be some rules to meet the demands of industry. Organizations know methods to find out security risks and satisfactory solutions. In other words, patch your software and use updates to keep your data safe and secure. Organizations can improve ways of data protection by using cloud computing. As compared to public cloud, private cloud using companies are much more satisfied with security of data.

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