3 Questions To Ask When Evaluating Cloud Computing Providers

When evaluating cloud computing providers, there are 3 questions to ask: two for yourself, and one for the vendor.

Imagine walking into a car dealership and telling the salesperson that you just want a car. He asks, “Great – what kind of car?” You repeat, “I just want a car!” Is this a conversation you’d ever have in real life? Never. Will you get the car you really want and need? No. The car salesperson can’t possibly set you up with the right car, because he doesn’t know anything about what you plan to do with it. You could need a four-door sedan, a VW bug, a minivan, a Lotus, or a Lada. A lot of people approach cloud computing providers with the same non-specific approach. “I want to move my applications to the cloud!” they say. What they don’t realize is that clouds can be as different as a VW … Read more

Do You Need a Lotus or a Lada in the Cloud?

Choose your cloud computing companies the way you would choose your cars... purposefully.

When it comes to cars, I can’t imagine why anyone would pay serious bucks for a Lotus when a Lada has the same four tires and 1600 cc engine … in fact, the Lada seats four instead of two, so it has more value than a Lotus right there. Okay, I’ll stop now, before all the car aficionados out there have heart attacks. Obviously, there is a world of difference between a Lotus (which is one of the hottest vehicles on the road and “corners like it’s on rails”) and a Lada (which has the visual appearance and driving appeal of a cardboard box) that more than justifies the price differential. If someone says “they must be the same because they both have four tires and a 1600 cc engine,” it simply … Read more

From Gartner Data Center 2013: How One Global Company Transformed Its Data Center Strategy – and Saw Measurable Change

data center

Approximately half of all organizations plan to adopt the public cloud in the next two years for all or most of their compute requirements, according to speakers at a breakout session during the recent Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas from December 2-5, 2013. But a few years ago, moving all mission-critical applications to the cloud was not so common and in fact seemed quite risky. Still, Rajeev Ankireddypalli, the head of information technology at Advanced Energy – a Colorado-based global leader in reliable power conversion solutions – doesn’t regret taking the plunge. In fact, he claims the data center transformation and move to cloud has resulted in a measurable increase in … Read more

Are More Applications Mission-Critical Than Your Realize?

Some applications are obviously mission-critical—the website of an e-tailer or the ATM machine at a bank.  However, the criticality of some application can go unrecognized unless you do a systematic qualify of each application. To qualify applications, check these metrics for each: Recovery point objective – how much data loss is tolerable?  All of today’s data entries?  The entire database, because restoring the database is easy? Recovery time objective – how long can the business go without access to the application before customer service, sales, accounting, etc., suffer?  How much data can be rebuilt and verified inside that time window—a few day’s worth, a few hour’s worth? Recover … Read more

Recovery in the Cloud – Part I, CEO Decision Drivers

Ram Shanmugan, our  Senior Director of Product Management for Recovery Services, was recently interviewed by Smart Business Philly magazine.  Below are some of the important points he discussed.  We'll have more next week.  - Carl M. “Weathering a storm” is more than just an off-hand comment these day. The U.S. experienced eight disasters costing over $1B in the first 6-months of 2011.  Few areas of the U.S were shared the business complications caused by tornado, blizzard, wildfires and floods. Planning for erratic weather can be tricky.  Of course, you want secure data, redundant infrastructure and business continuity processes, but balancing those needs against the needs for revenue-ge … Read more

The Cloud and the Availability Continuum – PART 2

Like dedicated hosting, cloud computing has to address availability.  Continued cloud outages, and the corresponding publicity, remind us of the importance of resiliency and availability.  One of the major benefits of cloud computing is scalability and efficiency of multi-tenant infrastructure.  However, even cloud infrastructures have to run in a physical data center somewhere, bringing us back to the critical nature of infrastructure availability. Fortunately, the same availability you are accustomed to as part of a dedicated environment can be found in cloud computing.  Availability can be viewed in a continuum that ranges from high availability to failover and recovery, with many nua … Read more

The Cloud and its Continuum of Availability -PART 1

One of the major benefits of  cloud computing is availability and that availability comes in a continuum that ranges from high availability to high resilient, warm failover, failover and recoverable, with many nuances in-between.   This continuum of availability enables clouds to fulfill  application and business needs at many different price points. High Availability for Mission-critical Apps High availability is used for mission-critical production systems that require immediate, continuous, 24/7 access to data.  More technically, it means data must be duplicated at another location, usually in a different geographic area.   Essentially you are renting resources at one location and identi … Read more

Multi-site Options Allay High Availability, Recovery and Interconnectivity Concerns

Organizations moving essential business applications to the cloud are often concerned that they will gain cost-efficiency and on-demand capacity but loss application availability.  Given the importance of production applications to the continuity of your businesses, those concerns are legitimate. Fortunately, new capabilities being added to our Enterprise Cloud Services address those concerns.  Today, we are making high availability (at the 99.95 level) part of our Enterprise Cloud Services and including that commitment in our standard Service Level Agreement (SLA).  In doing so, we are going beyond the norms for the cloud computing industry. Our high availability commitment is possible be … Read more