Archive for the ‘cloud data’ Category

What is cloud computing?

February 19th, 2013 Comments off

Today’s post is a guest post by Rens.

What is cloud computing?

Let’s say you are the owner of a company. Your responsibilities include ensuring that all your employees have the right computers and software. You’ll need to buy the right software for all of them to make sure they can do their job properly. You can purchase and install all the software onto their computers but there is also another alternative, in which you only have to install one application. That program allows your employees to log into a web-based service that suffices for all the programs your worker needs. Another company hosts these programs and ensures that applications like word, email and a large variety of other programs run smoothly. This is called cloud computing.

With cloud computing the local computers do not have to run installed applications but the network of PC’s handle that instead. On the user’s side software and hardware demands decrease. You’ll only need a computer with the cloud’s software interface and the rest of the work is done by the cloud’s network.

If you have an email account then you’ve already had experience with cloud computing. Services like Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail run in that way. With these web based programs you only need to log in and the storage and software is not on your computer but in the ‘cloud’.

The front and the back end

A cloud computing system comprises of the front and the back end, which are connected with each other through the internet. The front end is what you see on your computer and the back is the cloud part of the system. Yet some cloud systems have different interfaces to others. For instance, an email program can work on internet Explorer while other systems can have unique applications that provide network access to clients.

The cloud can be found on the other side of the system and consists of various servers, computers and storage systems. Theoretically any computer program can be included in a cloud system and each application has its own server. The central server monitors traffic, client demands and administers the system to make sure everything keeps running. It uses middleware, which is a type of software, and follows a set of rules. The middleware permits computers that are in the same network to communicate with each other.

What are the advantages of cloud computing?

There are an almost limitless amount of cloud computing applications. You are able to work with all the programs a normal computer could run if you have the right middleware. Therefore customised programs specifically designed for a company can be run on the cloud but, for instance, also a regular word processing software. Let’s have a look at some of the advantages of cloud computing:

Users are able to access data and applications at any time from any location. The only thing you’ll need is a computer and an internet connection. In this way data is not restricted to only one hard drive on a computer.

Hardware costs can be reduced because the cloud will take care of most of the work. You don’t need to buy an expensive, high-tech computer. A computer terminal that has enough power to run the middleware is enough. A large hard drive is not necessary as you can store your data on the cloud. Also software costs will decrease as employees will no longer have need for it. Instead, you pay a fee to the cloud company making cloud computing an attractive way to save money.

Rens works for Intralinks, a leading virtual data room provider.



Best Online Backup Services

February 17th, 2013 Comments off

Everything is stored in files and folders whether they are photos, videos, music or any sort of information. In the present times, people have grown to take care of their files as they highly face the threat of being deleted and inaccessible at times. People are beginning to save more and more from their precious lives into the computer therefore backup is constantly required to keep them safe at all times. The online backup facility helps the users to have managed or remote service to their files and folders. This requires special software in order to begin with the whole process. Many people hire professional to recover their lost data but they are at times unable to do so. This has further increased the demand for online backup facilities for people who cannot bear to lose their personal files and information.

The online backup saves many people from starting their work from scratch when they have to meet important deadlines or they have way too much data to recover back to their computers or any other devices. There are many online backup sites that specialize in providing these services to people in all parts of the world. Individuals who have learned a valuable lesson after losing important data must contact online backup sites in order to protect their data for long period of time from irregularities such as deletion, file corruption and most commonly, window corruption.

Some people try to back up their files manually and think it is adequate enough. However, they tend to face many problems in doing so. Firstly, they end up keeping the data which is backed up, in the same location on the computer whether it’s an external hard drive, USB drive or a CD. Also, in case of disastrous circumstances like floods, fires and earthquakes, the data will be thoroughly wiped out forever as the computer will be destroyed. Similarly, if people forget to back up their data for a while on their computer, they can end up losing valuable work and information which might even land them in trouble for a while.

Many online backup sites are available these days that can help in safekeeping all sorts of data within their servers. People are recommended to do an adequate amount of research before employing them to carry out this significant task in the future. The online backup sites must have easy software which is user friendly. This serves as an important factor when it comes to choosing the top online backup sites. They must also have the availability of syncing as multiple files need to be synced to the computer as at times they are rather important. Good space must be offered along with syncing as that decides the amount of files which can be kept within the data storage folder. One of the most necessary things to consider before choosing the best online backup sites is to look around and put its reputation to a test. Online consumer reviews and customer testimonials are the best ways to reveal this.

Using and Managing AWS – Configure the Security Group

January 25th, 2013 Comments off

Configure the Security Group

The next step is to plan out your security group. Remember that the security group is your instance’s firewall. You open (or close) ports, as needed, for the applications that will be running.

The first port to open is 22. Port 22 is used by SSH and is your primary means of connecting to the instance.

If you will be running a database, you will need to open the appropriate port. For example, Oracle uses a default port of 1521. It is a best practice not to use the default so you may want to open 15120 or something like that. The same applies for any other database using TCP connections.

If you are going to be running web applications, you will need to open ports 80 and, if running SSL, 43. I usually open alternative web ports such as 8000 and 8080 to allow me development and administrative access.

The ports that you open are determined by the applications that you will be running. You can open up all of the ports if you want to but that is inherently insecure. As a best practice, only open those ports that are required.

You cannot change the security group in a running instance but you can open and close ports while the instance is running. You can start with just port 22 and modify as needed.

Categories: cloud book, cloud data Tags:

PayPhrase Attacks Paypal! News at 11.

October 29th, 2009 2 comments

Ok, now they’ve gone and done it. Amazon just doesn’t know when to quit. Is there a web service they don’t want to own? I josh. I like Amazon and like to see them put new and useful services out there and I am a big proponent of competition. I think competition is good for everyone as long as it doesn’t become predatory.

Now, Amazon has been going after Paypal for a while now with Amazon Checkout. But now, they have made this a super simple, no login, purchase tool with PayPhrase – the easy-to-remember shortcut for paying on and other websites.

According to Amazon,

PayPhrase links your payment and shipping information with a simple phrase that you choose. With PayPhrase, you no longer have to register or share credit card information with multiple web sites.

With Amazon Checkout, my info is stored and some kind of token is exchanged with a vendor so my personal information doesn’t need to be. I like Paypal and use it fairly heavily when paying for things on the internet. I also like Amazon and even have an Amazon credit card. I think I buy something from them at least once a month. Now, I don’t even need to login.

The cool thing about PayPhrase is the control you can put on an account. You can give your kid access and set spending limits and have it send you order approval notifications. Man, I need that for XBox Live! You can use it to give your kids an allowance. Set them up with a PayPhrase using your credit information and then set a monthly limit. Sweet!

There is no way that PayPhrase is as widely supported as Paypal right now. Amazon CheckOut market share has got to be minimal compared to PayPal. Have to see how well it spreads over time. For a developer or merchant already on AWS, it’s kind of a no brainer to include this. They already have some merchants using PayPhrase: DKNY, Jockey, Patagonia,, J&R Electronics, and Car Toys to name a few.

If you sign up, the system will generate a phrase for you. I didn’t like mine as there is no way I would ever remember it. They also list some suggestions but I didn’t like those. Almost every suggestion included the word “bread”. They trying to tell me something? I swear I’ve cut back on the carbs!

It must be at least two words and contain no numbers. This is NOT a password. It is a pass phrase.

Once you’ve chosen your phrase, you also have to enter a pin number (4 digits). When complete you verify your credit card and payment info and then you are the proud owner of a new PayPhrase.

Be interesting to see if they make any kind of a dent in PayPal. This is a service of Amazon Checkout which is a sub-service of Amazon Payments. I don’t believe PayPhrase is an additional fee on top of CheckOut. CheckOut has very reasonable pricing.

Take care,


Categories: cloud data Tags: , , ,

Using and Managing Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Part 1

April 28th, 2009 Comments off

Using and Managing Amazon Web Services (AWS)

I personally believe that AWS is perfect for any development and testing environment. Regardless of how sensitive your data is, you can build your applications and test them in a cloud environment using bogus data.

For production environments, the choice is much harder. Does the country(ies) you operate in have strict privacy, or data on-shoring, laws that would be impact your applications? If you can easily offshore your applications, you can easily use cloud computing.

Does the area where you work have reliable infrastructure? It doesn’t matter if Amazon has 99.99% uptime if your provider is down 50% of the time. You can easily use something like replication and keep a copy of your application’s data within your own data center but if you make that investment, do you really want to run anything in the cloud.

My suggestion to get started would be to use AWS to host a development effort first. Get comfortable with the quirks and gotchas of remote applications. Familiarize yourself with the additional security you will need when running in the cloud. Look at encrypting your data on disk. Amazon will encrypt the data as it travels over the wire.

The need for system administrators and DBAs does not go away by moving to the cloud. It really doesn’t change their jobs much at all. Most modern admins rarely touch the hardware directly anymore, anyway.

Once you’ve decided that it is for you and you have chosen your pilot project, you will need to take the actions described below.

A note to remember as you are working through this book. You only pay for what you use. When you run an instance, you pay for the CPU time that you use. When you use S3 or EBS, you pay for storage (and bandwidth in S3). You pay for Elastic IPs only if you allocate one and don’t attach it to a running instance.

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