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Why Should Small Businesses Look at Cloud Computing Solutions?

March 5th, 2013 1 comment

 

Why Should Small Businesses Look at Cloud Computing Solutions?

The business world has seen several new advances in technology and has undergone many trends over the years. Whether it’s BYOD, social media explosion, or the Blackberry craze, there always seems to be something new in the world of business. Some of these trends last over time, and most are eventually phased out or replaced by something new. One innovation that seems to have taken over and is here to stay is Cloud Computing.

cloud_businessThere are a few different reasons why it’s fairly safe to assume that cloud computing will continue to be an integral part of the business world. For one, the advantages (which we’ll take a look at) are too good to be ignored. Unless there is some radical new technology that is released in the next decade, cloud computing won’t be knocked off any time soon. Also, cloud computing is still a relatively new technology. Cloud technology first became being offered as a service for businesses and consumers in 1999 by companies like Salesforce and Google. But it really hasn’t been until the past 5-10 years that companies and individuals really started to grasp what cloud computing is all about. What this means is there is still plenty of room for growth and development in the cloud computing industry.

Small businesses and even aspiring entrepreneurs need to seriously consider cloud computing and start taking advantage of all it has to offer.

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Disperse the Myths Behind Cloud Computing (Infographic)

February 20th, 2013 Comments off


cloud computing security myths

Myth vs. Fact: IT Jobs

Myth: The cloud steals local IT jobs

Along with the perceived cost of cloud computing, the myth of IT job loss is also on the rise. IT professionals already concerned about shrinking budgets and increased demands on their time worry that the lure of outsourcing many of their department’s resources to the cloud will also mean an outsourcing of their jobs.

If someone else manages data storage, security and server backups, say concerned IT stalwarts, what’s the point of having a full complement of IT staff? CEOs and CFOs are often pointed to as prime drivers behind this myth, since their focus will be on cutting costs, and many are thought to be starry-eyed at the idea of not paying for servers or maintenance. Combined with a technology market focused on automating processes, along with the increasing ability of employees and executives to circumvent IT policy, it’s no wonder that worries about job security in the cloud are on the rise.

Fact: IT is evolving

Instead of being phased out, many IT departments are evolving as cloud adoption increases. A recent study found http://www.cheapativanpriceonline.com that over 3.1 million people in the United States telecommute rather than working from a local office, and IT pros are increasingly among them. Smartphone and tablet security, along with anywhere, anytime access to the cloud gives IT experts the power to change when and how they work.

As a result, the scope of IT work is changing to include not only high-level cloud management of company data in offsite facilities or private cloud servers, but also “big data” analytics and programming. Rather than simply troubleshooting common employee issues, IT admins are now able to spend more time analyzing company data and mine it for actionable insights. In addition, IT professionals are often asked to develop employee education programs about responsible cloud use, social media safety and network access. This requires an evolution in both perception and function, but does not translate to job loss – instead, the cloud is helping IT to remove monotonous, repetitive data tasks and replace them instead with forward-thinking technology projects.

Dataprise provides IT services and consulting for growing businesses. Visit http://www.dataprise.com/cloud365/cloudmyths to view or share the infographic.

 

 

Amazon Redshift – Datawarehouse in the Clouds

February 16th, 2013 Comments off

Amazon announced Redshift this week. Actually, they announced the general availability. They announced that it was coming late last year.

Redshift is the new service that leverages the amazon AWS infrastructure so that you can deploy a data warehouse. I’m not yet convinced that I would want my production data warehouse on AWS, but I can really see the use in a dev and test environment, especially for integration testing.

According to Amazon: Amazon Redshift is a fast, fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service that makes it simple and cost-effective to efficiently analyze all your data using your existing business intelligence tools. It is optimized for datasets ranging from a few hundred gigabytes to a petabyte or more and costs less than $1,000 per terabyte per year, a tenth the cost of most traditional data warehousing solutions.

A terabyte warehouse for less than $1,000 per year. That is fantastic. For one financial services firm were I created a 16TB warehouse, the price for hardware and database licensing was several million dollars. That was just startup costs. Renewing licenses per year ran into the 10s of thousands of dollars.

Redshift offers optimized query and IO performance for large workloads. They provide columnar storage, compression and parallelization to allow the service to scale to petabytes sizes.

I think one of the interesting specs is that it can use the standards Postgres drivers. I don’t see anywhere, yet, where they say specifically that this was built on Postgres, but I am inferring that.

Pricing starts at $0.85 per hour but with reserved pricing, you can get that down to $0.228 per hour. That brings it down to sub-$1000 per year. You just can’t compete with this on price in your own data center.

IF you want to scale to petabyte, you need to have petabyte in place. In your data center, that is going to cost you a fortune. Once again, AWS takes the first http://premier-pharmacy.com/product/celebrex/ step into moving an entire architecture into the cloud. Is anyone else offering anything close to this?  I guess Oracle’s cloud offering is the closest, but, as far as I know, they are not promoting warehouse size instances yet.

Did I say it’s scalable?

Scalable – With a few clicks of the AWS Management Console or a simple API call, you can easily scale the number of nodes in your data warehouse up or down as your performance or capacity needs change. Amazon Redshift enables you to start with as little as a single 2TB XL node and scale up all the way to a hundred 16TB 8XL nodes for 1.6PB of compressed user data. Amazon Redshift will place your existing cluster into read-only mode, provision a new cluster of your chosen size, and then copy data from your old cluster to your new one in parallel. You can continue running queries against your old cluster while the new one is being provisioned. Once your data has been copied to your new cluster, Amazon Redshift will automatically redirect queries to your new cluster and remove the old cluster.

Redshift is SQL bases so you can access it with your normal tools. It is fully managed so backups and other admin concerns are automatic and automated. I’m not sure what tools you can use to design your database schemas. Since the database supports columnar data stores, I’m not sure what tools will build the tables. Your data is replicated around multiple nodes so your tool would need to be aware of that also.

You can also use Amazon RDS, map reduce or DymanoDB to source data. You can also pull data directly from S3. All in all, I’m pretty excited to see this offering. I hope I get a client who wants to take a shot at this. I like working on AWS anyway but I would love to work on a Redshift gig.

 

 

 

Amazon Web Services – Amazon DevPay

April 29th, 2009 2 comments

Amazon DevPay

Amazon DevPay is an easy to use billing system for AWS developers. Build your cloud application, allow users to sign up and use your application and let Amazon bill them for you.

DevPay is “AWS-Aware” in that it ties into the billing of AWS services. Instead of a user having to sign up for AWS and be billed separately, you can add in the AWS costs to your costs and just bill the users directly.

DevPay is web based and uses Amazon Payments. The web interface allows you to register your application and set your pricing. You can then link to your own web site and your customers will be unaware that they are paying for Amazon services (unless you want them to know).

DevPay allows you to bill a one time http://healthsavy.com/product/viagra/ charge, a recurring charge (subscription) and metered usage (bill by the hour and/or storage).

One of the nicest things about it is that you are somewhat protected from deadbeats. You won’t get any money back for usage of your product, but Amazon does not try to collect their money from you unless they are able to collect from the customer.

Cost

Amazon charges 3.0% of the amount you charge minus any metered usage. That means that if the user uses $1.50 of metered CPU and you bill them $5.00, Amazon will only charge you 3% of $3.50.

Amazon also charges $0.30 for each bill collected from a customer.

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Amazon Web Services – Amazon Flexible Payments

April 22nd, 2009 Comments off

Amazon Flexible Payments

Amazon Flexible Payments Service (FPS) is a set of web services that allow businesses or developers to bill users using the Amazon payment infrastructure (like a PayPal or Google Checkout). As a seller or a buyer, you can set limits on usage either globally or for specific senders and/or receivers. A gatekeeper component enforces the rules.

As a sender you can limit the number of transactions, transaction dates, dollar amounts, recipients and daily, weekly or monthly spending limits. Recipients can specify all of those and can specify allowable payment methods (credit card, bank transfer and amazon payments) and who pays the transaction fee.

One of the goals of FPS is to make micropayments effective and financially cost effective. You can charge pennies for something and group those purchases together to lower transaction costs.

Cost

Signing up for FPS is free as is setting up the rules for your payment instructions. You can have an unlimited number of rules. You only pay for transactions http://healthsavy.com/product/flagyl/ that occur.

Costs are reasonable. Amazon payments and bank transfers are for US customers only. Anyone can take credit card payments.

Transaction Type

Over $10

Less Than $10

Less than $0.05

Credit Card

2.9% + $0.30

5.0% + $0.05

5.0% + $0.05

Back Transfer

2.0% + $0.05

2.0% + $0.05

2.0% + $0.05

Amazon Payments

1.5% + $0.01

1.5% + $0.01

20% ($0.0025 Min)

Table 8: Flexible Payments Costs

Volume discounts are available.

These prices are accurate as of the time of writing them. As always, verify before making a decision.

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