IAAS, CLOUD, AND MANAGED SERVICES BLOG
In this day and age, nearly every industry relies on technology to make its day-to-day operations run smoothly. Whether it’s your point of sale, shared files, or the storage of sensitive information, you depend on these systems to work without interruption, so that you can do the same. High-quality, reliable IT services are especially crucial to the medical industry. Patient data, workflow systems, and personal computers are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the combination of medical bookkeeping and technology.
As cloud storage technology is becoming more widely used across all industries, many companies are making the switch to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). The important question is what should you look for when choosing a cloud storage provider that's right for you.
Since its beginnings in 1999, Cartika has offered platforms, infrastructure, and software as a service as a trusted partner to its clients. Now in 2018, we are becoming ever moreaware of the importance of keeping personal data safe. In Canada, Cartika has upheld the requirements as laid out in PIPEDA since it’s passing into effect in 2004. PIPEDA recognizes not only the importance of protecting your personal data, but also the need of organizations such as Cartika to responsibly collect and disclose this information.
After nearly 20 years providing Managed Infrastructure Services, Cartika has continually evolved our services and now integrating Big Data into our offerings to keep up with the ever-changing reality of Data Services and Cloud Computing. With the NSA toolkits being made public last year, security and breaches both increased in severity and frequency. Sadly, as we slowly discovered, the NSA toolkits did not just impact a few out of maintenance Windows Operating Systems as was originally reported. Every Operating System was impacted to various degrees, and the "toolkits" themselves was more than just a pre-fab set of existing hacks, they were literally a set of "toolkits" that became weaponized in the hands of skilled hackers across the globe. Organizations were simply not prepared to handle breaches of this scale and magnitude, leaving software and Operating System vendors scrambling to patch software, and IT departments scrambling to ensure their data, and their customer's data was safe. Resultant outcry regarding data security and privacy has resulted in new compliance standards (ie GDPR) being created, as well as restructuring existing compliance requirements (PIPEDA, HIPAA, SOX/FISMA) to modernize their scope and penalties in cases where compliance is not met.
The following article first appeared February 2018 in SuperbCrew. Cartika provides cloud-based infrastructure and platforms, that are tailored to our customer’s unique needs. To learn more about the company see our recent interview below with Andrew Rouchotas, CEO at Cartika: Q: Andrew, tell us something more about the company? A: Where we’ve made a mark for ourselves is with pro-actively managed infrastructure, and application stacks. As the market needs have become more sophisticated and evolved, so has our focus. Our humble beginnings were in 1999 as an application hosting and support firm, evolving to platform and infrastructure hosting. We added colocation facilities & Network Operations Centers in Dallas and Toronto, with development offices today in Russia and the Ukraine, as well. Q: What made you restructure your offerings? A: Our customers were looking for more than plain vanilla support. They wanted a partner who could solve their problems before they had them. IT departments should be focused on internal applications and support, which keep their teams productive. It isn’t the best use of their time to be managing the computing environment, keeping up with the latest updates, patches and usage trends. We can manage all that for them with greater reliability – and better resource utilization.
At Cartika, we’re always looking at how we can make cloud infrastructure more effective. To this end, we’ve been adding a number of new partners who extend our – and your – capabilities. Andrew, our boss, has always said that he wants to work with people that are specialized, and smarter in their field than he is. We hope that means us! This same philosophy has permeated Cartika’s strategic partnering. When we look at potential partners, we’re not only looking for experts in their field, but we’re also looking for how we can each be better – and provide more seamless service to you. If, for example, we can optimize infrastructure to accelerate results with their platform, that’s a great reason to partner.
We have recently announced the launch of our new reseller model called the Premium Partner Program. The goal of this innovative new approach is to give our reselling partners complete control over the environments they manage for their clients while Cartika takes care of the day-to-day infrastructure management tasks and support. Also, our partners have access to a wide range of add-on solutions that can be seamlessly added to the platform, giving them a broad portfolio of on-demand IT services to help grow revenues.
The way email is being hosted and managed has changed at Cartika, and we’re really excited about it! For a long time now we have been trying to solve a problem with how email accounts are allocated between shared users on a single domain. Most business-class email users typically need the full functionality of Microsoft Exchange™. But, there are many instances when a group of corporate users is best-served with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of POP/IMAP accounts. Until now, a service allowing both Exchange and POP/IMAP accounts on a single domain didn’t exist. Our engineering team has risen to the challenge.
Junk email, or SPAM, is a source of irritation for anyone with a clogged inbox. Even worse, user-level email management kills employee productivity, and poorly tended mailboxes are a popular vector for security threats. If you crunch the numbers, businesses can squander tens of thousands of dollars annually to lost productivity, while malware lurks in unfiltered junk mail.
Keeping up with the complexities and costs of information technology is no easy task and especially true for SMBs. To solve this challenge, many now leverage the cloud for their infrastructure needs. But, as valuable as the cloud can be, IT environments must still be deployed, optimized, monitored, managed, and secured. This is why outsourcing IT managed services in addition to infrastructure has become increasingly attractive.
When dealing with critical aspects of your business, you can’t afford to take risks! Yet many companies don’t do enough due diligence when buying add-on IaaS managed services. Some buy standard off-the-shelf packages and assume everything they need is in place and will work as advertised.
If you are considering hosting any data covered by the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act either in the US or Canada, know what you are getting into. Outsourced SOX hosting has specific implications for your Managed Services Provider (MSP) and if they are not compliant, you're both at risk.
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a powerful system designed to improve website performance. The most obvious benefit of CDNs is that they solve the biggest problem caused by latency - that annoying wait time from the moment the user requests a web page, to the point when it's finally onscreen. Two main factors cause this delay.
HIPAA is a big deal in the US for most businesses involved in health and medical related sectors. And if these companies are compliant - and want to outsource HIPAA hosting or store data north of the border - they need to work with a Canadian provider that offers HIPAA compliant managed services.
Over the past 10 years, public cloud, widely known as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) has created a profound and fundamental shift in IT thinking and consumption. Today, IaaS is changing still as prices and differentiation both continue to decline.
Small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are afforded a great deal more opportunity today than in years past. Cloud-based infrastructure and software offerings have provided smaller organizations the ability to leverage technology in ways previously limited to big enterprises. CDNs or Content Delivery Networks for SMBs highlight one such example.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) helps companies significantly reduce costs by outsourcing underlying IT infrastructure to a cloud provider. However, treading a sensible path through the many available options can be difficult. A poor choice or inadequate planning may actually end up costing more over time. When buying IaaS, don't be swayed by a flashy user interface or exaggerated technological specifications.
In today's IT world, technology lets people "set it and forget it" in many areas that once required constant attention. Cloud backups for public cloud and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) are perfect examples. During a cloud deployment, it's easy to pick a backup option without much thought, and this can cause problems later when it really counts. Users need to understand their cloud backups, ensure they have the right solution, and know what to do if disaster strikes. Before we move on, let's take a step back and review the current types of backups typically used. The backup method provided by the vendor - or managed by your company with another solution - can affect network and storage costs. It can also impact your Recovery Point Objective (RPO).
When major leaps in virtualization and other technologies began to converge into what we now call "cloud computing," the IT world began a seismic shift that continues to be a powerful force. Infrastructure-as-a-Service or IaaS grew at a moderate pace for many years but is now accelerating relative to its cloud cousins Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). According to a Gartner report released last month, IaaS as a portion of worldwide public cloud consumption grew 31.9% in 2015 and expected to reach 38.4% in 2016 ($22.4 billion). This number was well ahead of the growth for last years' runner-up - cloud security services, and far higher than SaaS, the traditional cloud growth-rate champion.
When it comes to managing IT, one of the most important goals historically has been staying "in control." In years gone by, any changes to a user’s internal or hosted IT environment was a “closed’ proposition with most IT managers or Managed Service Providers (MSPs) fighting hard to keep constraints on every aspect of the systems they supported. There were some valid reasons for this at the beginning, but over time users demanded more flexibility while those running IT, became overwhelmed with increasing change requests.