IAAS, CLOUD, AND MANAGED SERVICES BLOG
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.
IaaS meets Scalability and Agility challenges. Wouldn’t it be lovely if the flow of business was entirely predictable? Of course it isn’t, so the hallmark of a well-run business is that it has plans on how to augment and adapt to market shifts. Seasonal businesses have long faced the issue of troughs and peaks, but most early phase businesses only plan for continual growth. When that stutters, bi-directional scalability becomes a major issue. Harvard Business Review identified confusion between growth and scaling – vastly preferring the latter, and listing “building capacity to scale” as a key business success factor. A subset of scalability is agility – the ability to quickly adapt. This frequently means being able to take advantage of emerging technology and trends. Adaptation requires resources – both to plan and implement the change. This is an area where mega-lithic corporations have traditionally fallen on their faces. They see the iceberg, but can’t turn quickly enough to avoid it. Forbes called agility “the new currency of growth”, equating it with innovation in importance.
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.
Is fear of losing control holding you back from realizing the many benefits of an external Managed Services Provider (MSP)? Some IT managers oppose outside help fearing it will somehow weaken their position. But in practice, augmenting internal IT teams with missing skills and resources has the opposite effect, providing better results and increasing the value of the IT function to the organization. Particularly when it comes to infrastructure and supporting non-standard applications.
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have played a silent, but critical role in the success of cloud computing. Vendors have been using APIs for years as a cornerstone in building today's complex IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS applications. As a result, APIs continue to work tirelessly behind the scenes connecting systems around the world, making our lives that much easier.
It’s very common in the IT space to resell the services of others. We won’t go into all the reasons why, but in general, reselling helps broaden and complement existing services, provides a revenue opportunity, and has a strategic benefit. Although we are focusing on the process of selecting a managed services partner in this article, many of the concepts apply to working with any partner.
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.
Earlier this month, our CEO had an in-depth and candid conversation with Bryan Kim of Hosting ReviewBox. The interview focused on how Cartika began, its evolution over the years, changing market demand and how Cartika has managed to stay ahead of the game.
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).
At this point in the evolution, most companies understand the many benefits of Cloud computing. When it comes to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) - better known as Public Cloud - the flexibility, performance, and cost-effectiveness are unbeatable for many applications. However, small-to-mid size businesses (SMBs) seldom have the luxury of having people with infrastructure or hosting expertise on staff. This means that at times they must lean on the Cloud vendor for support and that's when things can get frustrating.
The use of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) has become more of a necessity today than ever before. When company website pages load quickly, and navigation is seamless, the user experience sharply increases. The obvious benefit is that your site will be more engaging for users and potential prospects. A second significant advantage is that Google and other search engines will reward your user-focused approach with favorable rankings - by contrast, sites with poor performance get penalized. Another virtue of CDNs is that they help shield websites from DDoS attacks.
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.
Our recently restructured IaaS cloud server platform was the result of our fifteen year legacy of pioneering new managed application and web hosting services. During this time, we have constantly worked with clients to determine how to best meet their most demanding IT challenges. We have also remained keenly aware of how competitors have been approaching the market as it has evolved.