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.
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.
A few years ago, the enterprise was abuzz with concerns about the security implications of the use of mobile devices by employees. Many IT folks wanted to restrict the use of mobile devices over which they had little control. While the media embraced BYOD as the next big thing, those tasked with maintaining the security of corporate data were less enthusiastic.
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.
The Internet of Things will bring about an explosion in the number of connected devices and the data we have about the world. The one-off sale of useful objects — long the foundation of commerce — is likely to be replaced by the sale of services and personalized relationships with customers in a data and application ecosystem, bringing about a revolution in business models.
Many of the people reading these words are at work. They are looking at a screen connected to a computer that contains gigabytes of data and applications crucial to their productivity. Without the device, they are unable to work. Almost everyone else reading this article will have a smartphone in hand. Smartphones like the iPhone can carry gigabytes of data, but almost all of it will also live in the cloud and be accessible from any other device.
With the restructuring of our IaaS cloud server platform, we offer even better value for money with a tiered structure that empowers enterprise cloud clients to choose the best resource profile for their workloads. We've been hosting enterprise clients for a decade and half. Over the years we've developed a deep insight into the infrastructure hosting needs of business. To further empower our clients to deploy — and pay for — exactly the infrastructure they need, we've restructured our infrastructure-as-a-service offering.
The cloud now plays a greater role in the enterprise world than ever before - of that there can be no doubt. It’s become a core deployment model for IT departments all across enterprise, and a key factor in small business growth. That last one is what we’re interested in discussing today. Let’s jump right in.
This month, we're announcing a new addition to our suite of managed cloud applications: the Cartika Microsoft Exchange Cloud Platform. Microsoft Exchange needs no introduction: it's the world's leading enterprise collaboration and email solution, powering the communication of hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide.
It’s something of a disconcerting statistic - fewer than one third of American financial organizations have a cloud strategy. Other regions don’t fare much better, either. EMEA shows 35% of firms preparing for cloud computing, while APAC is slightly higher, at 41%. Given the immense popularity of cloud computing in both enterprise and the consumer space, these statistics are troubling - even if they do show that more institutions are starting to realize the importance of going digital. What exactly is the root cause here? Why exactly are firms lagging behind to such a great degree? And more importantly, what can be done about it?
Cartika is pleased to introduce New Relic analytics integration and roll out (phased roll out outlined below). We are very excited about this roll out and what it will mean for both our customers, and internally for our support staff to have access to this data. The benefits it will present to our customers is simply enormous. Developers, Sys Admins and DBA's will gain invaluable insights into the health of their environments, be able to more quickly identify problems, streamline their resource usage and make educated decisions about capacity and capacity planning. Internally, we are very excited to provide these sorts of tools and analytics to our support staff. Their ability to help customers identify issues, identify bad plugins or bad code and provide advise and consultations regarding upgrading strategies, code optimization and various other day to day issues is simply increased exponentially and dramatically. Their ability to identify such issues is expedited by presenting them the data in real time, in an easy to understand and clearly defined interface. We are enabling our support staff, with the tools they need, to quickly and efficiently provide the superior level of service and support we demand from our team.
A troubling report was published earlier this month by IT consulting firm Antithesis Group. Through a partnership with Stanford University and TSO Logic, the firm examined the state of data centers all across the world. Among its findings was the revelation that at least 30% of data center servers have been idle in excess of six months. They are, as the study puts it, ‘comatose.’ And there are at least ten million of them.
Earlier this year, some of the world’s leading experts on artificial intelligence met in Puerto Rico for a private conference. The purpose? To determine whether or not intelligent machines would be good for human society or bad. Not surprisingly, IBM’s Watson Supercomputer was a central topic of discussion. First developed in 2005 by IBM Research, Watson enjoyed its first real moment in the spotlight when it defeated Jeopardy winners Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings. From there, it experienced a meteoric rise to fame, finding its footing in a host of different fields - healthcare among them.
The Domain Name Service is an essential part of the complex system that lets users connect to your website or application. It allows users to put a human readable URL — like cartika.com — into their browser and be connected to the server represented by that address. Essentially DNS translates URLs into IP addresses; it can be thought of as the Internet's address book. Without DNS, there would be no way for users to connect to your site unless they already knew its IP address. Learn More about Cartika AnyCast DNS
In the never ending battle against spam, the resultant eco-system has generated some really interesting dynamics. Often times, organizations working in synergy to try and address and resolve spamming issues, and most importantly, keep legitimate email flowing to users, get caught in tug and war battles. Often times, this is nothing more then newer players coming into a space they know little about and attempt to make their mark by flexing some muscle – when all that is actually required is a little common sense and an ability to work with each other. This is what is happening right now with SpamRats.
Last month, Anthem Incorporated - one of the world’s leading health insurance companies - made a very grim announcement to shareholders and clients. It was, a representative explained, the target of a “very sophisticated external cyberattack,” which allowed hackers to gain unauthorized access to its IT systems. The personal information of eighty million clients - data ranging from birthdays and names to medical IDs, social security numbers, street addresses, email addresses, and employment history - was compromised.
When we think about artificial intelligence, what comes to mind is usually none-too-friendly fictional examples like HAL and the machines from The Matrix, although there are some more friendly AIs, like Data from Star Trek. Friendly or not, we’re a long way from having functional AIs of this type, but over the next few years, most of us are going to be relying on a narrow sort of AI: AIs capable of organizing a limited subset of data in useful ways.
If you've been in the IT industry for a while, you'll have an almost instinctive familiarity with what the cloud is, its various modalities, deployment models, and types. Intuitively, one would think that a deep understanding would make the cloud easy to explain to less technical people, but in fact the opposite is true. It's very difficult to put yourself in the mindset of someone who lacks the conceptual framework that those of us who have been around enterprise IT for a long time have developed.