Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Amazon vs Rackspace vs Microsoft vs Google: Cloud Hosting Services Comparison

Amazon vs Rackspace vs Microsoft vs Google: Cloud Hosting Services Comparison

Amazon Web Services, Rackspace OpenStack, Microsoft Windows Azure and Google are the major cloud hosting and storage service providers. Athough Amazon is top of them and is oldest in cloud market, Rackspace, Microsoft and Google are giving tough competition to each other and to Amazon also for alluring IT customers. This article give brief history of these cloud hosting service providers and compares the cloud services provided by them.

Amazon Web Services

It's hard to find someone who doesn't agree that Amazon Web Services is the market leader in IaaS cloud computing. The company has one of the widest breadths of cloud services - including compute, storage, networking, databases, load balancers, applications and application development platforms all delivered as a cloud service. Amazon has dropped its prices 21 times since it debuted its cloud six years ago and fairly consistently fills whatever gaps it has in the size of virtual machine instances on its platform - the company recently rolled out new high-memory instances, for example.

There are some cautions for Amazon though. Namely, its cloud has experienced three major outages in two years. One analyst, Jillian Mirandi of Technology Business Researcher, has suggested that continued outages could eventually start hindering businesses' willingness to invest in Amazon infrastructure.

That sentiment gets to a larger point about AWS though - the service seems to be popular in the startup community, providing the IT infrastructure for young companies and allowing them to avoid investing in expensive technology themselves. But Mark Bowker, a cloud analyst for Enterprise Strategy Group, says Amazon hasn't been as popular in the enterprise community. "Amazon's made it really easy for pretty much anyone to spin up cloud services or get VMs," he says. Where is Amazon getting those customers from? Some are developers and engineers who get frustrated by their own IT shops not being able to supply VMs as quickly as Amazon can, so they use Amazon's cloud in the shadows of IT. "Taxi cabs pay for a lot of VMs," says Beth Cohen, an architect at consultancy Cloud Technology Partners, referring to users expensing Amazon services on travel reports. The point is there's a hesitation by some enterprises to place their Tier 1, mission critical applications in a public cloud.

Amazon is looking to extend its enterprise reach though. In recent months the company has made a series of announcements targeting enterprises and developers. It rolled out Glacier, a long-term storage service, while it's made updates to its Elastic application development platform and its Simple WorkFlow Service, which helps developers automate applications running in Amazon's cloud.

It has expanded partnerships as well, including with private cloud company Eucalyptus, allowing customers to create hybrid clouds that span their own data center and Amazon's cloud. Amazon has also forged new agreements with BMC and F5, which add on top of the robust marketplace of software applications that are already available on Amazon's cloud. More partnerships expected into the future could push Amazon further into the enterprise market.

Rackspace

Behind Amazon, the rest of the market could be described as "everyone else," but there are some leading candidates to take on Amazon in the cloud and one of the strongest is Rackspace. Powered by the OpenStack cloud computing platform, Rackspace is positioning itself as the open source alternative to Amazon, and the company's executives make no shame in aiming critiques directly at its chief competitor.

Bowker, of Enterprise Strategy Group, says Rackspace has a leg up on many of its other competitors because of its history as a managed hosting and collocation provider. It's been in the enterprise business before.

Others believe that Rackspace's OpenStack involvement allows it to compete at the scale and capacity of Amazon. Rackspace is attempting to build a cloud that can scale to just about anyone's needs, says financial analyst Pat Walravens, and he believes with the OpenStack backing the size of deals that Rackspace is able to land will only continue to increase.

"If Amazon is going for scale, cost and breadth of services, Rackspace is going for its services, including what it calls its fanatical support for customers," says Forrester analyst Dave Bartoletti. "They're really trying to make the play that they're the safer enterprise choice and with OpenStack, they want to be known as the non-Amazon."

The open source aspect of Rackspace's cloud appeals to customers concerned about vendor lock-in, Bartoletti says. An open source architecture may give customers additional freedom to move workloads among OpenStack-powered clouds, although Gartner has disputed the significance of that.

One Rackspace strength is its ability to roll out the latest and greatest OpenStack features. The latest OpenStack code, for example, incorporated virtual networking capabilities, which Rackspace has since rolled out, and hopes to advance the functionality of it in the coming months.

There is a view by some though that Rackspace has married itself to OpenStack, perhaps to its own detriment. As the Gartner report on OpenStack states, OpenStack can be successful independently of Rackspace's success now that the company has ceded control of the project to a foundation. Overall, Bartoletti says Rackspace's involvement in OpenStack is positive for the company and will only help to position it as a leading alternative to Amazon.

Microsoft

Microsoft is inherently part of most conversations regarding enterprise IT, says Bowker. "I've been super impressed with the level of knowledge enterprise IT shops have with Azure," Bowker says about Microsoft's cloud platform, which he says is still maturing. "People are keeping tabs on what's going on with Microsoft, so the company really has a halo effect on any conversation we're having with clients."

And for good reason, he says. Microsoft owns a lot of back office IT operations for enterprises between Office, Exchange and SharePoint. Because of that real estate the company already has in the enterprise market, Microsoft has an opportunity to extend those customers into its cloud, Bowker says. Microsoft has been more aggressive than ever in recent months about encouraging customers and partners to join its cloud. Earlier this year the company rolled out on-demand Windows and Linux-based virtual machines and cloud storage to accompany its platform as a service as well.

Combined with the release of Windows Server 2012 and Windows System Server this year, Microsoft is also making a play for powering private clouds behind a company's firewall. That will help Microsoft craft a story for customers to have hybrid cloud deployments all powered by Microsoft and its Hyper-V virtualization software. "Amazon doesn't have as strong of a play in the hybrid cloud conversation," Bartoletti says, which - combined with Microsoft's strong relationships with a large number of enterprise IT shops - could be an advantage for the company moving forward.

Google

If anyone can compete with Amazon on scale, it's Google, says George Reese, founder of enStratus, a cloud management company. Amazon may have the largest scale in the industry, which Rackspace is attempting to match. But Reese says Google has a lot of data centers that are optimized for massive scaling, which is heavy artillery in cloud battles.

Google's play thus far has been focused on application development and hosting. It got into the game with Google App Engine, a development platform, and has since - like Microsoft - expanded into the infrastructure-as-a-service space with Google Compute Engine, giving customers an on-demand virtual machine and storage service. It also has a consumer cloud-facing service in Google Drive, seen as a competitor to Microsoft's SkyDrive.

"Google's not trying to displace Microsoft or Windows developers, nor are they necessarily trying to displace Rackspace," Barontelli says. "They're really going directly after Amazon on pricing and capacity saying 'Hey, we've got scale too.'"

But Amazon's been in the cloud game longer than Google, and both companies suffer from a lack of perceived support for users. But the strengths of Google's platform, and its activities in the startup community, could make it a viable competitor in the cloud market.

Amazon Web Services vs Microsoft Windows Azure: Cloud Hosting Services Comparison and Competition

Amazon Web Services vs Microsoft Windows Azure: Cloud Hosting Services Comparison and Competition 

Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Windows Azure are the great players in the cloud hosting market and competing with each other to provide best and cheap cloud storage and hosting services. Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Windows Azure are the big cloud hosting services providers in the world who have proved their worth and growing day by day. In this article we have tried to compare Amazon and Microsoft cloud services with their brief history.

It's hard to find someone who doesn't agree that Amazon Web Services is the market leader in IaaS cloud computing. The company has one of the widest breadths of cloud services - including compute, storage, networking, databases, load balancers, applications and application development platforms all delivered as a cloud service. Amazon has dropped its prices 21 times since it debuted its cloud six years ago and fairly consistently fills whatever gaps it has in the size of virtual machine instances on its platform - the company recently rolled out new high-memory instances, for example.

Amazon AWS is by far the largest provider of public cloud services and many analysts see that run continuing well into the next decade. As reported earlier, new Morgan Stanley research projected that AWS will hit $24 billion (with a B) in revenue by 2024 and poses a real threat to all legacy IT providers — companies like Oracle, HP, VMware,  IBM, SAP and — oh yeah — Microsoft.  I might quibble with the revenue figure — who can project a decade out? — but not with the fact that AWS is already starting to eat these companies’ respective lunches. If any of the top dozen IT vendors in the world aren’t worried about AWS, they should be.

Windows Azure launched three years ago, primarily as a Platform-as-a-Service, to underwhelming response at least to folks out side of Redmond, Wash. The problem was that developers, first at small startups, and increasingly at larger companies flocked to Amazon’s more granular and more basic Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) capabilities.

Amazon had a 3 year head start at that time and then it took Microsoft till April of this year to formally launch its AWS-like IaaS capabilities. When Microsoft subsequently claimed that Azure was already a $1 billion business, many (including yours truly) didn’t buy it. And a clarification of those numbers showed that $1 billion covered a lot of distinctly non-Azure-y stuff like Microsoft software sold via AWS and other cloud or hosting providers.

And in the years it took Microsoft to get its IaaS out the door, Amazon has churned out more, higher level services including things like its DynamoDB NoSQL database.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that Microsoft will respond, not only to AWS, but to an array of other upstart clouds — especially the new Google Compute Engine  including VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Service. When it rolled out its IaaS services in April, Windows Azure GM Bill Hilf said the company would meet AWS pricing on all basic compute and storage y services and that Azure pricing will be uniform across all geographies and data centers — a not-so-veiled reference to Amazon’s variable pricing. Microsoft runs 8 data centers worldwide, 4 in the U.S., 2 in Europe and 2 in Asia.

Microsoft wants the world to know it is ready to go head-to-head with Amazon Web Services on both features and price.

Microsoft has claimed that its Linux and Windows Server virtual machines (VMs) on Windows Azure are now generally available and ready for deployment. These are the persistent VMs that Microsoft publicly unveiled last June, and which provide users with a way to run existing Linux and Windows Server apps in the Azure cloud without having to completely rewrite them.

Microsoft announced last year that these persistent VMs will allow users to run Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, OpenSUSE 12.1, CentOS 6.2, Ubuntu 12.04 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2 and apps built on these Windows Server and Linux variants on Windows Azure.

Microsoft is adding Microsoft-validated instances to its VM options for common Windows applications that users may want to run on Azure, including SQL Server, SharePoint Server, BizTalk Server and Dynamics NAV.

Microsoft also is making its Azure Virtual Network technology. Windows Azure Virtual Network is designed to allow business users to extend their networks by enabling secure site-to-site IPsec VPN connectivity between the Enterprise and Windows Azure. The idea is this will allow users to better connect their hybrid on-premises and cloud set-ups.

Microsoft’s pitch is that Azure — which runs Microsoft data centers — will act in concert with outside data centers running the latest Windows Server and Systems Center releases — as a hybrid cloud that can shift workloads back and forth seamlessly.

On the pricing front, Microsoft also made a commitment to match Amazon Web Services on price for all "commodity" services, including compute, storage and bandwidth. As part of this pledge, Microsoft is reducing its general-availability pricing on VMs and cloud services by between 21 to 33 percent.

Microsoft has come into markets way late before and by dint of huge spending and iterative improvements, caught up. Internet Explorer was a pipsqueak compared to Netscape Navigator. Anyone use Navigator now? Didn’t think so. (Of course I’m not sure how many IE users there are any more either.) Still even Windows bashers have to acknowledge that Microsoft’s installed base is humongous. If it can move even a fraction of into Azure, it will be a factor.

Google's Competition with Amazon and Microsoft in Cloud Hosting and Storage Services

Google's Competition with Amazon and Microsoft in Cloud Hosting and Storage Services

Although Amazon and Microsoft are the big names in the market of cloud hosting and storage services, Google is ready to give tough competition to both of them. Google is working hard on cloud hosting services to compete with Amazon and Microsoft.

In cloud computing, dozens or even thousands of computer servers are joined to create a giant machine capable of handling many tasks at once, from storing data to running Web sites and mobile apps to tackling complicated analytical problems. Individual software developers, large companies and governments rent these services to run their operations often at a fraction of the cost of buying and managing their own machines.

It is part of Google’s dive into a business known as cloud services — renting to other businesses access to its enormous data storage and computing power, accessible by the Internet.

Google is doubling its office space near Seattle, just miles from the campuses of Amazon and Microsoft, and stepping up the hiring of engineers and others who work on cloud technology.

Amazon Web Services, or A.W.S., is far and away the leader in this area. Amazon expects that this business will eventually be as big as its retail operation.

A.W.S. is followed by Microsoft’s Windows Azure and offerings from other companies including Rackspace, Verizon, I.B.M. and Hewlett-Packard.

Google says the cloud business is a new source of profit and a way to improve the Internet by providing other companies access to its sophisticated computing services.

Analysts say it is also a strategy to lure developers and businesses to use Google products instead of those of archrivals like Amazon and Microsoft.

The cloud business has become so vital to these companies because it is crucial to other businesses like mobile apps and online video and music.

Most of the apps that run on Google Android phones, for instance, are built using Amazon’s cloud, and Google would like to wrest back control. Microsoft, Amazon and Google are all competing to host online video, a booming business that relies on cloud services.

Almost every major consultancy supports Amazon. Almost every advertising agency runs on Amazon. 

Google plans a major recruiting effort to increase its Seattle-area engineering staff by as much as five times. There is already fierce competition among tech companies for talented engineers, and many of those with skills in cloud computing work at Google’s rivals in Seattle.

Google is also adding 180,000 square feet to its office in Kirkland, Wash., which together with its Seattle office already houses more than 1,000 employees, making it Google’s third largest in the country after its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., and its office in New York.

The new office space will have all the requisite perks of tech businesses, where typical office cubicles and fluorescent lights are not enough. It will meet green building standards, with a solar roof and wood from recycled shipping containers. The Seattle office, on a canal, has kayaks and paddleboards for employees, and the Kirkland office uses boats for conference rooms, not to mention the office’s espresso bars, massage parlor and climbing wall.

Though the cloud business is still in its early days, Google is already late to the game.

Over the years, Google, Amazon and Microsoft had each built world-class clouds, consisting of several giant data centers in different countries, to run their own businesses — doing things like searching the Web, hosting online video, managing business software and operating an online mall. Amazon was the first to rent its data storage and computing power to outside customers when it started A.W.S. in 2004, and Microsoft and Google followed. Another company with huge data centers and computing power, Apple, does not rent its cloud.

Amazon earned $800 million from its cloud services last year, according to analyst estimates. It initially focused on start-up Web companies, but has gone on to offer features like e-mail and database search that are attractive to more mainstream corporate customers, including the InterContinental Hotels Group, Samsung and Netflix.

Microsoft started Azure to try to hold on to corporate customers that Amazon wants to pry away, and has struggled for years to adapt its business from selling individual software packages to renting software over the cloud.

Google’s cloud offerings originally tied to other Google services. But to reach a broader market, Google has followed Amazon’s lead by offering a cloud platform that works with a much broader range of services.

Google has the weakest corporate ties. It sells businesses cloud-based word processing, storage, and spreadsheet tools, but its operation is still much smaller than Microsoft’s.

It introduced the Google App Engine, for building and hosting Web and mobile apps on Google’s cloud, in 2004. The company says that 250,000 developers use it to run 1 million apps that generate up to 7.5 billion page hits a day.

In June, Google announced Compute Engine, for large-scale computing and data center access, at its annual conference for software developers, in the hope that developers and eventually big companies would use it. But nearly a year later, it is still in a test phase and not open to the public.

People who have used Google’s cloud business say it is inexpensive and capable, but lacks some features of A.W.S. Google has said its cloud services will cost about 50 percent less than competing products.

If Google wants a price war, Amazon is ready. Amazon has always been very good at making everything as low-cost as possible. 

Monday, 29 July 2013

Top and Best Cloud Web Server Hosting Service Providers List

Top and Best Cloud Web Server Hosting Service Providers List

There are a lot of cloud hosting service providers in the cloud market. We have tried to list down the top and best online cloud web server hosting service providers among hundreds of cloud hosting providers in the cloud market. We reviewed many cloud hosting providers and able to select Amazon AWS, Rackspace Cloud, ServerPronto, VPS, Joyent, Cloudee, Hostway, SoftLayer, OpSource, Gigenet and GoGrid. 

Following is the list of top cloud web server hosting service providers which we chose:

1. Amazon AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) delivers a set of services that together form a reliable, scalable, and inexpensive computing platform 'in the cloud'. These pay-as-you-use cloud computing services include Amazon S3, Amazon EC2, Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon SQS, Amazon FPS, and others.
2. Rackspace Cloud

The Rackspace Cloud is the cloud hosting division of Rackspace, an industry leader that currently manages over 40,000 servers and devices for customers all over the world. Cloud hosting is the next iteration of hosting. So, having the leader of managed hosting behind you is not such a bad thing. 

3. ServerPronto

ServerPronto is a dedicated hosting subsidiary of Infolink, one of a few profitable Data Center Corporations in the world. From it's beginning in January 1999, Infolink served the "Value Orientated" segment of the Internet market. Not by offering a sub-standard product at a low price, but by offering a top-quality, feature rich product at an incredible price. Since the beginning Infolink has enjoyed dramatic growth while other's in the industry have suffered. 

4. VPS.NET

VPS.NET is the leader in cloud technology. VPS.NET customers have launched over 200,000 cloud servers since 2009. VPS.NET cloud servers have proven to have the flexibility to help customers develop new products, while the power to handle the rush of traffic from live television.
5. Joyent

Joyent is the high-performance cloud infrastructure and big data analytics company, offering organizations of any size the best public and hybrid cloud infrastructure for today's demanding real-time web and mobile applications.

6. Cloudee

Cloudee.eu is a European provider of Cloud services. Cloudee offers opportunity to set up a new Cloud server in one minute. 

7. Hostway

Hostway Corporation was founded in 1998 and has been serving the infrastructure and hosting needs of small and medium sized businesses ever since. As a leader in Cloud Hosting, Managed Hosting, and Email and Applications, Hostway delivers reliable, secure, and scalable solutions to over 600,000 customers worldwide. 

8. SoftLayer

SoftLayer's comprehensive selection of storage and backup services provides multiple technologies, allowing you to select the ideal level of security, reliability, and flexibility for your environment and applications. Deploy enterprise-grade solutions including automated backup, high-availability storage, and data replication, all fully automated and accessible through SoftLayer's industry-leading customer portal and API.

9. OpSource

OpSource Cloud Pricing offers unrivaled value and flexibility with no vendor lock-in. With OpSource, you pay only for what you use. Whether you are a developer, small business or a global multi-national corporation, you'll enjoy the enterprise-class public cloud features that are included with your standard service.

10. GigeNet

Gigenet cloud provides you with the tools and support you need to offload your IT requirements so that you can focus on growing your business and boosting your bottom line. GigeNET Cloud also offers multiple locations with Cloud Servers in LA and Chicago!

11. GoGrid

GoGrid’s cloud hosting platform provides automated provisioning of infrastructure over the Internet. You can provision and scale virtual and physical servers, storage, networking, load balancing, and firewalls in real time across multiple data centers using a web-based management console or GoGrid’s API. GoGrid infrastructure is ideal if you need instant access to highly available multi-server environments. You can access and operate it using standard network protocols and IP addresses—no new technical skills or specialized equipment are required.

Cheap Cloud Web Server Hosting Service Providers List

Cheap Cloud Web Server Hosting Service Providers List

There are several cheap cloud web server hosting service providers available in the cloud market which are competing with each other to provide best online cloud storage and backup. We have compiled a list of these cheap cloud web server hosting service providers.

Cloud web server hosting allows the users to store and backup their data and files in a remote area, some kind of cloud such that they can retrieve this kind of information on any internet enabled device from anywhere in the world. 

The most important thing when it comes to cloud hosting services is safety and security of users’ information and data along with ease in use and retrieval of data. 

A cheap cloud hosting providers is basically the cloud hosting company in the industry that has been able to be a cheap cloud hosting provider. Some of the features that make these companies a cheap cloud hosting provider is the mere fact that they offer both cloud computing and hosting services, using of cheap cloud servers which are very reliable and excellent in terms of their up time statistics and overall performance. These cheap cloud web server hosting companies provide excellent cloud hosting services at quite an affordable price, using the latest technologies in the industry along with cheap cloud servers.

List of Cheap Cloud Web Server Hosting Service Providers

1. 100TB
2. Site5
3. SiteGround
4. ZipCloud
5. Westhost
6. SingleHop
7. VPSNet
8. UK2.NET
9. IXWebhosting
10. WHUK
11. JustCloud
12. CloudFlare

These cheap cloud web hosting providers provide RAID Protected Cloud Hosting Servers. The best part is that the companies offer the best cloud hosting services in the industry for a low price per month. This web host also uses cheap cloud servers that are of the best quality and thus ensure that services offered are of the best quality. Some of the other features that these companies include unlimited diskspace, bandwidth, domains, unlimited e-mail accounts, a dedicated IP addresses.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

VMWare Server Virtualization Management, Monitoring Tools and Features: VMWare Data Backup and Recovery Solutions

VMWare Server Virtualization Management, Monitoring Tools and Features: VMWare Data Backup and Recovery Solutions

There are a lot of VMWare Server Management and Monitoring Tools available which provide server virtualization, data backup and recovery solutions. We will explore various features of VMWare Tools. VMware Inc makes VMware Tools available for Microsoft Windows, Linux, Sun Solaris, FreeBSD, and Novell NetWare guest systems. VMWare strongly recommends that administrators install the VMware Tools in all virtual machines (VMs) for efficient data backup, recovery and protection. The VMware Tools Control Panel, which is organized in a set of tabs, provides a graphical environment in which VMware Tools settings can be configured. 

Following is the list of features provided by VMWare Tools:

1. Efficient VMWare Backup and Recovery

VMWare Tools ensure backups complete on time and keep infrastructure costs at bay despite exponential data growth. VMWare Tools optimize and speeds the backup and recovery process through deduplication.

2. Variable-length Deduplication

VMWare Tools are very storage space efficient. VMWare Tools enable the highest rates of deduplication in the industry – on average 99% for file systems and 96% for databases. 

Variable-length deduplication breaks files into sub-segments of variable length to determine those that are truly unique, minimizing backup storage requirements.

3. Global Deduplication

By deduplicating data across all VMs pointed to the same appliance, VMWare Tools further reduces the required backup storage. VMs are often deployed from standardized sets of templates and guest OS images, which makes large parts of their data identical. With VMWare Tools, redundant data only needs to be stored once.

4. Changed Block Tracking Backup

VMWare Tools reduces the impact on the virtual network during backups by leveraging CBT in combination with variable-length deduplication, sending only daily unique changes to the virtual appliance. VMWare Tools automatically merges the unique blocks into the previous backup to create a full backup.

Recovery times can be dramatically reduced by tracking the delta of changed blocks between the current state of the VM and its backup, so that only required blocks are restored.

5. Easy to deploy

VMWare Tools are deployed as a virtual machine appliance, making it very easy to deploy with little additional configuration required post-deployment.

6. Easy to use

Setting backup schedules is simple and efficient since you can define different policies based on specified retentions and schedules. Policies are applied to groups of virtual machines, based on business needs and data types.

7. One-step recovery

The intuitive web-based user interface of VMWare Tools let you perform simple recovery of full VMs or individual files. VMWare Tools also provides the ability for end-user self-service restore to offload restore requests to the IT department. Instead of making users wait while you provision storage, extract the backup and copy it to production, restart a VM directly from the backup. 

8. Agent-free

There are no agents for you to license, deploy, manage or monitor on hosts or VMs.

9. Scalability

VMWare Tools provide a distributed architecture to optimize performance in remote office/branch office (ROBO) and large-scale deployments.

10. Centralized management

From a web-based console, you can monitor jobs across multiple backups servers, edit jobs on any server, and search across all backups — all from a centralized location. 

11. Back up to the cloud

Turn any public storage cloud into easy-to-use data repositories for your backups. Automatically copy your backups to Amazon, Azure or any other clouds and add offsite archiving to your local recovery capabilities with advanced VMWare Tools.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Need of Cloud Based Data Backup and Protection Solutions and Services for Your Enterprise and Business

Need of Cloud Based Data Backup and Protection Solutions and Services for Your Enterprise and Business

Why do you need Cloud Based Data Backup Solutions and Services for your Business?

The purpose of this article is to discuss the importance and need of online cloud storage, backup, encryption and protection of your business critical sensitive data. As the cloud services are getting popular day by day, you should consider using these cloud services to benefit your enterprise. Use cloud based backups for your important files, documents, images, videos etc. to compete with your rivals.

The purpose of backing up your data is to protect yourself in the event of a data-loss disaster. But if your backups are stored in the same building as your source data, you're only covered against a limited number of problems. A fire, flood or theft could permanently remove all copies of your data.

This is one reason why some companies are turning to off-site backups over the internet. Such cloud solutions should keep all your data out of harm's way and safe. 

As your business grows to multiple locations or satellite offices, and your mobile workforce continues to expand, cloud-based data protection and backup services provide you with secure, reliable and easy-to-use backup options. By using existing network infrastructure or by connecting to the internet, you can automatically back up data to a highly secure off-site data center, helping save time and expense.

Whether you’re a developer or a business owner, you need to prepare for the unexpected. Cloud based Backup safeguards your business by protecting the important files that your website or application needs. Get back to normal operations quickly with the ability to rapidly restore files after a hard drive fails or you lose a file.

Whether you need a single laptop backed up or large-scale server protection, cloud-based backup solutions can help ensure your business has an anywhere, anytime backup solution.

Cloud-based backup solutions and services encrypt and back up your important data to secure off-site data centers using your internet connection to help protect against software corruption, accidental file deletion, hard drive crashes, theft and natural disasters.

Using Cloud based Backups, you can easily create, schedule, and manage file-level backups. In just a few minutes, you can begin protecting your important files and folders since Cloud based Backup is integrated with Managed Cloud Servers. Managing and restoring the backups are just as easy.

Cloud based backup has block-level compression and de-duplication which make backups more efficient and reduces storage costs up to 10-20x compared to traditional uncompressed backups. 

Encryption and Security provided by Cloud based Backups

Enterprise-grade encryptions are used for cloud storage and backups. When encryption is enabled, your data will be encrypted with a pass phrase that only you know. Once you create your encryption key, your data is encrypted before it leaves the server and remains safely encrypted while stored.

Cloud Based Data Backup Service Providers

Here is the list of some of the major cloud based backup service providers. 

VMWare
Microsoft
Citrix
Verizon
Salesforce
Rackspace
Amazon
Dell
Symantec

You can browse a lot but before choosing any cloud based service provider you must ensure some parameters like storage space, speed, availability, security, cost etc. I have written a complete article on this topic. Please click here to read more...

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Big Data Business Analytics, Storage, Integration, Challenges and Opportunities

Big Data Business Analytics, Storage, Integration, Challenges and Opportunities

As the life is getting complex day by day, big data is going to be mismanaged and creating a lot of challenges and obstacles for technical people to analyse, store and integrate this big data which may be in several formats like text, video, image, binary, xml etc. Following article discusses why big data is complex and hard to manage? What are the technical challenges and obstacles we are facing to analyse, integrate and store this big data? What are the future opportunities which big data is creating for us? Lets have this big data discussion in detail:

Big Data is really very big and complex

Lets have a simple example to understand how big data is really very big and complex. 

Consider a simple trip to a child’s birthday party. You send a tweet that you’re headed to the party and you create data. You get in the car, stop to get gas, pay at the pump and you create data. You buy a card at the store, scan your frequent shopper card, pay with cash and you create data.  You take pictures and a short video at the party, post them on Facebook, Flickr and YouTube and you create data. You send a text message while at the party and you create data. Throughout the entire trip, your cell phone creates data as it continually sends out GPS signals and your car creates data as it tracks fuel efficiency. Take the data for this one activity, multiply it by the number of activities you have, multiply that by the number of people who have activities, and you probably have only a small fraction of the data that’s constantly being generated. 

According to IBM, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. Ninety percent of the data we have has been created in the past two years and the amount of data is expected to increase exponentially. The data we create is expanding rapidly as enterprises capture more data in greater detail, as multimedia becomes more common, as social media conversations explode and as we use the Internet to get things done. This is “big data,” and it’s getting even bigger.

How is Big Data complex?

Big data is complex. It’s complex because of the variety of data that it encompasses – from structured data, such as transactions we make or measurements we calculate and store, to unstructured data such as text conversations, multimedia presentations and video streams. Big data is complex because of the speed at which it’s delivered and used, such as in “real-time.” And obviously, big data is complex because of the volume of information we are creating. We used to speak in terms of megabytes and gigabytes of home storage – now we speak in terms of terabytes. Enterprises speak in terms of petabytes. 

Big Data Market

"Big data" has increased the demand of information management specialists in that Software AG, Oracle Corporation, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, EMC, and HP have spent more than $15 billion on software firms only specializing in data management and analytics. In 2010, this industry on its own was worth more than $100 billion and was growing at almost 10 percent a year: about twice as fast as the software business as a whole.

Developed economies make increasing use of data-intensive technologies. There are 4.6 billion mobile-phone subscriptions worldwide and there are between 1 billion and 2 billion people accessing the internet. Between 1990 and 2005, more than 1 billion people worldwide entered the middle class which means more and more people who gain money will become more literate which in turn leads to information growth. The world's effective capacity to exchange information through telecommunication networks was 281 petabytes in 1986, 471 petabytes in 1993, 2.2 exabytes in 2000, 65 exabytes in 2007 and it is predicted that the amount of traffic flowing over the internet will reach 667 exabytes annually by 2013.

Big Data Analytics

Big data requires exceptional technologies to efficiently process large quantities of data within tolerable elapsed times. The practitioners of big data analytics processes are generally hostile to slower shared storage, preferring direct-attached storage (DAS) in its various forms from solid state disk (SSD) to high capacity SATA disk buried inside parallel processing nodes. The perception of shared storage architectures—SAN and NAS—is that they are relatively slow, complex, and expensive. These qualities are not consistent with big data analytics systems that thrive on system performance, commodity infrastructure, and low cost.

Real or near-real time information delivery is one of the defining characteristics of big data analytics. Latency is therefore avoided whenever and wherever possible. Data in memory is good—data on spinning disk at the other end of a FC SAN connection is not. The cost of a SAN at the scale needed for analytics applications is very much higher than other storage techniques.

There are advantages as well as disadvantages to shared storage in big data analytics, but big data analytics practitioners as of 2011 did not favour it.

Big Data Challenges and Obstacles

Big data presents a number of challenges relating to its complexity. 

1. One challenge is how we can understand and use big data when it comes in an unstructured format, such as text or video. 

2. Another challenge is how we can capture the most important data as it happens and deliver that to the right people in real-time. 

3. A third challenge is how we can store the data, and how we can analyze and understand it given its size and our computational capacity. 

4. Scarce talent

One topic that came up frequently during the discussions is the shortage of Big Data talent. The good news is that a growing number of Data Science undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs are launching around the world. A corporate-based model for building Big Data talent can be the more expedient route for countering the issue of talent scarcity. Corporate/higher education collaboration is key to the success of such programs.

5. And there are numerous other challenges, from privacy and security to access and deployment.

According to the latest report Mind the Digital Marketing Gap, produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in partnership with digital marketing software vendor Lyris, 37 per cent of marketing executive surveyed see their difficulty in interpreting big data as the biggest challenge to an effective marketing strategy, while 45 per cent claim to lack sufficient big data analytics capabilities.

In addition, just 24 per cent of marketers said they always use data analysis to develop actionable insights for their overall marketing strategy, although the majority of respondents use data analytics at least some of the time for actionable insights and to personalise consumer communications.

Other key obstacles include a lack of financial resources (43 per cent of respondents); too much emphasis on digital tools and social media; the proliferation of channels; and inadequate human resources (33 per cent apiece).

Big Data Opportunities

But even greater than the challenges are the opportunities that big data presents. Big data is the next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity. We can answer questions with big data that were beyond reach in the past. We can extract insight and knowledge, identify trends and use the data to improve productivity, gain competitive advantage and create substantial value for the world economy. The challenges with big data are limited 

compared to the potential benefits, which are limited only by our creativity and ability to make connections among the trillions of bytes of data we have access to.

Big data provides an opportunity to find insight in new and emerging types of data.  How will you take advantage of this opportunity?