The Key Differences Of Data Centers And Cloud Computing

August 27th, 2013

Apples to oranges, like cloud computing to data centers

A data center stores data. That seems pretty straightforward.

A cloud computing system also stores data. It has many other capabilities as well.

Many have used “data center” and “cloud” as interchangeable terms for the same thing, but that shouldn’t be the case. Sara Angeles, of Business News Daily, touched on the differences between the two in her recent article.

  • The cloud stores data on the internet and is hosted an maintained by an outside provider. A data center uses hardware to store data and is often located on-site, which requires the in-house IT department to maintain it. 
  • Data centers consist of servers and other equipment. A cloud system must be housed in a data center.
  • A data center offers a dedicated system with finite capabilities and is utilized by only one organization. A cloud system could serve multiple organizations, unless it’s a private cloud. It’s scalable to your needs and has practically unlimited capabilities and is easily upgradeable.
  • The cloud is potentially less secure, or harder to secure, because it’s connected to the internet and available from anywhere. A third party provider is responsible for security. A data center operates on a local network with limited access, which makes security much easier, but you are responsible for that security.
  • A data center requires an organization to build an entire infrastructure from the ground up and can cost millions of dollars per year to maintain. Cloud computing is more cost effective because no infrastructure is needed. Most cloud providers offer a flat monthly rate and your system is ready within hours of registration.

That should give you a basic understanding of the difference between a data center and a cloud computing system. If you’re interested in implementing a cloud for your business or have data storage needs, contact Geek Rescue at 918-369-4335. We offer a variety of solutions to help your business run more efficiently. 

How Cloud Computing Helps Your Business

August 27th, 2013

Cloud computing for business

Over the past few months, cloud computing has become one of the hottest buzzwords of 2013. Many are still unsure of exactly what cloud computing is, however. Many more are unsure how to implement a cloud system into their business.

Cloud Business Review posted six advantages afforded to businesses who implement cloud computing to help those who are still wary of the technology.

  • Speed of Deployment

A cloud system is implemented usually within 24-hours. A network this powerful would require an IT-team and weeks to finish, but the cloud accelerates and simplifies the whole process. As a cloud provider, Geek Rescue customizes your cloud system based on your needs and gets you up and running almost immediately. There’s no need to add hardware or personnel. 

  • Minimal Downtime

The nature of the cloud allows it to be uploaded to a server quickly. This means that when a server hosting the cloud goes down, your system is moved to a working server with hardly any downtime. This means costly outages when employees stop working are a thing of the past. 

  • Mobility and Sharing

Even for small businesses, ensuring that the right employees have access to vital files is difficult. The cloud makes sharing much easier and allows for employees to access files for virtually anywhere. With mobile access, your employees work from anywhere and always have access to the files or applications they need. 

  • Easy Upgrades

Over time, your needs will likely change. A cloud network is highly scalable and allows you to increase memory or data storage quickly. While a physical network would require days of work and probable downtime to finish upgrades, the cloud effectively increases your capabilities in no time. 

The uses for cloud computing are practically limitless. Regardless of your industry, call Geek Rescue at 918-369-4335 to discover how the cloud could help you do business more efficiently.

Cloud Computing’s Current Trends and Future Innovations

August 15th, 2013

Cloud computing

With the number of businesses, both large and small, adopting some sort of cloud computing technology, it becomes increasingly important to study trends and predict innovations. Rebecca Grant, of VentureBeat, explored the evolving trends of cloud computing and revealed where most expect and want it to go from here.

  • Mobile

The mobile user is the main focus in most industries right now because it is such a rapidly growing group. In the context of cloud computing, mobile innovations allow for streamlining your business, allowing access from anywhere and easy sharing of documents. The bring your own device boom has spurred this need. There’s an added bonus of quick and simple recovery after disaster as well. 

  • Narrow Focus

Rather than creating solutions that can be adapted for various industries, we’ll likely see more industry-specific cloud computing options. Rather than a horizontal focus, we’ll see more vertically focused start-ups bring narrowly focused innovations to the marketplace.

  • Platforms As A Service

This is a way to build applications without a regard for infrastructure. It’s been recognized as a rapidly growing sector of the cloud, which empowers developers. 

  • Data Driven Software

More and more data is available to businesses, which means the demand for applications capable of interpreting that data is on the rise, or soon will be. With cloud computing, data can be collected and reported in one place and easily shared across an enterprise. 

  • Outsourcing And Outservicing

With wide-spread cloud technology, outsourcing will increase. Companies can focus on their unique niche and seamlessly outsource the areas of work they aren’t as good at. This makes both starting a business and running it smoothly easier. 

Cloud computing covers a vast array of topics, such as security, storage, hosting and data analytics. As more companies adopt at least part of the cloud into their business, more innovations will increase its usefulness.

To find out how the cloud helps your business, contact Geek Rescue at 918-369-4335.

Your Company’s Biggest Threat To Data Security

August 9th, 2013

Frustrated Employee

If you’ve taken every precaution to secure your companies network and email and have installed consistently updated anitvirus software on every device, there’s probably only a slim chance that any of your data is intercepted by an outside source, right? Actually, there’s still the matter of your employees to worry about.

IPSwitch recently published an ebook that illustrates all of the ways your employees are compromising security, which allows for the stealing of data. Usually, these employees are not intentionally putting data at risk. They’re simply trying to make data transfer easier for themselves or clients.

  • Email Attachments- More than 84-percent of survey respondents admitted to sending confidential or classified information as an email attachment. 72-percent say they do so every week. Unless your company has specifically taken measures to protect attachments, all of the data sent this way is at risk.
  • Using Personal Email- Rather than utilizing the secured, company email, about half of respondents use their personal email, which lacks adequate security measures, to send company data. They do so in order to send larger files, because it’s faster and more convenient, they can’t connect to work email outside the office and a variety of other reasons.
  • Inadequate File Transfer Services- If they’re not sending valuable data via personal email or attachments, employees are using file transfer services, such as dropbox, or cloud services. Many times, the services they use are intended for consumers, not businesses. This compromises security and makes it impossible for IT to track how data is leaving their system.
  • External Devices- Nearly 80-percent of respondents use a thumb drive or other external device to transfer, back-up or store data. The problem with having a physical device containing important data is that physical devices get lost or stolen. Almost a third of respondents say they’ve lost an external device containing sensitive business data. About half of those were not reported to the IT department, which means the possible compromise in security couldn’t be planned for.

This list is certainly not exhaustive. Due to a lack of education, or a desire to do what’s most convenient, employees often put your organization at risk. Having security measures in place is a great start, but more is needed to keep you secure. Call Geek Rescue at 918-369-4335 to find out what else needs to be done. We offer an audit of your organization that discovers bad practices and leaks in data. From top to bottom, in the physical and digital world, Geek Rescue keeps you and your business secure.

Malware Infects You From Unlikely Places

August 2nd, 2013

Sneaky businessman

You may think it’s easy to avoid malware. Sketchy looking emails, not-so-subtle internet ads and downloading too good to be true files all lead to likely infections of your computer. Those are thinly veiled attempts to put malware on your machine and most internet users have learned how to stay safe. But what if those malware attempts weren’t so thinly veiled?

Jaikumar Vijayan, of ComputerWorld, reports that malware is being distributed more often from legitimate cloud services like Google Docs or Dropbox, which makes them difficult to avoid. In the past, malware usually stemmed from a site created by a hacker. That made it easy to seek out those sites and blacklist them. Naturally, hackers’ methods evolved to try to stay one step ahead.

Because the malware stems from a usually trustworthy source, the malicious files are more likely to slip past any security defenses in place. No longer can you blindly trust files simply based on where you found them.

Evidence of malware has been found in a number of online cloud services. These services allow registration without requiring much information, which means cyber criminals are able to register with fake information.

To stay safe from infection, you’ll need to be more intelligent in your web activities and have the latest security measures in place. To be sure you’re prepared for the latest malware attack, contact Geek Rescue at 918-369-4335. They clean your machine to rid it of any existing malware, and give you the tools to keep it clean.

 

Cloud Computing Is Your Solution For Disaster Recovery

August 1st, 2013

Lightning

One of the most popular buzz words of 2013 is the cloud. While everyone is talking about it, many businesses are unsure of how and where to implement it. Cloud computing is a dynamic solution to a number of issues, but it is best suited for disaster recovery.

Disaster comes in many forms, but the cloud handles all of them with minimal effort on your part. Whether your data is wiped out from an attack, a virus or a natural disaster, the cloud has you covered.

John Dix, of CIO, recently spoke with IBM Distinguished Engineer Richard Cocchiara about the ways cloud computing helps in disaster relief. Cocchiara had one particularly good note for small to medium business owners. Cloud computing levels the field between them and their larger counterparts. While big corporations have the budget for off-site servers that constantly back-up data, smaller companies didn’t have the same luxury. Now, the cloud makes that solution affordable.

Let’s say your company experiences a catastrophic loss of data. Companies that don’t back-up their data, or back-up onsite might be in real trouble. Companies utilizing the cloud to back-up their data will experience a quick restoration of the vital data.

What if your servers fail, or need to go down for maintenance? Cloud computing offers the ability to failover, which means the down server’s functions are assumed by a working machine. It also offers restore points far enough back to overcome the failure.

Finally, there’s the dreaded natural disaster. Floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, fire or just a glitch in your sprinkler system will knock out your onsite data storage. Even if you have offsite back-up, a regional disaster, like an earthquake, hurricane or tornado with a large range of damage, could wreak havoc on your data. When your data is in the cloud, you’ll be able to access it when you need it.

Cloud computing is a dynamic, flexible and reliable solution for disaster recovery, which is a worst case scenario. Having a plan in place helps your business overcome disaster, rather than struggling with it. Geek Rescue puts a plan in place for you. We are experts in cloud computing and help you plan ahead for disasters. Call Geek Rescue today at 918-369-4335.