HYBRID CLOUD: A BRIEF INTRODUCTION

Marcus Erber

The National Institute of Standards and Technology defines hybrid cloud as “a composition of two or more clouds (private, community or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together, offering the benefits of multiple deployment models.” Although this definition sounds very reasonable, it does not cover all aspects of hybrid clouds.
Let’s discuss possible deployment models first. There are five defined cloud deployment models, from a private cloud on-premises to a public cloud service with a cloud service provider.

 

Often, hybrid cloud refers to a combination of a public cloud service and a private cloud on-premises; however, hybrid clouds could also consist of two public clouds provided by different providers or even a combination of a cloud and traditional IT. Actually, a setup where existing systems on a traditional IT infrastructure are combined with a public cloud service is currently the most frequent use case of a hybrid cloud.

 

Any hybrid cloud setup has some challenges that need to be considered during the planning and design phase:

  • The most obvious challenge is network connectivity, especially if remote cloud services like a public cloud or a hosted private cloud are involved. Not only must bandwidth, latency, reliability and associated cost considerations be taken into account, but also the logical network topology must be carefully designed (networks, routing, firewalls).
  • Another huge challenge is the manageability of different cloud services. When different cloud services are used, every service provider will have its own management and provisioning environment. Those environments can be considered completely independent from each other. By having instances in different cloud services, there is no complete picture available showing the number of totally deployed instances and their statuses. An orchestration layer can be a possible solution for this problem. This layer provides a single interface for all cloud-related tasks. The orchestration layer itself communicates with the different cloud services through application programming interfaces (APIs). The big advantage of an orchestration layer is the ability to track and control activities on a central point to maintain the big picture.

 

  • Today, plenty of cloud service providers maintain their own proprietary set of APIs. This makes the use of orchestration very complex as the orchestrator requires some kind of a driver component for each proprietary API set. However, the trend of standardized APIs is clearly seen in the industry. OpenStack seems to be the future cloud industry standard.

    Hybrid clouds mainly work on an infrastructure and application level. On the infrastructure layer, a hybrid cloud means the combination of virtual machines from different cloud services. On the application or software as a service (SaaS) layer, a hybrid cloud describes an application setup with components in different SaaS offerings or existing applications within the data center of an enterprise. The challenge on an SaaS-based hybrid cloud is mainly the exchange of data between the different services and applications. Like orchestration works on the infrastructure level, data integrators work on the application layer.

    Summary:

    A hybrid cloud is a combination of different clouds, be it private, public or a mix. The biggest challenge is the integration of the different cloud services and technologies. Standardized APIs such as OpenStack seem to solve most of those issues.

CONSIDER ATX TAX SOFTWARE HOSTING TO FILE THE TAXES

Tax software application is the product for the businesses to file the tax returns for each financial year. The tax return process has been traditionally managed through paperwork while the software’s operate the tax filing quicker and faster. The manual process was precisely time consuming and required extra effort to perform tax return very cautiously as one single mistake could lead to re-submission of tax returns. The arrival of tax software ATX has changed the process of taxation which is now simplified and embraced by the business world as the software is a huge success.

 

The automated software application makes the entire tax process automated as the application has many ideal features to make tax filing task easier. Accountants are organized with more business oriented task to operate multiple customers. The application is perfect to do multiple tasks for its customers.  ATX tax software for tax management is efficient for federal, local and state tax returns. Customers should select the tax application form wisely for filing the tax returns. Almost all tax forms are available in the application therefore users have freedom to select the right tax application form to process the tax returns.

 

ATX TAX software for SMEs:

There are many features of the application which makes it very useful to businesses. ATX tax software is available to be learned via tutorials, free trials and webinars. Free trial is simple and quick to install on any device like Smartphone or tablet. Users can install the free trial version of ATX that runs unlimited for 30 days from the date of installation. The trial version offers easy understanding of the tax application system and users can become experts on tax filing. Users get an opportunity to know the tax process before purchasing the license copy. ATX tax software can be learned on webinars and tutorials. On ATX, multiple users of the firm may collaborate on real time tax software application to work in sync. The user collaboration enhances company productivity as tax processing becomes quicker. New customers get discounts to save on the application license purchase and when the license application is purchased, users should select the ATX tax software hosting method.

 

ATX tax software hosting can be done on clouds and on premise. Desktop hosting is in-house system where the application is running from local servers. Desktop has been the traditional approach that has been functional on premise. This has high operating cost to a company as there are infrastructure, IT and other costs to be managed. ATX tax software Hosting on cloud is online hosting of the tax application. The cloud hosting of ATX is managed online as hosting providers operate the cloud based tax application for clients. Cloud is online hence accessible anytime, anywhere by the users. They have flexibility to access and work accordingly. ATX on cloud is cost effective solution that is easy to run on any device like mobile, tablet or laptop and hosting providers offer backups, bank level high security, data management and support.

TOP 5 COMMON USES OF CLOUD COMPUTING

Maamar Ferkoun

Cloud computing has been credited with increasing competitiveness through cost reduction, greater flexibility, elasticity and optimal resource utilization. Here are a few situations where cloud computing is used to enhance the ability to achieve business goals.

1. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS)

When it comes to IaaS, using an existing infrastructure on a pay-per-use scheme seems to be an obvious choice for companies saving on the cost of investing to acquire, manage and maintain an IT infrastructure. There are also instances where organizations turn to PaaS for the same reasons while also seeking to increase the speed of development on a ready-to-use platform to deploy applications.

2. Private cloud and hybrid cloud

Among the many incentives for using cloud, there are two situations where organizations are looking into ways to assess some of the applications they intend to deploy into their environment through the use of a cloud (specifically a public cloud). While in the case of test and development it may be limited in time, adopting a hybrid cloud approach allows for testing application workloads, therefore providing the comfort of an environment without the initial investment that might have been rendered useless should the workload testing fail.

Another use of hybrid cloud is also the ability to expand during periods of limited peak usage, which is often preferable to hosting a large infrastructure that might seldom be of use. An organization would seek to have the additional capacity and availability of an environment when needed on a pay-as you-go basis.

3. Test and development

Probably the best scenario for the use of a cloud is a test and development environment. This entails securing a budget, setting up your environment through physical assets, significant manpower and time. Then comes the installation and configuration of your platform. All this can often extend the time it takes for a project to be completed and stretch your milestones.

With cloud computing, there are now readily available environments tailored for your needs at your fingertips. This often combines, but is not limited to, automated provisioning of physical and virtualized resources.

4. Big data analytics

One of the aspects offered by leveraging cloud computing is the ability to tap into vast quantities of both structured and unstructured data to harness the benefit of extracting business value.

Retailers and suppliers are now extracting information derived from consumers’ buying patterns to target their advertising and marketing campaigns to a particular segment of the population. Social networking platforms are now providing the basis for analytics on behavioral patterns that organizations are using to derive meaningful information.

5. File storage

Cloud can offer you the possibility of storing your files and accessing, storing and retrieving them from any web-enabled interface. The web services interfaces are usually simple. At any time and place you have high availability, speed, scalability and security for your environment. In this scenario, organizations are only paying for the amount of storage they are actually consuming, and do so without the worries of overseeing the daily maintenance of the storage infrastructure.

There is also the possibility to store the data either on or off premises depending on the regulatory compliance requirements. Data is stored in virtualized pools of storage hosted by a third party based on the customer specification requirements.

HOW DOES CLOUD SERVER HELP IN REDUCING DOWNTIME FOR YOUR WEBSITE

Server “downtime” is used to explain a stage of time in which a server or website is busy or unavailable. Server downtime occurs when an organism is incapable to execute its initial tasks. Downtime can be the result of scheduled maintenance. It may also be the result of unpredicted problems such as server excesses or system failure.

 

Advantages of Cloud Server Hosting
There is a rising attention in cloud servers and hosting services. Organizations are searching for to crowd their website, email, storage and many other things by using benefit of the cloud hosting services. The most essential benefit is that you catch great worth for your money. You give nearly the similar sum or less as basic shared hosting, but you find a set of qualities that are regularly found just in committed server hosting. This is a great advantage for those who want to take benefit of the lots of features of dedicated server hosting at a minor cost.

 

One of the best benefits of cloud servers is that you can insert or eliminate servers at your will at any time and immediate ranging up or down is a wonderful feature! Because of this you have control power of the resources that you’re using at all specified time. If you require another server to handle the huge traffic then you can choose for an extra cloud server, and you can catch it up and use within some time. When your traffic variation has been settled, you can only scale down the server, and give only for the quantity of resources that you have used. This is a wonderful feature for users.

 

The other advantage of cloud server is that you will about never see your website go down, and in the doubtful occasion that they do go down, the downtime won’t last for more than only some seconds, which is actually very exciting. This is an important reason that cloud hosting service has gotten a good status within a very small period and many peoples’ faith their websites to be hosted on the cloud.

 

Cloud hosting is a web hosting alternative that a lot of big internet groups such as Google and Amazon have accepted in current years. Presently minor businesses are also now starting to create the move towards cloud hosting services. Cloud hosting is where the resources for hosting a website are widening across a bunch of servers, a ‘cloud’, that effort together.

With committed hosting services if the server goes losing, your website will go down with it. In the cloud hosting you can enjoy very high levels of uptime and about totally minimize downtime. Using cloud hosting businesses can have contact to high class servers and tools that they may not be capable to offer otherwise.

 

The bottom line is that the hosting services for cloud computing are increasingly becoming popular among the business community not only because of their guaranteed uptime which the service provider undertakes but due to a host of other advantages. The best of them is the cost effectiveness. You do not have to make heavy investment as in dedicated hosting but get the same reliability. Moreover your data is more secure in the unlikely event of any hazard like fire etc. in your business premises.

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT BY BEST CLOUD ERP SOLUTION

We know that ERP is Enterprise resource planning accounting software solution. It is a technical term of accounting management software solution that manages the entire company operations. The software is designed with suite of features, functionalities and tools that simplifies the accounting and finances of an enterprise. With the robust and advanced use of technology, the method of trade and business management has transformed using ERP. The accounting and commerce were operated by bookkeepers and accountants who operated the entire task manually as it is known that accounting is one of the most critical tasks to be done. Since software solution of the ERP came into the industry, the method of company management has become simpler and quicker. Businesses have become more productive as they now generate more sales and revenue for the enterprise therefore the advent of ERP solutions has accentuated huge advancement in the world of accounting and commerce.

 

ERP on cloud and desktop:

ERP solutions might sound as new and complex for users having less knowledge on accounting and commerce. For all those users who have no or least knowledge on the system can get the trial version installed. The trial software is a great way to get started with the software ERP to gain knowledge. This trial is meant to deliver better understanding of the application flow to professionals and users. ERP software can be installed on any device as per user convenience. When the free trial session ERP ends, users can switch to webinars, tutorials or videos to get more knowledge. ERP softwares are compatible to many devices and software application system. ERP solutions are multiple user accessible system that means all users with a secure login can collaborate on the real time system. Only those users who have valid login access to the system can share the graphical user interface and collaborate with other users. ERP softwares can be hosted on cloud or desktop systems. ERP on desktop hosting is traditional approach that runs on local servers while best cloud ERP is online hosted solution. These local servers are operated by professionals who manage infrastructure, maintenance and other tasks of IT Cloud ERP is online hosting of the application on remote servers which is managed by hosting providers. ERP softwares can integrate with any application to access the data from other applications. ERP license purchases gives access to all full time usage of the application.

 

Best Cloud ERP is web based solution offering features of anytime anywhere accessible. Cloud hosting users have freedom of device, freedom of access and freedom to work from home, office or during travel. The web hosting services of best cloud ERP solution is cost effective solution for which clients can pay for the rentals on subscriptions which means they can pay some fee and get access to cloud services. ERP software app on mobile installed by the professionals offers upgrades and updates on the business. Any new update to the application is automatically updated to the clients system therefore no manual updates are required.

EXPLANATION OF CLOUD COMPUTING TO YOUR PARTNER

Erik Anderson

I love my wife, but sometimes she drives me crazy.  She is an elementary school counselor with a Master’s degree, so you know that she is a good listener, is intelligent, and is also very patient. Yet somehow when it comes time for me to talk about my day or what I work on for a living, that patience and those listening skills suddenly diminish.  So when I sat down to write a blog today, I thought to myself, “What could be a better topic than explaining something from work in a way she could more easily understand?”

Whenever I try to explain a new topic to someone, I like to use analogies.  In this case, I chose rental cars. I’ll spend the rest of the post describing the four ways that rental cars are like cloud computingin a way that even my wife would be willing to read.


1) Rental cars are available when and where you need them.

When we fly somewhere to go on vacation, we usually rent a car. It is very easy to do, and in most areas in the United States, you need a car in order to get around. When we go skiing in Colorado, we rent a car. When we go to Michigan in the summer, we rent a different one. It doesn’t matter if the cars are provided by different rental car companies; they serve the same purpose and are designed to do the same thing. Very similar in cloud computing, we can access the computing resources we need when and where we need them.

2) When you rent a car, you pay only for the time you use it.

When we travel to these various cities, obviously it doesn’t make sense to buy a car in each one of them. We don’t need the car all the time, so we don’t want to own it all the time.  When we have these temporary needs, we rent a car for the location and time that we need it, without being required to buy and maintain it permanently. In a typical cloud computing environment, it works the same way; companies pay only for what they actually use. Instead of saving the cost of buying and maintaining a car, they are saving the money required to buy large computers.

3) Booking a rental car is easy to do by yourself.

Before we go on a trip, we never actually call and talk to a person at the rental car company to reserve a rental car. All of the rental car companies have websites designed for you to enter the type of car you need, where you want to pick it up, and for what time period you want to use the car. This same self-service method is used for cloud computing. Companies can log into websites to request the specific computer resources that they need.

4) The rental car company has a large number of vehicles that it can rent, and can buy more cars to rent if there are consistently many requests.

Car rental companies have many types of cars that they rent out, but effectively, the cars all serve the same purpose: they get you from point A to point B. However, there is a difference between a compact car and a luxury SUV. To account for this, rental car companies have the flexibility to offer various prices for various car sizes. They also have the ability to provide a higher class car than reserved. This allows them have a smaller total number of cars than what would be needed if they had to keep a specific number of each class of car. This practice is like grouping a large number of computers together to form a cloud. The computers might be different models or have different sizes of hardware, but when you group them all together into a resource pool, you ensure you have enough power to go around.

I’m definitely going to try this analogy on my wife; perhaps her reaction (or lack thereof) will be the topic of my next post.  If you try this explanation on your spouse, I’d love to hear about it.

MOBILE CLOUD COMPUTING: A SHORT SUMMARY

We have been observing some significant technology trends for the last few years. Cloud computingand mobile are two such things. Widespread adoption of these two is changing our lives, the way we do business and most of our day-to-day dealings. The domain of systems of engagement is getting bigger and bigger. It is no longer just restricted to brick and mortar store or traditional browser based web applications. As mobile devices are becoming pervasive, many businesses are trying to engage customers through mobile channels as well. Hence mobile cloud computing is very important for us.

An explosion of mobile and handheld devices is also significantly contributing to world IP data traffic. To support such data demand, cloud computing seems to be the right choice because of its rapid scalability, ubiquitous network access, on-demand self-service and other features. We will find the definition of “mobile cloud computing” shortly. At this juncture, I would like to present some data to establish the need for cloud computing and mobile.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC):

“The ICT industry is in the midst of a once every 20–25 years shift to a new technology platform for growth and innovation. We call it the 3rd Platform, built on mobile devices and apps, cloud services, mobile broadband networks, big data analytics and social technologies.”

The term “3rd platform” was first coined by IDC in 2007. It is very common to see today’s IT solutions being built on at least one of the four pillars – cloud, analytic, mobile and social. Analyst firm Gartner refers to this technology mix as Nexus of Forces. You might be interested in an overview of IDC’s technology forecast for 2015. IDC’s 2015 technology predictions report finds that worldwide IT spending will exceed 3.8 trillion USD in 2015 as a result of the contribution and growth of mobile, cloud, big data, Internet of Things and social. The report also states that sales of mobile devices and application development will constitute 40 percent of IT spending growth in 2015. In addition to this, massive wireless data growth worldwide will lead the carrier providers to provide platforms and API based services to attract developers. Can you ignore mobile technologies now?

What is mobile cloud computing? We know that mobile devices are constrained by their processing power, battery life and storage. However, cloud computing provides an illusion of infinite computing resources. Mobile cloud computing is a new platform combining the mobile devices and cloud computing to create a new infrastructure, whereby cloud performs the heavy lifting of computing-intensive tasks and storing massive amounts of data. In this new architecture, data processing and data storage happen outside of mobile devices.

The “computing” component of the cloud consists of a number of pre-configured, pre-built and scalable services for consumption with mobile applications. Cloud runtimes are also offered as a mechanism to offload business logic from mobile devices. All these fit within the cloud platform as a service (PaaS) model and are collectively known as mobile backend as a service (MBaaS).

Mobile applications leverage this IT architecture to generate following advantages:

  • Extended battery life
  • Improvement in data storage capacity and processing power
  • Improved synchronization of data due to “store in one place, access from anywhere” policy
  • Improved reliability and scalability
  • Ease of integration

You might be interested to read about multimedia cloud computing for mobile devices in my blog post, “Hey, Cloud! So you think you can manage and deliver multimedia content?” You will find an example of how mobile devices use cloud computing for on-demand or live streaming.

The following factors are fostering the adoption of mobile cloud computing:

  • Trends and demands: customers expect the convenience of using companies’ websites or application from anywhere and at anytime. Mobile devices can provide this convenience. Enterprise users require always-on access to business applications and collaborative services so that they can increase their productivity from anywhere, even when they are on the commute.
  • Improved and increased broadband coverage: 3G and 4G along with WiFi, femto-cells, fixed wireless and so on are providing better connectivity for mobile devices.
  • Enabling technologies: HTML5, CSS3, hypervisor for mobile devices, cloudlets and Web 4.0 will drive adoption of mobile cloud computing.

C-suite executives can unlock opportunities for their businesses, improve productivity and become competitive by unleashing the combined power of cloud computing and mobile technologies. It is high time that they include mobile cloud computing in their IT strategy and roadmap.