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Cloud Computing best practice: Always monitor your Cloud services

In order to know whether your Cloud provider is meeting the performance and availability parameters set out in your service-level agreement (SLA), you have to be able to monitor your Cloud services.

While you might not need or care to see detailed reports about the performance of your provider’s various infrastructure elements (VMs, storage, etc.), since this information doesn’t really provide a sufficient view into overall Cloud performance, you can and should seek information from your provider regarding application and/or workload performance.

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CEOs in the Crosshairs

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When it comes to security breaches, CEOs stand in the crosshairs. More than their IT staffs, it’s a CEO who’ll take heat for a breach that exposes customer data or endangers relationships with business partners.

So, unlike plenty of other IT issues that don’t require C-level attention, information security ranks right up there alongside financial issues as something with which CEOs need to be familiar. Yes, information security can be daunting, but so are financial statements — and CEOs have to sign off on those.

Where to start? Here are three questions every CEO should be able to answer: Do you know who your security expert is? Do you have a security policy? Do you understand how it’s implemented, managed, enforced, monitored?

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Cloud Computing best practice: Use your Cloud SLA to get what you really need

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Do not — I say again, do not give your Cloud service-level agreement (SLA) short shrift. Your Cloud SLA is how you make sure you get what you want and pay only for what you get.

It’s not uncommon, however, to find yourself with an assortment of Cloud SLAs — one for each service your business subscribes to. Happily, the right Cloud SLA will enable you to bundle all your Cloud services into a single monthly OpEx payment.

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Cloud Computing best practice: Backup your data!

Diagram drawn on chalkboard showing the connection of Cloud Computing to laptops, tablets, desktops, etc.

If you’ve ever suffered a data loss, you know how critically important data backup and retrieval capabilities are.

I’m here to remind you that this importance does not diminish when your data (or apps) reside in a Cloud. Nor should you simply assume your Cloud provider automatically backs up your data and apps.

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Cloud Computing best practice: 4 security must-dos

Cloud on blue background with a lock in front. To illustrate Cloud Managed Services and Security services from Quest.

Your Cloud provider isn’t the only one with responsibility for the security of the information and applications your enterprise depends on. When it comes to security in the Cloud, it’s a collaboration between provider and customer.

After all, there are limits to a Cloud provider’s reach. For instance, if your employees use compromised web browsers to access data in the Cloud, your provider cannot be blamed.

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Cloud Computing best practice: Evaluate Cloud provider security with these 7 questions

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Unless you’re an expert in security issues, doing proper Cloud provider due diligence can be daunting. Yet it’s essential, given the importance of your business’s data and applications.

So I offer seven questions for you to ask of every Cloud provider you’re considering. Pay attention to the answers you get and don’t hesitate to demand drilldown details. Remember: You’re contemplating putting at least some of the data and apps your business relies on into this provider’s Cloud environment.
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DaaS vs. VDI — Is This the Right Question?

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Which is the better solution — DaaS or VDI?

Each camp promotes its approach and dismisses the other while analysts argue about which one will “prevail.” Yet these technology debates do little more than distract you from finding the best solution for your organization.

So pull your eyes from those tech specs and focus on these six questions:
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Do your Cloud provider due diligence

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Whether or not we give it much explicit thought, we all do at least some due diligence every time we buy something.

When it comes to Cloud services, due diligence ought to be done explicitly and with forethought — because getting out from under a bad Cloud choice can be onerous. It’s worth your while to choose well in the first place.

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Cloud Computing best practice: Conduct a Cloud feasibility assessment

guy holding a piece of paper with a cloud and servers on it.

Not all IT activities are right for Cloud computing. What’s more, you may not have the basic elements you need (such as a sufficiently robust network environment) for Cloud computing. And the last thing you need is to learn those uncomfortable truths after you’ve committed to a Cloud project.

This is why conducting a Cloud feasibility assessment is so important. And unless you have Cloud computing expertise on staff, don’t try to do it alone.

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The Disruption Dirty Dozen: Asking the hard DR questions

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Regardless of their cause(s), your ability to minimize business disruptions depends on planning that’s based on a granular understanding of the risks posed to your business processes.

This planning begins with understanding who your key stakeholders are, how your organization conducts business, and what sorts of disruptions are likeliest at your locations (note that recent studies indicate power failures, hardware failures, and network failures account for more than 80% of IT-related disruptions).

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