Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Survey says — cloud, mobility, and virtualization improve disaster preparedness

Role of Cloud Computing, Virtualization and Mobility in Disaster Recovery Planning

The other day, I came across the results of a recent Symantec survey of small and midsize businesses examining the effects of virtualization, cloud computing, and mobility on disaster preparedness.

I was heartened to see results showing that more than a third of these smaller and midsize business decision-makers took disaster preparedness into account when deciding how they’d venture into virtualization, mobility, and the cloud.

Continue reading

Data Center Shopping: Dig Deeper

Data center discussions inevitably come around to the issue of standards. And while I agree that standards, like the recently released SSAE 16, are good to consider when you’re data center shopping, you should never rely on a facility being “in compliance” as the exclusive determinate for your selection.

Standards should be the place where you begin your search. After you’ve checked off the boxes that ensure compliance with whatever standards your industry requires, dig a bit deeper.

Continue reading

9 features to look for in Cloud HD video conferencing

Capabilities to Look Out For in a Video Conferencing Solution

The bad old days of video conferencing — when systems were complex, clunky, and costly — meant that a video conference happened only between two expensively-equipped conference rooms that left participants feeing disconnected from the conversation. Average participants (read: not those in the top executive suite) needed to reserve the video conference space, so meetings were rarely spontaneous.

Not surprisingly, video conferencing remained niched. Regular people (read: not top executives) found that video conferences were simply more trouble than they were worth.

Continue reading

What would make you try a video conferencing solution?

Advantages of Cloud Based Video Conferencing Solution

As more and more workers function remotely and as travel budgets continue to shrink, the need for quality video conferencing from any device located anywhere has increased dramatically.

And yet the high price of hardware combined with the complexities involved with operation and maintenance have rendered traditional video conferencing solutions impractical for many, if not all, organizations.

It’s all been too costly to scale, too dependent on expensive QoS networks — and the need to reserve resources in order to conduct successful meetings has created far too much hassle.

What’s needed? Well, to begin with, a video conferencing solution has to be high-definition. It should be able to span mobile, desktop, room systems, and immersive telepresence environments. It should be easy to dynamically scale to changing business requirements and adapt to growth. And, of course, it should be simple to use.

Continue reading

And now for the how of developing web and mobile apps

mobile application development icons

As I pointed out in my last entry, the ability to field web and mobile applications is quickly becoming a business necessity for even small enterprises.

If you’re lacking the substantial developer expertise needed to accomplish that — and most smaller and midsize organizations are — than your best option is to search out an accomplished web/mobile app development services provider.

Continue reading

The why and how of developing web and mobile apps — first, the why (and just a teeny bit of how)

Need for Developing Mobile and Web Based Apps

The numbers are more than impressive: 4.8 billion mobile handsets currently in use — and 19% of those are smartphones, up 2% from just last year.

Then there’s the Internet, which now claims some 2.2 billion users, 1.3 billion of whom access it via some sort of personal computer (desktop, laptop, ultrabook, netbook, tablet).

Continue reading

Are the applications you use endangering your business? A look at the solution

Application security scan

Hackers have many ways to exploit even the smallest vulnerabilities in your application environment and too often you’re compromised even before you grasp that there’s a problem.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. The solution is an application security scan conducted by a services provider adept at dealing with issues related to application development, support — and, of course, security.

Continue reading

Cloud Computing best practice #1: Before all else, strategy, strategy, strategy

Importance of Developing a Cloud Strategy

The odds are overwhelming that your business will end up engaged in Cloud Computing (if it hasn’t already). Whether you’re stepping toward Cloud services for the first time, expanding your use, or revisiting what you want to achieve with Cloud services, the very first thing you should do is to develop a Cloud strategy.

Continue reading

Cloud Computing best practice #2: Negotiate your Cloud SLA

Cloud Computing Best Practice - Negotiating your Cloud SLA

The right Cloud service-level agreement (SLA) will enable you to bundle all your Cloud services into a single monthly OpEx payment that will …

  • Shift significant amounts of your IT costs from your capital budget into your operating budget,
  • Relieve you of constant IT asset upgrade and maintenance costs, and
  • Make it easier to manage your services and ensure that you’ve established — and continue to achieve — appropriate service levels

Continue reading

Cloud Computing best practice #3: Pay attention to security

Importance of Security in Cloud Computing

This best practice might seem obvious, but it can never be over-emphasized. Here are the five must-dos of Cloud Computing security…

  1. Evaluate Cloud service providers’ security with these questions:
    • What access control model do you use? Who chooses the authoritative sources of access control policy and user profile information — you, or us, or a third party?
    • Do you support retrieval of access control policies and user profile information from external sources? If so, via what formats and transmission mechanisms?
    • Where do our accounts reside? How are they provisioned and deprovisioned? How do you protect the integrity of my data?
    • What authentication mechanisms do you support? (These should be appropriate for the sensitivity of the data use.) Do you support federated authentication or single sign-on model(s)?
    • What support do you provide for delegated administration by policy administration services?
    • What log information do you provide? Can it be imported into our operational analysis and reporting tools?
    • Can we specify external entities with whom to share information? If so, how is that accomplished? Continue reading