Why Cloud Computing Is A Must For Your Organization

Why Is Cloud Computing Is A Must For Your Organization?

As per the Goldman Sachs report, cloud computing spending is projected to grow at a staggering CAGR of 30%, through 2018. It has been on the same growth trajectory since 2013, astounding isn’t it? 

Cloud is one of the newest buzzwords in the digital world. It is neither a trend nor an illusion, it is a reality and a necessity which is here to stay. Businesses across the world of all sizes are shifting their operations to the cloud, as it offers several advantages including cost efficiency, flexibility, and increased productivity.

Moving your operations to the cloud not only streamlines your workflow, it strengthens the backbone of your company. It increases the liquid funds in your hand, which you can utilize to further your core business interests.

According to Gartner, by 2020 a corporate no-cloud strategy would become as rare as a no-internet policy is in today’s time.

You are already on the cloud...

You are using the cloud in your day to day lives already, in one form or the other. By sending and receiving emails, banking online, and/or listening to music, you are taking part in the cloud revolution that has dominated the landscape of information technology in the last one decade.

Major benefits of moving to the cloud….

Creating an IT infrastructure for your organization requires many investments. From expensive servers, machines, network storage, to backup systems and disaster recovery systems, maintaining a business requires significant capital. You also need space to hold these costly and heavy pieces of machinery, and of course, you require a team of IT professionals to carry out your daily operations. Add all of this together and you are facing a substantial investment up front.

Using cloud services can help your investments pay off, allows you to shrink or cut the use of costly traditional recovery operations, and result in significant growth for your business. According to a report, organizations that have embraced cloud services have shown an overall growth of 19.63% (Vanson Bourne).

Security is not an issue with the cloud….

Security concerns, which were previously thought to be an issue with cloud computing for corporations, are no longer a sticking point, as several checks are in place to safeguard your customer data and company information.

Don’t be surprised to note that 86% of organizations spend some amount of their information technology budget on the cloud.

Other than the benefits mentioned above, what else does it offer that makes it essential for you to shift your operations to the cloud?

Reasons you should shift your business to the cloud

There was a time when cloud services were patronised by big businesses, and small and medium companies thought that there was nothing much in store for them. But, things have dramatically changed since then and even small organizations are now benefitting from the cloud computing services in equal measure.

Here are some of the main reasons why your business needs cloud services:

You get time to focus on your business – You save a lot of time because you don’t have to manage an IT infrastructure or a big software and hardware team. Managing people and day to day IT operations is a long drawn process, which takes away your precious time. You can utilize this time in taking your business to greener pastures and that too at a faster pace. Cloud computing gives you complete freedom to keep your focus on the business at hand. You are able to channelize your energy in the direction required to take your business to a higher level.

Huge cost savings – When you move your business to the cloud, your IT infrastructure saving is substantial. With cloud computing you don’t need to invest in heavy duty IT machinery. You also save on a lot of money as you don’t need to hire and manage a big IT team. Furthermore, you don’t need to waste your space to fit those huge servers. The best part is you only have to pay for what you use, cloud services are on rent, and you don’t have to buy them upfront.

You can increase or decrease the number of head counts according to the need of your business operations, all you have to pay extra is the per user cost.

It is scalable – Cloud computing is a scalable and hassle free option where you don’t have to bother about licensing or upgrades every now and then. When you have an in house set of servers and machineries, and if you have to scale up your operations due the requirements of your business, you need to do a lot of work. Whereas, when you are in the cloud these hassles are well taken care of by the vendor you hire. From hardware, software to maintenance and support, you don’t have to bother about any of those. You get the best services at all times without any of your time being wasted.

Enhanced mobility  – Once you move all your apps to the cloud, you can access any of your applications from wherever you want and at any time. All you require is an internet connection and a browser and you can connect with your work at your convenience. Your team members who have the access can do their work from wherever they want, either from the cool confines of their homes or even from their client’s office. Nobody can give you any excuse for work not being completed on time.

Improved collaboration among your team members  – Working on applications that are up in the cloud increases the efficiency of your team members. It is a platform where team members can collaborate with each other, which is bound to increase their productivity, regardless of their physical location. When your team members work together, it increases their potential and the quality of work improves significantly.

It further improves your security – Managing heavy-duty servers and machines doesn’t guarantee that your data is hundred percent secure. Imagine your laptop or mobile being stolen, of course, it is not just the monetary value of either device that you are worried about, you get sleepless nights because those devices had all your company information. And, if it falls into the wrong hands you have to pay a heavy price. Whereas, when your applications are up in the cloud, you needn’t worry about these things, as nothing is stored on your device. Even if you lose any of your devices, your company information remains safe, because it is not on your laptop or mobile, but it is up in the cloud. Moreover, with enterprise security in place, the cloud offers more security than your on-premise datacenters. Service providers who are not able to provide adequate security to their clients eventually phase out of the cloud computing business, and that too pretty fast.

It is more reliable – Your customer data and company information can’t be compromised, no matter what the cost. But, you cannot rely only on your servers and systems, after all, they are machines and can crash over time. Therefore, offices not yet on the cloud need costly redundant systems to constantly back up all data. But, once you move your operations to the cloud, you don’t have to worry about these costly systems, because the service provider arranges for the backup of all your information and data. They have completely adaptive disaster recovery systems, powerful servers, and machines, and they constantly back up your data so that you don’t lose any single information. This also ensures that your business is up and running all the time, and there is no major downtime for you to worry about.

Upgrades and maintenance are not your headache – Upgrading and maintaining your on-premise data center is a tedious job, which can take away a lot of your time, money, effort and energy. No matter how top class your machine is, it would require upgrades and maintenance on a periodic basis. Whereas, when you move your business to the cloud, you don’t have to worry about maintenance or upgrades, it is the responsibility of the service provider to maintain and upgrade their offerings. Moreover, as maintenance and upgrades are done by the service provider keep in mind that your business doesn’t get affected.

It is more environment-friendly– When you share resources with others, you are helping to save the environment. If you can contribute to the reduction of datacenters the world over it would definitely have a positive effect on the environment, more so when the efficiency of the operations is not at stake. Cloud services offer you all of these and more.

If you have not as yet moved your business to the cloud, just get in touch with Virtual Stacks Systems, as a company we have been in the cloud business for a long time and have a pretty lengthy list of satisfied customers. We can take care of all your IT needs with perfection.

Virtual Stacks Systems has powerful data centers and completely adaptive disaster recovery systems, which ensures that your company data remains safe with us, always.

With over two decades of exposure and experience in the software and hardware industry, Virtual Stacks Systems is capable of looking after all your cloud requirements.

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Where is the Cloud?

Answering the question you were afraid to ask.

The cloud, to those outside of the data realm, is as intangible as its namesake. An airy, out-of-reach presence that seems to linger above (Around? Beneath?) Us and, somehow, holds all of our data. Where is the cloud, anyway? Yet, as many people struggle to answer this question, they somehow know that they use the cloud every day. From that Google doc to the movie they streamed on the plane, to the dump of photos they cleared off of their iPhone. The “cloud” may be the buzzword to end all buzzwords, seeing as so many people use it, but so very few can describe what it is. Here is some background on the cloud:

The History of Cloud Computing

where is the cloudThe phrase has been in increasing use over the last 10 or so years. But cloud computing or at least its basic infrastructure has been around for over half a century! In the 1950’s, back when computers were much larger (Like, size of a room larger), one would log onto a “dummy terminal”, basically an interface with very limited controls, to use the larger, more capable computer. Without the mainframe, the terminals were pretty much useless. This was the very early conceptual version of cloud computing. In the 1990’s it was becoming increasingly clear that the internet would become the essential information-sharing powerhouse that it is today. Engineers started to draw a “cloud” to represent this network of information sharing. It was not long before engineers at Compac coined the term “cloud computing”. A little less than a decade later, we were using the internet to store and download files, but from where exactly? The cloud.

The cloud: defined.

The cloud, while whimsical and mysterious sounding in nature, is actually not all that complicated. Simply, all the data transmitted and shared around the internet needs to go SOMEWHERE. That somewhere is a global infrastructure of connected servers and data center that hold on to, receive, and send back data at absurd speeds. Once high-speed internet became commonplace, it no longer made sense to store all data on your device. That is a lot of information and would require very large amounts of storage. Why do that when you can just save it “online” or, rather, in the innumerable data centers. Now, you do not need a multi-terabyte hard drive to have access to years upon years’ worth of data. It can all go to the cloud (at a cost, for THAT much information) Hardware does not mean as much, provided you are on a reliable network. But here’s where things can get a little tricky, depending on your service provider. When you send your data to the cloud, it lives on your provider’s server. Depending on the contract and/or terms-of-service of that provider, they may technically now own that information.

Critiques and Critics of Cloud Technology

Some of the biggest concerns in regards to the cloud are:
  • Where is the information stored?
  • How many copies of that information exists?
  • Can the company be trusted to remove copies of deleted content?
Furthermore, many service agreements fail to clearly define the ownership of content, leaving a big hole if legal issues were to arise. where is the cloud So where is the cloud? The majority of cloud servers call the United States and Ireland home. But cloud servers are global. This means that the data stored on the servers is subject to the information laws of that specific country. In places that have more stringent laws toward data protection and privacy, this may not be a big deal. In other places were laws are loose or ill-defined, you may run into challenges when it comes to ownership and privacy. At the end of the day, more often than not, cloud service providers are responsible for protecting your data. Why else would you be paying them? Yet, some terms of service do specify that if government organizations request your information, they will pass it on to them. Often, without a warrant. It is worth taking a look at the fine print before choosing a cloud storage provider. Another area of concern for cloud-based technologies is in the workplace. When important documents are password protected in a cloud server, and employees have access to them, there is a certain modicum of trust that must be in place. Often times that sensitive information is available anywhere, just as long as the employee has the password. If an employee were to develop malicious intentions, it can be catastrophic for an Orlando SEO company. That said, it is a lot easier to change passwords and monitor network activity than it is to locate a stolen hard drive, or worse a piece of paper with passwords scribbled down on it.  

The Benefits of the Cloud

Imagine if you had to personally store every photo you’ve ever taken. Every message you’ve ever sent. Every song you’ve enjoyed? That would require a lot of storage. Terabytes of data, rather quickly. So imagine you had all of that information on your personal computer. Your house gets broken into and the burglar steals your computer Now, all that information is gone for good. Now picture that metaphor on a grander scale. An increasing amount of the world’s digital information lives on secure servers, often thousands of miles away. While hacking and privacy are concerns, they occur less often than human error (spilling coffee on your external hard drive is more likely than you may think.) where is the cloud Cloud programs have saved businesses and individuals a lot of money. When a student cannot afford Microsoft Office (which itself has an online version) they can use free Google Docs. Adobe now has the Creative Suite, which is subscription-based, rather than the old tangible versions of its products like Photoshop and Illustrator. Companies save tremendous amounts by not having to worry about server storage or application requirements. Entire businesses now operate remotely, thanks to the cloud. Good-bye, rent! Goodbye, utilities! And Goodbye, administrative costs! The cloud is also pretty reliable when it comes to keeping your services up and running. As servers are spread out globally, up-time is pretty much guaranteed. When servers are on-hand, a lot can go wrong. Power outages, user error, or faulty parts can crash your servers, and potentially shut down your business for hours, to days at a time. The cloud takes this responsibility out of your company’s hands, and into that of a reliable provider. Virtual Stacks is proud to offer cloud hosting and cloud storage to our clients through our data center. Our cloud server will provide the bandwidth you need while protecting your information from online threats, keeping your business secure. Virtual Stacks also offers integrated marketing strategies including web design, SEO, PPC, and video marketing. When it comes to digital solutions, our internet marketing company can support your business all the way. With us, you will never find yourself wondering “Where is the cloud?” ever again.

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The Perks and Possibilities of a Virtual Private Server

The Perks and Possibilities of a Virtual Private Server

Wait, What Exactly is a Server, Anyway?

There is a common and universal vagueness around the understanding of what a server is. But a server is really just a computer. A really big computer. The function of the big computer is to respond to requests from other computers, or to “serve” them. Kind of like a great waiter at a fancy restaurant. Which is why that giant, wait staff of a computer is referred to as a server. One of the many widespread jobs that a server accomplishes is web hosting. So does a Virtual Private Server (VPS) mean you get a giant computer all to yourself? Not exactly. There are actually several ways to host your website.

Shared Servers

When a server is shared, it is really hosting numerous websites at once and all users have equal contact with the server. In a shared server situation, hundreds or even thousands of people have access to the same server. It is a great solution for individual blogs or websites that need little in the way of security. For example, a gymnastics coach might host their site on a shared server, where he or she can list location, class times, rates and areas of expertise for public referral. In this scenario there is little need for high level security or back up.

Dedicated Servers

A server that is used exclusively to host one site is called a dedicated server. A dedicated server is expensive, but a necessary solution for enterprise level organizations like hospitals and large corporations. When you need a dedicated server, you know it. But what if you fall somewhere in between the above options? There is an easy answer.

Virtual Private Servers

Fortunately, server based web hosting can happen in a third form. This is the Virtual Private Server (VPS). A VPS is private and dedicated. When a higher level of security is required, small business web hosting, for example, a VPS is often the best answer. A VPS accommodates where files need an individual firewall, avoidance of public level accessibility and the ability to run software that isn’t allowed in shared server settings. But if it’s not shared, and it’s not dedicated, how does it work?

Here’s How it Works

A VPS is a section of a giant computer or server, which is partitioned to house several smaller servers. Each partitioned server within the computer is its own environment. Each environment has its own operating system (OS) accessible and 100% controlled by its user. A VPS is less expensive than a dedicated server – and a VPS has several advantages over a shared server.

Advantages of a VPS

The perks of hosting on a VPS are numerous:

  • You can fully customize a web space to meet your needs and never have to pay for features or storage that you don’t use.
  • It’s cost effective because it’s scalable. You can start with a plan that supplies only the resources you need and then add to your plan as your need expands.
  • You have more control and more options than with a shared server. You can run most any software to make your web space work for you. You also have CPU processing to keep your site running faster.
  • A VPS gives you the option of conducting secure ecommerce by allowing you to fulfill CPI Compliance requirement - so you can accept credit cards as payment.
  • You get the same level of technical support that you would with a shared server.
  • You can choose the level of involvement and support you desire: from simple server space, to semi- managed sites or even fully managed web hosting where design, SEO and maintenance is all handled for you.
  • But wait, there’s more! A VPS is backed up by design. Most VSP hardware includes a second copy and backup power supplies that keep your site safe! So, if you have any hardware issues at all, your host can easily move your web instance to another space and you’ll never miss up-time or go to expense to fix your server.

Best of all, a VPS is a green light move – once you start hosting with one, your options are almost endless.

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Want a Simple Cloud Hosting Plan?

Want a Simple Cloud Hosting Plan?

When you look up in the sky, how many shapes do you see? Is it one blob of un-imaginative gray or several fluffy clouds floating along endlessly? Cloud hosting is definitely the buzz word of the decade. People want to know what's in the cloud, how they get into the cloud, what can they do in the cloud, but truthfully, respectfully, the cloud isn't for everyone. For the most part, businesses build their platforms based on what they need right now. They may think ahead, but it has to be a cost that makes sense, which brings us to the point of this article. Cloud hosting needs to return to simple plans that make sense to businesses and deliver the right resources to make it worth the cost.

So How Can You Get in On the Cloud
Did you know that it's possible to build a cloud in five minutes? Of course, it goes by another name: Virtual Private Servers. While storing documents on file sharing devices may seem like the easiest thing to do, how secure is it really to put all of your private stuff on Dropbox or Google Drive? In addition, you can run short of free space or pay a large amount of money for space you never needed.

Going back  to the idea of virtual private servers and cloud hosting, you can save a great deal. People don't realize how easy it is to set up their own private cloud with a cloud hosting plan and a custom VPS. You can get exactly the right operating system, change the amount of storage, add more bandwidth and get all the RAM you need to run any applications, store all of your files and manage all types of tasks. Best of all, you don't have to build your own hardware and install it. It's virtual, which means you can spin one up any time.

To create a cloud with a cloud hosting plan and a virtual private server, you need a few things.

  • Scalable resources
  • Pay only for what you need
  • Fully redundant, always available
  • Pick an OS you're comfortable with
  • Choose VPS available instantly
  • Design a custom security plan

Using the cloud hosting services, you can access your server any time online. You can work from home, office, on the train or in another part of the world as long as you have an Internet connection. In addition, you don't rely on any other cloud hosting services or companies to keep your security in tact. You can install your own security and scanners to keep your server protected from threats. How would you know what's going on with your cloud in  the hands of an impersonal cloud option like Dropbox or Google Drive?

Free Your Cloud From Security Risks with Custom VPS

Paying a high price for a public or private cloud hosting isn't going to make your business any more successful or rich. In fact, it will likely be a drain on your IT department and cause your budget to inflate in areas that you don't  really need it to. If you just want to use the cloud for online storage, virtual private servers can give you much more. You can designate different parts of your server to store different files or support multiple clouds for your customers.

 "I don’t need a hard disk in my computer if I can get to the server faster… carrying around these non-connected computers is byzantine by comparison."

Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple Inc.

There's a simplicity in using VPS as a cloud hosting server. You can spin up a server in seconds. You access it online from a control panel and start installing different applications. You can create folders for all of your files, build your applications and open all of them later when you head into the city or when you go on vacation. Your virtual server is always accessible.

Don't Be Fooled by Managed Clouds

The truth about managed clouds is that they are controlling and make upgrades to your cloud server that you may not want in the first place. Hosts want to monitor your activity and be able to control how much you use even if you're under your monthly limits. While it's always nice to have something setup and installed for you, it's fairly easy to set up a VPS and start playing around with it to create everything that you need. Why pay more for "managed" anything that will just take away your freedom?

Virtual Stacks is running a special right now on Linux virtual private servers at a 50% discount for the first month. This means you can get a huge virtual server with 5TB bandwidth and 150GB of storage for less than $65/mo to start.

If you have been thinking about getting on the cloud, think about all of the options first and look at ways to create a cloud solution that won't cost you thousands a year.

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