The school year ends with the same routines: end-of-year grades, final projects, and the tantalizing thought of summer vacation. But in the rush of the final days of school, some things can go overlooked, and some can cost you money all summer long.
The cloud is one. Due to its pay-what-you-use model, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has become a major cloud provider to schools across the country, offering an affordable way for school districts to introduce labs, sandboxes, and over 500 other services into the classroom.
But if you don’t keep a close eye on who’s using what, instances can run all summer—or longer—leading to a phenomenon known as “cloud sprawl.” If you don’t get it under control, it can compound itself with every semester and school year, ballooning your cloud spend on resources no one is using.
How does cloud sprawl begin and what can you do about it? Read on. (more…)
So your organization wants to be more agile—aspiring to spin up new test environments in minutes, speed development processes, and scale infrastructure with ease. Your reflex is to move applications to public cloud to gain agility, but that isn’t always the right option. Sure, some cloud-native applications are well suited to public cloud, but other enterprise applications are not. The cost of recoding, refactoring, and building resiliency into those applications before migration can be prohibitive. (more…)
Switching from Office on premises to Office 365 (O365) seems like a natural step—it’s the future of Microsoft, comes with tons of great benefits, and it allows you to work from a user-based system, rather than a device-based system. In most cases, you get more overall value out of the program.
However, switching from a device-based program to a user-based program, and from an ownership model to a subscription one, doesn’t always go smoothly. Processes like installation, true up, and licensing often look similar to what you’re used to, but need to be handled differently with O365.
To help you escape these mistakes—or recognize that you might be making them—here are two of the most common differences users face when switching to O365. (more…)
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is the clear number three player in public cloud behind Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. But it’s standing on a tripod of data, machine learning, and cost advantages, and is counting on those three areas to help them build market share and scale.
At the annual Google Cloud Next ’17 conference, Google did an impressive job of combining those three areas into a message around a fully managed platform that makes each one more accessible and easier to manage than its competitors. The conference was a blend of new product announcements (more than 100 of them), education, networking, customer testimonials, and sales pitches.
Here are the three things that stood out the most at Google Next. (more…)
Amazon’s S3 service outage in the US-East-1 Region yesterday shed light on just how much of the internet depends on that single service in a single region. Dozens of sites that stored assets there failed; sites that stored snapshots of volumes they used to launch instances failed; sites that depended on AWS S3 services in that region failed. Organizations across the internet suddenly learned they had a single point of failure they didn’t previously realize existed.
As the dust clears, users are looking for ways to mitigate that vulnerability. Unfortunately, much of the chatter on Twitter and other online venues indicates that many people are missing the point: They’re treating this as a case of having chosen the wrong service or service provider, rather than understanding that the underlying problem was that they have a single point of failure. (more…)
If we created a list of top IT trends of 2016, what would be at the top? Big data tools replacing your doctor? Machine learning and AI’s new levels of sophistication? The rise of adaptive security architectures?
How about the growing popularity of containers? Over the past few years, this old technology has become a beloved tool for software engineers shirking monolithic development. Containers are small and fast, and enable rapid development and improved productivity without consuming many resources. (more…)
No doubt, Office 365 (O365) is a powerful productivity suite. O365 turned five years old in June, and it has become the cloud service of choice for enterprise users.
Still, some organizations have more specialized needs that fall outside the scope of O365. There’s an entire marketplace of add-ons and extensions that take the already powerful set of cloud applications to a higher elevation for individual needs.
Some of the more common areas where we see organizations looking to customize are single sign-on tools, security and compliance, and email support. There are a lot of options that build on the cloud suite’s offerings, so let’s break down what these add-ons can do and which ones might be best for your O365 environment. (more…)
The holy grail of IT might be the single pane of glass, but it eludes many IT professionals because of all the segmented technologies and platforms they have to manage. How can an organization get there? Two words: visibility and control.
Which is why those topics will be major themes at this year’s Cisco Live, which kicks off next week in Las Vegas.
Cisco’s many acquisitions in the last year, including Internet of Things (IoT) platform Jasper and a plethora of security-oriented companies, all weave around the common threads of visibility and control. These moves highlight the industry trend toward tools that provide more insights into an IT network and answer the call for stronger asset management. (more…)
The small and medium-sized business (SMB) landscape is defined by its competitiveness. These dog-eat-dog dynamics force business leaders to trim costs, improve worker productivity, and create new, sustainable business models. That’s why almost 90 percent of businesses want a cloud environment and adoption is expected to double in the next four years.
But many small business owners remain on the sidelines, wondering if moving some processes and applications to the cloud is worthwhile. And many of the businesses moving to software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions are making the same mistake, regardless of the industry: failing to improve their cloud security. Though we’ve come a long way in terms of protecting the cloud, risks always exist.
For some, SaaS might not even be necessary, and you won’t have to worry about the risks. But if you use SaaS applications or are considering them, an additional security layer on top of the built-in controls of your SaaS solution is smart thinking. (more…)
Cloud adoption is now the norm as nearly 9 out of 10 companies prefer cloud solutions, but many IT professionals are still asking, “Which cloud computing environment is best for my organization?” Interestingly enough, many organizations are using the “cloud” now and may not realize it — a private cloud, better known as an on-premises computing environment that’s supplied, deployed, and maintained internally.
Of course, discussions about cloud migration typically revolve around moving to a public cloud environment, in which computing services are offered and maintained by a hosting provider (e.g., Microsoft’s Azure or Amazon Web Services). Many organizations opt for a hybrid cloud environment that gives organizations the best of both private and public clouds.
So there’s a choice to be made: Should you stay in a private cloud or migrate to a public cloud? What about a hybrid cloud? While a private cloud does offer some benefits (a more secure computing environment, increased performance, and direct access to resources), there are disadvantages as well.
Let’s review the common headaches most organizations have with private cloud environments, and how public cloud offerings can give your organization some relief. (more…)