Category Archives: Cloud Computing

What are the New Updates in Cloud Computing?

new updates in cloud computing

With the vast amount of benefits that the cloud has brought to the world, experts continue to find ways to make cloud computing even more useful for people across different industries. No matter how extensive the services of cloud computing seem to be, more possibilities are discovered to prove that its powers are indeed limitless.

Here are some new updates in cloud computing that show several improvements that are still in place to make the cloud even more powerful and beneficial to people.

IBM Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Startups

Just recently, IBM announced that they will be awarding aspiring start-up companies with a $120,000 grant, and at the same time, offer them access of the wide range of services that the technology giant has under their cloud structure. This includes data transfer through Aspera, database through Cloudant, infrastructure through SoftLayer, and social analytics through Twitter. At the moment, IBM has over 143,000 companies with over 4 million developers under their cloud, making IBM one of the biggest cloud providers in terms of the range of services offered. According to Promod Haque of Norwest Ventures, IBM’s program can definitely drive collaborative cloud innovation with this initiative. This program can help magnify the rate at which cloud start-ups can market and expand their services. It makes it easier for cloud start-ups to monetise their solutions.

Cisco’s Cloud Index Study Shows Data Centres Covering Over Three Quarters of Total Workload by 2018

Cisco’s Cloud Index Study shows that by 2018, global cloud IP traffic will be a whopping 6.5 zettabytes, with 78% of workloads going through cloud data centres. The study is regularly done by Cisco to keep track of global data centers’ growth, as well as the growth of cloud-based IP traffic. With these numbers, it shows that over 2 billion people will be using cloud storage by then, considering that in 2013 there were already 922 million people storing their data in different cloud services. This growth will mostly be fuelled by the adoption of IPv6, with 24% of internet users ready to shift from their IPv4 protocol by 2018. This will be quite a considerable jump, as over 96% of today’s internet traffic is still dependent on IPv4.

Salesforce Opens its First UK Data Center

Salesforce launched their first data center in the UK in the latter part of October, fully-powered by renewable energy as part of their goals on sustainability. Salesforce CEO, George Hu, says that this move proves that they firmly believe that this shift is very strategic, considering how much power the UK market has. They are also considering building similar data centers in Germany and France in the near future. Other big cloud vendors have also done the same thing, with IBM announcing that they are also in the process of building data centres in the UK, France, and Germany. Amazon Web Services has also announced a German branch for their services.

With all these new updates in cloud computing, it is truly exciting to see what lies ahead in the world of technology. What possible expansions, innovations, and initiatives do you see happening next?

What are the Links between Email Hacking and Identity Theft?

email hacking and identity theftEmail hacking and identity theft are linked to one another. When someone hacks your personal email, your identity becomes vulnerable. All the private information you stored in your electronic mail can be easily stolen and used in various illegal ways. Moreover, if the hacking is personal, it can damage not just your reputation but your relationship with others as well.

So what are the links between email hacking and identity theft? Read on.

Stolen Data

When your email is hacked, it’s not just your correspondences that are at risk. Your medical history, financial standing and social media connections can be easily accessed. More often than not, people with multiple emails from different email providers have similar passwords. This practice extends to important account passwords like the ones for your online banking. Once your personal data are stolen, it’s easy enough for the hacker to use and max out your credit cards.

Ruined Reputation

It’ll only take a couple of minutes for a competent hacker to ruin your good online standing. There are different kinds of online hackers. And every kind has its own agenda. Some hack for financial gain, while others hack out of revenge for some reason. An increasing number of “hacktivists” are circling the net. The last two types of hackers are more dangerous for your reputation than the first because even though they don’t steal your identity per se, they have the power to be “you” for the time being and create havoc under your name.

Vessel of Virus

If you’re attacked by an opportunist hacker, s/he can “temporarily” steal your identity to send viruses to anyone in your contact list. This works not only with your email accounts. If your social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter are connected to your email, Trojans can be sent and uploaded using multiple accounts under your name.

So what can you do to prevent your email from being hacked and your identity from being stolen?

Use the latest firewall protection and anti-virus software. An up-to-date security is trickier to hack because you will be alerted instantly when a malicious entity is trying to sabotage your online accounts. Also schedule regular scans against potential risks on your computer.

Be smart. Don’t just click a link right away. If you receive one from someone you trust but the link doesn’t look familiar or legit, don’t open it. Ask the sender first (if possible using other account) if s/he sent the link to you. This is also applicable to whatever you download online, especially if you’re using P2P sites.

Be vigilant. Don’t just give your email address to anyone online. If there’s a need for your email address, make sure that the company/brand/service you’re giving your information to won’t sell your email to third party companies. As much as possible, avoid clicking or reading the emails in your Spam folder too.

Victims of identity theft and email hacking are from different parts of the world. Some are just part of the unlucky group while others are targeted. Don’t be a victim. Change your password every now and then to steer clear of the clever hackers.

Do you have any personal experience with email hacking or identity theft? Share your story.

Microsoft Offers Cloud Computing Tools to Help in the Fight Against Ebola

In the midst of the global effort to contain the amount of damage that the Ebola Virus has done, Microsoft has decided to do their part by offering free research applications and cloud computing tools to the medical researchers who are working on the cure for the disease. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced the availability of Azure, the cloud-computing program that Microsoft developed, to all the research teams involved in the Ebola outbreak in a presentation he gave in San Francisco. Nadella also revealed that Microsoft’s own team of researchers have been working on a tool that aids in vaccine discovery which he is also offering to the research community.

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To make the efforts spread even farther, Microsoft has also announced that they are soliciting cloud computing proposals that could be used in the development of a cure for Ebola as well as in creating a better understanding about the virus and the way it spreads and advances. The company says that allocations of Microsoft Azure will be awarded to those whose proposals will qualify.

Microsoft Azure supports a number of tools, languages and frameworks including Linux, Java, Python, Hadoop and Microsoft .NET. Qualified proposals should meet the following requirements:

* The proposal should not exceed three pages in length.

* The title of the proposal should include the word “Ebola.”

* The proposal should be submitted with the online application form provided.

No deadline has been set for submissions and the solicitation remains open for all proposals with ongoing reviews. All applicants should be affiliated with an academic institution.

Aside from individual investigator projects, Microsoft is also open to any kind of project that would help give access to different services and data that would be relevant to healthcare workers and medical researchers who are working on the Ebola crisis.

So far, the Ebola Virus has killed over 4,500 people in West Africa, and the number of potential victims continues to grow by the day.

Aside from offering their cloud computing tools for the Ebola victims and towards the research that goes into it, Microsoft has been known to help out in different issues as part of their corporate social responsibility programs. According to Rob Bernard, Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Strategist, the company believes in using cloud computing tools and the general power of information technology to help address some of the world’s biggest environmental challenges.

Among Microsoft’s known efforts to help in disasters on a global scale is their participation in the relief efforts after Typhoon Haiyan (November 2013), which affected over 4 million people in the Visayan region of the Philippines alone. Aside from providing over $1.1 million in relief support both in cash and in kind, they also deployed emergency connectivity kits to help establish communications among over 5,000 humanitarian aid workers as all systems were down in the area for at least a few months after the storm has passed. Other global disasters that Microsoft has aided were the 2012 storms in the US East Coast and the 2011 earthquake in Japan.

How Did Cloud Computing Evolve?

cloud computing

If there is one thing that is experiencing unprecedented growth and burgeoning popularity these days, it is cloud computing. Now, this is not anything new and has, in fact, been a buzz word for several years now and has continued to grow its fan base with no signs of slowing down. As wonderful as the cloud is now, it wasn’t always this way, since it had to go through growing pains as part of its evolution. To understand how cloud computing got to where it is now, it is important to take a trip back to the past and see how it all started. This is where you will see just how far cloud computing has come, and how much it has changed since then.

The Beginnings

Believe it or not, cloud computing technology is not actually a new thing, since the concept came from way back in the ’50s. Back then, they had large-scale mainframes that were offered to corporations and schools. The mainframes had such massive hardware infrastructure that they would be installed in “server rooms” because each room had only enough space for one mainframe. Then, multiple users were given the chance to access the mainframe by way of “dumb terminals,” which were actually stations used solely for facilitating access to the mainframes.

These mainframes were hugely expensive to buy and maintain, and what this meant was that organizations were not able to maintain a mainframe for each and every user. This made it standard practice for multiple users to access the same data storage layer and CPU power from any given station. By allowing this to happen, an organization was able to get better ROI from their mainframes.

The Server Evolution

The way servers evolved had a direct impact on how the cloud evolved. For instance, if you were thinking of buying a server then, you would have to shell out tons of money. Of course, in the ’90s, the cost was nowhere near as high as in the ’50s but they were still pretty steep. However, as more and more people started to go online, the only thing to do was to adopt virtualization, and this was what led to servers being virtualized into different hosting environments. This kind of environment allowed companies to save on the cost of infrastructure by minimizing the actual amount of hardware needed to meet the needs of the company.

This was the same time that the term “cloud computing” started getting thrown around. That and “utility computing” were the two terms used to refer to it, since it seemed like the sum of the parts melded together to form one nebulous blob that was made up of computing resources that could then be segmented. With these cloud environments, it was extremely easy to keep adding resources: simply add a server to the rack and it immediately became part of a bigger system.

Modern Times

These days, using the cloud can be as easy as: creating an account, downloading and installing the application on the computer, and moving files into selected folders in the cloud. Also, cloud technology has become affordable, and this means people need not pay an arm and a leg to enjoy the technology.

Why is Syncing Files in the Cloud Important?

Modern technology has allowed us to flourish in many fields. Today, tasks such as record keeping, accessing files, or having organized digital folders of work-related files have made working much easier and more efficient. To add to the convenience of today’s employees, or pretty much everyone who makes use of gadgets which help them produce digital files, there exists the cloud where files of varying formats and sizes can be stored.

syncing files in the cloudThe cloud allows users to save files without the use of hardware, often at no cost other than being able to access the Internet and have a gadget to use to access the cloud. Indeed, it is a helpful tool for those who would like to keep backups of their files which they can later on access online. However, one must not forget that the cloud can only be completely useful depending on two main factors:
– The availability of network connection and gadgets to use to access the Internet
– Your habit of syncing files in the cloud

Cloud storage works under the assumption that the user has access to stable internet connection. When this variable is present, the use of the cloud is rarely impeded. Uploading and downloading files will be finished within just a few seconds or minutes depending on how much files are being processed and how fast the Internet connection is. Given these advantages that the cloud brings, it is obvious why it can be advantageous for people who need easy access to their files even without using their very own hardware or gadgets for it.

Apart from a fully functional cloud service provider though, there is one other crucial factor which can affect how useful the cloud actually is: your habit of syncing files in the cloud. Syncing or synchronizing refers to the act of uploading files to your cloud backup storage online. Without proper syncing, you will not be able to access your files through the cloud. Surprisingly, syncing can be a small and seemingly mindless thing to do, but the benefits of cloud storage actually depends on it.

Simply put, failing to properly syncing files in the cloud renders your cloud storage space, whether free or paid, useless. Syncing may be done through various means like copying files into the cloud storage folder, uploading files manually, or even programming your cloud storage backup to sync as per your preferences. Forgetting to care about these matters would result in the potentially nasty surprise of realizing that your files aren’t where you need them to be when you try and access them online through other devices.
From your end, ensuring that you have a stable connection to the Internet is crucial to syncing all the files you need to sync in the cloud. Next comes your understanding of when syncing has been completed. You will usually be notified by your cloud storage once your files have been synced, and when they are, you can then go about your other tasks. If not, check to see whether your files have been successfully synced because failing to do so will render your having cloud storage space useless!

Have you ever experienced thinking your files have been synced and being surprised to see that they weren’t? Tell us your story—we’d love to hear about it!

How to Get Free Cloud Backup from Zipcloud

In this day and age where cloud backup is king, there is no shortage of cloud backup services that you can choose from. To date, there are already some superstars in the cloud backup arena and they are Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. These cloud services are basically the “it” crowd when it comes to cloud backup and they offer both paid and free cloud backup services. As far as cloud backup goes, these are the big three; but this doesn’t mean that you completely forget about the new kids on the block that also offer free cloud backup.

One new name that is quickly garnering fans is Zipcloud and while it is not yet widely known, it is certainly making waves. For those looking for free cloud backup, this is certainly worth considering.tapnet

Consider Zipcloud

Zipcloud offers free cloud backup and for those looking to try cloud backup for the first time or to shift from the one they currently use, this is a great service to try. The company is relatively new, but they are quickly gathering fans because they offer what everyone wants in their cloud backup service. Looking at their website, you will see that they describe their service as “Simple. Safe.Secure,” which is really all you can ever ask for in a cloud service. Have a look at some of the very best things it has to offer below:

• Free cloud backup and storage – If you want top of the line cloud storage and you do not want to pay a cent for it, then you ought to sign up for the free cloud backup and storage offered by Zipcloud. All you need to do is sign up and sign in to your free account. Now, you will get limited space but if you refer family and friends, you can actually boost your cloud’s memory; if you are familiar with Dropbox’s free accounts, this is a similar concept they are using. Some reports have it that Zipcloud offers free and unlimited storage for those who want to upgrade after two weeks.

• Paid Storage – Like other cloud storage providers, Zipcloud also has paid accounts and the rates are really quite fair. For those that want to sign up for the paid cloud storage, it will cost about $71.00 a year and you get 500GB of storage. Customers will have to pay an extra $0.14 for every extra GB they use up after the initial amount given has been used up.

• Apps – This service thinks of everything and has even released an app that is available for both Android and iOS, so everyone can back up their files on their computers and check them on their phones. This service is not just compatible with Windows and iOS but also with Linux OS as well.

Those are some of the main features of this up and coming cloud backup service provider and you have to admit they are pretty good.

Will you be giving their free services a try anytime soon? Share your thoughts below!

What to Expect from Cloud Computing at a Budget

Cloud computing has proven to be very beneficial to a lot of people for commercial or personal uses. It helps one access files through the Internet while also having a reliable backup storage online. Of course, people can still use hardware for keeping files, but the convenience that online access to files you’ve synced in the cloud is something you can only enjoy when availing of cloud backup services.

what to expect from cloud computing There are free and paid cloud computing services available online. Usually, individuals who use free cloud computing are those who have personal files they want to save for safekeeping through online backup storage. Free cloud storage may offer anywhere from 5 GB up to 10 GB or even more free space depending on the terms of the cloud service provider you choose.

For businesses in particular though, free cloud storage may not quite cut it. Because of this, cashing out may be necessary for businesses so that they can enjoy some perks which cannot be experienced from free cloud storage. There are different cloud storage plans available from various cloud storage service providers, and these come with different features and different prices. However, what if you have only a certain amount of money to spend, and you have nothing more to allot for cloud storage? To give you an idea, here’s what to expect from cloud computing on a budget:

More storage space – This is definitely a perk when you finally decide to spend money on your cloud computing services. You should, however, remember that your additional cloud storage space will depend on how much you are paying. More money means more space, and if you need quite a lot of space, you might get disappointed when you only have a small amount of money to allot for cloud computing.

Relatively affordable monthly rates – Monthly rates for cloud storage services are relatively affordable, but you should be mindful of renewal rates and other hidden costs. The cloud service provider will definitely want you to keep upgrading, so be wary of offers and possible popups which may lead to you spending more on their services. Be prepared to wade through enticing emails asking you to upgrade or reminders for upgrades while using your paid cloud storage services.

Security details – Free cloud computing is usually secure although there are still risks when it comes to saving files online. With cloud computing that’s paid, you get some added levels of protection from your cloud which gives your files a bit more safeguarding from external threats. Of course, more expensive cloud storage packages can certainly come with tighter security features, but you can expect some additional security from paid cloud storage, even if it’s the most basic package.

Cloud computing at a budget may seem limited compared to more expensive packages, but it would give you a good preview of how more expensive packages would be from your cloud service provider. Have you tried availing cloud services at a budget? We’d like to hear about your experiences!

What are the Limitations in Cloud Computing Basics?

Technology has indeed come up with a lot of convenient solutions which help people keep up with the advancements in today’s society. Cloud computing for instance allows people to upload and download files to the cloud and access them later. It allows people to have a secure storage option which does not depend on hardware. Cloud computing basics are actually quite easy, and most internet users have already been using the cloud when they upload files online.

cloud computing basics It is true that the cloud gives its users a lot of benefits including but are not limited to: a great amount of online storage, real-time syncing, and ease of file upload and retrieval among others. However, despite the conveniences that the cloud computing basics can give to its many users, there are still limitations to this technology. It cannot be denied how useful the cloud is, but to avoid disappointments, knowing about its limitations can help its users. Being aware of these limitations may also help a person be more prepared when it comes to avoiding potential hassles which may result from the shortcomings of the cloud. Here are the top limitations of cloud computing and cloud backup services:

No network connection, no access

– This is the top limitation of using the cloud. You can only access whatever you store in the cloud when you are connected to the Internet. There are times when the files which have been previously synced can be accessed from your device, but uploading is definitely a problem when you do not have access to the Internet. The cloud works on the assumption that the user has reliable and usually fast internet connection. Without this, there is the inconvenience of not being able to access files.

Data security in public clouds

– When people use public clouds, they have no control over the security of the data that they upload. A public cloud can be used by any interested individual who has access to the internet, and this makes whatever information uploaded online susceptible to hacking and other risks when malicious third parties want to use photos and files for their personal gain.

Loss risks

– Cloud service providers usually have great backup systems, but should there ever be a mass breakdown of the systems, including their backup options, there is a risk of losing files permanently if they are stored solely on the cloud. This is why cloud backup should be used mainly as backup, not as permanent storage.

Application integration difficulties

– Not all providers of cloud services offer easy to integrate systems—some don’t even have this option. This may become hard for those who only know the cloud computing basics and not the nitty-gritty that comes with making applications work seamlessly with one another. Integration may be hard, and using hardware and other office peripherals such as printers may also be a hassle when the files are stored in the cloud.

Additional costs

– There are a lot of cloud service providers and they also offer free cloud services. However, if clients would like more security or perhaps more space, additional costs come in which may actually be surprising if you’re expecting really great deals for free.

Have you experienced any of these limitations from using the cloud? Tell us about them in the comments section below!

How Beneficial is Cloud Computing for Logistics?

The logistics industry is a big part of a lot of businesses. Where there are goods that need to be transported, you can trust that the logistics industry is in action. They are concerned with the transport of goods from one point to another and throughout the years, this business has seen a lot of changes. This is where cloud computing comes in.

You may be thinking that cloud computing and the logistics industry have nothing in common, but since cloud computing can be used for a number of different fields, it has also made its way into helping those that are concerned with merchandise transport.

cloud computing for logistics

Cloud Computing for Logistics Businesses

Technology has truly helped the logistics businesses advance, but one of the most helpful technological advancements has been cloud computing. With the help of specialized software and real-time syncing brought by cloud computing services, the logistics industry has experienced some great changes that contribute to overall productivity.

Cloud computing can be used in the headquarters of the delivery service provider for the following purposes:

Real-time updates of product whereabouts –

Tracking systems that are synchronized with the cloud can give real-time updates concerning the current whereabouts of products. This is highly beneficial for both the service provider and the recipients of the products that are being transported.

Logging in and out of merchandise to be delivered and received –

There are times when the products need to pass from more than just one point of the delivery service provider. This is especially true when products are shipped from overseas, and when the products need to pass the local delivery office first. The merchandise can be registered into the system and this change can be viewed by other people from where the merchandise originally came from to see the product status. It also applies to delivery men who have access to the cloud. Instead of having to report all the products that have been received throughout the day, the updates can be logged in as soon as they have been received as long as the delivery man in charge has access to their system.

Inventory updating throughout systems –

Businesses that have warehouses of goods may also benefit from product inventory software that can be assisted by cloud computing technology. The real-time updates of products taken in and out of the warehouse can easily be inputted to their systems. Managing the inventory also becomes much easier with the cloud.

Benefits of Cloud Computing in Logistics

The main benefit is the efficiency concerning product updates. Instead of manually updating each and every product taken for delivery and ultimately received at the end of the day, it can be done as soon as the transaction is over, given the right gadgets to connect to the cloud. Having online logs also make the business have a more detailed record for the incoming and outgoing transactions they have.

Furthermore, cloud computing technology is usually affordable and can truly be a cost-efficient investment that can really help a business grow through modern means! Because of these reasons, cloud computing for logistics is truly an advantageous business improvement. Have you seen logistics businesses using cloud computing technology? Comment with your experiences below—we’d love to hear about them!

What is the Future of Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing has been a buzz word for several years now, what with companies and businesses slowly recognizing its efficiency and usefulness. In fact, it has grown far faster and larger than what was predicted and this serves as a testament to just how useful the technology is. These days, cloud computing is still being developed to become better and more efficient which makes people wonder: What is the future of cloud computing?

 The Future of Cloud Computing

future of cloud computing

There was a time when businesses would have to decide “if” they were going to do business on the cloud or not. These days, cloud computing is no longer an “if” because it has come to a point where it has become a must. Below are some predictions for the future of cloud computing:

There will be greater education and more segmentation.

Experts say that currently, customers are just beginning to grasp the differences among different types of clouds. Understandably, it can be tricky for cloud newbies to know the difference between private, public, and hybrid cloud deployments. In the future, people will know the differences as well as the pros and cons of the different cloud types and with this bigger knowledge, they will learn to pick the type of cloud that best suits their needs. This greater understanding will lead to a more efficient and more widespread use of cloud computing.

HR and marketing will use cloud computing more.

When companies make the move to the cloud, they usually turn to their IT department. They never used to pay any attention to HR and Marketing when it came to such things but that will soon change because with the cloud in place, HR and Marketing will have just as much say as the IT Department when it comes to technological innovations and use in the workplace.

CIO will enable the cloud.

IT is slowly moving away from its role as gatekeeper and this means the role of the CIO changes as well. The reason for this is because cloud computing is putting a great pressure on CIOs to reinvent their roles so they are able to stay relevant. For CIOs to remain relevant, they need to become more cutting-edge and innovative. They need to educate their teams so they can get on the cloud much more quickly and stay in the frontlines of this innovation shift.

Small companies will have access to bigger software.

There was a time when small companies would have to rely on cheaper software since they would not have funds for the big software in the market. The cloud has changed all that in the sense that it has democratized the procurement process for applications and software. It has come to a point where even the smallest companies can easily gain access to solutions that can give them that much-needed edge.

These changes are definitely in the cards for cloud computing and it is proving to be a very exciting time for everyone. Are you excited about the future for this cloud computing technology as well?