The Cloud Generation – How Web Hosting has Changed Over the Years

Evolution is one of the most inevitable facts of life – and the same can be said about web hosting.

Hosting is one of the most integral elements of setting up a fully functioning, wide-reaching website. Failure to fully understand this essential cog can lead to an online disaster. Even if a website is beautifully developed and flawlessly tested, a poorly hosted website will be out of business in no time.

To set sail into the world wide web, find out how a website’s maiden voyage traveled in the past on a single desk server to the present’s omnipotent cloud host.

The Relentless Captain

During the digital olden days, hosting services were done in the then-believed comfort and safety of a desk. A sole IT professional at any given time would hold the steering wheel to drive a website into the unknown. It was a simple, and controlled.

Then unforeseen circumstances came in.

The website had a spike of visitors. Network demand shot up, and the server was caught up in the eye of the storm. Worse yet, an unsuspecting employee pulled a late-nighter and created havoc with an accidental pull of the plug of the server. This left the man on the deck lost at sea. This situation created the old-school scenario where IT professionals are called in for an “emergency” in the middle of the night.

Not a good sight for the CTO to see!

A desktop server may have been a good deal with its low cost upfront. However, the long run proved to be a different story once turbulence came in and the hardware and equipment was left in e-ruins.

The Dedicated Tool

Due to various external risks, not to mention the more immediate internal and systemic considerations, web servers and hosting equipment soon found comfort and safety in a dedicated server room. Definitely a safer place against unnecessary spills or power-trips.

cloud dedicated tools

A server not only provided safety to the equipment and the system. It also provided physical upgrades to make sure any “emergency” situations can be dealt with accordingly. Since a bigger space is now allotted for the purpose of hosting a website and the e-network, data centers had spread out its infrastructure and created fail-safe measures in case of an immediate performance upsurge. Redundant hardware, alternate routing systems, and additional energy sources were some of the Plan B gears that a dedicated server room had.

External systems were also put into place to maximize the data center’s performance. Cooling systems (i.e. adding stronger air conditioning units or cooling fans) were set since servers generated high temperatures from the mechanical and electrical parts of the whole server. Emergency fire extinguishers and retardants were also automated to make sure emergency situations can be addressed. Physical security was also organized and set-up to keep off any unauthorized individuals. All these measures were laid out on top of the constant surveillance of a dedicated team to monitor, override (as needed), update, and fix any bug or glitch the network may experience.

On the other hand, dedicated servers had a few downfalls. First of all, the proven effective system requires a huge initial investment due to the number of elements that needed to be put into place. Obviously, this system required major considerations in terms of planning. Before a data center is established, the physical space, manpower, and midterm to long-term schedule must be thoroughly thought out.

cloud hosting scared guy

To an extent, the above-mentioned considerations are still embraced by present day hosts, especially by big enterprises and hosting companies. This makes the use of physical servers a viable option for businesses.

The Virtual Hub

Technological evolution in web hosting eventually took a huge leap from the physical realm and landed on the virtual plane. It began with the need to increase the security of critical data while users access this data in unsecure locations. An example of this scenario was the rise of employees who were on the go but needed to tap into the company’s database.

vitrual hub cloud hosting

This requirement never had a place in network computing in the distant past. However, the changing times put forth the need to match the increasing pace of e-commerce. Since more and more users began using mobile devices and working in isolated and digitally private locations, the need to evolve servers to a more dynamic, free-ranged and secure hub became a huge consideration.

Virtual private networks (VPNs) gave comfort to these technologically taxing times. This option created a pathway to unchartered lands. Scalability, flexibility, and hardware efficiency provided a different perspective to IT professionals on how to provide better service to the users. Enterprise applications elevated to more advanced (and even clandestine) purposes. This placed emphasis on the power of virtual hosting.

Virtual servers did not stop from evolving. Since various aspects remain unresolved (e.g. limited resources due to the fact that VPNs are bound to underlying private servers), a more organized, more flexible, and generally more capable hosting system was born.

The Calm Cloud

cloud hosting

Presently, cloud hosting is considered to be the most utilized hosting service to date. This is based on the fact that a layman user is bound to cloud computing in their “basic” accesses to the e-network. Anyone who has used online drives like Dropbox, Gmail, and even WordPress, is tapping into the services of cloud hosting. WordPress specifically has grown to encompass a huge variety of different hosting options – almost too many. For those who are interested in learning more about WordPress hosting options, there are plenty of sites that offer a good overview of hosting.

Basically, the concept behind cloud hosting is still similar to VPNs. What sets it apart is the underlying physical server of cloud hosts tap into a larger pool of resources, not limited to a single or physical hub. This access to wider resources gave an almost endless supply of options to cater to the users’ needs. Eventually, it created an influx of online application, growing exponentially at the speed of knowledge.

With all the various demands rising left and right, cloud hosting was able to match the requirements and provide system efficiency to those who opt to use the service. SMEs began to see the benefits of the new-age virtual hosting because of its increased network capability and financial flexibility to its users.

Various virtual service providers eventually created different paths for further expansion and diversity of the technology. This brought about unlimited opportunities not only to the business side of the service but also to the future development of the technology.


Web hosting technology has evolved with the users throughout the years. Surprisingly, users have evolved as technology has, and applications have risen throughout the period internet growth. At this pace, cloud hosting may evolve to a faster, more dynamic, and more cost-efficient option in matter of a few years.

3 Ways SMEs Can Win Big with Cloud Hosting

Within the last decade, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been expanding exponentially through the help of the internet.

Within the last decade especially, E-commerce has been a huge power tool for new-age professionals. Considering the rate of growth of every other thriving business, a fortified online presence is the one thing that should be heavily considered and implemented for a maximum ROI (return of investment).

Though the world-wide web is immensely useful to an SME owner, it can prove to be daunting, especially with the similarly growing online offerings of e-services. To the tech-savvy professional, choosing the best hosting service for an SME’s website can be one of the most crucial decisions to make. It ultimately decides if the company’s online presence will grow as the business does.

Lately, SMEs have been opting for cloud hosting as the best way to go.

What is Cloud Hosting?

In essence, cloud hosting is a service where a website is hosted by a virtual server. It’s like being hooked up to a dedicated server over the internet. This may be the most rudimentary characterization of cloud hosting. However, the definition of cloud computing has evolved throughout the years – from private military and enterprise installations, to SME users and even layman bloggers.

cloud1

True enough, cloud hosting offers a wide array of benefits fit for SMEs. For a professional, what is integral is how this technology can help them improve their sales, promote more products and services to their clients, and turn their business into a bigger enterprise.

Cloud hosting is a great option for one of the most popular online services for start-ups – WordPress. With its seemingly endless customizable features and user-friendly dashboard, WordPress is a great choice for SMEs to launch their online expansion. There are a ton of different options for WordPress hosting, and fortunately there are sites that review these options – such as WP Hosting Hub.

In this day and age, it is important to know how this technology can strengthen the foundation of any flourishing business. Similarly, it is integral business knowledge to know how SMEs can win big with cloud hosting.

  1. Understand the Finances of the Business

One of SME’s main considerations in keeping a business afloat is its finances. At any point in time, an SME would need a system that can match its specific needs, capabilities and requirements, and also have enough available space for projected growth.  Cloud hosting’s scalability can account for this.

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Take an online store for instance. This type of website-intensive business is one of the most popular SME business models. When this type of business is in its infancy, its website may only require a small bandwidth, minimal resources, and basic hosting service. At this current track, any basic package for cloud hosting at a minimum rate would suffice.

But what will happen when the business grows?

As the demands of the business increase, the hosting requirements grow as well. This is where the flexibility and scalability of cloud hosting comes in. In the event that the SME gets a sudden big boost in its viewership, say 10-times its initial website’s capability, the cloud host can spike up its capacity for the website that it is servicing. The adjustments can be done on-demand to make sure any business hooked to the cloud is effectively serviced in a convenient and timely manner. Thus, cloud servers can customize their service package as the clients’ needs arise.

Needless to say, costs may go up. However, the increase is at a controlled rate.

This leads to another flexibility feature of cloud hosting.  With the business demand resolved, costs will only fluctuate based on the actual service utilized. If the business surge comes in, adjustments can be made, and costs will be based on what was used. Conversely, if the business plateaus or dips, requirements may be adjusted accordingly to control the costs. At the end of the day, this feature of cloud hosting gives financial flexibility and website growth control to the SME owners.

2. Offer Stress-Free Maintenance

Consider a Fortune 500 company — it would normally have its own IT department. A team of IT professionals are at the disposal of any other department who may need updates and troubleshooting. A room is also dedicated for a complete set of servers, equipment, and whole back-up of system software and tools.

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This is how a big company operates and caters to its IT requirements.

How about an SME with limited resources?

Imagine there is an online glitch, infrastructure emergency, or a need for technical support. Does that entail an SME shutting down its business –allowing web traffic, online momentum, and money to be lost?

Of course not. This is where cloud hosting and its built-in professional management step in.

SMEs are more focused on the nature of the business and their niche market. Any other business requirements – such as IT management – may not be a core competency of the business owner. This may require an additional support service – such as an IT personnel – to address the need.

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With cloud hosting, the IT professionals’ service are already bundled-in with a service package. IT manpower is readily available to any cloud hosting hub to keep the virtual server up and running 24/7. This relieves the SME owner from the stress of having a separate department for the growing web business requirements. It may be too much for a growing business to handle. Allocating resources to focus on an IT department could be an unnecessary expense during the mid-game. This is just another reason cloud hosting a perfect option for SMEs.

3. Create a Safer and More Reliable Platform

SME owners need all the support they can get during critical moments of the business’ life . Since handling a business is already demanding, ensuring the reliability of its website and overall online presence is another business task that requires more of the entrepreneur’s time and efforts.

To ensure reliability of the network infrastructure, the web servers’ performance level should be kept at its peak. Bigger businesses opt to have their own dedicated physical server. However, keeping the system up and running requires relentless hardware optimization. Professional IT managers also add to the list of requirements, demanding more resource allocation to the cause. Furthermore, in the event that the physical server’s resources fail, backing up the system will require more resource re-distribution.

Cloud hosting already provides a system that ensures reliability to their clients at a significantly lower rate and more efficient process as compared to opting for a dedicated server. Virtual servers have partitions that could draw from other virtual resources when the need arises.

On that note, it is imperative to keep in mind that virtual servers are based on physical servers. What is unique is that cloud hosts are usually made up of a network of servers. Thus, backing up and tapping onto other servers when one fails is a feature that can greatly benefit an SME owner.

Also, since the physical servers give life to the virtual servers, the equipment is naturally kept secured and protected for physical (and even online) disruption. This is another professional outsourcing that entails cost, which is already included in any service package. It is this “collaborative” pooling of resources that makes cloud hosting a more reliable and more cost efficient server option for business owners.

Overall, SMEs get the big benefit out of cloud hosting because of its customizable features that suit the dynamic life of thriving businesses. Any sudden changes from the SMEs are easily catered by the virtual servers of the cloud hosts. Furthermore, this outsourced service is one of the major supports practically all businesses need to continue the expansion of its online presence.

With the increased need of outsourced professional services, the entrepreneurs’ major takeaway from cloud hosting is the value for their money. Since business owners only pay for what they use, it is easily scalable as the need arises. At the end of the day, businesses benefit well from flexibility and reliability that cloud hosting has to offer. 

Stuck with SQL Server 2005? Beware of Support Termination Risks…

Business organizations rely on post-sales support services for third-party IT products to maintain operations of products that are core to their IT infrastructure. Suddenly getting caught out of vendor support however, brings internal IT in charge of maintaining performance and availability for core IT products. Many organizations lack the internal resources and expertise to meet such support demands and should understand exactly how the product support lifecycle aligns with their organizational circumstances for investments in various product versions and upgrades.

Organizations that have fallen in love with SQL Server 2005 may relate to this concern. The product was indeed a breakthrough update and offered significant feature improvements in comparison with the earlier product iterations. However, the SQL Server 2005 extended support ends on April 12, 2016 and product users must act now and migrate their workloads to a newer SQL Server version, or run the risk of getting caught without technical support for one of the most critical elements of their IT systems. Running out of support also means the vendor will no longer supply security updates, leaving your IT systems vulnerable to unprecedented new security exploits and service outages.

SQL Server Improvements

The latest version of the SQL Server product line offers significant feature improvements across all fronts, including performance, security, availability and cloud-readiness. The company has also expanded the resource bandwidth it offers with the standard version, which now includes 128 GB of RAM that yields performance improvement of multiple orders in comparison with the previous versions.

However, an update is matter of strategic business and IT decision considering the role of SQL Server technologies in today’s data driven business operations. Your organization should evaluate the cost effectiveness of the licensing of version upgrades against functionality requirements of the product and sizing of your infrastructure to maximize the potential of SQL technologies. For instance, your organization may actually choose to downgrade a version or make more use of virtualization for the latest versions. Product tiers within the SQL server version will also determine the features and pricing. The Enterprise version for example, offers a range of important security, scalability and performance features that would tempt most mid-size to large enterprises, whereas small businesses might consider them as unnecessary expenses.

Regardless, the new feature implementation also presents its own set of risks and challenges. Organizations not only need to plan investments in the latest SQL server as a business decision, but also need to work with industry experts to ensure smooth migration, minimal downtime, full integration and strong support as they implement new SQL functionalities and pursue effective migration.

Not sure when and how to choose an SQL Server version? Watch the HOSTING webinar titled, “Don’t Get Caught with an Out of Support SQL Server” for more insights.

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Business organizations rely on post-sales support services for third-party IT products to maintain operations of products that are core to their IT infrastructure. Suddenly getting caught out of vendor support however, brings internal IT in charge of maintaining performance and availability for core IT products. Many organizations lack the internal resources and expertise to meet such support demands and should understand exactly how the product support lifecycle aligns with their organizational circumstances for investments in various product versions and upgrades. Organizations that have fallen in love with SQL Server 2005 may relate to this concern. The product was indeed a breakthrough update and offered significant feature improvements in comparison with the earlier product iterations. However, the SQL Server 2005 extended support ends on April 12, 2016 and product users must act now and migrate their workloads to a newer SQL Server version, or run the risk of getting caught without technical support for one of the most critical elements of their IT systems. Running out of support also means the vendor will no longer supply security updates, leaving your IT systems vulnerable to unprecedented new security exploits and service outages.

SQL Server Improvements

The latest version of the SQL Server product line offers significant feature improvements across all fronts, including performance, security, availability and cloud-readiness. The company has also expanded the resource bandwidth it offers with the standard version, which now includes 128 GB of RAM that yields performance improvement of multiple orders in comparison with the previous versions. However, an update is matter of strategic business and IT decision considering the role of SQL Server technologies in today’s data driven business operations. Your organization should evaluate the cost effectiveness of the licensing of version upgrades against functionality requirements of the product and sizing of your infrastructure to maximize the potential of SQL technologies. For instance, your organization may actually choose to downgrade a version or make more use of virtualization for the latest versions. Product tiers within the SQL server version will also determine the features and pricing. The Enterprise version for example, offers a range of important security, scalability and performance features that would tempt most mid-size to large enterprises, whereas small businesses might consider them as unnecessary expenses. Regardless, the new feature implementation also presents its own set of risks and challenges. Organizations not only need to plan investments in the latest SQL server as a business decision, but also need to work with industry experts to ensure smooth migration, minimal downtime, full integration and strong support as they implement new SQL functionalities and pursue effective migration. Not sure when and how to choose an SQL Server version? Watch the HOSTING webinar titled, “Don’t Get Caught with an Out of Support SQL Server” for more insights.

HOSTING Unified Cloud Keeps Your Legacy Applications Alive

IT outages and stability issues are common challenges facing business customers of popular cloud services companies. Especially when the cost of data center downtime at $7,900 per minute is high enough to grind your business to a halt, you just can’t tolerate IT service outages. Large vendors would like you to believe their infrastructure is designed for flawless performance and stability. But the fact remains that not every application is built to modern design patterns where each app component expects to live in an ephemeral compute environment where assets can be launched and destroyed at any time. And perhaps that’s exactly how a majority of IaaS vendors treat your business applications as well. Not because they might just be correct, but because their IaaS offerings are not always built upon highly available architecture

Almost unbelievable, right? This isn’t an accident. Consider the case of Netflix. The company famously created a piece of software called the Chaos Monkey to help them find success on AWS. The Chaos Monkey obliterates a random AWS compute instance every 30 minutes without warning, to ensure that every part of the Netflix infrastructure can truly survive the unpredictable host outages that they are subjected to.

Does your organization operate on the same scale and financial resources to fund, develop and operate enterprise-grade tooling merely to guarantee availability? It’s a promise that vendors commit to, yet fail to deliver.

Or can you let go of all legacy applications running on their IaaS network and invest in redeveloping your software products from scratch before questioning their availability performance?

Well how about relying on providers that guarantee continuous availability for your applications as they are. With the multi-cloud network built for high availability for all of your legacy applications, HOSTING promises just that.

HOSTING Unified Cloud™

For legacy applications that rely upon continued availability of the underlying IT systems – which holds for almost every app in production today – HOSTING provides highly-available public and private cloud platforms that can be integrated directly with your 3rd party cloud assets through extremely low-latency and dedicated network connections. HOSTING’s managed services are available across all of the leading public and private platforms, which means you can use the right tools for your applications in a truly unified fashion. Use the right tools for each workload and have the confidence that each will be protected from threats, and will remain always available with HOSTING Unified Cloud.

HOSTING’s highly available cloud platform is designed to ensure 100% application availability for legacy applications that were not developed to run on AWS, Azure, or Rackspace, among others. HOSTING’s Unified Cloud frees you from your real IT burden, regardless of which platforms you choose to operate on. To learn more, download Leveraging the Unified Cloud for Business Transformation white paper.

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IT outages and stability issues are common challenges facing business customers of popular cloud services companies. Especially when the cost of data center downtime at $7,900 per minute is high enough to grind your business to a halt, you just can’t tolerate IT service outages. Large vendors would like you to believe their infrastructure is designed for flawless performance and stability. But the fact remains that not every application is built to modern design patterns where each app component expects to live in an ephemeral compute environment where assets can be launched and destroyed at any time. And perhaps that’s exactly how a majority of IaaS vendors treat your business applications as well. Not because they might just be correct, but because their IaaS offerings are not always built upon highly available architecture Almost unbelievable, right? This isn’t an accident. Consider the case of Netflix. The company famously created a piece of software called the Chaos Monkey to help them find success on AWS. The Chaos Monkey obliterates a random AWS compute instance every 30 minutes without warning, to ensure that every part of the Netflix infrastructure can truly survive the unpredictable host outages that they are subjected to. Does your organization operate on the same scale and financial resources to fund, develop and operate enterprise-grade tooling merely to guarantee availability? It’s a promise that vendors commit to, yet fail to deliver. Or can you let go of all legacy applications running on their IaaS network and invest in redeveloping your software products from scratch before questioning their availability performance? Well how about relying on providers that guarantee continuous availability for your applications as they are. With the multi-cloud network built for high availability for all of your legacy applications, HOSTING promises just that.

HOSTING Unified Cloud™

For legacy applications that rely upon continued availability of the underlying IT systems – which holds for almost every app in production today – HOSTING provides highly-available public and private cloud platforms that can be integrated directly with your 3rd party cloud assets through extremely low-latency and dedicated network connections. HOSTING’s managed services are available across all of the leading public and private platforms, which means you can use the right tools for your applications in a truly unified fashion. Use the right tools for each workload and have the confidence that each will be protected from threats, and will remain always available with HOSTING Unified Cloud. HOSTING’s highly available cloud platform is designed to ensure 100% application availability for legacy applications that were not developed to run on AWS, Azure, or Rackspace, among others. HOSTING’s Unified Cloud frees you from your real IT burden, regardless of which platforms you choose to operate on. To learn more, download Leveraging the Unified Cloud for Business Transformation white paper.  

Managed Cloud Hosting For Infrastructural Needs

Hosting is one of the core components of a good site and those who are not looking into this are not going to have sites for too long. A site with poor hosting is one that is going to fall apart because it will lag and just not work as good as it should.

All sites have potential, but when the wrong host is selected, it all goes down the drain.

Don’t let that happen, and take a look at what managed cloud hosting can do for those who are putting it to use.

Easy To Scale

Starting with current traffic numbers and assuming this is the peak of your site is not the way to go. Managed cloud hosting does not work like this because it is important to scale up and get bigger. All sites and/or platforms are going to begin with the vision of getting bigger and better.

This means more traffic and higher bandwidth demands.

Managed cloud hosting is able to help with this and make sure scalability is not an issue at all for as long as it is being used. This is key for those who are growing rapidly and need the host to keep up.

Constant Management Support

What about the support that is going to be needed when the hosting is not working and/or there are hitches along the way? What is going to happen at that point? Will this mean you are going to be down for multiple days and lose out on money and traffic?

No, the managed cloud hosting that is in place right now will handle all of this and the support that is going to come through will ensure the platform is up and running in seconds. This is where the “managed” portion of the cloud hosting comes into action.

Ready To Go SSD Servers

It is the servers that have to be primed before the user can start to implement their files and coding. Without servers in place, how will the managed cloud hosting end up being a viable option?

With ready to go SSD servers, it becomes easier to know the host will be ready to follow through on all hosting requirements as soon as the application is filled out. This prompt display of service is one of the biggest reasons to consider this type of hosting.

Managed cloud hosting is now one of the modern-day options for those who are hoping to set up their own platforms. It could be an e-commerce site or a web app, the core of any good platform is going to come from where it is hosted.

If the hosting is not up to par, how is the site going to remain functional? It will start to lag and lose quality which is not good enough with how the standards are now. People want better and faster more than anything else and they will show it through the sites being visited.

The Scalability Of Cloud Infrastructure

Cloud infrastructure has become one of the best ways to host any platform in this day and age. People are now moving towards these infrastructural changes because benefits are quite obvious – the biggest benefit being that those who wish to grow can do so very easily with these changes.

Let’s see how the scalability of cloud infrastructure comes into action.

Scale On Demand

Cloud infrastructure is known for being able to scale on demand. It is almost like watching pay per view movies on TV – as you are able to order them as you go. There is no need to have new servers built or anything of that nature which would happen using traditional means.

This is not as taxing because you can scale as you go. If you have a need for more power one day, you just order it up and things are good to go.

It’s that easy now – and that’s the beauty of cloud infrastructure when it’s running.

Auto Scaling Options

There are now “auto scaling” options that are built into the setup because they know people are going to be needing to scale up in seconds. You might have something big that is going to happen on your platform (i.e. major announcement) and you are going to want to be ready to scale up and down with ease.

How will you do this if you don’t have cloud infrastructure in place? You can’t because you would have to look at physical options and those are harder to manage.

With auto scaling through cloud hosting, you are able to go up and down based on traffic numbers and that is great for control.

Immediate

There are some hosting options that are not as immediate in terms of scaling up. It runs along the lines of what was mentioned above with “auto scaling” because the goal is to make changes as they happen. If this is not taking place, what is the point of being able to scale up?

The infrastructure has to handle demands in seconds. If it can’t do this, the infrastructure is lacking and that is not good for business. The immediacy of one’s requirements for scaling up is what makes cloud infrastructure powerful and effective.

The scalability of cloud infrastructure cannot be denied by those who are hoping to exceed their vision and hit major numbers. If a site is hoping to cross a certain figure 3, 6, or 12 months from now, it needs to know the infrastructure is going to handle all of its demands.

if the infrastructure is not able to meet those numbers, what is the point of having that vision? It will only lead to the entire system collapsing. This is why infrastructure is important and it has to be easy to scale which does happen with cloud hosting.

it is able to handle as much as one can throw at it and that is why major businesses use it as well for their own requirements.

Providing Cloud Hosting As A Service

Cloud infrastructure has grown by leaps and bounds. It has become one of those options for business models to start popping up all the time. There are multiple ways that cloud can be used as a service and will reap rewards financially and there are numerous businesses that are already set up around this premise.

The idea is to use the cloud infrastructure and then begin to shape a product and/or service around that space that is being provided. It almost uses the cloud infrastructure as the foundation from which the rest of the business is deployed.

Here are a few examples of cloud as a service.

1) PaaS (Platform as a Service)

The first model being discussed here would be PasS which is used by a number of enterprises around the world. The purpose of this model is to use the cloud infrastructure as a platform for your service. An example would be a gaming platform.

This platform would be hosted through cloud infrastructure and then gamers are able to sign in to play. All of the games are then put onto the platform and this is how money is made.

It is a unique business model and is being used more and more.

Want to know one of the biggest businesses under this model? Netflix.

2) SaaS (Software as a Service)

This is another unique model and just as lucrative as PaaS. The purpose of this model is to implement software and then put it on the cloud infrastructure.

All of the software is hosted on the cloud infrastructure and it can be accessed from anywhere and used in any spot. This gives the user more control than if they were just carrying a random CD with the software on it. This control is great because most people are on the go nowadays.

Salesforce and Microsoft are regarded as being some of the biggest SaaS companies in the world.

3) Iaas (Infrastructure as a Service)

The final one is perhaps the hardest because it is wholly reliant on the infrastructure and uses it as the “product”. In essence, you are loaning off space on this built-up infrastructure and putting a premium on it. What is the purpose of this model?

The goal is to give clients the chance to use the infrastructure to host their own businesses and you are paid monthly/yearly for space. In return, you are not only giving space, but you are maintaining the infrastructure so that it does not falter over time.

This is how cloud can be used as a service and these three models are highly lucrative. There are quite a few businesses that are now using this method to earn money and they are making millions doing it. There are massive businesses that have set up their own infrastructure to use cloud as a service.

It is one of the best ways to get into modern business and remain future-proof in terms of growth and general scalability. Business have a lot of leg room with these models.

Factors that set successful cloud partners apart from their peers

Businesses around the world are flocking en masse to the world of managed cloud hosting in the hope that they can implement more effective IT systems. Cloud solutions are inherently cheaper for operations and infrastructure than on-premise data centers that require constant updating and maintenance, and enterprises have recognized this. 

In fact, an Infoholic Research report found that the global cloud infrastructure market is expanding rapidly. The study offered an estimate for the size of the market in 2015 in the ballpark of $109 billion. Though this figure is substantial, it pales in comparison to the projected market in five years’ time. Infoholic Research estimated that the industry will continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16.2 percent until 2020, at which time the global market will be worth roughly $207 billion. 

The booming industry is gaining new subscribers each and every day, but many overlook the importance of choosing the right partner that can offer the most comprehensive services. The effectiveness of a managed cloud hosting provider can vary, and potential users need to consider more than just the cost of a given solution in order to determine which option is best for them. 

Cloud partners should help to streamline implementation

Industry expert Marc Malizia wrote in an article for CloudTweaks that a poor migration process is often the downfall of many unsuccessful cloud adoption strategies. After all, moving data, apps and infrastructure from an in-house setting to a virtual server is complicated and can be tedious. He cautioned that a complex plan should be formed well in advance of the actual transition. But for IT departments with limited resources and knowledge on the subject, this can be a daunting task if they are offered little assistance from their cloud partners. 

Malizia lamented that this can often be attributed to a lack of experience among cloud vendors in dealing with the actual migration process. He stressed that it is imperative to identify a provider that not only offers migration services, but has an extensive background in dealing with such transitions in order to assure that the process goes smoothly. 

In addition, the author pointed out that in most cases, cloud users still maintain some data and servers on-premises due to compliance and regulatory issues within their industries, or just a preference to keep particularly sensitive data within the building. Either way, this data needs to be managed somehow, and Malizia said that it is important that cloud providers offer remote management services that can oversee even the information that is not being stored virtually. 

DRaaS is no longer a luxury – it’s a requirement

Disaster recovery was once a simple – but expensive – concept. Businesses would purchase a second data center in a remote location, where they would back up and store their data in the event that their on-site servers were hacked or damaged. Since operating and maintaining a single data center is very costly, it stands to reason that this practice was only available to large enterprises. 

However, the cloud has completely flipped this industry on its head, Malizia said. DRaaS is a burgeoning sector within cloud computing that offers safeguarding of important data and functions without requiring extensive investment. The author noted that replication software can reproduce the majority of lost files, and the virtualized nature of these solutions ensures that businesses of all sizes can afford them. 

Malizia argued that DRaaS is not only accessible to all these days – it’s necessary. He asserted that cloud partners should provide these solutions as a part of their hosting services, and that the subscribers should not be faced with choosing and implementing the software themselves. The provider has access to your data, so that third party should also be tasked with backing it up and restoring it, should a situation arise in which those functions are necessary. 

Cloud migration is not simple, so it is important to identify a partner that can handle the bulk of the intricacies. To find out more about transitioning to cloud hosting, contact Datapipe, which provides top quality managed services for a variety of businesses and specializes in infrastructure solutions. 

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Businesses around the world are flocking en masse to the world of managed cloud hosting in the hope that they can implement more effective IT systems. Cloud solutions are inherently cheaper for operations and infrastructure than on-premise data centers that require constant updating and maintenance, and enterprises have recognized this. In fact, an Infoholic Research report found that the global cloud infrastructure market is expanding rapidly. The study offered an estimate for the size of the market in 2015 in the ballpark of $109 billion. Though this figure is substantial, it pales in comparison to the projected market in five years' time. Infoholic Research estimated that the industry will continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16.2 percent until 2020, at which time the global market will be worth roughly $207 billion. The booming industry is gaining new subscribers each and every day, but many overlook the importance of choosing the right partner that can offer the most comprehensive services. The effectiveness of a managed cloud hosting provider can vary, and potential users need to consider more than just the cost of a given solution in order to determine which option is best for them.

Cloud partners should help to streamline implementation

Industry expert Marc Malizia wrote in an article for CloudTweaks that a poor migration process is often the downfall of many unsuccessful cloud adoption strategies. After all, moving data, apps and infrastructure from an in-house setting to a virtual server is complicated and can be tedious. He cautioned that a complex plan should be formed well in advance of the actual transition. But for IT departments with limited resources and knowledge on the subject, this can be a daunting task if they are offered little assistance from their cloud partners. Malizia lamented that this can often be attributed to a lack of experience among cloud vendors in dealing with the actual migration process. He stressed that it is imperative to identify a provider that not only offers migration services, but has an extensive background in dealing with such transitions in order to assure that the process goes smoothly. In addition, the author pointed out that in most cases, cloud users still maintain some data and servers on-premises due to compliance and regulatory issues within their industries, or just a preference to keep particularly sensitive data within the building. Either way, this data needs to be managed somehow, and Malizia said that it is important that cloud providers offer remote management services that can oversee even the information that is not being stored virtually.

DRaaS is no longer a luxury – it's a requirement

Disaster recovery was once a simple – but expensive – concept. Businesses would purchase a second data center in a remote location, where they would back up and store their data in the event that their on-site servers were hacked or damaged. Since operating and maintaining a single data center is very costly, it stands to reason that this practice was only available to large enterprises. However, the cloud has completely flipped this industry on its head, Malizia said. DRaaS is a burgeoning sector within cloud computing that offers safeguarding of important data and functions without requiring extensive investment. The author noted that replication software can reproduce the majority of lost files, and the virtualized nature of these solutions ensures that businesses of all sizes can afford them. Malizia argued that DRaaS is not only accessible to all these days – it's necessary. He asserted that cloud partners should provide these solutions as a part of their hosting services, and that the subscribers should not be faced with choosing and implementing the software themselves. The provider has access to your data, so that third party should also be tasked with backing it up and restoring it, should a situation arise in which those functions are necessary. Cloud migration is not simple, so it is important to identify a partner that can handle the bulk of the intricacies. To find out more about transitioning to cloud hosting, contact Datapipe, which provides top quality managed services for a variety of businesses and specializes in infrastructure solutions.

Hosted multi-cloud solutions can reduce IT expenses

Cloud hosting has been around for years now, but recently, a new trend has emerged within the sector – the use of multi-cloud solutions. Put simply, this concept refers to the use of multiple service providers to fulfill requirements. 

Businesses are enamored with cloud hosting due to the expanded efficiency it can offer. When coupled with the use of services from multiple providers, hosting can entirely transform an IT department and streamline its core functions. Users can lower their spending on IT infrastructure and also improve the accessibility of their data and apps for employees and clients alike. 

However, many businesses have clung onto their outdated on-premise data servers as the sole platform supporting their IT services. Before jumping ahead to the implementation of multiple cloud services, it is important that such organizations learn the basics of cloud hosting. 

Cloud hosting is flexible, convenient and reduces IT expenses

The premise behind cloud hosting is relatively simple. ITProPortal contributor Barclay Ballard explained that instead of using a single server to support an app or website, users will have multiple servers that host this data. If a server has an malfunction on a traditional single-server platform, the user will not be able to access the information kept on it. But Ballard pointed out that when hosting data in the cloud, data is stored throughout multiple servers, meaning that if one breaks down, the others in the network will pick up the slack. Mitigating downtime can be extremely important for businesses, which can see profits negatively affected when they encounter such scenarios.

In addition, the author said that at times when a website is experiencing high traffic volume, the cloud can adapt to deal with bandwidth issues due to its flexible nature. 

Single servers rarely run at full capacity, since most IT departments will expand their storage in accordance with demand to ensure that the system does not max out. However, this means that businesses are spending on space they have no plans to actually use. With cloud hosting, Ballard asserted, companies are only charged for exactly what they use, making such platforms more cost-effective. 

Multi-cloud services offer even more efficiency to subscribers

Though cloud hosting has proven to be efficient for most of its users, many have elected to go one step further to maximize the impact of their spending – subscribing to services from multiple vendors. This approach, known as multi-cloud, can certainly reduce costs for many organizations based on the prices that individual providers charge for each service. 

However, according to Information Age contributor Chloe Green, the multi-cloud implementation process can be challenging and, at times, confusing. While each cloud user will have their own specifications for infrastructure, Green noted that outsourcing management of cloud solutions can be an effective way to alleviate mishaps. She argued that subscribers need support and guidance while navigating tricky multi-cloud services. 

This is where users should turn to a veteran managed services provider. MSPs can assist subscribers in developing sound strategies for deploying multi-cloud solutions, and can effectively oversee and maintain the systems. Many IT teams are handcuffed by a lack of resources – human, monetary, technological or otherwise – and may have trouble dealing with the various facets of managing a comprehensive cloud-based infrastructure. Organizations that might find themselves in such a situation should contact Datapipe for MSP guidance. 

Datapipe has unmatched expertise in developing and managing strong, flexible and reliable multi-cloud hosting strategies that can improve a business’s IT functions and streamline daily operations. 

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Cloud hosting has been around for years now, but recently, a new trend has emerged within the sector – the use of multi-cloud solutions. Put simply, this concept refers to the use of multiple service providers to fulfill requirements. Businesses are enamored with cloud hosting due to the expanded efficiency it can offer. When coupled with the use of services from multiple providers, hosting can entirely transform an IT department and streamline its core functions. Users can lower their spending on IT infrastructure and also improve the accessibility of their data and apps for employees and clients alike. However, many businesses have clung onto their outdated on-premise data servers as the sole platform supporting their IT services. Before jumping ahead to the implementation of multiple cloud services, it is important that such organizations learn the basics of cloud hosting.

Cloud hosting is flexible, convenient and reduces IT expenses

The premise behind cloud hosting is relatively simple. ITProPortal contributor Barclay Ballard explained that instead of using a single server to support an app or website, users will have multiple servers that host this data. If a server has an malfunction on a traditional single-server platform, the user will not be able to access the information kept on it. But Ballard pointed out that when hosting data in the cloud, data is stored throughout multiple servers, meaning that if one breaks down, the others in the network will pick up the slack. Mitigating downtime can be extremely important for businesses, which can see profits negatively affected when they encounter such scenarios. In addition, the author said that at times when a website is experiencing high traffic volume, the cloud can adapt to deal with bandwidth issues due to its flexible nature. Single servers rarely run at full capacity, since most IT departments will expand their storage in accordance with demand to ensure that the system does not max out. However, this means that businesses are spending on space they have no plans to actually use. With cloud hosting, Ballard asserted, companies are only charged for exactly what they use, making such platforms more cost-effective.

Multi-cloud services offer even more efficiency to subscribers

Though cloud hosting has proven to be efficient for most of its users, many have elected to go one step further to maximize the impact of their spending – subscribing to services from multiple vendors. This approach, known as multi-cloud, can certainly reduce costs for many organizations based on the prices that individual providers charge for each service. However, according to Information Age contributor Chloe Green, the multi-cloud implementation process can be challenging and, at times, confusing. While each cloud user will have their own specifications for infrastructure, Green noted that outsourcing management of cloud solutions can be an effective way to alleviate mishaps. She argued that subscribers need support and guidance while navigating tricky multi-cloud services. This is where users should turn to a veteran managed services provider. MSPs can assist subscribers in developing sound strategies for deploying multi-cloud solutions, and can effectively oversee and maintain the systems. Many IT teams are handcuffed by a lack of resources – human, monetary, technological or otherwise – and may have trouble dealing with the various facets of managing a comprehensive cloud-based infrastructure. Organizations that might find themselves in such a situation should contact Datapipe for MSP guidance. Datapipe has unmatched expertise in developing and managing strong, flexible and reliable multi-cloud hosting strategies that can improve a business's IT functions and streamline daily operations.

The Discriminatory Dark Side Of Big Data

It has happened again. Researchers have discovered that Google’s ad-targeting system is discriminatory. Male web users were more likely to be shown high paying executive ads compared to female visitors. The researchers have published a paper which was presented at the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium in Philadelphia.

I had blogged about the dark side of Big Data almost two years back. Latanya Sweeney, a Harvard professor Googled her own name to find out an ad next to her name for a background check hinting that she was arrested. She dug deeper and concluded that so-called black-identifying names were significantly more likely to be the targets for such ads. She documented this in her paper, Discrimination in Online Ad Delivery. Google then denied AdWords being discriminatory in anyway and Google is denying to be discriminatory now.

I want to believe Google. I don’t think Google believes they are discriminating. And, that’s the discriminatory dark side of Big Data. I have no intention to paint a gloomy picture and blame technology, but I find it scary to observe that technology is changing much faster than the ability of the brightest minds to comprehend the impact of it.

A combination of massively parallel computing and sophisticated algorithms to leverage this parallelism as well as ability of algorithms to learn and adapt without any manual intervention to be more relevant, almost in real-time, are going to cause a lot more of such issues to surface. As a customer you simply don’t know whether the products or services that you are offered or not at a certain price is based on any discriminatory practices. To complicate this further, in many cases, even companies don’t know whether insights they derive from a vast amount of internal as well as external data are discriminatory or not. This is the dark side of Big Data.

The challenge with Big Data is not Big Data itself but what companies could do with your data combined with any other data without your explicit understanding of how algorithms work. To prevent discriminatory practices, we see employment practices being audited to ensure equal opportunity and admissions to colleges audited to ensure fair admission process, but I don’t see how anyone is going to audit these algorithms and data practices.

Disruptive technology always surfaces socioeconomic issues that either didn’t exist before or were not obvious and imminent. Some people get worked up because they don’t quite understand how technology works. I still remember politicians trying to blame GMail for “reading” emails to show ads. I believe that Big Data is yet another such disruption that is going to cause similar issues and it is disappointing that nothing much has changed in the last two years.

It has taken a while for the Internet companies to figure out how to safeguard our personal data and they are not even there, but their ability to control the way this data could get used is very questionable. Let’s not forget data does not discriminate, people do. We should not shy away from these issues but should collaboratively work hard to highlight and amplify what these issues might be and address them as opposed to blame technology to be evil.

Photo courtesy: Kutrt Bauschardt

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

It has happened again. Researchers have discovered that Google’s ad-targeting system is discriminatory. Male web users were more likely to be shown high paying executive ads compared to female visitors. The researchers have published a paper which was presented at the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium in Philadelphia. I had blogged about the dark side of Big Data almost two years back. Latanya Sweeney, a Harvard professor Googled her own name to find out an ad next to her name for a background check hinting that she was arrested. She dug deeper and concluded that so-called black-identifying names were significantly more likely to be the targets for such ads. She documented this in her paper, Discrimination in Online Ad Delivery. Google then denied AdWords being discriminatory in anyway and Google is denying to be discriminatory now. I want to believe Google. I don’t think Google believes they are discriminating. And, that’s the discriminatory dark side of Big Data. I have no intention to paint a gloomy picture and blame technology, but I find it scary to observe that technology is changing much faster than the ability of the brightest minds to comprehend the impact of it. A combination of massively parallel computing and sophisticated algorithms to leverage this parallelism as well as ability of algorithms to learn and adapt without any manual intervention to be more relevant, almost in real-time, are going to cause a lot more of such issues to surface. As a customer you simply don't know whether the products or services that you are offered or not at a certain price is based on any discriminatory practices. To complicate this further, in many cases, even companies don't know whether insights they derive from a vast amount of internal as well as external data are discriminatory or not. This is the dark side of Big Data. The challenge with Big Data is not Big Data itself but what companies could do with your data combined with any other data without your explicit understanding of how algorithms work. To prevent discriminatory practices, we see employment practices being audited to ensure equal opportunity and admissions to colleges audited to ensure fair admission process, but I don't see how anyone is going to audit these algorithms and data practices. Disruptive technology always surfaces socioeconomic issues that either didn't exist before or were not obvious and imminent. Some people get worked up because they don't quite understand how technology works. I still remember politicians trying to blame GMail for "reading" emails to show ads. I believe that Big Data is yet another such disruption that is going to cause similar issues and it is disappointing that nothing much has changed in the last two years. It has taken a while for the Internet companies to figure out how to safeguard our personal data and they are not even there, but their ability to control the way this data could get used is very questionable. Let’s not forget data does not discriminate, people do. We should not shy away from these issues but should collaboratively work hard to highlight and amplify what these issues might be and address them as opposed to blame technology to be evil. Photo courtesy: Kutrt Bauschardt

Gartner Magic Quadrant use case: Enterprise application hosting

Gartner’s most recent Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting, North America, contained a tremendous amount of information regarding the cloud services market. Key among the report’s offerings was an evaluation of the different service providers – their strengths, weaknesses and how they stack up against one another.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the Gartner Magic Quadrant report was its focus on three specific use cases in this market: eCommerce hosting, Web-based business application hosting and enterprise application hosting. Gartner noted that it is very rare for a cloud services provider to deliver high-quality performance for all three of these use cases. Yet Datapipe may be one of the few to achieve this distinction. Gartner rated Datapipe as both a visionary and leader in its industry, one of only two vendors to receive this classification.

Here, we’ll take a look at how Gartner rated Datapipe’s offerings and how they meet the needs of the enterprise application hosting use case.

Enterprise needs

As Gartner explained, enterprise application hosting needs differ significantly from the eCommerce and Web-based business application hosting use cases. Most significantly, the sheer size increase inherent to enterprises creates unique cloud-related demands for such organizations. Enterprises require managed hosting for their robust infrastructures, which in turn are necessary to support large commercial software applications. These include offerings from Oracle, SAP and other enterprise vendors.

These enterprise-level workloads are typically very complex, as Gartner pointed out. Consequently, they require specialized, extensive knowledge on the part of the managed hosting services provider. Making matters somewhat easier is the fact that they tend to have a low rate of change.

Datapipe and flexibility

The specific hosting needs of enterprises makes Datapipe a particularly invaluable services provider, as the Gartner Magic Quadrant report revealed.

Gartner noted that Datapipe is one of the few cloud services providers that has managed to integrate its own hosting and cloud IaaS offerings with those of Amazon Web Services. This is crucial, as AWS represents one of the most popular cloud options available to major enterprises in every vertical, and yet most enterprises will also have a wide range of operations and workloads they would rather retain on traditional platforms. With most cloud service providers, enterprises would not be able to effectively, efficiently leverage both cloud and traditional platforms. However, Datapipe makes such a solution not only viable, but easily attainable.

Datapipe is also a powerful choice for enterprise hosting needs thanks to its expansiveness. Gartner pointed out that Datapipe operates data centers in three major metropolitan markets in North America, while also maintaining facilities in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region. Considering the global needs of many enterprises, high-performance and quick access to cloud services around the globe is often essential. Datapipe’s worldwide operations make this level of functionality a reality.

Furthermore, Datapipe offers support for Windows, Linux, Solaris and more operating systems. Additionally, customer services are available in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Cost considerations

Datapipe also received high marks from the Gartner report in terms of pricing. Gartner noted that Datapipe offers a consistent pricing scheme that prioritizes steady monthly cost predictability. Many other cloud services providers, by comparison, frequently charge their customers with add-on fees and other charges to boost their bottom lines.

In fairness, the Gartner report also noted that Datapipe’s prices can sometimes be higher than its competitors. However, as the Magic Quadrant report explained, these costs are due to Datapipe’s “focus on higher-touch levels of service.” For enterprises that are particularly concerned with customer support, limited down-time and high performance – which is to say, all enterprises – Datapipe’s commitment to service should far outweigh any additional expenses. Oracle in particular demands specialized knowledge to handle correctly in a hosted environment, and Datapipe has the experience and expertise needed to manage these solutions.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Gartner’s most recent Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting, North America, contained a tremendous amount of information regarding the cloud services market. Key among the report’s offerings was an evaluation of the different service providers – their strengths, weaknesses and how they stack up against one another. One of the most noteworthy aspects of the Gartner Magic Quadrant report was its focus on three specific use cases in this market: eCommerce hosting, Web-based business application hosting and enterprise application hosting. Gartner noted that it is very rare for a cloud services provider to deliver high-quality performance for all three of these use cases. Yet Datapipe may be one of the few to achieve this distinction. Gartner rated Datapipe as both a visionary and leader in its industry, one of only two vendors to receive this classification. Here, we’ll take a look at how Gartner rated Datapipe’s offerings and how they meet the needs of the enterprise application hosting use case.

Enterprise needs

As Gartner explained, enterprise application hosting needs differ significantly from the eCommerce and Web-based business application hosting use cases. Most significantly, the sheer size increase inherent to enterprises creates unique cloud-related demands for such organizations. Enterprises require managed hosting for their robust infrastructures, which in turn are necessary to support large commercial software applications. These include offerings from Oracle, SAP and other enterprise vendors. These enterprise-level workloads are typically very complex, as Gartner pointed out. Consequently, they require specialized, extensive knowledge on the part of the managed hosting services provider. Making matters somewhat easier is the fact that they tend to have a low rate of change.

Datapipe and flexibility

The specific hosting needs of enterprises makes Datapipe a particularly invaluable services provider, as the Gartner Magic Quadrant report revealed. Gartner noted that Datapipe is one of the few cloud services providers that has managed to integrate its own hosting and cloud IaaS offerings with those of Amazon Web Services. This is crucial, as AWS represents one of the most popular cloud options available to major enterprises in every vertical, and yet most enterprises will also have a wide range of operations and workloads they would rather retain on traditional platforms. With most cloud service providers, enterprises would not be able to effectively, efficiently leverage both cloud and traditional platforms. However, Datapipe makes such a solution not only viable, but easily attainable. Datapipe is also a powerful choice for enterprise hosting needs thanks to its expansiveness. Gartner pointed out that Datapipe operates data centers in three major metropolitan markets in North America, while also maintaining facilities in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region. Considering the global needs of many enterprises, high-performance and quick access to cloud services around the globe is often essential. Datapipe’s worldwide operations make this level of functionality a reality. Furthermore, Datapipe offers support for Windows, Linux, Solaris and more operating systems. Additionally, customer services are available in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Cost considerations

Datapipe also received high marks from the Gartner report in terms of pricing. Gartner noted that Datapipe offers a consistent pricing scheme that prioritizes steady monthly cost predictability. Many other cloud services providers, by comparison, frequently charge their customers with add-on fees and other charges to boost their bottom lines. In fairness, the Gartner report also noted that Datapipe’s prices can sometimes be higher than its competitors. However, as the Magic Quadrant report explained, these costs are due to Datapipe’s “focus on higher-touch levels of service.” For enterprises that are particularly concerned with customer support, limited down-time and high performance – which is to say, all enterprises – Datapipe’s commitment to service should far outweigh any additional expenses. Oracle in particular demands specialized knowledge to handle correctly in a hosted environment, and Datapipe has the experience and expertise needed to manage these solutions.

Ravello Launches the Cloud Application Hypervisor

Hybrid private-public cloud models are the reality in most enterprises in the forseeable future. Developers and business units coninuously go “rogue” and use public cloud services, while IT struggles with maintaining compliance and control and managing…

Hybrid private-public cloud models are the reality in most enterprises in the forseeable future. Developers and business units coninuously go "rogue" and use public cloud services, while IT struggles with maintaining compliance and control and managing legacy apps in the traditional data center. I've spoken many times about this constant push and pull between flexibility and control in the cloud. And it is becoming apparent that we need a better way. Well, today, my friends at Ravello Systems announced that they have launched in public beta their Cloud Application Hypervisor and that they have received $26 million in funding from Sequoia, Norwest Venture Partners and Bessemer. I've had the pleasure of working with the Ravello team in preperation for this launch, and I believe they have a much needed solution -- built on a very unique technology -- for many of the biggest problems associated with cloud deployment. The best way to think about Ravello's technology is using the familiar hypervisor as an analogy. But while the traditional hypervisor holds a single virtual machine in it, Ravello's CAH holds a complex multi-VM app in it. This allows you to encapsulate a complete application (load balancers, app servers, web servers, databases, etc.) AND it's environment (networking, storage, etc.). The result is complete portability across clouds and between on-premise and public clouds. For example, you could take an existing VMWare-based application running on your data center and deploy it on AWS, Rackspace Cloud or HP Cloud as-is. So what is this good for? One of the first use cases Ravello Systems is targeting is the need to do development and testing in the cloud, while running the app in production in the on-premise enterprise data center. The cloud -- with its unlimited resources and ability to spin up machines quickly and then dispose of them -- is ideal for testing and development. But as mentioned earlier, enterprise IT departments still have many issues with running production apps in the cloud. These issues include compliance, security, cost and fear of vendor lock-in and dependence. With Ravello, developers can deploy the application "capsule" in a public cloud, run multiple instances of it for parallel testing, collaborate on development and generally enjoy the flexibility of the public cloud. When it's time to move the app into production, IT can simply deploy the encapsulated app in the data center. In the future, Ravello will address additional use cases such as more general cloud portability, cloudbursting and other scenarios. It's important to note that Ravello is delivered as a cloud service itself. You create an account, log in and can then create blueprints of applications (or use pre-existing ones) which can be cloned and shared. Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 7.33.21 AM The leadership team at Ravello brings a lot of credibility to the table. Among them, Benny Schnaider, Rami Tamir and Navin Thadani, were the team that created the standard Linux hypervisor, KVM. They sold the company they created to commercialize it, Qumranet, in 2008 to Red Hat. Check it out