What Is The Cloud? (And Why Small Businesses Need To Care) #types #of #cloud,small #business,deployment #models,cloud #computing,cloud,information #technology,saas,american #express,cdw,small #business #owners,open,business #gold #rewards,security,technology,productivity,what #is #cloud,the #cloud,companies #that #use #cloud #computing,business #cloud #storage #security,cloud #computing #for #small #businesses,small #business #cloud #services,best #cloud #service #for #business,what #files #get #shared #in #the #cloud,what #is #the #cloud


What Is The Cloud? (And Why Small Businesses Need To Care)

Cloud computing has come a long way to become a mainstream technology tool for business.

Earlier this year, Parallels, a software company that enables companies like GoDaddy.com and Sprint to offer cloud services to small and medium businesses (SMB), reported that the cloud services industry grew to $45 billion worldwide last year. Helping to drive that were 6 million SMBs purchasing their first cloud service last year.

And, the report projects that the market is expected to grow annually at a rate of 28 percent through 2015 to be a $95 billion industry.

The cloud does for IT what companies like UPS and Federal Express did for the shipping industry, Stephen Braat, senior director and general manager of cloud and managed solutions for CDW, said.

“When it comes to getting product to customers, their technology enables them to do it on a larger scale at a lower cost,” he said. “The cloud is the great technology equalizer.”

Technology is a huge driver of competitive advantage, and historically, technology that larger companies used was not available to smaller companies, who typically have 50 employees or less.

“The technology that Wal-Mart was using for its supply chain was one that smaller businesses couldn’t keep up with,” Dan Levin, chief operating officer of Box, said. “Now, for the first time, there is technology available that doesn’t require hardware or technical expertise and gives small companies the same technology as a big company. That gets rid of the technology advantage, and that’s a huge change.”

Rather than thinking of the cloud — computing capability delivered over a network — as a type of technology (because there are at least three dozen categories of cloud computing), Braat recommends seeing it as a way of delivering consumer technology.

Many small businesses typically don’t have an IT staff or technical expertise in-house, so folks making decisions don’t always know what questions to ask about their company’s tech infrastructure, Eric Diamond, CEO of Tribeca Cloud, a company that helps small businesses understand how to implement cloud services, said.

“One of the biggest things we see is that they don’t define the requirements of their business needs,” he said. “What are you trying to obtain? Do you want to save money, use a new application, access an enterprise-level app? Then you have to do your research.”

There are four deployment models of cloud. Public (available to the general public over the Internet), private (within a corporate firewall), community (shared between organizations) and hybrid (a combination of the three).

Braat said benefits of the cloud are that it is on demand; burstable, meaning a lot of it can be used; elastic, can use very little; and metered, so a business only pays for what it consumes. In addition, businesses that use the cloud have seen employee productivity increase, which in turn drives innovation and speeds technologies to market, he added.

Levin said the public cloud is a “game changer” for small businesses because it gives them access to enterprise-level applications. The private cloud is reserved more for larger companies that have their own IT staff, data centers and are investing large amounts of money in infrastructure, like computers, to increase the flexibility of assets.

Small businesses don’t have any of those things typically, and therefore don’t need access to all of that technology, he added.

However, for businesses that like the idea of a private cloud, Levin said there are private clouds hosted by companies like Rackspace, Amazon and Microsoft that give small businesses their own dedicated equipment on a dedicated network; so in a sense it is private, but the company wouldn’t have to keep all of that in-house. He cautioned, however, that it requires companies to write their own software and applications.

At CDW, it sees its small business clients using the cloud’s three service models: Software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service.

Saas is predominantly used for office productivity such as email, word processing, crunching numbers, online file sharing and basic forms of communication, not to mention security purposes (i.e. downloading spamware, malware and intrusion protection software). Iaas functions like storage and computing, Braat said. It can be used to store intellectual property like documents, drawings, applications and code proprietary to a business.

“Typically, technologists think about Iaas in scenarios, such as what can I do for backup in the event of a disaster,” he said. “Small businesses are getting to the point where they no longer store documents locally in anticipation of an unforeseen event, so while performing disaster recovery, they can get to them quickly and inexpensively.”

Platform as a service, meanwhile, can be used to develop and run a website in the cloud or build applications.

Small business silver lining

CDW’s market research shows that security, performance and integration are the barriers most often cited by small businesses.

Despite the issues, customers are indicating a steep growth in implementing cloud technology of between 27 percent and 39 percent year-over-year, he added.

John Zanni, vice president of service provider marketing and alliances for Parallels, said he has seen huge opportunity and growth of small businesses consuming cloud services.

“It’s less relevant what technology is being used, but more relevant if the services are using well-known brands,” Zanni said. “That way, you are comfortable that the technology is the latest, the best brand, the most efficient and most secure software. Owners should care about what the cloud is doing to enable them to focus time on customers and make them happy.”

One step at a time

While there are lots of technologies that make up the cloud, he cautions owners not to think they have to do everything the cloud has to offer or none at all.

“Take it in over time,” he added. “Many of the services have a try-before-you-buy model which is a good way for small businesses to test the waters without taking on too much risk.”

Just like any other new product or service, Tribeca Cloud’s Diamond said small companies should do their due diligence. One of the pitfalls is relying on third-party services to tell business owners what they should be using. Another is providers trying to push a long-term contract.

“Some Saas providers will try to get businesses to use their proprietary software, but on a long-term contract,” he said. “You need to be looking out for a service that is month-to-month. Let them prove they are doing what they say they are doing.”

There are perceived trade-offs for the cloud that include control and security, but really there aren’t any depending on business, said Box’s Levin, who has worked with small businesses and the cloud for six years.

“Realistically, those companies are going to get much better security, reliability and performance with much lower costs and hassle,” he said. “I’ve see a number of small businesses lose data because it wasn’t backed up or living on an old machine slid under the desk of some manager.”

Today, companies can trade that in for the cloud and get world-class infrastructure maintained by some of the best companies on the planet, and get it for $50 a month or less, Levin added.

If a company does it right, cloud services will enable them to get enterprise-level information technology at a cost that is aligned with their own business model, Parallels’ Zanni said. Because cloud is pay-as-you-go, owners may pay between $5 and $10 per user versus several thousands of dollars for servers and specialists to run them.

Another benefit is being able to reach out to employees and customers, collaborating in ways a company could not before, such as using a webpage and online chatting function to expand a company’s reach, he added.

“We are in a deeply connected world today,” Zanni said. “What is happening in the consumer world should be happening in the business world.”

This article is part of a series in partnership with American Express OPEN. With the Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN you can earn 2X points on U.S. purchases made directly from select computer hardware, software and cloud computing providers. Terms and limitations apply. 2X applies to purchases up to $100,000 per year, then 1 point.

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Facebook Builds Exabyte Data Centers for Cold Storage #massive #data #storage


Facebook Builds Exabyte Data Centers for Cold Storage

Rich Miller on January 18, 2013

Jay Parikh, VP Infrastructure Engineering, Facebook, presents on Facebook s cold storage methodology, which the social media giant uses to store user photos. (Photo by Colleen Miller.)

What do you do with an exabyte of digital photos that are rarely accessed? That was the challenge facing Jay Parikh and the storage team at Facebook .

The answer? A dedicated data center at its Prineville, Oregon campus that could house older photos in a separate cold storage system that dramatically slash the cost of storing and serving these files. The facility has no generators or UPS systems, but can house up to an exabyte of data.

Facebook stores more than 240 billion photos, with users uploading an additional 350 million new photos every single day. To house those photos, Facebook s data center team deploys 7 petabytes of storage gear every month.

Recommended: Facebook Now Hosts 220 Billion Photos

But not all of that photo data is created equal. An analysis of Facebook s traffic found that 82 percent of traffic was focused on just 8 percent of photos. Big data needs to be dissected to understand access patterns, said Parikh, the Vice President of Infrastructure Engineering at Facebook.

Tiered Storage, With a Twist

The answer was a tiered storage solution that could meet the needs of Facebook s 1 billion users. Tiered storage is a strategy that organizes stored data into categories based on their priority typically hot, warm and cold storage and then assigns the data to different types of storage media to reduce costs. Rarely-used data is typically shifted to cheaper hardware or tape archives, a move that saves money but often with a tradeoff: those archives may not be available instantaneously. As an example, Amazon s new Glacier cold storage is cheap, but it takes 3 to 5 hours to retrieve files.

That wouldn t work for Facebook, whose users want to see their photos immediately. We need to have cold storage, but a fast user experience, said Parikh, who discussed the project this week at the Open Compute Summit. And we don’t want to use any more power than needed.

Facebook developed software that could categorize photos and shift them between the three storage tiers. The savings is captured through dedicated hardware that could store more photos and use less energy.

Last year Facebook built a 62,000 square foot data center on its Prineville campus to house its cold storage, which can house 500 racks that each hold 2 petabytes of data, for a total of 1 exabyte of cold storage. Similar facilities will be built at Facebook s data center campuses in North Carolina and Sweden, Parikh said.

The cold storage data center has no generators or uninterruptible power supply (UPS), with all redundancy handled at the software level. It also will use evaporative cooling systems, although on a smaller scale than the two-story free cooling system employed in the adjacent production data centers in Prineville, which use the entire second floor as a cooling plenum.

More Storage, Less Power

Most importantly, each rack uses just 2 kilowatts of power instead of the 8 kilowatts in a standard Facebook storage rack. But Parikh said it will be able to store 8 times the volume of data of standard racks.

How does it manage this? The hardware itself is not radically different, but uses a technology called shingled magnetic recording that features partial overlapping of contiguous tracks, thereby squeezing more data tracks per inch.

Parikh said the system is architected so that different “chunks” of image data don’t share same power supply or top-of-rack switch to avoid a single point of failure that would lose data. And if a user deletes a photo, it is deleted from cold storage as well.

Not many companies face storage challenges at the kind of scale seen at Facebook. But Parikh believes more companies will be confronting these massive storage issues.

“Our big data challenges that we face today will be your big data challenges tomorrow, he said. We need to keep coming up with advanced solutions to our storage problems. The most important innovations are the problems people solve before the scale of the problem emerges. I believe big data is one of those problems. And we won’t keep up unless we work together.”

EDITOR S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the details of the cooling system for the cold storage facility.

Frac Secondary Containment Liner #containment #storage


Secondary Containment Liner and Mats

Frac Tank Containment

This secondary containment liner berm is designed for the containment of frac tanks and related frac materials. These liners are equipped with aluminum angle brackets or foam walls that can be inserted into all four sides of your frac tank liner. This builds a complete area of containment around your tanks to catch liquids in the event of a spill.

These liners can be made in a wide range of fabrics including LLDPE, XR-5, and Polyurethanes depending on the thickness required and the liquid you are needing to contain.

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Frac Tank Secondary Containment Options

Secondary containment for frac tanks can include several different options to help with frac storage units, frac water transfer, valve secondary containment and more. When not in use, berms can be folded up and moved to a new location around your facility.

Liner Fabrics:

Frac tank liner fabrics can include several different options to help with temporary containment of materials such as hydrocarbons, oil and frac liquids. Standard fabrics include:

Each of these fabrics can be equipped to help with your storage requirements. In addition, frac tank berms may include storage walls around the berm that are made from either a drive-over foam or aluminum brackets.

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For more information on our spill containment liners and mats and how they can be used for multiple applications, please view our Secondary Spill Containment Page .

How we test cloud storage services #using #the #cloud #for #storage


How we test cloud storage services

How we test cloud storage in a nutshell

Our reviews answer common cloud storage questions such as:

  • How easy is it to sync files to the cloud?
  • How easy is it to share saved files?
  • Can you edit those files online?
  • When you delete your account, where do your files go?
  • Is the service worth the money

What makes a Best Buy cloud storage service?

Dropbox or Google Drive? SkyDrive or SugarSync? A cloud storage service should be about making your life easier – with your files saved online to the cloud, all the stress of backing up should be taken care of for you.

But not all cloud storage services are alike, and some make the process of backing up your files much easier than others. That’s why we test cloud storage services to find the best ones for backing up important photos, files and documents.

Cloud storage can make backing up your important files the easiest thing, or an absolute misery, depending on the service you choose.

Sign up today for a£1 Which? trialto discover the benefits of Which. including full access to our expert cloud storage service reviews.

Should I buy it?

Each of the assessments described above goes part way to making up a total test score, which is the percentage figure awarded to each cloud storage service. But certain assessments are more important than others and so carry different weights (price is always ignored):

Cloud storage ease of use

An easy-to-use cloud storage service should make it a breeze to back up your files.

  • Syncing files to the cloud Some providers do all the hard work for you, with automatically syncing backup that keeps your files up-to-date and consistent no matter where you access them. We make sure to alert you of any that don’t.
  • Uploading and downloading files on the cloud In the wrong hands, the process of uploading your files to the web can be laborious. We’ve even tested some services that deliberately limit the default speeds for uploading and downloading your files. Our test monitors the quality, speed and reliability of each service when uploading and downloading files.
  • Sharing files saved to the cloud Sharing your files with others is one of the great benefits of cloud computing. We test cloud storage services to see how easily you can share files with anyone at all, with specific people, and with password protection.
  • Accessing and editing your documents on the cloud We test to see how easily you can view or access your files on the cloud, without having to download them to your PC first. We also test the online-editing features.

Cloud storage setup, apps and options

Getting started with cloud storage ought to be easy, but this isn’t always the case.

  • Setting up your cloud storage account We test the installation process for each cloud storage service we test, including the setup of any sync boxes and folders that are installed on your computer.
  • Cloud storage apps We test the functionality of cloud storage apps for smartphones and tablets. Some will let you access files, others will let you edit them directly from a smartphone or tablet.
  • Deleting your cloud storage account In case you wish to close down your cloud storage account for good, we test how easy it is to remove your files and delete your account. We found that some services make this straightforward, while others make it maddeningly difficult.

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Home, Go Mini s Moving – Portable Storage – Little Rock, AR, little rock self storage.#Little #rock #self #storage


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We believe in providing our customers with great service and competitive rates. We have secure indoor storage options available, and we work hard to make the process easy on you. We deliver. You load. We pick up. Then you can get on with your day. Our service is similar to PODS, but people choose us because we offer:

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We offer convenience in the form of a container! If you re in the Athens area, give us a call to discuss your portable storage needs. You can call us directly or go online for an instant quote. Go Mini s Moving Portable Storage is looking forward to helping you, so call to book your portable container today.

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Go Mini s delivers Convenience. in the Form of a Container . We don t just rent containers; we simplify your moving and storing experience. Our portable storage system was designed to beat the competition with more internal packing space, more tie-down points, and a local customer service team. Whether you re moving or simply storing at your home or business, we cater the experience to your needs and timetable.

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Located within a small cul de sac, we are delighted to offer this extended semi detached bungalow that has been modernised throughout. The property comprises of 3 double bedrooms, newly fitted shower room, lounge, large open plan kitchen/diner with doors opening onto a large covered rear patio. EPC D


A purpose built 2 bedroom top floor apartment situated in the popular Acorn Gardens within Colebrook, Plympton. Comprising open plan lounge/diner/kitchen, two bedrooms (master en-suite) and a bathroom. Benefits include GCH, DG, communal gardens and an allocated parking space. EPC B

STARTER HOME Chaddlewood – £120,000

A great starter home or possible buy to let investment? A one bedroom house in the popular Chaddlewood area of Plympton. Comprises lounge, kitchen/diner, double bedroom and a bathroom. benefits include double glazing, electric heating, two parking spaces, storage shed and a private garden. EPC E.


Deatched and located in the corner of a cul de sac comprising lounge, dining room, conservatory, cloakroom, kitchen/breakfast room, 4 bedrooms (master en-suite) and bathroom. GCH, DG, off road parking for 3 vehicles, rear garden and covered side storage area. An internal viewing is recommended. EPC D


A well presented elevated detached bungalow located on a good size plot. Comprising of lounge, dining room, conservatory, two double bedrooms (en-suite) and a bathroom. Benefits GCH, uPVC DG, off road parking for one vehicle, storage shed and large tiered garden with far reaching views. EPC E

STANBURY BUNGALOW Woodford – £199,950

A superbly presented semi detached bungalow with front and rear gardens situated in the popular Woodford area of Plympton. Comprising of lounge, modern kitchen/diner, bathroom and 2 double bedrooms. Benefits include GCH, uPVC double glazing, front and rear gardens, and a garage. EPC D

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Moving On Estate Agents, Plympton, Plymouth

lmpstoneProfessional, friendly Estate Agents from your first phone call or visit to our Plympton office, through to the purchase, sale or let of your house.

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Moving On are an Independent Estate Agent based in Plympton, Plymouth specialising in residential property sales and property lettings. The company is owned in Partnership by Paul Curtis and Martyn West, two very well known and respected estate agents, who between them have over 45 years experience in the Plympton and Plymouth housing markets.

Why use an Independent Estate Agent?

As independent estate agents, we will go the extra mile to provide you with the personal assistance that most other estate agents can not beat. So whether you want to sell your home. rent or browse our houses for sale in Plympton and Plymouth we have the perfect service for you.

Get in touch now to talk about your personal requirements.

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Data Tape Storage Rotation Services, offsite tape storage.#Offsite #tape #storage


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Offsite tape vaulting ensures first-class disaster protection processes for your business with minimal effort. Physical movements, barcode tracking and detailed audit trails are taken care of for you. Storing your backup media offsite increases data security, enforces appropriate retention and improves environmental protection. Secure Data Management deliver magnetic backup tapes to offices in the capital within 3-hours from our data storage facility in London.

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Offsite tape storage

Tape Rotation Management

Some of our clients opt to rotate a set amount of tapes each day, week or month at scheduled timeslots morning or afternoon. The most straightforward rotation is to swap a PELI case with the media remaining locked in this box when offsite. We can perform this rotation service for a set monthly charge, without any hidden fees or surcharges for petrol, congestion or waiting.

Offsite tape storage

Fire-Proof Data Tape Vaulting

Looking for a higher level of security? Rather than storing in secure archive conditions you could instead choose individually managed tape storage in our robust, fire-proof vaults. These safes boast a 4-hour fire rating in a storage facility linked to emergency services and monitored by 24/7 CCTV. Our tape archivists are ready to fulfil any account management or delivery requests you may have.

Offsite tape storage

Disaster Recovery Backup

Data backup is key for business continuity in the event of a disaster. Secure Data offer London offices emergency retrieval in under 3-hours. If disaster were to strike your backups would be safest removed at our offsite facility, ensuring critical data loss is avoided. Guarantee that your business won t grind to a halt if disaster hits use our secure tape storage and data recovery services.

Your data tapes will be monitored by our professional onsite team from the moment of collection until destruction. One of our fully vetted team members will collect and exchange tapes at times suited to you. Our software maintains a detailed audit trail so we know exactly where your tapes are 24/7.

You needn’t worry about the technicalities of data tape rotation as our staff will be there to inform and help you every step of the way. On top of this we also offer a destruction service for electronic records of varied formats, including: hard drives, USB drives, CDs and DVDs, media tapes and film reels.

If your charges double, in the form of dual transport fees (one charge for delivery, plus another for collection on the same run), then you are paying at least double what you would be with SDM. The principle is the same for two-way handling charges for boxes.

Your records management company should have transparent pricing without these compounded surcharges. Our combination of high service levels and attainable savings will allow you to achieve a more organised records management process within your company whilst keeping costs to a minimum.

Our individually managed tape vaults offer the greatest protection for your data. Tape-based storage media is incredibly sensitive to environmental factors, and can be easily damaged by dust and water. Many organisations have lost irreplaceable data as a consequence of poor storage conditions.

Our fire-proof storage vaults contain individually lockable draws, meaning your data is highly secure, safely offsite and environmentally protected with a fully managed retrieval/rotation service. We can provide tape barcodes or use any existing ones you are already working with.

Disaster Recovery Planning

43% of companies that have the misfortune of experiencing a disaster never recover, which is why we strongly advise that businesses store copies of their data in a secure offsite storage facility. We can provide disaster protection consultancy. Get in touch for more information.

Offsite Tape Storage Costs

At Secure Data Management our services are clearly and competitively priced. Our offsite tape storage service is no exception. We provide an efficient data storage, backup and retrieval service at competitive rates, free from hidden charges. Get in touch for a tailored quote.