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Benefits of using Azure Cloud products

Most organizations and businesses the world over are moving their services to a cloud network. Microsoft Azure continues to gain popularity in cloud storage, with more and more businesses choosing to use it. Azure has about 1,200 new customer subscriptions per month.

Organizations choose Azure Cloud products to help streamline their workflows, to enhance their decision-making process, and to make data storage easier and cost-effective. The cloud computing services industry has been flooded by well-known technology companies and startups that compete for customers. Even though Google has over time taken a large chunk of the market share, Microsoft Azure has proven to be a fierce competitor in providing cloud services.

This article focuses on the notable benefits of using Microsoft Azure Products. Before we dive in, however, let’s get to know what Microsoft Azure is.

What is Microsoft Azure Cloud?

It is a platform that offers more than 200 products and cloud services that are aimed at helping individuals and corporate entities solve contemporary challenges. Organizations use Azure to build cloud data centers which they use to store their data and to build and manage their applications. Through Azure, Microsoft will take care of your networking services and/ or needs.

With Azure, you are assured secure and reliable access to your data. You can use its wide range of products and services to manage your cloud platform.

The main benefits of using Microsoft Azure products include:

1. Data Security

Once you have your data on the Azure platform, only you will have access to such data. Your data is completely protected on your cloud network from interference by third parties. Azure is designed on a security process called Secure Development Lifecycle (SDL) where data stays secure on Microsoft cloud platform.

Besides, Microsoft has a large team of data security professionals who work round the clock to ensure your data stays safe. Microsoft secures your data using tools such as Threat Intelligence and Advanced Threat Analytics. The system has multi-layered, built-in security controls that identify and help protect data against external threats.

Microsoft also uses Multi-Factor Authorization to enhance the security of its cloud platform. This ensures that only authorized users can gain access to your Azure network.

You can trust Azure’s built-in security tools to maintain the integrity and privacy of your sensitive information. You can be sure you will not experience data breaches, nor will you have malware problems or any other evolving threats to cloud services.

2. High Standard Development Tools

Microsoft Azure gives its users the opportunity to use a variety of enterprise-level tools and programming languages such as Java, Python, Kubernetes, among others. Using these tools, organizations can build and manage personal web apps.

Having a variety of tools to choose from gives customers the flexibility to choose what works best for them in creating web apps and applications for mobile devices.

Azure also offers various services for cloud solutions such as VS Team Services and VS Team Applications. Users can also access on-demand storage services. This allows users to save time developing, testing, and deploying their applications.

3. Privacy

One of the major reasons why organizations are skeptical about adopting cloud services is the issue of privacy. Here’s some good news for you; you have no need to worry about privacy when using Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft has put in place mechanisms to ensure only you and authorized persons have the power to access and manipulate data on your platform.

Their terms and conditions are clear. They will disclose to you how they will manage your data, and where and how that data will be stored. Besides, Microsoft will never share your data unless and until it is required by law, and this happens on very rare occasions. In such cases, you will be made aware of what is going on.

Another beautiful thing about Azure is the fact that your data will only be used for agreed-upon services and never for advertising or marketing purposes. If you happen to opt-out of using Azure, Microsoft will follow a strict procedure in erasing your data from its systems.

Once you make your subscription, you get a Security Center. It is, however, important to note that only a section of the Security Center is free. Whereas this free tier allows you to see the security status of your cloud data, this is limited in some respects.

 Suggested Reading: Data security challenges in cloud computing

4. Scalability Upon Demand

Scalability is a major concern for organizations. Change is inevitable and at one point a business will have to either grow or downsize, making scalability a big deal.

Does this sound like you? Be rest assured that Azure will assist you in either scaling up or scaling down your business according to your business needs. You will only pay for the services you use.

Azure’s public cloud framework allows you to increase your storage space and computer resources on demand. Therefore, your organization can adjust during a short-term upsurge of activities as well as a long-term widening of its scope.

What all this means for your business is that you can always adjust your service agreements in order to avoid disruptions of your applications.

5. High Availability

Compared to other public cloud service providers, Azure offers high availability and redundancy in data centers across the globe. That means you will get a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that ensures 99.95% availability from Azure. That means the annual downtime is below 4.4 hours.

Microsoft operates in 55 regions of the world and is available in 140 countries. This is some good news to organizations that have a global perspective; Microsoft has its data centers well spread the world over.

6. Disaster Recovery

One of the biggest mistakes a company can ever make is the failure to have a disaster recovery plan. You need to be ready for any kind of disaster.

A survey conducted by Information Technology Intelligence Consulting showed that 81% of businesses across 47 markets estimated the hourly cost of downtime to an excess of $300,000. Of the companies that participated in the survey, a third estimated their hourly downtime cost to be between $1 million and $5 million, or even over $5 million.

Microsoft Azure has data centers in virtually all countries. Thus, they offer cloud solutions in a geographically decentralized manner. This helps in creating a disaster recovery plan for your organization.

During the recovery period, your vital applications can run from a backup site, and you can have access to your data. This ensures you stay online during the disruption. You won’t experience any major hiccups in your activities when a disaster occurs.

7. Cost-Effective

Organizations try to strike a balance between getting a good cloud environment and the cost of acquiring such services. Azure boasts of its cost-efficiency due to the following reasons;

  • Microsoft offers a consumption-based pricing model. Therefore, the infrastructure costs are relatively lower, and so is in-house IT management. Have a look at Azure’s pricing model.
  • Users do not incur costs associated with warranty renewals and service calls.
  • Users do not make a large initial investment for building a remote data center or a data center on-premises. You won’t also need to buy any extra software for application development.

8. Access to Resources

When using Microsoft Azure, IT departments get access to many resources that they wouldn’t have access to with on-premises data centers.

For instance, using Microsoft Azure, you can incorporate machine learning and automation into your systems. You do not need to be a data science expert or incur very high costs to achieve this.

With Azure, an organization can set up a Linux server in under ten minutes. On normal occasions, this takes a lot of time and one has to follow a set of guidelines.

To make good use of these resources, aim at utilizing these Azure features;

  • Azure Machine Learning Services and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Platform- Using these features, you can build artificial intelligence applications.
  • Azure Quick-start Templates- Using these templates, you can utilize the resources on Azure more efficiently and consistently. They will also save you lots of time.
  • Azure Marketplace- Azure has an app store for its applications. Just at the snap of a finger, you can find and deploy suitable software. There are many software options for you to choose from.

Conclusion

Many companies have adopted cloud technology. By now you already know that Microsoft Azure is the largest cloud vendor.

Given its popularity, Microsoft Azure services have been experiencing tremendous growth in the recent past. It keeps adding to its features, making operations easier and more efficient for its users. Microsoft is keen on meeting the needs of its customers. Therefore, if you are looking to join the league of organizations that are already making good use of Azure, look no further.

Microsoft has the largest global footprint. So, from wherever you are on this globe, it’s got you covered. This helps you tremendously reduce downtime and continue your operations in the event of a disaster.

From the wide variety of services and products, you can be sure to get the best of Microsoft Azure!

Read Next: Common problems involving cloud migration and how to solve them

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News

Plesk appoints ZNet Technologies as global distributor to expand reach in untapped markets

Plesk, the leading WebOps platform to build, secure and run applications, websites and hosting businesses that scale in the Cloud, has announced that it has appointed ZNet Technologies, the leading cloud services provider, as a global distributor of Plesk solutions. As part of the distributor agreement, ZNet Technologies will market and distribute a full range of solutions across the globe, via partners and support them to meet the growing demand for Plesk.

Plesk offers an intuitive interface with key automation features for management of servers, web applications, databases and infrastructure tasks to provide a ready-to-code environment and strong security across all layers and operating systems.

ZNet was already a Plesk distributor for India, but has customer presence and partner network comprising hosters, developers, system administrators, and service providers across the globe. ZNet has also developed a service delivery platform to deliver Plesk licenses with complete billing and provisioning automation. This can be accessed on www.znetlive.com/plesk.

“We are excited to extend our partnership with Plesk to a new level. Over the last few years, we have done extensive work with Plesk in India which has resulted in good penetration for Plesk especially among the web hosters and system administrators. We are fully committed to this partnership and we have done a lot of investment in our resources to upskill them to be certified on Plesk solutions. Now, as a global distributor, we have set new goals to extend our reach and simplify WebOps and server management with Plesk for our customers,” said Munesh Jadoun, CEO, ZNet Group.

With this partnership, Plesk and ZNet aim to grow the global Plesk customer base by leveraging ZNet’s partner network, that can now meet the demand for Plesk licenses in the respective regions, while providing a seamless customer experience.

“ZNet has been our trusted partner for many years. Together we achieved great success in the Indian market, and we´re looking forward replicating the same on the global stage.” said Nils Hueneke, CEO at Plesk. “With the cloud computing and easy internet availability set to take on the emerging markets and world as a whole, this partnership will prove to be of the essence in providing compelling services to address the current and future needs at the global level.”

Also Read: ZNet and Plesk bring SolusIO virtual infrastructure management solution to help ISPs, MSPs and CSPs address digital transformation challenges

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News

Jelastic PaaS and Savecore AB partner to provide scalable, efficient mission-critical cloud services in Sweden

Strategic partnership with Swedish hosting service provider to strengthen positions of an advanced PaaS solution in the local market

Jelastic, a leading multi-cloud PaaS provider, and Savecore, Swedish hosting service company, today announced a strategic partnership to help businesses in need of a mission-critical cloud application and infrastructure management platform with local datacenter availability.

“We are very pleased to announce the addition of Jelastic PaaS to our as-a-service portfolio,” said Nicklas Ericsson, CEO Savecore AB.

“Jelastic PaaS is perfect for our developers who want their critical applications on a reliable platform with easy access to all available tools. Everything is in the Jelastic platform in one place, so we no longer waste any time building and maintaining the infrastructure that was previously necessary to support service and application development.” added Ericsson.

With PaaS, companies can more quickly develop, run and manage projects, also smoothly update or expand the functionality of applications. Besides this, another benefit of this collaboration is the Jelastic PaaS pay-per-use pricing model as it completely solves the right-sizing problem for its users. Additionally, Jelastic’s automatic scaling helps cloud hosting organizations such as Savecore to gain a more thorough understanding of their used resources and maximize efficiency while optimizing performance.

Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and co-founder of Jelastic said, “We are proud to empower forward-thinking hosting companies like Savecore to become an advanced cloud choice for ISVs, digital agencies, e-commerce projects and developers in need of scalable and highly available environments.”

Savecore’s in-house data center which is located in Sweden was put into operation at the end of 2017, and since then the organization has extended its range of services and is steadily continuing to build new cloud services for more security. Currently, Jelastic PaaS is being rolled-out as another addition to their as-a-service portfolio.

The customers of Savecore now have quick access to a wide range of features within a turnkey Platform-as-a-Service, involving:

  • Intuitive developer web portal for easy provisioning, updating and managing of environments
  • Automatic vertical and horizontal scaling as per the applications load
  • Support of microservices and traditional applications with zero code change deployment
  • More than 50 certified container runtimes out-of-the-box
  • Enterprise WordPress hosting with pre-configured optimization
  • Multi-tenant Kubernetes and Docker container support
  • Auto-clustering for automated replication configuration of application servers, storage, databases, and load balancing runtimes
  • Multi-region traffic distribution and management unification
  • Open CLI, API, and SSH access for deeper containers management
  • Integration with modern Continuous Integration and Delivery tools
  • Comprehensive billing engine with granular Pay-Per-Use pricing model
  • Advanced access control policies and collaboration tools
  • Built-in full life cycle metering, monitoring and troubleshooting utilities
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News

Raritan’s new Smart Rack Controller (SRC) intelligently manages environmental and security information in data centers and critical facilities

SmartSensors Relay the Status of Temperature, Airflow, Water/Leaks, and Contact Closures to the SRC, Creating a Central Point-of-View for Real-Time Decisions

Raritan®, a brand of Legrand®, is a trusted provider of intelligent data center management and rack power distribution solutions. The company announced the launch of Smart Rack Controller (SRC). The new offering addresses data center management and facility requirements to collect environmental information around IT devices via connected SmartSensors, and security conditions on rack door handles and card readers—without the necessity to significantly reconfigure power distribution or IT infrastructure to get visibility and alerts.

A lot of facility and data center operators do not always have access to the right tools to monitor thousands of devices, and measure environmental and security variables as well as around edge networks, data centers, and even IT equipment in remote locations. In addition to a shortage of tools, operators are hesitant to deploy monitoring technology because of special power needs or may lack the space required for full-scale device deployments.

By contrast, the SRC solution is developed on Raritan’s Xerus™Technology platform that increases a layer of intelligence to any location by acting as an environmental monitoring connection point for SmartSensor data.

An LCD display on the SRC offers access to all SmartSensor readings, including humidity, temperature, airflow, water/leaks, differential air pressure, proximity detection, contact closures, vibration, and more. The information gathered can be passed on to any Building Management System (BMS) or Data Center Infrastructure Monitoring (DCIM) tool for detailed analysis, through protocols like Modbus over TCP/IP, SNMP, and JSON-RPI.

Other SRC sensor management solution advantaged involve:

  • Minimizing the hours needed to track IT assets, hence saving time and money.
  • Ensuring uptime by monitoring racks for possible hot spots.
  • Saving on cooling costs by confidently raising data center temperatures.
  • Maintaining cabinet and enclosure security with USB peripherals and contact closure sensors.
  • Enhancing data center uptime by receiving environment alerts.
  • Optimizing strategic and tactical decision making for the IT environment by tracking IT changes and growth in real-time.
  • Gaining audited controlled access to sensitive IT assets.
  • Available in 100-240VAC and +/-48VDC power options.

“We engineered the Raritan SRC to be an all-in-one intelligent sensor management tool to support data center, facility, and security managers’ needs to monitor their critical remote and local infrastructure as well as promote better business continuity,” said Calvin Nicholson, Sr. Director Product Management, Raritan.

Also read: Raritan Introduces Economical New Generation KVM-Over-IP Switch and Serial Access for SMBs

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News

Mission launches its most comprehensive AWS Managed Cloud Service with Mission Cloud One

Mission Cloud One provides continuous, proactive, and expert hands-on AWS support, optimization and management, all in one integrated service

Mission, a managed cloud provider and Premier Consulting Partner within the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN), has introduced Mission Cloud One – it is the foremost comprehensive and cost-efficient AWS managed cloud service that encompasses everything businesses got to ensure their AWS environment is fully and continually supported, optimized, and managed.

The Mission Cloud One service is offered by Mission’s AWS certified, CloudOps engineers and analysts, who bring strong expertise and best practices for managing all aspects of a business’s AWS Cloud.The existing responsibilities and understanding required to properly operate and maintain AWS – including optimize for cost and performance – is a drain on many businesses’ already-limited technical resources. This puts a continuous drag on the speed of core product innovation and routinely stalls business growth initiatives at startups, SMBs, and businesses alike.

“With Mission’s CloudOps experts managing our AWS environment, our cloud performance and costs are continually optimized, freeing our internal team to focus on other business-critical projects,” said Clay Kibbons, IT Department Manager, Smitty’s Supply Inc., a lubricants manufacturer and distributor. “Mission’s close working relationship and continuous engagement model continues to be second-to-none.”

Besides bandwidth, many enterprises also continue struggling with knowledge gaps around how to most effectively tune and re-tune their AWS environments across critical cost and performance metrics. For those who look for help from a partner, maximum managed AWS services are delivered piecemeal; this often adds to unpredictable costs, and services prove inflexible as the cloud needs of organizations evolve.

Mission Cloud One introduces a new managed service designed to be as extensive and flexible as AWS itself and a one-stop-shop for all AWS operations. Mission Cloud One service relieves customers from everyday AWS management responsibilities, with experienced CloudOps engineers that regularly monitor and optimize AWS environments. Away from a set-it-and-forget-it service, Mission Cloud One provides proactive continuous cloud coverage, with Mission cloud experts helping as both trusted advisors and an extension of customers’ internal teams.

“Mission Cloud One is a unique solution for businesses across industries who want to reduce their AWS spend while also freeing up their engineers and developers to focus on high-impact projects – not ongoing cloud management,” said Alex Beal, Director of Product, Mission. “Importantly, we’ve also structured Mission Cloud One pricing to make it cost-efficient versus going it alone. With Mission Cloud One, you handle your business, we’ll handle your AWS infrastructure – it’s what we live and breathe every day at Mission.”

Mission Cloud One is developed to deliver continuous peace of mind, a reduced operational burden, an optimized AWS environment and, for many other customers, access to a team of CloudOps engineers under the price of a single full-time employee. As a partner, Mission Cloud not only determines and proactively recommends opportunities for usage and cost optimization across AWS services, but also puts them into action on customers’ behalf. Mission Cloud One users can concentrate on accelerating their businesses with complete confidence that their AWS environment is in expert hands.

Among the features and benefits of Mission Cloud One:

  • Complete cloud and cost optimization. AWS infrastructures are constantly examined to optimize performance, increase alignment with AWS best practices, and improve usage for superior cost efficiencies.
  • AWS support. Mission Cloud’s partner-led AWS approach replaces the need for users to subscribe to AWS Business or Enterprise Support. AWS support is delivered 24x7x365 by Mission’s team of 100% AWS-certified CloudOps engineers and analysts.
  • Best-in-class tooling. Mission integrates the industry’s top enterprise-grade cloud monitoring technologies, including New Relic One and CloudHealth to offer even deeper visibility into AWS usage, performance, and spend to unlock more opportunities for optimization.
  • Proactive infrastructure operations. Mission Cloud offers daily management of mission-critical AWS architecture, involving best practices like patching and backup activities that are performed by an AWS-certified team.
  • On-demand provisioning requests. Mission offers up to ten hours of AWS provisioning requests every month for commonly-provisioned infrastructure to extend the benefits of running in AWS.
  • Real-time monitoring. Around-the-clock monitoring and alert response for AWS services, websites, and servers is included – and with average response times under five minutes.
  • Enhanced monitoring for serverless and containers. Mission Cloud One adds auto-instrumentation for better monitoring for serverless functions, involving logs, metrics, and traces without requiring code changes. For container monitoring, Mission Cloud One’s cluster explorer provides an entire picture of a cluster by visualizing nodes and pods consistent with their health and performance. Mission’s CloudOps engineers help configure customized visualizations and alerting conditions, and will monitor and analyze these web services to help customers quickly pinpoint any potential issues.
  • Regular account reviews. A cadence of regularly-scheduled account reviews analyzes key performance metrics – including operational activities and support tickets.

“Mission Cloud One is really the natural evolution of our managed cloud services mindset at Mission – to provide high-touch and proactive AWS expertise and support that functions as an extension of our customers’ own teams and capabilities,” said Evelyn Ngo, Director of Cloud Operations, Mission. “With Mission Cloud One, our customers gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing our AWS-certified CloudOps Engineers are constantly monitoring all aspects of their AWS environments and continuously seeking out – and acting on – opportunities that will optimize their cloud infrastructure even further.”

Read Next: How to choose the best web hosting provider for your website

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Interviews

“Hyperscale workloads to be the biggest driver of demand for data center growth”- Michael DeVito, Iron Mountain Data Centers

This week, we talked to Michael DeVito, SVP Global Sales & Marketing, Iron Mountain Data Centers. As we all know, they are the leading provider of data center and colocation services. Their global portfolio includes hyperscale-ready, strategic edge, and underground data centers. Read on as Michael discusses the impact of COVID-19 on the data center growth, trends, and future of the data center industry in the ‘new world’ that we are living in, and more.

J: Let’s start with a quick introduction of Iron Mountain Data Centers. Can you quickly walk us through the major data center services offered by Iron Mountain?

M: Publicly traded on the NYSE under IRM, Iron Mountain is an S&P 500 company and a member of the Fortune 1000 (currently ranked: 619) and we are proud to service 95% of the Fortune 1000 companies.

Iron Mountain Data Centers is a division of IRM.  We operate a global data center and interconnection platform which currently spans 15 locations in 13 key markets, across 3 regions (North America, EMEA, APAC), and which serves over 1200 clients. To enable our global growth plans, and those of our clients, Iron Mountain has invested over USD 2 Billion dollars since 2017 across our platform.

IMDC offers our customers global, connected, green, highly compliant, and customizable data center environments for their business-critical infrastructure all supported by excellent, high-touch customer support.

Global Footprint:  We continue to invest and expand in markets in order to meet customer demand.  Our data centers are located in highly desired and strategic locations across the globe (North America, EMEA, APAC). Singapore, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Phoenix & Manassas are just a few of our key markets.

Connected Communities:  Our diverse ecosystems enable connectivity to a robust choice of local and global network, cloud and service providers.

Green Power: Iron Mountain was just awarded the RE100 Most Impactful Pioneer Leadership Award that recognized Iron Mountain’s outstanding commitments and innovations in bringing clean alternatives to areas previously dependent on fossil fuels. Our Green Power Pass product is the first offering of its kind in the data center industry and offers a fully-transparent solution for companies seeking to report greenhouse gas or CO2 reductions associated with the green power they consume at Iron Mountain data centers.

Compliance:  IMDC offers compliance support for highly regulated organizations.  Our certifications include:  HIPAA, PCI, FISMA High, FedRAMP, SOC 2/3, ISO 27001, ISO 9001, ISO 50001, ISO 14001.

Customizable Space:  Across our global platform, we have data centers catering to Enterprises, Interconnectivity Hubs, Hyperscalers and Edge sites.  From small business owners to hyperscale clients, we have the capacity and flexible space options to meet the needs of any business.

Customer Support:  We pride ourselves on an unwavering commitment to customer support.  We build relationships with our customers ensuring they are never just a number and that we are continuously engaged to support their growth and success.

J: The global data center colocation size is expected to grow from USD 31.52 billion in 2017 to USD 62.30 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.60%*. There’s no doubt that this will attract several new colocation players. How do you plan to bring differentiation in your data center offerings? 

M: Given the significant capital requirements, and the construction and operational knowledge required to build and operate a data center business, I’m not totally convinced that we will see many ‘’net new’’ colocation players stepping into the market. Rather, I believe we will see a continuation of the M&A trends we’ve seen over the last several years, as data center operators seek scale and additional assets to serve their target markets. Iron Mountain Data Centers is an example of that model as well as organically growing our current platform, with new data center builds in key markets such as Frankfurt, Manassas, Phoenix, and London, to name a few.

In my view, one of our greatest assets at Iron Mountain Data Centers is having the global scale to serve the largest Enterprises and CSP’s, while also maintaining a personalized approach to working with clients of any scale. For me personally, it’s a great feeling to know that a client with a small hybrid cloud deployment will receive the same attention and service as the largest content providers we serve. That our clients have repeatedly recognized our team for excellence in service, indicates to me that although we are a global organization, we connect with our clients very closely on a local level.

J: Do you think that COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the colocation market? If yes, is it a positive or a negative impact?

M: It’s hard to neglect the impact COVID-19 has on the world. Whether from a healthcare, social, or economic perspective, COVID-19 has impacted everyone in some shape or form. I believe that the data center industry is one that has seen more upside than downside as a result of the pandemic. With the transition of working remotely and spending more time at home streaming, gaming, getting education, and using any of the digital meeting platforms out there on a daily basis, the bandwidth usage from our Network Service Providers and Internet Exchanges that make our connectivity platform definitely got an uptick.  The large volume of employees working from home also increased cloud adoption in order to support access and file sharing capabilities.  As the digital world is firmly planted in the physical world of data centers, their growth results in our growth.

J: Modular data center are the future of data center designs. Do you agree?    

M: Modular data center designs are an important part of the success Iron Mountain Data Centers is having today and will stay an important pillar, but at the same time you cannot bet on one single solution that fits all as there isn’t such in this business.

When you look at the data centers we build today, we want to create a healthy mix of combining SME and enterprise size deployments while also enabling solutions for the largest providers that have multi-megawatt requests.

Our business model has always been centered around serving a diverse mix of clients.  Some need no more than a couple of racks with great connectivity options and cloud on-ramps, other clients are in need of a complete data center hall, or an entire data center for that matter and some need something that sits right in between the two.

J: How do you think the technologies like Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, etc. will shape the global data center industry in the coming five years? Can we expect some major data center trends?    

M: The above-mentioned trends will be drivers for growth in the data center industry but in my belief, Hyperscale workloads will continue to be the biggest driver of demand and CSP’s will keep growing exponentially for the coming years.  These drivers will be coupled with more build to suit deployment demand, which will result in a trend of more and new capital investment in the data center market to leverage and benefit from those demands.

IoT and AI will be drivers as well, but these trends will have different ways of pushing the business forward. With IoT for instance, the need to be as close to the end user, whether it’s your car, refrigerator, smart watch or running shoe, will become increasingly important. All of these technologies will be tied to ecosystems that provide all the right connectivity routes, be in the key markets, and should sit on top of fiber-rich soil to meet those demands for our clients.

The other developing trend that also hovers above the drivers of IoT and AI are the local edge data centers that are in the closest proximity to the end-user and are tethered to data centers in key markets. These providers can offer low latency and lower costs while still enabling global reach.  Data center operators with a diverse platform backed by robust, global ecosystems will be best positioned to enable IoT and AI workloads. IMDC is uniquely positioned in this regard, as we have over 1,480 facilities in approximately 50 countries worldwide as part of our broader corporate footprint that can be easily re-fitted for edge locations if needed.

J: Can you give us a quick brief of your Green Data Center offering and what is Green Power Pass?  

M: We have made our core colocation business proposition around sustainability in its broadest sense, and specifically, long-term client and partner relationships, a culture of continuous improvement in energy efficiency, investment in minimizing environmental impact, and a strong focus on social responsibility.

In Q4 2019 we underlined our renewables commitment by constructing the largest rooftop solar installation of any data center in the USA at our NJE-1 facility. The 7.2 MW-rated solar installation at Iron Mountain’s data center in Edison, New Jersey now generates more than 9 Million KW/hrs per year.

In 2019 Iron Mountain launched our data center renewable energy reporting solution called Green Power Pass. The first solution of its kind in the data center industry, Green Power Pass is an industry-endorsed, fully-transparent solution for companies seeking to report greenhouse gas or CO2 reductions associated with the green power they consume at Iron Mountain data centers.

Data center energy load can represent a significant percentage of an organization’s overall environmental footprint. For organizations focused on reducing that impact, Green Power Pass can help demonstrate their commitment to, and fulfillment of, carbon and emission reduction goals in line with initiatives such as RE100, Science Based Carbon Targets, and CDP reporting. In the past, the only option would have been to use complex third-party contracting processes to purchase offsets or renewable energy credits.

Iron Mountain’s Green Power Pass is built on the foundation of the company’s 100 percent renewable energy colocation offering, a transparent accounting process, and the new carbon reporting protocol released by the Future of Internet Power (FoIP) working group. Reporting is standardized, easier and faster, delivering peace of mind for organizations looking to achieve their sustainability commitments through an annual certificate of attestation validating that 100 percent of the power they use at Iron Mountain is from qualifying renewable resources. Additionally, they receive a detailed report on their power consumption and full documentation on the amount, source, and chain-of-custody of the wind, solar or other renewable electricity associated with that Iron Mountain facility.

J: What are the larger goals for Iron Mountain Data Centers in the coming year?

M: As we focus on closing what has been a very productive year, we look forward to an exciting 2021. In addition to scaling our global platform to serve clients in key markets, we are focused on accelerating the development of our digital ecosystem, and the future launch of our marketplace. In addition, we will continue our focus on sustainability, in its broadest sense, while ensuring that we meet the growth goals we set for ourselves. We are proud to support such a diverse and important community of clients and look forward to supporting their continued growth and success.

J: We talked a lot about business. Let’s talk about you now. Tell our readers something about your interests that helps you find a balance between professional and personal growth.

M: My balance comes from spending time with my wife and two sons, who always bring me joy, perspective and energy. I also very much enjoy studying history, cooking, and practicing languages.

J: How do you unwind yourself after a taxing day at work?

M: I very much enjoy taking our dogs for a walk, having a meal with my family to catch up on the day, and then sitting in the garden afterwards sipping wine!

*Stat source: https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/colocation-market-1252.html

Read Next: “Standalone security products are dying”- Serguei Beloussov, Founder, Acronis

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Articles

How to choose the best web hosting provider for your website

There are several factors to consider when choosing the perfect web hosting provider for your website. If you want users to visit your website, it will need to be securely hosted on the web. The best hosting providers offer a combination of speed, security, and functionality. Unfortunately, choosing the best hosting service can be challenging, especially if you are building a website for the very first time. To help you make the best choices, we have outlined the key steps to choose a hosting provider for your website.

Decide the type of hosting you require

First, take a moment to consider what you are looking to receive from your web hosting provider. Often, shared hosting is an excellent tool for small to medium sites. These solutions host several clients and websites onto the same server. On the other hand, virtual private servers, or VPS hosting delivers higher standards of flexibility to rapidly-growing sites. If your business website requires maximum security and server resources, you may want to consider investing in dedicating hosting options. These hosting providers dedicate an entire server to power your website. To select the best provider for your platform, decide on the type of hosting that you require.

Evaluate host security

In the area of security, it is imperative to choose an extremely safe and reliable web hosting provider. Ideally, you want to find a web hosting provider with an SSL security certificate. SSL certificates guarantee to encrypt your customer data and website. This way, your entire site is impenetrable to internal and external threats.  If you operate a website that holds sensitive personal and business data, an SSL certificate is especially important. Of course, these secure web hosts increase user trust and helps you rank higher on popular search engines like Google. Evaluate your host security to improve safety on all current and future websites under your ownership.

Compare the top hosting providers

Due to the large numbers of providers available, you need to spend some time comparing the top web hosts available in the industry. Look for web hosts that are high rated, popular, and well established. At the same time, you should analyze how many domains this provider currently hosts. Whenever the host service claims to offer any additional benefits or guarantees, be sure to value these as well. If you are still having trouble making your decision, check out the in-depth web hosting services review by Neil Patel. This guide compares the top hosting services based on uptime reliability, speed, customer service, and type. Before your site can officially be launched, you need to compare the top available hosting providers.

Calculate price factors

Specific web hosting price factors will largely vary based on your individual site needs. Therefore, it is imperative to calculate the anticipated cost of each hosting provider beforehand. First, you should compare the cost of signup and renewal across service providers. In addition to signup fees, you should also research any hidden fees or additional financial obligations. It goes without saying that dedicated hosting is commonly the most expensive option, closely followed by VPS, and then shared hosting options. To make the best decision and prepare your website for an influx of traffic, look for a reliable solution that delivers the best value for your total investment.

Review support options

Reliable customer support is imperative to choose a web hosting provider for your business website. Hopefully, your web hosting relationship will be a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership, therefore strong customer service is available whenever you require assistance. Ideally, you want to choose a web host with a 24/7 support team and multiple contact methods. This way, you can guarantee that a knowledgeable agent will be there whenever you need help. Needless to say, keeping customer service in mind and having a reliable customer support can provide you richer experiences, simpler troubleshooting, and reduced downtime.

There are several clear factors to evaluate when selecting a hosting provider for your website. First, take a moment to consider what you are looking to receive from your next web hosting provider. Next, it is imperative to choose an extremely safe, reliable web hosting provider. Then, you need to spend some time comparing the top web hosts available in the industry. Reliable customer support is imperative. Furthermore, it is critical to calculate the anticipated cost of each hosting provider beforehand. Follow the points outlined above to learn about how to choose the best web hosting provider for your website.

Read Next: 5 cloud computing trends for 2020 that will redefine cloud industry

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News

Jelastic PaaS Expanded for Educational Institutions with Reclaim Cloud Hosting

Advanced Platform-as-a-Service offering for international educators and institutions

Jelastic, a provider of Multi-Cloud PaaS, announced a partnership with Reclaim Hosting LLC, a web hosting company focused on the education spaces. The launch of Reclaim Cloud opens a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering to a huge community of educators, universities and other institutions.

“The availability of advanced technologies for educators and students is key to fast innovation. Jelastic is a perfect platform for creating leading-edge projects, arranging productive teamwork and modernizing solutions for various spheres of our lives. Now in cooperation with Reclaim Hosting, the state-of-the-art PaaS becomes easily available for international education institutions,” said Ruslan SynytskyJelastic CEO

“For more than seven years Reclaim Hosting has wanted to provide its users access to a wide range of technologies beyond the traditional LAMP-based cPanel stack. With the demand of next generation applications that run across a wide-range of technology stacks and customized containers, it has become a crucial move for both our community and the future of our company to expand its offerings with Jelastic PaaS,” said Jim Groom, co-founder of Reclaim Hosting.

Reclaim Cloud speeds up development and simplifies application lifecycle management with automating deployment, scaling, clustering, continuous integration, and delivery. The launched PaaS is accessible for all kinds of projects supporting both traditional applications and cloud-native microservices. Team collaboration tools, access control, and built-in monitoring in user-friendly developers panel support to ease the management across various projects.

Reclaim Cloud is a container-based server infrastructure that helps a wide range of technologies (PHP, Java, Python, Ruby, Node.js, Go, Docker and more) that not only provide more options but also increase security and improve performance with the capacity to scale resources seamlessly. With data centers in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom (UK), Reclaim Cloud places itself at the forefront of the next generation learning environments.

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Interviews

“Standalone security products are dying”- Serguei Beloussov, Founder, Acronis

This week, we talked to Serguei Beloussov, Founder of Acronis, the global leader in cyber protection solutions. Serguei holds Singaporean citizenship, is a self-made entrepreneur, and a business executive with an excellent track record of over two decades in building and leading high-performing tech companies in North America, Europe, and Asia. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from one of the world’s top physics and technology universities.

Read on as he discusses why Acronis is considered a leader in cyber protection solutions, what sets them apart, the latest acquisition of DeviceLock, and their strategy for the Indian market.

J: Acronis is known to be a leader in offering backup solutions for a very long time. There is a big shift from being a backup company to be a cyber protection company. What was the conscious decision to move towards this strategy?

S: We believed that we needed to solve customer problems and offer our partners access to those solutions – and in our experience, customers’ problem is not with backup. Backup is just a tool. The problem is to have your computer or a cloud application, or a mobile application working safely – which means your data must be either never lost, or easily restored. But even then, backup only allows you to restore after something happens, so you will have something broken for a while – and that’s not completely safe in our opinion. Fact is, having to restore data is inconvenient and takes time.

The second problem is accessibility – you have to be accessible at all times. The traditional solution for applications, computers and systems is disaster recovery, for data – it’s File Sync and Share. But, this is a reactive solution – it only gives you the files when requested and only recovers data after a failure.

Another critical issue these days is privacy – you can have a workload that you consider safe and accessible, but then it can be accessed by an unwanted third party.
He/she may leverage your workload against you, steal your data, expose you to threats – with compromised privacy, your data is as good as gone.

Another problem is when your data is not gone – but tampered with. Data authenticity will be more and more critical. You won’t notice data missing, but you must have a way to see – and prove – which documents, photos, audio, video files have been changed.

And lastly, your workload can be broken simply because it’s not secure, lacking basic cybersecurity defenses. Safety, Accessibility, Privacy, Authenticity and Security – the 5 vectors of cyber protection that we developed and named the concept SAPAS.

That’s the only way you get ultimate protection – and before our technology, you needed multiple solutions to do this. Now you can do it with one.

Cybersecurity techniques

Naturally, you can have 5 different products for this, and the combined functionality will be potentially equal to cyber protection – but it’s a lot harder to manage, and will be far more expensive. It’s expensive, complex and it’s not really secure or reliable – plus, it’s not controlled.

When you manage to combine multiple solutions into one – one agent, one UI, one policy, one engine – you can get a much better product and unique capabilities. Whether it’s desktop PC or a server, you don’t need to care what happens to it – even if it’s a hard disk failure or ransomware, or overheated CPU or some perpetrators who were able to break in and make your private data public. Your workload needs to deliver whatever you expect from it – and that can only be done if you approach the problem holistically.

So, the customer’s problem is to stay protected from every possible angle – and that’s why we switched to cyber protection. Because that’s the only way to go to protect the customer’s information.

J: One news that is hot off the press is that Acronis acquisition of DeviceLock, a leading provider of device control and endpoint data leak protection solutions. How will this help Acronis partners and their customers?

S: We’re going to add data leak prevention as a feature. We believe that in the future, it has to be extremely easy to stay protected – and data leakage is one of the potential vectors of attacks. It should not be a separate product – it should be another part of our cyber protection solution.

When you have a device, one way you lose data is that you have the attackers break-in from outside and steal it. But it’s another case when you have somebody with legitimate access to the device performing unauthorized actions.

And that’s what data leak prevention is all about – it’s about making sure that users cannot abuse their access to the application, server, or device.

J: Okay, so it will be offered as a feature in the Acronis solution.

S: To put it more accurately, it will be offered as an integral part of Acronis Cyber Protect. The solution has a lot of modules, each module has separate features – they can’t be separated. If it were a separate module, it could’ve been sold separately, but it’s just enhancing the capabilities of Acronis Cyber Protect. It will be included in some editions – and in some, it will be an extra feature.

J: Let’s talk more about that. A while back, you had launched this innovative cyber protection solution by the name of Acronis Cyber Protect. Tell us how this single solution can address cyber threats in the market today? And what sets Acronis cyber protection solutions apart from other cybersecurity products?

S: It’s a complex question, but the complete integration into one solution is what sets it apart from most. The majority of modern workloads are not fully protected – because it’s too complicated to protect them with multiple solutions. So, Acronis Cyber Protect literally combines 9-10 different tools – today. In the future, it’ll combine 15 different tools’ capabilities. Imagine relying on that many separate solutions to fully protect your workload.

And so, the only way to do it in a simpler and cheaper way is to have one single integrated solution. That way it’s affordable from the standpoint of price, but more importantly – from the standpoint of effort to install it on every workload, and that’s what makes it unique. Of course, you can use some third-party tools to integrate multiple solutions, but it’s never going to work the same way as if you’ve had a single product.

So, the main differentiator of Acronis Cyber Protect is that it provides complete protection that’s both very easy and cost-effective to use. And that allows us to protect a lot of workloads. It does have more unique capabilities, such as forensic – being able to perform deep inspection of backups – but most importantly, it just works. Because it’s one fully integrated solution.

J: Now what sets Acronis cybersecurity capabilities apart from other security products that are offered by well-recognized players in the market.

S: We always stress that we are not cybersecurity, we are cyber protection company. We believe that standalone security products will soon die. There is no more security without safety, accessibility, privacy, and authenticity – the other vectors.

We believe that with the growing number of workloads, computer applications, and systems, you can’t just have only security. You have to have prevention, detection, response, recovery, and forensic, which is offered by most security solutions. But you can’t have just the detection and response – and that’s what most security solutions are offering. And that’s what sets us apart.

In addition to that, our anti-malware feature has an extremely low false positive and false negative rates – for that we have a number of awards and were acclaimed by independent labs. And so far, we’re the only ones who made such integration possible.

Ultimately, if you only consider security, what you need is a low false negative, low false positive, ability to recover, and the ability to do forensic. Because every security solution at some point may miss an attack, so it needs to recover fast – and needs forensic to not miss it again. So far, lab research shows we have the best forensic and the best recovery – along with great detection, response, and prevention. And that’s exactly what our customers need.

When you deal with a small number of workloads, for example, in a large enterprise, you have the resources to juggle multiple solutions. But when you deal with edge solutions in a small SME, there’re so many workloads, you will die dealing with multiple products on so many workloads.

J: India is focusing on boosting digital adoption. With more technology adoption comes new surface areas that hackers can exploit to gain unauthorized access. How can an organization deal with such critical threats? What ways do you recommend for ensuring business continuity during these pandemic times?

S: Well, I think there are really three important steps. The first step is to realize you have to deal with those threats, that by default, you are vulnerable and if your infrastructure is down – you are helpless. Even this call between us would be impossible without IT support – this stuff has to work.

At this point, having operational IT is almost more important than having electricity. Naturally, electricity is required for IT operations – and in the past, if electricity was gone, you would be worried about light or heat going out. But today, if the electricity were to go down, you would be worried about your computer and the Internet not working, isn’t that right?

The second step is to understand that digital adoption is complicated, and in my opinion, it is much better to work with service providers. For example, if you were getting sick, you could, of course, call your grandmother or the family expert. But if you were to fall seriously ill, you would need to see a qualified doctor, a professional. Similarly, for most companies, it’s better to deal with managed security service providers (MSSPs) to help them stay operational and protected – it boils down to the difference between engaging professionals and doing it yourself. MSSPs have service level agreements with you, they’re liable if something doesn’t work on your side.

cybersecurity

In my opinion, for IT leaders, it’s more feasible to hire external people to deal with security or edge workloads, like desktops and servers on the edge.

And the third step is to remember that the only way to be protected is to be fully protected – no matter what the mainstream media and analysts say. You have to prioritize safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security (“SAPAS”) at the same time on all the workloads.

Suggested Reading: Modern cyber protection – 5 vectors you need to know

That’s the only way to do it – if you don’t deal with your workloads, it’ll become your Achilles heel. And it won’t matter how small a spot you left unprotected – even the smallest crack in your defenses is lethal. Your IT infrastructure is one – if a single unit is vulnerable, your whole infrastructure is vulnerable.

J: What specific expansion plans does Acronis have for the Indian market? Why do you think service providers need to add Acronis to their portfolio?

S: Acronis is absolutely unique in terms of our product lineup and value offers for service providers – from the standpoint of the partner program, margins, and prices. Plus, the model is hybrid, so it can actually be deployed in any region – and for the Indian market, we have a very aggressive plan.

Suggested Reading: Enhancing on-premise solutions market in India: ZNet becomes a distributor of Acronis

We have a team in India and are actively recruiting service providers this year – cloud distributors too. We believe we created the best product for those looking for complete cyber protection. It allows you to make money and satisfy customers at the same time. Our revenue in India is growing very quickly, though it’s not huge at the moment. It will grow quicker now, I believe – in the current situation, people are starting to appreciate that IT is mission-critical.

There’s no arguing – IT has become something you cannot live without. There may still be some areas of India, or some industries running without IT, but it will quickly pass. Soon, it will be everywhere. IT is a basic human need. People in India eat food, drink water, breathe air and they have shelter – in the same way, they will need IT, and IT needs to be protected.

J: Acronis was recognized as a unicorn company after the investment from Goldman Sachs to the value of dollar 147 Million last year. Can you help us understand where has some of the investment gone in and where are more investments planned?

S: It’s easy to see where investment has gone. We’ve just acquired DeviceLock, the data loss prevention vendor – that’s the second acquisition we announced, and there are more in the pipeline. We have also increased our engineering capacity and have invested into our partner program. Those are the three main areas: all to develop more valuable products within our company and explore new ways of helping our partners be successful. Our main counterparts are the service providers and ultimately what we do is we enable them to be profitable and to grow while offering cyber protection to customers.

J: How can Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies in Acronis products help organizations overcome cybersecurity challenges in the future too?

S: I believe there are around 50 billion smart devices today – and about 5 billion of them deserve to be protected. The other 45 billion are relatively simple devices. In the future, 100% of those will be protected – but then the number of devices will grow to 500 billion in 10 years. It might actually grow more than 10 times over the next 10 years.

And what’s the number of IT people managing these devices today – maybe 10 million, right? So, 10 million people have almost no time to protect 5 billion devices with current tools – they can maybe protect 2 billion devices and that’s what we have. Meaning, more than half of the world’s important devices are left unprotected.

As we move forward, the number of devices will move from 5 billion to 50 billion or to 100 billion – one thing we know, it will be a large number. But the number of IT people will not grow 10 or 20 times over the next 10 years. It’s impossible – we’d have to have 200 million IT people, but we don’t have anywhere near that number of eligible candidates.

That means, the only way to help the situation is to make the protection autonomous. And by autonomous I mean protection which can sync and figure out what to do by itself most of the time – one based on AI. It should only involve humans under very unique circumstances. This will allow to grow the productivity of IT teams by the factor of 10, 22, or by the factor of 100 – which is what we all need. Because without such growth, you just cannot deal with a number of problems coming up these days. And that’s exactly what we do here. AI will make most of the IT autonomous – today, it’s worked in security and safety, and in the future, it will be worked into every aspect of protection. We will eventually need to involve people less and less.

Our goal, our mission is SAPAS-driven cyber protection for all data, applications, and systems and that means all of them. If we rely on humans alone to protect all data applications and systems, it simply won’t be possible.

J: You have been in this industry for a very long time and have been involved in multiple entrepreneurial initiatives. So, what do you do when you want to unwind and relax?

S: That’s a really interesting question! First of all, this COVID-19 pandemic has changed my behavior quite a lot, the same as everyone – and so, I have acquired a few new habits. For example, now when I do work, I also do exercise at the same time. I have different health machines all over my home office, like the elliptical machine and specialized AI-driven home bike and others – and I literally work out while taking calls.

And secondly, when I need to unwind, I just jump to new projects. So, my hobby is to find and develop a new project. I’m currently building several new machines. I also started a new project recently – founded a university which is connecting science, technology, and business in Schaffhausen. It’s called the Schaffhausen Institute of Technology or SIT. So, my hobby is actually building new companies. That’s what I do to unwind.

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Articles

7 hacks for creating design systems

Design is one of the most integral components of things you see and take for granted every single day. Without design systems, everything would be bland and unexciting. Design systems consist of several different components that can be used and reused in a variety of combinations. As a result, they allow you to manage designs on a scale basis. Generally speaking, they have very clean visual styles within a specific user interface or UI. Overall, there are seven ways to hack design systems for your business.

Color

Color is a big thing in design systems, and it is important to ensure that the right color codes and shades are used in every design. Generally speaking, you want to include at least one to three primary colors within your scheme to represent your brand. Many designs also include a variety of tints and shades mixed with white or black, respectively, to give off a distinctive style.

Imagery

Every design system must have exceptional imagery. In order to have the right design to work, you must have a specific plan for your visual design and adhere to that. You should create a guideline for images and include a mix of icons and illustrations for your brand. Creating the right format depending on the theme is the best way to convey your imagery.

Typography

All design systems have two specific fonts. Successful typography within a design system includes one font for the headings and the body of text as well as another simple, mono type font for the code. There are only two fonts used so as to keep things simple so that you can draw the user’s attention. Using too many fonts is problematic due to the overuse of styles and will be confusing to your users. There may also be an issue of slower performance online when you use multiple fonts.

Sizing and Spacing

Sizing and spacing is important in design systems. You have to come up with the best overall look for your design, which means using the right size for images and type as well as appropriate spacing. Generally speaking, the best method for sizing and spacing is the four-based scale so your design can be used on all different size screens, including computers and mobile systems.

Patterns

Having a pattern library for your design is important as well. You can come up with a few options by taking the components of your UI and playing with everything to see what works the best.

Components

Components are parts of the UI that can be reused depending on your project. Things like buttons, links, modal forms and input fields are examples of components that can be reused within your web design.

Code and Implementation for Design

When using all the individual components that make up design systems as a cohesive unit, the developer is able to create better UI flow as a whole.

When you have all these components in place for your design system, you will have an overall better experience for all your users. Everything will be clear and concise, and you will be better able to convey your brand’s message to a broader audience, which will secure your success.

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