Tag Archives: Cloud Servers

Cloud computing application: forklift weight & usage data (& comic)

cloud web hosting data joke

The speed and agility of cloud-based web hosting has change the playing field in many industries, expanding the possibilities of technological application. One obvious example is medical research. Phys.org reports that the cloud is being used in genetic profiling research to allow for a much faster and less costly analysis of DNA sequences. Wu Feng, a computer scientist at Virginia Tech, notes that data analysis generally has become more sophisticated because of the speed and scope of the cloud.

Businesses are slowly beginning to grasp the vast potential of the cloud and how it might be applied for a competitive advantage in their industry. In a completely different corner from medical research, freight software and technology company Integrated Visual Data Technology, Inc., recently approached us about a cloud-based solution for their business. Let’s explore the nature of the business and how our hosting solution was effective.

Weight analysis & employee monitoring

Integrated Visual Data creates software and devices that log weight and other usage data for various freight-handling trucks: pallet trucks, lift trucks, and various kinds of tilt and level indicators. The machines allow information about usage of the trucks to be monitore by operators, as well as stored and accessed by management.

Weight data is helpful for general operational analysis and record-keeping, but the systems created by IVDT are useful in a completely different way as well. The company has an additional feature that can be added to any of its equipment as desired: an alert system for “rough vehicle handling.”  This system notifies management of the following parameters related to each lift truck:

  • excessive speed
  • overloads
  • extended periods of idling
  • windows during which the truck is underused
  • integration with scheduled break time.

In fact, Integrated Visual Data’s customers can add whatever parameters they want to capture and analyze. The company customizes the software so that individual business needs are met.

SkidWeigh is the general umbrella name for IVDT’s product offerings. The system is based on an organized system of modules, which are basically packaged chunks of code that are easily moved in or out of a system (similar to a desktop application on a PC). Building the system based on modules makes tailoring the technology simple, and it also makes operating the system friendlier to the end-user.

The SkidWeigh system is also apparently unique. According to Integrated Visual Data, its devices are the only ones available that show the user of freight equipment a slew of information related to material handling on a moment-by-moment basis. That same breadth and detail of information, plus additional analysis and notifications, is accessible to management. This feature allows those in supervisory positions to monitor forklift utilization at a distance, alerted of any problems in real time.

Crafting a cloud hosting solution

Integrated Visual Data contacted us in December to help make the delivery of its data more efficient and cost-effective. They wanted to use a cloud server to upload data from the forklift onboard weighing systems. Using the cloud would allow the end-user to access the data much more quickly. It also would allow real-time analysis to get more complex because slow load times (i.e., high latency) are much less of an issue with the cloud. Management would have access to all weight and usage information – including rough handling details – in real time.

IVDT asked for our input so that we could customize a solution based on parameters they described. Integrated Visual Data has over 200 different algorithms for its technology, and it customizes its software regularly for customers. Our business has a similar approach to clients. We have a wide range of hosting plans with preestablished parameters, but we can also tailor infrastructures. In other words, it was a synergistic partnership because the two organizations held similarly adaptive philosophies.

Public cloud vs. private cloud

Cloud technology is itself highly adaptable. However, often when businesses use cloud hosting – with what’s often standardly thought of as “the cloud” – they are taking advantage of the public cloud. In that scenario, many different businesses share the same servers, with the cloud technology keeping all of the server requests organized and distinct. Just as traditional virtual private servers (VPSs) are sections of one physical machine, the virtual machines of the cloud are made up of multiple sections of a variety of physical machines.

Integrated Visual Data, due to the sensitive nature of its data, needed its own private cloud. The company required its own firewall and virtual private networks (VPNs), and they wanted managed hosting services so that our team of security and efficiency experts could monitor their system and keep it running smoothly. The best option was a private virtual machine (VM), connecting multiple physical servers with cloud technology so that data computation and analysis could be as fast and complex as possible.

IVDT is just one of the many companies that we assist with custom cloud solutions every day. At Atlantic.Net, we have been in business for 20 years and continue to grow because our technological focus is matched only by our customer focus.

By Kent Roberts; comic words by Kent Roberts & art by Leena Cruz.

Understanding the True Differences between a VPS and a Cloud Server

If you are on the market for a new web hosting solution, you have undoubtedly heard the term “Virtual Private Server hosting.” You may also be intrigued by the concept of cloud hosting. What are the differences and similarities between these two solutions? Which option is most ideal for your personal computing needs?

A Virtual Private Server—known more commonly within the industry simply as a VPS—offers customers a configuration that is entirely customizable and manageable. VPS users pay a fixed subscription each month for this type of hosting. This type of architecture can be installed within a data center or on personal premises.

Cloud hosting is a newer technology that allows customers to be billed according to their personal monthly usage. Hardware and other resources, typically located inside a secure data center, are rented out to multiple users, further promoting the inherent cost-effective strategy.

In terms of flexibility, VPS hosting allows users to easily manipulate the architecture to suit their most current needs, but it is important to note that additional resources such as disk space, memory and processor space will need to be purchased and installed. Cloud solutions provide a little more flexibility, as customers can scale their resources instantaneously and receive a fully customized invoice to match this change.

Truthfully, making the decision between a Virtual Private Server hosting solution and a cloud hosting plan may not be easy. To learn more about the differences between these two options and to discover which hosting solution best fits your needs, contact Atlantic.Net today at 1-800-521-5881.

Is Vulnerability in the Cloud Still an Issue?

If you watch the news at all, it really does seem like the world is full of hackers who are prowling throughout the Internet, looking for your passwords and other sensitive information in order to disrupt your everyday life for their personal gain. Especially since technologies such as the cloud are on the rise, can anything—or anyone—be considered safe on the Internet?

To be blunt, all information is vulnerable. Whether this information is in the form of a Post-It note on your work desk, a file in a locked drawer or a document stored within Google Docs, it can be accessed by anyone if they want it badly enough. You can rest easy, though. Doing proper research and taking appropriate security measures can easily protect all of your digital information.

When researching cloud service providers, you need to also look into the security services offered by these companies. Atlantic.Net, for example, utilizes biometric palm readers, proximity card readers and 24-hour digital camera monitoring, along with other services.

The customer is also responsible for controlling sensitive information in a secure manner. Make sure to create strong passwords that use a combination of letters, symbols and numbers. If possible, use a random password generator to create the strongest passwords.

In terms of security, your business should ideally stay away from public cloud services (such as those offered by Google, Dropbox and others) and instead use private cloud or hybrid cloud options. A hybrid cloud server will keep your sensitive information in-house and will store less-sensitive information within the cloud environment.

The responsibility of minimizing vulnerability within the cloud lies with both the service provider and the consumer. By working together, you can remain confident that your information is safe from unauthorized access.

If you are interested in learning more about the hybrid cloud options offered by Atlantic.Net, contact us today for a free consultation. 1-800-521-5881.

From Storage Closet to Data Center: Transitioning to the Cloud (A True Story)

It really is true – the most successful businesses often have surprisingly humble beginnings. Take, for instance, the Buckley Jolley Real Estate Team based in Livingston County, Michigan. The 10-employee business relied on Chris Jolley, the tech-savvy son of co-owner Karen Jolley, to maintain the company server and perform nightly backups of the data. When Chris Jolley decided to leave the company, his final task was to find his replacement.

Every night, Chris would stay late to back up the company’s server, which was located in a storage closet on the second floor. On a weekly basis he would back the server onto a hard drive, and on a monthly basis he would place backups on an older server safely stored away in another part of the office.

Clearly, Chris spent much of his time maintaining the server infrastructure, and his coworkers did not have the time available or knowledge to perform such tasks in his absence. So, Chris contacted a local cloud hosting company for a solution. He had the company’s data transitioned to the cloud with a managed cloud server hosting plan, and thus the Buckley Jolley Real Estate Team was able to streamline their day‐to‐day IT routine.

If you are considering moving to the cloud, consider cloud hosting from Atlantic.Net. Our data center facility offers state‐of-the‐art systems, guaranteed power, temperate/humidity control and security. Our cloud servers provide a 100% guaranteed network uptime, and the hardware and infrastructure is protected by a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

If your company maintains client data, such as tax returns and Social Security numbers, Atlantic.Net has you covered. Our data center is fully audited and SSAE 16 (SOC 1) TYPE II certified.

Is your server still being housed in a dusty closet? Consider moving your data to the cloud today with a cloud server from Atlantic.Net. For a quote and a free consultation, contact us at 1‐800‐521-5881.

Spotlight on cPanel

cPanel is a Unix-based web hosting control panel that provides a graphical user interface (GUI) and automation tools to simplify the website hosting process. cPanel provides various mechanisms that allow administrators, resellers and website owners to control various back-end aspects of website and server administration through a standard web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.

By combining Atlantic.Net cloud servers with the cPanel interface, the management of servers and web pages is streamlined, which allows users to focus more on their business and less on the architecture of their technology. Also, the cPanel & WHM software package is a very user-friendly control panel that gives web hosts, as well as website owners, the ability to easily manage their servers and websites.

cPanel is also a very secure environment due to its multiple administrative levels that allow administrators, resellers, and other users to communicate through email-like interfaces. This ability also provides ease of use and flexibility for all involved. From adding sub-domains and email accounts to installing scripts and checking bandwidth, the control and flexibility provided by cPanel is unsurpassed.

cPanel, in conjunction with Atlantic.Net’s world famous cloud hosting services, gives users the ability to turn on cPanel-ready cloud servers in just seconds. It really is that easy! cPanel is available on Atlantic.Net’s cloud hosting platform and provides efficiency and power, making web hosting and managing individual servers practically trouble-free. Call 1-800-521-5881 today to get started with cPanel hosting!

Advantages of Managed Cloud Server Hosting for Small Businesses

If you own and/or operate a small business, you know that having a web presence is essential, but maintaining it can put a lot on your plate.  Sometimes it is simply better to outsource a task like server management to a cloud server hosting provider and let the experts do their job to help your business.  If your company is considering a managed hosting solution, consider the following benefits this service can offer:

Managed Hosting Reduces Operating Costs

As a small business owner, you already have much to manage and hiring an in-house system administrator to manage your server adds an additional expense for your company.  Unless your business has significant infrastructure and can afford to hire an IT team in-house, it may be more financially feasible to partner with a cloud hosting company to manage your cloud server.  Cloud providers are already equipped with the knowledgeable staff and tools required to successfully manage servers and any issues related to them.

Managed Hosting Can Help You Customize a Solution to Fit Your Needs

Every small business has different needs that make the company unique.  One of the great things about outsourcing your hosting needs to a cloud provider is that you can go beyond the one-size-fits-all approach to meet your specific requirements.  Cloud providers are equipped with the resources to provide you with the best hosting service based on your business’ needs and budget.

Managed Hosting Saves You Time

In the world of business, time is money.  The less time you need to focus on managing your server, the more time you can focus on the core needs of your business.  Let the team of experts at your cloud host handle everything from basic maintenance and server administration tasks to troubleshooting and technical support.

Atlantic.Net’s award-winning Managed Server Hosting eliminates the complexity of managing your server environment and returns focus to your business.  Our certified engineers monitor your hosting environment around the clock to ensure business is up and running 100% of the time.  Contact an advisor at 800-521-5881 or email us at sales@atlantic.net to get started today with a managed server hosting solution for your business.

Virtual Networks and Cloud Server Hosting

Virtualization, the process of making applications available on virtual storage, is a technology that is growing at an incredible rate within the IT industry, and has taken a step towards merging with cloud computing to improve upon the already established reliability of cloud networks.  This merge represents a very important development within the cloud hosting industry, but its benefits may not be readily apparent.

With virtualization, your cloud server can be accessed not only by two individuals on opposite sides of town, but also to those on opposite sides of the country or even the world.  This is perfect for large corporations that have headquarters around the globe, and thus are on different work schedules.

While the initial impression of cloud server hosting may lead to a little wariness due to the belief that it is an unsecure environment, a virtual network actually helps to isolate the systems running through the provider’s data centers, thus filtering out unwanted and potentially dangerous traffic.

Perhaps the most critical benefits of a virtual network are its increased performance and maximized resilience.  When a system is virtualized, it has a specific amount of resources dedicated towards it.  Without virtualization, applications will be left to battle one another for available resources.  Additionally, ensuring that resources are used proportionately helps to improve the overall performance of the infrastructure.

Even though it is a fairly new technology, virtualization provides numerous benefits that simply cannot be ignored. Atlantic.Net offers affordable dedicated virtualization hosting solutions that are custom‐built to your individual needs.  To see what our engineers can do for you, call an advisor today at 1‐800‐521-5881.

Hosting Your Web Application in the Cloud

A web application is a program that can be accessed by users over the Internet.  These applications are coded in a browser-supported programming language such as Ruby on Rails and can be accessed through browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer.  Web applications come in a multitude of varieties with an even wider range of purposes, from WordPress to e-commerce software.

Companies are increasingly hosting their applications on cloud servers.  Because physical servers are very difficult to scale and have significant upfront and long-term running costs, the cloud is a perfect solution.  Cloud servers are virtualized, meaning that they are abstracted from underlying physical hardware, and are hosted in data centers that are cost‐effective, shockingly fast and incredibly secure.

It is clear why physical servers are becoming a thing of the past for application hosting; cloud servers can be created, cloned, backed‐up, moved, upgraded or even destroyed in just minutes.  Additionally, cloud servers are incredibly scalable, meaning users can purchase more or less server space as they wish.

An Atlantic.Net cloud platform allows users to build, test, and deploy cloud servers in just seconds, and with live technical support available 24/7/365, you can rest assured that your application will run securely and reliably at a price perfect for your budget.  To learn more, contact us today at 1‐800‐521-5881.

Infrastructure as a Service vs. Platform as a Service

Cloud computing is an amazing technology that has evolved to include a wide variety of solutions. These segments include software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and network as a service (NaaS), among others.

When utilizing the IaaS model, clients will have access to anything and everything they need to run their cloud servers, including operating systems, firewalls, virtualized local area networks and software bundles. The client is responsible for setting up and maintaining the infrastructure. This means that they will likely need to employ an in-house team of developers to design the software and operational framework. However, this total control leads to more flexibility—ideal for the cloud environment.

With the PaaS model, the service provider is responsible for setting up everything, including virtualization, setting up the operating system, and running applications. Additionally, the service provider takes the responsibility for the automation, testing, deployment, and continued maintenance of the system. This allows the client to focus less attention on their cloud servers and spend more time running their business.

For small- and medium-sized businesses, the PaaS model is more practical in terms of labor spent and cost-effectiveness. The majority of business owners simply do not have the available resources to allocate towards an IaaS model. However, for those who desire more control over their cloud hosting solutions, the IaaS model is perfect. In both instances, users pay only for what they use.

Whether choosing an infrastructure or platform as a service model, cloud servers are practical solutions in today’s world of constantly evolving technology. Since 1994, Atlantic.Net has been providing businesses with the cloud hosting services they need. To learn more about our cloud server hosting solutions, give us a call today at 800-521-5881.

Top Cloud Server Advantages

Web hosting companies far and wide are beginning to include cloud hosting on their list of available services, and it is no wonder—the advantages offered by the cloud make it a premium solution for any business.

Cloud servers are extremely flexible, and this flexibility practically guarantees zero downtime. A cloud server can easily cope with changing user demands and can be easily scaled, without the need for difficult framework adjustments.

Since the cloud is scalable, the possibilities for storage are endless. Would you like to upload your WordPress blog? No problem! Will you be storing photographs, videos and applications? You bet that will work on the cloud!

With the Platform as a Service (PaaS) model, even the most technologically-incapable individuals can use it. There is no need to understand the architecture, installation or maintenance, so incorporating the cloud into your daily routine is a breeze.

Cloud servers may appear to be expensive, but remember: you get what you pay for! Since you do not have to worry about performing maintenance tasks, you will avoid having to spend money on an in-house development team, and you will save money with aguaranteed uptime (consider all the money your business would lose if your website were to go down). It is also important to remember that users only pay for what they use, thus cutting long-term costs.

With private, public, and hybrid cloud options, Atlantic.Net is the leading cloud hostingsolutions provider. To learn more about our free cloud server trial, contact us today at 800-521-5881.