Atlantic.Net Blog

How Many GB (Gigabytes) are in a TB (Terabyte)?

How many GB in a TB and what can you do with it?

How many GB in a TB and what can you do with it?

One of the key factors to determine when reviewing cloud hosting options is the amount of monthly allowable data transfer. Typically you won’t just be “cut off” at that amount. A host will charge a certain amount per megabyte (MB) of additional transfer. However, the amount that comes standard with the package will give you a sense of what you’re paying for each month, assuming no overages.

Read More


Mobile Apps are Shifting to Cloud Servers

Kent Roberts October 28, 2013 by under VPS Hosting 0 Comments

The parameters of cloud server hosting, like any form of cloud computing, can be foggy and unsure. The below comic expresses the dangers that can be found in a cloud’s gray areas.

Enterprise companies are moving applications over cloud servers like the ones offered Atlantic.Net

Regardless of misunderstandings and a range of quality provided by various cloud service providers (CSPs), there is a legitimate reason why so many enterprises are shifting their attention and resources to the cloud. Beyond its general positive aspects (and we will discuss little-mentioned ones below), cloud technology has different implications for different types of businesses. Industries such as investing, marketing (both covered previously in this blog), and mobile applications can all benefit in different ways.

Read More


Cloud Hosting vs. VPS Hosting: Whats the Difference?

Kent Roberts October 23, 2013 by under VPS Hosting 0 Comments

Cloud server hosting and virtual private server (VPS) hosting are increasingly popular ways to deliver a website. These two options appear similar at first glance because they both represent a complete physical dedicated server while being something different. Cloud server hosting is woven into a network, a structure that divides work between servers. A VPS is much closer to being that physical piece of equipment, but it’s actually a piece of one.

Read More


IT Skills are Transforming with Cloud Computing

General contractors are no longer using the same materials and methods to construct their buildings (imagine if they were still using asbestos-­‐ridden materials!), and the use of these new materials requires the understanding and evolution of work skills.

In a similar fashion, the establishment and rapid adoption of cloud computing technologies has changed the way IT professionals perform their jobs, whether working for a multinational financial corporation or a small hosting solutions provider.

How has the transformation of cloud computing affected the skills required for IT workers? How can companies adapt to this change?

The old IT skills that kept the industry going over the past few decades are becoming increasingly outdated—pushed out of the way by newer, faster technology. In fact, cloud computing is revolutionary within the entire IT industry, not only because it provides a unique solution with a variety of affordable price options, but because it promotes a change of the IT role within the organization itself.

In years previous, applications and storage data have resided in a large, in-­house data center run by a large number of skilled IT workers. Now, these applications and other information can be placed in the cloud, an enigmatic server located in a data center ten or even a hundred miles away.

You no longer need a Chief Information Officer (CIO) and an allocated budget to incorporate a cloud hosting solution into your IT infrastructure; today, business managers, who may or may not have IT experience, can set up and maintain a cloud account while saving the company copious amounts of money.

Perhaps one of the largest changes for a company’s IT department is that the cloud requires workers to prioritize what skills they need to obtain in order to keep the infrastructure running steady.

According to Steve Ranger, writer at ZDNet, “the use of cloud computing can do away with much of the software maintenance and patching that made up a chunk of the average IT professional’s day, forcing IT departments to adopt a more customer-­‐ focused role.”

John Linkous, Chief Security and Compliance officer at eIQnetworks, a Massachussetts-­‐based compliance solutions provider, says, “Internal IT teams still need to manage some infrastructure, even when they have cloud application access.

So in that sense, I don’t foresee the traditional, technical IT management completely going away, even in organizations which have deep cloud integration.”

So, even though the role of IT department employees is changing and workers need to be able to adapt to this change, previous skills are still necessary to understand the premise of each company’s already set up architecture.

The easy availability and overall cost-­‐effectiveness that cloud services provide mean that instead of provisioning and administering professional services themselves, the new role of the IT department is to analyze and match up their company’s respective business needs with the services provided by potential external cloud vendors according to Richard Watson, director at Sheffield Haworth.

“Traditional ‘sysadmin’ skills will inevitably be in less demand in the future . . . managing the relationship between the business and its suppliers will become ever more crucial,” he says.

Sadly, in some industries, IT departments have already begun to disappear. Additionally, it has become more common to see server workloads moved over and managed by third-­‐party vendors who have the skills and resources necessary to handle such large-­‐scale IT infrastructures. Instead of paying for in-­‐house IT workers, companies can utilize cloud hosting providers for all of their necessary services, and save money while doing so.

In industries where the IT department has not yet completely fizzled away and moved into a professional data center, traditional worker roles are merging with and sometimes being replaced by generalists and service delivery managers.

Less emphasis is being placed on the terms “IT services” and more is being put on the words “business services.” In particular, the focus is being placed upon what these services can deliver back to the company in terms of time and money. In essence, these so-­‐called IT generalists are now doing what once IT specialists could do.

According to Duncan James, infrastructure manager at Clarion Solicitors, a United Kingdom-­‐based law firm, “The biggest value of the IT department [today] is their knowledge of the existing setup—specifically the dependencies of how software X interacts with software Y.”

He goes on to say, “Every setup is different, and being able to hammer the software into the shape is ultimately a skill that the cloud will never be able to offer, at least for now.”

So, to summarize, the IT department still has a role within a company due to the fact that they cannot be completely replaced by complex and intelligent machines, but the role and responsibilities of IT workers have drastically changed as companies continue to adopt the technologies offered by the cloud.

Few organizations will replace their entire infrastructure with the cloud, so a variety of skills are required. Also, a human touch is still very much required in order to handle technical issues and to ensure that the cloud is an appropriate solution.

If you are a business manager or IT department supervisor and are interested in learning more about how affordable and fast cloud server hosting can transform your everyday business practices, contact Atlantic.Net today. We also offer managed and HIPAA compliant cloud hosting solutions.


How BYOD is Changing Technology in the Workplace

Editorial Team October 17, 2013 by under VPS Hosting 0 Comments

Without a doubt, you probably own a smartphone, tablet or laptop. You may also own two or all three of these devices. With the introduction of smarter mobile technology comes smarter ways of conducting business, and companies are beginning to see the correlation and implementing its benefits like never before.

How has the concept of bringing  your own device (BYOD) impacted the corporate world? What benefits can employers reap from the BYOD policy? How does BYOD merge with cloud computing technologies?

What is BYOD?

Bring your own device (BYOD) refers to the policy of allowing employees to bring and regularly use personally-­‐owned mobile devices, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, to their respective workplaces and utilize those devices to access controlled and privileged company information and applications.

For employers, understanding how the transition to a BYOD policy will affect your business and your employees is extremely vital.

Why incorporate a BYOD policy?

In a recent study conducted by IBM, 82 percent of respondents expect smartphones to play a “critical role in business productivity in the next two years,” and 36 percent of those surveyed deemed laptops critical to overall productivity.

Alone, VPS Hosting and the concept of BYOD offer some real advantages. But when combined, cloud computing and the establishment of BYOD becomes an even more useful means of conducting business.

Sensitive information and the BYOD model. 

Although, the BYOD model is not without its faults: security is one of the biggest objections employers have with the use of personal devices. If a worker’s smartphone, tablet or laptop falls into the wrong hands—whether accidentally or on purpose—employers fear that their sensitive corporate information will fall into those hands as well.

There is hope, however; even if this sensitive information is accessed from an employee’s device, it can still be safe and secure within a cloud environment, and the employee can quickly and easily access the data from their next device. With all vital data stored within a cloud environment, this process is seamless.  Employees will be held more accountable for their personal devices—they don’t want to have to shell out a thousand dollars for a new laptop! Since they’re held more responsible for their devices, they are likely to take better care of them, saving you both time and a headache down the road.

Through the cloud, all storage and data processing occurs on the mobile devices, but the data isn’t actually stored on the employees’ local hard drives, ensuring supreme levels of security.

Mobile device management.

Perhaps you’re worried about these mobile devices obtaining a virus. Mobile device management, a service offered by many of the cloud hosting providers, helps secure worker’s devices from outside malicious attacks by using the cloud as a centralized headquarters. Additionally, mobile device management tools allow IT team members to remotely wipe lost or stolen devices to ensure the security of sensitive information.

Mobile device management tools are extremely important when establishing a BYOD policy because personal devices are viewed by hackers as incredibly easy access points. These tools aid in preventing data breaches that could otherwise bring a company down to its knees.

Other BYOD benefits.

Another benefit of utilizing the cloud for employee’s devices is that it can minimize time-­‐wasting behaviors, such as online messaging, surfing and playing games, as it provides a greater visibility into employee activity. Additionally, some cloud server hosting plans provide URL filtering, which can keep track of the websites employees visit in real time.

Of course, organizations should always maintain open lines of communication with their employees. Discuss appropriate workplace activities when on the business network and provide information regarding monitoring measures in place to ensure productivity. And the open workplace is an efficient one!

As your employees’ devices age, you continue to save money, as you no longer need to shell out copious sums of money maintaining, updating and repairing these devices. There is no need for complex in-­‐house architecture, so there is no need for an extensive IT department. Simply hire a few individuals to maintain day-­‐to-­‐day operations, and you’ll be set.

The cloud enables your employees to store all necessary files and other information in a secure storage center. Since they can access this information from any device in practically any location, they won’t need to waste paper and ink by printing out large documents. If you have ever bought printer ink, you know that this means significant savings!

Conclusion.

Together, the BYOD and a cloud computing solution have the potential to save companies unbelievable amounts of money. Employers no longer need to worry about investing in expensive mobile technology—that responsibility now lies on the employee, although you may want to implement a reimbursement program to keep your employees happy.

Employees love using their own devices, and happy employees mean productive employees. If you have not yet considered the bring your own device method, you may want to think again. When combined with the power of cloud computing, BYOD can maintain a productive, positive workplace.

If you are interested in learning more about how VPS Hosting can help your business, contact Atlantic.Net today. We also offer managed and HIPAA compliant hosting solutions.

 


How to use the Cloud for marketing and SEO agencies

Cloud server hosting is a field that is, well, a bit nebulous, as expressed in the below comic.

How to use the Cloud for marketing and SEO agencies

The cloud can be instrumental, though, for web prominence. Whether a company is doing its own SEO and marketing or using an outside service for those purposes, cloud computing can play an important role in the success of campaigns.

What is cloud hosting?

Of course, we understand that the Internet is not a physical object. However, we have gotten used to the idea that websites are stored on individual servers. Get dedicated hosting, and you have your own server. Get shared hosting, and you share a server with lots of people. Get VPS hosting, and you share, but your section functions as its own server.

Cloud server hosting, however, removes storage of your website from a specific physical space. Instead, your site is stored throughout a server cluster designed by the hosting company. Rather than talking about one server or a piece of a server or multiple dedicated servers, you have a group of computers all storing and delivering your website. It’s efficient, affordable, and scalable.

Cloud’s relationship to SEO

A major advantage of the cloud, for delivery of content, is that you are not tied to one location. Understanding the way that search engine rankings and geographical location relate to a sense of why this gets complex for SEO.

The reason location of the server is important to your ranking on the search engines is that services like Google use a person’s physical location in the world to determine results. That’s one way that the search engine’s try to make results more relevant to the user. Forgetting servers and just considering content, it’s the reason why you can enter “order sushi” into search in Albuquerque, and many of the top results will be from your local area.

Search engines don’t just look at where the user is located, though. Google and Bing also check the IP address of the server delivering the site to determine physical hosting location. Regardless of the top level domain (TLD) – such as .com or.uk – your site will show up in searches for that country.

TLD’s are by no means irrelevant to SEO. The location of the server is not as crucial for a site with a local TLD (such as .com.au in Australia) as it is for generic top-level domains (such as .org). However, it’s also possible within Webmaster Tools to specify a site’s location, at least for Google.

It has made sense in the past to have your server located in the nation where you most want to do business; this practice lowers latency for you and your users (the interval between sending a request to a server and receiving a response), and the search engines like that.

With cloud server hosting, though, your website is served internationally. The search engines have yet to completely catch up with the cloud, in two core ways:

  1. different pages of your site can start to compete against each other in the rankings (because search engines think it’s multiple sites – due to the multiple IP’s)
  2. when a site and a server are in different geographical locations (a key component of the worldwide nature of cloud computing), Google does not allow the site as much geographical specificity.

Regarding the first of those two issues, when your site competes, over time, the version with the most authority will get better positioning on the SERPs (search engine result pages) than the local site. For example, a site that has both a UK and an AU version competes against itself. Even if the AU version is intended for Australians, the UK one could get better rankings based on the confusion created by cloud hosting.

Regardless of these two ways in which the search engines need to improve, significant emphasis is placed by Google and Bing on page load speed. It first became a recognized optimizer in Google Caffeine, which also created a much more sophisticated site indexing system.

That’s good news for those using the cloud. The nature of cloud infrastructure makes it much easier to deliver a webpage quickly. A faster site means better search rankings.

Google’s general stance toward cloud computing

More than anything, it’s illuminating to get a sense of Google’s perspective toward the cloud. It’s certainly not dismissive. Matt Cutts, head of webspam at Google, wrote a post on his site in 2008 entitled, “Why cloud services rock.” The following year, he spoke in a video about how cloud storage is positive for search.

Conclusion

Again – as seen in the above comic – cloud server hosting can be all over the place. Much of the reason why the quality of a given cloud system is difficult to determine is because of the strengths of the cloud: its diversification and lack of physical specificity are exactly what makes it more flexible, scalable, reliable, and affordable.

If you want real, dependable, secure cloud server hosting solutions, we’ve got you covered. We also offer managed and HIPAA compliant WordPress hosting solutions.

By Kent Roberts


Migrate to a New WordPress Host in 5 Steps With No Downtime

Kent Roberts October 15, 2013 by under VPS Hosting 0 Comments

Some of us are experts at moving sites from one web host or server to another. For those of us who are not in that category, it’s often a task that gets procrastinated.

For good reason, too. Once everything gets set up and is functioning correctly on our site, it’s natural to be concerned that switching over to the servers of a different hosting service could cause downtime, glitches, and other headaches. The advice on WordPress itself, furthermore, is comprehensive but complicated.

Read More


Security Considerations when Adopting the Cloud

Editorial Team October 14, 2013 by under PCI Hosting 0 Comments

The issue of security within a Cloud Server environment may no longer be the issue it once was, but it never hurts to be cautious when incorporating preventative measures into your business strategy. Here are some guidelines for maximizing the stability and security of your information within the cloud.

One of the biggest challenges that Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are facing today is learning how to define the appropriate control measures to classify and secure data entering the cloud. There isn’t an official set of rules regarding what information to put in the cloud and what data to leave on a local hard drive, so the details can be pretty ambiguous.

Generally, it is best to view the cloud as a separate environment out of your organization’s control. Your data and applications may not necessarily be protected against malicious attacks to your cloud server. So, it would be best to store very sensitive information, such as tax documentation, employee information and other human resources-­‐related documents on a secure local drive.

Different providers may interpret the cloud in different ways: some may build state-­‐ of-­‐the-­‐art redundant data centers with appropriate security measures while others may build a server on a shelf on a dirty porch. Do your research before you make any agreements with a provider: tour the facilities, read the fine print and talk to others to gain their impressions.

When it comes to the security of your sensitive information, it is best to be extremely cautious. If it’s personally identifiable, don’t put it in the cloud!  If the provider isn’t willing to show you where your server is located, don’t use them! Use rational judgment and your information will remain safe and sound.   Atlantic.Net offers industry-leading Cloud Hosting services as well as managed, dedicated, PCI compliant and HIPAA compliant solutions.   Please contact us today!

 


What is a WAF (Web Application Firewall)? Types of WAFs

Kent Roberts October 11, 2013 by under VPS Hosting 0 Comments

Firewalls come in essentially three varieties: hardware firewalls, software firewalls, and web application firewalls (WAFs).   Typically a cloud hosting company or datacenter infrastructure will take advantage of both of the first two types of firewalls for general use. The third type – the focus of this article – started gaining prominence about a half-decade ago (though there is an overlap of these categories, as discussed below).

Read More


More Healthcare Organizations are Embracing Cloud Computing

As we all know very well by now, A Cloud Server relies on the concept of economies of scale to provide massive resources for storage and computing power to any and all users who sign up for such services. Google’s multitude of services, from Gmail to Hangout, are examples of extremely popular cloud-based applications.

Cloud technology is continuously evolving and improving as new products are released onto the market, but the health information technology industry has already greatly benefited from cloud solutions. In what ways has the healthcare industry used cloud solutions? How will cloud technologies continue to transform the healthcare industry over the coming years?

Resiliency in data security.

According to Greg Arnette, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at Sonian, a reputable cloud solution provider, “The cloud infrastructure offers durability and up-time that far exceed what any hospital’s IT department could offer.”

Why is the cloud so much more durable and resilient than in-house architecture? Large cloud service providers have both the monetary and physical resources to build large and secure redundant data centers that place backup, data resiliency and uptime as main priorities.

Since these resources are so powerful and are available in such large quantities, HIPAA compliant cloud computing solutions can be extremely budget-friendly: cloud storage can start at as little as 10 cents a month, even for the most premiere services.

Cloud hosting service providers typically strive for a higher bar of excellence when compared to traditional hosting providers since the technology is newer; this only benefits you as a customer.

Resiliency in privacy.

Obviously, privacy within the healthcare industry is of upmost importance. More often than not, sensitive information in a hospital’s storage room is often separated from the public (and prying eyes) by just a simple door lock.

When data is located in a cloud server, it is a completely encrypted blob that not even the cloud provider has direct access to. Additionally, cloud providers are required to adhere to strict industry privacy standards such as those outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

“The levels of security [in a cloud environment] are much higher than what you see in a local IT department,” says Arnette.

Rapid innovation.

Cloud customers can upgrade or downgrade the services they receive with just a few clicks, with minimal or no interruption to service and at an affordable cost.

Cloud technologies are also evolving at a surprisingly rapid pace. When discussing Amazon’s S3 cloud service, Arnette explains, “In the first five years [of its service] there were ten price drops and fifty new major features. In the last year there were ten price drops and 75 new features.”

Before the cloud was introduced, healthcare providers would be hassled by being forced to install and implement new software on an unforeseeable basis. Now, all they have to do is upgrade with each new major release, which occurs about every two or so years.

Cloud providers are continuously beefing up data processes and implementing new products to improve computing power, thus freeing up in-house IT staff to work on routine maintenance and basic administration.

Mobile applications. 

We are living in an age where practically anything we do or see is powered by mobile applications. And, according to Arnette, “Every great mobile application is backed by some cloud infrastructure.”

When they store all of their data within HIPAA compliant cloud storage, healthcare providers have the ability to access that information anywhere they need to.

By transitioning to a cloud service, healthcare providers will witness greater speed and access to information, ultimately improving the patient’s overall experience and optimizing productivity.

Some major healthcare providers are even developing their own mobile applications to ease patient’s experience with their services. These applications now allow you to check emergency room waiting times, schedule appointments with your general practitioner and even analyze the severity of your symptoms to predict the necessity of an appointment with your doctor.

Developing industry trends.

The ultimate goal of cloud providers is to integrate their products and services into existing architecture, eventually replacing these architectures altogether and empower more people and systems in the long-term.

“Cloud service providers have been good about pushing open formats instead of closed formats, meaning that the structures and file systems employed are open and easily adaptable to,” says Arnette. This makes adopting cloud technologies as a replacement for existing ones much easier, more efficient and surprisingly cheaper.

Conclusion.

It just makes sense to transition to cloud-based services, especially for those within the healthcare industry. The cloud enables them to remove current inefficiencies in their IT infrastructure, improve collaboration among employees, reform the patient experience and increment their IT budget, while mainting it all on a HIPPA Compliant Hosting company.

If you are a healthcare provider and you are curious to learn more about how the cloud can help improve your current practices, give Atlantic.Net a call today.

 


New York, NY

100 Delawanna Ave, Suite 1

Clifton, NJ 07014

United States

San Francisco, CA

2820 Northwestern Pkwy,

Santa Clara, CA 95051

United States

Dallas, TX

2323 Bryan Street,

Dallas, Texas 75201

United States

Ashburn, VA

1807 Michael Faraday Ct,

Reston, VA 20190

United States

Orlando, FL

440 W Kennedy Blvd, Suite 3

Orlando, FL 32810

United States

Toronto, Canada

20 Pullman Ct, Scarborough,

Ontario M1X 1E4

Canada

London, UK

14 Liverpool Road, Slough,

Berkshire SL1 4QZ

United Kingdom

Resources