HIPAA Compliant Cloud Hosting

FreeBSD Hosting – 9 Reasons to Use FreeBSD for Your Cloud Hosting Setup

9 Reasons Why to Use FreeBSD for Your SSD Cloud Hosting?

Why choose FreeBSD for your operating system? When people consider operating systems for their hosting environments, the two most common choices are Windows and Linux which are options under Atlantic.Net’s cloud hosting solutions. However, another OS has been steadily gaining traction since its initial development in 1993 – FreeBSD.

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cPanel Cloud Hosting – Why cPanel Is the Ideal Control Panel for the Cloud

Why cPanel is the ideal CP for cloud hosting. WordPress humor.

Per WebHosting.info, almost 2/3 of the world’s most prominent web hosting services used cPanel or WHM (with the latter, aka Web Host Manager, an integrated part of the same system) in 2011. http://cpanel.net/hosting-providers/ It’s a particularly common administrative panel for Linux servers, an open-source alternative to Windows and the most common UNIX server OS (operating system).

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Cloud Hosting offers unique options for real time applications

The speed and agility of cloud-based web hosting has changed the playing field in many industries, expanding the possibilities of technological application. One obvious example is medical research. Phys.org reports that the growing cloud server hosting option 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.

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Cloud Hosting Providers: A Comparison Chart

One of the most difficult things for companies is trying to figure out which hosting provider to choose because there are so many different factors to consider. They may know they want cloud server hosting, but exploring different services can sometimes get complicated and confusing. Comparison charts allow a simple, side-by-side view of various parameters offered by a number of different companies so that you can easily determine what you are getting for the price.

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Healthcare IT – Cloud Computing & Managed Server Hosting

This document explains the difference between dedicated, virtual, public cloud, and private HIPAA Cloud Hosting environments; along with essential information that healthcare professionals may require.

We introduce the concept of virtualization, its many benefits, and the reasons why it effectively contends with dedicated hosting services. Virtualization has created new possibilities and opportunities for the healthcare segment of technology. Healthcare IT professionals specializing in virtualization technologies have recently found more attractive and lucrative opportunities, especially with the new Healthcare Reform and healthcare IT initiatives introduced during the Obama administration.

Virtualization is the technology behind cloud computing, and it makes a vast pool of network resources a genuine possibility.

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How Much is 1TB Bandwidth in the Real World?

It’s not easy to shop for hosting because the quality is not always evident upfront. It’s not as obvious as the below scenario.

Beyond quality, it’s also unclear how much power and scope a site will require in memory, storage capacity, CPU, and bandwidth. Of course, it’s possible – and particularly speedy in scalability-friendly cloud server hosting situations – to change parameters after the fact, but it’s easier to set up your infrastructure with enough room to serve visitors sufficiently and grow.

When looking at bandwidth specifically, web hosts sometimes have packages that offer a terabyte of bandwidth. A terabyte sure sounds like a lot, but calculating how closely a terabyte comes to meeting your needs will give you a sense whether to initially select that option.

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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.


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.

 


Cloud Advisory Council One-Year Anniversary: Mission Overview

English: Diagram showing overview of cloud com...

Diagram showing overview of cloud computing including Google, Salesforce, Amazon, Axios Systems, Microsoft, Yahoo & Zoho

At Atlantic.Net, we hold various certifications (such as SSAE 16, Type II), titles (such as Official Server Host of Disaster Recovery Journal), and organizational memberships (such as the Cloud Advisory Council). Our history of Atlantic.Net accolades and achievements is not just an effort to show credibility. Integrating ourselves with the hosting world, general IT world, and overall marketplace helps us learn and grow synergistically with expertise from our industry and all walks of life.

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The History of Cloud Computing

Believe it or not, the concept of cloud computing technologies has actually been around since the mid-1990s; back then, it had a more complex name: “on-demand infrastructure.” How has this technology evolved over the past two decades to become the immensely powerful phenomenon it is today?

From basic web server architecture to simple database management and from less-than-technical email applications to minimal disk space, the original web hosting services we born around the 1990s and exploded in popularity during the dot-com era (1995-2001). Some of the earliest shared hosting companies included ValueWeb, Interland and HostGator.

The first shared hosting solutions offered multi-tenancy capability, automated provisioning, a monthly billing cycle and an easy-to-use interface for maintaining resources. However, these solutions did not inherently provide infrastructure on demand, resource-size flexibility or scalability. It was a simplistic offering but helped to create the foundation for the cloud hosting industry.

Around 1998, virtual private servers (VPS) arrived on the scene. By offering some more flexibility and administrative root access, VPS solutions offered a significant step up from shared hosting capabilities of the past.

Early VPS hosting companies provided servers that offered occasional infrastructure on demand, slight resource-size flexibility, multi-tenancy, automated provisioning and the convenience of monthly, quarterly or annual billing cycles.

For businesses that needed stricter security measures and more stable resources, dedicated hosting solutions that were developed soon after the release of VPS did the trick. These servers offered more power along will complete administrative access and control of server resources.

These dedicated servers did not provide multi-tenancy, network flexibility or scalability. However, providers supplied both managed and unmanaged dedicated hosting options, giving customers the ability to choose between relying on professionals to maintain the architecture, or employing an IT department to handle it.

The launch of Amazon Web Services in 2006 really began to change the industry. Between 2007 and 2010, several managed hosting companies developed and released a more scalable and more virtualized Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering. Today, this is referred to as grid/utility computing.

IaaS providers offer computers—whether physical or virtual—and other resources to customers. The earliest providers of utility computing included Layered Technologies, NaviSite and Savvis. These hosts offered infrastructure on demand, partial resource-size flexibility, multi-tenancy, occasional automated provisioning, partial scalability, a monthly, quarterly or annual billing rate and a slightly easy-to-use interface.

As discussed before, the development of Amazon’s Web Services really kicked things off in the way of cloud computing. In fact, the AWS system transitioned from a grid/utility computing model and moved toward what we can only call “Public Cloud Computing 1.0.”

Between 2008 and 2009, developers and startup hosting companies alike had the ability to compute and store data like never before, and, with time, they were able to eventually scale this data and infrastructure resources at a whim. Along with Amazon, Rackspace Hosting was the main component of this transition.

Cloud servers infrastructure on demand, partial resource size flexibility, multi-tenancy, automated provisioning, slight scalability, hourly billing (the first of its kind!) and a fairly easy-to-use interface.

The introduction of hourly billing in cloud computing 1.0 was a big deal, for both providers and customers. This model gave customers the ability to pay what they really should—not some previously agreed-upon subscription price. By narrowing the billing down to the hour, customers saved money, and this made them happy.

Today, we are witnessing a progression into the Cloud Computing 2.0 era. The next generation of cloud computing will need to be easier, more flexible and billed based upon a true utility model (like that of electricity and water) in order to provide customers with the services and products they need.

Current cloud 2.0 companies, such as Atlantic.Net, offer infrastructure on demand, fully customizable resource-size flexibility, multi-tenancy, applications on demand, network flexibility, automated provisioning, complete scalability, billing down to the minute or second and a simple drag-and-drop interface control for ease of use. Sure, cloud computing 2.0 companies are offering services that speak truer to the definition of the cloud than ever before, but we’re still not quite there.

In the future, the Cloud and the technologies serving as the backbone of the Cloud will need to cross the metaphorical river of development to attract a wider audience beyond that of organizations and enterprises. Small successful startups are driving innovation today, and cloud computing will need to become more saleable, more flexible and more based upon a true utility model in order to drive this innovation even further.

Since 1994, Atlantic.Net has stayed above the competition to fuel innovation and move technologies to new environments never previously imaginable. As the technology continues to evolve from 2.0 into 3.0 and beyond, you can rest assured knowing that you are relying on the most up-to-date architecture and standards in the business.

To learn more about the Atlantic.Net business model, see our full line of one-click cloud applications and to see how transitioning to a cloud hosting service can help transform your business, contact us today.

We also offer HIPAA cloud hosting solutions – contact us for a consultation.


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