Contributed

EC2 Instance Types - Pricing, Comparison, and our Favorites

Contributed Article.  Author: Eric Anderson, co-founder, CopperEgg
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

EC2 Instance Types – Pricing, Comparison, and our Favorites

Recently at the local Austin DevOps Meet-up, I talked about the CopperEgg EC2 infrastructure that is the back end of our server performance monitoring product. Of particular interest was the piece on a few common EC2 gotchas.  One of the things I talked about is a spreadsheet we use to compare different EC2 instance sizes together to optimize the right fit for our needs. 
 
We commonly need to adjust our infrastructure. So there are frequent questions, like "We need more memory, which size do we upgrade  to from a c1.xlarge?"  So, we put a spreadsheet together to help us remember some of the qualities of the different instances. It helps us translate the hourly cost to a monthly cost, and show the reserved instance cost as well.
 

Email Discovery for the Cloud

Contributed Article.  Author: Keri Farrell, Quest Software
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Email Discovery for the Cloud

 
Have you ever wondered where email really goes when it is stored in the “cloud,” or, better yet, how you would retrieve specific messages or mailboxes if needed for email discovery purposes? Do you know if your company still technically owns the emails stored in the cloud, and, in either case, do you still have the same ability to access the data you need, if there is a mandate? If so, does it cost extra? If the cloud provider offers these services, how does the process work, and how do you know it is accurate? What search and export tools do they use to get you the information you are requesting? Are you able to search and export the data yourself, or do you need to just “trust” that you will get all the email requested?
 
 I’m sure if your company is researching moving email to the cloud, or already has pulled the trigger on moving it, these questions have all been answered to your satisfaction and have been added into the contract with the cloud vendor. If they haven’t, then they should.   If you are in the process of moving email data to the cloud, these questions should be top of mind, regardless of your company type. No company is exempt from litigation.
 

Demystifying the Virtual Black Hole: Effective Access, Management and Monitoring of the New Network

Contributed Article.  Author: Ran Nahmias, Senior Director, Virtualization and Cloud Solutions, Net Optics, Inc.
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Demystifying the Virtual Black Hole: Effective Access, Management and Monitoring of the New Network

 
 
How IT Professionals Can Control the Network In a Changing Landscape: New Ideas and Resources

Living amidst a technology revolution, it's easy to get the impression that change is outpacing our ability to control and guide it. The growing momentum of virtualization only magnifies its accompanying challenges-and the consequences of failed monitoring or management are not academic but real-world, directly affecting a company's productivity, competitiveness, and viability.
 
The virtual environment is vast, and will soon become much greater than the physical. Its exponentially growing scope means that IT organizations need a variety of resources to manage and administer their growing network infrastructures.

Does Every Enterprise Need a Hybrid Cloud?

Contributed Article.  Author: Giridhar L V, Head – VMUnify, MindTree Ltd.
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Does Every Enterprise Need a Hybrid Cloud?

 
I was at a panel discussion at the Nasscom Cloud and Mobility summit in Bangalore early this week. The discussion was around "The Myths of the Hybrid Cloud". There were three of us in the panel and each of us took turns to talk about specific myths associated with the Hybrid Cloud. The myth that I addressed was "Hybrid Clouds is for every enterprise" and this was my answer.
 
Before we go onto address if Hybrid Clouds are for every enterprise, I think we should first look at what makes up the Hybrid Clouds. Hybrid Clouds are created when a Private and Public Cloud act as one, with the same kind of policies, the same network, etc.

Flexible Coexistence for Office 365

Contributed Article.  Author: Chad Lindley, Quest Software
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Flexible Coexistence for Office 365

 
As Microsoft released Office 365, one of the key concepts was “the power of choice.” Microsoft wanted customers to have options in deploying Office 365, which is essential to supporting the variety of compliance requirements, storage needs, privacy concerns, and other regulatory limitations facing organizations.
 
To that end, the Office 365 offering includes various options for hybrid deployment – some user mailboxes remain on-premises while others are moved to the cloud. In addition, various features are available to provide a more seamless user experience, including dirsync, single sign-on, and calendar and identity federation.

Is This a Cloud or is it Fog?

Contributed Article.  Author: Tim Sedlack, Quest Software
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Is This a Cloud or is it Fog?

 

Welcome to the cloud!

I know what some of you are thinking – but I’m not in the cloud. I’m here to tell you that you are. People are making use of what I’ll call “personal” cloud services to enable services that your IT department can’t support. Large files are being shared on Dropbox, SkyDrive or Google’s GDrive. Cloud-based email is being sent from your users with information, or even attachments, that contain work related information. You may even be guilty of creating these “temporary workarounds” yourself to facilitate business getting done better, faster or, at least, more conveniently. I admit it... I’ve done it too!

Reversing CoIT: A Private Cloud for the Small Business & Home User

Contributed Article.  Author: Amir Husain, President & CEO, VDIworks
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Reversing CoIT: A Private Cloud for the Small Business & Home User

 

Look through the pages of a tech magazine, and you can't miss the new buzz-word; The Consumerization of IT (CoIT). It refers to the fact that users are now exposed to new, cool technology at an individual level before their employer has had an opportunity to adopt the same. In a nutshell, the information worker's raised expectations of corporate IT result from his own experiences as a consumer. And IT departments have to keep up! This phenomenon was particularly pronounced with the adoption of mobile devices like the iPhone, which were initially not thought of as "enterprise capable". It turned out that whatever IT departments thought about the product, consumers loved it. They brought it to work with them. They liked the experience so much that they started clamouring for the ability to check their work email on it. And before you could say "Blackberry Enterprise Server", IT departments figured out ways in which to integrate iPhones, iPads and Android devices into the overall corporate infrastructure. How, is a story for another day, but in this article, I want to look at the flip side of the CoIT phenomenon.

How to Communicate the Office 365 Transition to Your Organization

Contributed Article.  Author: Tri Nguyen, Quest Software
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

How to Communicate the Office 365 Transition to Your Organization


Let’s go down memory lane… can you remember a time when you’ve driven on a major interstate and seen the construction signs that say, “EXPECT LONG DELAYS. CONSTRUCTION BEGINS…”? Hopefully, you paid attention as the message had been on display for at least 3 weeks leading up to that point. If you didn’t, you probably were kicking and screaming as you sat in traffic and came to the realization that you’re going to be very, very, very late for that scheduled appointment. After you had a chance to calm down, did you ever ask yourself whose fault this is?

The goal of this blog is to provide you with some useful tips so when your end users ask that question, they won’t be looking at you. If they are impacted by the transition to Office 365, they can just stare and blame themselves.

Safe and Effective Office 365 Pilot Programs

Contributed Article.  Author: Chad Lindley, Quest Software
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Safe and Effective Office 365 Pilot Programs


Is your organization considering Office 365 as an alternative or compliment to the existing messaging and collaboration infrastructure? If so, you likely are wondering how to effectively evaluate Office 365 without impacting your organization. “Try-before-you-buy” considerations seem to be a common concern as organizations evaluate Office 365 functionality and determine the most appropriate implementation approach for their needs. 

Developing an effective pilot program can be complicated, with numerous variables and factors to consider. As a result, the first step for each organization must be documenting their definition of “pilot”:
 

Benefits of Utilizing the Microsoft Azure Platform for your SaaS Solutions

Contributed Article.  Author: Shawn Barker, Quest Software
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Benefits of Utilizing the Microsoft Azure Platform for your SaaS Solutions

 
As a software developer, Quest Software has a great deal of experience building on-premises software to solve such customer challenges as migrating email from one platform to another.  While these products have done very well, the inherent drawbacks to on-premises software, include the need to provision hardware, as well as download, configure, patch, and maintain the software.  Companies generally live with this for software that solves ongoing management problems like identity management, data protection and auditing.  These requirements of on-premises software can add significant time, cost and resources to short-term projects, however.

For the last few years, I’ve been working with development teams at Quest to build Software as a Service (SaaS) products, most of these on Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform.  One of those products – Quest OnDemand Migration for Email – was released last September and, as the name suggests, it migrates email from on-premises or cloud-based email platforms to Office 365, Live@Edu and hosted Exchange.  The following are the main factors we considered when deciding on a cloud platform for this product.