How to Create a Successful Cloud Team

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, March 21st 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Software Development

While your admins might have virtualization experience, transitioning to a cloud-first IT strategy involves a real paradigm shift across your entire IT team. You’ve heard some of this before: you’ll be more agile, your team will be focused on service delivery instead of hardware, you’ll work on business issues rather than break/fix.

What you may not have considered are how the roles of your new cloud team may shift from previous responsibilities, or just how far reaching the culture change may be. Here are some tips to build a successful cloud service team within your organization.

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Does Your Organization Need Cyberinsurance?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, March 2nd 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Colocation, Disaster Recovery, Security

In the past decade, alongside the increased importance of digital tools for business, a new category of insurance has sprung up to cover digital data breaches and liability. With the average total cost of data breaches reaching $4 million dollars and the average cost of each lost or stolen digital record increasing to $158, it is clear that experiencing a data breach is an expensive affair.

While dedicated security response teams and encryption do decrease these costs, and IPS/IDS systems and other security measures can help reduce the risk, many organizations will still experience a data breach at some point.

Cyberinsurance can help mitigate the cost of a data breach by reimbursing your company for legal fees, helping with the cost of crisis management and investigation, notification costs, extortion liability fees, and third party damages relating to network or system outages. But does every organization need cyberinsurance?

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How Improving Internal Communication Resolves Support Issues Faster

Written by Sean Bales on Tuesday, February 28th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting

We've all called a support vendor that makes us talk to a robot to get help. We've all had to go through a script of questions about things we've already tried or don’t even apply to the situation, just so we can get to someone that can actually solve our problem. We've all emailed a support vendor and wondered if they are really working on our problem. These communication challenges make getting support a process that many of us dread.

Some solutions to these problems include minimizing the number of systems involved and promoting strong communication to ensure the customer knows their problem is being addressed. We start by making sure the customer can reach a real person. We make sure that automated and canned responses are minimized so it's very obvious that the person needing support is getting a response from someone and not some... thing. We try to use only one ticketing system, only one email address, and only one telephone number for support communication.

These things help but it's still just not enough. It's what happens internally within the support team that really matters. This article is meant to focus on how hand-offs and escalation affect support case resolution. This article is meant to focus on how hand-offs and escalation affect support case resolution — and how improvements can help avoid SLA violations.

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Legal Battles Over Local Data: Why Your Cloud Location Matters

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, February 15th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Security

Placing data in the cloud comes with a set of concerns — accessibility (will my information always be available if the cloud has technical problems?) and security (how safe is my data when I can’t control the security measures?) chief among them. Of these, security has long been the primary concern for technology decision makers considering the cloud.

Recent surveys reveal that while security remains top of mind, the location of data is rising in prominence as a barrier or concern for cloud adoption. These concerns stem in part from the difficulty of visibility into data transit and storage. Customers might want to know where exactly their data is residing so they can retrieve it quickly — and also for legal implications.

Two recent court cases between Google, Microsoft, and the Federal Government highlight the legal entanglements that could come with storing information in the cloud. Read on to learn why the location of your cloud data is vital.

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What’s New in the Green House Data Cloud?

Written by Josh Larsen on Thursday, February 9th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, VMware, Product Information

Here at Green House Data, our technicians are constantly working hard behind the scenes to improve the customer experience in our cloud products. We’ve recently completed a round of upgrades to bring you the latest features and bug fixes to our gBlock Cloud platform.

Here are some of the newest features that are available to you today, including improved web portal access, new disaster recovery features and interoperability with AWS and Azure, and more.

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Three Reasons Non-Technical People Should Care About the Cloud

Written by Wendy Fox on Thursday, January 26th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting

You may already know that at its most basic level, cloud computing is essentially storing, accessing, and interacting with data and applications over the internet instead of locally, like on a hard drive. And, if you are in a technical profession, you’re likely to know a whole lot more about the cloud, what it’s good for, how it’s built and deployed, and what it’s made up of.

But, what about the rest of us? Why should non-technical folks care about the cloud?

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How to Choose an Availability Strategy for SQL Server on vSphere

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, January 17th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Microsoft, VMware

When designing the architecture for your SQL Server virtualized on VMware vSphere, your requirements will determine which SQL availability or vSphere availability features you should use. There are several availability features packaged with SQL server before you even get to vSphere features like Distributed Resource Scheduler, High Availability, Fault Tolerance, or vMotion, each of which have their own considerations when interacting with SQL.

To get started, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions about your SQL deployment.

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Four Hybrid Use Cases to Get Your Head in the Cloud

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, January 11th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, VMware

“Can my application run in the cloud?”

It’s a question we get more frequently than you might think — and the answer is almost always yes. Just yesterday, we got a web chat from an individual who wanted to know if a cloud server could run his e-mail server, SMTP-based, with PowerMTA, or if he would need a dedicated option. Mail servers are frequently run on virtual machines, so this configuration should pose no problem as a cloud server.

There are thousands of applications, running on a wide variety of operating systems, that play nice with VMware virtualization platforms (the basis of the gBlock cloud). Here are four hybrid cloud use cases to get you started.

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Avoid Virtual Machine Performance Problems from Antivirus Tools

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Monday, January 9th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Security, VMware

You’re probably familiar with the kind of performance issues inherent in antivirus/antimalware tools. Anyone who has used a PC when the antivirus scan boots up can attest to sluggish performance. The same issues rear their head when using antivirus in a virtual environment – but virtual machines come with their own set of wrinkles.

Antivirus software can be installed either on the VM itself or on the host. Depending on your approach, you’ll want to consider these key factors to maximize performance.

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A Clean Active Directory Saves Money and Improves Security

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, November 29th 2016 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Microsoft

You know what they say: a clean Active Directory keeps the attackers at bay. Or they should say it, anyway. Active Directory is a piece of Windows Server in charge of authentication and authorization for any “object” connected to the network. That includes users, systems, resources, and services.

As you might imagine, enterprises often manage sprawling Active Directories with thousands or even hundreds of thousands of objects, from laptops to printers. When a user leaves the company, their login may still reside in Active Directory. Groups used to organize different pieces of the directory may now lie empty.

Cleaning up your Active Directory not only improves database and server performance, but can plug holes in your security left from old accounts. A regularly scheduled Active Directory cleanup should be included with maintenance activities and performed at least annually.

Assuming your Active Directory server is hosted in the cloud, decluttering can also save you storage costs, while improving performance also lowers your monthly bills as bandwidth charges and compute resources can both drop.

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