Network Considerations for the Cloud: It All Comes Down to the App

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, April 19th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, HIPAA Compliance, Networking and Fiber

At Green House Data we like to say there’s no “one size fits all” cloud deployment. That’s why we don’t have base package pricing on the website — every VM is right-sized and designed around our client’s applications and business goals. That philosophy applies to every cloud deployment, and the network considerations aren’t exempt.

Depending on your objectives, the intended use of the application in question, and the location of your users and service providers, your network will have different performance and cost implications.

Let’s take a look at how to prepare your network for varying application deployments in the cloud.

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Edge Data Centers Aren’t Killing Cloud, They’re Expanding It

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, April 11th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Data Center Design

Another year, another trend in the data center world. Although edge data centers first starting making headlines circa 2014 or 2015, they’ve become mainstream as more and more users slurp down increasing amounts of data. That takes serious bandwidth; to the point that many pundits are pointing towards the placement of workloads in edge facilities, rather than the traditional centralized data centers in major markets, as a sign that cloud computing is starting to wane.

On the contrary, edge data centers serve to supplement and improve the reach of even the major cloud computing providers. No major cloud service provider (CSP) is going to only place workloads in major markets. Just look at our neighbors in Cheyenne: Microsoft has a huge facility that they’re actively expanding. Amazon operates data centers in Ohio, which, while central for the US in general and equidistant from major population centers like Chicago and New York, is hardly a major market in itself.

And beyond large scale platforms like Azure or AWS, you have players like Green House Data, who offer smaller scale virtualization from data centers in a myriad of second and third tier markets.

But it's not just about the cloud spreading itself to the edge. Here's why edge computing will be important, but will also become more of a niche deployment model, with cloud remaining the king of application processing and data storage.

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Over 10,000 Monthly Visitors: Looking Back on Our Top Posts

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Friday, April 6th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Data Center Design, Green Data Center, Networking and Fiber, Security, Virtual Desktop, VMware

The Green House Data blog has hit a major milestone this month, rocketing from around 8,000 monthly unique visitors to 12,000 unique visitors in March. As we pass the 10k mark, we want to say thanks to everyone who has come to our little corner of the internet and also take a look back at our most enduring and popular posts over the years.

From cloud hosting to data center design to information security, the blog has covered a lot of ground in the past five or six years, with experts from our staff joining our marketing and content teams for weekly updates.

Here are the top 10 all time posts from the Green House Data blog.

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Why We Added Azure Management After a Decade of VMware Expertise

Written by Thomas Burns on Friday, March 30th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Hybrid Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Microsoft, VMware

Green House Data announced the addition of Azure cloud to our stable of managed cloud services this week. For some, this may come as a bit of a shock. We’ve been a VMware shop since the company was formed, with the gBlock Cloud hosted within our data centers on the vSphere platform.

We’ll continue to offer our own hosted VMware cloud as well as VMware cloud management on behalf of our clients, but we’ve expanded our scope to include Azure managed services. There are a number of reasons for this shift in strategy, which ultimately allows clients a wider breadth of service options to best suit their IT infrastructure goals.

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Do You Need to Worry About GDPR Compliance?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, March 22nd 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Security

GDPR  (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance is coming on May 25th to companies that operate in the European Union or have customers there. Fines for noncompliance can run into the tens of millions. Are you prepared? And do you even have to worry about it, if you’re a US-based operation?

Learn what security requirements fall under GDPR, as well as what situations would require compliance, and how you need to change your operations to avoid sanctions.

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Weighing VMware vSphere Encryption

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, March 8th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, HIPAA Compliance, Security

VMware vSphere 6.5 introduced policy-based encryption, which simplifies the security management of VMs across large scale infrastructure, as each object no longer requires individual key management.

vSphere VM encryption offers quite a few advantages compared to other encryption methods, but it might not be a great fit for every workload. When weighing whether to encrypt or not, you’ll want to consider a few limitations, caveats, and performance issues first.

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Are Enterprises Shifting Back to On-Premise Hardware?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, March 1st 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Colocation, Data Center Design

The past five or ten years have been jam-packed with cloud computing hype. Indeed, the cloud is here to stay, without a doubt. But recent reports show analysts expect hardware sales for on-premise enterprise IT to tick up significantly.

High profile examples like Dropbox show that moving back to a more traditional data center can create efficiencies and free up cash flow. Is the enterprise data center – and by extension, colocation – about to put up a fight against the cloud?

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How Does the New CLOUD Act in the Senate Affect Foreign Data Storage?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, February 7th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Security

As we’ve mentioned before on the blog, the location of your cloud data matters. Latency, accessibility, and security are all top of mind, but legal concerns should also be considered. Case in point: a new law working its way through the Senate could have major implications for your data storage.

The CLOUD Act (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data) has recently garnered the support of major tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google, among others. Its stated goal is to clarify a web of different laws relating to data disclosure and privacy so enforcement officers and government officials have well-defined guidelines when it comes to accessing remotely stored data, including information that resides overseas, which is otherwise governed by the host country’s own laws.

So how might the CLOUD Act affect cloud storage and data sovereignty?

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New Guidelines May Help Clear Up Cloud Accounting Headaches

Written by Jason Graf on Thursday, February 1st 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting

Accountants and CFOs have had their work cut out for them when trying to balance the checkbooks on cloud computing services. Because software and hardware is often categorized as an asset with depreciation, the proliferation of cloud — a subscription-based computing service rather than a capital expense — threw a wrench into traditional accounting for the IT department.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), which provides guidance and sets accounting standards for public companies as directed by the SEC, set out suggestions for handling cloud computing in 2015. They recently convened to fix some of the problems created by this previous ordinance.

Here’s why cloud computing can cause headaches for your CFO and why the new FASB rules could help clear things up.

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Spectre and Meltdown: What We’ve Done to Secure the gBlock Cloud

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Friday, January 12th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Data Center Design, Microsoft, Security, Documentation

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or aren’t in the IT field at all, by now you’ve likely heard about the widespread Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities affecting an enormous swath of processors manufactured by Intel and AMD, the industry leaders, leading to security vulnerabilities and performance problems.

Green House Data staff have been hard at work patching systems as fixes have come available this week. Here’s a quick summary of the vulnerabilities, their effects on cloud and general computing performance, and what we’ve done to fix them so far. We also provide a few links for users who need to patch their own operating systems or investigate further.

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