Cloud Computing Technologies and Resources

Top 6 Cloud Services Providers to Scale Your Small Business

Cloud computing entails delivery of servers, storage, databases, networking, software,  analytics, intelligence, and moreover the internet.

When it comes to cloud services, companies are typically required to pay only for the services used and rest is taken care of by the server. On top of that, the operating costs are lower and the infrastructure runs much more efficiently than your regular service providers.

In this age of data science and machine learning, it is natural to forsake traditional server services in favor of much more advanced and efficient cloud services.

Nowadays, many companies are offering flexible cloud service options, which means that small business can get started far more quickly and inexpensively.

Top Cloud Services for Startups & Small Businesses

Cloud Computing - Top Cloud Services for Startups & Small Businesses
These days, many cloud services providers are now offering flexible and affordable cloud service packages configured to cater to small businesses. But amongst these companies, we want to identify the real player, hence we have the top cloud service providers list below.

If you are small to medium business or a startup based, you can go to the top cloud players in the market who have Data Centers in your region. Other than that, you can avail any of the credible cloud services available online. Most of them offer startup credits & discounts in their cloud platform, which comes in handy when you are a first-time user and still gearing up to scale up your business.

Here are the top cloud services to scale up your small business or startup:

1. Rackspace Cloud

Rackspace offers a vast range of cloud service, including public, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud. It uses OpenStack hence is an open-source system.

Here are some of the options offered by Rackspace Cloud:

  • Public cloud option: It provides agile and simple access to the IT resources required, which considerably decreases the costs of data center management.
  • Multi-tenant cloud option: For users who have heavy or unpredictable traffic, it provides ‘pay as you go’ scalability.
  • Private cloud option: Private cloud provides dedicated servers for maximum security and greater control, which can be located on the site of a service provider’s data center.
  • Hybrid cloud option: This is a combination of both the private and public clouds.

Your subscription with Rackspace includes a technical account manager, security guidance, and free server monitoring.

2. IBM Cloud

IBM Cloud offers a platform as a service, software as a service, and infrastructure as a service. IBM Cloud provides complete infrastructure control, reducing the ‘noisy neighbor’ effect and considerably improving performance.

It also offers full server customization: You handpick everything that is included in the server, thus avoiding having to pay for features you don’t need.

Key features include:

  • Provides robust insights
  • No credit card required for the sign-up process
  • Helps you align the right workload to the right cloud environment for your business
  • Amazing customer service to help you migrate your website to their cloud platform

3. Amazon Web Services

AWS, a cloud-based program for creating business solutions, provides on-demand cloud computing to individual and organizations. It also provides customers with an extensive range of IaaS and PaaS services, such as Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2), Simple Storage Service (S3), and Relational Database Service (RDS).

Moreover, AWS is fully customizable and offers extensive admin control available through its secure Web client. Users also have access to several key features, including encryption, key creation, and auditing.

4. Google Cloud

Google Cloud Platform is one of the most viable cloud service available online. It has an end-to-end approach to security and can easily deploy cloud services and Google AI across your organization. You can avail any cloud service you want, as per your preference, including IaaS and PaaS solutions.

With Google Cloud’s multilayered secure infrastructure, users don’t have to worry about cybersecurity either; everything you create or store is protected.

Google Cloud offers a variety of tools to guarantee consistent execution and control, such as Compute Engine, App Engine, Container Engine, and Big Query. It also ensures a smooth migration to virtual machines, with flexible pricing.

5. CloudBees

CloudBees is a relatively new entrant in cloud computing space and mainly focuses on Platform as a Service (Paas) and continuous delivery area. Unlike many other Platform as a Service vendors, CloudBees seems to be committed in Java, Grails, and JRails.

Apart from its Platform as a Service premise, CloudBees offers continuous integration services through its Jenkins plugins, and also has tie-ups with a number of ecosystem partners, including New Relic for monitoring and PaperTrail for log sequencing.

CloudBees is one of the best cloud service options for small-scale companies ans start-ups that require heavy use of Java and open source technologies e.g. GitHub, Jenkins, and other third-party libraries. Moreover, the Jenkins plugin is also used by the Google App Engine.

6. CloudSigma

CloudSigma suggests that the currently available public clouds are a lot more restrictive than they should be. CloudSigma, on the other hand, aims to facilitate a more flexible and collaborative relationship between public cloud providers and customers.

While they are not big as Amazon AWS or Rackspace, who are the market leaders of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)  offering, however, it aims to provide an alternative that aligns exactly with the requirements of their customers.

Key features of CloudSigma includes:

  • An Elegant API
  • SSD & Magnetic Storage
  • A custom made KVM Cloud
  • Offers up to 40 CPU cores and 128 GB RAM per server

Conclusion on top cloud service providers 

The aforementioned are some of the top cloud computing companies and service providers, particularly for small scale businesses, and startups.

Many companies are in the business of providing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), but there are also companies that separately provide Software as a Service (SaaS). Most of these cloud services offer all three options.

Cloud computing is all set to take a big leap this year, and we are likely to see increased competition, reduced price and more attractive packages for using cloud services. And the process to register with these services is decidedly simple – just go to their websites, select a plan that aligns with your requirements, create an account, and start utilizing their cloud services right away.

Cloud Computing Technologies and Resources Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Will Your Next Backup Be In The Clouds?

Cloud Computing is the industry’s next big thing. It’s always fun to watch as the different companies reposition themselves to support the next wave, unsure if the wave will hit or not. The good news is… at this point, the wave has already hit, but now we are looking at continued waves and a steady increase of size and quantity.

Cloud is here now. Looking at the infrastructure pieces, let’s begin with hardware. Disk that is scalable, maintaining the ability to carve virtual volumes, offerings security services, and low cost are the main criteria in vendor selection and there are a ton of vendors that meet these requirements today.

Server hardware is essentially the same for cloud and non-cloud with exception to the fact that your typical cloud server is higher end with more processing and memory on board to accommodate higher density computing. The last main component is virtualization software. VMware is currently leading the pack. But offerings from Microsoft with Hyper-V, especially with Windows 8 and Hyper-V 3.0 on the not too distant horizon, and Citrix XenServer, make this field very interesting. It only promises to heat up as cloud continues to grow.Will Your Next Backup Be In The Clouds?

Would You Prefer Cloud Backup or others backups?

The key elements for cloud are in place today. All we need is a good use case or two to really kick it into gear. Let’s take a look into one use case that seems to be really taking hold and gaining momentum: cloud for backup. Backup is one of those things we love to hate. It is absolutely essential to our survival from failure and disaster and is often one of the things that is underspent and improperly set up in a lot of places. It all boils down to this…

How important is your data? If you lose your data, will your business survive?

This can be applied to a very small business all the way on up to the largest enterprise. Data is equally important to any size company. The main difference between them is at the small scale, companies do not have the huge IT budgets that the larger companies have to survive a disaster.

This is where cloud-based backup becomes more interesting. True enterprise-class, cloud-based service offerings allow any size business take advantage of the economies of scale. That means that any size company, no matter how small and how tight the budgets are, can leverage these services.

Freedom of choice

Now comes the freedom of choice. Almost every vendor in the backup space is either offering cloud today or working towards cloud-based offerings. Some of these are private and proprietary to the vendor and others leverage existing cloud infrastructures like Amazon.

Cloud-based backup offers the ability to back up your data to an offsite location for the “Just-In-Case” moment when things go bad. There are two basic types of cloud backup. One is where you back up your data locally and then replicate it to the cloud. The other is where you back up data directly to the cloud. The first option, with local backup data, is better if you want to be able to recover large quantities of data in a hurry. If you have a system fail, the entire system image is already local and you can begin recovery immediately. This approach usually requires some form of backup system with storage and is a more costly approach, but offers better RTO (Recovery Time Objective).

The latter, where you backup directly to the cloud, splits into two types: one that backs up your critical files only and another that backs up the whole system to the cloud. If you use the “Files Only” approach and your system fails, you need to spend the time and resources to bring the system back by installing the OS and applications. If you back up the whole system, you can restore the image as a whole. The downside to either of these is you are dealing with WAN speed recovery, which for a file or several files is fine, but for whole systems or large amounts of files, can take a lot of time to complete. Weigh the differences and make a choice based on SLAs (Service Level Agreements) you have with your data consumers.

Planning is critical

In the end, a solid plan is required, no matter which direction you go. Services today are available to help you get there. Over time, these will continue to evolve and costs will continue to go down as more and more infrastructure and software vendors enter the mix. Take advantage of these services today to protect your data. Keep it fluid enough that you can migrate as less expensive offerings come about.

Will your next backup be in the clouds? I’d forecast a pretty high probability that you will back up to the cloud at some point soon.

Business Cloud Computing Technologies and Resources

5 Commonly Asked Questions about Cloud Computing

Commonly Asked Questions about Cloud Computing 

The buzz surrounding cloud computing is nearly deafening. There is constant talk about how businesses can benefit by switching to the cloud, but there is still much confusion about the topic. If you’re new to the concept of cloud computing, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Below, you will get the answers you need to some of the most commonly asked questions about cloud computing.

Cloud Computing Question & Answers
Cloud Computing Question & Answers

1. What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing reduces the need for normal hardware and physical software by hosting programs and applications over the internet. Rather than paying for software (and software licenses for each user), applications, and hardware, you simply rent them virtually over the internet and access them as needed, only paying upon usage. Users simply logon to a website and access the tools and programs they need.

2. What are the benefits of cloud computing?

Cloud computing offers a range of productivity enhancing and cost saving benefits. One recent study found that 76% of small businesses using cloud computing have reduced the costs of applications by moving them to the cloud. Cloud computing reduces the need for costly hardware upgrades, allows you to access your applications from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, and lets you pay only for the amount of each service that you use.

3. What business services can cloud computing offer?

The possibilities with cloud computing are almost endless. Some of the things you can do in the cloud include:

  • Remote file backup
  • Shared calendars
  • Email
  • Network monitoring
  • Virtual server hosting
  • Internet domain management
  • VOIP (IP telephony—phone, videoconferencing, etc.)
  • And much more…

4. Are my applications and data secure in the cloud?

Security is an important concern when making the transfer to the cloud. You’re placing a high level of trust into your online software vendors that they’ll keep your data secured and protected. There have already been instances of some online storage vendors losing data as it fell into the wrong hands. That’s why it’s so important that you demand information about data security procedures from your cloud vendor before utilizing their services.

Cloud Computing Adoption Model
Cloud Computing Adoption Model

5. Will my applications offer the same level of performance when hosted in the cloud?

Hosting the software and services you need virtually through the internet may lead you to wonder if performance will be hampered. You need to make sure you choose a cloud computing vendor that offers a high guaranteed uptime, 24/7 proactive monitoring, and fast response times to any server issues that may pop up, so you can make certain that your applications never have performance issues.

Have another question about cloud computing? Leave a comment below and we’ll try to help.