• Frequently Asked Cloud Questions

    What is the cloud?

    Over the past several years, the use of cloud computing has grown dramatically. As organizations and individuals have become more comfortable with the security measures in place in the cloud – and more uncomfortable with the cost and burden of maintaining applications and data on-premise – a number of companies offering various cloud services have popped up. So what exactly are they selling?

    In layman’s terms, they’re saying, “Hey – you know all that info you used to keep within your company’s four walls? You should keep it with us on the Internet – it’s safer, more secure and typically cheaper.” Of course, it’s not that simple – but it’s not that hard either. One thing to be sure to understand is that cloud hosting and other managed cloud services can be differentiated into three categories: private cloud, public cloud and hybrid cloud.

    Public cloud – Public clouds are typically the most cost-effective cloud solution, somewhat easy to set up and scalable. Companies who choose this option receive the economic benefit of sharing a server farm with many other organizations although each virtual server (“virtual machine” or “VM”) can be protected as if it was its own distinct server (see below).

    Private cloud – Private clouds give organizations their own physically separate virtual environments, which can be fully managed by the cloud service provider or self-managed by the company. To meet certain requirements, including regulatory compliance, many companies need to ensure that their data resides in physical hardware that is not shared by others.

    Hybrid cloud – Hybrid clouds are, as the name suggest, environments that capitalize on a combination of management approaches: customers typically manage some aspects of their environments on-premise and outsource some to a public or private cloud.

    What is cloud computing?

    Simply put, cloud computing is using a network of remote, Internet-based servers (typically maintained by cloud service providers) to process and manage data. Cloud computing is quickly replacing the practice of storing and accessing data on an organization’s local, on-premise computers or servers. To give an example of this transition, imagine an organization that once kept its accounts payable files on one server in the basement. Today, realizing the danger and short-sightedness of that approach, an organization such as this likely stores it on cloud servers in a data center miles away from their physical location where it is backed up nightly by the service provider. That, friends, is cloud computing.

    What is cloud storage?

    The advent of the “age of data” has put a new burden on companies to store, manage and protect the vast amounts of information they are generating. Cloud storage is just what it sounds like: networked databases hosted by cloud service providers like HOSTING for organizations interested in recognizing the benefits of outsourcing the challenges associated with the fastest growing (and typically least protected) part of its data infrastructure.

    Two of the key types of cloud storage are NAS and SAN. NAS is typically most useful for file-level data storage whereas SAN is a dedicated network that gives end-users access to block-level data storage.

    How do I know which cloud security components we need to keep our applications secure?

    Every IT leader worth his or her salt understands the importance of security for both their applications and data stored on-premise as well as those stored in the cloud.  Every day brings a new story of security incidents and the importance of protecting your data from threats both inside and outside your company.  But while computing, storage and networking are all positioned as core cloud services, security is still an issue that less trustworthy cloud hosting providers try to create confusion around. HOSTING, on the other hand, clearly delineates and describes our world class Cloud Security Packages so that our potential customers can be armed with the knowledge they need to make the right decisions for their organizations. These solutions are battle-tested, certified and backed up by service guarantees. That’s the value of true, fiduciary partnership. If your cloud service provider or potential provider doesn’t offer the same level of transparency, communication and information (or 24/7 live phone support, for that matter), it might be time to look elsewhere.

    For more information on cloud security, please download our white paper, Cloud Security Report – Alert Logic, Spring 2014

    Does it matter where my data is geographically stored?

    The short answer is yes. As anyone who’s ever waited for an exasperatingly long time for data to load can tell you, latency (the time of network transit) makes a difference to end-user experience. And any time spent waiting for mission-critical information to load is wasteful, irritating and potentially damaging to an organization’s bottom line. HOSTING mitigates this all too common issue by owning and operating six data centers in various hubs around the United States. Our best practice is to ensure that solutions are close to their intended end-user population and served from two data centers (to provide geographic redundancy). We are also the leading service provider for delivering VMWare SRM5, the most sophisticated data protection service available.

    In addition to providing lightning fast tier one connectivity and data transfer speed, each of the centers are:

    • independently validated for compliance
    • equipped with redundant systems and processes to ensure that they never lose power
    • designed to take advantage of our industry-leading Green Design Standards

    Please click through to find out more about HOSTING’s state-of-the-art data centers in Dallas, Denver, Irvine, Louisville, Newark (DE) and San Francisco.

    Have more questions? Please direct them to info@hosting.com and we’ll be sure to add them to the FAQs.

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