Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Article

Online Data Backup Expert Tips: To Virtualize or Not to Virtualize?

Assessing the popularity of cloud computing for business

Often times one mental hurdle that can hold businesses back from the modernization of their IT infrastructure through the use of the relatively new phenomenon of cloud computing is the simple feeling of being afraid to "jump on the bandwagon" too early. After all, there have been many trends in business and technology that seemed unstoppable at one time, only to be eclipsed by something else and then subsequently forgotten. How is one to judge where exactly the current cloud computing data revolution is headed?

What Does the Research Say?
There have been several recent surveys regarding the increasing popularity of online data backup and cloud computing. One of these polls conducted by Forrester Research found that 53% of businesses worldwide were interested in virtualizing their IT infrastructure and making the full transition into the cloud. When asked why they felt this way, the responses were quite varied, with some claiming cloud computing's potential to save them money on IT equipment costs as being their number one reason, while others cited the flexibility of data access that cloud computing could bring about for their businesses.

Another recent poll conducted by IDC found 210 upper-level business executives who were pro-cloud computing and database virtualization. They explained that their responses were due to the fact that they could easily see the potential of receiving more valuable information from their data through the increased levels of data accessibility that goes hand in hand with cloud computing and online data back-up. In addition, they almost all seemed to look forward to finally being free of devoting so much of their valuable resources toward the maintenance of their own servers and instead focus the resulting extra time and money toward working on other aspects of their developing businesses.

It appears that public sentiment among upper-level business personnel is definitely tipping toward a seemingly unavoidable shift to cloud computing. However, public sentiment on this issue is far from unanimous, with many businesses insisting on keeping their existing hardware infrastructures for all their business's computing needs, including backing up. Indeed, the debate over whether or not cloud computing is the way of the future essentially boils down to two questions:

  1. Who will ultimately be responsible for managing the fundamental infrastructure for small to medium-sized businesses?
  2. Is it better for a company to spend their money on the implementation of that infrastructure by purchasing additional physical IT equipment or hire off-site data management experts?

Regardless, the overall outlook seems to point toward the increased virtualization of IT management for business. Often after that, many small to mid-sized businesses will end up seeking to utilize virtual computing environments to increase their resources, effectively extending their existing physical IT infrastructure by adding on additional cloud computing ability as the need arises.

Finally, many businesses are deciding to cut down on maintenance costs and lost man-hours by selling their extra in-house IT equipment and moving their data processing and storage activities to the cloud. With cloud technologies such as data replication, de-duplication, data mirroring and increasingly advanced levels of data encryption, more and more business owners are talking about the enhanced data flexibility and security that online data backup and cloud computing can bring about for their enterprises.

Team Virtualization and Online Backup
Once an organization has made the decision to "take to the cloud," new and exciting possibilities will begin to emerge. New online backup technologies have made it possible for small and medium enterprises to set up virtual work teams without large capital investments in IT hardware and infrastructure. It's now feasible, and affordable, for any size enterprise to seamlessly connect its workforce over the Internet and take advantage of online tools for collaboration, interaction and information sharing. The era of the truly agile, global "kinetic business" has arrived. Whether you have just a few team members or a department of a hundred, you can start taking advantage of these technologies today.

Team Virtualization - What This Means to Your Business
Team virtualization starts with an enterprise de-linking local computing resources from their physical infrastructure, transferring enterprise information to an offsite server for storage, disaster recovery and ease of access. These cloud services become the core enablers for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and provide unprecedented economies of scale and reduction of costs. Software as a Service (SaaS) enables highly flexible communication and control of the way in which data is accessed or used by members of the virtual team.

Identify Your Teams
You will also want to consider virtual workforce management with basic security protections including identification, authentication and authorization. Virtual teams and members of such teams may be identified and defined in accordance with the policies of your enterprise.

Many services, such as online backup services, provide agent-interface software to enforce rules and policies along with an administrator console to manage domains, assign users, permissions and access protocols for these virtual teams. User-IDs and passwords should be defined to authenticate individual users with authorization protocols to provide access to specific documents or types of information or even the kind of activities the users can perform on an accessed document. Once you have the basics in place, your virtual teams can collaborate and share files and folders they are permitted to access or use.

Collaborate, Tracking and Version Control
Consider your document collaboration process and how you want to control the modification of the files. Version controls are a handy way to prevent overwriting the original document, tracking changes, as well as guarding against data corruption. Many online backup service providers that provide versioning allow users to save multiple versions of a document based on automated rules. More advanced cloud collaboration services allow document commenting and locking features along with archiving and other services.

Supporting Mobile Team Members
Mobile members of your virtual team will be able to access company files and folders in the cloud storage or online backup server by connecting to an account using a web browser or a specialized lightweight client application. Your authentication and authorization protocols will give them access to the data via the web only if the authentication is successful and the login information matches the data contained in the authentication table of the online database. Once authenticated, remote workers have the ability to upload, share or update information in the database in accordance with the rights and permissions available to them.

More Stories By Jamie Brenzel

Jamie Brenzel brings over 15 years of experience in investment banking and entrepreneurial startups to his role as CEO of KineticD. His prior business accomplishments are long and varied. He was at Salomon Brothers in London, where he helped build the equity derivatives department into an important profit center. He then embarked on his future as an entrepreneur, acquiring Wood Printing & Graphics, and later co-founding integrated marketing communications company Sonar Group. Jamie then established a solid foundation for Truition, an eCommerce service company for clients such as Dell Financial Services, CompUSA and Sirius Satellite Radio. Jamie holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...