Cloud computing is the latest buzzword which really means hosted servers. This month I would like to discuss the different cloud computing models.
This is a cloud that is hosted on your own hardware in your own datacenter. If you are running a virtual environment with virtual servers, technically you are running your own private cloud. What you can combine that with is some hosted desktop solution and give your users remote access from anywhere. A private cloud should be hosted on either your own or a rented datacenter with UPS, generator.
A private cloud can be controlled and secured by you, so you have a good idea of where your data is and how secure it is.
This is a company like Amazon Web services, Google Apps, Microsoft Office Live 365. These are services that are shared that are available to anyone. The data on these services could also be anywhere; you have no control on where it is stored. You are also relying on the Vendor to secure their cloud so it does not get hacked or attacked. Sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Flixr and various others are another example of a public cloud. Salesforce.com and NetSuite are two additional examples of a public cloud.
This is a combination of a private and public cloud. Some of your services are hosted onsite in the private cloud, while others are moved offsite. People using Office Live 365, SalesForce.com but still keep their files in house are an example of a Hybrid Cloud. Another good example is someone moving some of their email to Office Live 365, while keeping other part of it in house. That is a perfect example of a Hybrid Cloud.
These are very basic examples of the different cloud computing types.
I can offer a cloud assessment to see if you are cloud ready or if any of your applications would make sense to move to the cloud. Just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting Wireless Demand
Demand for wireless access is expected to soar this year and beyond. Analysts have predicted an increase of 300% in wireless demand in your organization. The question is are you ready for it?
Expanding Your Coverage
Your locations more than likely have some wireless coverage, but they will have a hard time keeping up to the number of devices attempting to connect to them.
Increasing the number of access points and turning the power down on some of the existing access points will provide better overall coverage and also satisfy the new demand. You also need to make sure you design your wireless network for the device types it will service. Wireless VOIP phones have a different coverage model than laptops. They need more access points at less power so they can roam without dropping the call.
If you only have a dozen or so devices two access points should be able to provide adequate coverage for a 1500 to 2000 square foot building.
Access Point Placement
You want to make sure you place your access points carefully. You do not want to mount them on structural metal; it can cause issues with the signal. You also want to make sure that you check the construction of your walls. Some buildings have sand in the walls, which can decrease signal and require additional access points.
Also make sure you leave some extra cable so if you need to move the access point, you can.
Wireless is much less secure than a wired network. Anyone with a device can find your network and attempt to break in. For your private wireless network, use WPA2 Enterprise security. This will require a username and password and not a key that is easily guessed. It also rotates the wireless keys providing another level of security.
At the least, you should not use WEP as it can be cracked in less than 1 hour in a heavily utilized network.
If you are going to be deploying a bunch of access points, you should consider using a wireless controller. This will help you make mass changes and also give you the ability to easily add and remove access points. You also have a central location to look for wireless issues if any are reported.
If you have not deployed wireless yet, chances are you will be in the next 12 months. Make sure you take time to understand your requirements so you can size your wireless deployment appropriately. Otherwise you will have coverage issues and unhappy users and unneeded expense.
New Gadget of the Month- iCloud
I have an IPAD that my Kids use and it was on a very old version of software. I upgraded it to the most current version and most everything was wiped from it. As I do not sync this with and ITunes account all that often, I thought I would try the ICLOUD from Apple. After setting it up, I was very happy with it. You get 5 GB of space to Back up your IPAD and have the ability to restore data from the Cloud. This allows you not to have to Back up to a computer. Your IPAD is backed up automatically. You can also sync mail and calendar items between devices.
I have not looked into the security aspects of it, but for a simple backup of just apps, pictures and music Apple makes it very easy.
New Vendor – Meru Networks
Since wireless is going to explode in the coming months, TBJ Consulting has decided to partner with Meru Networks. They have a unique feature called Virtual Cell where a device will see only one device instead of multiple access points on different channels. This allows the wireless network, not the clients, to make connectivity decisions.
Correct answers will be featured in the TBJ Newsletter.
Final Thought of the Month – Getting More Done
If you are like me, it seems that you do not have enough time in the day. I recently came across a great tip that I am going to share with you. Everynight before you leave work or go to bed write down six things that you would like to accomplish tomorrow. Rank them one to six. The next day wake up and review your list and the end of the day cross off what you have accomplished. What does not get accomplish move to the next day or drop it as it was not that important.
You will need to do this at least a month before you will start to become effective at it. It takes about 21 days to establish a good habit.
If you only get one thing accomplished a day, that is still 30 things you accomplished in 1 month or at least 360 items in a year.
It is a very simple tip, but an easy way to put some focus on what you need to do day to day. After doing this long enough you will start to accomplish more and become better at focusing on what you need to do to become successful.