Cloud Computing Trends to Expect in 2014

The new year has arrived, and with it brings a whole new wave of technology. Cloud computing and other remote tools, which became dominant in 2013, will continue to develop in 2014. With more people familiar with those tools and further expansion of resources, you can expect some substantial changes and improvements as the year moves forward. Some new trends that you can expect to see in 2014 are detailed below.

More Knowledge Brings More Customization

Now that cloud technology has become established among businesses, people have begun finding ways to customize their managed services. This means that there will likely be an increased amount of hybrid services that combine public and private deployments. As a whole, the market might see some fragmentation as more and more customers begin to avoid providers who offer generic, packaged services, instead opting for providers that offer customization options. If you are planning to take advantage of cloud computing in 2014, you should make a laundry list of sorts of what you want from the service. This will allow you to find somebody who is able to cater to your specific business needs.


Things to Look for in your IT Personnel

What do you look for when hiring new people to staff your IT department? Experience is always a good thing to look for, but there are different levels of experience to bear in mind. Figuring out how many years somebody has in the field is a good start, but that hardly tells the whole story. You should look at breadth and diversity of experience, areas of specialty,and more. Consider the items presented here as a starting point when deciding on a new IT candidate.

Experience with Different Software

One important item to keep in mind is that software suites change frequently. At the same time, similar programs often have similar operating methods, regardless of the company developing it. For this reason, it is often a good idea to find somebody who has experience in a range of different software suites. Even if you use a Windows server, for example, having somebody who is also familiar with Linux or Mac OS X is a good idea if you can find them. Not only will that help make the transition easier if you ever change operating systems, but it also gives your personnel a diversity of experience. People who are familiar with multiple systems have a better chance of finding outside-the-box solutions.


Getting to Know your Network Topology

What is the shape of your business network? That may seem like an abstract question, since a typical network consists of machines located in many different areas, but there is more to it than you might think. Network topology refers to the general shape of how your computers and other network devices are interconnected. There are different levels of performance for each topology, and each arrangement has its own benefits and drawbacks to consider.

Important Terms

There are a few important terms you need to know before we continue. First is the term topology itself. While this usually refers to a physical or mathematical configuration, it takes on a slightly different meaning when it comes to computers. In networking, topology references the design of the network itself and the connection each computer has with the server. Other important terms include node, which is a device connected to your network, including computers. Finally, a packet is a message or bundle of information that gets sent from node to node. In addition to data, each packet also contains the address of the node which sent it and the address of the node it is being sent to.


Exploring the Pros and Cons of Switching to a Linux Server

So you’ve decided that going with the mainstream and using Microsoft Windows isn’t quite the right fit for your business. Where do you go from there? One possibility to consider is making the move to Linux. Linux is an open source operating system that requires some training but is quite easy to modify and improve upon once you have somebody experienced in its operation. More details about the pros and cons of moving to a Linux server are provided here.


One of the biggest advantages that Windows has over virtually every other operating system is that it is very easy to run and install. Linux, on the other hand, requires more consideration and customization when installing onto a server. There are many different kinds of applications available to Linux users, and the plethora of choices can sometimes become overwhelming. By comparison, Windows users only need to install and run the recommended software configurations. The winner in terms of ease of installation is Windows, although it is worth noting that Linux doesn’t require as many critical updates and reboots, so it can be more stable once you have your server up and running.


Protecting your Network with a Business Continuity Plan

Where would your business be if disaster struck tomorrow? If the physical servers are destroyed in a fire or other disaster, how would you get your network back up and running? To protect your business in a worst-case scenario, you should have a Business Continuity Plan, or BCP for short. A BCP will make sure that you are prepared to reassemble your network and get things running again when other businesses would be crippled by a major disaster.

When you Might Use a BCP

A BCP is likely to come up in one of two situations. The first is in the case of a major natural disaster. Earthquakes, blackouts, hurricanes, and other issues can cause power surges and physical damage capable of crippling servers and erasing important data. The second is in the case of a particularly malicious attack fr om hackers, viruses, or other information-corrupting problems. Many companies come up with a BCP as a way to protect their physical resources, but backing up the data that makes up your network is just as important if not more so. Your goal in developing a BCP is to make sure that even in the case of a total network failure you will be able to carry on and return to normal quickly.


Understanding Common Protocols: The OSI Model

How much do you know about your network protocols? One of the most common network protocols you will encounter is the OSI model, which stands for Open System Interconnection. This model uses seven layers to connect multiple systems on the same network. Understanding the different layers of the OSI model is one step on the way to being able to implement this protocol in the most efficient way possible.

The Application Layer

This is actually the last layer of the OSI model, but is the most important to understand. The application layer identifies communication partners and the quality of service. It also handles user authentication and privacy issues. Every function used in this layer is tailored to a specific application and designed to provide the best end user experience possible. Some services provided by this layer include email, file transfers, and network security. Tiered application architectures and FTP processes are also handled by this layer.



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