Do You Think You Have A True Cloud Infrastructure? Let’s Learn


Let's shed some light on Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing (or for those uninitiated, putting your information or database in a remote server location) has become a buzzword in the IT industry these few years. For avid Internet users, it’s pretty hard to escape from consuming and utilizing Cloud applications or Cloud Solutions. If you have a Gmail account, you are a cloud user; if you have a Facebook account, which I strongly think you do, you are a cloud user. You have a Dropbox? You are also using cloud. You see, cloud is everywhere around you. In fact, apart from our personal usage of cloud systems available in the Internet, on a company level FingerTec has started using Cloud services and writing customized programming code since five years back when we first deployed Customer Relationship Management using Salesforce.com.

So What’s your Virtualization Technology?
Cloud Computing definitions are widely available on the Internet. You can read all about Logging as a Service (laaS), which allows users to remotely access the system logs in a cloud environment and stores the logs in a central location. And there is Platform as a Service (PAAS) where you rent hardware, operating systems, storage and network capacity over the Internet, basically renting virtualized servers and its associated services online. We also have Software as a Service (SAAS) in which software are hosted by service providers and made available to customers over a network or the Internet. And the list goes on with NAAS, DAAS, BAAS and so on.

Basically, Cloud Computing mainly refers to Virtualization Technology, which means how to approach your customers with your virtual services, and what do you offer them, virtually. When we talk about Virtualization Technology, we will refer to a piece of computer software, firmware or hardware that creates and runs virtual machines or better known as Hypervisor. Some of the commonly used hypervisors include Hyper-V (Microsoft), vSphere Hypervisor (VmWare), KVM hypervisor (Redhat) and Xen Hypervisor (Open Source). There are many more in the market and each of them provides its pros and cons for your consideration when deciding your own Cloud Computing architecture.

Does your Cloud match High Availability and Scalability?
More terms that we always relate to when it comes to Cloud Computing are High Availability and High Scalability. Ensuring your system’s high availability would mean that whatever that you discussed in the contract in terms of the prearranged level of operational performance, needs to be met. It is one of the most important reasons for IT industry players to migrate their existing system to a Cloud infrastructure. Virtual Machines (VM) can be created instantly and its hardware requirements can be scaled up or down seamlessly based on the system’s compulsory requirements. By running redundant VM as well, cloud service suppliers would not need to worry about VM failures which could cause system downtime.

High speed Internet is not just a possibility, it’s mandatory
Internet connectivity is another key factor in implementing cloud. A reliable and high speed Internet connection must be deployed to your Cloud infrastructure to make sure that the network latency is low to most of the targeted destinations and the service is always available. Bandwidth guarantee is vital if you are serving large contents like video streaming websites, gaming websites and online broadcasting.

So, how can we differentiate a truly Cloud Infrastructure and leverage its benefits?
A typical server-hosting application cannot be categorized under Cloud Application because it only depends on a dedicated machine and its resources. Any single hardware or system failure will bring the entire application to a halt and the service goes kaput. Hence, we will need to make sure that our solution provider is Cloud Computing-ready to ensure no or minimal interruptions during its services. This factor needs to be stressed on while creating a robust business continuity plan for an organization.

For TimeTec Cloud, it is a completely Cloud-based solution. Leveraging on Amazon Web Services, we have fully incorporated our Domain Name Service, Web Server, Database Server, Cloud Storage, Emailing service, and Load balancer on its platform. With all the redundant services and multiple availability zones being implemented on our TimeTec Could, we can rest feeling assured that the TimeTec Cloud service is a stable system available to the user at all times.

To indulge yourself in TimeTec Cloud implementation, please feel free to read my article “Taking Attendance to a Higher Platform with TimeTec Cloud” in Beyond Biometrics 2013, the official FingerTec magazine.

By Daryl Choo, Chief Information Officer, FingerTec HQ

Let's shed some light on Cloud Computing Cloud Computing (or for those uninitiated, putting your information or database...

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