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What is a Private Cloud and What Are The Benefits?

Before we dig into the details of a private cloud, let’s look at general cloud hosting and what it can do. General cloud hosting enables you to create servers quickly, resize them as you need, copy and scale-out identical copies, and move them around. In a general cloud environment, you or your business is being hosted on hardware with tons of other cloud servers. As you can imagine, a room full of cloud servers can get pretty loud. To avoid those noisy neighbors and co-mingling with other tenants, many people turn to a private cloud. A private cloud settles those issues by providing a singular server with many benefits and features. 

A private cloud is one of three general models for cloud deployment in an organization: public, private, and hybrid. These three models share basic elements of cloud infrastructure. In the IT world, all clouds need some type of operating system to function. The different types of software used on the operating systems are what determines how the cloud will function. This is what distinguishes the three different models and how they are used. 

What is it?

A private cloud is a single-tenant environment. This means that the organization using it (the tenant) does not share resources with other users. The resources in this type of cloud environment can be hosted and managed in many different ways. It will also allow you to divide up your server as you see fit, have granular control over CPU cores, RAM, and disk space. This is a viable option for many different organizations, such as businesses, developers, and resellers. Private clouds are often used when public clouds are deemed inappropriate for business.

What are the types?

A private cloud is divided into three sections, each providing different functions. Each section is managed and hosted differently. 

Virtual: A private cloud computing environment located inside of a public cloud that enables you to experience the benefits of a virtualized network while using public cloud resources. 

Hosted: In a hosted private cloud model, the servers are not shared with other organizations. The service provider maintains the hardware, configures the network, and updates the software. In this environment, the infrastructure, data center facilities, power and cooling, and much more are provided by the service provider. 

Managed: This is a hosted environment in which the provider manages every aspect of the cloud, such as organization, identity management and storage. This is a great option for organizations and businesses that do not have the staff to manage a private cloud environment. 

What are the benefits?

The biggest advantage of using a private cloud is that users don’t share resources. This cloud computing model fits best with businesses with unpredictable computing needs that demand for complete control over their environment. 

Organizations and businesses who run their IT systems in a private cloud environment are guaranteed most of the same benefits found in a public cloud, such as scalability, self-service, flexibility, resource availability, security, regulatory compliance, and cost savings. It also allows the ability to provision, configure VMs (virtual machines), and modify computing resources on demand. 

Private clouds deliver a higher level of security and privacy through company firewalls and internal hosting to ensure that sensitive data is not accessible to third party providers. In addition to these benefits, you will have an increased capability for customization, increased performance due to resources being dedicated to one organization, and have incredible security due to the isolated network. Businesses that operate using the public cloud run the risk of co-mingling with multiple other tenants.

It is much more beneficial for businesses to invest in a private cloud. While some may want to invest for peace of mind, others may need it for compliance reasons. 

Here at Hostirian, we can host private clouds around the world. We are the third-largest data center in the St. Louis area. If you have any questions about a private cloud and what it can do for you or your business, fill out this form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

What is the Cloud?

If you’re not completely submerged in the world of technology, you may be confused when “tech” language is tossed around. But, don’t be embarrassed. Unless you’re around this kind of stuff often, it can be hard to understand! One term that often confuses people is “the cloud”.

It’s the one combination of words that you may only understand as the white cotton candy floating around in the sky. In tech terms, “the cloud” does not refer to anything residing in the sky. It’s actually a “catch-all” phrase that includes many different types of virtual solutions and services. There are two main services: cloud computing and cloud storage. 

Cloud computing refers to software and services that run on the Internet

Yes, the Internet! And no, the Internet does not reside in the sky. The name is just so similar to the dense patches of water that soar above us every so often. So, instead of running locally on your computer, the cloud operates on the Internet.  

You may be thinking, “What software and services are you talking about?” Well, they are likely services that you use every day. Cloud services include Google Drive, Apple iCloud, Netflix, Microsoft One Drive, Yahoo Mail, Dropbox, and many others. You may have been using one of these services without even knowing it. Some awesome benefits are that you can access your information on any device with an internet connection, you don’t need special hardware requirements and upgrades are easy because they only need to be performed on one server, instead of every computer and device in existence. 

Cloud services can be accessed through a web browser like Google Chrome and Firefox. Some companies even offer mobile apps that allow cloud access. You’ll receive double the benefits if you combine cloud computing with cloud storage. 

You may be more familiar with cloud storage, which is basically a virtual locker where you can remotely store any data and files. Years ago, people used hard drives, floppy disks, and CDs to store their information. Nowadays, those aren’t necessary. When you save content, such as a photo, to Google Drive, or iCloud, your photo is then copied over the Internet into a data server. 

Data servers are physical places where companies store your files on multiple hard drives. Normally there will be hundreds of these servers spanning across many locations, which are known as server farms. This is for precautionary reasons! If one location goes down, then your files won’t be lost because it will be backed up on another location. 

One benefit of using cloud storage is that it ensures a company’s data is kept secure and readily available. In instances such as a fire, a computer malfunction, or any other crazy emergency, the cloud will keep your data protected. As we know, it will be kept safe because it would be stored on a virtual server, not on your computer. Cloud storage also includes apps such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Apple iCloud, Microsoft One Drive, and much more. 

Overall, cloud computing and cloud storage can be a great solution for freeing up space on your device and accessing your files. It’s also a pretty great safeguard in case your devices are destroyed, because it will be backed up!

Joomla or WordPress? Finding the right script to power your website.

WordPress and Joomla are both content management systems, and while both have been around for years, WordPress has surged ahead of Joomla in popularity and add-on functionality.

Look at the numbers. With nearly 2 billion (that’s billion with a B) sites online, WordPress controls 30% of those, and approximately 60% of sites built with content management systems. Where is Joomla? In second place at 7%, followed by Drupal at 5%.

Both are available for quick installs via Softaculous.

Softaculous is a great auto-installer having 446 great scripts, 1115 PHP Classes and they are still adding more. These scripts cover most of the uses a business owner or entrepreneur could ever use. It covers a wide array of Categories so that everyone can find just the right script to power their website.

Why Joomla? How will it help your business?

Joomla is an open source platform on which Web sites and applications can be created. It is a content management system (CMS) which connects your site to a MySQLi, MySQL, or PostgreSQL database in order to make content management and delivery easier.

Joomla 4 new features:

  • Bootstrap 4 Integration
  • More friendly Back-end User Interface
  • Coding improvements
  • New front-end template and back-end template
  • New Media manager
  • Simplified installation process
  • Faster page loading times
  • Features to improve Search Engine Optimization

Why we recommend WordPress.

WordPress was designed for everyone, not just developers. That’s HUGE! You don’t have to be tech-savvy to use it, so forget stressing over learning code. Do you want the ability to tweak your website after its initial development? Compared to Joomla, WordPress shines in this department. It’s user friendly, it’s versatile and it flat out works. One word of caution – hackers love WordPress, so keep those themes and plugins up-to-date, and install some sort of security software.

 

WordPress 4.9.8 Features

The talk of the day is Gutenberg (a new editing environment) and while it still doesn’t hold ground against Elementor, prepare yourself as it is soon to become part of the WordPress core. Gutenberg lays the groundwork for incredibly exciting developments.

Gutenberg is at stage one of a three-pronged roll-out strategy. First, WordPress will get a redeveloped editor, and after that the project will focus on page templates, then in the final stage it will become a full site customizer. As you can imagine, this will empower developers with endless possibilities.

Cyber Security Month – 5 Tips for Better Cyber Security

October is Cyber Security Month, a notion that Hostirian holds very near to our hearts. Cyber Security is at the crux of what we believe in, and sentiments for stronger security are ones we strongly align with. Of course, there are many ways for one to go about ensuring they are secure, and it’s highly recommended that one takes the time to review just how safe they are and how safe they can be – in the meantime, we’ll start with 5 important tips for making sure you are on the right track to being safe and secure online:

  1. USE STRONG PASSWORDS
    I’m sure we’ve all read this one time and time again – told it even more times, yet it can’t be said enough. Password security is pivotal for cyber security, and by far the easiest to manage, but often times the most vulnerable. Remember, your passwords aren’t just meant to be bits of memorabilia for fond memories or a relative’s birthday, they are your protection from letting random people access your data. Make sure you are using a relatively complex password, and if need be are storing it in a secure location in case it has slipped your mind (albeit, having a hint rather than the password outright is far more advisable).
  2. KEEP YOUR SOFTWARE UPDATED
    This one is as simple as it comes, and should be the easiest to keep track of. Often times, the software companies and teams are finding the vulnerable spots in their apps, and are constantly providing updates when they do to ensure they are putting out a safe product. Don’t overlook these updates!
  3. USE ANTI-MALWARE/ANTI-VIRUS PROTECTION
    Another common bit of advice, but just because it’s common doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Being safe and cautious won’t do you as much good if you aren’t also making sure you have those slips and cracks covered, and that’s where your anti-malware and anti-virus software come in handy, but which ones should you be using? It’s not as straightforward of an answer as some might make it seem, as some software offer different versions that cover more or different malware than another, so really it comes down to what your needs are. I’ve found that this write-up offers a great breakdown on what each company offers and what their software scans for, and be the perfect starting point for you if you are shopping for anti-malware/anti-virus products.
    To make sure you are fully protected, even when using anti-malware/anti-virus software, we also heavily advise having two security software. Have one to run in the background, and another to have ready for any on-the-spot moments to make sure nothing might have been overlooked or managed to slip its way through. Just remember to disable the one you have running in the background, lest you risk them interfering with one-another.
    Footnote: Make sure you are also using a Firewall and keeping it updated as well. You can never be too safe.
  4. BE WEARY OF ATTACHMENTS AND DOWNLOADS
    This one is going to mostly be related to your email usage, but it is by no means less important. Attachments and downloads are what most people recognize malware as, and they aren’t wrong for doing so. People are getting more creative in the malware they put-out, but email has still remained an effective means for them to do so. When you go to open an attachment, make sure you are aware of the source, the purpose of the attachment, and that you are expecting it. One of the biggest trends of late is spoofing – where someone will send an email under what appears to be another’s email address. This allows them to cover themselves up as, say, someone from your own contacts list, in order to gain your trust in what they are sending you. If you receive a suspicious email from someone you know, check with them to make sure they really did send it before opening.
  5. KEEP ALL IMPORTANT DATA BACKED UP 
    Last, but certainly not least, back. up. your. stuff. Humans are infallible, and sometimes mistakes happen. Maybe it was on your end, maybe it was on the company behind your anti-malware, maybe it was neither…either way you should always be prepared and be ready to get all of your data back up (pun absolutely intended) in case something does end up happening. I’ve said it once here, I’ll say it again: you cannot be too safe. Even if it only happens once, even if it never happens, the investment in making sure all your data is secure for you is definitely greater than the risk of losing it all.

-Trevor Newman