Where is the real cost savings in cloud computing?

As commonly known that cloud computing is turning out to be a financial saver for enterprise. Cloud users can save operation cost by moving business from in-house server hardware to the cloud and gain work efficiency. A question would raise then: Where is the real cost savings in cloud computing? The cost is reduced in multiple ways, this article will discuss about the cost saving of cloud deployment

IT Infrastructure

The upfront investment on hardware can be very expensive as they need to be kept maintained and updated. You no longer need to invest on hardware in advance with cloud computing, the scalability of cloud allow enterprise to enlarge the server whenever they want. Besides, many cloud packages include diverse software like Operation System which further reduces your IT cost.

Energy Cost

Cloud computing use less electricity due to the economics of scale, cloud provider charge business less energy cost than what you spend for your own in-house servers. Some researches show that cloud computing would help to save an estimated 68 – 87% in energy for its office computing. Enterprises can save thousands of dollars per month in result.
 

IT Specialist

Traditional servers are maintained by in-house IT specialist, the IT employee cost can be reduced because cloud providers are responsible for cloud management and maintenance. In fact, most of them offer 24/7 support and safeguard your cloud server at professional level. Thus, the salaries and other cost of tech team can be cut down.
 

Operation Cost

Cloud server makes remote working practical, this topic is popular recently because of Covid-19 outbreak. Your employee will be able to access the cloud and network with any devices outside office, the operation cost can be reduced consequently. A recent study shows that each remote employee could save up to US$11,000 a year in western countries.
 

Data Security

Business may invest a lot on the data security to protect data far from crisis, however there are many solution protecting the cloud data at a low cost in the cloud market, auto-backup and virtual private cloud are two common security technique used by many enterprises. These solutions are proven effective and efficient, helping users to save data addition cost.

China Direct CN2 Route

China Direct CN2 Route (China Telecom Next Generation Carrier Network) is successor of ChinaNet Assess. CN2 has highest resilience, redundancy, low latency, meanwhile providing direct connections to all major global ISPs via fiber optic data delivery in order to serve global enterprises which are seeking for a high-quality connection with China. There are two types of CN2: Global Transit (CN2 GT) and Global Internet Access (CN2 GIA).

CN2 GT

CN2 GT is providing global customers with the transfer service of accessing global Internet resources at a low cost. It has more than 350 POPs locating in all China’s cities and major cities worldwide. Although CN2 GT has its own independent line for international connection, however the link is still in the domestic 163 backbone network which is comparatively slow.

CN2 GIA

CN2 GIA offers a premium access between mainland China and counties outside China. GIA is the abbreviation of global Internet access. It is working with dedicated path and acknowledged as the most reliable with the lowest latency network for overseas enterprise. It has dual-POPs in 161 cities and dual-PEs installed in 148 single-POP cities., covering nearly 200 major cities in China.

Business Class Solution For Oversea Enterprises

The LayerStack China Direct CN2 GIA Route offers a business class solution for overseas enterprises seeking a high-performance connection with China. This route is backed by the top three Chinese carriers including China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile, ensuring high capacity, superior performance, solid reliability, and excellent connection speed. CN2 GIA route is now available to all LayerStack cloud server plans as an add-on service. With the addition 2-way direct connection, users will significantly reduce network latency and receive throughput improvements at a very small cost (US$ 2.5/month) .
 

* Let us know your comments and suggestions on LayerStack Community.

AI and the Cloud

According to a recent report, the global value of AI market will grow to $190 billion by 2025, it is no doubt that AI is one of the fastest-grow market in the world today. On the other hand, it is accounted that global public cloud market was $272 billion in 2018. Unlike AI, cloud industry has well-developed in the market and seems to be a driving force for economic growth. AI and cloud computing industries are not mutually exclusive, in fact, there are many evidences proving that AI and cloud can coordinate perfectly. Intelligent assistants like Siri and Google Assistant are the best example showing how AI access the big data with the cloud, learn from the data and continuously improve the performance.

What actually is AI?

Artificial Intelligence refers to the simulated intelligence in machines. The terms refer to the result of endowing machines with the ability to learn and analysis from data, which allow them to make the best decisions in different scenarios. AI is always associated with robot because of the influence of movie, however, most of the AI are invisible and working closely with our daily life.

AI Self-Managed Cloud

AI has been embedded into IT infrastructure to help streamline workloads and automate repetitive tasks, such as email auto-reply and payment requests. With the diverse capabilities of AI, some companies start using AI to optimize the core business workflow, thus the routine processes can be managed by the system itself, it helps IT teams better capture the efficiencies of the cloud.

AI and Data Management

AI is also performing as data analyst nowadays, as mentioned above that Cloud allows AI to access big data, a wide range of data-related duties can be handled by AI strategic program. Those duties include data collection, data identification, ingestion, categorization and database management. The categorized data will be analyzed and evaluated by AI for generating valuable recommendations in different aspects like website UI, marketing, customer service and supply chain. In order words, the cloud endow AI with capabilities to learn from big data in order to achieve auto-optimization.

AI in operation strategy

Product recommendation is applied by many e-commerce websites aiming for remarketing. After visitor shopping for a product online, he will then keep exposing to banners for related product suggestions, it is all about AI and big data. In addition, chatbot is widely used by enterprises, it tends to extract information from website and present it to customers. These bots advance with time, understanding and serving customer queries better due to its machine learning algorithms. In fact, moving the e-commerce to cloud can be benefited from valuable advantages, full article available at Blog – Cloud hosted eCommerce.

The Future Business Environment

 The fusion of AI and Cloud is transforming the business environment in every level, from deeper learning to near-compete automation of key processes. Although the AI is already applied in many businesses today, the technology is still in its early stage. It is widely believed that there will be a phenomenal advancement in the future, many types of job will be replaced by AI in coming 10 years, the industry evolution is yet to come.

 
* Let us know your comments and suggestions on LayerStack Community.

Application Programming Interface

Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of tools and protocols for integrating services and features. It simplifies programming by abstracting the underlying implementation and only exposing those major objects or actions the developer needs. Cloud API, thus, serves as a gateway or interface that provides direct and indirect cloud infrastructure and software services to users. The complicated command setting is reduced and providing a full picture of cloud condition to non-specialist users. Cloud users can also be benefited from faster platform access and a more efficient management of platform security with APIs.

RESTful API

One of the most popular type of API is REST (Representational State Transfer), also known as RESTful API, it can be used over nearly any protocol. REST is a logical choice for building APIs which allow users to connect to, manage and interact with cloud services in a distributed environment. One key advantage of REST APIs is that they provide a great flexibility, data is not tied to any resource or methods which allow user to manage different types of calls. In fact, RESTful APIs are used by global brands like Amazon, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Multi-functional LayerPanel

LayerStack RESTful API gives clients maximum control over their cloud management and provides an easy way to build and adjust the cloud servers programmatically. On LayerPanel, a new cloud server can be purchased and deployed in 3mins without any complicated command setting. The Operation System (include custom ISO) and Firewall setting can be easily configured on panel. Moreover, user can guard server health and track with the CPU and RAM usage, disk read/write, and bandwidth usage, through a simple web-based interface.

More Features to Come…

Furthermore, LayerStack API is effective tools for businesses because it supports multi-users, cloud owner can set different access authorities for different parties to work in a single cloud environment with user permission management. LayerStack commits to provide our valued customers with superior cloud experience, with the powerful support of LayerPanel, more useful and innovative cloud features can be developed and released in the coming future in order to make further improvements on customers’ work effectiveness and efficiency.
 

* Let us know your comments and suggestions on LayerStack Community.

Cloud Server vs Tradition Data Center

When it comes to hosting enterprise’s IT infrastructures, there are two major options for business leaders, the cloud and data center. A traditional data center is on premises that data is accessed through a local network, it is typically maintained by in-house IT specialists. Cloud computing, on the other hand, is essentially a remote version of data center which allow business to access the data through the internet. In this article, some difference between cloud and data center will be outlined for your reference.

Cost Saving

Cloud computing comes with obvious cost-saving and this is the driven for many businesses to move to the cloud for years. Cloud users only need to pay for their needs and cloud usage without any advance investments on hardware and software infrastructures that will be outdated.
 
 

Scalability & Deployment Time

Scalability is another selling point of cloud. A traditional data center involves some time-consuming work to bring additional server online, and that time lost may eventually affect your business. However, it takes only 10 mins to deploy a new cloud server which allow users to resize cloud servers to meet changing needs.
 

Data Security

For sure that datacenter provide user with complete control which is not possible in cloud computing. However, many popular cloud providers do also deliver superior data security to users, like 24/7 supports and user permission management. Thus, a trustable cloud provider is the key of data protection.
 

Accessibility

Unlike placing the data in traditional data center, users can upload and download files even they do not have the particular devices on hand with cloud computing, it allows businesses to achieve remote working business model which has been proven beneficial to business efficiency and productivity.
 

Disaster Recovery

Cloud provides offer multiple solutions for users to completely safeguard business data from disasters. The rationale behind those recovery solutions are that data is free to transfer from cloud to cloud, it can be automatically copied to a backup server to minimize the recovery time objective.
 
 

Geo Restrictions

To cope with global expansion, sometimes businesses need to move the data to local network in order to speed up the website or comply with local regulations. Deploying a new cloud server in a new country or region is as simple as selecting the location from a drop-down menu.
 
 

Technology Choice

There is no restriction on software and hardware with datacenter. Users can install with a specific graphics accelerator or hardware security module to meet businesses’ operation needs. The technology choice of datacenter, in fact, is more extensive then cloud computing as users do not “complete control” the cloud.

 
 
Although cloud computing is the business trend in recent years, it is not easy to judge which option is better than the other as they both have their own strengths, enterprises should evaluate the business needs and decide to use the most effective and efficient way.

Remote Working

Remote working has become a hot topic due to the Covid-19 outbreak, many medical experts across the globe are warning of second wave of Covid-19 infections, it is generally agreed that the inevitable second wave of the coronavirus pandemic could be more deadly than the first because it could be coupled with the seasonal flu. Remote working and learning have been proven an effective option during the global pandemic, according to a recent survey, 98% of respondent said they would like the option to work from home for the rest of their career.

Remote Work As New Business Trend

Many businesses are still concerning about the employees’ productivity as remote working make it uncontrollable, however many researches show that remote workers tend to be 35% – 40% more productive due to a more flexible schedule, lack of distractions, reducing commute time and a less stressful working environment. Moreover, a recent study indicated that employer can also be benefited from a sizable cost reduction, each remote employee could save up to US$11,000 a year in western countries due to the reducing rental and daily operation cost.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is a technology used to create a virtualized desktop environment on a remote server which is hosted on virtual machines and controlled by management software. Businesses can develop a secure remote office environment by simply moving the business to cloud servers and create an IP whitelist with the build-in firewall template function allowing specific IP address to work on the virtual desktop remotely. With virtual desktop, employee no longer need to worry about any hardware and crashing issues on physical machines.

Cloud File Server

Cloud File Server is an alternative way for enterprises to practice remote working, it works when company database runs on a cloud computing platform. Different level of access authorities are assigned to specific users, employee can then download files from cloud server to their own devices. Cloud owner can also set some rules on upload and download actions. Cloud control panels like Plesk and cPanel are server add-on options which are useful for non-professionals to complete files server setting and manage company resource with a user-friendly Graphic User Interface.

Data Security

User data security is always LayerStack’s major concerns, we offer multiple features and solutions for cloud users to improve the security level of servers. Auto-Backup is the most popular solution applied for data security purpose. Cloud server would automatically backup all the data at regular intervals, users can recover important business data at any time. Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), on the other hand, can provide an isolated environment for users to keep sensitive data. It works with a dedicated private network connecting a router server and an isolated server, all data will be transferred through a secure and ultra-fast connection.

Major Business Trend

It is no doubt that remote working is changing the global workspace operates and becoming a major business trend in the next few years. Business should take a step forward to maintain business daily operations in global pandemic and foresaw economic recession.

User Permission Management

LayerStack’s cloud servers are featured with user permission management which is designed for businesses to connect with clients, employees, and partners for greater resources management. Cloud owner can assign permissions to different parties authorizing them to access specific instances and payment options, thus the server security can be easily maintained. “Users can create their own customized solutions for businesses. The APIs help control specific cloud resources and their distribution. For example, the rapid provisioning of cloud resources or network configurations is something that our APIs can help with.” said Dennis Ng, the Founder in LayerStack.

Advantages of User Permission

Obviously, the system provides cloud owners with an absolute power to control their cloud servers, owners can add, edit and remove any assigned permission at any time. It could be really useful when they have partnerships with outside vendors, a limited permission can be directly assigned to those parties without any safety concerns. The Permission system is even more important for service providers as they are handling numerous projects at a time, different permissions can be generated for clients in order to minimize the cross connections between projects.

Major User Authorizations

  • Owner: Full authority to add cloud servers and products, manage all cloud resources and access all account information.
  • Member: Ability to manage specific instances with limited features on assigned accounts.
  • Billing: Empowered to manage specific instances with limited features and access to read invoice records and manage payment options.
  • Billing Admin: Ability to read invoice records and manage payment options on assigned accounts.

Quick Start Guide

  1. Log in to LayerPanel, go to the Account section and click Manage Users.
  2. Click the +Invite User button.
  3. Select the Proper role and input the user’s Email address.
  4. An Invitation email will be sent once the Send button is clicked.

    For more permission details of roles: https://www.layerstack.com/resources/docs/Roles-and-Permissions

Official Launch – Virtual Private Cloud

User data security is always LayerStack’s major concerns, today we are pleased to announce that Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) is official launched on LayerPanel. LayerStack VPC is a virtual isolated network dedicated to any of your LayerStack cloud servers aiming to provide user with completely isolated cloud servers to place sensitive data and works.

Progression of Private Networking

LayerStack VPC is the natural progression of our existing Private Networking features. Although they are both sharing similar operating principle, VPC goes one step further by hiding the Public IP of isolated instances. It results in each private instance that you created is logically isolated from other private networks and the public Internet.

Thus, VPC cannot download and upload any data to the public network directly, all data transfer has to pass through gateway server which maintains the true privacy and data security inside the private instances.

Data Transfer

Efficiently transmit data over a dedicated VLAN circuit which is unreachable from the internet, data can be transmitted via a high capacity and low latency isolated network. Unlimited traffic is available for inbound and outbound transfers, unlike many cloud providers in the market like Linode, DigitalOcean and Vultr, no extra cost will be charged for data transfer.

Furthermore, enterprises can achieve data mirroring with the ultra-low latency bandwidth, the system can real-time copy sensitive data to multiple isolated instances as a part of crisis prevention plan.

The Use of VPC

VPC can be very useful when users want to store their business sensitive data separately in order to further improve the data security level, those sensitive data can be something like backend system, client’s personal information, transactions data etc.. VPC makes it extremely hard for third parties to stumble across data and employ them in negative way. In fact, multiple isolated instances can be deployed with one gateway server, the independence of different business projects can be enhanced. Multi-VPC may works for project-based companies like web and apps developers which resources do not need to communicate with each other, the clients’ data can be more secure and better managed by the service providers.

Once private network has been deployed on the clouds, a private IP would be auto-generated, then either one server can be configured to behave as the internet gateway. A complete VPC setup guide is available at https://www.layerstack.com/resources/tutorials/How-to-configure-Virtual-Private-Cloud.

Cloud-hosted eCommerce

With the global coronavirus outbreak and cities lockdown, e-commerce has become the indispensable platform for people to purchase food, daily necessaries and daily necessities. According to Statista E-commerce report, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 3.53 trillion US dollars in 2019, it is about 14% of the total global retail sales of the year (25 trillion US dollars), the ratio of online sales kept rising in the past 10 years and estimated to be proceed with the climb.

The technology is the key factors to e-commence evolution, e-commerce can be hugely benefited from cloud computing in many ways. Business who aim to capture values from the e-commerce market trend should pay attention to how cloud computing helps to save time and resource

1. Scalable

The scalability of cloud server perfectly complements the needs of e-commerce businesses, it allows brands to upscale or downscale to meet the changing demand, traffic and seasonal spikes. The change of cloud package can be activated in few minutes which help businesses to avoid any losses due to the overload website traffic.

2. Speed

A recent study found out that 40% of customers abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load. While a sudden traffic spikes can slow down the website and make it nonresponsive, cloud server provides you a greater bandwidth, stronger computational power, faster and stable website connections.

3. Savings

Businesses do not need to invest in hardware and software infrastructure if they are placing their websites in cloud server. The overall I.T. spending would be reduced because they only pay for what they need and used with cloud hosting. I.T. supports from cloud providers may further reduce website maintenance cost.

4. Security

The firewall options safeguard business websites from virus and threats. The auto-backup service ensures all your websites data are protected and able to be recovering from the server. Last but not least, the DDoS protection feature protect your websites from DDoS attack, these superior security measures minimize the potential risk to your brand image.

Cloud Security

cloud security

Data is always the important value of businesses, the need of data protection become more critical now than ever. Many organizations are migrating to the new IT environment – cloud computing. According to the 2018 State of the Cloud Survey, 81% of enterprises are interested in cloud computing because cloud is cost-effective, user-friendly and scalable. However, data security is still the primary concern for brands to move their business to cloud. In fact, it may surprise you that cloud solutions are more secure than legacy system in most of the case. Here are some reasons how cloud computing better protects businesses’ systems and valuable data.

1. Cloud Provider Investment

1. Cloud Provider Investment

Cloud computing brands are spending as much as 75% of its R&D budget on security system. Many cloud services possesses different security features, such as Built-in Firewalls, DDoS Attack Protection and Private Networking. In fact, more investments have flowed into cloud technology recently due to the Covid-19 outbreaks, it can be foreseen that cloud is making enterprise’s servers even more secure in the near future.

2. Safeguard Your Business from Disaster

Cloud providers are offering different solutions to cloud users aiming to maximize their capabilities to secure business data in different scenarios. Auto-Backup is the most popular solution commonly offered to users for data security purpose. Cloud server would automatically backup all the data at regular intervals, backup date is protected on separate and fault-tolerant external data drives, allowing users to protect and recover important business data at any time. Private Networking is another useful technique, users can enjoy true private network in an isolated environment which is helpful for transferring sensitive data. Users may also further set up an efficient disaster recovery plan with a standby server housed at a different geographic location. Both suggested add-on solutions ensure business continuity in the event of natural or man-made disasters.

3. Controlled Access

Cloud owners have the rights to grant permission to different cloud users like employee and vendors in order to take granular control over the cloud environment. Authorized users have the limited access to manage specific instances which greatly reduce the risk of man-made disasters in every aspect. The lack of physical access also makes it extremely hard for third parties to stumble across data and employ it in negative way.

4. Careful Monitoring and Supports

As of the primary responsibility of cloud providers, they would monitor their infrastructure and system closely with no breaks in order to keep clients’ data safe. If a potential issue and threat arises, a qualified cloud provider should response to it immediately, they could even shut off any part of a system if something is affecting the overall security. It is cost-effective for enterprises to move business to cloud because all the supports from skilled IT professionals are included in the cloud computing plan.