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99.99% Uptime Guaranteed with SLA

2nd Watch has launched its new and expanded managed service offering to guarantee 99.99 percent AWS uptime and to give customers increased control over their Service Level Agreement (SLA) options. Now, three distinct service levels — Select, Executive and Premier — allow customers to tailor 2nd Watch products and services to their specific enterprise needs.

Visit our Managed Services page for details.

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Extend your Datacenter into the AWS Cloud

Using the Cloud seems like a no-brainer these days for new development or new projects.  Green field is a great and easy place to start when working with the Cloud.

What if I have a datacenter?  Servers?  Existing infrastructure?  How do I leverage the Cloud?

At 2nd Watch one of our core compentencies is helping businesses leverage their existing investment in infrastructure with the new economies of Cloud Computing.  Recently I co-hosted a webinar with AWS to talk about how you can leverage AWS to extend your existing datacenter(s) for various reasons: extended capacity, batch processing, one-time heavy workloads, marketing websites, etc., etc.

Below are the slides from the presentation: Or you can listen to a recording of the live webinar here.

Or you can listen to a recording of the live webinar.

-Kris

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Security On the Cloud

As more and more companies migrate their IT infrastructure to the cloud the main cloud-related concerns for businesses continue to be security, data control, and reliability. There are several factors to consider with any technological advancement. Most of these cloud-related concerns are not new and, with well-planned risk management, can be avoided to ensure data is both available and protected.

An ISACA Emerging Technology White Paper notes some common risk factors and solutions businesses should consider when making the move to the cloud.

  • Enterprises need to be particular in choosing a provider. Reputation, history and sustainability should all be factors to consider.
  • The dynamic nature of cloud computing may result in confusion as to where information actually resides. When information retrieval is required, this may create delays.
  • Public clouds allow high-availability systems to be developed at service levels often impossible to create in private networks. The downside to this availability is the potential for commingling of information assets with other cloud customers, including competitors.

Companies should have a risk management program that is able to deal with continuously evolving risks. An experienced provider can deliver useful strategies for mitigating these risks. For example, requirements for disaster recovery should be communicated between the business and the provider. Having a detailed Service Level Agreement will help the company manage its data once it migrates to the cloud as well as outline expectations regarding the handling, usage, storage and availability of information. Companies should also consider their security and management options when choosing a public, private or hybrid cloud. What are the pros and cons of each?

Public Cloud

  • Pros: Because infrastructure is maintained outside of the organization , public clouds offer the grea level of cost savings and efficiency – provides ability to add capacity as needed.  The public cloud has commoditized traditional technology infrastructure.
  • Cons: You share this cloud infrastructure with other users, potentially including competitors. Consider the sensitivity of the data to be stored on a public cloud and use encryption where required to protect corporate assets

Private Cloud

  • Pros: Because infrastructure is maintained on a private network, private clouds offer the grea level of security and control. You own not only the data but the cloud that houses it too.
  • Con: Provides lower cost savings than a public cloud, and the infrastructure lifecycle has to be managed.

Hybrid Cloud

  • Pros: Includes a mix of public and private storage and server infrastructure. Different parts of your business data can be stored on different clouds, ensuring high security or efficiency where needed.
  • Con: You have to keep track of multiple platforms and ensure all parts can communicate to each other.

By keeping these factors in mind you can ensure a smooth and successful transition to the cloud with secure and easy access to your data.

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How Cloud Computing is transforming scientific R&D!

Every once and awhile you run across something to do with Cloud Computing that makes you stop and say “Wow that is cool!”.

Last week we had the privalege of being at the AWS Summit in New York to launch our beta of 2W Insight, our new billing application for AWS.  While at the summit we had a chance to listen to how innovative companies are using AWS to solve real business problems.

The most interesting of these to me was a company called Cycle Computing.  Jason Stowe from Cycle Computing was on stage during the keynote to describe the AWESOME work he and his team are doing around building supercomputers on AWS.  I’ve posted lots of blogs on how to run a server or utility for <$1 month on AWS and while these are neat tricks they pale in comparison to the social importance of Jason and his team’s work.

Cycle Computing built a supercomputer on AWS with over 50,000 cores to do cancer research.  I will explain it terribly so please go over to their blog – blog.cyclecomputing.com and read about it yourself.  It is impressive to say the least.

Jason – keep it up!!

-Kris

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2nd Watch Unveils Beta Billing Application Today

Kris and Jeff are at a summit in New York today to unveil the beta version of 2nd Watch’s new cloud billing application, 2W Insight. 2W Insight will allow AWS customers to manage billing and consolidated billing environments in an easy to understand, streamlined manner. It will give customers easy visibility into their AWS bills – no more confusion in deciphering your bills!

2W Insight updates billing costs on a regular schedule, allowing accountants the most accurate billing information of any tool on the market, not just estimates. 2W Insight provides an organization’s management with simple, clean and easy to understand summaries of AWS use. Services are organized into compute, storage and network categories with charges summarized by region, size and VPC. 2W Insight also enables analysts to create more detailed drilldowns of AWS charges, giving them control over how they view and organize thier bill. Users can sort and filter detailed cost and usage information, view instance level details and multiple department costs. The printing feature also allows users to print a PDF summary of bills, delivering easy reporting capabilities.

Are you an AWS Solution Provider? The application will also be available as a platform to manage customer billing. It will generate accurate bills across the consolidated billing set up, enabling solution providers to apply AWS pricing to end consumers in a consumer-friendly format.

We are very excited about the new application and plan to have a production version available in early June.

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The Cloud creates jobs AND ideas!

Microsoft sponsored a study with IDC about job growth related to Cloud computing.  The headline – “Cloud Computing to create 14 Million New Jobs by 2015”.

You can read the entire article here – http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2012/mar12/03-05CloudComputingJobs.mspx

The article has a bit of sales in it – it does quote several partners and the VP of enterprise sales.  That aside it’s an interesting take on something I believe in strongly – the power of Cloud Computing to enable creators to create in a way not previously possible!

Here at 2nd Watch we are very proud to be a part of this new job creation!  Since 2011 2nd Watch has created 15 new jobs in the Cloud Computing industry!

The Cloud is a technology industrialization that will help empower business owners in a way not before possible.  Let me give you a case study of something that was not feasible before Cloud Computing:

Here at 2nd Watch we are working on a number of utilities to make the Cloud easier to consume. One such utility requires very large datasets to be stored for each customer.  Our application stores 21 Million data points per month, and that is only for 10 customers.  In the old world of technology if I wanted to mass market an application at this scale I would need to buy and provision several servers and massive disk storage to keep up with the demand.

In this instance I estimate that I would have purchased $65-75,000 worth of equipment.  Forget depreciation and useful life – for a startup this is just money I don’t have.  Today my almost Terabyte of storage costs me less than $10 per month, and I only pay for what I use.  My servers are several hundred dollars a month, and I can scale them up or down based on usage.

Big data problems are no longer big dollar problems.  This is a huge shift in an industry built around selling and consuming hardware.  This new wave of technology will spur the thinkers and doers in our society to create new and compelling business ideas that could not have existed before.

Welcome to the industrial age of technology.  I for one am looking forward to the opportunities this new world will bring!

-Kris

 

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