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2018-07-16

MarTech Can Be a Marketer’s Best Friend If They Have the Infrastructure to Back It Up

2018-07-16

In a relatively short time, marketing technology (MarTech) has gone from being a small niche to a pillar of the modern marketing industry. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the pace at which technology has infiltrated our everyday lives. In the same way that most marketers have embraced smartphone technology, MarTech has exciting potential […]
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2018-06-11

Leaseweb Hosts “Fintech Talks” Event in Estonia

2018-06-11

https://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/06/Twino230518-131-768x512.jpg 768w, https://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/06/Twino230518-131-1024x683.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 450px) 100vw, 450px" />The Latitude59 tech conference was held in late May for the 11th straight year, featuring almost 100 speakers from 20 different countries around the globe. Topics ranged from “The Future of Cybersecurity” to “The Future of Sustainable Food,” and, new for this year, Leaseweb partnered with online investment platform TWINO to host the “Fintech Talks” event.
Latitude59 is Estonia’s largest annual tech conference, and during its most recent iteration, 13 different topics were addressed by the speakers. Priit Salumaa, co-founder of Latitude59, moderated the discussion, while the panel included thought leaders such as Roberts Lasovskis, TWINO’s P2P platform lead, Kristjan Kangro, CEO and founder at Change, and Joyce Y. Shen, venture capitalist at Tenfore Holdings and data science professor at Berkeley.
Shen’s address, in particular, covered the intersection of commerce and big data that characterizes the world of fintech, in addition to opportunities in the burgeoning fintech industry that are waiting to be filled by the next generation of startups.
A Focus on Fintech
These opportunities are emerging largely thanks to the next generation of customers. Young people have vastly different conceptions about banking than their parents’ generations, and recent developments in mobile banking technology mean that many Millennials or Gen Zers have quite possibly never been to a physical bank. Instead, they view finances through the medium of their smartphone or computer, with banking apps and other online payment options such as Paypal and Venmo.
Younger people are also growing up with different investing options, and part of the “Fintech Talks” discussion included the necessity of transparency of returns and the importance of vesting potential investment partners. For every legitimate financial institution out there, there are a host of scammers waiting to pounce. Doing due diligence before investing is extremely important for determining good investments from bad ones, and the changing face of investments makes telling the difference especially difficult.
As banks look to remain competitive and secure, they’ve begun to partner with much younger fintech firms. Tech-forward startups enable banks to revamp how they offer financial services to today’s customers, and the smaller size of these startups means they’re incredibly agile and focused.
Fintech Meets the Cloud
Fintech companies have also started embracing the cloud in order to be more agile. Cloud services allow businesses to scale capacity up or down quickly in order to react to customer demand in real time, which can also be cost efficient when you pay only for what you use.
The cloud also allows fintech companies to compete with larger (and older) financial institutions that may have more experience in the banking industry but can’t react to changing customer demands as quickly because they’re tied down by legacy IT systems. Integrating cloud technology can help smaller companies compete with the big names, as well as help larger institutions keep up with what their customers want.
No one knows for sure where fintech is going and what impact it will have, but it’s a safe assumption that this convergence of the technology and financial sectors will continue to play an increasingly important role. As fintech companies emerge to provide safe, secure, and seamless solutions for their customers, the ones that can do so the most efficiently and effectively will be the ones that rise to the top.
The post Leaseweb Hosts “Fintech Talks” Event in Estonia appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2018-06-01

New Trend in Cloud and Dedicated Server Hosting

2018-06-01

https://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/06/iStock-828938138-768x512.jpg 768w, https://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/06/iStock-828938138-1024x683.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 350px) 100vw, 350px" />Leaseweb is currently seeing a change in the kind of orders we receive. While there is still a growing demand for cloud hosting, we are also noticing an increased demand for dedicated servers. The likely reason for this trend is that more and more highly specialized Tech companies (most of them active in the SaaS, MarTech/FinTech or gaming industries), would like to have more control over their infrastructure, cost and performance.
For the purposes of this blog post, I will use the term “cloud” to mean a virtualized environment with additional features. HyperScalers, for example, offer these kind of platforms. When I talk about dedicated servers, it means completely automated delivered servers or physical servers in highly customized setups with NVMe’s, GPU cards or 10GE+ uplinks, for example. In many cases, the total environment of the customers asking for this sort of specific hardware ends up in a hybrid cloud, as where the specific parts of the infrastructure (or the base load) ends up on dedicated server, and the commodity part in the cloud.
I believe that in the near future, commodity hosting will move more and more towards cloud environments to offer fair rates at acceptable performance levels with lots of flexibility in the contracts. Specifically, when there are many peaks in the load and you do not want to spend too much time on the maintenance of the environment, cloud will be the preferred solution. My guess is that this will be the case for at least 90% of the IT load worldwide. However, if you really need to pinch out the last CPU frequency or lowest latency, you might see your cloud bill raising to unacceptable levels, or you might even not be able to find your target performance. And exactly for that reason, we now see a growing demand for dedicated servers, with high specifications or very customized solutions. Although this is just a small amount of the requests we receive, it is starting to become a trend.
Dedicated servers instead of cloud will only be cost efficient if you have a certain critical mass of infrastructure, meaning that for most startups, this is not the preferred way of hosting. However, for infrastructure heavy scale-ups or more mature companies, moving parts of the infrastructure to dedicated boxes might be an interesting option to consider if you have at least two out of six possibilities listed here:
–          Your cloud bill is of a certain significance, meaning that you paying GBP 10K per month or more
–          Your application is in need of ultimate network performance, meaning that every added millisecond is one too many. Or you really need the lowest latency to almost all parts of the world, or to very specific locations where the current cloud providers are not able to deliver this
–          Your application needs very high CPU clock frequencies or very quick and predictable responses for the CPU
–          Your application needs tremendous amounts of RAM, to deliver the performance you need. This is valid for example in cases where you have a big Databases running in memory
–          Your application needs extreme fast disk access, or you want to move RAM towards NVMe disks
–          Your application has a lot of base infrastructure, and does not need to peak (meaning that PAYG services won’t be of really value for you)
If you have at least a yes for two of the above six possibilities, it might be interesting to consider a move from cloud towards dedicated servers or probably even more interesting, to consider a hybrid cloud solution, in which your infrastructure is partly hosted in the cloud, partly on dedicated servers. Of course, this might mean more system administration, but with correct tooling, monitoring and maintenance this should not be of too much hassle. On top of that, I’ve now seen several cases where the cost improvement was between up to 60% of cost decrease, so spending a bit more time om server management might still be a valid argument to consider. Leaseweb looks forward to the future to see how this will further develop!
The post New Trend in Cloud and Dedicated Server Hosting appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2018-05-24

Why Open Source Platforms Are an Effective Tool for Businesses

2018-05-24

https://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/05/iStock-843016322-768x512.jpg 768w, https://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/05/iStock-843016322-1024x683.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />When it comes to developing tech tools or software, businesses have a few options. Companies may have a single person or company in charge of the tech, or they can develop it as part of open source. Thankfully, open source proves to be an excellent option for building and improving programs due to the innovative atmosphere it presents.
Collaboration is a major component of open source, as its very concept aims to provide experts across the globe with a reliable platform to build and develop innovative things. The idea behind the open source community is to build anything for shared purposes, which often yields a high degree of involvement and transparency. Open source platforms are also constantly evolving, and the diversity of thought from people all across the globe make them stronger and more robust.
Also, the open source community is not limited to only developers. Testers, end users, and tech writers find the plethora of tools endlessly rewarding. The mass collaboration efforts noted on open source has paved the way for companies across the world to band together in an effort to solve big problems.
 
How Leaseweb Is Utilizing Open Source
GitHub is the core location for building software, housing over 27 million users who have built and contributed to over 80 million projects. Leaseweb has currently developed 30 open source repositories and is continuing to develop and maintain more, which it will share with users while taking full advantage of the various tools available on the environment. As a company, Leaseweb actively contributes to open source knowledge, ensuring it is available for everyone’s use.
Apache CloudStack and Nginx are just a couple of the open source tools LeaseWeb uses and contributes to. CloudStack is a type of open source cloud computing software that uses hypervisors like VMware vSphere, VMware ESXi, VMware vCenter, XenServer/XCP, and KVM to manage, deploy, and create infrastructure cloud services.
Nginx, which was released under the terms of a BSD-like license, is another useful open-source software web server. This program is one that can be used as an HTTP cache, load balancer, or a reversed proxy. Not only is Nginx beneficial for Leaseweb, the company also announced that Leaseweb is its preferred infrastructure partner and a leading hosting provider.
 
Using Open Source to Strengthen Your Products
The open source platform can be extremely beneficial for IT professionals, especially when it comes to developing and strengthening new software and tech tools. There are a few things to keep in mind, though, as you begin using open source platforms:
1. Make Sure You Have the Right License
Before beginning, it’s imperative to verify you have the proper open source license. Apache, GNU GPL, and MIT offer various categories of licenses, so be sure to preview guidelines and other information on licenses before implementing repositories of your own.
2. Consider the Costs Involved
Although open source is typically free, there are some exceptions that can be found on the platform. It is important to consider some of the possible expenses and drawbacks for software. Be sure to make sure the software is free before downloading it, and also consider the hidden costs associated with learning how to use the program, installing it, setting it up, running it, and maintaining updates. Also be sure to consider potential problems with implementation, administration, and support for repositories over time.
3. Create an Implementation Plan
Finally, develop a sound plan for adoption. Whether your company is moving steadily ahead with implementation or you have strict guidelines to follow, it’s important to map out your requirements ahead of time. Clearly state what is needed as far as visible trade-offs, the desired level of support, or the process of requesting proposals. Reconsider the decision-making process in order to ensure no stone is left unturned.
Leaseweb and other professionals across the globe are taking full advantage of open source platforms to share and improve their products. One of the key benefits is that it is truly an ecosystem of innovators. There is no longer a primary focus on competition, but rather a thirst for knowledge and a willingness to work with others in order to develop new resources and opportunities. Open source is a platform for innovation, providing endless opportunities for individuals and businesses alike.
The post Why Open Source Platforms Are an Effective Tool for Businesses appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2018-05-17

How the Cloud Can Help the FinTech Industry Thrive

2018-05-17

https://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/05/iStock-636088300-768x512.jpg 768w, https://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/05/iStock-636088300-1024x683.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />Over the past ten years, we have witnessed a major e-commerce boom. This thriving industry created the need for ecosystem relationship management, or ERM, boosting a healthy ecosystem of start-up tech suppliers to serve several industries with online transactions.
Financial technology, or FinTech for short, is what makes these types of financial services possible online. Services like Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and PayPal allow customers to securely use credit cards to make online purchases, and FinTech services help companies better manage financial transactions as well as broad financial aspects of their business.
With the FinTech industry growing every day, there is a pressing need for secure and reliable hosting service providers. Cloud hosting makes this possible by being available for FinTech companies to ensure protected and instant transactions for every customer.
 
Choosing the Appropriate Hosting Option
It is neither a secret nor a surprise that the financial services industry is one of the most regulated industries in the world. Early on, a lot of companies were reluctant to choose third-party providers or transition to the cloud primarily because of the unique traits each company presents in terms of its hosting needs.
The stringent regulations placed upon the industry by the Financial Conduct Authority were also once a prime barrier for FinTech companies, although now the FCA encourages firms to take advantage of clouds and the beneficial opportunities they provide.
There are strict requirements for compliance these companies must meet simply because the industry is a prime target for cyberattacks and hackers. FinTech companies need to make sure their data is well protected by implementing infrastructures that are compliant and work by securing their data on a 24-hour basis.
This industry deals with extremely sensitive information, and a breach could be devastating to customers around the world. The adoption of cloud hosting enables FinTech companies across the globe to develop guidelines that reassure customers that these companies are secure and compliant, thanks to improved cloud migration. Also, outsourcing infrastructure security and compliance to your cloud hosting provider can save you time and money by leaving you more time to focus on security at the application level.
 
How Clouds Benefit FinTech Businesses
Using cloud technology for your FinTech business can pay off because clouds often boast few security risks, increased agility, and the ability to increase your speed to market significantly. In fact, 22 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses say that using the cloud in some capacity has given them a competitive edge, according to a survey from the Cloud Industry Forum, and 25 percent say it has provided greater flexibility to adapt to changing marketing conditions.
Although security concerns still exist, as with any hosting infrastructure, there is more confidence placed on hosted services and solutions now more than ever before. Also, once your company begins to grow, it may be beneficial to combine cloud hosting with more traditional infrastructure to increase your margins and optimization.
The FinTech industry is a dynamic field that is quickly shifting toward cloud and open environments. On top of the speed-to-market factor, cloud computing technologies also offer endless amounts of virtual computing power and unlimited storage space. There are no major upfront investments, and you only pay for what you use. Additionally, the freedom and ability to scale up or down as needed ensures your company meets every level of demand.
FinTech companies deal with e-commerce and payment transactions, typically with an end-user or consumer on the other side of the transaction. This means that speed of processing, latency, and dependable infrastructure is important for customer satisfaction. Forty-seven percent of internet users expect a website to load within two seconds, according to a survey from Kissmetrics, and 40 percent will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Using an infrastructure that is global, scalable, and delivers lowest possible latency has a big impact on the quality of the service.
Cloud-born businesses are able to expand greatly by utilizing services that scale up and down as their product offerings increase. Having a near-instant response time for scaling also enables startups to compete with larger financial organizations that are often tied down with regulatory requirements and in-house legacy IT systems. Also, the ability to control that scalability is important. That means that finding a hosting/cloud company that gives you the API infrastructure to be able to automatically scale up and down is critical. Many of the large cloud hosts provide this for virtual infrastructure, but not many do on bare metal or dedicated infrastructure. That makes a hosting provider that can provide the combination of the two very valuable.
Cloud computing offers great advancement opportunities for companies in the FinTech industry or entrepreneurs interested in diving into the field. The scalability, security, and costs of combining cloud and traditional infrastructures are reason enough to choose a hybrid-style setup to get started or expand your business.
The post How the Cloud Can Help the FinTech Industry Thrive appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2018-05-09

Use MSPs to Maximize and Manage Your SaaS Solutions

2018-05-09

http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/05/iStock-489764904-768x512.jpg 768w, http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/05/iStock-489764904-1024x683.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />Between 2017 and 2022, the managed services industry is predicted to grow from USD $152.45 billion to $257.84 billion, representing a compound annual growth rate of over 11 percent. Within the managed services market shines cloud-based technology, representing the fastest growing deployment type.
Cloud-based systems are expected to show the biggest CAGR over the next four years due to limited IT support for managing services, budgets needed for installing and implementing hardware and software to keep systems functioning properly, and the need for greater scalability. Without a doubt, cloud-based deployment models offer far greater scalability and agility than many on-premise alternatives.
Numerous startups and SMEs lack in-house capabilities and CAPEX to maintain complex infrastructures. Instead, these businesses rely on managed service providers (MSPs) to cater to their IT infrastructures and make sure they operate smoothly. BFSI and government institutions are also emphasizing the need to go digital in order to improve their overall operational efficiency. The adoption of the digital mode by so many businesses has increased the use of MSPs throughout the region.
The Rise of MSPs and How They Help
As more businesses turn to SaaS services, MSPs become an indispensable part of ensuring businesses around the world function accordingly. MSPs help manage companies’ entire tech package. This coverage ensures consistent and expert services, as well as proper management of vendors — especially those responsible for delivering the SaaS solutions to you.
If you rely on SaaS services, consider utilizing managed service providers to alleviate the task of managing your infrastructure. There are various ways MSPs can help you maximize your SaaS solutions. Some of the services they provide can include:
1. 24/7 Monitoring
It’s difficult to monitor all SaaS solutions around the clock, especially when you are working with limited IT staff resources. Thankfully, the MSP business model is designed around the concept of having 24/7 monitoring available. Partnering with an MSP ensures all of your systems remain up and running at all times. Employees can rest assured knowing all the applications they need to perform business-critical tasks are always available.
2. Single Point of Contact
Managing numerous SaaS solutions and requests singlehandedly as your business grows can become overwhelming. MSPs work as your business’s point of contact, representing you and helping sort through any complications that could arise so you can function on other aspects of your business.
3. Quick Problem Solving
Even the most reliable SaaS solution has minor setbacks every now and then. There are often instances when employees have questions about the system and need help troubleshooting and resolving issues. MSPs are available to provide sound advice should any problems arise, and their help desks are specially designed to handle all end-user questions and issues so they can provide prompt assistance whenever employees need help.
4. Updating and Upgrading Assistance
Using SaaS solutions provides extraordinary relief when it comes to updating and upgrading software. The ease at which MSPs perform updates and deploy enhancements is simply incomparable. Upgrades are often a key component in managing a secure system, which is why it is crucial to have them installed as quickly and accurately as possible. MSPs work to ensure these daunting tasks are handled in a timely manner and with little to no impact on your business.
We are seeing more businesses operating with computers, servers, and complex hardware used to maintain and secure systems. If you don’t have an IT team or the expertise to manage these systems yourself, having managed service providers is imperative. It’s essential for businesses to stop looking at managed services and SaaS as an “either-or” option. Managed service providers are responsible for the management of your technology so that the SaaS fits seamlessly into this environment — which is why it’s important for businesses to consider both as workable options.
Both SaaS and managed services adjust according to your business, allowing you to fully customize the features and support you need. Not only does a combination solution ensure your business is always protected and properly functioning, but it also works to ensure you have everything your business needs to thrive. What more could you ask for?
 
The post Use MSPs to Maximize and Manage Your SaaS Solutions appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2018-05-02

3 Ways to Safeguard Your Company From a Ransomware Attack

2018-05-02

http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/05/iStock-873922886-768x457.jpg 768w, http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/05/iStock-873922886-1024x610.jpg 1024w, http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/05/iStock-873922886.jpg 1327w" sizes="(max-width: 350px) 100vw, 350px" />Ransomware attacks have been around for decades, and they continue to wreak havoc on systems around the world.
However, gone are the days when biologists spread the ransomware attack PC Cyborg through floppy disks to innocent victims. Attacks have gotten bigger and more dangerous; we are now all too familiar with attacks like Osiris, CryptoLocker, and WannaCry, which collectively infected hundreds of thousands of computers in over 100 countries, costing millions of dollars in damage.
Ransomware attacks continue to be an issue due to the continual development of new techniques for infecting systems. We have seen a major increase in occurrences over the last few years, resulting in the constant development of techniques used to safeguard systems against these intrusive attacks.
 
How Ransomware Works
This type of malware is extremely frustrating to deal with, given its intrusive and hostile nature. This software runs illegally on systems to block users from accessing their data until they pay a ransom to the hacker.
This type of illegal threat to data often presents itself through a type of Trojan that exploits security loopholes in web browsers. Ransomware is typically embedded in plug-ins or email attachments that can spread quickly throughout a system once it is inside.
In order to combat this devastating situation, IT experts recommend that companies develop and implement solid ransomware protection strategies. Strategies should aim to prevent data loss resulting from Trojans like CryptoLocker and others under development.
Although several IT security professionals believe companies can enable ransomware protection by using network shares, ransomware is quickly being developed to access network shares, exploiting vulnerabilities in these systems to access information.
 
How to Protect Your Company from Ransomware Attacks
There may be instances where criminals attempt to attack the backup software itself. That’s why it’s important to develop a robust self-defense mechanism for backing up your file contents and preventing criminals from disrupting system applications. Some steps you can take to protect your data are:
1. Back Up Your Data with the Cloud
It is crucial for companies to routinely back up their locally stored data in order to prevent loss in the case of an attack. Traditional methods of backing up data consume many storage resources, which can negatively impact a computer’s performance.
Backing up your data is now easier due to the reliability and resiliency of cloud storage. Cloud technology streamlines the backup process, giving you the ability to back up your information frequently and easily.
2. Implement Virus Protection Programs
Active Protection programs work several ways to prevent unauthorized activity on your computers. First, they are designed to monitor the Master Boot Record in Windows-based systems. These programs prevent any changes from being made within the system, which would otherwise prevent you from being able to properly boot up your computer.
Many ransomware programs copy files and place them in AppData and LocalAppData folders while masking themselves as standard processes within Windows. To combat this, these programs prevent applications within these folders from being launched.
Additionally, it’s crucial for you to keep your operating system and applications updated. Many ransomware programs are designed to exploit software vulnerabilities, which can be closed by installing patches and updates.
3. Stay Secure With Cloud Storage
Clouds are typically just as safe and secure as private servers, and they are equipped with elaborate access control and encryption technology that can be expanded to meet all of your storage needs. In addition to protecting your data against ransomware attacks, clouds also contain security to protect your files and information against DDoS attacks.
Despite minor shortcomings in cloud storage, they’re great at protecting businesses from ransomware attacks. Clouds present scalability that allows users to keep up with constant development of malware technology. Although the nature of an attack is unlikely to change, the delivery methods used will continue to develop, and cloud services will be there to adjust quickly and provide constant protection.
 
The post 3 Ways to Safeguard Your Company From a Ransomware Attack appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2018-04-24

Leaseweb Hosts Panel to Discuss What GDPR Means for Businesses

2018-04-24

http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/04/Picture3.jpg 432w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of the most sweeping corporate regulations introduced in decades.  This law will affect every business worldwide that deals with the personal information of EU residents.  The measure adopted by the European Commission is set to go into effect on May 25, 2018 with the purpose of standardizing rules for the collection, storage, use and protection of data across the European Union.
While the obvious risk of non-compliance is a hefty fine (in the case of GDPR will be 4% of worldwide turnover or €20 million – whichever is higher), the often overlooked risk is a sudden halt of your business operations by the Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens (Dutch Data Protection Authority – DPA).  This was a topic of discussion on April 12 at a roundtable organized by Leaseweb about “What does GDPR mean for your business?” featuring speakers from NetApp, Acronis, Leaseweb, and GDPR expert Brenno de Winter.
A common misconception among small businesses is that the law only applies to large companies or that the enforcement by regulators may be lax towards small shops.  However, according to Brenno de Winter, the Dutch DPA actually hired a task force to verify the compliance of small companies with GDPR.  For example, if you are a business with three employees but handle thousands of files with personally identifiable data, in the scope of GDPR you are considered a large operation.  Additionally, U.S. companies that deal with the data of EU residents also must comply.  The Dutch DPA has the power to shut down business operations and upend entire business processes until compliance with GDPR is achieved.  Such an action could potentially be more financially crippling than a fine.
Various actions can be taken by an organization to get GDPR ready by understanding the personally identifiable data it deals with and its exact use.  Most of the data processing and data privacy legal principles were previously introduced and should have already been applied.  Creating a register that specifies data types and the related processing activities is a new obligation and will contribute as proof of effort to comply with GDPR, in the event that regulators come knocking at the company door.  Undoubtedly now is the time to show accountability and responsibility to adopt all existing and new measures and arrangements into your organization as required by GDPR.  A further step entails the implementation of appropriate technical and organizational measures that ensure and demonstrate compliance.  These can include internal data protection policies such as staff training and the self-auditing of processing activities to check progress towards GDPR compliance.
In a world where data is essentially an organization’s capital, and cyber-attacks are getting increasingly more sophisticated, privacy and security have never been more important. Regulatory activity will likely remain high and it is crucial that companies have control over their data.  Moreover, the loss of data is a GDPR offense.  “Data privacy is an outcome, based on the right decisions regarding the legal framework, policies, business processes and technology,” says Michiel Verbruggen of NetApp. While various vendor solutions can aid with data management and security, there is no “off the shelf” solution to get data privacy or GDPR-compliance, says Verbuggen.  Each company should be its own architect of what happens to its data, even when using vendors to manage it.
When GDPR compliance is achieved, proper communication to customers is important.  One way is to include it in a privacy statement on your website, or set up a FAQ section about your compliance efforts.  Alternatively, a separate GDPR related processing agreement could be drafted and included in the terms and conditions.  Regardless of the method, clear and open communication on this topic is necessary and should be prioritized.
There is no quick fix or one stop shop solution to comply with this comprehensive mandatory legislation.  GDPR is ushering in a new era of data protection and regulation, and privacy by design should be the objective with data security measures built into business processes.  According to Leaseweb General Counsel Jacqueline van de Werken, GDPR will be a major positive for international business, as the law will create uniformity of privacy regulation across the EU.  Companies operating in multiple countries will need just one compliance program instead of multiple versions tailored specifically to each EU nation.
The days of not knowing what data a business has are over, and each affected entity should take the first step towards compliance as soon as possible in order to continue thriving as a company, and avoid the risk of financial penalty or a shutdown of operations.
The post Leaseweb Hosts Panel to Discuss What GDPR Means for Businesses appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2018-04-17

The Power of CloudStack Automation

2018-04-17

Leaseweb uses the open source Apache CloudStack technology to manage the complex and sizeable infrastructure used to host tens of thousands virtual servers in our VPS and private cloud platforms around the world.
CloudStack offers a powerful open API.  It is so effective that even the management UI is in essence only a fancy web front-end to that API.
At Leaseweb we rely completely on the CloudStack API for our automation. Both the integration with our customer facing systems such as the customer portal and order forms, as well as coupled back-end systems for billing and such, all call on the API.
Additionally, our platform engineers extensively use the API to manage, maintain, and upgrade the platforms.  The latter may come as bit of a surprise.  APIs are often seen as the exclusive realm of developers who create custom code with quite a steep barrier against casual ad-hoc use.
That is where cloudmonkey comes into play.  Cloudmonkey is an open source tool that simplifies and wraps even the most complex API calls in an easy to use, zero programming command-line utility, complete with a history and TAB-completion.
Actions that are cumbersome to perform in the management UI, let alone too error-prone and time-consuming to manually repeat multiple times in datacenters on three different continents, can quickly be reduced to several lines of shell script.  Simple reports often only require no more than a single command such as the following example that lists the total private capacity, the current usage and the remaining capacity:
http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/04/cloudstack-768x469.png 768w, http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/04/cloudstack-1024x625.png 1024w, http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/04/cloudstack.png 1428w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />
A little-known fact is that our private cloud customers also get full access to that same powerful API.
To get started with the API and your own CloudStack automation, please refer to this more technical How-To in our Knowledge Base which explains in detail how to enable API access, and provides some more real-world usage examples for cloudmonkey.
 
The post The Power of CloudStack Automation appeared first on LeaseWeb Blog.

2018-04-11

On-Premise vs. Cloud Hosting: Which Option Is Right for Your Business?

2018-04-11

http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/04/Ocom-098-768x576.jpg 768w, http://blog.leaseweb.com/uploads/2018/04/Ocom-098-1024x768.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 350px) 100vw, 350px" />On-site hosting has traditionally been viewed as a safe option for both storing and processing data.  It ensures you, the owner, remain in sole control of all the hardware. The owner retains the ability to choose what hardware (& software) best suits their needs along with the notion that security managed locally is safer managed on-premise, rather than off-site.
On-premise hosting offers several benefits; however, choosing this route is typically a more expensive option when compared to an infrastructure-as-a-service model (OPEX vs CAPEX). Given the requirement for software licenses, in-house IT support and usually a longer integration period, more companies are finding that cloud services could offer a more flexible way to tackle their IT infrastructure needs, if the correct (hybrid) model is chosen.
Although on-premise hosting is a reliable means for hosting all kinds of information, many companies are finding cloud services to be more convenient, flexible, cost-efficient, and secure than ever before & also include additional features and advantages.
The Advancements in Cloud Infrastructure Technology
The use of cloud servers is increasing, which is a trend that is expected to continue. A year ago, research company IDC found the number of traditional data centers accounted for 62 percent of IT infrastructure spending. Public clouds made up 23 percent of spending and private clouds composed 15 percent. These numbers are predicted to shift by 2020, as IDC estimates data centers will drop to around 50 percent of total spending, while public clouds flourish to nearly a third of the market and private clouds will increase to 20 percent.
Companies can save time, money and stress by choosing the right hosting model. Allowing for better focus to develop new business strategies and improvements on existing products & services. Cloud technologies have several advantages when compared to traditional dedicated server resources. For example, the cloud offers flexible scalability, allowing your business to scale up or down as needed to meet demand, without having to wait for delivery of new hardware.
Additionally, it is more crucial now than ever before for companies to have proper security measures in place to combat cybersecurity issues. The plethora of (hybrid) cloud solutions available are just as secure as local servers as cloud services are ‘managed’ and updated around-the-clock, eliminating the need for your company to personally tackle these issues on-site (with potential downtime).
On-Premise Hosting vs. the Cloud/IaaS
On-premise hosting can be costly in terms of maintenance and hardware updates. Some hardware may be difficult to come by if it’s no longer on the market. This type of host is also typically not as scalable as cloud/IaaS services, so you will need to upgrade or expand to meet the customer demand.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean local hosting isn’t a good fit for any business. In terms of complying with local or international regulations, certain companies benefit from on-premise hosting.
Industries and services such as healthcare, surveillance service providers (CCTV) and financial services companies are typically required to have their infrastructure hosted locally or with a local pre-selected third party as they are required to collect, store, and process private data. Public and government institutions also generally preserve data on-premise as a matter of national security — outsourcing their infrastructure is simply not an option no matter what costs are involved.
Other industries often benefit more from IaaS or hybrid hosting to sustain their growth and manage their IT costs. Major e-commerce companies, like eBay for example, needs to serve customers with the lowest latency possible and globally. For this reason, the IaaS model is typically used to optimize their operations and ensure their systems are able to meet demand globally.
SaaS providers are able to comply with local regulations on data processing by having their nodes hosted locally. Disaster recovery purposes are also met best via this solution. Companies that use citizens’ private data are typically guided by local regulations and government requirements to have their nodes hosted locally, where the IaaS model tends to be the most cost-efficient solution for doing so.
Social media services, like Facebook and Snapchat, also benefit from IaaS models due to their global reach and latency expectations, as well as local regulations placed on private data.
Selecting the Right Hosting Option
When selecting the provider, make sure to review the security measures, scalability, and reliability of each host type. Inspect the performance of the network to determine what the true network capacity is, and whether or not it is suitable for the task.
Organizations have more options than ever when choosing where to host their database and their operation Nodes, which is why it’s important for businesses to carefully evaluate which option is best for the long term. Establishing the best solution is no longer a task left solely to the IT team — now if your company doesn’t have the resources to handle it in-house, there are managed service providers who can help evaluate your options and choose the best one for your business.
 
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