Cloud Computing Security: Safer Than You Think

October 5th, 2012 by ironbark

SME and large corporations alike are expressing concerns about the safety of their data, software, and intellectual property being stored in ‘the cloud’.

Now proud providers of cloud solutions, Ironbark Software wish to clarify a few common questions and debunk some ‘cloud computing’ myths.

The love child of outsourcing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), cloud computing has developed very quickly into a household term, yet it is still surrounded by an aura of mystery.

An excellent working definition of Cloud Computing is that defined by Gartner using five criteria.

1. Service-based. Interface is service based rather than technology focused.
2. Scalable and Elastic. The service is scalable depending on client requirements.
3. Shared. The infrastructure and resources of the software are shared for maximum efficiency.
4. Metered by Use. Multiple payment methods are allowed based on tracked usage compared to the cost of set up or equipment.
5. Uses Internet Technologies. The service is delivered using Internet identifiers, formats and protocols, such as URLs, HTTP, IP and representational state transfer Web-oriented architecture.

Having a solid definition greatly assists in removing ambiguity. Establishing that cloud computing is a definable service, Gartner have also listed further challenges for cloud computing such as, security, compliance, privacy, governance, lock-in (switching costs), business continuity, lost of IT control and ownership, enterprise and user inertia, and ROI.

Cloud Computing Concerns

But the facts are, akin to most cloud computing servers, Ironbark’s data centre is based in a secure facility that is protected from both physical and online intruders.

Both the intellectual property of clients and Ironbark software’s security and privacy are of the utmost importance, and several measures are taken to ensure the continuity of this safety. Not only is this data secure and private from outside influence but also from other clients.

To assist in further debunking of any cloud insecurities, Ironbark have compiled a list of facts true to Ironbark Software’s data centre and cloud computing technologies.

1. There are no clouds involved. We promise.
2. ‘The Cloud’ is not a mythical land that floats in the sky. Data is stored on servers that are located in warehouses, or in Ironbark’s case, a secure, temperature controlled room in our offices.
3. Ironbark’s servers are in a N+2 environment. In laymen’s terms – internet, cooling, and power are all backed up.
4. Cloud hosts take care of ownership, maintenance and administration of hardware, clients pay for the software and hosting.
5. Cloud Computing is not just a trend or fad – a Bloomberg report states that the cloud computing market will reach $270 million by 2020.

The SaaS market has been a key growth area over the past five years, and is not predicted to stem in the near future. Both Forrester and Gartner have forecasted a large increase in the Supply Chain Management sector in particular.

Transferring your business management software to the Ironbark Data Centre will reduce upfront costs, financial risk, operational expenses, and downtime and delays while increasing standardisation throughout the organisation, sustainability, and ROI.

Call Ironbark Software today on 1800 649 524 to discuss customised ERP solutions hosted on the Ironbark Data Centre for your business.

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Telstra, SAP, and Accenture Forge Alliance to Offer Clarity to Cloudy Technology

June 28th, 2012 by ironbark

Telecommunications giant Telstra have partnered with enterprise software company SAP and technology services provider Accenture to offer business software applications as a service to enterprise and government organisations via cloud technology.

SAP, a German owned company standing for Systems, Applications, and Products in data processing, was founded in 1972 have now become a large provider of business solutions world wide.

Telstra will provide the SAP licensing, network, and storage via their cloud infrastructure, while Accenture will manage data migration, system integration, software maintenance, and help desk services.

General Manager of cloud services with Telstra, Mark Pratley has stated that offering an amalgamation of licensing, infrastructure, and service design for the cloud was always on the cards.

This is a fantastic development for these companies; however, for clients whose businesses require more synergy of systems, licensing, maintenance, and help desk, a one stop shop provider is recommended.

Business software application providers such as Ironbark Software offer licensing, network and storage capabilities, cloud infrastructure through their data centre, data migration, system integration and importantly, customisation, as well as maintenance and a dedicated help desk team entirely in house.

As ERP solutions are their sole business, Ironbark are able to provide a comprehensive business solutions package customised for specific industries and individual clients. From the initial business meeting and discussing requirements through to data migration and customisation of processes and software, to maintenance and help desk, Ironbark cater for every need internally.

Ironbark believe the most efficient manner of implementing business solutions is via a single provider. This ensures continuity of relationships between consultants and help desk programmers with the clients.

SAP’s head of business solutions and cloud for Australia, Jeremy Goddard, has said “We believe that our customers want choice; and we believe the relationship between Accenture, SAP and Telstra will ensure they have the choice to have all, or part of their application infrastructure in the cloud”. Ironbark agree with the first statement, clients not only want choice, but they often require diversity in choice, as not every company can operate with the same processes. However, this is possible without the amalgamation of services of separate businesses.

Ironbark are currently able to provide ERP solutions to clients via the platform of their choice. From installing hardware on the clients’ premises for private servers with Ironbark Software ready for use to offering business software applications entirely or partially available via cloud infrastructure.

Many larger companies that previously saw benefit of owning and maintaining their own hardware and servers are now looking toward the cloud as a new prospect. No matter what your outlook is on the appropriate platform for the hosting of business software, Ironbark will be able to provide it.

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The Cloud: Cloud Computing is a LIE

June 11th, 2012 by ironbark

Cloud Computing The Cloud, Cloud Computing, and Cloud Hosting and Storage have become all-too-familiar terms that now extend past the IT industry. Just the word ‘cloud’ brings to mind a magical land that erases hardware woes, and gently lifts one up into a utopia where one never again has to fret over software issues, technical support, or the backing up of data. It also conjures images of rainbows spurting out free million dollar software packages and friendly unicorns who offer pleasant and helpful cloud training.

While cloud computing is a real technology that has revolutionised the way business software is handled, it is by no means new nor is it unlimited or absolute in its abilities. The only aspect of cloud computing that has been recently fabricated is the buzz word ‘cloud’.

The omnipresent and all-knowing wikipedia claims “Cloud computing is Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand, like the electricity grid.”

This definition sounds strangely similar to the use of mainframes in offices many eons ago. An entire office would use the shared resources, software and information based on a mainframe that was accessed by each user via a thin client. Now the main difference between this system and the concept referred to as ‘cloud computing’ is that the cloud is based around the internet.

With this point conceded, the birth of the internet still occurred over thirty years ago, well before ‘the cloud’ became a house hold term. This also meant the dawn of servers. While not thirty years old, the technology surrounding cloud computing has been available for many years. In a business setting each member of an organisation has their individual computer with an internet connection. This joins them to their company server where software, databases, and information is stored and shared among users. While some organisations have business software installed on individual computers, this is not the only method in which companies function.

One example is Ironbark Software, who offer their business solutions in several ways. The client can purchase their own hardware, use rented space on a preferred provider’s server, or they can take advantage of the Ironbark data centre. They are then able to purchase or subscribe to their choice Ironbark Software package. If they choose to subscribe to the software and use the Ironbark data centre then they simply pay a single set subscription fee that includes hardware maintenance, rental space, server space, and software license and subscription.

Therefore while the ‘newness’ of cloud computing has been debunked, the concept of storing data and software on a server and making it accessible to clients and end users via a simple-to-access internet portal is fantastic technology that has revolutionised the industry and is only going to be developed further by research and development giants such as Ironbark Software.


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