How Google protects your data

posted 27 Apr 2011, 04:24 by Iain McLaren

An insight into how Google protects the data it holds.

Jolicloud manages your cloud apps beautifully

posted 11 Mar 2011, 03:18 by Iain McLaren

All those web apps we use, brought together in one simple operating system. That's the promise of Jolicloud, and it definitely delivers that, while opening up a whole world of other possibilities.

It either boots from CD (for evaluation), plays nice alongside Windows (for dual-boot), or installs as your desktop/laptop OS. It claims to be compatible with older hardware (up to 10 years old), and could therefore breathe new life into old equipment.

With 1000's of apps to choose from (all delivered on-demand), including Google Apps and Microsoft Office Live, this could quite easily be the de-facto operating system of choice for a business determined to keep their IT spend, and carbon footprint, to a minimum.

What's more, even if you are not at your PC, you can access an online version of your desktop through a supported web browser.

Jolicloud Screenshot

Amazon adds VMware importer for EC2

posted 8 Mar 2011, 01:07 by Iain McLaren

Here's a nice little development. Users of VMware's excellent virtualisation platform can now upload their existing (or new) virtual machines to Amazon EC2 instances, effectively running your home-brewed servers up in the cloud.

With the addition of the VPN offering, this could be a great way to get a secondary domain controller off-site (for example). The possibilities are almost endless though.

More information here.

Gartner: By 2012, 20 percent of businesses will own no IT assets

posted 11 Feb 2011, 07:40 by Iain McLaren

In a list of predictions for 2012 published recently by Gartner, the world's leading information technology research and advisory company, they believe that 20% of businesses will not own their IT assets by 2012. That's next year!

12-18 months ago, I'd have found this hard to believe, but there have been a number of key developments that may make this prediction a reality.

The financial crisis has made businesses re-evaluate their IT spending model. They no longer want to throw money a semi-random cap-ex projects, preferring instead to see an understandable revenue spend that will be completely predictable if they suddenly, or gradually, increase their number of staff or grown their business.

For example, knowing that every new employee will cost a certain amount to provision IT facilities for allows them to plan their strategy accurately, rather than having to buy new servers when they suddenly, and often unpredictably, reach capacity.

Providing workers with mobile access to their applications and data is now the norm, rather than the exception. Workers rights and expectations mean that employers are often driven to provide expensive remote access solutions, along with laptops and access tokens. By leveraging workers' home IT equipment - PCs, laptops, or tablet devices - and committing to a cloud-based strategy, they can reduce the cost of this burden. And if workers can use their laptops and tablets at home, why not let them use them in the office? It is becoming increasingly popular to pay workers an IT allowance to either buy or use their own personal IT equipment within the office, which they invariably treat with more respect than something given to them. [Link]

With the boom in internet connectivity, it is now possible to have your company data in the cloud. Although it is always recommended to have a small NAS-type device (or similar) locally, the days where you need to buy servers and replace or upgrade them regularly appears to be coming to an end. By utilising hosted services, businesses can grow their allocated storage at the same rate at which their data volume grows, and only pay for what they use.

With these few points in mind, it is easy to see Gartner's point of view.

Cloudberry Backup Desktop v1.9 released

posted 10 Feb 2011, 14:58 by Iain McLaren

Right, this goes out to all the home PC and laptop owners:


I know it's a pain. Burning photos to CD or DVD is a bore, so you bought a nice big USB hard drive or similar. But do you regularly copy your precious data to it, and where do you keep it?

Tethered to your computer, I'm willing to bet.

But what if your computer is stolen? Or worse? Your backup will be gone too. And you'll be upset. Photos of your wedding, baby, or children will be lost. Maybe important documents that would be irreplaceable? It doesn't bear thinking about.

So, I'll keep it simple.

Get an Amazon account (you probably already have one).
Sign up for Amazon S3 storage (it sounds scary, but it isn't).
Buy Cloudberry Backup Desktop edition (it works for laptops too).
Keep your world safe (and be happy).

If nothing else, try it free for 15 days. Amazon will even give you your first 5Gb of storage for nothing*!

* Certain storage types do not provide the free capacity, so choose wisely. Or ask us. We'd be happy to help!

Two-factor authentication coming to Google Accounts

posted 10 Feb 2011, 14:45 by Iain McLaren

Aimed at boosting the security of Google Apps accounts, two-factor authentication to the service is being rolled out imminently.

As well as requiring a username and a (typically weak or insecure) password, enabling the service will prompt for a numeric code before authentication will complete.

Unlike some costly 2-factor methods, a dedicated random number generator (keyfob) is not required. Instead, the code is delivered by SMS to the user's preferred mobile phone, or generated using a smartphone app. And there's no need to worry if you misplace that, as you can create backup codes for that eventuality.

Amazon S3 maximum object size increase

posted 10 Feb 2011, 14:32 by Iain McLaren

Amazon have upped the maximum object size that can be stored in a 'bucket' (data repository) to a slightly mahoosive 5 terrabytes (previously 5Gb).

The maximum size of a single upload chunk is 5Gb, but thanks to the relatively-new multi-part upload protocols the new maximum file size is achievable. Assuming you have a very fast internet connection, or make use of the AWS Import/Export (snail-mail) facility.

Google Apps - free for up to 50 users!

posted 27 Jan 2011, 12:30 by Iain McLaren   [ updated 27 Jan 2011, 12:47 ]

Google Apps is now completely free for accounts of up to 50 users. Transform your business's infrastructure and employees' productivity by moving your IT facilities to the Cloud.

A complete, mature, solution, Google Apps gives you:

Corporate email and calendar (including mobile access)
Storage for files etc
An office suite, in which people can collaborate on the same document simultaneously
Web / Intranet sites

plus a range of other applications. All this for zero pounds and zero pence!*

This is the ideal solution for a new or small business, that will not fail to save you money.

It's what we use. ;-)

For further information, to arrange a trial, or free consultation, please contact us.

* While the service from Google is free, our assistance does. We have to live too, you know!

Amazon S3 Multi-Part Upload and Large Object Support

posted 25 Jan 2011, 11:35 by Iain McLaren   [ updated 25 Jan 2011, 11:48 ]

Amazon S3 storage now supports multi-part uploads and large objects (to rearrange the words in the title slightly).

What does this mean?

Put simply, large files that are backed up to S3 storage can be split into chunks for easier and more reliable uploading. Any chunks that fail to upload can be re-tried individually, instead of the whole file being sent again. Splitting the file into chunks also squeezes a bit more performance out of you bandwith as well.

Large object support increases the maximum size of a file that can be stored on S3 to 5 terrabytes. Which is "quite a lot".

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