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In the Cloud

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Max Headroom
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In the Cloud

Postby Max Headroom » Tue, 25 Apr 2017 9:12 am

I've been running a dedicated server since for ever and feel it's time to go Cloud.

I'm keen to hear your thoughts on cloud servers in general. Is Cloud serving here to stay or just a hype waiting to blow over for the next best thing?

I'd be happy to get a local reference from one of the seniors here for a no-nonsense cloud server provider that knows what they're doing.

Cheers.

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Re: In the Cloud

Postby PNGMK » Tue, 25 Apr 2017 10:29 am

It's here to stay. When you see large (huge) companies like the one I work for moving critical business functions onto the cloud (Azure, Amazon what have you) then you know it's here to stay. the uptime, backup, throughput and management are so much easier.
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Re: In the Cloud

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 25 Apr 2017 10:48 am

I'd start with with a hybrid solution. You already have sunk costs in your on premise server setup. Before dumping it, consider running the cloud in tandem with your onsite server. You setup DFSR (distributed file services replication) so that you have identical copies of data on your local server and in the cloud. You set servers up as primary and secondary domain controllers and when ready to make the switch, put the primary in the cloud.

There are many kinds of cloud services. If you're buying Amazon, Azure, or Google, you're not buying a server, you're buying server "instances", and bandwidth, and storage, and CPU cycles, and backup, and fallback datacenters. These kind of services are nearly instantaneously scalable... if something on your website goes viral, then all of a sudden you've got ten times the server power you had a minute ago (at a price, of course).

You can share a virtualized dedicated server with other people. You rent one or more virtual machines off a bare metal box being run by someone. This service is often offered by smaller ISP's.

You can also run on a shared machine if your needs are low.

What you do really depends upon a few factors. What kind of applications do you run? Where do you store your current data and how much of it is there. Are you running your own mail servers (you could host this out, leaving your in house server as a file and print server only. Are you hosting websites? Then ditto... have them hosted elsewhere.

If you are small potatoes size, then consider external hosting for websites and mail. Consider moving things like time reporting, payroll, project management, and bookkeeping to hosted services. This leaves you with your files and your basic apps in house. Then setup a "pilot light" cloud service. What this means is that your data is constantly replicated into the cloud but you don't actually have a second server. If your in house server fails, then in a matter of minutes, the main burner is lit and you are running on a server in the cloud.

Yes, many options, and many expense levels as well.

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Re: In the Cloud

Postby Wd40 » Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:07 pm

It is definitely here to stay. The only reason why still lot of companies don't want to move to cloud is to protect their jobs. They have this fear that moving to the cloud means massive job losses in the infra teams. Security and data privacy is only an excuse.

The bank in which I work, we are a Microsoft shop, we could easily move to Azure and save millions but no. There was an internal decision to implement on premise private cloud. It's going on and on for almost 2 years now and still the private cloud is not ready. Our servers have become really outdated now. We are running SQL server 2012, already 2 versions old and we need to migrate by end of this year. It is going to be fun.

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Re: In the Cloud

Postby Max Headroom » Tue, 25 Apr 2017 2:05 pm

Thanks chaps.

Yes, it looks like it's a keeper, I agree.

I've had my DS since quite early and I'm liking very much the fact that none of the hardware is shared by third parties. We had a shared server initially, but it went down repeatedly as a result of script kiddies and hacks of the other sites on our server. Since our upgrade to DS, 7 years ago now, it's been smooth sailing.

Then again, I also like the way lower price tag and scalability of cloud solutions.

It's a pretty recent thing this cloud and as always with these new IT developments, I expect there to be quite a few soon-to-fold cowboys and wannabes out there. Happen to know of a reputable company in Singapore?

Cheers.

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Re: In the Cloud

Postby ecureilx » Tue, 25 Apr 2017 5:12 pm

Max Headroom wrote:Thanks chaps.

Yes, it looks like it's a keeper, I agree.

I've had my DS since quite early and I'm liking very much the fact that none of the hardware is shared by third parties. We had a shared server initially, but it went down repeatedly as a result of script kiddies and hacks of the other sites on our server. Since our upgrade to DS, 7 years ago now, it's been smooth sailing.

Then again, I also like the way lower price tag and scalability of cloud solutions.

It's a pretty recent thing this cloud and as always with these new IT developments, I expect there to be quite a few soon-to-fold cowboys and wannabes out there. Happen to know of a reputable company in Singapore?

Cheers.


Azure has come up a lot, and makes lots of things simplified.

Take a look-see !!!

If you want a solution provider, I can refer, if you are keen.

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Re: In the Cloud

Postby Max Headroom » Tue, 25 Apr 2017 8:49 pm

I am keen ecureilx. Thanks.

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Re: In the Cloud

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 25 Apr 2017 8:57 pm

My sense is that Azure, AWS, or Google is going to cost you more on a monthly basis then if you were to remain wholly in house. It depends upon how large your IT setup is, and your need for scalability, uptime, and disaster recovery.

On demand services like Azure are great for startups who anticipate using large quantities of services. Capex costs for setting up the datacenters, which can be very substantial, are zero.

But, if you're a smaller company, and your "datacenter" is a couple of tower servers in a back closet, the question is more complicated. If you're an enterprise setup, with a 3 to 4 year replacement cycle, then AWS, Azure are price competitive. If you're smaller, and plan on keeping your servers for 5 to 7 years, then if you do a costs analysis, you'll see that, on an amortized basis, your inhouse services will cost you 15 to 20 percent less over any given period.

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Re: In the Cloud

Postby Max Headroom » Tue, 25 Apr 2017 9:59 pm

SE, I need to read myself into the subject before committing to a party. My storage/server needs aren't huge, neither is traffic. But all parameters have been increasing perennially. Things to keep in mind.

I'd love to have a chat with someone really in the know. Once it sounds and feels right, I'll take the leap.

By the way, I'm offshore at the moment, as good as off the grid from tomorrow till next week.

Thanks again for all the input.

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Re: In the Cloud

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 26 Apr 2017 12:14 am

The best way to learn about AWS or Azure is to talk to them... so many moving parts.

And while I agree about issues with a shared server, a virtualized server is an entirely different animal. The loss of someone else's virtual machine won't affect you, and the "script kiddies" as you call them can't touch the bare metal OS... it's the underlying principle for virtualization of applications... one screwup cannot bring down other applications because they all run in their own virtual space.

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Re: In the Cloud

Postby taxico » Wed, 26 Apr 2017 3:30 pm

it may not be cheaper nor better. i went from AWS to DS (x2: Singapore+HKG) because of costs.

i felt AWS seemed to be bilking me... to be fair, figuring out the resources/instances we need was a nightmare.

support (i was on the free tier at the time) was acceptable but even they couldn't figure out what was wrong with my billing.

so i left before my year was up.

(billing remains unresolved)
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Re: In the Cloud

Postby x9200 » Wed, 26 Apr 2017 4:10 pm

Max Headroom wrote:I've been running a dedicated server since for ever and feel it's time to go Cloud.

I'm keen to hear your thoughts on cloud servers in general. Is Cloud serving here to stay or just a hype waiting to blow over for the next best thing?

I'd be happy to get a local reference from one of the seniors here for a no-nonsense cloud server provider that knows what they're doing.

Cheers.

It all depends on your needs and the associated questions: what's wrong with your current setup and why do you thing a cloud would be better. What do you actually understand by the cloud?

I administer 2 servers for 2 small companies hosting all usual services (mail, web, sql etc) and all this done on VPSes with some geo distributed file-backups redundancy. The VPSes are scalable and could be relatively easily relocated to a dozens of different physical locations.

If, the services you need to use are to be accessed mostly from within Singapore (or other specific location), I don't see any need to go cloud. Just ensure regular backups and implement some redundancy of the services.

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Re: In the Cloud

Postby Max Headroom » Wed, 03 May 2017 3:17 pm

Thanks x9200, that's a fair point.

The reason I'm thinking of going cloud is because it appears our provider will be phasing out this dedicated server service in the not too distant future.

Our profile is SME; our usage is nothing too heavy-duty. But the cloud's scalability and lower cost are enticing too.

Plus, I'll get to say "the cloud" a lot.

I've just extended our plan by another 6 months, effectively buying us some more time. But this upgrade sits pretty high on my to-do list. Best we get it done sooner rather than later.

Thanks for all the info, peeps.

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Re: In the Cloud

Postby x9200 » Wed, 03 May 2017 5:37 pm

Max, is your dedicated server a physical, dedicated machine? If yes, what is it (cpu, ram etc.). What system does it run?

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Re: In the Cloud

Postby Max Headroom » Fri, 05 May 2017 3:52 pm

X9200, yes it's a dedicated physical machine. It dates back quite a few years, but the specs are still ok for us.

Memory: 2G
HDD: 70G
Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) D CPU 2.80GHz, 2 cores

No databases or anything fancy. Just straight-up HTML and PHP auto-responder forms.

What do you think?


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