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What are the Best Free Cloud Storages in 2021?

Cloud storage helps slash data on hardware in a remote physical location, which can be accessed from any device with the help of the internet. Below are some of the best free cloud storage in 2019: 1. Microsoft OneDrive: Microsoft provides a cloud storage service and offers 15 GB of free storage to its users. OneDrive, earlier called Skydrive, can be used to store important files securely at one location and these can be accessed from anywhere and from any compatible system. Cloud storage works like a traditional hard drive, the difference being that it is available online and can be accessed from anywhere around the world. Also, companies offer to extend the storage capacity if required. Files of any format can be stored in Microsoft OneDrive, though it is better for Office documents. It offers cross-device and cross-platform design, which implies that you can resume your work from where you left without the need for saving it or making a copy of it. Due to its Office365 integration, it is easy to share your content and files with other users and hence facilitates collaboration among a team. One prominent feature of Microsoft OneDrive is Files on demand. This means you can access your files stored in the cloud from anywhere, without downloading them to your local device which saves a lot of local storage. Since the files are stored and changes are saved in the cloud, the recovery is very convenient in case the system you are working on gets crashed, damaged or stolen. You can easily upgrade your account by buying extra storage in case you are running low on memory.  The important features of Microsoft OneDrive: Create and share folders Save notebooks to OneDrive View Office documents online Upload multimedia files from your personal mobile phones. Real time co-authoring File type support Desktop synchronization Search and discovery tools Device reports Documents storage and tracking Permission management Photo management Microsoft Office integration Device specific selective sync 2. Dropbox: Dropbox is operated by the American company Dropbox, Inc., and provides cloud storage and is used for file sharing and collaboration. Dropbox is available as an application for desktop for Windows, Linux and Macintosh operating systems. It is also available as an app for Android, iPad, iPhone and Blackberry. It provides a limited storage capacity of 2GB, which can be upgraded up to 100 GB by purchasing from several plans offered. The upgraded version of Dropbox is called Dropbox Plus. Upgrading to this version offers many benefits like automatic camera roll back up, which implies that all the photos that you click from your personal mobile phone get backed in Dropbox.  Dropbox provides a robust API that allows other apps to collaborate with it and use it for file storage and sync. Dropbox does not require a complicated upgrade or timely installations. It is mainly focused on file exchange. It does not limit the number of files you can share or a number of users you can share with. You can even share your files with users who do not have a Dropbox account. It supports the exchange of files among any operating system and any device.  Dropbox facilitates easy collaboration among team members. If you edit or make changes to any file that is shared with your team, they will receive a notification about the changes made. Teams can communicate and edit files at a minimal cost. You can easily get started with Dropbox by just downloading the app on your phone. After you create an account, you can start sharing your content. You can even use it offline if you sync your local storage or additional account data with it. To ensure the security of your stored files, Dropbox is designed with multiple layers of protection.  Layers of protection include the following: Dropbox files are encrypted using 256 bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). It uses Secure Socket layer or transport layer security to secure data being exchanged with Dropbox apps and servers. Dropbox applications are regularly tested for security threats and if such vulnerabilities exist, it is fixed immediately. During login, two step verification is available to provide additional privacy. The important features of Dropbox are as follows: Automatic updates File storage and file sync Offline access Manually set bandwidth Automatic organization and backup Preview and download Any device accessibility Large files sharing Easy link sharing 3. Google Drive Google Drive is a file storage and sharing service offered by Google. The first 15 GB is free. You can store any kind of files like photos, videos, design, drawings, recordings, and stories. Just like most other cloud services, you can upload your files online, and can access it from anywhere and any device. You can even invite people to view, download or contribute to your project.  Google drive provides storage options to any kind of files such as images, sheets, pdf, videos, word documents etc, one can even save their email attachment in google drive directly through Gmail without going through the hassle of moving files. One of the greatest features of Google Drive is that it allows the user to view the file in the browser without having to download it. The files that can be previewed are Adobe, Microsoft Office, images, audios, texts and video files, such an option is not provided by most of the zero knowledge services as those services are unable to decrypt the files. Google Drive's versatility makes it more user-friendly than any other storage platforms. Significant features of Google Drive are:  Google drive provides 15 GB free storage on signing up. With the assistance of Google's homegrown office suite, Google docs and other third party applications it is more productive and efficient than most other storage options. It is very versatile as one can store almost any kind of files and preview the same without downloading it. Google drive can be accessed by logging in with your Google account. Many different types of programs can be integrated with Google drive. Google drive's browser interface is fairly intuitive and user friendly. With the help of Google client, one can make optimum use of its sync capabilities. File replication. It provides third party applications library. The only drawback Google Drive has is that it does not provide any specific way to share files, however, it is one of the best storage options as its strength surpasses its weaknesses. 4. pCloud Though pCloud is new in the market compared to its counterparts, it has emerged as a versatile cloud solution for both business and personal use. The features of pCloud which make it stand out among other cloud services, are as follows: pCloud crypto: It provides you with an option to secure your files and data with encryption on your device before uploading on cloud to protect them from any unwanted and insecure access. Lifetime subscription: Unlike other cloud services available in the market, pCloud offers a lifetime subscription, that means you can use its services permanently without going through limited and expensive subscriptions. The advantages of using pCloud are as follows: pCloud rewind: The main reason why people go for cloud storage is data recovery in case of any issue occurring in the local device. It should be easy to recover  files in case it is lost due to corruption, virus, or hardware problems. To ensure this, pCloud stores five separate copies of every file you upload at three different locations at a centralized data center facility in Dallas, Texas, so you always have a copy of your file available for download. pCloud has a feature called pCloud rewind which tracks and saves your file history from last 30 days in case if you make any mistakes or accidentally deleted your original file. You can also go for long periods of history by including the extended file history add on (EFH) that keeps previous file versions for up to 360 days. High level security: The sensitive files and data are highly vulnerable in the current date of technologies for hacking and stealing data. Organizations dealing with sensitive data can opt for pCloud since it provides client side encryption service called pCloud crypto. Other cloud service providers use AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) TLS/SSL 256 bit encryption which helps secure your files in transit from device to server. But after these files are uploaded on the cloud storage server, it gets back to its original format. This means that anyone who has access to the server can access the data as well. pCloud offers an additional level of data security where the responsibility of encryption is in the hands of the client. You can encrypt your files or data on your personal system before you upload it on the storage server. You can unlock these files by using the generated key called CryptoPass.  Convenient file management: pCloud is available on all digital platforms including Mac, Windows, Linux and also mobile systems like iOS, Android and Windows. This lets you access your file on the go from any system even while you are traveling. All the changes made are saved to the files irrespective of the device it is made on. You can access your files from any device without extra charges. Store your files from other online platforms: If your files or work is saved on Google Drive, Dropbox or any other third party cloud storage platforms, pCloud offers to easily exchange information with these services conveniently and also upload them. You can even sync your information with social media platforms like Facebook, Picasa, and Instagram. 5. Mega Mega is a secure cloud storage offered by Mega Limited, an Auckland based company. Mega offers 50 GB of free storage space. Mega is also available for Windows phone, iOS and Android in the form of mobile apps. It provides services basically through a web based app. For Windows, Linux, and Mac desktop programs, one can download MEGAsync. A folder is created in which one can drag and drop the files that one needs to upload on the MEGA account. For Mozilla Thunderbird users have the option of MEGAbird add on to share large files over email.  It was founded by Kim Dotcom in 2013 and was launched on January 19, 2013. Kim Dotcom left the company in 2015 when the company was taken over by a Chinese investor who was wanted for fraud in China and the consequent seizure of the investor's shares by the New Zealand government. The site is now controlled by the New Zealand government. Mega was created for privacy and security reasons and all files are end-to-end encrypted locally before they are uploaded. It has bandwidth limits that have to be set in account settings while uploading through a browser and through desktop client while working in the application. The users of free account receive 15 GB of base storage data and 35 GB trial on signup for one month. Through various achievements, one can activate additional storage but the maximum limit is 50 GB. On the other hand, paid account users have four levels of options: 200 GB (1 TB bandwidth per month) 1 TB storage (2 TB of bandwidth per month ) 4 TB storage ( 8TB bandwidth per month ) 8 TB storage (16 TB bandwidth per month) Significant features of Mega: MEGAchat - It was launched in 2015 as an encrypted alternative to applications such as Skype and others. It is a browser-based chat service that covers email, video, chat, voice, and mobile. Browser extension- They launched a plugin extension MEGA chrome extension in 2015, marketed for its improved downloading and loading and improved security. Later in 2018 it was found that chrome web store extension was compromised due to the addition of code which was designed to steal credentials of cryptocurrency however the original code on GitHub was secure. Desktop sync client- It assists in removing file uploads which have keywords in common that reduces uploading of unnecessary content. API - Mega has recently released a feature of documentation of its API enabling the developers to write their own applications. The whole folder can be uploaded through the browser. Limitations of Mega There is no option to share files among a group of users. One can experience inconvenience while working with browsers other than Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. There is no advanced sharing features, one can send Mega file only by creating a public link. There is a 10 GB bandwidth limit which is refilled every 30 minutes. Hope this article helped you get an understanding of all the best cloud storage available for free. If you want to learn about AWS, you should try the AWS Certification course 

What are the Best Free Cloud Storages in 2021?

9K
  • by Joydip Kumar
  • 14th Oct, 2019
  • Last updated on 11th Mar, 2021
  • 8 mins read
What are the Best Free Cloud Storages in 2021?

Cloud storage helps slash data on hardware in a remote physical location, which can be accessed from any device with the help of the internet. Below are some of the best free cloud storage in 2019: 

1. Microsoft OneDrive: 

Microsoft provides a cloud storage service and offers 15 GB of free storage to its users. OneDrive, earlier called Skydrive, can be used to store important files securely at one location and these can be accessed from anywhere and from any compatible system. Cloud storage works like a traditional hard drive, the difference being that it is available online and can be accessed from anywhere around the world. Also, companies offer to extend the storage capacity if required. Files of any format can be stored in Microsoft OneDrive, though it is better for Office documents. 

It offers cross-device and cross-platform design, which implies that you can resume your work from where you left without the need for saving it or making a copy of it. Due to its Office365 integration, it is easy to share your content and files with other users and hence facilitates collaboration among a team. One prominent feature of Microsoft OneDrive is Files on demand. This means you can access your files stored in the cloud from anywhere, without downloading them to your local device which saves a lot of local storage. Since the files are stored and changes are saved in the cloud, the recovery is very convenient in case the system you are working on gets crashed, damaged or stolen. You can easily upgrade your account by buying extra storage in case you are running low on memory.  

The important features of Microsoft OneDrive: 

  • Create and share folders 
  • Save notebooks to OneDrive 
  • View Office documents online 
  • Upload multimedia files from your personal mobile phones. 
  • Real time co-authoring 
  • File type support 
  • Desktop synchronization 
  • Search and discovery tools 
  • Device reports 
  • Documents storage and tracking 
  • Permission management 
  • Photo management 
  • Microsoft Office integration 
  • Device specific selective sync 

2. Dropbox: 

Dropbox is operated by the American company Dropbox, Inc., and provides cloud storage and is used for file sharing and collaboration. Dropbox is available as an application for desktop for Windows, Linux and Macintosh operating systems. It is also available as an app for Android, iPad, iPhone and Blackberry. It provides a limited storage capacity of 2GB, which can be upgraded up to 100 GB by purchasing from several plans offered. The upgraded version of Dropbox is called Dropbox Plus. Upgrading to this version offers many benefits like automatic camera roll back up, which implies that all the photos that you click from your personal mobile phone get backed in Dropbox.  

Dropbox provides a robust API that allows other apps to collaborate with it and use it for file storage and sync. Dropbox does not require a complicated upgrade or timely installations. It is mainly focused on file exchange. It does not limit the number of files you can share or a number of users you can share with. You can even share your files with users who do not have a Dropbox account. It supports the exchange of files among any operating system and any device.  

Dropbox facilitates easy collaboration among team members. If you edit or make changes to any file that is shared with your team, they will receive a notification about the changes made. Teams can communicate and edit files at a minimal cost. You can easily get started with Dropbox by just downloading the app on your phone. After you create an account, you can start sharing your content. You can even use it offline if you sync your local storage or additional account data with it. To ensure the security of your stored files, Dropbox is designed with multiple layers of protection.  

Layers of protection include the following: 

  • Dropbox files are encrypted using 256 bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). 
  • It uses Secure Socket layer or transport layer security to secure data being exchanged with Dropbox apps and servers. 
  • Dropbox applications are regularly tested for security threats and if such vulnerabilities exist, it is fixed immediately. 
  • During login, two step verification is available to provide additional privacy. 

The important features of Dropbox are as follows: 

  • Automatic updates 
  • File storage and file sync 
  • Offline access 
  • Manually set bandwidth 
  • Automatic organization and backup 
  • Preview and download 
  • Any device accessibility 
  • Large files sharing 
  • Easy link sharing 

3. Google Drive 

Google Drive is a file storage and sharing service offered by Google. The first 15 GB is free. You can store any kind of files like photos, videos, design, drawings, recordings, and stories. Just like most other cloud services, you can upload your files online, and can access it from anywhere and any device. You can even invite people to view, download or contribute to your project.  

Google drive provides storage options to any kind of files such as images, sheets, pdf, videos, word documents etc, one can even save their email attachment in google drive directly through Gmail without going through the hassle of moving files. One of the greatest features of Google Drive is that it allows the user to view the file in the browser without having to download it. The files that can be previewed are Adobe, Microsoft Office, images, audios, texts and video files, such an option is not provided by most of the zero knowledge services as those services are unable to decrypt the files. Google Drive's versatility makes it more user-friendly than any other storage platforms. 

Significant features of Google Drive are:  

  • Google drive provides 15 GB free storage on signing up. 
  • With the assistance of Google's homegrown office suite, Google docs and other third party applications it is more productive and efficient than most other storage options. 
  • It is very versatile as one can store almost any kind of files and preview the same without downloading it. 
  • Google drive can be accessed by logging in with your Google account. 
  • Many different types of programs can be integrated with Google drive. 
  • Google drive's browser interface is fairly intuitive and user friendly. 
  • With the help of Google client, one can make optimum use of its sync capabilities. 
  • File replication. 
  • It provides third party applications library. 

The only drawback Google Drive has is that it does not provide any specific way to share files, however, it is one of the best storage options as its strength surpasses its weaknesses. 

4. pCloud 

Though pCloud is new in the market compared to its counterparts, it has emerged as a versatile cloud solution for both business and personal use. The features of pCloud which make it stand out among other cloud services, are as follows: 

  • pCloud crypto: It provides you with an option to secure your files and data with encryption on your device before uploading on cloud to protect them from any unwanted and insecure access. 
  • Lifetime subscription: Unlike other cloud services available in the market, pCloud offers a lifetime subscription, that means you can use its services permanently without going through limited and expensive subscriptions. 

The advantages of using pCloud are as follows: 

  • pCloud rewind: The main reason why people go for cloud storage is data recovery in case of any issue occurring in the local device. It should be easy to recover  files in case it is lost due to corruption, virus, or hardware problems. To ensure this, pCloud stores five separate copies of every file you upload at three different locations at a centralized data center facility in Dallas, Texas, so you always have a copy of your file available for download. pCloud has a feature called pCloud rewind which tracks and saves your file history from last 30 days in case if you make any mistakes or accidentally deleted your original file. You can also go for long periods of history by including the extended file history add on (EFH) that keeps previous file versions for up to 360 days. 
  • High level security: The sensitive files and data are highly vulnerable in the current date of technologies for hacking and stealing data. Organizations dealing with sensitive data can opt for pCloud since it provides client side encryption service called pCloud crypto. Other cloud service providers use AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) TLS/SSL 256 bit encryption which helps secure your files in transit from device to server. But after these files are uploaded on the cloud storage server, it gets back to its original format. This means that anyone who has access to the server can access the data as well. pCloud offers an additional level of data security where the responsibility of encryption is in the hands of the client. You can encrypt your files or data on your personal system before you upload it on the storage server. You can unlock these files by using the generated key called CryptoPass.  
  • Convenient file management: pCloud is available on all digital platforms including Mac, Windows, Linux and also mobile systems like iOS, Android and Windows. This lets you access your file on the go from any system even while you are traveling. All the changes made are saved to the files irrespective of the device it is made on. You can access your files from any device without extra charges. 
  • Store your files from other online platforms: If your files or work is saved on Google Drive, Dropbox or any other third party cloud storage platforms, pCloud offers to easily exchange information with these services conveniently and also upload them. You can even sync your information with social media platforms like Facebook, Picasa, and Instagram. 

5. Mega 

Mega is a secure cloud storage offered by Mega Limited, an Auckland based company. Mega offers 50 GB of free storage space. 

Mega is also available for Windows phone, iOS and Android in the form of mobile apps. It provides services basically through a web based app. For Windows, Linux, and Mac desktop programs, one can download MEGAsync. A folder is created in which one can drag and drop the files that one needs to upload on the MEGA account. For Mozilla Thunderbird users have the option of MEGAbird add on to share large files over email.  

It was founded by Kim Dotcom in 2013 and was launched on January 19, 2013. Kim Dotcom left the company in 2015 when the company was taken over by a Chinese investor who was wanted for fraud in China and the consequent seizure of the investor's shares by the New Zealand government. The site is now controlled by the New Zealand government. Mega was created for privacy and security reasons and all files are end-to-end encrypted locally before they are uploaded. It has bandwidth limits that have to be set in account settings while uploading through a browser and through desktop client while working in the application. 

The users of free account receive 15 GB of base storage data and 35 GB trial on signup for one month. Through various achievements, one can activate additional storage but the maximum limit is 50 GB. 

On the other hand, paid account users have four levels of options: 

  • 200 GB (1 TB bandwidth per month) 
  • 1 TB storage (2 TB of bandwidth per month ) 
  • 4 TB storage ( 8TB bandwidth per month ) 
  • 8 TB storage (16 TB bandwidth per month) 

Significant features of Mega: 

  • MEGAchat - It was launched in 2015 as an encrypted alternative to applications such as Skype and others. It is a browser-based chat service that covers email, video, chat, voice, and mobile. 
  • Browser extension- They launched a plugin extension MEGA chrome extension in 2015, marketed for its improved downloading and loading and improved security. Later in 2018 it was found that chrome web store extension was compromised due to the addition of code which was designed to steal credentials of cryptocurrency however the original code on GitHub was secure. 
  • Desktop sync client- It assists in removing file uploads which have keywords in common that reduces uploading of unnecessary content. 
  • API - Mega has recently released a feature of documentation of its API enabling the developers to write their own applications. 
  • The whole folder can be uploaded through the browser. 

Limitations of Mega 

  • There is no option to share files among a group of users. 
  • One can experience inconvenience while working with browsers other than Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. 
  • There is no advanced sharing features, one can send Mega file only by creating a public link. 
  • There is a 10 GB bandwidth limit which is refilled every 30 minutes. 

Hope this article helped you get an understanding of all the best cloud storage available for free. If you want to learn about AWS, you should try the AWS Certification course 

Joydip

Joydip Kumar

Solution Architect

Joydip is passionate about building cloud-based applications and has been providing solutions to various multinational clients. Being a java programmer and an AWS certified cloud architect, he loves to design, develop, and integrate solutions. Amidst his busy work schedule, Joydip loves to spend time on writing blogs and contributing to the opensource community.


Website : https://geeks18.com/

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This also allows large organizations to innovate more quickly.Most Recent Changes in SAFe® series - SAFe® 4.6Because Scaled Agile continues to improve, new changes have been incorporated with SAFe® 4.6. with the addition of five core competencies that enable enterprises to respond to technology and market changes.Lean Portfolio Management: The information needed for how to use a Lean-Agile approach to portfolio strategy, funding, and governance.Business Solutions and Lean Systems: Optimizing activities to Implement large, complex initiatives using a Scaled Agile approach while still addressing the necessary activities such as designing, testing, deployment, and even retiring old solutions.DevOps and Release on Demand: The skills needed to release value as needed through a continuous delivery pipeline.Team and Technical Agility: The skills needed to establish successful teams who consistently deliver value and quality to meet customer needs.Lean-Agile Leadership: How leadership enables a successful agile transformation by supporting empowered teams in implementing agile practices. Leaders carry out the Agile principles and practices and ensure teams have the support they need to succeedSAFe® Agilist (SA) Certification exam: The SAFe® Agilist certification is for the change leaders in an organization to learn about the SAFe® practices to support change at all levels: team, program, and portfolio levels. These change agents can play a positive role in an enterprise transition to SAFe®.In order to become certified as a SAFe® Agilist (SA), you must first take the Leading SAFe® class and pass the SAFe® certification exam. To learn more about this, see this article on How To Pass Leading SAFe® 4.5 Exam.SAFe® Certification Exam: KnowledgeHut provides Leading SAFe® training in multiple locations. Check the site for locations and dates.SAFe® Agile Certification Cost: Check KnowledgeHut’s scheduled training offerings to see the course cost. Each course includes the opportunity to sit for the exam included in the cost.Scaled Agile Framework Certification Cost: There are multiple levels of SAFe® certification, including Scrum Master, Release Train Engineer, and Product Owner. Courses range in cost, but each includes the chance to sit for the corresponding SAFe® certification.SAFe® Classes: SAFe® classes are offered by various organizations. To see if KnowledgeHut is offering SAFe® Training near you, check the SAFe® training schedule on our website.TrainingKnowledgeHut provides multiple Scaled Agile courses to give both leaders and team members in your organization the information they need to for a successful transition to Scaled Agile. Check the site for the list of classes to find those that are right for your organization as you make the journey.All course fees cover examination costs for certification.SAFe® 4.5 Scrum Master with SSM Certification TrainingLearn the core competencies of implementing Agile across the enterprise, along with how to lead high-performing teams to deliver successful solutions. You’ll also learn how to implement DevOps practices. Completion of this course will prepare you for obtaining your SAFe® 4 Scrum Master certificate.SAFe® 4 Advanced Scrum Master (SASM)This two-day course teaches you to how to apply Scrum at the enterprise level and prepares you to lead high-performing teams in a Scaled Agile environment. At course completion, you’ll be prepared to manage interactions not only on your team but also across teams and with stakeholders. You’ll also be prepared to take the SAFe® Advanced Scrum Master exam.Leading SAFe®4.5 Training Course (SA)This two-day Leading SAFe® class prepares you to become a Certified SAFe® 4 Agilist, ready to lead the agile transformation in your enterprise.  By the end of this course, you’ll be able to take the SAFe® Agilist (SA) certification exam.SAFe® 4.5 for Teams (SP) This two-day course teaches Scrum fundamentals, principles tools, and processes. You’ll learn about software engineering practices needed to scale agile and deliver quality solutions in a Scaled Agile environment. Teams new to Scaled Agile will find value in going through this course. Attending the class prepares you for the certification exam to become a certified SAFe® 4 Practitioner (SP). DevOps Foundation Certification trainingThis course teaches you the DevOps framework, along with the practices to prepare you to apply the principles in your work environment. Completion of this course will prepare you also to take the DevOps Foundation exam for certification.
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A Glimpse Of The Major Leading SAFe® Versions

A Quick view of SAFe® Agile has gained popularit... Read More

How Start Ups Can Benefit From Cloud Computing?

From nebulous beginnings, the cloud has grown to a platform that has gained universal acceptance and is transforming businesses across industries. Companies that have adopted cloud technology have seen significant payoffs, with cloud based tools redefining their data storage, data sharing, marketing and project management capabilities. The easy availability of affordable cloud infrastructure has made it so easy to set up new businesses that the economy is all set for a start up boom which has its head, so to speak, in the cloud! With the advent of this new technology, complete newbie’s in the market are able to hold their own against established market players—by achieving an amazing quantum of work using skeleton manpower resources. Recently, a popular ad doing the rounds on TV showed a long haired youth conducting business from a cafe on his HP Pavilion laptop, where he is ridiculed by some well heeled middle aged businessmen on their coffee break. Back at their office, they find that this youngster is the new investor that their boss has been heaping accolades on. “Where’s your office?” one of them asks the young man…to be laughingly told that he carries his entire office in his laptop! And that, typically, is how the new-age start up business looks. We have heard many stories of how a clever idea has turned a tidy profit for a smart entrepreneur working out of his laptop. While cloud computing is pushing the boundaries of science and innovation into a new realm, it is also laying the foundation for a new wave of business start ups. New ventures in general suffer from a lack of infrastructure, manpower and funding…and all these three concerns are categorically addressed by the cloud. Moving to the cloud minimizes the need of huge capital investments to set up expensive infrastructure. For nascent entrepreneurs, physical hardware and server costs used to be formidable given the limited budgets at their disposal. Seed money was also required to hire office space, promote the business and hire workers. Today, thanks to cloud technology, getting a new business off the ground and running costs virtually nothing. Most of the resources and tools that new ventures need are available on the cloud at minimal costs, in fact quite often at zero costs, making this a powerful value proposition for small businesses. A cloud hosting provider such as AWS can enable you to go live immediately, and will even scale up to your requirement once your business expands. Small businesses can think and dream big with the cloud. When it comes to manpower resources, it takes just a handful of people to work wonders using the online resources that are at their disposal. If you have a brilliant idea and have a workable plan for execution, you can comfortably compete neck to neck with market leaders. The messaging sensation WhatsApp was started in 2009 by just two former Yahoo employees who leveraged the power of the internet – and this goes to show that clever use of technology can completely eliminate the need for a sizeable manpower pool. Start ups have always been more agile than their large scale counterparts, and the cloud helps them take this a step further. Resources can be scaled up or down in no time, whereas in traditional environments it would have taken many days, considerable planning and funds to add hardware and software. Cloud computing also helps improve collaboration across teams, often across geographies. Data sharing is instantaneous, and teams can work on a task together in real time regardless of their location. Powered by the cloud, small businesses operate with shoestring budgets and key players in different continents. All their accounting, client data, marketing and other business critical files can be stored online and are accessible from anywhere. These online tools can be accessed and utilised instantly, and underpin all the crucial processes on which these businesses thrive. Strategic financial decisions are made after garnering insights from cloud-based accounting software. E-invoicing helps settle bills in a fraction of the time of traditional billing systems, and client queries are answered quickly through cloud-based management systems—saving precious time and increasing customer satisfaction levels to an all-time high. Whether at home, on vacation or on the phone, businesses can oversee sales, replenish products and plan new sales strategies. That’s a whole new way of doing business, and seems to be very successful! An estimate by Cloudworks has put the anticipated cloud computing market at over $200 billion by the year 2018. As Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, succinctly put it, the cloud “makes it easier and cheaper than ever for anyone anywhere to be an entrepreneur and to have access to all the best infrastructure of innovation.” With cloud technology rapidly levelling the playing field between nascent and established businesses, it is anybody’s guess as to just how many new start ups will burst into the scene in the next few years. Hoping that the blog has helped you gain a clear understanding of the importance of Cloud Computing.  To gain more knowledge on what cloud computing has to offer, take a look at other blogs as well as the AWS certifications that we have to offer or enrol yourself for the AWS Certification Training course by KnowledgeHut.  
How Start Ups Can Benefit From Cloud Computing?

From nebulous beginnings, the cloud has grown to a... Read More

Business Transformation through Enterprise Cloud Computing

The Cloud Best Practices Network is an industry solutions groups and best practices catalogue of how-to information for Cloud Computing. While we cover all aspects of the technology our primary goal is to explain the enabling relationship between this new IT trend and business transformation, where our materials include: Core Competencies – The mix of new skills and technologies required to successfully implement new Cloud-based IT applications. Reference Documents – The core articles that define what Cloud Computing is and what the best practices are for implementation, predominately referring to the NIST schedule of information. Case studies – Best practices derived from analysis of pioneer adopters, such as the State of Michigan and their ‘MiCloud‘ framework . Read this article ‘Make MiCloud Your Cloud‘ as an introduction to the Cloud & business transformation capability. e-Guides – These package up collections of best practice resources directed towards a particular topic or industry. For example our GovCloud.info site specializes in Cloud Computing for the public sector. White papers – Educational documents from vendors and other experts, such as the IT Value mapping paper from VMware. Core competencies The mix of new skills and technologies required to successfully implement new Cloud-based IT applications, and also the new capabilities that these platforms make possible: Virtualization Cloud Identity and Security – Cloud Privacy Cloud 2.0 Cloud Configuration Management Cloud Migration Management DevOps Cloud BCP ITaaS Procurement Cloud Identity and Security Cloud Identity and Security best practices (CloudIDSec) provides a comprehensive framework for ensuring the safe and compliant use of Cloud systems. This is achieved through combining a focus on the core references for Cloud Security, the Cloud Security Alliance, with those of Cloud Identity best practices: IDaaS – Identity Management 2.0 Federated Identity Ecosystems Cloud Privacy A common critcal focus area for Cloud computing is data privacy, particularly with regards to the international aspects of Cloud hosting. Cloud Privacy refers to the combination of technologies and legal frameworks to ensure privacy of personal information held in Cloud systems, and a ‘Cloud Privacy-by-Design’ process can then be used to identify the local legislated privacy requirements of information. Tools for designing these types of privacy controls have been developed by global privacy experts, such as Ann Cavoukian, the current Privacy Commissioner for Ontario, who provides tools to design and build these federated privacy systems. The Privacy by Design Cloud Computing Architecture (26-page PDF) document provides a base reference for how to combine traditional PIAs (Privacy Impact Assessments) with Cloud Computing. As this Privacy Framework presentation then explains these regulatory mechanisms that Kantara enables can then provide the foundations for securing the information in a manner that encompasses all the legacy, privacy and technical requirements needed to ensure it is suitable for e-Government scenarios. This then enables it to achieve compliance with the Cloud Privacy recommendations put forward by global privacy experts, such as Ann Cavoukian, the current Privacy Commissioner for Ontario, who stipulates a range of ‘Cloud Privacy By Design‘ best practices Cloud 2.0 Cloud is as much a business model as it is a technology, and this model is best described through the term ‘Cloud 2.0′. As the saying goes a picture tells a thousand words, and as described by this one Cloud 2.0 represents the intersection between social media, Cloud computing and Crowdsourcing. The Social Cloud In short it marries the emergent new online world of Twitter, Linkedin et al, and the technologies that are powering them, with the traditional, back-end world of mainframe systems, mini-computers and all other shapes and sizes of legacy data-centre. “Socializing” these applications means moving them ‘into the Cloud’, in the sense of connecting them into this social data world, as much as it does means virtualizing the application to run on new hardware. This a simple but really powerful mix, that can act as a catalyst for an exciting new level of business process capability. It can provide a platform for modernizing business processes in a significant and highly innovative manner, a breath of fresh air that many government agency programs are crying out for. Government agencies operate many older technology platforms for many of their services, making it difficult to amend them for new ways of working and in particular connecting them to the web for self-service options. Crowdsourcing Social media encourages better collaboration between users and information, and tools for open data and back-end legacy integrations can pull the transactional systems informtion needed to make this functional and valuable. Crowdsourcing is: a distributed problem-solving and production process that involves outsourcing tasks to a network of people, also known as the crowd. Although not a component of the technologies of Cloud Computing, Crowdsourcing is a fundamental concept inherent to the success of the Cloud 2.0 model. The commercial success of migration to Cloud Computing will be amplified when there is a strong focus on the new Web 2.0 type business models that the technology is ideal for enabling. Case study – Peer to Patent One such example is the Whitehouse project the Peer to the Patent portal, a headline example of Open Government, led by one its keynote experts Beth Noveck. This project illustrates the huge potential for business transformation that Cloud 2.0 offers. It’s not just about migrating data-center apps into a Cloud provider, connecting an existing IT system to a web interface or just publishing Open Data reporting data online, but rather utilizing the nature of the web to entirely re-invent the core process itself. It’s about moving the process into the Cloud. In this 40 page Harvard white paper Beth describes how the US Patent Office was building up a huge backlog of over one million patent applications due to a ‘closed’ approach where only staff from the USPTO could review, contribute and decide upon applications. To address this bottleneck she migrated the process to an online, Open version where contributors from across multiple organizations could help move an application through the process via open participation web site features. Peer to Patent is a headline example of the power of Open Government, because it demonstrates its about far more than simply publishing reporting information online in an open manner, so that they public can inspect data like procurement spending numbers. Rather it’s about changing the core decision-making processes entirely, reinventing how Government itself works from the inside out, reinventing it from a centralized hierarchical monolith to an agile, distributed peer to peer network. In essence it transforms the process from ‘closed’ to ‘open’, in terms of who and how others can participate, utilizing the best practice of ‘Open Innovation‘ to break the gridlock that had occured due the constraints caused by private, traditional ways of working. Open Grantmaking – Sharing Cloud Best Practices Beth has subsequently advised further on how these principles can be applied in general across Government. For example in this article on her own blog she describes ‘Open Grantmaking‘ – How the Peer To Patent crowdsourcing model might be applied to the workflows for government grant applications. She touches on what is the important factor about these new models, their ability to accelerate continual improvement within organizations through repeatedly sharing and refining best practices: “In practice, this means that if a community college wins a grant to create a videogame to teach how to install solar panels, everyone will have the benefit of that knowledge. They will be able to play the game for free. In addition, anyone can translate it into Spanish or Russian or use it as the basis to create a new game to teach how to do a home energy retrofit.” Beth describes how Open Grantmaking might be utilized to improve community investing in another blog, describing how OG would enable more transparency and related improvements. Cloud 2.0 As the underlying technology Cloud 2.0 caters for both the hosting of the software and also the social media 2.0 features that enable the cross-enterprise collaboration that Beth describes. Cloud Configuration Management CCM is the best practice for change and configuration management within Cloud environments, illustrated through vendors such as Evolven. Problem Statement One of the key goals and perceived benefits of Cloud computing is a simplified IT environment, a reduction of complexity through virtualizing applications into a single overall environment. However complexity actually increases.  Virtual Machines (VMs) encapsulate application and infrastructure configurations, they package up a combination of applications and their settings, obscuring this data from traditional configuration management tools. Furthermore the ease of self-service creation of VMs results in their widespread proliferation, and so actually the adoption of Cloud technologies creates a need for a new, extra dimension of systems management. This is called CCM, and incorporates: Release & Incident Management The increased complexity therefore increases the difficulties in trouble-shooting technical problems, and thus requires an updated set of tools and also updates to best practices like the use of ITIL procedures. ‘Release into Production’ is a particularly sensitive process within software teams, as major upgrades and patches are transitioned from test to live environments. Any number of configuration-related errors could cause the move to fail, and so CCM software delivers the core competency of being better able to respond quicker to identify and resolve these issues, reducing the MTTR significantly. DevOps DevOps is a set of principles, methods and practices for communication, collaboration and integration between software development and IT operations. Through the implementation of a shared Lean adoption program and QMS (Quality Management System) the two groups can better work together to minimize downtimes while improving the speed and quality of software development. It’s therefore directly linked to Business Agility. The higher the value of speed and quality = a faster ability to react to market changes, deploy new products and processes and in general adapt the organization, achieved through increasing the frequency of ‘Release Events’: It’s therefore directly linked to Business Agility. The higher the value of speed and quality = a faster ability to react to market changes, deploy new products and processes and in general adapt the organization, achieved through increasing the frequency of ‘Release Events’: ITaaS Procurement The fundamental shift that Cloud Computing represents is illustrated in one key implementation area:   Procurement. Moving to Cloud services means changing from a financial model for technology where you buy your own hardware and software, and pay for it up front, to an approach where instead you access it as a rental, utility service where you “PAYG – Pay As You Go”. To encompass all the different ‘as a Service’ models this is known at an overall level as ‘ITaaS’ – IT as a Service. Any type of IT can be virtualized and delivered via this Service model. Towards the end, I hope that you have gained a clear understanding of How Business Transforms Through Enterprise Cloud Computing. If this article has helped you clear your fundamentals and if you wish to learn more about Cloud computing by getting certified, then you can undertake the AWS certification course offered by KnowledgeHut.
Business Transformation through Enterprise Cloud C...

The Cloud Best Practices Network is an industry ... Read More