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Monitoring AWS Machine using Azure Log Analytics - Cloud Computing

What is Azure Log Analytics?Logs make your life easier and help everyone in the organization understand what you do and what's Actually going on with the software. Ensure that you follow best practices of Azure Log Analytics for monitoring AWS machines effectively.Logs are created by network devices, applications, operating systems, and programmable or smart devices. They comprise several messages that are chronologically arranged and stored on a disk, in files, or in an application like a log collector.Firstly, we will try to understand why we need logs to monitor AWS services.We need logs because, with Azure Log Analytics, you can gather and search log data from all your resources, whether they reside on Azure, on another cloud host, or on-premises. Then you can transform the gathered data into rich analytics with AI-enhanced insights into your environment.  How Log Analytics worksThe log data from Virtual machines and other cloud resources, capture via some Agent which we need to install on VMs and Resource can be named as Connected Sources which further will be gathered in records and sent to OMS repository that is the part of Azure Cloud resource and stored in the Azure cloud.After receiving logs to log analytics it further is available for log search and other activity like Set Alerts, Dashboard View, Power BI View, and Export into Excel and Data files. Data collection in Azure Log AnalyticsData can be collected in azure Log Analytics in different ways –Agents on Windows and Linux virtual machines send telemetry from the guest operating system and applications to Log Analytics according to Data Sources that you configure.Connect a System Center Operations Manager management group to Log Analytics to collect data from its agents.Azure services such as Application Insights and Azure Security Center store their data directly in Log Analytics without any configuration.Write data from PowerShell command line or Azure Automation runbook using Log Analytics cmdlets.If you have custom requirements, then you can use the HTTP Data Collector API to write data to Log Analytics from any REST API client.Azure Monitor                   Data sources for events and performanceVirtual Machines               Data sources for events and performanceOperations Manager         Data from management group agentsApplication Insights           Application requests and exceptionsAzure Security Center       Security eventsPowerShell                        PowerShell command line or runbookData Collector API            Rest API for custom dataIncoming data automatically indexed. Data types and tables automatically created.Log AnalyticsData available through log search and smart analytics to multiple channels.Design and test queries and analyze data         AnalyticsVisualize data in Azure portal                            DashboardsWorkflows consuming Log Analytics data         Logic AppsAutomatically respond critical conditions           AlertsExport for visualization with other sources        Power BIPowerShell command line or runbook               PowerShellRest API for custom application                         Log Search APIWork flow of Log AnalyticsNow let's find out the workflow of log analytics like how it collects data, analyze, visualize and alerts.So first look into Collect part–The logs can be collected via: -Event LogsCustom App LogsIIS LogsCrash DumpsPerformance DataWe can also filter the type of logs by just checking and unchecking the log types.Once the collection has done we need to Analyse the data which can be done by: -Filter based on attributesAnalyze data with Kusto Query languageSort dataExport log data to Excel and Power BIConditional FilteringAfter that, we can Visualize all the logs in an attractive DashboardAlerts can be configured on the basis of event conditions like once the value will be reached greater than or less than the limit threshold it will automatically generate the alerts and take configured actions like sending main, sending a message and start runbook (part of azure automation).Steps to collect Data and log from AWS MachinesAWS VMs could be of Windows and Linux, so we can install the agent which can be download from azure log analytics page by just selecting the type of the OS and the Bit of the VMs.After installing the Agent we need to configure the agent by entering the workspace id and key which will be provided by the azure after configuring. We can get the all the logs within some Hours in the portal.Supported AWS OS and VersionsLet’s discuss the OS and versions of VMs that are supported on AWS Cloud.If you are using Windows, the configuration should be:Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or laterWindows 7 SP1 and laterIf you are using Linux, the configuration should be:Amazon Linux 2012.09 to 2015.09 (x86/x64)CentOS Linux 5, 6, and 7 (x86/x64)Oracle Linux 5, 6, and 7 (x86/x64)Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server 5, 6 and 7 (x86/x64)Debian GNU/Linux 6, 7, and 8 (x86/x64)Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS, 16.04 LTS (x86/x64)SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 and 12 (x86/x64)After verifying the supported configuration, we can successfully install the agent and receive the logs.Kusto to query AWS Machine LogsKusto is a log analytics cloud platform optimized for ad-hoc big data queries.Kusto Query Reference Portal: https://docs.loganalytics.ioThe Kusto Query Language is used to query Azure services.OMS (Operational Management Suite)The Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS), previously known as Azure Operational Insights, is a software as a service platform that allows an administrator to manage on-premises and cloud IT assets from one console.Azure OMS provides 4 types of services: -Log Analytics: Monitor and analyze the availability and performance of different resources including physical and virtual machines.Automation: Automate manual processes and enforce configurations for physical and virtual machines.Backup: Backup and restore critical data.Site Recovery: Provide high availability for critical applications.Management SolutionsManagement solutions leverage services in Azure provides additional insight into the operation of a particular application or service.Here, we can manually select the required solution and add to the home page where we can only see the logs of that solution type.ReportsThe final reports of logs can be exported in Excel and Power BI that can be displayed in table and chart format.Conclusion:Azure Log Analytics is a very powerful tool to capture different types of system log. Kusto Query plays a very important role in extracting insights from the log file. Also, custom reports can be prepared using KUSTO Query,which helps the organization in saving many man-hours.Detailed reports and easy to export to excel and power helps to keep the troubleshooting and diagnosis handy.Reports can be embedded in any website with live refresh data and code snipped can be generated within power BI.Choose the right Azure logging service for AWS monitoring and use it to save many man-hours and reduce the time of troubleshooting and diagnosis.Towards the end, I hope that you have gained a clear understanding of What is Azure Log Analytics and how Monitoring AWS Machine using Azure Log Analytics take place.If this article has helped you clear your fundamentals and if you wish to learn more about it by getting certified, then you can undertake the Microsoft Azure Fundamental certification course offered by KnowledgeHut.
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Monitoring AWS Machine using Azure Log Analytics - Cloud Computing

21K
  • by Raju Kumar
  • 17th Sep, 2018
  • Last updated on 07th Oct, 2019
  • 4 mins read
Monitoring AWS Machine using Azure Log Analytics - Cloud Computing

What is Azure Log Analytics?

Logs make your life easier and help everyone in the organization understand what you do and what's Actually going on with the software. Ensure that you follow best practices of Azure Log Analytics for monitoring AWS machines effectively.

Logs are created by network devices, applications, operating systems, and programmable or smart devices. They comprise several messages that are chronologically arranged and stored on a disk, in files, or in an application like a log collector.

Firstly, we will try to understand why we need logs to monitor AWS services.

We need logs because, with Azure Log Analytics, you can gather and search log data from all your resources, whether they reside on Azure, on another cloud host, or on-premises. Then you can transform the gathered data into rich analytics with AI-enhanced insights into your environment.  

How Log Analytics works
The log data from Virtual machines and
other cloud resources, capture via some Agent which we need to install on VMs and Resource can be named as Connected Sources which further will be gathered in records and sent to OMS repository that is the part of Azure Cloud resource and stored in the Azure cloud.

After receiving logs to log analytics it further is available for log search and other activity like Set Alerts, Dashboard View, Power BI View, and Export into Excel and Data files.
 
Data collection in Azure Log Analytics

Data can be collected in azure Log Analytics in different ways –

  • Agents on Windows and Linux virtual machines send telemetry from the guest operating system and applications to Log Analytics according to Data Sources that you configure.
  • Connect a System Center Operations Manager management group to Log Analytics to collect data from its agents.
  • Azure services such as Application Insights and Azure Security Center store their data directly in Log Analytics without any configuration.
  • Write data from PowerShell command line or Azure Automation runbook using Log Analytics cmdlets.
  • If you have custom requirements, then you can use the HTTP Data Collector API to write data to Log Analytics from any REST API client.

  • Azure Monitor                   Data sources for events and performance
  • Virtual Machines               Data sources for events and performance
  • Operations Manager         Data from management group agents
  • Application Insights           Application requests and exceptions
  • Azure Security Center       Security events
  • PowerShell                        PowerShell command line or runbook
  • Data Collector API            Rest API for custom data

Incoming data automatically indexed. Data types and tables automatically created.

Log Analytics

Data available through log search and smart analytics to multiple channels.

  • Design and test queries and analyze data         Analytics
  • Visualize data in Azure portal                            Dashboards
  • Workflows consuming Log Analytics data         Logic Apps
  • Automatically respond critical conditions           Alerts
  • Export for visualization with other sources        Power BI
  • PowerShell command line or runbook               PowerShell
  • Rest API for custom application                         Log Search API

Work flow of Log Analytics
Now let's find out the workflow of log analytics like how it collects data, analyze, visualize and alerts.

So first look into Collect part–

The logs can be collected via: -

  • Event Logs
  • Custom App Logs
  • IIS Logs
  • Crash Dumps
  • Performance Data

We can also filter the type of logs by just checking and unchecking the log types.
Once the collection has done we need to Analyse the data which can be done by: -

  • Filter based on attributes
  • Analyze data with Kusto Query language
  • Sort data
  • Export log data to Excel and Power BI
  • Conditional Filtering

After that, we can Visualize all the logs in an attractive Dashboard
Alerts can be configured on the basis of event conditions like once the value will be reached greater than or less than the limit threshold it will automatically generate the alerts and take configured actions like sending main, sending a message and start runbook (part of azure automation).

Steps to collect Data and log from AWS Machines

AWS VMs could be of Windows and Linux, so we can install the agent which can be download from azure log analytics page by just selecting the type of the OS and the Bit of the VMs.

After installing the Agent we need to configure the agent by entering the workspace id and key which will be provided by the azure after configuring. We can get the all the logs within some Hours in the portal.
Supported AWS OS and Versions

Let’s discuss the OS and versions of VMs that are supported on AWS Cloud.

If you are using Windows, the configuration should be:

  • Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or later
  • Windows 7 SP1 and later

If you are using Linux, the configuration should be:

  • Amazon Linux 2012.09 to 2015.09 (x86/x64)
  • CentOS Linux 5, 6, and 7 (x86/x64)
  • Oracle Linux 5, 6, and 7 (x86/x64)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server 5, 6 and 7 (x86/x64)
  • Debian GNU/Linux 6, 7, and 8 (x86/x64)
  • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS, 16.04 LTS (x86/x64)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 and 12 (x86/x64)

After verifying the supported configuration, we can successfully install the agent and receive the logs.

Kusto to query AWS Machine Logs

Kusto is a log analytics cloud platform optimized for ad-hoc big data queries.

Kusto Query Reference Portal: https://docs.loganalytics.io

The Kusto Query Language is used to query Azure services.
OMS (Operational Management Suite)

The Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS), previously known as Azure Operational Insights, is a software as a service platform that allows an administrator to manage on-premises and cloud IT assets from one console.

Azure OMS provides 4 types of services: -

  • Log Analytics: Monitor and analyze the availability and performance of different resources including physical and virtual machines.
  • Automation: Automate manual processes and enforce configurations for physical and virtual machines.
  • Backup: Backup and restore critical data.
  • Site Recovery: Provide high availability for critical applications.

Management Solutions

Management solutions leverage services in Azure provides additional insight into the operation of a particular application or service.
Here, we can manually select the required solution and add to the home page where we can only see the logs of that solution type.

Reports

The final reports of logs can be exported in Excel and Power BI that can be displayed in table and chart format.
Conclusion:

Azure Log Analytics is a very powerful tool to capture different types of system log. Kusto Query plays a very important role in extracting insights from the log file. Also, custom reports can be prepared using KUSTO Query,
which helps the organization in saving many man-hours.

Detailed reports and easy to export to excel and power helps to keep the troubleshooting and diagnosis handy.

Reports can be embedded in any website with live refresh data and code snipped can be generated within power BI.

Choose the right Azure logging service for AWS monitoring and use it to save many man-hours and reduce the time of troubleshooting and diagnosis.

Towards the end, I hope that you have gained a clear understanding of What is Azure Log Analytics and how Monitoring AWS Machine using Azure Log Analytics take place.

If this article has helped you clear your fundamentals and if you wish to learn more about it by getting certified, then you can undertake the Microsoft Azure Fundamental certification course offered by KnowledgeHut.

Raju

Raju Kumar

Blog Author

Certified Azure Solution Architect and MCT, also specialized in AWS & Google Cloud Platform.

Having 6+ Years of Enterprise Product Development, worked in 4 MNC's across global teams.
I am a regular contributor at various technical conferences, Meetups & Community events to help the community to spread cloud awareness.
Things I do: Training, Consulting and Product Development. Let's Connect for a discussion !!

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This means that around 365,000 companies adopt Azure over the course of a year More than 57% of the Fortune 500 companies are using Azure With the help of Azure, the commercial cloud revenue of Microsoft has increased by 104%.  The UK government has officially accredited MS Azure There is also MS Azure Government offering that is backed by the US Government.  Key reasons to get a certification in Microsoft Azure Public cloud is on the focus: Around 88% of companies have already used the public cloud, 13% of which are already running over 1000 virtual machines in the public cloud. It is an impressive statistic that should convince you to take some time to learn cloud technologies such as MS Azure. Microsoft Azure holds a fair share of the market: Azure is catching up to its competition at an amazing rate. In fact, a recently conducted survey has found the user base of Azure to be quite comparable to that of AWS.  A future-proof technology: The rate at which cloud technologies such as Azure are evolving is tremendous. It is growing at a rate that is faster than the IT sector in its entirety.  Easy to learn and adaptable: Microsoft has monopolized the American personal computer market. Most regular users are familiar with the Windows operating system from Microsoft. What this means is that the learning curve for Microsoft is flatter as compared to other platforms. It is definitely advantageous to be aware of the working principles of Azure. If you are exposed to Microsoft tools at work, you will find it easy to learn concepts like Operational Insights and Azure automation.  Extreme Potential: The IT space is set to be dominated by the cloud infrastructure. The potential of MS Azure is evident from its rate of growth, which is faster than any other cloud services provider. Extremely efficient tool: Azure can handle most of the conventional tasks of designing, deploying and managing platforms. For gauging the efficiency of cloud platforms such as Azure, the following factors need to be considered: The value added to a large app development project Assistance provided to the Ops facet of Dev/Ops Integration provided with Powershell integration Microsoft Azure meets all the needs for satisfying millions of users across the world.  Which certification exam should you take? The industry recognized Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) certifications demonstrate your IT professional and developer technical expertise through various industry-recognized exams. On passing your first qualifying MCP exam, you will automatically become a Microsoft Certified Professional. Note that the Microsoft Certified Professional(MCP) certification is no longer available, but will be added to your transcript when you pass an MCP exam. However, you may not be able to get all the program benefits until you successfully earn your first certification. The main consideration is which exam should you take first? To decide that you need to consider the following factors: Your technological experience: The experience you have in technical field will help you determine whether you should go for advanced certification or start with a fundamental one. For instance, a professional having 2 years of experience can’t take up architect-level certification. A strong technical background is a must if you are willing to take an architect-level certification Your present job role: It is always advisable to take a certification that is relatable to your present job role. For instance, a windows or network admin should consider attempting Azure Infrastructure Solutions whereas a .NET developer may attempt Azure developer certification. If you are a professional who is completely new to the technology, it is recommended that you first begin with the Fundamentals certification.  Your objective: Any certification that you wish to attempt should align with your goal for the future. For instance, if your aspiration in the future is to become a big data architect, you should first take a big data cloud certification followed by an architect level certification. There is a prerequisite for each exam. Although not mandatory, a good background prepares you for job roles in future that align with the certification you plan on attempting.  Azure certifications for IT professionals In 2018, new Azure certifications were added for the IT professionals and some of the existing ones were retired. The new Azure role-based Azure certifications were launched after getting feedback from the previous exam takers. To select the best certification, you must know about all the certifications Microsoft has to offer. Here, we are providing you with six different Azure Certifications path based on the roles: Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 is the foundational level exam created for IT professionals wanting to validate their knowledge of the Microsoft Azure platform. You can take this exam even if you are not from a technical background but have a basic knowledge of the cloud concepts. This exam is also a stepping stone for other associate and expert level Azure certifications. The exam will cover the cloud concepts, the core services of Azure, Azure support and pricing, and security, trust, compliance, and privacy. The exam is available in English and costs $99 USD. Azure Administrator Associate For this role, you need to pass Exam AZ-103. To be eligible for this exam, you must have an understanding of Azure applications, cloud, operating systems, and storage infrastructure. Apart from this, you must know how the virtualization tools and networking components work. Having a basic understanding of Command Line Interface and PowerShell will act as an advantage. In the exam, there will be a number of different domains covered including Implementing and managing storage, configuring and managing virtual networks, managing Azure resources and subscriptions, managing identities, and deploying and managing virtual machines. It is available in English and costs $165 USD. Azure Developer Associate For this role, you need to pass AZ-203 exam. The prerequisites for this exam include expertise in developing apps and services by implementing tools and technologies provided on the Azure platform. At least 1 year of working experience in developing solutions that are scalable is required. Also, the candidate must be proficient in at least one programming language supported by the cloud. During the exam, you will be asked questions regarding developing for Azure storage, developing Azure infrastructure as a solution for service compute, implementing Azure security, troubleshooting, monitoring, and optimizing Azure solutions, and connecting and consuming services from third-parties and Azure. The exam is only available in English and costs $165 USD. Azure Solutions Architect Expert You need to pass two exams for this role, AZ-300 and AZ-301. For the AZ-300 exam: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies, you must have at least 1 year of experience working with the Azure platform. A basic knowledge of data management, identity, security, and IT operations is also required. Also, you must be familiar with DevOps, Azure administration, and Azure development. The exam covers several domains including deploying and configuring infrastructure, implementing security and workloads, creating and deploying apps, architecting solutions using cloud technology, developing for the cloud, securing data, and implementing authentication. The exam, costing about $165 USD, is only available in English.  For the AZ-301 exam: Microsoft Azure Architect Design, the prerequisites are the same as for the AZ-300. However, you also need to pass the AZ-300 exam to be eligible for the AZ-301 exam. The domains of this exam include determining requirements of the workload, designing for security and identity, designing a strategy for business continuity, designing a solution for data platform, designing to deploy, migrate, and integrate, and designing a strategy for infrastructure. The exam is only available in English and costs $165 USD. Azure DevOps Engineer Expert The exam for this role is the AZ-400: Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions. To be eligible for this exam, candidates must have knowledge of Azure administration and development. You must have the ability of designing and implementing DevOps practices for version control, infrastructure as code, configuration management, releasing, compliance, building, and testing using the Azure technologies. Also, you must be proficient in Agile practices. The exam will include domains like designing a DevOps strategy, implementing continuous integration and delivery, DevOps Development Processes, continuous feedback, dependency management, and application infrastructure. The exam costs $165 USD and is only available in English. Azure Security Engineer Associate For this new role, you need to pass the AZ-500 exam: Microsoft Azure Security Technologies. The prerequisites for this exam include knowledge of how to implement security controls on the Azure platform, virtualization, Amazon Kubernetes Service, and cloud N-tier architecture. You must have the ability of using security tools for recognizing and addressing vulnerabilities and protecting applications, data, and networks by implementing the security solutions. Expertise in maintaining security status, identity and access management, and scripting and automation is also required. The domains covered in this exam include management of identity and access, and security operations, implementing platform protection, and securing applications and data. The exam is available in English and costs $165 USD. Now that you have all the information regarding the different Azure certifications, you can select the one that best suits your needs. To learn about the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, check out Microsoft Azure Fundamentals course.  
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What are the Best Free Cloud Storages in 2019?

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 
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