Amazon Dynamo DB now has Auto-Scaling by default!

There are a huge number of AWS customers who use and depend on Amazon Dynamo DB for persistent performance for their serverless applications. Amazon Dynamo DB has a provisioned capacity model. Customers must set the amount of write and read operations that are required for their application. The introduction of auto-scaling helps to automate capacity management for tables and indexes on Amazon Dynamo DB. When using auto-scaling customers can state upper and lower bands for read and write capacity. After bands have been set by customer Dynamo DB will work with another Amazon service called CloudWatch to monitor and modify capacity when appropriate.

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A Guide To Choosing The Best Amazon EC2 Pricing Options

In order to get the best value when using Amazons EC2 service, you should evaluate the following in order to get the best value from the EC2 pricing that suits your application and business needs. One of the most important things to consider when setting up your EC2 instances is what pricing type meets your applications needs best. You will also have to choose an EC2 instance type that will suit your compute needs. There is a wide range of instances available and each instance type will vary in price.

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AWS Greengrass is now available to all AWS Customers

AWS Greengrass is an IoT service for AWS customers that allows them to program and update devices using AWS Lambda and the AWS Management Console. The Greengrass service extends AWS to physical devices and allows a group of devices to be connected and communicate locally and on the Cloud.

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Easily Stop And Start RDS Instances on AWS

While Amazon Web Services typically offers a pay-as-you-go approach for its products, the company’s Relational Database Service (RDS) has been an outlier. Unlike Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances, which can be paused and relaunched as needed, the ability to directly stop and start RDS instances has never been available… until now.

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What is Amazon Redshift?

In our latest blog, we look to answer the question, What is Amazon Redshift? The simple answer is that Amazon Redshift is a fully managed data warehouse service that can scale from just a hundred gigabytes to a petabyte or more.  Amazon Redshift is a simple cost effective way to analyse your data using SQL and your existing BI (Business Intelligence) tools. Redshift is designed to connect SQL-based clients and business intelligence tools for analytic workloads. Amazon Redshift gives you fast querying abilities and enables you to execute complex queries against any size of the dataset.  In this blog, we will look at more of the key features and benefits, so you will no longer have to ask the question: What is Amazon Redshift?

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Simple File Level Recovery for EBS Snapshots

When it comes to your company’s backup and disaster recovery needs, Amazon Web Services’ cloud-computing platform is an ideal choice. But despite its inherent benefits, file-level recovery for EBS snapshots can still be a difficult, time-consuming process, especially for non-IT professionals. However, it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we’ll take a look at how file-level recovery for AWS EBS snapshots work. We’ll also discuss how a third-party provider like CloudRanger can greatly simplify the process

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CloudRanger Wins 2017 Tech Excellence Award – Startup Of The Year

We are delighted to announce that CloudRanger was named the Startup Company of the Year at the Irish Tech Excellence Awards 2017 last night.

The awards took place at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin. The Tech Excellence awards recognise excellence in the design, implementation and support of technology solutions and services. The Startup Award 2017 recognises the most promising new technology business in Ireland, was presented by Liam Donnelly, from eir.

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Top AWS Backup & Disaster Recovery Considerations for MSPs

Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud-computing platform can greatly simplify a company’s backup and recovery process without the need for costly onsite equipment. However, because using AWS is somewhat complicated and still requires a certain level of scripting, many businesses chose to outsource this task to a managed service provider (MSP) or value-added reseller (VAR). So in the following article, we’ll highlight important details to consider regarding backup and recovery for MSPs and VARs. We’ll also explain how third-party providers like CloudRanger can help MSPs and VARs further streamline and simplify their clients’ backups and recovery methods, saving time and money in the process.

Which Backup Method Is Right For The Client?

When it comes to backup and recovery for MSPs and VARs, the first consideration should be choosing the right backup method for your client. With AWS, the two main options for backups are AMIs and EBS snapshots. An AMI is an encrypted machine image that contains all the information necessary to restore your data. EBS snapshots are backups of Amazon EBS volumes which capture incremental block-level changes to the original. Overall, instance store-based AMIs are slower, less flexible, and more costly than their EBS counterparts. But AMIs might still be the better option depending on your client’s specific needs. So before you go any further, a thorough assessment is in order.

But regardless of which backup method is right for your client, a third-party service like CloudRanger can help MSPs and VARs manage, automate, and streamline the backup process.

What Are The Client’s Specific Disaster Recovery Needs?

Once you determine the best method for backing up your client’s data, it’s time to develop a backup and recovery strategy. And an important component of backup and recovery for MSPs and VARs is establishing your client’s tolerance for both downtime and data loss. It’s imperative to calculate the amount of money a client could lose from downtime/data loss and weigh it against the amount of money to be spent on backup and restoration. Only then is it possible to realistically determine how frequently backups should occur, and which AWS disaster recovery method is the best option.

If your client has a high tolerance for downtime/data loss, it may make sense to utilize cheaper, less extensive disaster recovery methods. Whereas clients requiring little or no downtime should probably pay a premium for more comprehensive methods. But whichever recovery method ends up making the most sense, a third-party service like CloudRanger can help MSPs and VARs simplify disaster recovery, making it easy to copy snapshots and AMIs and quickly restore them.

Is Your Client’s Backup Data Geographically Diversified?

As an MSP, having backup and recovery methods in place for your client’s data is critical. But it’s just as important to ensure that your client’s backup data is not being stored in close proximity to the primary production environment. After all, if a large-scale disaster destroys your client’s data, any backup data stored in the same vicinity is also at risk of being lost.

Luckily, the decentralized nature and global reach of AWS makes it easy and affordable for MSPs and VARs to store their client’s critical information in multiple geographic locations. And third-party services like CloudRanger simplify the process even further, allowing MSPs and VARs to easily schedule backups and recover data across AWS regions around the world without the need for in-house scripting.

How Will You Manage The Backup Needs Of Multiple Clients?

Now that we’ve discussed important considerations regarding backup and recovery for MSPs and VARs, it’s time to put this knowledge to work. However, simultaneously managing the backup and recovery needs of multiple clients can be a daunting task, especially given the limited nature of the native AWS Dashboard.

Third-party services like CloudRanger can greatly ease this burden by allowing MSPs and VARs to access multiple customer accounts through a single, easy-to-use console (as opposed to multiple AWS logins/dashboards). This single point of entry makes it easy to schedule and monitor the backup process for multiple clients with varying strategies and objectives, and helps save your company time and money.

About CloudRanger

CloudRanger offers a simple AWS cloud management system for scheduling critical, repetitive tasks without the need for in-house coding. By utilizing our services, your organization will save both time and money. 

Our AWS cloud management system is easy to set up and get started. And best of all, you can even try CloudRanger for free. So why not experience the features and benefits CloudRanger has to offer?

How To Simplify AWS Cloud Management With Third Party Tools

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re already aware of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the benefits of on-demand cloud computing platforms. By utilizing AWS, businesses not only eliminate the need for a costly on-site computer infrastructure but also take advantage of flexible, pay-as-you-go services that only a cloud-based solution can offer. But when it comes to AWS cloud management, the platform’s overwhelming native interface prevents many users from taking full advantage of its highly scalable, cost-effective products. This is especially true for users who are not IT infrastructure and DevOps professionals or are unable to script.

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Warning: You’re Losing Money by not using EC2 Scheduling

Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) provides its users with a flexible, highly customizable computing solution without the need to invest in costly on-site servers. And the product’s ability to quickly scale computing capacity up or down means that, if properly utilized, AWS customers only pay for what they actually need.  Not only can EC2 users easily start and stop instances on demand, but they can also use EC2 scheduling to set the start and stop times of specific instances in advance, saving time and money in the process. By some estimates, utilizing EC2 scheduling to halt non-essential instances during off hours can lower costs by as much as 70 percent.

However, depending on your specific circumstances, efficiently and effectively managing your EC2 scheduling can be tricky. While AWS does provide an EC2 Scheduler of its own, it requires a certain level of coding know-how to operate, which means it might not be a good fit for all users. So in this article, we will explain a bit more about what is needed to properly implement EC2 scheduling, as well as the benefits of using a third-party vendor like CloudRanger to manage, automate, and streamline the process.

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10 Tips for Developing an AWS Disaster Recovery Plan

Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) cloud-based platforms provide users with a flexible, easily scalable solution to meet their computing needs. It also eliminates the need for users to invest in a costly physical computer infrastructure of their own. So when it comes disaster recovery, this versatile, decentralized system is an ideal solution for your business. However, while AWS might provide the necessary features for disaster recovery, these tools will prove useless in the absence of a comprehensive strategy. With that in mind, here are 10 tips for developing an AWS disaster recovery plan, along with some information about how third-party vendors like CloudRanger can help with the plan’s implementation.

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AWS now lets you migrate MongoDB databases to Dynamo DB

Functionality of DMS has been updated to support a leading no SQL database MongoDB

Amazon Web Services announced on the 10th of April that their Database Migration Service (DMS) functionality has been updated to support one of the leading Dev NoSQL databases –MongoDB. This new addition to the DMS allows for data to be streamed from a MongoDB along with any of the other supported databases on AWS.

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Choosing The Best EC2 Backup Strategy To Meet Your Needs

The benefits and flexibility associated with Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) services are well known. But this same flexibility can make developing a cheap, effective EC2 backup strategy seem like a daunting task. With so many varying methods available for backing up your data, it can be difficult to determine which solution best fits your company’s needs. But don’t panic. In this blog, we’ll examine the most common EC2 backup strategies so that you can better identify which option is right for you. We’ll also discuss the benefits of using a third-party vendor to manage, automate, and streamline the backup process, allowing you to focus on your core business needs.

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Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances now offer instance size flexibility to help you reduce your EC2 costs

Great news announced from Amazon Web Services today, where they have announced some great new enhancements to Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances (RIs) that make them more flexible and easy to use, and for price-sensitive users, it helps you get the most out of your RI discount!

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How the AWS Application Discovery Service helps ease legacy migration pain.

One of the most important tools developed by Amazon Web Services over recent months, targeting the Enterprise market, is the AWS Application Discovery Service. This service is designed to make it easier for Enterprise businesses who are considering moving their application from an on-premises model to a fully integrated cloud model with all the benefits such as security, scalability, reliability and efficiency that come with the public cloud model.

In one of our previous blogs, we looked at the AWS Cloud Adoption framework from a security perspective, which outlines best practices which will enable organisations to go from the traditional on-premises IT model to full adoption of cloud services. In this blog, we are going to look further into the AWS Application Discovery service, which will help you to discover on-premises application inventory and dependencies.

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How to create EC2 Server Snapshots By Instance Tag with CloudRanger

Many users of Amazon Web Services (AWS) are looking for a backup solution to easily manage snapshots, scheduling and the deletion of old snapshots. You can achieve this by writing your own script or by using an AWS backup solution such as CloudRanger to manage this for you.
CloudRanger is a leading backup and recovery solution for Amazon EC2 & RDS resources. Our solution focuses on the scheduling of backups and the retention policies around your snapshots. It can automate all aspects of the AWS backup process, including cross-region backups for disaster recovery, and will provide you with peace of mind that backups are always being done.
In this blog post, we are going to explain how you can easily set up a task to create an AWS EC2 Server Snapshot By Instance Tag with CloudRanger.

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Cross Region Backups Available For AWS With CloudRanger

One of the main advantages of the Amazon Web Services cloud infrastructure is that it is readily available across the globe. The widespread network of AWS data centers are divided into regions and availability zones, and this helps in achieving high availability and disaster recovery capabilities.

So, we are excited to announce an enhancement to our CloudRanger AWS automated backup and scheduling solution, by allowing CloudRanger users to easily copy snapshots across AWS regions to support disaster recovery requirements.

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Amazon EBS Elastic Volumes Now Available!

In exciting news announced by Jeff Barr on his outstanding AWS Blog, Amazon Web Services have launched a new EBS feature called Elastic Volumes. In his latest blog, Jeff rightly highlights that, with the dynamic nature of business, block storage requirements can change. As our needs change over time, this creates the requirements to be able to modify existing volumes to add capacity or to change performance characteristics.

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AWS Cloud Adoption Framework from a Security Perspective

The AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) is a framework for best practices which will enable organisations to go from the traditional on-premises IT model to full adoption and integration of cloud services. This framework divides complex IT environments into specific areas of focus to make them more manageable and to enable organisations to develop a clear and concise migration strategy and to build a comprehensive approach to cloud computing.

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6 Amazing Reasons To Use Amazon RDS With Your Database Engine

In our previous blog post, we discussed ‘Which relational database engines does RDS support?’. We talked about the whole idea of Amazon RDS, is to allow you to move your relational databases to the cloud. In the second part of our blog discussing Amazon RDS, we are going to look at 6 amazing reasons to use Amazon RDS with your database engine.

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Which relational database engines does Amazon RDS support?

Amazon’s Relational Database Service (RDS) is a tool provided by AWS that handles provisioning, patching, backup, recovery, failure detection and repair of your relational database. This leaves you with more time to concentrate on your data. The whole idea of RDS is to move your relational database to the cloud. It is easy to set up and operate and is also highly scalable, cost-efficient and saves time.

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How choosing the right EC2 pricing option can keep you out of trouble

If you are new to Amazon Web Services, you might be asking why it is so important to pick the right EC2 pricing option? Can I not just use on-demand? Is it really worth my effort exploring other options? Well, the idea of cutting your hourly instance costs for each instance running in AWS means it can keep you out of trouble and stay in good books with your boss and the finance department. With regards to managing your IT infrastructure, there is a constant struggle between optimizing costs and delivering features. In this blog, we are going to make it easier for you to stay out of trouble with your boss and select the best EC2 pricing options for your applications.

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VOKKE streamline and simplify their EBS snapshot management with CloudRanger

While searching online for a solution to help with their AWS EBS snapshot management, VOKKE found CloudRanger. It became quickly apparent that CloudRanger offered the solution VOKKE were looking for by streamlining and simplifying their backup activities. VOKKE now use CloudRanger to automatically snapshot and rotate their EBS volumes by tag, as well as terminate servers at night when workloads are low.

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The benefits of automated AWS backups

Let’s be honest, we are all busy people and where possible,  we want to automate tasks. We want to be able to set something up and then forget about it, safe in the knowledge that it’s being taken care of in the background.

Although AWS allow you to take snapshots of your EBS volumes, it still requires some manual effort and is subject to human error. In this blog post, we will look in more detail at the benefits of AWS snapshot and backup automation.

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AWS Webinar Series – September 2016

At the beginning of the month, Jeff Barr blogged about the value of continuing education and shared an infographic that illustrated the link between continued education and increased pay, higher effectiveness, and decreased proclivity to seek other employment. He highlighted that the pace of AWS innovation means that there’s always something new to learn. One way to do this is to attend some of the AWS webinars. AWS design these webinars with a focus on training and education, and they strongly believe that you will come away from them ready, willing, and able to use a new AWS service or to try a new aspect of an existing one.

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What is Amazon Elastic Beanstalk?

With the launch of Amazon Elastic Beanstalk in 2011 by Amazon Web Services (AWS), the growth of this service has been incredible. Amazon Elastic Beanstalk gives administrators and developers a way to deploy and manage their applications quickly and easily without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. So how exactly does this automated, fast, simple, and scalable environment work?

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10 years on. How AWS came to be

Ten years ago Amazon.com had the foresight to launch Amazon Web ServicesThey recognised the potential due to their own conflicts with the storage and the handling of big data analytics, but I doubt even they,  could have anticipated what it has grown to become today. So, just how did AWS come to be and what is the driving forces that year on year keeps them at the top of their game? With a company mantra stating “We seek to offer the Earth’s Biggest Selection, and to be the Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they may want to buy online.” What was Amazom.com “The Early Years”

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AWS cuts prices of EBS volume snapshots by 47%

At this year’s AWS Summit in New York, Amazon Web Services announced, the very welcome news, that they are lowering the cost of snapshots of volumes of data stored in the Elastic Block Store (EBS) service by 47 percent!

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) is an AWS block storage system that is designed for storing persistent data. If you want to backup the data that is on your EBS volume it is possible with snapshots. It’s even possible to instruct EBS to make snapshots when data on EBS gets updated. EBS volumes are typically attached to applications running inside AWS EC2 virtual machine instances and persist even after EC2 instances are terminated, unlike local EC2 instance storage.

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Organize AWS resources with 50 Tags per resource

Amazon recently announced via their excellent blog, “Now Organize Your AWS Resources by Using up to 50 Tags per Resource”. So  what does this mean for AWS customers? As we recently highlighted in an earlier blog “Why is the use of tagging for EBS volumes so important in AWS?”, this new announcement will enable customers, to have 50 tags per resource. Woohoo!

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CloudRanger’s AWS Backup Solution Provides Savings to SMEs

The ERNACT regions have recently completed a project with CloudRanger to move all applications to the cloud, including TeamWorker, the network’s mission-critical European project collaboration platform. Other services that have been migrated to the cloud – built on a combination of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Office365 – are accounting, payroll, websites, SQL Server, file storage, mail and desktop applications.  CloudRanger has established a reputation as experts in cloud migration and has developed innovative software for automated backups for Amazon Web Services.

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AWS once again leading the way in the IaaS marketplace

On the 3rd of August 2016 Gartner published its annual Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service and it comes as no surprise to see Amazon Web Services leading the way once again. Gartner, Inc. is an information technology research and advisory company which publish a series of market research reports. One of these reports is the Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service which provides market research and qualitative analysis into that market, the direction of that market and the providers within that market.

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How you can save money on AWS by eliminating idle resources?

An annual report survey  “The 2016 State of the Cloud” by RightScale.Inc shows cloud adoption is growing and hybrid cloud  adoption has increased. With growing maturity in the cloud of both user and providers, security concerns have dropped considerably. The greatest challenge cloud users and providers now face are a shortage of trained resources they need to fuel the growth and cost management and optimization strategies, to elevate the cloud bills and cost concerns for experienced cloud users. With AWS enterprise adoption growing from 50% to 56% in the past year, finding ways you can save money on AWS by eliminating unused and idle resources will be of great benefit to all AWS customers.

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What’s the difference between an AMI or creating EBS snapshots?

Why do we need a simpler way to launch a new EC2 instance, does AWS not already tell us how simple this process is and how quick and easy it is to set up? This is all true, however, as more organisations migrate to the cloud AWS continually, strive to meet their customer’s demands and develop with them new ways to meet their organisation requirements or giving the customer the right tools for the right job. So let’s compare, What’s involved in creating an AMI and how does it work, compared to creating an EBS volume Snapshot?

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Get ready for the AWS New York Summit!

It’s AWS Summit time again! Whether you are new to the cloud or an experienced user, you will learn something new at an AWS Summit. These events held around the world, are designed to educate new customers about the AWS platform and offer existing customers deep technical content to be more successful with AWS. With the latest Summit scheduled for New York mid-week August 10-11, in the luxurious business conference centre located on Eleventh Avenue, The Javits Center, will again be a major event for AWS and its customers with a packed events itinerary.

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Microsoft Azure, growing up in cloud computing

With Microsoft Azure this week announcing, the general availability of Azure SQL Data warehouses, Azure usage and Billing portal, general availability of Azure premium messaging and Public preview of certification based authentication for iOS and android office apps, it’s no wonder that Microsoft this week also announced, companies such as Land O’ Lakes, Bentley systems, and Boeing’s move to Microsoft Azure. On top of which Gartner published the updated cloud for Infrastructure as-a-service (IaaS) scores, and Microsoft Azure announce over 100% Azure growth with share prices increasing by 5%. So, is Microsoft Azure growing up in the cloud computing era?

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The countdown to AWS re:Invent 2016 is on

AWS re:Invent 2016 will take place on  November 28–December 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Amazon has been hosting their showpiece conference annually since 2012 making this the 5th annual event. Re:Invent has been a great source of information for AWS customers and enthusiasts alike, it is designed to bring people of all skill levels to connect, engage and discuss all information on AWS. Session levels can range from introductory, advanced to expert. The 2016 session catalogue is being released later this summer, but Amazon have stated that their agenda offers expanded opportunities to learn how the cloud impacts your business, including deep dives into topics like IoT, new perspectives on cloud issues, and more chances to learn from the experts, with a total of over 400 sessions in total being planned.

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What effect will Brexit have on AWS plans for the future?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) currently has active regions in Dublin and Frankfurt, with the former often being used by AWS’ European customers due to the broader base of services offered there. AWS is building a datacentre in London today with a go-live date of late 2016 or early 2017. So what effect will this Brexit have on AWS plans for the future?

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AWS previews Python framework for serverless applications

On the 11th July, 2016 Amazon announced a preview of its latest offering in the serverless computing stack, the Python framework for serverless applications. Peter Moon announced on the AWS Developer Blog “Today the AWS Developer Tools team is excited to announce the preview of the Python Serverless Microframework for AWS.”

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What is Amazon Inspector and why use it?

As the computing world becomes more complex, detecting potential security and compliance issues can be channelling. In news earlier this week the popular Linux OS Ubuntu forums were hacked affecting over 2 million user’s credentials. Ubuntu’s is Linux’s most popular distribution systems and it suffered a common SQL injection attack used by hackers, since an SQL injection vulnerability could possibly affect any website or web application that makes use of an SQL-based database, the vulnerability is one of the oldest, most prevalent and most dangerous of web application vulnerabilities.

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Why is the use of tagging for EBS volumes so important in AWS?

Adding AWS tags to your Amazon assets and resources is a simple, but potentially critical part of infrastructure management. Tagging isn’t new, it can be achieved quite simply in your EC2, S3 (called Metadata in S3) and RDS instances with a few clicks of the Tag button feature. So, why is it important to EBS Volumes?

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Elastic Network Adapter High Performance Network Interface for Amazon EC2

Last month, on June 28th Amazon announced the rollout of the next generation network interface and associated drivers which will provide greater network capabilities for Amazon EC2 instances. This custom network interface has been designed to give high throughput and packet per second performance (PPS) and low latencies on EC2 instances. Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) provides a network bandwidth of 20Gbps on certain EC2 instance types. ENA was designed to make sure that customer workloads are not bottlenecked by the network.

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What is the difference between Amazon Redshift and Amazon RDS?

Both AWS services, Amazon Redshift and Amazon Relational Database Services (RDS)  can be used together very effectively, in our latest blog, we are looking to find out the functions and features of both database services will allow the customer to identify the differences and which best meets their requirements. 

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How does AWS provide an integrated experience on its Mobile Hub platform?

With Amazon AWS Mobile Hub platform providing a simplified process for building ,testing and monitoring mobile applications that make use of one or more services, which was once a time-consuming activity now can be achieved in 10 minutes. You choose the features you want, and the AWS Mobile Hub provisions and configures AWS resources, on your behalf. AWS Mobile Hub lets you easily add and configure features for your mobile apps, including user authentication, data storage, backend logic, push notifications, content delivery, and analytics. Subsequently, Amazon Mobile Hub takes the heavy lifting from integrating and configuring services.

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The Benefits of AWS Snapshot and Backup Automation

The traditional backup procedure associated with data sets would potentially throw up several issues along the way, like version skew which could result in data corruption. Also, the resources required to carry out the task, and the time it would take to complete could present significant problems. This is where snapshot automation technology can be of great benefit. A snapshot, in basic terms, is a copy of a data set at a particular moment in time, in other words, you don’t need to back up your entire data set to get full data protection which may be essential for mission critical businesses. In this blog post, we will look in more detail at the benefits of AWS snapshot and backup automation.

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How does Amazon EFS differ from Amazon S3?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) earlier this month, announced their new Amazon Elastic File System Amazon (EFS). Amazon has launched this release, as a fully managed service that will make it easier for all customers to set up and scale file storage in the Amazon Cloud.  When Amazon Web Services first introduced this concept back in April 2015, at the AWS Summit in San Francisco, it was primarily aimed at the enterprise and development environment. Today with it’s tried and tested methods, it becomes available to all AWS customers. So what is Amazon EFS and how does it differ from Amazon S3?

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How to configure the AWS CLI and launch an EC2 Instance

When trying to find out about the different AWS services and how to use them, I often find myself having to pull different pieces of information from different sources and cobbling them together to run the service correctly. It was no different when I decided to find out more about the AWS Command Line Tools (CLI). In this blog post, we explain how to configure the AWS CLI and launch an EC2 Instance.

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AWS GovCloud to Handle Larger Share of Federal Workloads

Amazon Web Services (AWS) extended its cloud reach deeper into government IT infrastructure with an announcement this week that it has been certified to handle a larger share of federal workloads. As the US government increases its confidence in AWS  and the professional manner they deliver a secure, reliable service, to handle sensitive data, what exactly does this mean for AWS and the U.S Government Agencies and their customers?

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When should I use AWS Lambda versus Amazon EC2?

A simple answer to this question would be, if you want your events driven service managed use AWS Lambda, you just provide the code in the required language and Amazon AWS does the rest. If you want to customise for your own needs and use whatever coding language you prefer Amazon EC2 offers flexibility and a whole range of EC2 Instance types to choose from, in conjunction with Elastic Beanstalk services for deploying onto Amazon EC2.

However, this is a very brief outlook, to fully understands how effective both these services function and the benefits they offer for your business a more detailed comparison is needed.

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AWS London Summit July 2016

Amazon Web Services will be holding another of its hugely popular AWS Summits in London on July 6th and July 7th. The summit will be held in the ExCel exhibitions and convention centre in the Royal Victoria Docks area of London. AWS Summits are held in venues all over the world and provide new customers with the opportunity to inform and educate themselves about the AWS platform while also providing existing customers granularity and content in order for them to add value and success to their business.

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AWS Platform Available to Customers from Datacentres in India.

If you are an Enterprise customer or developer based in India, today’s announcement that Amazon Web Services have created two new Datacentres in Mumbai, India will be music to your ears. The two new availability zones will come under Asia Pacific (Mumbai) taking the total number of regions in Asia Pacific to six and taking the total number of availability zones globally to 35 and the total number of regions globally to 13.

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Does Amazon Web Services keep backups? To what extent?

By default, Amazon Web Services(AWS) do not keep backups. It is the responsibility of the end-user to provision backups. However,  AWS offers a wide range of backup and recovery solution for enterprise architecture, backup architecture, and IT administrators who are responsible for protecting data in their enterprise. While AWS offer solutions for backup and recovery, identifying and designing your business requirements, are fundamental in selecting the correct service that best meets your demands.

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Why choose Amazon Aurora over MySQL RDS or PostgreSQL RDS?

Amazon Aurora is a relational database engine. It is designed to deliver the speed and reliability of high-end commercial databases in a simple and cost-effective manner. Amazon claims that it delivers up to five times the throughput of standard MySQL running on the same hardware. If you’re already using MySQL software for your database like a huge majority of people, Aurora is compatible with MySQL 5.6. This means that your existing MySQL applications and tools can still run on Aurora with no modification required.

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How to set up and configure an AWS Lambda Function

AWS Lambda is an event-driven computing service that allows the user to create applications and then run the code for those applications on the AWS infrastructure by creating what is called a lambda function. AWS Lambda abstracts server management from users thus enabling them to concentrate on the creation of applications without having to worry about server administration, infrastructure provisioning and scaling.

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Amazon EBS now supports cross-account copying of encrypted snapshots

Earlier this week, Amazon Web Services announced that you can now copy encrypted Amazon EBS snapshots between accounts, a capability previously supported only for unencrypted snapshots. Now you can easily copy encrypted snapshots between your development, test and production environments or between different departments and project accounts. This will now also make it easier for you to follow AWS security best practices which include copying encrypted snapshots to separately managed accounts, in the same or other regions, to provide an extra level of account isolation.

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Does DynamoDB have a dependency on Amazon S3?

Thousands of customers use Amazon DynamoDB to build popular applications for Gaming, Mobile, Ad-tech, Internet-of-Things  and Modern Web applications. Developers all over the world are using Amazon DynamoDB to build applications that take advantage of its ability to provide consistent low-latency performance. Developers enjoy the flexibility provided by DynamoDB’s schema-less model, along with the ability to scale capacity up and down as needed. But we want to ask the question, does DynamoDB have a dependency on Amazon S3?

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Is there a big price difference between AWS, Azure and Google?

In cloud computing, you previously used to hear the same argument all the time, use Azure if you’re a .Net business, otherwise use AWS. But with the growth of Cloud computing over the years, this competitive arena now has three top providers; Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud looking to compete by lowering prices. With AWS and Azure having a long established track record in the cloud industry and Google Clouds offering still relatively new, comparing the pricing features each company has to offer may give a clearer picture of who to choose for your business.

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How does the AWS IoT offering compare to others?

The “Internet of things” (IoT) is a growing topic of interest for all tech device enthusiasts. Last year, Amazon announced it’s AWS IoT offering but how does the AWS IoT offering compare to others?

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) release new X1 instance

Last week, Amazon Web Services (AWS) released its largest ever virtual server for its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). The 2TB X1 instance was originally announced by AWS CTO, Werner Vogels last year at the 2015 AWS RE:Invent conference, and aims to make AWS more usable for enterprise applications and massively large data sets.

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Benefits of having your development environment on AWS EC2

In Web development – there are a number of ways to create your own working environment. Some people like to have all code locally, but every day more and more developers are choosing to work in the cloud. With cloud services provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) – it is very easy to create a machine, that will make your workspace accessible anywhere. In this post, we will show you how to create and setup EC2 instance for working on your code online.

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How do I reduce the MySQL database size on AWS RDS?

We’ve recently encountered a challenge with one of our internal apps – How do I reduce the MySQL database size on AWS RDS? When it comes to increasing size of the db – there is no easier thing – you just go to the AWS console and modify instance, but if you try to shrink storage then AWS console doesn’t allow to do it – saying it can just go up. And because we’ve managed to change our application to use less storage – to avoid extra cost – we needed to reduce the size of our database. The easiest thing to do would be a mysqldump and use that dump to recreate db, but our db was big enough and it took too much time to create it and we couldn’t afford any longer downtime. After some time spent on dba.stackexchange and stackoverflow and a couple of tryouts of different approaches we’ve managed to copy our db to a smaller instance.

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Tech Excellence Awards 2016 Shortlist Released

TechEx-2016-Shortlist-LogoWe are delighted to announce that CloudRanger has been shortlisted for ‘Vertical Market Specialist of the Year’ for the 2016 Tech Excellence Awards.

Now in its 16th year, the Tech Excellence Awards recognise the achievement of the technology sector and provide a valuable opportunity to network and catch up with peers. The national Tech Excellence Awards are Ireland’s principal badge of honour in the IT industry.

CloudRanger has been shortlisted for ‘Vertical market specialist of the year’ along with PathXL, eShopWorld, Xtremepush, Temera and Agile Networks. Other categories to be recognised at the event include Managed Service Company of the Year, Technology Exporter of the Year, Specialist Distributor of the Year and many more. For a full list of categories and nominees visit Tech Excellence Awards 2016 Shortlist Released

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Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration announced in Chicago

The AWS Summit in Chicago this week kicks off an international tour of dozens of Summits from New York to Tokyo this year, culminating with showpiece event of AWS re:Invent in December. At today’s conference Amazon Web Services GM of Product Strategy Matt Wood announced a number of new features for the cloud platform. One of the new features Matt was pleased to announce was the Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration, a faster way to move data into your Amazon S3 bucket over the internet. Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration is designed to maximize transfer speeds when you need to move data over long distances, for instance across countries or continents to your Amazon S3 bucket.

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AWS Chicago Summit April 18-19 – 2016

Whether you are new to the cloud or an experienced user, you will learn something new at this year’s AWS Chicago Summit at McCormick Place, Lakeside Center. This free event is designed to educate new customers about the AWS platform and offer existing customers information on architecture best practices and new services. Come early to hear the exciting keynote speech from Dr. Matt Wood, GM, Product Strategy, Amazon Web Services who will be providing updates on AWS solutions, great customer stories.

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Automate AWS Snapshots of your EBS volumes

Although AWS makes it easy to take snapshots of your EBS volumes, it still requires some manual effort and is therefore, subject to human error. Let’s be honest, we are all busy people and where possible,  we all love to automate tasks. We want to be able to set something up and then forget about it, safe in the knowledge that our tasks are being carried out in the background.

The feedback we get regularly get from our customers is that they are looking for an easy way to automate snapshots of an EC2 instance and related EBS volumes on a regular basis, without the hassle of coding of scripts and their ongoing upkeep.

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Enhance your AWS-CLI experience with SAWS

In our last post, we were looking at the features of the AWS-CLI interface which is a great tool for managing and scripting tasks for your AWS infrastructure from the command line. However, in some cases it can be difficult to be at your most  productive level. This is because it is so hard to find a command that you need within 50+ commands and 1400+ sub-commands that are available and also with multiple command specific options.

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Creating Snapshots using the AWS CLI

The AWS Command Line Interface is an interface for managing AWS services. It contains a tool that allows you to control many AWS services from command line, and because it’s a command line – you can automate your tasks with scripts.

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Celebrating 10 Years of AWS with free qwikLABS

It’s hard to believe, but Amazon Web Services yesterday celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the release of its first services. In that 10 years the company has moved from a tiny arm of Amazon to a dominant cloud company that rules the market.

Amazon Web Services launched Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) on March 14th, 2006. Since the release of Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), the company has grown to over a million customers. It originally started by being adopted by developers with the company finding a niche in the start-up community. This role saw AWS helping them to innovate quickly by giving them access to services around queuing, object storage and resources. You can learn some fun facts in this infographic, and read retrospective blog posts on the past 10 years from AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr and Amazon CTO, Werner Vogels.

To celebrate turning 10 years old this week, Jeff Barr confirmed that AWS have agreed to make the entire set of qwikLABS online labs and learning quests available to all current and potential AWS customers. This means you can learn, experiment and build with a broad collection of tutorials and sandboxes, available for free until the end of March 2016.

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How to save money with EC2 Scheduling for AWS

Are you having problems running your EC2 instances at certain times of the day when they are not required? Well, there is no need to worry about it anymore. We have the perfect solution for you and your business.

Our EC2 scheduler for Amazon Web Services (AWS) helps save on unnecessary costs that are incurred due to idle instances. Our software has been designed to allow users to schedule turning on/off instances at daily, weekly or monthly intervals based on your requirements. This enables users to run instances during business hours only on your non-production environments. By using our EC2 scheduling software we can help you automate instances regularly, quickly and easily.

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AWS Webinars Announces for February & Early March 2016

Last month Jeff Barr challenged us to learn something new in 2016 and offered up the AWS series of January webinars as a starting point. If you happened to miss any of these last month, AWS have put together another strong lineup for February and have now shared it with the masses. As always, the webinars are free but space is limited, so if you are interested, you should sign up ahead of time if you would like to attend.

Here’s what AWS have in store for February and early March (all times are Pacific):

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A Practical Guide to AWS Cloud Migration

In a blog post published today by Amazon, they point out that in order to achieve full benefits of moving applications to the AWS platform, it is critical to design a cloud migration model that delivers optimal cost efficiency. This includes establishing a compelling business case, acquiring new skills within the IT organization, implementing new business processes, and defining the application migration methodology to transform your business model from a traditional on-premises computing platform to a cloud infrastructure. A Practical Guide to Cloud Migration: Migrating Services to AWS white paper coauthored by AWS’s Blake Chism and Carina Veksler provides a high-level overview of the cloud migration process based on the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) and is a great first read for customers who are thinking about cloud adoption.

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Reduce Your Costs with AWS

 With AWS you can replace your upfront capital expense with low variable cost and pay only for the resources you consume. AWS’s economies of scale and efficiency improvements allow AWS to continually lower prices, while multiple pricing models allow you to optimize your costs for both variable and stable workloads.

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CloudRanger now available on the AWS Marketplace

We’re pleased to announce that our CloudRanger SaaS offering is now available in the AWS Marketplace. AWS Marketplace provides a way for customers around the globe to find, buy, and immediately start using software that runs on AWS by simplifying licensing, purchasing, and deployment of software to the AWS Cloud. With more than 2,300 software listings, AWS Marketplace includes an array of enterprise, open source, and business software products provided by APN Partners. This year, AWS has added more than 500 new listings across 800 independent software vendors (ISVs), including CloudRanger.

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AWS Cloud Connect – Architecting

This week, the latest AWS Cloud Connect event was announced by the Amazon Web Services Team. AWS Cloud Connect is a free online event designed for IT professionals looking to leverage the AWS Cloud to build and transform their business.

During this full day of webinars delivered by AWS partners, you will learn more about different aspects of Architecting on AWS, from developing web-scale applications to performance monitoring and hybrid architecture. You will be able to participate in polls and have your questions answered in real-time by the AWS partners.

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Amazon launches Certificate Manager

Amazon has announced a new service called AWS Certificate Manager (ACM), offering free SSL/TLS certificates for AWS resources.

The new AWS Certificate Manager (ACM) is designed to simplify and automate many of the tasks traditionally associated with management of SSL/TLS certificates. ACM takes care of the complexity surrounding the provisioning, deployment, and renewal of digital certificates! Certificates provided by ACM are verified by Amazon’s certificate authority (CA), Amazon Trust Services (ATS).

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Enterprise Ireland HPSU – ‘The Class of 2015’

The Start-Up Class of 2015 is the largest High Potential Start-Up event in the calendar year bringing together the HPSU companies which Enterprise Ireland has invested in during 2015.

Supporting the establishment of new start-up businesses and new business sectors is crucial to the creation of a vibrant business sector in Ireland. The entrepreneurs and founders represented in the Enterprise Ireland ‘Class of 2015’, including Cloud Ranger, have already achieved success; establishing new business with competitive products and services developed by their ambitious and capable founders, whose innovation, hard-work and determination has led them to where they are today. Enterprise Ireland has partnered with these companies to help them achieve this success through the High Potential Start-Up Fund (HPSU) to help open doors of opportunity in global markets.

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AWS Webinars for January 2016

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to learn something new in 2016? If so, you should attend an AWS webinar!

In his latest blog post, Jeff Barr, Amazon Web Services Chief Evangelist, has highlighted the upcoming webinars for January 2016. Every month, AWS run a series of webinars that are designed to bring you up to speed on the latest AWS services & features, and to make sure that you are aware of the best ways to put them to use. The webinars are conducted by senior AWS Product Managers and Solution Architects and often include a guest speaker.

The webinars are free but “seating” is limited and you should definitely sign up ahead of time if you want to attend (all times are Pacific). Here’s what AWS have in store this month:

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AWS Enterprise Summit Dublin – 23 February 2016

Join Amazon Web Services (AWS) for the first AWS Enterprise Summit in Dublin taking place on Tuesday, February 23 at the Aviva Stadium.

AWS Enterprise Summit Dublin is a free, one-day event and targeted at senior decision-makers across enterprise organisations in Ireland, who are in the planning stages of their business and looking for solutions on successfully navigating or growing their business on the AWS Cloud.

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AWS Global Summits for 2016

Summits for 2016 – Save the Date!

Good news! Amazon has started making plans for the AWS 2016 Global Summit series! As in past years, the focus will remain on education— to make sure that users know as much as possible about whatever aspects of AWS are of interest to them, with the overall aim to leave the summit charged up and ready to build something new, cool, and powerful!

To see the list of cities and dates, check out the AWS Summits page. Click on the Want More Information button to express your interest in a local Summit and to receive registration information as it becomes available.

Follow Along
In addition to the page above, you can also subscribe to the AWS Events RSS feed, follow @AWSSummits on Twitter, and find more information on Facebook.

Now let’s see if we can get enough people to suggest an AWS Summit in Dublin?

Amazon Wind Farm Fowler Ridge is Live!

Today Amazon have announced on their AWS Blog, via Jeff Barr, the first of the of their proposed renewable energy wind farms is now operational. This marks a significant landmark for the Amazon and  today’s news is the first step towards the goal of 40% renewable energy for their global infrastructure by the end of 2016.

Back in November 2014 AWS made a long-term commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for their global infrastructure footprint. Today’s news indicates that the Amazon Wind Farm Fowler Ridge, located in Benton County, Indiana, is now live and producing electricity! This marks the first of the four announced renewable energy projects to move into full operation.

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AWS Snapshots and the benefits of scheduling

AWS Storage Gateway provides the ability to back up point-in-time snapshots of your data to Amazon S3 for durable recovery. You can use the snapshot backups later on-premises or in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), and you can take snapshots on a one-time or scheduled basis. In this blog, we show you the most common tasks that you can perform with snapshots, including creating a snapshot and restoring the snapshot to a volume that can then be mounted as an iSCSI device. When you restore a snapshot to an Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volume, the volume can then be attached to an Amazon EC2 instance.

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How to keep control of your AWS cloud costs

In an interesting recent article by Gavin Clarke in the register, he highlighted that 2015 was the year where AWS became the leader in Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), with Amazon now a major IT infrastructure provider. One of the key reasons AWS has became the leader in this space is the pay-as-you-go pricing model which offers elastic scalability to grow or shrink resource usage based on your business needs and growth.

However, as you start using AWS cloud, you will notice that the costs can spike and spend can creep up with the more services you use. So it’s important to have right cost management tools like CloudRanger that can help with the automated scheduling of tasks, which can help you keep control of your overall AWS costs.

Here, we highlight our top 3 AWS cost saving strategies for your business.

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Weekly summary email feature now live

Summary of the actions performed

Cloud Ranger carries out a number of tasks for our customers in the background. The tasks we execute can range from starting up servers to performing a back-up. When you combine this with a schedule, then  you have an automated service that looks after your cloud needs. Schedules are used to automate your tasks for you, a timer switch if you like. You can set a schedule to run daily, monthly or yearly. With our new weekly email feature, you will now get a summary of the actions performed over the previous week.

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CloudRanger joins the AWS SaaS Partner Program

One of Amazon Web Services main goals is to help APN Partners build, promote, grow, and manage SaaS offerings on AWS, and we’re happy to announce that CloudRanger is now an official partner of the AWS SaaS Partner Program.

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How to reduce your EC2 costs with AWS?

We know that by running your IT resources on the cloud, this allows your business to be agile, more efficient and more cost-effective. If your business quickly needs access to more resources, it can scale quickly in the cloud. On the other hand, if it needs to reduce resources, it can do so just as easily. Due to this scalability, the cloud’s elasticity is often compared to that of an elastic band (see our last blog post image!). But one question that we want to answer is, how do you reduce your EC2 costs with AWS?

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Cloud Elasticity

According to Verizon’s recently released State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud 2016 report, 87% of enterprises are trusting the cloud with at least one mission critical workloads, up from the 60% in 2013 and 71% in 2014.

In addition to the growth of cloud used for critical workloads, it is growing for general use as well. Of those surveyed for the report, 84% said their cloud use had increased over the past year. Also, around half of the companies said they’ll be using cloud for 75% of their workloads, or more, by 2018.

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Are you still manually managing your Cloud tasks?

With the amazing growth in Cloud computing in 2015 and the volume of cloud processes continuously growing, there are still many cloud environments that are still managed physically. The need for sophisticated management and automation tools are now required to ensure that the cloud can deliver on its promise of faster and more flexible services, on more devices and on-demand.

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AWS 2015 Sydney Summit – Featured Speaker

Sydney Summit – Featured Speaker

Mike Clayville, Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales and Business Development, Amazon Web Services

Mike Clayville leads the global sales, professional services and training teams for Amazon Web Services (AWS). In this role, as a member of the AWS senior leadership team, he is responsible for providing strategic direction in the go to market strategy for AWS and helps the company shape it’s customer engagement strategy globally.

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Control Cloud Costs

Elasticity, or the ability to match compute demand to supply, is one of the fundamental properties of the cloud.  AWS Auto Scaling seamlessly adds or removes compute capacity over a bank of AWS EC2s.  However, if your company doesn’t use Auto Scaling and runs EC2 instances that aren’t needed 24/7, you can be throwing money away.  Instances that aren’t continuously performing some type of compute function, like hosting a website, should be shut down to save costs.

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Who’s who? Identity management a key to AWS security

Understanding security is essential for trusting any cloud service, and AWS is no exception. How is data secured in AWS? What are its rules, methods and models? What are the best practices? And which elements are the responsibility of the customer and which are handled by Amazon Web Services?

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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud features explained

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud is a pay-as-you-go cloud platform that includes compute power, storage and database services as its core components.  Users can select the CPU, memory, storage, networking capacity and access controls, OS, security and additional software needed to run a virtual computing environment.

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How to choose the best cloud solution for your business

According to Gartner, the use of cloud computing is growing and by 2017 nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments.  The opportunity for you to develop and administer unique business solutions for your customer is now.

How do you choose the best cloud solution for your customers?

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10 Key Requirements for Workload Automation Software

“Today, IT organisations are relying on automation as the unifying piece for IT and the business – providing greater interactivity for connecting people, applications, policies and systems with a wide range of capabilities that allow users to automate more than ever before” (Kaitlin Olcott).

What are the 10 key requirements to look for when making the decision to implement automation?

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How to save money in the Cloud

Elasticity; the ability to match demand to supply, is one of the fundamental properties of the cloud.  If your business runs AWS EC2 instances that aren’t needed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you may be throwing money away.  Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances that aren’t continuously performing some type of function (for example hosting a website) should be shut down to save costs.

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Google to battle Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Google is preparing to battle AWS on a new cloud front, having announced the beta release of an off-premise cold storage service to rival AWS’s Glacier.  Google’s “Nearline” allows users to store data on the cloud that is infrequently accessed, but may need to be retrieved at a moment’s notice for disaster recovery purposes.

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How does Cloud change IT budget planning?

Stephen J Bigelow of TechTarget writes this week about the impact of cloud on IT budgets.  Traditionally computing was capital-intensive and depended on on-site technology and staff.  When a business needed a service, such as Microsoft Exchange, it would budget for servers, software licenses, and often infrastructure.  The business would then wait for weeks (or months) for the servers delivery and installation which would then require deployment and testing.  IT staff would assign user rights and if issues arose, IT would deal with them.

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Cloud Computing Forecasts 2015 – Forbes

Forbes have recently released a roundup of the Cloud Computing Forecasts and Market Estimates for the coming years, and they make for some interesting reading for all those who are IT decision makers.

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Why companies need automation?

 
A recent white paper by Kaseya highlights the challenges faced by organisations utilising cloud computing and how IT automation delivers relief from the administration, monitoring and help-desk queries that eat up time and resources.

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This is what we do…

A post today by TechTarget highlights the difficulty in multi-cloud management.  Most cloud vendors are eager to lock users into their service however users are seeking cloud platforms that offer lower costs and risk of error, along with the best possible data and application security.

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What is Cloud Computing?

CloudRangers idea generation and innovation is sourced through its extensive industry network and customer interaction, along with cloud sector analysis.  Analysis of industry and customer knowledge allows CloudRanger anticipate the future needs of cloud users worldwide. What is cloud computing? Amazon Web Services answers this neatly in its 2 minute video;

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