Halloween’s scary tales about clouds and servers

Why you should not be afraid of cloud technology






Why do we scare each other on Halloween

October 31, is an extraordinary day. All Saints' Day Eve, or Halloween, in the United States and Western Europe usually celebrate cheerfully. The Christian holiday absorbed the traditions of its predecessor Samhain, the ancient Celts’ harvest festival. The endemic population of the British Isles celebrated on Samhain the end of the agricultural year and the beginning of a new one. According to ancient beliefs, on the border day between the old and the new year, all undead, imps, ghosts, monsters, and the spirits of our ancestors go out into our world. To protect yourself from them, you should:


  • Dress like a monster or a ghost – evil creatures can mistakenly take you for one of them, and don’t damage you
  • Make a sacrifice to satisfy spirits – we know it as a ‘trick or treat’ tradition
  • Decorate the home and the surrounding areas with autumn symbols and Jack-o'-lantern lamps — to maximize comfort to the ghosts and spirits.


Christianity has given the ancient pagan holiday the new meaning. Halloween acquired its own symbols, beliefs, and traditions, which were added after the Europeans settled the American continent. One of those traditions is telling on that day scary tales. Initially, people believed: the narrator gets as much protection from the evil influence, as much he can terrify the listeners of a horror story. Nowadays, this principle is forgotten, but the tradition to tell scary stories and tales remained. In Hollywood, by October 31, a dozen horror films and mystical thrillers release annually.


Although we are not in Hollywood, but in Germany, SIM-Networks is happy to support Halloween traditions. Yes, we also have enough scary tales — misconceptions regarding cloud hosting and servers. They scare our customers, although there is really nothing to fear. Today we’ve decided to tell you about the most frequent fears, and at the same time, nail them to the counter. ;)



The first scary tale: “I CAN EASILY CONTROL EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS WITH MY LOCAL SERVER. BUT YOUR CLOUD IS TOO FAR SO, I AM AFRAID THAT I WILL NOT HAVE CONTROL OVER MY SYSTEM AND DATA”


EYE-OPENER: Yes, a local server is a good solution for a small company if:


  • all business activities are offline
  • the company staff is not more 3-5 people
  • your close friend is an extremely experienced SUPER-admin, who is ready to help, repair, configure, set connection, shoot all of the troubles around-the-clock and every day of the year
  • the number of contractors is not more than a couple of dozen
  • the company offers a small range of goods or services that are not replenished or changed
  • the business does not depend on seasonality and has no peak loads
  • regular backup to remote storage has been established
  • the necessary conditions for the server are organized — power supply, cooling, ventilation, fire extinguishing system and preventive fire safety diagnostics, etc.
  • you hid the server in a safe in an underwater bunker and took other security measures
  • you do not plan to grow your business
  • you live in the early 2000s.

The list is not exhaustive; there are other factors, too. For example, the quality of the server’s configuration — if Uncle $crooge recommended you to use cheaper equipment, not the enterprise-class format, your server will quickly fail due to permanent heat problems and overloads. Besides, the standard use term of servers expires in 5-7 years, and then you must upgrade the equipment — either replace the main components or buy a new one. Add to this the software licenses and regular updates, and we won’t even consider the use of pirated software!


If all of the above is entirely relevant to your company, there are no questions — the on-premises server is right for you. But nowadays, even small businesses make sense to go to a protected, reliable cloud in Germany because:


  • system redundancy is organized at the levels of cloud equipment, communications and data centers where the cloud is deployed
  • we use the latest security tools and measures for information security
  • you control all your processes and infrastructure at the level of the dashboard and applications in the same way as you do on the local server
  • you shouldn’t buy hardware and software, but you pay only the rent of resources
  • you get round-the-clock access to your information, from anywhere in the world where there is the Internet, and from any hardware platform
  • in the cloud, you can flexibly scale resources by adding or removing excess depending on seasonality, workload, business development
  • backup service SIM-Cloud BaaS is ready-to-use, you only need to connect it
  • remote storage of backups, where data is safe and can quickly be restored if necessary
  • high performance and infrastructure efficiency
  • remote office organized with the terminal connection via RDP protocol can save a lot of equipment for thin clients — since all work takes place on a cloud terminal server
  • you do not need a staff of admins and spend money on their recruitment, training, acquisition, retain
  • your employees will not feel any difference — they will work in the cloud information environment in the same way as they did on the local server — just more comfortable
  • the Cloud located in EU is protected by technologies, geographical location, and EU Law
  • modern data centers Tier III+in Germany, where the cloud is deployed, are certified by strict international criteria for redundancy, climate control, communications, security.


And this list of cloud benefits is not exhaustive, too ;)


 

The second scary tale:

“I AM AFRAID MY APPS AND PROGS can HANG in the cloud so that I WON’T BE ABLE TO WORK NORMALLY”


EYE-OPENER: Many users who are not closely familiar with virtualization do not distinguish between cloud and VDS, a virtual dedicated server deployed on a physical one. Moreover, unprincipled providers still offer their customers VDS or virtual hosting resources and call them cloud hosting.


What is VDS? It is an ordinary server emulation created by virtualization software — the hypervisor software is installed on a physical server and, using its resources, creates one or more virtual servers. All of them are isolated from each other, creating the illusion that you are alone on the server. The issue is the whole bunch of virtual VDSs uses the resources of a single physical server for working. And if the one VDS increases load sharply, for example, the peak of activity of online store buyers during a sale, or a DDoS attack — so, it will take over the entire physical resource and leave nothing to other VDSs on that server. As a result, other VDSs work either slow down significantly or completely stop. It would be not forever, sure, — after the time the peak load will pass, the physical resource will again be evenly distributed among all VDSs. But the issue will repeat in some time, and probably with another VDS.


This kind of hosting issues are called overselling — the provider sells more resources than it can provide, and does not make a margin pool to peak load periods. Why? Maybe, the provider expects that clients will not use all their capacities for 100%. Maybe, the provider is greedy, and wants to get more profit as soon as possible, but when users of the hosting face with troubles, the provider will quietly disappear. Worst of all, when such a provider misleads its customers by selling them hosting on VDS and call it ‘cloud hosting’. BTW cloud hosting is more expensive than cheaper VDS.


We describe the fundamental differences between VDS and cloud products in the article VDS or cloud — a matter.



The SIM-Networks approach is completely different. We are transparent, honest, and we are doing everything to make our customers comfortable working. Do not be afraid — your system will not slow down or freeze in the SIM-Cloud because we provide redundant infrastructure solutions for your projects. Your access to the cloud can be worst only in case of a problem with your Internet provider, but that's another story.


 

THE THIRD SCARY TALE:

“I AM AFRAID THAT THE CLOUD IS TOO EXPENSIVE,

THAT’S WHY GIVE ME THIS dedicated SERVER”


EYE-OPENER: When you are afraid to lose your money, it’s normal. But in the case of clouds, your fears are baseless. If the high-price-phobia still keeps you from moving to the cloud, read again our Horror Story No. 1, where we describe all cloud advantages. Yes, the cloud is not free, but it is not horribly expensive. Instead, using the cloud, you have much more benefits from efficiency, from flexibility, from cost optimization and optimizing business processes, and many more.


Maybe now you are trying to make a choice between the cloud and the dedicated server in Germany. Well, we suggest comparing some parameters of these services:


  SIM-Cloud Dedicated server
The number of servers in the configuration Redundant cluster 1-2 (depending on the configuration)
Resources and Advanced Settings configuration Customer selects by oneself, using the configurator on the website, and by engaging a consultant if necessary Standard configurations for typical tasks and individual custom projects are available
Server and communication quality Powerful Enterprise-class equipment produced by the world-leading manufacturers
Location to deploy Tier III+ data centers certified according to ISO / IEC 27001
Network communications Connecting to European leading Internet service providers
Information security

1. Secure communication channels

2. Hardware-based data encryption in storage

3. The geographical location in Germany

4. Legislation of the EU and Germany

1. Secure communication channels

2. The geographical location in Germany

3. The legislation of the EU and Germany

 

Customers take care of additional data protection on their own

Backup SIM-Cloud BaaS ready-to-install Customers search, install software and set backups on their own
Monitoring and system administrating By the provider By the customers on their own; you can order administration as an optional paid technical support
Flexible scaling of resources if necessary Available to the client in the cloud dashboard Impossible; you have to change the tariff plan or buy additional equipment
Local infrastructure migrating to a remote platform The provider does it for free, with minimization of downtime of customer services Customer does; the provider can provide consulting, or paid technical support

Each project has nuances that should be taken into account. Some companies consider it more profitable to rent a dedicated server in Germany; other businesses want to deploy their information systems in the cloud. Anyway, make your choice based on an analysis of all factors.


 

THE FOURTH SCARY TALE: “MY SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR IS AFRAID THE CLOUDS COMPLEXITY. WE WILL NEED FUNDAMENTAL RE-TRAINING AND ADAPTING ALL THE EMPLOYEES TO THE NEW FORM OF WORK”.


EYE-OPENER: Cloud technology has grown out of traditional IT. Do you know it? So, no need to talk about any fundamental re-training. According to one of our customers, the system administrator from Scandinavia, he learned how to manage the cloud much easier, faster, and simply than learned German.


Sure, if you plan to build and maintain cloud infrastructures yourself, you will have to learn new cloud-IT skills. But for managing a cloud project, a person with experience in working with IT systems will not need any special knowledge. The SIM-Cloud Dashboard control panel is intuitive. Besides, we will definitely share cloud documentation with our clients, and we are always open to communication.


Note that your employees, after SIM-Networks engineers migrate the company’s systems to the cloud, do not need to learn anything at all — they will use applications and interfaces as before. It will only become a little faster and more convenient ;)


 

The FIFTH SCARY TALE: “I AM AFRAID OF A PUBLIC CLOUD - THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE. I DO NOT WANT EVERYONE TO SEE MY INFORMATION! SUDDENLY, THEY WILL STEAL MY DATA...”


EYE-OPENER: When it comes to the difference between a public and private cloud, customers often get the impression that a private cloud is like a separate apartment, where only its owner lives. And public cloud, they think, is like a hostel, where clients intersect, “see” each other, maybe they can interfere in the work of information systems of neighbors. But this is not at all true.


Using the housing compare, we explain: a public cloud is an apartment skyscraper with a security protected territory and an underground garage. Apartment dwellers use common services — an elevator, stairs, water supply, electricity, heating systems, a gas pipeline, ventilation, and utility rooms. But all tenants rent part of the building’s total area, limited by some parameters — an apartment border inside of that they place their property. Everyone lives in their own apartment, and walls hide his private life from prying eyes. Somebody equips their apartment with a security alarm system; other persons set the video control system, etc. Each of dwellers has a various vision and sets security equipment.


In a public cloud, each user rents a part of the computing resources of a common pool. By the way, this significantly reduces the cost of the solution compared to building a private cloud. After all, you have to pay a lot more for a separate cottage with a front garden. All of the public cloud users have access to separately ordered additional services in the cloud IaaS. Neither the manager of the house (hosting provider) nor the neighbors know exactly the way how some users manage his part of the cloud, what data he generates, and how he will use it. The client’s infrastructure in the public cloud is his private business.


But unlike an apartment, which cannot be increased by several tens of square meters in a couple of clicks when expanding the family, the cloud infrastructure can be scaled. You can add or narrow down your cloud configuration easy, fast, simple, just a couple of clicks in the SIM-Cloud Dashboard. The provider always has enough resources — we are very foresighted! No matter how fast your business develops, it will always feel comfortable and safe in our cloud.

 

THE SIXTH SCARY TALE:

“I AM AFRAID THAT MY PRIVACY IS UNDER A THREAT IN THE CLOUD, AND DATA MAY BE LOST”.


EYE-OPENER: We have already talked a lot about security, but it’s worthy of repeating.


Your information is sent to the cloud via secure data channels using cryptographic algorithms. In cloud storage, disk data is protected by hardware-based encryption. In case of replacing the disks, we reliably destroy all information stored on the replaced disks before disposal. Neither the provider nor the datacenters' personnel, nor anyone else has the technical tools or opportunities to intercept and decrypt this data. So, there is nothing to fear.


For information on how to ensure maximum protection of your information, see our article Data encryption protects the most important.



You definitely should not be afraid of the physical withdrawal of your equipment from the German Tier III+ datacenter. The physical protection against unauthorized entry into a datacenter of this category is very strict. Whatever you rent — a dedicated server, a pool of resources in a public cloud deployed in a data center in Karlsruhe, or a private cloud created at facilities located in the same place — neither competitors nor security officials, nor any illegal elements can take your data out.


Also, the servers of a German hosting provider are under the reliable protection of German law. And the police can get access to them solely by the decision of the federal court. Bang-bang! The be-sure shot defeats your fear!


 

THE SEVENTH SCARY TALE:

“I’D LIKE TO MIGRATE MY IT SYSTEMS TO THE CLOUD. BUT I AM AFRAID THAT IT WILL BE TOO LONG TO BE DONE. THE IDLE-TIME IN MY BUSINESS COSTS TOO EXPENSIVE!”


EYE-OPENER: Time is money. And saving time and money of our customers is one of the key values of the SIM-Networks business. We clearly understand how great losses can be from business downtime. The fears of users that migration to the cloud will disrupt the workflow for a long time can be based on the negative experience of their local server falling, and the period of forced suspension of business that followed, while the system recovers.


No, we go another way. You do not have to restore anything. Migrating the customer’s infrastructure from its local site or from another provider to SIM-Cloud is a routine to our engineers. This process is a typical stage of any project, and we take into account all the conditions and wishes of the customers. We have a rich portfolio of projects. So, our experience allows us to find the optimal conditions for migration to minimize downtime and inconvenience. As a rule, we migrate infrastructure during periods of slowest business activity — late at night or on weekends. Some successful examples of migration to the cloud you can find in our case studies.

 

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These are just a few fun, but frequent horror stories about clouds and servers. Now you know that there is absolutely nothing to fear. SIM-Networks has many more interesting, useful, and not at all scary stories. Contact us, and we will be happy to share them with you — and our infrastructure solutions!


And finally, the scariest story. Yes, there is something to be afraid of...


On one Black-Black Friday, one German provider made horrible discounts ... Do you want to be terrified at the size of discounts on servers, web hosting, or VDS? Then do not forget to visit us on November 29, 2019, on the Day of the Scariest Discounts of the year!




Terrible stories about clouds and servers told Alisa Kandieieva

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