Cloud Computing – Umm, Err, What’s That?

“Cloud Computing” is the new great thing that will save our souls. Of course, the consultants can tell you what it is, as the dollar signs whiz round in their eye sockets, but most of them talk in the language of the land of fluff. So what is “Cloud computing” to the rest of us?

Apparently, cloud computing is the next evolution of how we will work over (or, within) the internet. “It’s become ‘the phrase of the day’ and we are all talking about it,” says a senior analyst of one of the biggest analyst firms. He is echoing many of his peers. However, as we see every time a new concept arrives, everyone seems to have a different definition – and when you ask them you get theirs.

The words ‘cloud’ and ‘computing’ already have meanings to us. When we hear ‘cloud’, we probably conjure up images of PowerPoint slides, or architecture diagrams, which have a picture of a cloud where the internet should be. ‘Computing could conjure up anything from a vast data center to an abacus, and anything in between. When we add the two together we form our own, very personal, impression of what ‘cloud computing’ might be.

Naturally, there are many analysts and vendors defining cloud computing for us – out of their mouths it seems to means exactly what they happen to be selling. Some go narrow, ‘it’s the virtulisation of servers’. Some go broad, ‘it’s anything outside your firewall’.

To some, cloud computing is about IT and what IT needs – an ability to turn on and off data and processing capacity at will and on demand. From the IT perspective, cloud computing probably encompasses any hardware or software, subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the Internet, extends the IT Department’s existing capabilities.

This implies that, as with food when ‘green’ became the ‘next big thing’ in the supermarkets and suddenly, abracadabra, with a change of packaging, new ‘green’ food appears everywhere, so with our IT services, server virtulisation, ‘software as a service’, data storage etc., become ‘cloud computing services’.

Clearly what ‘cloud computing’ is will evolve as our collective understanding and agreement evolves (by which time it will qualify for inclusion is the dictionary). Let’s take a quick look at some of the common services that, today, are normally included in what we understand as ‘cloud computing’:

Software as a service (SaaS)

Software applications that are delivered through a browser to thousands of users with the capability to up-scale, add users etc., on the fly.

Utility Computing

This is normally understood to be the capability to access storage and virtual servers on demand, normally buying capacity rather than specific machines.

Web services in the cloud

An extension as Software as a service where the functionality to build, or add features to, useful applications/systems is delivered on demand over the internet. Google Maps, graphics engines etc., are examples.

Platform as a service

A variation of Software as a Service. The whole development environment is delivered over the internet rather than just the application.

MSP (managed service providers)

New badge for an old favourite – outsourcing (see sourcing, below) anything from virus scanning to every scrap of hardware and software to a third party service provider to manage.

Service commerce platforms

A service offering a ‘portal’ that users access and use from within their own environments – travel companies offer such portals as do companies who aggregate buying and offer central procurement. Sourcing

Much of the above also falls under the heading of ‘outsourcing’, or ‘sourcing strategy’. In other words, it gets into the cloud because it was outsourced. Perhaps we’ll see a new breed of service providers rebranding as ‘Cloud Service Providers’

This, though, is just the tip of the iceberg. If you find a dark corner and have a quite word with some of the service providers who are positioning themselves neatly at the forefront of the cloud computing wave you get a very different picture. The most common analogy that is being used to describe the new world of cloud computing is of utility companies – delivering IT as a utility, like, say, electricity. The vision of these boys have is one where you have on your company premises only the IT you actually need to touch (keyboards, monitors, mouse, telephones etc). NO IT department (that’s right guys and gals – no IT department!) As with the other utilities, the facilities manager (sorry, director) will pay the bills and chase the vendor when service is cut off. Of course, the promise is that this will not happen – multiple redundancy, mirrored, earthquake and hurricane proof data centers the size of Mount Everest, but underground, will ensure our service continuity. Phew!

Seriously though, the folks who are creating the new cloud computing services have worked their business models through quite thoroughly and the potential payoff from moving all our IT services out into the cloud environment certainly seems real – in terms of: Flexibility – like electricity, use only what you need – service on tap and service levels too (60w bulb or 100w bulb) – only pay for what you use.

No capex – just as you see no line item on your electricity bill for the power cables and pylons, in a pure cloud computing environment you will see nothing on your bill but the ‘services’ you have used – capacity is just there and you just use it – and then pay for what you used.

Security – The level of security that cloud computing firms are likely to provide as standard (for many reasons, not least because they will need to overcome the inevitable and inherent distrust that arises when firms release from their own sweaty mitts their business critical systems) will be far higher than all but the most secure environments currently provide.

Service levels – likely to be higher and more consistent than internal the IT departments of many firms are financed to provide. Value for money – we are told the cost models seem to be offering savings in the region of 20% to 60% over in-house costs, though, due to the immaturity of the market, we have been unable to verify these estimates with facts.

Obviously there are concerns: data security, data confidentiality, lack of control over business critical infrastructure, consequences of aggregation with other company’s systems and infrastructure etc.,- these are just some of the issues that seem to worry potential ‘cloudies’.

At the end of the day the chances are quite high that if the business model works, the price is right and the psychological obstacles overcome, the CFO will ultimately get his way.

In summary, cloud computing is looks set to be the next big thing. IT bods had better get ready for a ride – their cheese just moved!

 

Cloud Hosting Technology

Before getting in to the details, let us initially work out what cloud hosting is, a term that is commonly used by every single hosting provider out there. To put it in simple words, this form of hosting is largely being offered these days by business cloud hosting service providers, and they sure have gained lots of popularity with time. All of the resources that are necessary for the maintenance of a business website are spread across a number of web servers, and are rendered on a more so ‘need’ basis. The major benefit that this particular technology has to offer is that of reduced downtimes in case of hardware failure or server malfunctions.

A highly noteworthy element associated with business cloud consulting and implementation is that it makes it possible for businesses to acquire peak traffic on to their websites, without having to worry about bandwidth issues. This is because there are multiple servers that have the ability to provide additional resources required for the proper functioning of the site. What this means is that your website is no longer going to rely on a single server. Instead, it will be managed by a cluster of servers, all of which are going to work together to form a cloud.

The characteristics of cloud

Cloud computing is commonly referred to as a ‘stack’. This is because of the variety of services that are built on top of each other, and have been given the moniker cloud. On the whole, cloud computing presents a model that enables on-demand, and convenient network access to a shared pool of computing resources that are conveniently configurable. This includes networks, applications, storage, servers and services. The model provides end users with the ability to make use of parts of bulk resources, wherein these can be easily acquired.

Now, here’s a bit of information about the different characteristics of a service that can be considered cloud;

It presents extensive network access

What this means is that accessing the services through varying standard platforms is extremely easy. These are inclusive of laptops, desktops, and mobiles etc.

It guarantees on-demand-self-service

For a service to be considered cloud, it must provide the ability for an end user to sign up, and acquire extensive services without having to keep up with long delays that are a part of the IT industry.

Flexibility and resource pooling

In a cloud service, all resources have been pooled across varied customers. Moreover, the service has the sort of flexibility required to keep up with increasing demands.

How does cloud hosting work?

As has already been explained, every single server in the cloud has the potential to help carry out a certain set of tasks. In case any server in the cloud fails, the other servers are basically going to act as a ‘back up’ server so that the required resources can be rendered without any issues as such.

The same is what happens in case an overload takes place. But the fact of the matter is that the utilization of low quality SSD cloud hosting servers has the potential to deter server performance rather significantly. If truth be told, implementations such as these seriously are not worthy of being considered efficient, and it is merely cheap hosting providers that offer such services.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) are both practical example of cloud hosting. In terms of IaaS offering, the service provider needs to provide its clients with a virtualized hardware resource wherein they may install whichever software environment they wish to take up prior to the development of their web application. However, in terms of a SaaS service, the client additionally needs to be provided with a software environment, for instance, as a solution stack (operating system, web server software, database support, and programming support etc.). This way, it becomes possible for the client to straight move on towards the installation and development of their web applications. The IaaS model of cloud hosting is a better pick for businesses that have complex IT infrastructure, with experienced IT professionals who might want to have more customization power.

The advantages that cloud hosting has to offer

If truth be told, there are countless benefits that you can reap by taking on SSD cloud hosting. To begin with, the cloud setting has the potential to offer lots of power and freedom to you in terms of acquiring all the computing resources that you require. Cloud hosting services offer server management along with high speed shared data storage in its extensive pool of computing power. The best part about this approach is that it guarantees a higher level of performance and up-time, which is something that the standard single server computing paradigm simply cannot offer.

 

Why Businesses of All Sizes Are Moving to the Cloud Through Infrastructure As a Service

Cloud computing and hosting is becoming an increasingly popular trend in the present day market. As it offers many added benefits and advantages to the customers, other types of hosting services are slowly becoming obsolete. In order to best understand the type of hosting services required for your business, you can avail the services of business cloud consulting in order to analyze your needs and requirements. Apart from improving the efficiency of your business, it can also help you reduce operation costs and give you unrestricted access to your resources. As it is based on the internet, remote access is also possible making it an ideal choice for all types of businesses.

The reasons why most businesses are moving to cloud

Cloud computing offers a variety of different advantages comparatively that can help small and medium businesses grow faster. The main advantages that cloud computing offers are as follows.

    • Recovery from disaster or system failure is much faster- Most fully managed cloud hosting services allow the users to recover from system failure much faster. Data loss is also minimized as all the user data is stored efficiently in virtual systems. A server failing in the system does not affect the capabilities of other systems as it is just a virtual partition.

 

    • Remote access- As it is based on the internet, anyone with internet access and authorization can use the resources provided by the hosting service provider. This increases the flexibility for the workers involved and also helps them to sync their works and documents more efficiently.

 

    • Security- Data stored on the cloud is much more secure and safe. Damage to the server or the machine does not affect the data of the user. By simply logging into the portal from another machine, the user can make use of his resources and data easily.

 

  • SSD cloud hosting also helps businesses to reduce their operational costs by reducing the need for added security, administrators and other similar personnel. Therefore, the available resources can be allocated efficiently to contributing towards the objectives of the organization.

These are some of the reasons why most businesses are moving to cloud in the recent past. However, in order to get the best out of your investment, it is imperative to make a well informed decision by going through the reviews and expert opinions of the different services available and choose the most beneficial solution.

When choosing managed business cloud hosting services, most of the maintenance work and related costs are taken up by the service provider thus reducing your operational costs. As there are a variety of service providers available in the market, comparing different deals before choosing one can help you get a cost effective solution. This can also help you to better understand what you are paying for and thus avoid any ineffective solutions. In order to fully utilize your investment, it is important to first analyze your business needs and requirements before deciding to choose a hosting service provider. You can even consider consulting an expert in the relevant field in order to get a better opinion that can help you make your decision.

 

Top 10 Cloud Computing Companies in Singapore

Below are 10 of the best Cloud computing companies in Singapore. Compiled by Dougles Chan –  SEO Master Shifu, SEO Consultant for businesses. 


Efficiency, real-time collaboration, virtual meetings, universal data access; these are all the enhancements that your business can experience through cloud computing. Imagine not having to sift through emails and applications to pull out files from different locations. Think about the money you can save on hotel bookings and plane fares because you can have a conference with people on different parts of the world. Think about the convenience of having access to your files anytime, anywhere without having to bring it with you physically. This is the power of cloud. And because of the current technological enhancements we are experiencing, everyone has access to this service.

But as a business, you want to have the best cloud computing company to partner with. By best I mean to say that you get to have the security, the accessibility, efficiency, and complete control, without having to spend a lot of your company’s money. Your company would need a cloud solutions provider that will be there with you for support and assistance whenever you need to. You need to have a reliable cloud service that elevates your business up and not brings it down.

I have garnered a list of the top 10 cloud computing companies in Singapore. All the companies in this list provide top-notch service, have reasonable prices, and have credibility. I have also provided a short description of what each company can offer so it would be easy for you to decide on which service you will resort to.

1. Apixel IT Support

 

Apixel is an IT Support company that provides complete IT services to businesses. They can create an entire IT system, including an entire IT department, from scratch. They have a proactive approach to IT wherein they set up your company’s IT configuration with all the preventive measure in place to avoid any future problems. If any issue occurs, you only have to contact one person, your dedicated IT consultant, to handle it for you. You will not have to talk to multiple people or get passed around for solutions. The company also provides a money-back service level guarantee if you are not satisfied with their service.

When it comes to their cloud solutions, they provide excellent service. It would start with a consultation with an IT professional that would customize the solution based on your company’s needs. Apixel would then provide you with the quotation of the projected cost of the solution. Once agreed, the system deployment will be up and running as soon as possible since there is no need for additional hardware. It is also highly scalable, meaning to say as your business grows, there will be no issues with additional users and access.

You don’t have to worry about file getting corrupted or lost anymore. Aside from all data being automatically saved through cloud, Apixel also creates copies of files and stores it in multiple locations as back-up. Your company’s data is safe and secured.

Website:             https://www.apixel.com.sg/      

E-mail:                  enquiry@apixel.com.sg               

Address:              10 Marina Blvd, #39-01 MBFC Tower Two Singapore 018983

Contact No:        66391839 Fax: 66391869

2. CloudSolutions

 

The primary focus of Cloudsolutions is the integration of an existing IT system to cloud computing with the least minimum adjustment to the client. The key here is assisting their clients to decide on which applications to migrate to cloud and the schedule of migration of each application. The company has a lot of cloud solutions to offer. Their cloud services is not contained to the IT department alone, but they have cloud services that caters to all functioning departments such as accounting and marketing. This is so that the entire business is synchronized and be more efficient in inter-department data flow through cloud.

The company has a lot to offer. The clients can get to choose which cloud service they prefer. The company offers Google Apps for work that includes Email, docs, and Facebook chat bot, along with the security and compliance software Google Vault; Microsoft Office 365 that also comes with Email, and the usual applications like MSWord and Excel; IaaS, which is a web based and hybrid private cloud hosting  of Windows and Linux servers; Cloud backup servers that is accessible to laptops, mobile devices, and workstations; and even cloud PBX, VoIP, mobile VoIP, and virtual phone numbers that allow uninterrupted communication flow through cloud.

Website:             http://www.cloudsolutions.com.sg/                      

E-mail:                  enquiry@cloudsolutions.com.sg              

Skype:  cloudsingapore

Contact No:        31593219

3. Deskera

 

Deskera is an international cloud solutions company that has one of its bases in Singapore. This company specializes in cloud ERP, which is a fairly holistic and more efficient approach which takes advantage of cloud computing. They boast of an integrated system that handles purchase management, sales and billing, vendor management, product management, checklist management, account management, and even customer management, complete with inventory and financial reports all while handling all compliance tasks such as generating tax invoices and producing IAFs.

The company also offers a cloud CRM system which can help clients profile their customer and base their marketing strategies based on the information provided by the system. Valuable information such as KPI are provided by the system which can determine the success rate of current campaigns and aid in the preparation for the next ones.

Another effective tool that Deskera offers is the cloud HRMS system that makes human resource decisions and processes efficient. This system makes it easy to handle payroll, process leaves, integrate commissions and incentives, and even process paperless hiring of qualified candidates.

Website:             https://www.deskera.com/sg/                 

E-mail:                  hello@deskera.sg           

Address:              1 Raffles Place, #18-01 Tower 1, One Raffles Place, Singapore

Contact No:        65361420 Fax: 65361522

4. Salesforce

 

This is another international cloud computing company that has a presence in Singapore. Salesforce is a company that specializes in CRM. The company boasts of a very effective system that handles customer related matters such as sales, service, and marketing. Each of these areas of CRM are meticulously processed by an integrated system which does not need additional hardware to set up. And since it is cloud-based, it is accessible anywhere without compromising security of data.

Salesforce has been a global powerhouse of cloud solutions and CRM, highly ranked by the International Data Corporation, for the past four years. It integrates artificial intelligence into the system to help management become more efficient. The development of mobile access makes it easy to monitor progress on the go. Real-time analytics make analysis and future decisions easier as comprehensive data can be available whenever you need it.

Website:             https://www.salesforce.com/ap/                                                            

Address:              5 Temasek Blvd, #13-01 Suntec Tower 5 Singapore 038985

Contact No:        63025700

5. Stone Forest IT

 

Stone Forest IT is a company composed of certified IT professionals that provide holistic IT services, from strategic planning, implementation, up to maintenance. In general, their services includes IT infrastructures, business applications, analytics, and IT security solutions. Operating since 1987, the company is currently bizSAFE-4 and Grade 9, SGD30 million government tender capacity with offices in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

SFIT is an expert in CRM and ERP set-up, implementation, customization, integration, maintenance, and even training to let their clients maximize the full potential of having these systems. Their cloud solutions provide their clients the flexibility to streamline their business processes, improve accessibility, and monitor data more effectively.

One of their cloud solutions is the integration of Microsoft 365. It is almost identical to existing Microsoft Operating Systems except that this particular one is cloud-based, perfect for SMEs that would prefer using the Microsoft application we are used to with added mobility, accessibility, and a bigger storage without additional hardware installation. The Microsoft Enterprise Mobility provides protection of information like cyber intrusion detection while providing ease of identity recognition and access.

Website:             http://www.stoneforestit.com.sg/                                                                         

Email:                  info@stoneforestit.sg    

Address:              8 Wilkie Road, #03-08 Wilkie Edge Singapore 228095

Contact No:        65337600   Fax:  65948888

6. CITIC Telecom CPC

 

This one stop shop IT company started in 2001 and since then have become a global presence providing services such as private network solutions, information security solutions, and cloud computing solutions. They the first VPN company that has been ISO9001, ISO14001, ISO20000, and ISO27001 certified in the APAC region, while being the first IaaS provider to be ISO27017 certified in Hong Kong. All the IT professional directly involved in servicing clients are all certified to ensure the quality of solutions provided at a per customer basis.

Although CITIC has a very wide range of products and services, each service is at par with the world’s best, especially its cloud computing services. They have specific approaches to different types of industries like finance, automotive, architecture, automotive, logistics, and manufacturing. The company banners the Smartcloud solution, which has a true DR capability with a flexible total solution that consists of memory, storage, CPU, network, and port. This system allows seamless reallocation of resources, and the security is top-notch with its 2-factor, 2-phase authentication for online access. It also has an enhanced storage component to ensure storage efficiency without compromising application performance and data security.

Website:             https://www.citictel-cpc.com/EN/SG/                                                                                   

Email:                  sgoffice@citictel-cpc.com             

Address:              1 Fusionopolis Walk, #06-11 Solaris North Tower Singapore 138628

Contact No:        62206606   Fax:  62952785

7. HCL Technologies Inc

 

HCL is a Indian IT company which has a very strong global presence. Its office in Singapore was founded 30 years ago and continues to be a leader in providing IT services especially in software. Some of the company’s accomplishments in the country was the development of the first wi-fi based patient tracking system for one of Singapore’s leading healthcare provider. It was also a huge contributor to the projects on citizen-centricity for the Singapore government. The company also engineered next-generation solutions to IT companies in the country helping them achieve global brand recognition.

As for HCL’s cloud computing service, the company incorporates a strategic approach into the implementation and integration of a cloud-native system. In this approach, not only does the company create powerful and efficient cloud-native applications, it also creates solutions in converting existing applications into more powerful and effective cloud-based systems. The company also ensures that the power that runs the applications derive from a reliable set of cloud platform technologies, otherwise the implementation will be useless and disadvantageous.

Website:             https://www.hcltech.com/geo-presence/singapore                                                                      

Email:                  sgoffice@citictel-cpc.com             

Address:              Regional Headquarters

                                8 Shenton Way, #33-03 AXA Tower Singapore 068811

Contact No:        62738288   Fax:  62780648

Address:              Development Centre

                                31 International Business Park, #05-02, Creative Resource Building, Singapore 609921

Contact No:        62120000  Fax: 

8. Singtel

 

Singtel is a communications company that has a vast array of products and services ranging from fixed and mobile data, internet, TV, ICT, and digital solutions. This company boasts of 130 years of experience and is one of the catalysts of Singapore’s ascension to becoming one of the Asia’s major communication hub. Singtel is also one of the largest listed companies on the Singapore stocks exchange in terms of capitalization.

Singtel is very specific in terms of providing IT services. For cloud solutions, the company has options for personal use, for small enterprises, for SMEs, and corporations. Clients get to choose from the Singtel managed cloud service, a service where a company can get to decide whether to go private, virtual private, or hybrid solutions to ensure utmost efficiency, or the Singtel Cloud Access where internet is bypassed so that the client will have private access to major public cloud services and feel like it is just a part of their own secured network. Another option to choose from is the Singtel hybrid network, where high performing multi-protocol label switching networks are combined to get the best performance and cost especially for business-critical applications.

Website:             https://www.singtel.com/                                                                                          

Address:             31 Exeter Road Comcentre #01-00 Singapore 239732

Contact No:        68383388 Fax:     67328428

9. Readyspace

 

Readyspace is an IT support company that mainly provides cloud computing service, although other services such as digital marketing, cyber security, and analytics are also available. The company also conducts support plans, professional services, managed services, consultancy services, and case studies. The company’s primary focus is to provide cloud computing solutions and services to enterprises that need high performance, firm compliance, and fluid connectivity all throughout Singapore and its neighboring countries.

Readyspace provides cloud applications set-up and maintenance that includes domain names, DNS hosting, cloud drive, web applications, office mail, mobile messaging, and monitoring. The company also provides cloud server solutions for all operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Red Hat, Plesk, VPN, and many more. They also provide cloud infrastructure set-up, and a selection of single-processor servers, dual-processor servers, and GPU servers.

Website:             https://readyspace.com.sg/       

Email:                    info@readyspace.com.sg                                                                                                            

Address:             20 Ayer Rajah Crescent #09-29 Singapore 139964

Contact No:        64960090

10. eVantage Technology

 

This company is an all-around IT support company that helps out their clients no matter where they are at in the status of their IT department. Whether the company is a start-up, or with an existing IT department, or in need of migration to a different platform or physical office, eVantage Technology is able to provide IT support. Aside from cloud solutions, the company also provides IT security, office fit out, and telephony set up and maintenance. They also aid in office efficiency and productivity, optimum performance of existing servers and computers, and continuous technical support.

Their cloud computing solutions are all internet-based which allows data to be easily and securely accessible to multiple platforms such as web browsers, desktop application, and even through mobile apps. All the data are stored through cloud and is secured and backed up by servers in a remote location. There is no need for additional physical drive space nor additional hardware installation. Aside from providing top-notch cloud solutions, the company ensures a very smooth and secure transition and migration that allows very minimal to no disruption of business processes.

Website:             https://www.evantage-technology.com/                                                            

Address:             1 Sims Lane, #04-08 Singapore 387355

Contact No:        67495450