With everything being “in the Cloud” these days, many people are moving their hosted websites away from static hardware and to a Cloud-based hosting solution – either a shared service or their own server hosted by a provider. We love Amazon’s EC2 infrastructure and while using it for most of our services and offering it as a great solution for our clients it can quickly become costly. There are a few simple things you can do to substantially reduce your monthly costs. Here are some ways you can be saving money on Amazon EC2 and other Cloud providers:
This is all too common. Most companies want to focus on their company’s objectives and not their network infrastructure. While this can seem to be the simplest thing to do – get things set up, start using, and don’t worry about it again until there’s an issue, this can be one of the most costly decisions you can make when setting up a business network.
With so many diverse technologies (operating systems, application solutions, email solutions, intranet, extranet, web sites, SSL, etc.) it can be intimidating to most people how to best maintain such a diaspora of technologies. Many companies can’t afford to have a full time IT team let alone a full-time IT person on staff. Some companies who do have full-time IT staff may be focusing on working on projects within the company and not on keeping the company’s infrastructure solid, secure, and reliable.
Leaving your company’s infrastructure alone until there’s an issue will at some point in time open you up to security issues, quality issues, and performance issues. Most software, firmware, and hardware have critical updates that are available over the life of the product. Operating systems and applications are particularly prone to security issues and must be updated in some reasonable time cycle to allow for as much protection as possible. Of course new versions can also introduce new problems or can potentially introduce issues when none were present. This is another reason why it’s important for a company to have a process in place for retention of data, including prior operating systems, system versions, etc. Many critical network devices and appliances routinely have firmware updates that can affect security, quality, reliability, and performance. Routers, hubs, switches, wireless devices, all need to be maintained to ensure that the most recent bona fide releases are installed and functioning nominally.
If your company does not have budget for IT staff to manager your network, information security, and reliability of your systems then you may want to consider hiring a reputable firm to routinely perform maintenance. Typical maintenance would include testing performance speeds on your network, sniffing your network for potential intrusions, analyzing workstations and their applicable applications and email systems to ensure proper function and no security breaches. It’s not uncommon for a company which has been compromised to not even be aware that they’ve been compromised. This can result in intentional performance degradation from a competitor, or other malicious user, or can result in even more nefarious compromises such as theft of data or intentional disruption of services and critical infrastructure.
If you don’t keep your systems up-to-date then it’s only a matter of time before you can lose critical systems which are required to keep your day-to-day business going. Consider hiring a reputable firm, such as us, to come in and assess the status of infrastructure and propose methods to keep your business in business.
Contact Quadrix for a free network and security assessment to ensure your company’s business continuity.
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