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For the fourth year running Total Server Solutions has partnered with TechCrunch to help connect entrepreneurs, startups, and investors in Atlanta.

TC

 

Atlanta, GA —  Total Server Solutions, an industry leader in high performance infrastructure and managed services today announced that it is sponsoring the upcoming TechCrunch Meet Up & Pitch Off in Atlanta.  The event is set for the evening of February 25, 2016.  This meetup is the fourth time that Total Server Solutions has partnered with TechCrunch to bring together the startup community in Atlanta for an evening of networking, socializing, and knowledge sharing.

As with past meetups, this year promises to provide a great venue for entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts, investors, and startups in which to meet, share ideas, and make lasting connections.  During this meet up & pitch off, participants will compete by pitching their ideas to a panel of venture capitalists and TechCrunch editorial staff.  Participants will have 60 seconds in which to explain why their idea is awesome.  The winners of the pitch off will have an opportunity to attend the flagship TechCrunch Disrupt event in New York City in May.

Total Server Solutions is committed to helping startups and entrepreneurs succeed.  As a young, growing company, Total Server Solutions understands what it takes for a vision to be made real.  By providing resources, services, and high performance infrastructure from enterprise to startup companies, Total Server Solutions brings their years of knowledge and experience to bear to help customers solve complex problems on the path to growth.

Gary Simat, CEO at Total Server Solutions states that “This is the fourth year that we have partnered with TechCrunch.  We believe in the entrepreneurial spirit here in Atlanta and we want to do everything we can to help startups succeed.”

This event will be held at Prive lounge on February 25, 2016.  Doors open at 6:00pm and competition starts at 7:00pm with the winners announced at 8:15pm.  After that, the venue will be given over to networking.  Stop by and visit the Total Server Solutions team to learn how their commitment to providing the finest global infrastructure can help your ideas grow.

More information about this event can be found here:

http://techcrunch.com/event-info/meetup-pitch-off-atlanta-2016/

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A Content Management System (CMS) is a one-stop-shop for building fantastic websites, and has seen a dramatic rise in popularity over the past dozen years. Let’s examine the most popular options.

If you wanted to build a website in the mid-90s, you had to know how to write HTML – there was simply no way around it. Granted, websites were much simpler back in the Internet’s infancy (as a bit of a bonus, check out these hilariously awful 90s-tastic web designs), but there weren’t too many shortcuts to making a functioning website.

Thankfully, both the overall aesthetics and the ease at which they can be created have improved dramatically over the past 15 years. Undoubtedly, one of the biggest factors in this sea change has been the rise of the Content Management System, or CMS.

A CMS can be essentially viewed as an application that gives users a much easier interface to build, publish, and maintain content (a website) through a central portal. Instead of having to code individual lines of HTML (HyperText Markup Language for you young whippersnappers out there) for elements of a web design, CMS allows users a much more intuitive interface. Want an image on your page? Just upload it! No managing attributes and figuring out all the <img> and other tags. Now, websites aren’t only for the super-HTML savvy – anyone who can create a decent Word document can get a site up and running with a CMS.

Which option is right for you? Let’s take a look at some of the leading contenders.

CMS-Ranked

WordPress

The undisputed king – and it’s really not even close. According to W3 Techs, a leading web technology surveyor, nearly half of all websites use some form of CMS. Of that approximate 43.3%, nearly two-thirds (58.9%) are WordPress sites – which for all you math ninjas out there, works out to over a quarter of all websites in existence use WordPress. That’s a pretty good market share.

Released all the way back on May 27, 2003, WordPress started as a blogging-style system, but has since expanded its capabilities into full-fledged CMS. To create a simple website is free, and there is a rich and vibrant developer community that also releases free “themes” (design templates) for download and installation. Some of the biggest brands in the world (the NFL, Best Buy, and TechCrunch to name a few) have WordPress sites.

Joomla

To put in perspective how much of a grip WordPress has as the king of CMS, the second place platform – Joomla – accounts for just 5.6% of CMS sites compared to the near 60% of WordPress.

Some of that has to do with the head start WordPress had, as Joomla wasn’t released to the public until August 17, 2005. Another element has to do with the fact that it’s a little more user-intensive than WordPress. If making a nice WordPress site was creating a Word document (using our above analogy), using Joomla is a bit more like a PowerPoint presentation with lots of drop-shadowed text, cool effects for slide transitions, and maybe even embedded video. Again, not rocket science and not a lot of programming involved, but a bit more difficult than WordPress.

The flipside of that is that many users find the customization options in Joomla to be far superior and more exhaustive than WordPress. Some of the biggest entities trusting Joomla for their websites are The Hill, Linux, and the Guggenheim Museum.

Drupal

Moving on down the list in popularity, Drupal is on the medal podium of the CMS Olympics in third place with approximately 4.9% of CMS sites using it. It’s actually one of the older CMS platforms in existence, tracing its origins back to 2001. Why then, if Drupal has had the most time to latch on, is it languishing in a distant third?

Many believe it’s due to the even more intensive and less user-friendly interface than Joomla. While Drupal offers more customization than either WordPress or Joomla, it’s definitely the most difficult of the three to master. But if you have even a scant amount of development/programming experience, you’ll likely feel right at home with Drupal. Although the most recent Version 8 is said to be much more intuitive than versions past, it still is very developer-centric.

Some of the largest Drupal sites in the world include The Independent, Box, and Entertainment Weekly.

There are loads more CMS choices out there outside of these top three – Magento, Blogger, TYPO3, Shopify, and Wix are some of the more well-known. Depending on your level of expertise, you’ll want to spend a little time researching and reading reviews to see what the best fit is for you (as well as checking out some of the sites made by these various CMS platforms to see what’s possible).

Another thing you’ll want to look into is finding a hosting partner that can optimize your site based on your CMS of choice – like Total Server Solutions.

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Recently, some server, vps, and cloud environments have had problems with successfully meeting the standards for PCI Compliance Scans.

A common factor contributing to failed PCI Compliance Scans is due to servers running RHEL/CentOS 5 or earlier.  These linux distribution support up to OpenSSL 0.9.8x.  Any OS that exclusively uses OpenSSL 1.0.1 or earlier only supports TLSv1.  However, any server/OS operating with TLSv1 enabled is prone to failing a PCI Compliance Scan.  Unfortunately, all versions of TLS 1.0 and earlier are vulnerable to the BEAST attack.  Using these versions normally presents problems with passing the latest PCI Compliance Scans.

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What happened?

Some customers have recently failed a PCI Compliance Scan or will not successfully complete a scan in the very near future.  This is likely due to the fact that TLSv1 is enabled within their hosting environment.  

What does it mean?

Failure of a PCI Compliance Scan means that a server/vps environment no longer meets the standards required to safely and securely accept credit card payments.  This can open the site owner to a multitude of problems including:

Inability to accept credit card payments.

Liability & fines associated with any breach of customer payment or credit card information.

How can it be fixed?

There are numerous solutions to get this issue taken care of.  This blog post contains an overview of what’s up.  Further, our technical team is standing by and ready to assist you and answer any questions you have on this issue.

In determining which course of action you would like to take regarding completing PCI Compliance Scans, we highly recommend that you carefully read the PCI Standards published at https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/.  While we are always willing and able to help you, you must determine if you need to meet PCI Standards within your environment.  More information can be found at the following URLs:

PCI Standards Council:

https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org

PCI Security Overview:

https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/pci_security/

PCI DSS Standards guide (and others, requires a free account):

https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/document_library

**The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has extended the migration completion deadline to June 30, 2018 to allow more time to transition from SSL & TLSv1 to a more secure version of TLS (currently v1.1 or higher).

Upon discovering that your server/OS no longer meets current PCI Compliance Standards you must decide on a course of action:

Solution 1:  Disable TLSv1

This solution will stop old browsers/clients from accessing your site (check out, mail, etc).  Older versions of Windows, OS X, iOS, and Android will no longer be able to successfully access your content or e-commerce functions.

Here is a list of TLS support in various web browsers for your reference:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:TLS/SSL_support_history_of_web_browsers

If you choose to disable TLS you must not use CentOS 5 as it does not support any version of TLS later than TLSv1.  If you are currently running CentOS 5 and wish to disable TLS you must migrate your sites to a CentOS 6 or 7 environment.

*Note:  You can disable TLSv1 for all services except your site and reduce the number of PCI scan failures but you will need to be running the latest versions of your browser, ftp, and mail clients.  If you are running CentOS 6 or 7 you may submit a ticket to our technical team to disable TLSv1.

Solution 2:  Leave TLSv1 enabled

Due to browser compatibility issues, you may opt to leave TLSv1 enabled within your environment.  While this can cause issues with successful completion of PCI Compliance Scans, it is an option.  You would be required to submit a mitigation plan with your Authorized Scanning Vendor to let them know that you are leaving TLSv1 enabled.  Your vendor would then be able to make an exception in your PCI Compliance Scan.  This solution will be workable until June 30, 2018.

Solution 3:  Ask our technicians

As always, if you need assistance our technicians are standing by and ready to help.  Simply open a ticket with us to get answers to your questions regarding this issue.  You can open a ticket with our us at the following URL:  https://portal.my-tss.com/submitticket.php?step=2&deptid=4

Hopefully, this post has helped you determine a some potential courses of action with regards to bringing your environment back into PCI compliance.  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to open a ticket with us.  Our technical team is always willing to help.

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Total Server Solutions is a growing infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provider based in Atlanta, GA.  As a growing business, we have an immediate opening for a Senior Cloud Sales Specialist.  The Senior Cloud Sales Specialist will help our sales and business development team win business and close deals by showing how cloud solutions from Total Server Solutions represent the best choice for potential and upgrading customers.  

A successful Senior Cloud Sales Specialist has excellent customer service skills and social abilities to represent the Total Server Solutions brand to customers and prospects.  The right candidate will possess the technical skills to help shape discussions with with our corporate customers as well as providing guidance to cloud architects and engineers.  You will assist our sales team in demonstrating and organizing technical presentations for prospects and existing customers wishing to upgrade to a cloud environment.

Why this position is compelling:

  • Our Senior Cloud Sales Specialist will represent the Total Server Solutions brand in both in-house and external discussions to show how our cloud solutions can benefit new customers.
  • To succeed in this position, the best candidate will possess a hunter mindset.
  • Successful candidates will get to share their knowledge and experience with customers.  Our Senior Cloud Sales Specialist will display their expertise in cloud concepts & architecture in any given situation.  You’re not simply sales, you are an educator.
  • You can identify potential customer issues and provide concrete solutions.
  • Plan cloud architectures and demonstrate to customers how and why to utilize our public and private cloud solutions.
  • Assisting in the design and integration phases of services and devices within our public and private cloud to help customers and prospects realize cost savings.

These requirements will help you succeed in this position:

  • A minimum of 10+ years experience working with technical sales providing enterprise infrastructure, system admin, virtualization solutions.
  • A minimum of 3 years experience deploying and designing private & public cloud solutions within corporate environments.
  • A hunter mindset.  This position will be 90% outbound selling.  You will seek out new business opportunities and close deals.
  • A proven ability and track record of nurturing leads and closing deals.
  • Rock solid technical grounding in the latest cloud technologies including VMWARE, OnApp, and OpenStack.
  • Ability to sell an entire solution from bottom to top.
  • Extensive experience with networking technologies that underpin global enterprise networks (routing, switching, firewalls, IPv4/6, etc).
  • Excellent communication and personal skills.  You will usually have to make complex subjects and information easily digestible for less technical customers.
  • You must be self motivated & proactive with new projects.
  • Familiarity with SalesForce.
  • You should be very detail oriented.
  • Excellent closing skills.
  • General understanding of cloud data storage, object storage, and virtualization.
  • Extensive sales experience within corporate and enterprise environments.
  • Must be located in or willing to relocate to Atlanta, GA.

What’s in it for you:

  • Competitive Salaries.
  • Medical Insurance.
  • Paid Time Off.
  • Educational Reimbursement.
  • Employee Activities.
  • Paid Parking.
  • 401k.

If you’ve got what it takes, contact careers@totalserversolutions.com with “Senior Cloud Sales Specialist” in the subject heading.

 

Total Server Solutions is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants are considered for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, ancestry, marital or veteran status.

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Linux Systems Administrator

Location:  Buckhead, Atlanta, GA

Shift 4:00 PM – 12:30 AM

Total Server Solutions is a cutting edge data center & hosted services company based in Atlanta, GA.  Our goal is to provide the best, fastest, and most complete technical services to our customers.  At the moment though, we’re missing a key piece of the puzzle.  You!  We employ some of the best and brightest minds in the tech industry.  If you think you’d be a good fit, please read on.

 

Total Server Solutions is looking for a highly motivated, experienced, knowledgeable Linux/UNIX systems administrator to round our tech team.  If you have years of experience managing large Internet based application clusters, heroic organizational skills, and revel in diagnosing and fixing problems, you’ll be a great fit.  As one of our Linux/UNIX system admins, you will be responsible for working out solutions to complex problems that our customers may encounter during their daily operations.  Great problem solving skills are a must.  As a growing, globally oriented company, we offer a relaxed work environment and great benefits.  We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Requirements:

  • 5+ years of supporting Linux Servers in a production environment; CentOS or Redhat variants.
  • Motivation and ability to quickly learn on your own and adapt to fast pace working environment.
  • Prior experience within a critical production environment.
  • Solid knowledge of LAMP Architectures (Perl/PHP/Python).
  • Knowledge of RedHat, CentOS, and other RPM based distributions.
  • Experience with replication, clustering, tuning, sizing, monitoring including operating systems for running the LAMP stack.
  • Experience in Shell Scripting (bash preferable).
  • Experience in ecommerce plateforms (Magento, X-Cart, PinnacleCart, and CS-Cart)
  • Experience in vitural enviornments (vmware and on app)
  • Experience with Splunk, Zabbix or other system/device monitoring & logging tools.
  • Knowledge of Backup/Recovery/Upgrade procedures.
  • Experience working in 24/7 operational environments.
  • Expectation to be challenged.
  • High degree of independence and exceptional work ethic with exceptional communication skills.
  • Experience with control panel technologies including cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin.
  • Must be located, or willing to relocate to Atlanta, GA area.

 

Not Required but a huge plus:

  • Experience with management tools such as Puppet, Chef, etc.
  • Experience with automated system deployment tools and building pxe/kickstart/etc deployment scripts.
  • Bilingual. (Spanish a plus)
  • Experience with load balancing technologies.
  • Red Hat certifications

 

What you’ll be doing:

  • Linux server maintenance, monitoring, security hardening, performance review
  • Managing MySQL database operations and all things database related.
  • Researching new platform architectures to support business requirements.
  • Interact with customer and provide technical support via our helpdesk and live chat

 

What’s in it for you:

  • Competitive Salaries.
  • Medical Insurance.
  • Paid Time Off.
  • Educational Reimbursement.
  • Employee Activities.
  • Paid Parking.
  • 401k.

 

If you are a Linux System Engineer, Linux System Administrator or Linux Engineer with experience, please contact careers@totalserversolutions.com today!  When contacting Total Server Solutions, please state your salary and any other compensation expectations.

 

Total Server Solutions is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants are considered for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, ancestry, marital or veteran status.

 

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Linux Systems Administrator

Location:  Buckhead, Atlanta, GA

Shift:  8:00AM – 4:30PM

Total Server Solutions is a cutting edge data center & hosted services company based in Atlanta, GA.  Our goal is to provide the best, fastest, and most complete technical services to our customers.  At the moment though, we’re missing a key piece of the puzzle.  You!  We employ some of the best and brightest minds in the tech industry.  If you think you’d be a good fit, please read on.

 

Total Server Solutions is looking for a highly motivated, experienced, knowledgeable Linux/UNIX systems administrator to round our tech team.  If you have years of experience managing large Internet based application clusters, heroic organizational skills, and revel in diagnosing and fixing problems, you’ll be a great fit.  As one of our Linux/UNIX system admins, you will be responsible for working out solutions to complex problems that our customers may encounter during their daily operations.  Great problem solving skills are a must.  As a growing, globally oriented company, we offer a relaxed work environment and great benefits.  We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Requirements:

  • 2-4 years of supporting Linux Servers in a production environment; CentOS or Redhat variants.
  • Motivation and ability to quickly learn and adapt.
  • Prior experience within a critical production environment.
  • Solid knowledge of LAMP Architectures (Perl/PHP/Python).
  • Knowledge of RedHat, CentOS, and other RPM based distributions.
  • Experience with replication, clustering, tuning, sizing, monitoring including operating systems for running the LAMP stack.
  • Experience in Shell Scripting (bash preferable).
  • Experience in ecommerce plateforms (Magento, X-Cart, PinnacleCart, and CS-Cart).
  • Experience in virtual environments (vmware and on app).
  • Experience with Splunk, Zabbix or other system/device monitoring & logging tools.
  • Knowledge of Backup/Recovery/Upgrade procedures.
  • Experience working in 24/7 operational environments.
  • Expectation to be challenged.
  • High degree of independence and exceptional work ethic with exceptional communication skills.
  • Experience with control panel technologies including cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin.
  • Must be located, or willing to relocate to Atlanta, GA area.
  • Ability to work some weekends and some holidays.

 

Not Required but a huge plus:

  • Experience with management tools such as Puppet, Chef, etc.
  • Experience with automated system deployment tools and building pxe/kickstart/etc deployment scripts.
  • Bilingual. (Spanish a plus)
  • Experience with load balancing technologies.
  • Red Hat certifications

 

What you’ll be doing:

  • Linux server maintenance, monitoring, security hardening, performance review
  • Managing MySQL database operations and all things database related.
  • Researching new platform architectures to support business requirements.
  • interact with customer and provide technical support via our helpdesk and live chat

 

What’s in it for you:

  • Competitive Salaries.
  • Medical Insurance.
  • Paid Time Off.
  • Educational Reimbursement.
  • Employee Activities.
  • Paid Parking.
  • 401k.

 

If you are a Linux System Engineer, Linux System Administrator or Linux Engineer with experience, please contact careers@totalserversolutions.com today!  When contacting Total Server Solutions, please state your salary and any other compensation expectations.

 

Total Server Solutions is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants are considered for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, ancestry, marital or veteran status.

 

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imagesOver the course of the past several years, millions of servers running Linux have seen vulnerabilities that allow unprivileged users and apps to obtain root level access.  Most of the major Linux distributions are expecting to fix this vulnerability this week.

According to security researchers from Perception Point, the vulnerability which is within the OS keyring was introduced in the Linux kernel version 3.8 which was released early in 2013 and is still used by some distributions.  The keyring allows apps to store security data including encryption keys & authentication tokens within the kernel in a form that disallows their access by other applications.

To learn more about this vulnerability, the following articles will provide more information.  If you have any specific questions or feel that you may be affected by this vulnerability, please reach out to our technical team.

.

Example unaffected versions:

  • CentOS 4 / 5 / 6
  • RHEL 4 / 5 / 6

 

Example Affected verisions:

  • CentOS 7
  • Debian Jessie (8?)
  • Debian Stretch (9?)
  • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • Ubuntu 15.10

 

Overviews:

http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/01/linux-bug-imperils-tens-of-millions-of-pcs-servers-and-android-phones/

https://threatpost.com/serious-linux-kernel-vulnerability-patched/115923/

 

Proof of Concept code:

https://gist.github.com/PerceptionPointTeam/18b1e86d1c0f8531ff8f

 

Official info:

Perception Point article:  http://perception-point.io/2016/01/14/analysis-and-exploitation-of-a-linux-kernel-vulnerability-cve-2016-0728/

 

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microcloud

 

Some Cloud Terminology You Should Acquaint Yourself With – Part 2
You don’t have to be a certified cloud expert, but given its rapid growth and staying power, you might want to brush up on a few bits of cloud jargon for your own edification.

Not too long ago, we offered up an introductory piece that served to edify total cloud neophytes on some of the most basic bits of jargon you’ll hear in conversations about cloud computing. And when we say most basic, we mean most basic – our first definition was of the cloud itself.  If you want to refresh your memory, Part 1 is here.

Now that you’ve read those and are ready to move from Cloud Terminology 101 to 102, let’s go into a few more definitions of words from the cloud computing lexicon you might not be immediately familiar with. And since many of these are a bit more micro than the macro concepts we covered last time, we’ll cover more topics with less lengthy definitions.

Cloud Migration
As you might have guessed, cloud migration refers to the process of moving your data, services, and any applications from a location (typically on-site and behind a company firewall) to the cloud, where employees can access said data, services, and applications from anywhere they have Internet access. Although it’s becoming slightly less common as more outfits are already cloud-enabled from day one, there are many dedicated cloud migration services to choose from.
Cloud Management
Again, as with cloud migration, the wording of this term is fairly straightforward. Cloud management is the process of monitoring your cloud equipment as well as the data that resides within it. Anyone remotely familiar with the hosting industry knows that server monitoring is a critically important aspect you look for in your provider – if your servers go down, you want to know about it immediately. The same applies for cloud management services – they help ensure that your cloud resources are working normally and have a minimal downtime.

Cloud Portability
Depending on your business’ needs, you may need to migrate your data and applications from one environment to the next from time to time…say, between a private and public cloud. Instead of going through a lengthy migration process each and every time you need to make a switch, it would be much more efficient to initially set up your apps and services to be able to move seamlessly. Being “cloud portable” refers to this quality.

Cloud Server Hosting
Traditionally, when partnering with a hosting company to host your website, you’re provided with a set amount of space on a single physical or virtual server. In cloud server hosting, a provider makes its hosting services available on-demand and provided by any number of connected servers that together make up a cloud.

Example: Total Server Solutions

Vertical Cloud Computing
Any fan of the classic NBC sitcom “30 Rock” will remember that Jack Donaghy was the king of marketing buzzwords. Although his definition of “vertical integration” in the fifth season episode “Let’s Stay Together” is a bit flawed, the core concept is sound enough to give non-marketing folks an idea of its definition.

Basically, vertical integration refers to when a single business owns or controls every point in the supply chain – like a “farm to table” steak restaurant that owned the cattle and handled the butchering of said cattle before serving the resulting steak. It’s an efficient process, and although the definitions are quite different, efficiency is the idea in mind with vertical cloud computing. A vertical cloud is when a provider specializes in a particular industry or service (also known as a “vertical”) to optimize their resources and make the entire operation more efficient.

Cloud Testing

Similar to cloud management, cloud testing is a service to ensure optimal cloud performance. Testing can refer to both load testing (how many users and how much bandwidth) and performance testing of the applications and services provided on the cloud and the ease of accessing them from a variety of devices and locations (similar to bug testing in software development).

That’s all folks (well, at least for now as we may do a part 3 in the near future). In the meantime. Total Sever Solutions offers a cloud package for just about everyone, and we would be more than happy to speak with you about your cloud computing needs.

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Cloud

 

You don’t have to be a certified cloud expert, but given its rapid growth and staying power, you might want to brush up on a few bits of cloud jargon for your own edification.

Don’t you hate that feeling of being at a party or in a meeting when the conversation turns to a topic you know next to nothing about? If it’s a party, you might be able to politely excuse yourself and go grab another drink, but in a business setting, that’s not really an advisable exit strategy.

Sure, you can just smile and nod along, but wouldn’t it be better to understand the back and forth and actually add your own insight? Of course it would be. And when it comes to cloud computing, those conversations about it are only going to increase. The cloud is being utilized in more and more applications every day, and analysts expect cloud spending by businesses to increase 21% in 2016 to a whopping $106 billion in 2016.

Here are some of the most common cloud-related bits of jargon that you’ll be likely to hear thrown around, along with some layman-style definitions.

The Cloud

We’ll start off with the basics here, just in case you’re a total Luddite and are starting from square one. Defined loosely, cloud computing is eschewing utilizing the hardware and software on your local computer in your home or office, and instead utilizing it from a different computer(s) via the Internet. So despite what commercials and advertisements convey, there’s no magical computer-less “cloud” out there – it’s just using somebody else’s equipment.

Example: Total Server Solutions

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS essentially comprises the three main models of cloud computing, along with SaaS and PaaS (which we’ll be getting into here in just a moment). Infrastructure as a Service can be seen as the most fundamental type of cloud computing service offered. The basics of virtualized servers, hard drives, networking and other services are provided to the user, but the user is free to do with them what they choose. That can be great and will serve a lot of basic needs, but you as the end user are still responsible for managing applications, middleware, operating systems, and everything else.

 

Software as a Service (Saas)

This is the practice of using a company’s software as a web-based service as opposed to installing it manually on each and every computer’s local hard drive. Obviously this saves time as each computer or smartphone with an Internet connection can use the full capabilities of a robust suite of software without going through the installation process, but it can save a considerable amount of money as well. Licensing big applications for business-level use can be expensive, so opting to pay a monthly fee to use SaaS is often far cheaper.

 

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS provides a full platform for not only delivering applications over the Internet, but also for users to run, manage, and develop their own applications. For application developers, this can be a godsend – the complexity involved with creating and managing the resources and infrastructure for an application creation environment can be daunting. The PaaS model instead allows developers to existing toolkits and hardware/software for a monthly fee or as a pay-as-you-go model (the more you use, the more you pay).

 

Private Cloud

As the name might suggest, a private cloud is one that is available only to a certain company or enterprise. To the employee or user of a private cloud, it operates in the exact same way a public cloud system would work, with the lone exception being access is only granted toward employees and users granted specific access. This can be advantageous for operations with concerns about security and/or privacy (such as a medical billing company looking to adhere to HIPAA regulations).

 

Hybrid Cloud

As you might expect, the hybrid in the term Hybrid Cloud refers to using a mixture of both on-site storage (or Private Cloud, as we just learned) as well as public cloud systems. This is an attractive option for many companies who have a small set of critical, sensitive data they either prefer or are perhaps obligated to keep on-site, but don’t want to invest in a fully private cloud capable of hosting all of their non-critical data. Hybrid Clouds offer a good deal of flexibility as well, making them a popular choice.

 

Although this article just touches the surface of the sheer amount of cloud definitions, it provides a good start with some of the most basic concepts and cloud service offerings. We’ll look to do an update to this in the near future with some more advanced terminology. In the meantime, be sure to look at the wide variety of cloud packages we offer here at Total Server Solutions. We’re more than happy to work with you to find a service that meets the needs of your business.

 

 

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MicroCloud-Logo

 

You have lots of options when it comes to selecting your hosting provider – we’ll dive into why selecting one with a solid worldwide footprint is crucial.

In today’s hyper-cloud connected world, selecting a hosting provider can quickly become an overwhelming exercise. It’s borderline astounding when one examines the sheer amount of cloud-based hosting providers that exist in today’s marketplace.

There are a lot of metrics you can use to select the best provider for you and your business, which we have covered on the TSS blog before – cost, speed, and customer service are probably the top three that come to mind. But again, with as much competition as there is right now in the hosting space, odds are good that you might find several cloud providers that are around the same price, offer nearly identical IOPS (Input/Output Operations per Second) speeds, and boast 24/7 customer support. How then do you decide who to go with?

One aspect that many don’t think about is how big of a global footprint your hosting provider has. There are several distinct advantages that having numerous datacenters in a wide variety of geographical locations provides that probably aren’t obvious to the average everyday consumer. Let’s take a look at a few.

Enhanced Performance

Even with the lightning fast speed that data travels through the Internet, your proximity to the datacenter on which a website or network is hosted makes a difference. Without going into too many technical details, the closer you are to the server, the faster you’re generally able to access the data that’s on it. It might only be a few fractions of a second here and there, but for many businesses, that slight delay can make all the difference. Imagine you operate an e-commerce outfit and your entire site and infrastructure is hosted in the Bay Area, whereas your closest competitor has datacenters in the Bay Area as well as New York and Chicago. Customers in the Midwest and East Coast can go through the entire shopping cart process without any noticeable lag, but yours tends to bog down and buffer a bit more the further you get away from California. Those few seconds can translate to lots of lost revenue.

Catastrophe and Disaster Mitigation

The old adage of it being wise to never put all your eggs in one basket is applicable in a lot of different areas in life, and cloud hosting is certainly one of them. Using the same hypothetical e-commerce company as above, imagine the disastrous consequences if a mega-quake or some equally destructive occurrence took place in the greater Bay Area. You could quite literally lose everything in a matter of moments. If your data is hosted several different locations, your customers using your online store might not even notice that everything from San Francisco to Los Altos just got swallowed up by the Pacific Ocean. (We’re obviously hoping that this never happens.)

Corporate Stability

This one’s a bit harder to quantify, but generally speaking, a hosting provider that has had the proven successes and established track record to grow into an organization with multiple locations and numerous employees to manage them all probably has their act together. They aren’t some fly-by-night, slipshod organization that could fold up at a moment’s notice due to some financial improprieties – no, you can rest assured that with your hosting provider’s increased size and footprint comes increased stability and longevity.

The TSS Difference

There’s no denying that we’re proud of the company and the team we’ve built here at Total Server Solutions over the years, and due to our dogged commitment to delivering a great product with professionalism and integrity, we have been fortunate enough to grow. Significantly. We now offer 12 locations around the world – nine here in the United States (Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Weehawken, Seattle, and two in Atlanta) as well as three abroad (Toronto, Amsterdam, and London).

Our Salt Lake City and Seattle datacenter locations are the newest to join the TSS family, with the former going online on September 22 and the latter doing the same on September 16. Both of these additions bring specific advantages to our customers. With Salt Lake City, we are providing much-needed local hosting to the huge swath of the nation between California and Chicago, which happens to be home to a burgeoning business scene. And we all know Seattle is home to plenty of tech businesses already, but having a datacenter gives our clients increased connectivity to the rapidly expanding Asian markets.

Our mission is to be 100% committed to the success of our customers, and adding these datacenters shows that we’re also 100% committed to doing whatever it takes to give them the finest cloud hosting options available today, as well as into the future. Sound like something you might be interested in? Please feel free to drop us a line at any time – we’d love to hear from you!