There has been a great deal of innovation around automated provisioning, scaling and decommissioning of cloud services in the past couple of years. The primary driver of this innovation is the ability to easily consume cloud services and pay only for the services that are being used. Creating cloud servers and appliances has become a remedial task to the end user with point-and-click provisioning being performed via slick web portals, while modern day cloud orchestration systems do the heavy lifting on the backend provisioning of the services that were ordered.
Archive for the 'Technology Bits' Category
Your healthcare startup has just secured its second or third round of funding as you prepare to move your apps out of beta testing and into the marketplace. It’s a heady time; your team is filled with anticipation over the impact your solutions could potentially have on the lives of millions. That is, if you last long enough to overcome all the pitfalls and obstacles that startups are subject to. You need to keep one eye on your burn rate and make sure that you’re prioritizing every dollar spent.
As Director of Compliance and Security services at Layered Tech since 2008, I have seen our Compliant Services business grow significantly during that time. With that growth, there has been a noticeable phenomenon related to our startup clients who have reached an attractiveness level high enough to become acquisition targets.
We are in a unique position to see this happen from start to finish. It is a behind-the-scenes supporting role where our economy of scale and simplified audit-service goals lend upward momentum. I have seen this happen several times, including with Layered Tech itself. It is a topic that deserves some background, so let me lay out an example of what I mean.
The PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) is in a release cycle this year, meaning version 3.0 will be released shortly. At this year’s recent Community Meeting of the PCI Security Standards Council, much discussion centered on the new version of the standard, which is why both me and our Chief Risk Officer, Jeff Reich, attended.
Christian Szell: Is it safe? Is it safe?
Babe: You’re talking to me?
You’ve made the decision to move to the cloud, but as with anything, all products aren’t created equal. And like with any complex decision, you need a roadmap.
But let’s start with something important – you need to start to Think Vertical. Many organizations have the responsibility for the compute, storage, data center and network split across manager. Of course, when you only have a few servers in a closet and you’re running a local area network to connect your PCs, it might have been OK. But today it doesn’t make sense. The optimal decisions are totally connected. Let’s say you acquire a new business in Japan. Should you get a high-speed network back to your servers in California? Should you buy a data center cloud service in Japan and put your own servers in there? Or should you connect to a compute & storage cloud service in Singapore?
The next time your IT staff comes to you with a server or storage purchase order and says, “And the price is $1 million,” put on your Jack Nicholson mask, do your best “A Few Good Men” impersonation,” and growl, “Is that the truth? I don’t think so because, you can’t handle the truth.”
The truth is the cost of that hardware is not $1 million. Oh, sure, it’s the one time purchase price, but just like application software, that’s just the beginning of the cost.
It was a pleasure to serve as a judge for the e-Pay Innovation award at the recent ETA Expo in New Orleans, LA. The winner of the $10,000 award was Trak for developing technology aimed at moving Brazil’s population from a paper payment system to a more efficient electronic format.
The ETA Technology Committee oversaw the event, which was part of the 2013 Annual Event and Expo in New Orleans. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding for the winner of the e-Pay Innovation Award and offered scholarships for several startup companies to exhibit in the Payments Next Zone section of the Expo.
The focus of the event was to find startup companies that have a unique payment solution to offer to the unserved and underserved populations of developing countries. The Gates Foundation has a core belief that the developing populations around the world can rise out of poverty much faster if they have access to technology. Electronic payment technology can quickly replace ancient barter systems and rapidly increase commerce, especially in countries where the masses are just now gaining access to mobile phones.
The winning Trak system presents a unique electronic method for processing Beleto transactions in Brazil. Beleto is an old way of presenting paper invoices to the end-use customer who then physically presents payment at the merchant’s bank. The Trak Beleto incorporates a smartphone app that stores customer- and merchant-account information and provides a faster, more streamlined way of completing transactions. Trak is using the Beleto offering in Brazil as a proof of concept to bring to other countries that have no advanced method of conducting transactions beyond old fashioned bartering systems.
The ETA Technology Committee will continue working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to discover innovative payment solutions that can be brought to the unserved and underserved populations around the world. The next event will be at the ETA Strategic Leadership Forum which will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona in October. I would welcome the opportunity to continue serving as a judge on this distinguished panel. It was an honor to meet the legends, entrepreneurs and visionaries in the payment industry who have developed unique and beneficial offerings. And I look forward to watching the evolution of these great ideas as they come to fruition and become available to the masses.
About the Author: As Regional Sales Manager for Layered Tech, Steve Chu (@stevendkchu) brings over 9 years of experience to the Payment and PCI Compliant Hosting industry. His background prior to Layered Tech was with HMS/Micros Systems, which provides a point-of-sale solution for the hospitality industry, and also with global IT consulting firm, Sogeti Capgemini.
Layered Tech customers can select from a full range of Windows- and Linux-based servers to best fit their business needs. Find out more
By Tom Eagle
Layered Tech announced today that Microsoft Windows Server 2008 is now available for rapid server deployments via Astro, our proprietary automated Web hosting platform. With this addition, we offer a full range of operating systems, including high-performance and secure Linux and Unix systems, with servers that can be provisioned almost instantaneously.
“By adding Windows Server 2008 to our rapid deployment server offerings, our customers can stay current with the latest offerings from Microsoft, explore new features with the .NET product offering and leverage a rich Web server environment that is more robust and feature-driven than previous versions of IIS,” said Layered Tech COO and CIO Terrance Bush.
With Windows Server 2008, customers can develop, deliver and manage rich user experiences and applications, provide a highly secure network infrastructure, and increase technological efficiency and value within their organizations.
Through Astro, Layered Tech customers can quickly customize their rapid deployment servers with a wide range of options, including IIS, Plesk control panel, virtual firewall solutions and DefCon bundled managed services. Astro displays server inventory in real-time and enables near instantaneous server provisioning so that within 90 minutes, our customers can easily configure their server, complete the purchase and have the server available for use.
“We continue to evaluate the latest and greatest server technologies to determine what will best meet our customers’ needs and support their business goals,” Bush continued. “We’re excited to make Windows Server 2008 available within our rapid deployment service offering, provide our customers a wide variety of robust operating system options, and deliver powerful servers in less than two hours after selection.”
The Window Server 2008 editions currently available via Astro include:
- Data Center Edition: an enterprise-class platform for deploying business-critical applications on medium and large servers;
- Standard Edition: the most robust Windows Server operating system to date, due to its increased reliability, flexibility and control;
- Enterprise Edition: an enterprise-class platform for deploying business-critical applications.
Through Encompass, Layered Tech’s centralized client management portal, customers can manage their account, request support, reboot servers and access other critical information such as bandwidth graphs, alerts and notifications. Customers can access Astro and buy servers directly through our Web site at www.LayeredTech.com, and with an open API created by Layered Tech, partners can display inventory and coordinate sales in real-time from their own Web sites.
Astro was launched in January 2009 in Layered Tech’s DataBank data center located in Dallas and the rapid deployment platform continues to broaden so customers can take advantage of additional services within minutes, not hours or days. Layered Tech plans to expand Astro into its Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Chicago facilities in the near future.
WELCOME to Layered Tech’s 2nd Episode of LT-TV… “technology edification for the masses”. This episode covers Server Security… and we all know there’s a lot to learn about keeping our computers and data safe. (NO, don’t use your last name or birthday as your password.) Check it out TODAY! >>