CopperEgg

Your Customer’s Experience During a Hack Attack

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In addition to my own posts, I also write for CloudTweaks, an authority on cloud computing. My most recent post forcuses on the need for cloud service providers to truly know what their customers feel, especially when under attack. Here is an excerpt:

One of the more dramatic and visible aspects of computing in the age of the cloud is the “attack.” Banks, governments, retailers and other high-profile organizations are hit regularly, in many cases daily, by hackers seeking either to steal data, as happened to Target and Tesco very recently, or to sabotage a site, as best illustrated by the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks experienced by NATO and the freelancing website Elance.com just this week. Hacker attacks serve as a wakeup call to companies of any size, reminding IT managers and executives of the risks involved in doing business on a globally connected network.

For IT companies, another wake-up call comes from these stories: no matter which letter precedes their “aaS” moniker, as in SaaS, PaaS, DaaS, IaaS or even ITMaas, customers need to feel that they and their industry are understood. Take website design, for example. Websites have grown in sophistication and complexity in the two decades since CERN revealed the very first one  in 1995, but very often the designers of these sites forget the end user experience in favor of a sleek look and feel. Complicated forms, for example as might be offered by a mass transit company, incorporate data from Google Earth into a their own scheduling software in order to assist patrons in choosing the correct bus or train route. But if these forms do not work correctly on a particular device, an iPad or smartphone, for example, then the functionality and convenience is lost. Website designers worth their salt will incorporate a cast of “user profiles” in designing a site, including the student, the grandma, the busy executive, the newly arrived immigrant – all with a different approach to using technology, and with different challenges in understanding commands and procedures for using the site. They will also factor in the variety of user platforms, from old PCs through to the newest phones. Such awareness of a customer’s experience is crucial during both the design and testing phase and can make the difference between success and failure.

To read the full post, please visit CloudTweaks here.

CloudTweaks

 

Technology for FOLO (the fear of losing out)

CopperEgg and GravyIn addition to my own posts, I also write for CloudTweaks, an authority on cloud computing. My most recent post forcuses on the social condition known as “fear of losing out (FOLO)”, a direct consequence of being online all the time. The post covers a technology created by Gravy which adds a new dimension of immediacy to your social awareness and its corresponding calendar. Here is an excerpt:

A timely addition to the acronym-laden family tree of modern language, right up there with YOLO (you only live once), and many evolutionary steps beyond the great-grandparents OMG and ROTFL, comes the wonderful term FOLO. This stands for “fear of losing out,” and quite concisely reflects the attitude of many millions of busy and connected people of all ages, for whom 24/7 access to Internet-based information remains a necessity – multidimensional and ever-expanding, with data both incoming and outgoing across a range of social media platforms. For these types of people there exists an appetite for knowledge and awareness that cannot be satiated.

The need to know is a very human one, and hence FOLO, the fear of losing out, of not knowing about every activity or item of knowledge that is out there, is a natural outcome. This desire, at least on the entertainment and leisure side is being answered by increasingly sophisticated hyperlocal mobile apps such as Gravy, which shows its customers every event happening nearby, and which can find solutions for their entertainment wanderlust by using their phone’s geolocation features combined with a smart recommendation algorithm.

To read the full post, please visit CloudTweaks here.

CloudTweaks

The Power of Custom Metrics in Cloud Server Monitoring

CopperEgg LogoIn addition to my own posts, I also write for CloudTweaks, an authority on cloud computing. My most recent post focuses on the need for IT managers to use custom dashboards in order to see through the morass of information in front of them, in order to predict and avoid damaging issues such as slow page-load speeds, or to easily track and rectify the source of the problem. Here is an excerpt:

Have you ever watched an auction? Whether people are seeking to buy fine art, cars or livestock, they will spend time at an auction house, in order to place their bids and hopefully snag a deal. A well-run auction is a fascinating event to watch, and most interesting of all is the person who calls out the prices and acknowledges the bids. The auctioneer uses a keen eye to identify the most subtle of gestures from the audience: the flick of a single index finger, a raised eyebrow, or a gesture of the head is all that is needed to read the intentions of the bidding floor and move the process ever upwards.

Wouldn’t it be great if that same subtle ability existed for IT managers? To be able to look over a collection of dashboards and readouts and immediately detect a subtle spike or an errant digit that signifies trouble ahead? Granted, there are some people who are able to do just this – usually after many years of constant practice and daily experience – but for companies struggling with continued growth as well as modifications and upgrades to their systems as well as a highly volatile marketplace, the capacity to notice subtle warning signs just can’t keep pace.

To read the full article, please visit CloudTweaks here.

CloudTweaks

 

I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know

CopperEgg LogoIn addition to my own posts, I also write for CloudTweaks, an authority on cloud computing. My most recent post focuses on another common IT issue: not being able to locate a problem due to outdated or inadequate monitoring software. The bottom line is it is seconds, not hours, that are required to root out danger quickly, or better yet, before it happens. The article features solutions provided by Austin, TX-based CopperEgg. Here is an excerpt:

What happens when the IT person doesn’t know where the source of a system failure is? What happens when that same IT person has to go and explain to an executive that the source of the problem cannot be found quickly, due to an organically-evolved legacy system or diagnostic tools that cannot reveal what is truly happening under the hood? What kind of answer can be given when the boss asks why we didn’t see this coming?

Such scenarios are enough to make most IT managers wake up at 3 a.m. in a cold sweat.

Minutes count, but seconds count even more. A sudden surge in social media activity for example, might place greater demand on a system which, if properly balanced and prepared, would likely be able to handle the increased load. But if a monitoring system is slow, outdated, or vague, or if it does not provide alerts in advance – based on current needs and past performance – then the crash comes first and frenzied diagnosis must follow afterwards.

To read the full article, please visit CloudTweaks here.

CloudTweaks

An Antidote To Overprovisioning

In addition to my own posts, I also write for CloudTweaks, an authority on cloud computing. My most recent post focuses on a common IT issue: overprovisioning as a means to outpace demands on a dynamic and growing cloud server system. The article features solutions provided by Austin, TX-based CopperEgg. Here is an excerpt:

CopperEgg LogoThere are many situations in this world – both the virtual world of computing, and the real world, where preparedness means having more than you need. Stocking up on food, medicines, or printer paper and toner makes it easy to get things done in a timely fashion rather than having to run back out to the store.

But this preparedness comes with a price. Materials that sit on shelves waiting to be used occupy space and devour available funds. They must have great and tangible value to justify their existence, which is why so many large manufacturers rely instead on just-in-time delivery and lean techniques to ensure a smooth flow of supplies without the costly overhead.

These same efficiencies are also essential in maintaining virtual systems, but this still feels uncomfortable to administrators charged with the responsibility of keeping systems both functional and up-to-date. In the days when much of a network depended on hard physical assets such as servers and memory, it was common for admins to over-purchase as a practical alternative to the cost in labor, time and funds to buy and install upgrades on spec, or the danger involved in keeping extra parts on the shelf. It was much easier to simply buy more than needed and install it all at once…

To read the full article, please visit CloudTweaks here.

CloudTweaks