Cloud Computing is an upward technological trend, and there is a definite chance that it is being used in some aspect of every business. Businesses are beginning to recognize that cloud computing may be the next component to be incorporated in the overall business plan as it changes how the company can operate.

Benefits to Cloud Computing

When deciding whether to implement cloud computing, there are some great benefits to consider. Moving applications to the cloud could not only lower your costs, but it could better predict what your costs will be. Organizations can now have a single flat monthly cost to maintain the applications. With these applications comes the upgrading, and usually, businesses wait months or even years after it is uploaded to send it off to their staff. Cloud applications are automatically upgraded for all users without waiting for resources to become available to perform an installation. One benefit that the end-user will experience is the ability to work wherever they are, as cloud applications are more practical than PC-based applications. Since they do not require complex installation procedures, businesses can run faster than traditional server-based applications. The most significant benefit of cloud computing is improved business agility. Business agility determines how fast companies can react to an ever-changing marketplace. Cloud platforms give businesses the ability to enhance customized applications, and if companies leverage the capabilities quickly, it allows them to stay ahead of their competitors.

Potential Cloud Pitfalls

With such a significant trend as cloud computing, there also lies the issues that could arise when third parties have control over your data, especially when there is no certainty regarding the data storage locations or how the data is protected. You may think that because you have transferred your data to a third party, those financial liabilities would also apply to them since it is up to the third party to protect your information. They should be liable for any data breaches but rarely is this the case. Your company information is vulnerable to hackers, and data breaches can result in lost, destroyed, or improperly sent data. You risk storing various parties’ data on shared servers, and there are varying laws that govern privacy and data protection across different jurisdictions and geographic locations. Cloud Computing can lead to business disruptions, privacy law violations, and disclosure of confidential information. With these types of risks, financial consequences will occur for both the cloud provider and you, the customer. As businesses become more dependent on cloud technology for daily tasks, learning about the risks and how to protect yourself from these risks are extremely important.

Let us help you make the right cloud choice for your business!

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Jan 14 22
Christina Zumwalt

This year quickly came to an end. The Alto9 blog has covered a wide variety of cloud topics and technologies. We realize everyone is busy and may not have had a chance to read them so here are just a few of our favorites.

The Influence Of Machine Learning On Cloud Computing

Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and conversational interfaces are changing the way design happens.

10 Questions To Ask When Developing A Business Continuity Plan

Every business should have a business continuity plan in place in order to remain operational and efficient should the unexpected happen.

5 Primary Functions Of Cloud Technology

The cloud has found its way into nearly everything and that trend is sure to grow as the flexibility and security of the cloud becomes more prevalent.

How DevOps And The Cloud Work Together

Cloud computing is essential to DevOps as it accelerates IT transformation with advanced tools and automation.

How To Successfully Manage A Hybrid Work Model

Many organizations have made the decision to incorporate a hybrid work model beyond the pandemic.

Why VoIP Is Essential To Business Continuity

The subject of business continuity has become a major topic over the last year and a half.

Using AWS Secrets Manager With EKS And Terraform

On a previous blog post, we talked about using SSM parameters with ECS to pull secrets from a remote store.

The Nuts And Bolts Of Cloud Computing

Although most people do not think about it, they probably use cloud computing every day.

Benefits Of Unified Communications

As businesses continue to realize the overwhelming need for digital transformation, the idea of unified communications has taken center stage.

The QC on Quantum Computing

Here is a little quick conversation about quantum computing and the effects you can expect to see on cloud computing.

Machine Learning And Why It Matters

Machine learning is a technique that helps to teach computers how to do what comes naturally to humans and animals, like learning from experience.

The Benefit of Unified Communications

Unified communications is no longer a “nice to have.” It has become an integral part of daily operations and business continuity.

Happy New year from all of us at Alto9!

Jan 6 22
Christina Zumwalt

New Year, new you! The past two years have been hard globally. That being said, we are ready to head into the new year with optimism and hope for change for the better. Here are a few of our favorite quotes to ring in the new year.

 “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” – Oprah Winfrey

“The magic in new beginnings is truly the most powerful of them all.” – Josiyah Martin

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” – J.P. Morgan

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” – Brad Paisley

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot

“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.” – Vern McLellan

“You can get excited about the future. The past won’t mind.” – Hillary DePiano

“Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.” – Anne Frank

“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – Carl Bard

Happy New Year from all of us at Alto9!

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Dec 29 21
Christina Zumwalt

There must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found,

For when they placed it on his head, he began to dance around!

Hearing Frosty the snowman is one of the great joys of Christmas.

It is finally the time of year, where you get to spend the best times making memories with family and friends. Many people have different traditions for you to participate in, such as making cookies, caroling, watching Christmas movies, and huge Christmas feasts. 

Some family traditions include watching Christmas movies and wearing matching pajamas. Then when the children fall fast asleep, Santa’s elves come out and put all the gifts out at the tree.

Alto9 would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Dec 22 21
Christina Zumwalt
The Benefit of Unified Communications

Unified communications is no longer a “nice to have.” It has become an integral part of daily operations and business continuity. It can improve processes, client communication, and the employee experience. 

Most unified communications platforms offer a host of essential tools that give you an all-in-one solution without having to pay extra for things like meeting software or instant messaging. With all of your communications housed on one convenient platform, scaling and maintaining your system becomes much more manageable. Here are a few key benefits a unified communications can provide.

Simplicity – Deploying, maintaining, and managing a unified communications platform is far faster and easier than traditional PBX systems and replaces far more than just your phone system.

Agility – Creating an agile business model is essential to remain competitive in an ever-changing business landscape. Organizations need to be able to scale at will and work from anywhere. Cloud-based UC platforms offer just that.

Reduced Costs – Since you don’t need to buy physical equipment and can scale up or down with ease, there are significant savings involved with a unified communications platform.

Global Reach – Companies that operate on a global scale with locations and remote workers across the globe are still able to manage operations from a centralized platform that only requires an internet connection.

Flexibility – New functionality can be added to a UC platform in minutes. With continual updates, you won’t have to worry about replacing or upgrading your communications every few years as with a traditional PBX.

Mobility – With the option of using a mobile app for phone calls, texts, chat, document sharing, and more, the increasing demand for mobile-first technology is more than addressed with a UC platform.

Advanced Capabilities – UC platforms come along with a host of features not available through a traditional PBX system. This includes video conferencing, chat, content sharing, and other functionality vital in today ’s business world.

As a Ring Central partner, Alto9 can help you save up to 30% on communication expenses, improve mobile workforce management, while providing a seamless business continuity solution.

Download our guide to learn more

Dec 17 21
Christina Zumwalt

Companies continue to turn to the cloud for the operational agility, flexibility, and scalability needed to respond quickly to changing business challenges and maximize opportunities. It is interesting to note that many of those companies are learning that there are pitfalls to restricting themselves to just one cloud platform and are investing in a multi-cloud structure instead. Multi-cloud configurations provide many environments so IT managers can choose the best option to respond quickly and effectively to each business requirement. However, multi-cloud management is still new and very much in its infancy.

Your multi-cloud strategy should leverage the native cloud management interface from each of your cloud and technology providers. Begin by managing each cloud vendor individually, so you build up the expertise for future phases. Once you have expertise managing each individual vendor, you can gradually transition to and unify your governance of the multi-vendor or multi-cloud environment.
If you are going to manage wisely, you need to keep track of everything and think like a bookkeeper or an accountant. You will need to establish a method for mapping all of your underlying cloud resources to your business services, goals, and costs to optimize your multi-cloud strategy and share strategy successes with your wider enterprise.

Invest in a cloud management solution that provides easy access to private, hybrid, and public cloud environments. Whatever solution you choose it should provide tools to manage visibility, control, and security. It should also have a single interface that puts cloud services from all of your various vendors at your fingertips so you can stand up cloud instances and burstable scalability to meet business demands immediately.

An effective cloud management solution will also provide you with automatic provisioning that matches your workloads and deployments to various cloud types with the best-suited vendor to handle it based on the operational and cost optimization policies you’ve defined. You also receive reusable templates that quickly facilitate new cloud instances while minimizing production errors and downtime. A good multi-cloud management application allows you to consolidate billing from multiple cloud providers, enabling better cost control and management.

Do not overlook security when you choose a cloud management solution. It is also important not to give away all of your control to your cloud providers. Your IT department should still have control over your entire enterprise. If you try to dump all of your IT resources to reduce your budget, you will not be able to sustain your long-term multi-cloud strategy. Your cloud management solution should be able to provide your IT department with oversight of the entire enterprise environment, including all servers, storage, managed services, network, and billing. A good multi-cloud management solution will allow IT to safely empower cloud users to configure and manage their own cloud instances.

Look for a provider with experience in deploying and managing cloud solutions. Your provider should also have the ability to quickly respond and address any conflicts that emerge when services interact. Make sure your cloud management provider can supply regular and straightforward reports about the state of all your cloud solutions.

Use your cloud management platform for cost optimization. Leverage it for cost analysis of similar workloads when that workload is placed in a different cloud. Keep a close eye on the tool’s provisioning, migration, monitoring, integration, and orchestration capabilities.

Alto9 is a Cloud solutions firm created to help customers migrate to and make the most of Amazon Web Services. Cloud computing is a rapidly changing paradigm that requires a specialized focus, and our Amazon Certified engineers have the depth of experience and know-how to make sure your Cloud infrastructure runs efficiently, securely, and scales with you as your business grows.

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Dec 10 21
Christina Zumwalt

Thanksgiving is upon us, and it is just in time. Thanksgiving is the best time of the year, as you get to spend it with friends and family. Here are some fun and interesting Thanksgiving facts.

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 over a three day harvest festival. It included 50 Pilgrims, 90 Wampanoag Indians, and lasted three days. It is believed by historians that only five women were present.

Turkey wasn’t on the menu at the first Thanksgiving. Venison, duck, goose, oysters, lobster, eel, and fish were likely served alongside pumpkins and cranberries (but not pumpkin pie or cranberry sauce!).

Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday on October 3, 1863. Sarah Joseph Hale, the woman who wrote “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” convinced Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday after writing letters for 17 years.

The history of U.S. presidents pardoning turkeys is patchy. Harry Truman is often credited with being the first president to pardon a turkey, but that’s not quite true. He was the first to receive a ceremonial turkey from the National Turkey Federation – and he had it for dinner. John F. Kennedy was the first to let a Thanksgiving turkey go, followed by Richard Nixon, who sent his turkey to a petting zoo. George H.W. Bush is the president who formalized the turkey pardoning tradition in 1989.

There are four towns in the United States named “Turkey.” They can be found in Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, and North Carolina.

The average number of calories consumed on Thanksgiving is 4,500.

Butterball answers more than 100,000 turkey-cooking questions via their Butterball Turkey Hotline each November and December.

The tradition of football on Thanksgiving began in 1876 with a game between Yale and Princeton. The first NFL games were played on Thanksgiving in 1920.

More than 54 million Americans are expected to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday this year. That’s up 4.8% from last year.

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Nov 24 21
Christina Zumwalt

Veterans Day is celebrated on the eleventh day at the eleventh hour, in the eleventh month. Here are some interesting facts about Veterans Day that you may not know.

1. It’s not “Veteran’s Day” or “Veterans’ Day”—Veterans Day is actually spelled without an apostrophe.

2. Originally, Veterans Day was known as “Armistice Day,” which began to be celebrated on the one-year anniversary of when the agreement to cease fire was made to end World War I.

3. The official end of World War I (known as “The Great War” as well as “The War to End All Wars”) was not until June of 1919 with a signed treaty.

4. November 11th is the date of Veterans Day each year, with only the day of the week fluctuating. What’s the significance of that exact date? The armistice between the allied forces and Germany was put into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

5. In 1938, Armistice Day was officially made into a legal holiday.

6. In 1954, Armistice Day was updated by Congress to be known as Veterans Day, since the United States had fought in two other massive wars (World War II and the Korean War), and this would allow veterans of all wars to be honored.

7. From 1971-1977, the “Uniform Holiday Bill” went into effect, which moved Veterans Day from a set-date on November 11th, to being celebrated on a Monday, which would allow Federal employees to have a three-day weekend.

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Nov 11 21
Christina Zumwalt

Machine learning is a technique that helps to teach computers how to do what comes naturally to humans and animals, like learning from experience. Machine learning uses computational methods to “learn” information from data directly without relying on a predetermined equation as a model. These algorithms improve their performance as the number of samples become available from learning increases.

Why Does Machine Learning Matter?

Machine learning has become a key technique for solving problems in areas with the rise in big data. Some essential techniques include:

Computational Finance – used for credit scoring and algorithmic trading

Image Processing and Computer Vision – used for face recognition, motion detection, and object detection

Computational Biology – used for tumor detection, drug discovery, and DNA sequencing

Energy Production – used for price and load forecasting

Automotive, Aerospace, and Manufacturing – used for predictive maintenance

Natural Language Processing – used for voice recognition applications

When and Why Should You Use Machine Learning?

A good time to use machine learning would be when you have a complex task or problem involving a large amount of data and lots of variables, but you do not have an existing formula or equation. Machine learning is used in a large number of applications today. Facebook’s news feed is one of the most well-known, and it uses machine learning to personalize each member’s feed. It recognizes when you scroll past certain things but stop to read certain articles or posts, and it will start to show more activity similar to what you were reading earlier in your news feed. It uses statistical analysis and predictive analytics to identify patterns in your data and uses those patterns to populate news feeds. When you no longer stop to look at certain things, it also collects that data and will adjust your newsfeed accordingly.

Machine learning is opening up a new frontier in cloud computing. The cloud is becoming smarter every day. The cloud we use today is intelligent. Machine learning is now a primary focus for the cloud and a necessity for many enterprises in order to stay on top of business intelligence and to optimize their business models by incorporating the best of the IoT, bots, and personal assistants. We explore in greater depth five ways that machine learning is influencing the cloud.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things has been evolving over the last several decades existing in several different forms. Today cloud computing is redefining the IoT with its data-driven platforms. These platforms can capture enormous amounts of data from a variety of data types in order to query, process, and analyze the data to identify significant trends and make the IoT more intelligent. One of the best case studies to demonstrate the value of machine learning on the IoT is that of predictive maintenance. Machine learning algorithms help to create the right model that is best matched for understanding the patterns found in datasets generated by industrial devices. The models can search for anomalies in the datasets that vary from the predicted normal patterns that can result in the failure or breakdown of equipment. The neat thing about machine learning is that these anomalies or faults can be identified and detected before a user ever notices them. This form of predictive maintenance is powerful and opens the door for industrial IoT to evolve to the next level.

Business Intelligence

Big Data and Apache Hadoop caused great disruption to the traditional data warehouse. The move is to bring Machine Learning closer to the enterprise data warehouse so that decision-makers can glean intelligent insights from their existing data. By bringing machine learning closer, it will enable more accurate trend forecasting. Every part of the enterprise from SCM, CRM, ERP, MRP, HR, Sales, and Finance will benefit from the more accurate insights driven by Machine Learning

All the major cloud players, including Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft, are building bridges between traditional business intelligence platforms and Machine Learning-based tools. Developers and architects can connect the dots easily with the bridges connecting business intelligence platforms with Machine-learning tools to build the next generation of business intelligence tools.

Machine learning is instrumental in today’s society in order to determine and analyze patterns in data. It also helps to teach computers things that humans and animals are already familiar with. Machine learning is very important and something that will continue to grow.

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Nov 5 21
Christina Zumwalt

It is almost time for the spookiest day of October. Make sure to get as much candy and scares as possible! Here are some facts about Halloween:

1. “Jack o’ lantern” comes from the Irish legend of Stingy Jack

2. Candy corn was originally called Chicken Feed

3. Trick-or-treating comes from “souling”

4. The most lit jack o’ lanterns on display is 30,581

5. Halloween folklore is full of fortune-telling and magic

6. Day of the Dead should really be called Days of the Dead

7. Michael Myers’ mask is actually a William Shatner mask

8. Halloween originated from an ancient Celtic festival

9. Des Moines has a hilarious tradition called Beggars’ Night

10. The White House is haunted

Here at Alto 9 we hope you all enjoy your Halloween!

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Oct 29 21
Christina Zumwalt