Nashville IT Services

Archive for the ‘Cloud’ Category

AWS vs Oracle Cloud Services: Who Comes Out on Top?

oracle vs aws battle

In the tech world, we often play front row to several battles amongst giants. Some are ongoing and will be fought until the end of time, like Sony’s PlayStation vs. Microsoft’s Xbox. Some have already been decided, like HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray. Others seem to descend into legal battles, like Facebook vs. any country.

When it comes to AWS and Oracle, this is definitely one of those battles that is ongoing. It’s hard to see Amazon going anywhere anytime soon and Oracle is a global power in its own right, having been around for over 40 years.

Both of these companies offer cloud services so when it comes to choosing one for your business, which one should you go with?

We’re going to run through the pros and cons of each service and help you decide which one you should choose.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

aws logo

Amazon Web Services has been around for almost 15 years now as a subsidiary of the eCommerce giant, Amazon (maybe you’ve heard of them). Thousands of companies around the world use AWS, such as GE, Expedia, Kellogg’s, and even Time Magazine.

AWS prides itself on being secure, compliant, and scalable to fit needs. Although their customers listed above are giant corporations, AWS can scale down to meet the needs of small businesses and even individuals.

It is used across a wide number of sectors such as manufacturing, financial services, fitness, real estate, healthcare, gaming, media, and more. Can you use it for your business? Let’s find out.

AWS Pros

Name Recognition

Just to get the obvious point out of the way, AWS comes with name recognition. There’s a reason that Amazon, as a whole, has become a global trillion-dollar company. With such name recognition, AWS has built up a great deal of trust.

Not only does it come with the Bezos stamp of approval, but AWS has compiled the most compliance certifications for its cloud services. Sure, it’s been able to become a powerhouse because of the name, but its past track record has helped it stay as one of the top cloud services in the business.

Ease of Use

Some cloud services can be a bit tough to understand, especially if you’re not used to working in such a sector or have relative experience. AWS, on the other hand, is oft-raved about because of its simplicity.

The platform itself is clear, organized, and very user-friendly. If you’re diving into AWS for the first time, your learning curve isn’t going to be as steep as you might find with other services. With nearly 15 years of experience and thousands of users around the globe, AWS has had the time to refine and refurbish its offerings for potential new users.

Scalable

One of the best features of AWS is its scalability. We already mentioned how large companies such as GE use AWS, but there are also plenty of options for smaller businesses and individuals. In the past, companies were forced to purchase a set amount of data storage. If you were a smaller company, you might find yourself purchasing more data than you needed and wasting money.

Not anymore.

Now, you can find a scalable data option for your business and purchase the right amount. If your business grows in the future, you can adjust your plan and scale to your changing needs.

Speed

When it comes to speed, you’d be hard-pressed to find another cloud service that moves quicker than AWS. Users often find that they can set up an application in just minutes and then dive into work. This will save you time and money, two of the most precious commodities in this world.

Payment Options

While we’ll dig into price specifics later, one thing that users love about AWS is its pay-as-you-go option. This makes payment simple and goes right in line with their scalable options. When you need more data storage, you can pay for it. If you’re using less, you can reduce your costs.

Flexible payment is something that businesses have come to expect from their services and AWS delivers.

AWS Cons

Bill Shock

We ended with a pro on payment, so we’ll start with a con on payment.

While the pay-as-you-go is a plus for many users, customers have reported bill shock ever since AWS’s inception. Usually, this happens when you are using more data than you realize and before you know it, you have a giant bill at the end of the month.

It’s vital that you enable monitoring for your account so you can set alerts and be aware of how much you’re spending and what type of monthly bill you can expect.

Amazon EC2 Limitations

While Amazon and AWS are global, users across different regions will find they have limitations on their services. Unfortunately, AWS sets default limits on resources which could consist of images, volumes, snapshots, and more.

You can request upgrades, but once again acquiring these upgrades may vary from region to region. It’s best to speak with an AWS representative before being 100% positive you’re going to have a set amount of resources.

Outages

Even the most robust systems in the world will experience occasional downtime or outages. Unfortunately for AWS, they seem to have occurred more frequently than with other cloud services.

In fact, AWS has had some very noteworthy outages over the past decade. One of the biggest was in 2016 when storms in Sydney, Australia knocked AWS data centers offline for 10 hours over a weekend. Many businesses were hurt by the outage, including some huge brands and websites.

They have also had similar outages across the US, including the infamous Friday the 13th outage.

Poor Data Policies

Last on our list is the AWS data policy. While AWS will compensate customers for credits when it comes to service outages, there is no such compensation for data loss.

If your business loses out on valuable data, AWS probably isn’t going to compensate you for the issue.

Oracle

oracle logo

Oracle has been in the business since 1977, starting in what is now Silicon Valley. While they may not have the name recognition that Amazon does, Oracle is one of the largest businesses in the world, and its founder Larry Ellison is one of the richest men in the United States.

Like Amazon, Oracle is a global brand and has centers everywhere from Tokyo to Sao Paulo. They have some big-name clients, such as Bank of America, PNC, and Zoom. Like AWS, they can cater to many different users and sized businesses.

Pros

Customization

One of the top features of Oracle is its simple and smooth customization. Clients can enter Oracle and ensure that it meets their unique requirements. Oracle knows that every client is different and wants to ensure that each interaction is efficient and streamlined.

Scalable Options

Similar to AWS, Oracle has scalable options for all types of businesses and individuals. It can work for places as large and global as Zoom and it can also work for small businesses. Just because it’s a recognizable brand with thousands of clients around the web doesn’t mean you should shy away from it.

You can also use as much or as little data as you want and have costs vary depending on your needs.

Solid Technology Stack

Oracle, in a few words, knows what you need. They deliver apps, middleware, and database as an all-encompassing, well-integrated system. With Oracle, you won’t have to be running around and investigating various third-party services to be integrated and becoming frustrated when integration isn’t successful.

Simple Setup

While AWS may take the crown for overall ease of use, Oracle has regularly drawn praise for its easy setup and network integration, meaning there are fewer hoops to jump through and steps to take to ensure a successful setup.

Customer Support

While it may be minor, Oracle has received rave reviews for its rapid and efficient customer service. It’s always good to know that a large company cares about their customers.

Cons

Pricing Options

Many users have noted that Oracle seems better suited for high-end functionalities and services. While Oracle does offer various cloud service options for clients, many have noted that the less expensive, minimal options are often not enough.

They lack some functionalities and processes that the higher-end options have, forcing you to spend a bit more in order to get the most out of Oracle’s potential.

Poor Internet Can Have Big Effects

Of course, the cloud needs the internet to survive and while Oracle hasn’t as high-profile outages as AWS has, Oracle seems to lose significant usage when faced with poor internet connections. Sometimes, something loading or behaving slower can be more frustrating than something just not working at all.

No Mobile Option

We’re always on our phones for personal or professional use and if a service doesn’t offer a mobile app, then that can be frustrating. Unfortunately, Oracle does not have a mobile option at this time.

Even though you’re used to working on cloud-based platforms from a computer, it’d be nice to at least have the option of being able to use the service from your phone.

AWS vs Oracle Pricing

Doing an exact pricing comparison between AWS and Oracle is challenging because both offer flexible options and pay-as-you-go plans. In fact, both services offer so many various options that it makes it almost impossible to present a side-by-side comparison when it comes to exact pricing.

One of the easiest charts, however, is the price per GB per month.

aws and oracle pricing gb per month

As you can see, Oracle clearly has cheaper options than AWS across all regions listed here.

The easiest thing to do, however, is to use their pricing calculators.

AWS has an estimate calculator that will let you examine all of their services while mixing and matching what you may need. A live estimate will be kept at the bottom so you can keep track of your anticipated costs.

Oracle also offers a cost estimation tool, called the Cloud Cost Estimator, which functions exactly like AWS’s calculator. You’ll be able to browse services, mix and match, and a running tally will be kept at the bottom for you.

Both of these tools are necessary before you go investigating the price. As services can vary greatly and business needs will also be different, it’s vital that you make use of these handy tools in finding the most cost-effective option for your business.

What’s the Verdict?

Now that we’re at the end, is there a clear winner? In the battle of cloud services, which one comes out on top?

We hate to disappoint, but we honestly can’t choose between AWS and Oracle.

At Atiba, we pride ourselves on being product agnostic and we’ve seen both services do wonders for all kinds of different businesses. That’s why we offer both Oracle support and AWS support because we know how valuable they can be to different parties.

If you have an AWS or Oracle project coming up or just want help choosing between these two services, reach out to us today for a free quote. We can’t wait to help and provide support along the way.

 

What a Nashville Azure Consultant Can Do For You

nashville azure consultant

Atiba is Nashville’s Leading Azure Consultant

Originally published December 24, 2019. Updated October 21, 2020.

Do you have your head in the clouds lately? For those looking at cloud migration services, you’ve probably had your head stuck in the clouds for more than a few weeks now.

That’s OK, we often have our head stuck in the cloud as well.

One of the hardest steps is determining which cloud service you’re going to choose. The main players in the business are Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, and Google Cloud Platform. For businesses, you want to make sure you choose one and stick with it. After all, that’s where all of your business data and information is going to be stored. Plus, you’re going to want the added security now that your employees are working from home in their pajamas.

As die-hard computer nerds, our crew at Atiba likes them all!  All three provide similar services and all three have proven to be reliable and cost-effective.

But, we’ve found a lot of people like to go with Azure. Not just because it has a cool name (OK, maybe that’s part of the reason). Below, we’re going to run over what makes Azure so great and what you need for a Nashville Azure consultant.

Our Favorite Things About Microsoft’s Azure

nashville azue consulting

Azure is Highly Secure

We’d be lying if we said we weren’t looking forward to using that rhyme all day.

In a nutshell, Azure is the most secure cloud platform out there. Microsoft prides itself on having a secure model and uses a Detect, Assess, Diagnose, Stabilize, and Close model. Maybe a bit too long for a catchy title, but the proof is in the pudding with how secure their service is.

Azure takes extra steps into protecting your data from unauthorized access, including Microsoft personnel. In a world where data is a commodity and big tech companies are often under the microscope for what they do with your data, it’s reassuring to know that Microsoft is taking the step to leave your data in your hands.

One feature we really like is the Customer Lockbox. It’s a way for you and your clients to upload and securely download documents. It’s better than sending things over email or meeting in a sketchy alley

Top-Notch Scalability

Those who have been browsing cloud options have no doubt come across this word. What exactly does it mean?

Let’s say that your business is running reports daily and 25 out of the 30 days of the month, these reports are normal and require minimal computing power. However, on those other five days, you notice a huge uptick in reporting which requires an influx of computer power.

Azure really shines here and makes it incredibly simple to scale your computer power depending on your needs. Just how easy do they make it? You only have to click a button. That’s it.

While some of Microsoft’s other tools may not be as flashy or simple to the everyday user, Azure makes it easy for you to scale your power based on your business needs.

Extremely Low Downtime

Think about the last time your internet went out. Even if it was just for five minutes, it was annoying and a pain. We rely so much on technology and we need our devices and items to be working all the time.

Azure goes a step further and offers a service level agreement, or SLA, guaranteeing 99.95% of uptime over the course of the year. For those keeping track at home, that’s about 4.5 hours of downtime for the entire year or only 40 seconds for every day. About the same amount of time that it takes us to daydream about our dream vacation.

That’s because Microsoft has data centers all around the globe, meaning that their services are guaranteed to be up and running whenever you need them.

Cost-Effectiveness

It’s all about the money, right?

We know that IT costs can skyrocket if left unwatched and a bill can come out of nowhere to surprise you (oh yeah, we did sign up for that service).

Another reason Azure has been a favorite with many of our clients is that it offers a pay-as-you-go pricing option. This means that small and medium-sized businesses can finetune their budgets and only use as much of the cloud as they need to.

Plus, costs can be reduced because both customer applications and internal apps can be launched in the cloud. This will save money on IT infrastructure while also lowering any costs of hardware and overall maintenance.

Why Your Business Needs a Nashville Azure Consultant

With all of those benefits, why do you need to hire a Nashville Azure consultant? While we love Azure, it does come with some drawbacks. That’s where we come in. As leading Azure consultants in the Nashville area, we provide a number of different services.

It Requires Expertise

Although Azure does have some easy parts, getting the most out of Azure does require significant platform expertise. In order to make sure that everything is working together efficiently, you do need a consultant to maximize your platform.

One of the most common rookie mistakes we see is administrators over-provisioning their cloud services. This can lead to a huge financial setback for a business, oftentimes in the thousands of dollars range. Since Azure is used by so many small and medium-sized businesses, those extra costs are burdens you don’t want to pay for.

It Requires Consistent Management

Unfortunately, Azure isn’t as plug-and-play as other services out there and requires consistent management, especially when working with a large number of end-users.

Azure, like most other cloud services, requires regular patching and server monitoring. Does this mean that you need someone monitoring it 24/7? No, of course not, but it helps to have someone be managing your cloud on a consistent basis.

Atiba Can Serve as Your Azure Consultant

As you can see, there are lots of reasons why you want to go with Azure. Its scalability, cost-effectiveness, and high levels of security make it one of the best cloud service options for all types of businesses. If you’re looking to get set up with Azure or just want to know more, feel free to reach out to Atiba. We offer the best Azure consulting services in Nashville and have been working with various businesses for nearly thirty years.

Not only are we Azure experts, but we also pride ourselves on same-day response time. We offer 24/7 support and 1-hour response time on critical issues.

Interested in learning more or want to see how we can help? Reach out for a free quote today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Remote-Only the way of the future?

A day in the life of a Nashville computer geek:   Remote-Only

Published April 12, 2020, in The Tennessean – JJ Rosen

It was just a few short weeks ago that a day-in-the-life at work meant shaking hands with people, meeting over coffee, flying places, and grabbing an occasional beer with some co-workers.   Online meetings were not uncommon, but face-to-face was always preferred and often needed to be efficient.

Flash forward to today.

With an ongoing global pandemic, everything about work has changed.  This change from our daily norms has not only been drastic, but it’s also been sudden.  For most of us, the transition to being  100% isolated at home, doing all meetings virtually, and having work and family-life become one and the same has been challenging to say the least.

For me, a creature of habit (for better or worse), I was completely out of whack for the first couple of weeks of this new life.  But as time has gone by, new routines and work habits have formed. Although it’s taken a bit of getting used to, I’ve started to settle in and somehow feel comfortable.  The whole situation is still weird, but I guess I’ve managed to adjust.

But what’s been interesting and unexpected is that some of the friends and co-workers I talk to are not just feeling more comfortable working only at home, but they’re also beginning to feel more productive working only at home.

I don’t think there are any silver linings to a global pandemic that is causing so much suffering.  But in the context of work, the situation we all find ourselves in these past few weeks is presenting some alternative ways of doing business.

Virtual meetings over Zoom, Slack, or Microsoft Teams, have cut down on the amount of time it takes to physically gather.  All of a sudden, it’s become acceptable to video conference with co-workers and clients in faraway places rather than to deal with the time, expense, and hassle of travel.   And even meetings that you would normally have face-to-face in your office have become faster and more efficient when they are moved online.

Commutes have alternated from 30 minutes of driving to 30 seconds of walking from the kitchen to the quietest place in the house to get some work done.   There is now more time in the day to manage as each person sees fit.

Business phone calls have become less formal and less stressful.   Who would have thought I could take care of several business calls while simultaneously walking around my neighborhood getting some exercise?   Where it used to be embarrassing to have your kid crying or a dog barking in the background of the conference call, it’s now no big deal.

Will these new ways of working stick?

No one knows how long we will need to stay home.  But, if working this way makes employees happier, more productive, and more efficient, we may be in for a transformation from the way business has always been done.  At least for some sectors, fancy conference rooms and corner offices may become obsolete in favor of simply working in an old chair at the dining room table.

There are some companies, especially in the tech world, that we’re already seeing the upside of being a completely remote workforce before the pandemic was forced upon us.  Studies of these early-adopters have revealed that ditching the office and making an entire company remote-only does indeed increase employee happiness and productivity.   Which in turn increases retention and profits.

As technology advancements make it simpler and easier to keep us connected no matter where we work, we can expect our new norm to become a permanent change to the way many of us work.

 

While you’re here, be sure to check out our blog on how to stay safe as a remote worker or head to our services page to learn more about what we do.

JJ Rosen is the founder of Atiba, a Nashville IT consulting and custom software development firm.  Visit Atiba.com or AtibaNetworkServices.com for more info.

 

Nashville Google Fiber

Nashville Google Fiber

Google announced yesterday that they have chosen to expand their Google Fiber gigabit Internet service to Nashville. This is big news for Nashville and all of Middle Tennessee.

Gigabit Internet service translates to connection speeds of 1 Gbps, or 1000 Mbps. This means some user’s speeds will increase up to 100 times faster than their current, basic broadband service.

History has shown that with increased bandwidth comes increased productivity.  As we have moved many of our clients to the cloud over the past few years, bandwidth has become more important than ever.  Connections of this magnitude will change the landscape of what we use and view on our laptops and PDAs. Faster Internet speeds will translate to greater convenience, more flexibility, seamless collaboration, and open the doors to using technology in brand new ways. That equates to gaining efficiencies and building economic growth. All good news for our fair city and surrounding areas!

The city is buzzing with excitement

“It’s exciting to see Nashville recognized as a high opportunity, high growth technology market. The ubiquity of online content and data will affect businesses of all sizes in a positive way.  The future is now even brighter for Nashville.  Atiba is excited to be a part of that growth.” says JJ Rosen, CEO of Atiba.

Mayor Karl Dean added after Google’s announcement, “I am happy to announce that after almost a year of anticipation, Google Fiber is coming to Nashville… There was a lot of competition, and I think they’ve made a very wise choice.”

Google has already successfully launched the service in Provo, Kansas City and Austin. In the second wave of roll-outs, Google will launch the new, subscription-based service in several Nashville neighborhoods beginning in 2015, along with other areas of Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte.

The Atiba Team is excited about the future and embraces Nashville Google Fiber as part of that mix.  We are already exploring ways our clients can leverage this new service. If you have a question or idea of how to leverage gigabit Internet or another service, give us a shout by emailing us at Atiba.Team@atiba.com

Can You Trust the Cloud?

Question:  Is the cloud safe?  Since the term “Cloud Computing” was coined 15 years ago that’s the question we are asked most frequently.

Answer:  Given our imperfect world, safety is a relative concept, so we manage risk.

An alarming number of companies have only one copy of their data, leaving them a tornado, flood or fire away from complete loss. I’ve seen backup operators store “offsite” tapes in the trunk of their car!  Safety is relative.  Is the Cloud more safe than your trunk or the office’s storage room?  Most likely.