image courtesy to: exotel.in
Although cloud adoption is growing at an amazing rate, many CIOs still have doubts when it comes to choosing the right service provider. Certainly, making such a decision is by no means an easy task. Still, even if you’re sure a particular company offers all you need, you shouldn’t rush into signing a SLA with them. Before signing a contract with a cloud provider and making a long-term commitment, you might want to contemplate several important things.
Security and authorization
If you’re familiar with the way cloud technology works, you must have realized the potential risks of storing your data there. Security has always been a heated topic in the cloud, which is why you must make sure your provider uses high security standards. Enquire about the encryption strength they use to protect your data, as well as about the people who are authorized to access it any time. In most cloud companies there are groups of employees who are allowed to access your data in case you encounter problems. What you need to sort out with your provider is that nobody else would ever have the possibility to do so.
Maximum uptime is a crucial thing for every cloud user, especially for businesses or commercial websites. While many providers guarantee 100% uptime, you must be aware this isn’t actually possible. Every service needs to have network maintenance every now and then, so you might want to check your provider’s schedule. Additionally, make sure service uptime doesn’t refer only to scheduled uptime, as providers tend to exclude what is called ‘planned downtime’ from this digit. Planned downtime allows service provider to check bugs or introduce features at a specific time of the week or month. Usually this is a short period at points when the network traffic is least intensive.
As cloud providers usually establish their server farms across different states or even countries, it may be useful to know where your data is actually stored. In case your data crosses national boundaries, it becomes a subject of different laws. This issue is why many European businesses restrained from using US-based cloud services, as this would most probably make their data accessible to the US government under the Patriotic Act. Anyways, wherever your business is located, you might want to check this issue in order to avoid possible inconsistencies with local legislation.
Service price was probably one of the major factors that influenced your choice of a specific cloud vendor. However, even though the contract costs are always neatly listed on the SLA, there is a possibility that some extra fees, taxes or upgrading costs are outlined somewhere in the back of it. It is important that your provider make these things clear, so that you’d avoid any potential misunderstandings. Enquire about the exact situations when you may be required to pay extra and make sure there won’t be any possibilities for your provider to charge anything you weren’t already prepared to pay.
Obviously, there are plenty of reasons why you should carefully read every single sentence in your SLA, especially the ones that may be listed in tiny print. Here you may find about the things mentioned above and thus eliminate any doubts that the provider you chose would actually meet your cloud expectations.
Everyone who operates an online business understands the importance of having fast website response times. When webpages are simple to perceive, the user will spend more time on your pages, and are much more likely to spend money while they are there.
The "end user" or the client or buyer who visits your site, is the entire reason your site was built, and having a deep understanding of how to influence their behavior while on your site can be critical to your business's success.
Fast website response times can also be critical to influencing buying behavior, as your site performance is often judged as a reflection of the quality and competence of your business skills.
To guarantee the fastest possible response times consistently, it is critical to make your measurements of your sites performance in the same way the end user, or customer perceives it. Continuous measuring also helps flush problems to your attention as soon as they arise. The questions to keep in mind while building and testing the site for its highest quality, and keeping it operating at its peak performance capacity are:
How do I measure the customers response time experience?
What tools are available to make the measurement process simple, automated and accurate?
What To Measure and How To Do It
Response time is commonly considered to be the amount of time that passes between when the user requests the first byte of information until the last byte of every image, style sheet or java file scripts are delivered to them.
Network analysis tools are designed specifically for this. Using these tools makes it possible to:
See the downloads within an accurate time-line view
Follow illustrations that accurately demonstrate what is happening for users
When browsers start analyzing response times for content of requested html documents--how can an effective determination of how much time it takes for the first embedded images to download be made? Do you measure the time from the first request for information and the delivery time to the very last request made for site information?
Measuring More than Just HTTP Traffic
Browsers are used for more than simply accessing resources from servers.
Timelines for Browser Activities
Looking at your website response time by getting a timeline view of the same Google Maps request shown earlier demonstrates that the browser started delivering initial HTML documents after 2 seconds.
During the download process of the embedded objects-- the browser renders more content. The on-load event triggered after 4.8 seconds. The browser finished building the initial DOM's for the web page then, which includes reference objects such as images and css.
This means there were different stages of performance and perceived response times.
The "first impression" of speed means how much time it took to see something in the browsers window (aka: time to "first visual"). Measure this by viewing the first drawing activity.
A "second impression" is when the initial page is fully loaded. This is measured by looking at the on-load event triggered by the browser when the DOM is fully loaded. The initial document and all embedded objects are now loaded.
The "third Impression" is when the web site is interactive for the user.
Stop Watch Measuring vs. Tool Supported Measuring
Some use a stop-watch to measure page loading time. It is also sometimes used to measure the time till the page becomes responsive. The watch-measured numbers are placed in a spreadsheet. This makes it possible to determine performance values. This is not the most accurate method, needles to say, there is also a big margin for error.
Using professional website response time measuring tools enables automated web site performance measuring. They are highly effective for manual and automated testing environments. Continuously measuring web site performance in the browser allows the ability to focus on end-user performance. In the end it will determine the success of your website.
For your website to be visible on the internet, your domain name has to be pointed to the name servers of your hosting provider. Visitors are able to access your website using your domain name rather than the IP addresses because of the Domain Name System (DNS).
How does DNS Work?
DNS converts domains names that are understand by humans into IP addresses that are understood by computers. Here is an explanation on domains names and IP addresses.
Domain Name: The text-based name that is used to identify a website or its international location is the domain name. e.g. redwidgets.com
IP Addresses: These are numbers that are used to identify a website’s location or a computer that is connected to the internet. The IP address enables computers to communicate with each other and web servers. An example of the number format of an IP address is 184.108.40.206.
DNS converts the location identifier or domain name that a user enters to the IP address of Internet location or associated website. By using DNS, users can easily remember computer-readable Internet addresses and text-based domains.
How Does DNS Determine the Server to Use?
The information about any domain name is stored in a zone file. A collection of zone files are stored on name severs. When a user searches for a domain name, the server will look into the zone file to determine the name server holding the domain name. For the domain name to be found or be accessible on the Internet, it must be pointing to the name server that has its specific zone file.
Which Name Server Should I Use?
After you have registered a domain name from a domain registration company, you must point it to the name servers provided by your hosting company. If you register your domain from a registrant other than your web hosting company, you will have to change the name servers for the domain name to propagate on the internet.
How to Check Your Name Servers
Sometimes, your website may not be available on the internet due to misconfiguration of the name servers. You can use WebsitePulse Test Tool to not only check your name servers, but also the status of your website, service and network.
To carry out a name server check, simply go to http://www.websitepulse.com/help/tools.php and click on the “DNS” tab. Then, enter your domain name or IP address on the tab box and click on “perform test”. The tool will perform the DNS lookup and retrieve information about your domain. You can use the tool to check whether the DNS records are correct and if your specific domain is associated with the right IP address.
Apart from the hostname name server check, you can also check the following: MX lookup, NS record lookup, Reverse DNS, SPF lookup, and blacklist check. The following is an overview of what each of the options:
Hostname Test: When this tab is selected, the tool will look up the DNS of the hostname or domain you indicate (e.g. redwidgets.com). The query results will also indicate the IP address (e.g. 220.127.116.11) of the domain. The test is usually beneficial when you want to verify whether a particular domain points to the correct IP address or if its DNS records are correct.
MX Lookup: To perform this lookup, enter an email address. When the MX lookup tab is selected, your test will query the MX (Mail Exchange) record for the email address you entered. The result will show the servers and the order in which they deliver emails to the address being queried. The test will also show the IP address and hostname of the Mail Exchange Servers.
NS Record Lookup: When this tab is checked, the query performs a record check of the name servers of the hostname that you enter in the search box. The query results show records of the name servers that have been assigned to the domain.
SPF Lookup: More technical users may want to know the SPF of a domain. The SPF lookup test queries the DNS records and shows the available SPF record of the domain name you are querying. To learn more about SPF, check the official website. SPF is an abbreviation of Sender Policy Framework.
Reverse DNS: Like the name suggests, the query does a reverse DNS lookup for the IP address that you enter. The results show the domain name associated with the IP address.
Blacklist Check: This query checks your IP address at the major DNS blacklists including PSBL, CBL, NJABL, Spamhaus and Sorbs. The results indicate whether your domain has been blacklisted for sending spam.
In the previous post we spoke of the web server application for iPhone. Nice little piece of software that lets you access your mobile from a regular desktop machine. Lucky for Symbian users (mostly Sony Ericsson & Nokia) there is an alternative for S60. The application is called Mobile Web Server.
The latest version of the Nokia mobile web server is available for download absolutely free of charge. You have to register a web server account and you will receive a subdomain (http://user_name.mymobilesite.net). This web server application isn't exactly an Apache clone for mobile devices, but more of your personality and habits shared with your friends to see.
It is especially good if you like to blog on the go. S60 enabled phones have the facilities to make typing easier for you. It is not an actual web server, in terms of hosting. You post your content on a dedicated page on a server provided by Nokia. Not that bad at all, since your content remains online. You can share everything you want whenever you want it.
With a standard install Python scripts are supported, however, you can also get PHP support with PAMP (Personal Apache MySQL PHP). Actually, that is what you might call an actual, fully operational server on your s60 device. If you wish to squeeze more out of your s60 device it is definitely a topic worth exploring.
PuTTY is a free Telnet/SSH client many administrators and people with less skills have grown to love. It is the perfect little tool to help you establish a SSH connection to a remote server. It enables you to connect and administer your Unix/Linux based server from any Unix or Windows work environment.
Many of us need to multi task, be as mobile as possible and be able to deal with various situations on the go. One application I always keep on my mobile is PuTTY's mobile phone port. For many people it is more than just another application, it is a trustworthy companion they would have killed for 10 years ago. I know people who used to reboot servers with text messages just so that they can get them running while on the road and that was about as far as it got. Nothing too fancy.
With PuTTY's port for mobile devices you can get a lot more done. I was able to check my home server's uptime, update the content of a few static HTML files I have on there, and check the activity of my wireless connection I share with a few people. Respectively, each admin, regardless of his location, can log to any server he administrates and perform some necessary maintenance or a routine check.
If you need more than this and would like to see your network's hardware status from more than one geographic point, go ahead and try out our free tools.