| by Shawn D. Stewart | No comments

Take This 5 Question Cloud Test – Before You Go Live!

Congratulations!  You’ve decided to move into the Cloud.  You are ready to enjoy the accessibility and redundancy Cloud-based data, computing, email, telephony or other services offer.  But is your network ready? Here’s your study guide before taking the test!

Courtesy of Cisco

Redundant Internet Connections – Now that all of your data is attached to the Internet, your Internet connection is a single point of failure.  Having a redundant Internet or MPLS connection from a different carrier to your Cloud provider ensures data accessibility. 

Bonus – Backup is on a separate fiber path or uses a different physical medium (cable modem or wireless) to avoid single point of failure. 

Extra Credit – Why not multiple backups?

How Big Is Your Data Pipe?

Bandwidth – Bandwidth on a network switch is inexpensive but do you know how much bandwidth you really have? 

While many business Internet connections are available at Gigabit speeds, the price of increasing bandwidth must be included in you monthly Cloud costs.  Odds are your current connection will suffer greatly when a majority of data must traverse it.  Learn more about bandwidth!

Bonus – Your carrier offers no-cost bandwidth throttling.

Extra Credit – Does the additional Internet costs negate your Cloud savings?

Video Conferencing System

Phone and Video Services – Use Enterprise-level network equipment when moving to the Cloud for voice and video.  Systems require professional design and install, but network configurations in most offices remain static afterward.  Find a product that provides Power over Ethernet (PoE), Gigabit switching and higher level options such as Quality of Service (QoS). 

Bonus – Your network equipment can grow with you.

Extra Credit – Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Photo by Abraham Barrera on Unsplash

Quality of Service (QoS) and Queues – You have one pipe, use it wisely!  QoS ensures your streaming services don’t eat up your bandwidth.  By marking traffic, you can designate which data should always get through.  A priority queue gives real-time traffic an express lane.

Bonus – Your network equipment rate-limits or blocks bandwidth hogs. 

Extra Credit – Should the backup Internet block non-critical traffic during an outage?

Is It Secure?

Security – Did you know? Some providers pass plain text data across the open Internet or with inferior security protocols. Ensure your provider uses VPN, secure SSL or a direct private connection before transferring data.

Bonus – You add Intrusion Prevention/Detection through a firewall or other device.

Extra Credit – Shouldn’t users now require two-factor security to access data outside the physical network?

Conclusion – Now that your network and Internet connections are the most important parts of your business continuity, don’t skimp on the equipment, implementation and support services that provide access and protection of your data.

Shawn D. Stewart

Mr. Stewart has 25 years of experience with hundreds of international, commercial, military, and government IT projects. He holds or has held certifications with ISC2, Cisco, Microsoft, CompTIA, ITIL, Novell and others. He also holds a Masters in Cybersecurity, Bachelors in IT, a Minor in Professional Writing and is a published author.

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