Cloud Server

Hey You, Get Off the Public Cloud

Hey You, Get Off the Public Cloud 600 329 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

The Rolling Stones sang, “Hey you, get off my cloud,” yet businesses might want to think instead about leaving the public cloud. Weigh these possible public cloud concerns against the advantages of alternate cloud solutions.

When most people think of the cloud, they are thinking of the public cloud. Apple users are on its iCloud. Others may be storing files on Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Cloud, or other services. These all typically have a free level of service. You can pay a monthly fee to upgrade based on the resources you use. [Also please remember that if you are not paying for the product, then you are the product!]

Cloud data is easy to store and access. This can enhance business productivity and efficiency. Added advantages of hosted cloud services – public or private – include the following:

  • Speed. Hosted cloud services come on demand or self-service. It’s possible to have cloud resources up and running in a matter of minutes.
  • Performance. Cloud providers focus on running secure data centers with the latest infrastructure. It’s their job to worry about hardware setup, software patching, and network reliability.
  • Scalability. Add cloud capacity without buying equipment or software, or training employees.
  • Mobility. Employees can access the cloud from anywhere, on any device.
  • Disaster recovery. Providers build in redundancies to ensure uninterrupted service.
  • Responsibility. You don’t need to invest in on-site equipment, maintenance, and management.

Yet there are some drawbacks to the public cloud. The public cloud is affordable because businesses share resources. The cloud service provider relies on economies of scale. They bring many businesses together for the same services, and it all adds up. But if you’re in an industry with high compliance requirements, the public cloud is a risk.

Advantages of the Private Cloud

The private cloud offers the same benefits as the public cloud – and more.

A private cloud solution is dedicated to your business: yours is the only data on the server. This is a more secure solution offering greater visibility and infrastructure control.

A private cloud can be on- or off-premises. On-premise, your IT team sets up, manages, and maintains the cloud infrastructure. Off-premises, a cloud services provider customizes a dedicated and secure cloud.

The private cloud is appealing to regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services, or those needing strong controls. Costs will vary depending on your requirements but allows businesses to easily access data, applications, and backups, and with reduced security risks and the ability to meet those compliance requirements.

Cloud Flexibility with a Hybrid Option

A third alternative is the hybrid cloud. The business takes advantage of both public and private cloud solutions. You decide which apps and data workloads need more security. Meanwhile, the public cloud is available to offer cost savings and efficiency, plus, it can be a backup for sporadic traffic spikes.

The hybrid option, though, requires strong integration between private and public cloud deployments. Managing the mix of architectures can prove challenging.

Understanding the difference between these cloud offerings can help you choose the best for your business.

Need help migrating to the cloud or changing your cloud solution? Our IT experts can help you weigh the trade-offs and determine the best one for your needs. Contact us today to talk about your cloud options.

Medical Cloud Hosting Australia

DHS Gives The Latest Mandatory Policy on Medical Data Management in Australia for 2020

DHS Gives The Latest Mandatory Policy on Medical Data Management in Australia for 2020 1920 1280 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne
DHS Gives Mandatory policy on medical data management in Australia

The medical data management system in Australia is not where it should be. According to Dr. Bernard Robertson-Dunn, who chairs the health committee of the Australian Privacy Foundation (APF), says that rather than focusing on improving patient health, or reducing the cost of healthcare, all the government is doing is putting patients data at risk.

According to the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme (NBDS) report from April 2018 to March 2019, there has been a 712% percent increase in data breach notifications alone.

60 percent of those data breaches were recognized as malicious attacks with 28 percent off the attacks coming from unknown sources.

55 percent of the attacks and notifications were attributed to human error in the health sector and 41 percent in the financial sector.

Across all industries, 35 percent of those data breach notifications were set off by human error which can be attributed to the loss of a storage data device or the unintended disclosure of personal information. We wrote about more of these Cybersecurity Statistics here.

All in all, it’s safe to say that between the data storage systems and infrastructure as well as the medical community have failed their patients in terms of information privacy and the management of their security. That is why stronger rules have been put in place to patient’s worries on privacy at ease.

Mandatory DHS Rules, Requirements and Consequences

The Department of Health Services (DHS) plays the role of ensuring that health providers comply with the requirements of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and other programs, including incentive payment programs.

To help maintain the privacy of patients’ personal information, the DHS has adopted new requirements for third-party software providers. It’s a part of their campaign for the Digital Transformation Agency’s (DTA) Secure Cloud Strategy. Under the Secure Cloud Strategy, the DHA requires that all applicable Australian software companies undergo a process of accreditation and compliance of their data management practices.

The new policy applies to any party using cloud-hosted services that connect with the DHS to provide services such as Medicare, PBS, NDIS, DVA, MyHealthRecord, Child Care, and Aged Care.

The accreditation process involves earning the Australian Signals Directorate Certified Cloud Services List (CCSL) certification and can maintain assurance that all data will remain within the Australian jurisdiction. Additionally, the policy encourages the physical separation of the infrastructure as well as limiting access to patients’ private data to those with Negative Vetting 1 (NV1) security clearance. 

Failure to comply with the DHS’s rules and policy under the Secure Cloud Strategy by the deadline on April can result in major consequences. Those consequences could mean fines, suspended licenses, and ultimately the loss of your practice.

Managing DHS Requirements and Running Your Practice

Under the DHS’s policy, all practices are required to utilize a DHA certified infrastructure to ensure the privacy of their patients. So, how do you manage that and still do work for your practice? —Managed Cloud Services, i.e., medical hosting.

What is Medical Cloud Hosting?

Medical cloud hosting is private hosting (or, more specifically, private cloud hosting). When we talk about cloud hosting, we’re referring to hundreds of individual servers that work together as one. With cloud hosting, there’s no need for an on-premise infrastructure that costs money, space, and time in maintenance. With cloud hosting, everything is managed and stored for you via a cloud service provider.

In general, you have the option of public and private cloud hosting. Of course, medical hosting is private, but for your information, here’s the difference:

Public cloud hosting involves a standard cloud computing framework consisting of files, storage, applications, and services that are available on a public network. (Think Gmail).

Private cloud hosting is comprised of the same things—only all of those things are protected by a corporate firewall controlled by the corporate IT department. (Think Microsoft Exchange, as it requires authorized users and a secure VPN connection).

In other words, private medical cloud hosting equals privacy and protection. If you’ll recall, the DHS policy applies to all third parties using cloud services that connect with the department to deliver services such as Medicare, PBS, DVA, NDIS, and so on. This could only mean that private hosting is viable.

It’s also a necessity considering the fact that it’s DHS Compliant, ISO Certified, and handled offsite via your service provider but remains within the Australian jurisdiction.

How much Should I budget for Cloud Hosting?

Cloud computing and data management within a compliant industry isn’t going to be cheap—but it will become cost-effective in the long run. Ultimately, your budget will come down to your industry and the data capacity that you need, managed services, private vs public cloud hosting, and so on.

Of course, sticking with your outdated, on premise hardware, you’re looking at heaps of unnecessary spending in system maintenance, upgrades, equipment—not to mention paying an IT team to take care of it all for you.

Is you current provider DHS compliant?

If you’re a medical practitioner responsible for running a practice and wondering where to turn for your medical cloud hosting, Greenlight ITC is here to help.

We have one of the few providers of DHA certified cloud infrastructure for medical hosting. We are your ultimate technology solutions partner. Our medical cloud hosting capabilities can make your staff more efficient, and ultimately, your businesses more profitable under its data management practices. Not to mention, we’ll keep you safe from phishing scams and serious data breaches so that your patients can rest easy knowing that their private information is safe while they’re getting the care they need.

Greenlight is also a Tier-1 Microsoft Azure Partner and 2017 Watchguard ANZ Partner of the Year.

If you want to know more about how much switching to private medical hosting is going to cost you and your practice, your best bet is to call Greenlight ITC at 02 8412 000 to get a custom quote today. You’ll get to speak directly with one of our IT experts (aka, Data Doctors) who will walk you through the entire process.

Small business cloud server

My Business in The Cloud: Do We Need a Server Anymore?

My Business in The Cloud: Do We Need a Server Anymore? 1000 636 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

While today’s business IT trend clearly favors the cloud, you might be wondering when it’s going to be time to ditch the hardware and embrace the future. However, there are always variables to consider, and there is no one answer that is going to be appropriate for every business.

Server, cloud, or hybrid approach?

These days, so much of what we do is digital. From content creation to web design, electronic health records, client documents, financial records—you name it—it’s stored either on a disk, on a computer, or on a server either in your company’s server room or in the cloud. Maybe even both. The agility that is demanded of businesses today requires that these documents, applications, and data is secure, backed up, and always available on-demand.

If your files are stored on an on-premise server, it will be located in some terrestrial location, or directly on a computer in your office. If it is stored online, they will be housed and protected by a 3rd party company that is providing server access for you, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), RackSpace, or Microsoft Azure.

In making this decision, ultimately, you should consider your need for data security above all else, as each solution has its pros and cons where that is concerned.

Server concerns

Maintaining on-premise servers can be expensive, eating up not only electricity and potentially a large real estate footprint. In order to keep them secure your IT team will need to ensure all of the appropriate security devices are enabled, such as firewalls, and other security tools, of which there are many.

One of the biggest drawbacks to relying on your on-premise servers is the potential for a flood, a fire, or another natural disaster. If your office is destroyed and your server with it, you better hope you’ve backed up all your data in a safe place and that you can deploy it quickly in order to keep your business operational.

Though there is an advantage to housing your servers in-house in that you know exactly where your data is and have complete control over access and maintenance, there are too many “what-ifs” to allow it to be your only solution.

The cloud beckons

Moving to the cloud will allow you to free up valuable office space by eliminating server rooms as well as the need to spend your IT dollars on maintaining and upgrading costly servers and related hardware. Many companies realize a significant cost savings in that they no longer have to support a full-time IT staff to maintain their servers.

The benefits to business agility are even more considerable, as doing business in the cloud enables a connected, mobile workforce and delivers real-time data that resonates throughout the enterprise, removing data silos and driving value from end-to-end.

Security is also greatly enhanced, as data in the cloud is encrypted and access can be configured to suit your needs. Updates to applications, documents and security patches can be deployed globally, automating repetitive tasks and reducing your IT spend considerably.

You will also be able to schedule regular backups, which will be ready to deploy should disaster strike. Most cloud servers offer a range of configurable backup options that will suit your needs and then some.

Lastly, the IT dollars that you would allocate towards server maintenance can be used to support higher-value activities, such as marketing or growing your workforce. Cloud providers generally work on a monthly rate that allows you to combine all the features you need as well as automated updates rolled into one predictable fee.

The best of both worlds: the hybrid solution

If you’re sold on the cloud but not quite ready to give up your on-premise servers, start slowly and migrate to the cloud over time. A hybrid solution combines your private server with the public cloud, an example of which might be if you were storing highly confidential data on-premise while leveraging the speed and agility of the cloud to power your business apps and daily operations.

Some older, more established companies will understandably be hesitant to let go of their valuable—and still very useful—infrastructure until there is a clear solution to their security concerns. By choosing a hybrid system, it will allow a company to migrate over time and when it makes sense, even as they access the cloud to help them stay current with today’s business computing trends.

Greenlight ITC: your managed cloud solution in Sydney and Melbourne

If you are weighing your options and considering a cloud migration, speak to the techs at Greenlight first. We would love to talk to you about how we can help.

Using the Cloud for your Server Solutions

Using the Cloud for your Server Solutions 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

The use of cloud solutions is quickly setting the field of technology alight. With the quickly dropping prices of cloud services and technology, along with the increasing acceptance of cloud products in order to provide solutions, businesses are quickly getting on the cloud bandwagon. One of the areas that the cloud seeks to revolutionize business is in providing new server solutions. But what exactly is a cloud server, and how can it benefit your business?

What are cloud servers?

Cloud servers, otherwise known as virtual servers or virtual private servers, simply refer to servers that run on the cloud computing environment, using the cloud to build, host and deliver their services.

Benefits of using cloud servers

There are a range of benefits to using cloud servers. These include:

1. Faster service

With traditional servers, precious time is spent having to configure and modify the physical hardware to suit a business’s specific needs, which may take hours or even days to do. However, cloud servers come with software that make them ready to use almost instantly, meaning that you may have a server ready to use within seconds.

2. Security

Cloud servers are far more secure than traditional servers. With cloud servers, your account will be insulated from other’s accounts. As a result, if there is any issue with the security of another account on the same physical server, then your account will still be kept isolated and secure.

3. Stability/Performance

Because of the highly customizable nature of the cloud servers, performance can be kept to an optimal level. Unlike traditional servers, one user or account cannot take control of the majority of the server resources, and you won’t have to worry about other accounts affecting your performance. Not only that, but they don’t suffer from the server hardware problems that physical servers occasionally encounter.

4. Cost effectiveness

One of the biggest benefits of using cloud servers are their cost effectiveness. With traditional servers, you are forced to pay a set amount, often in months or years. Because of the lack of flexibility with their usage, businesses often pay for resources that they simply never use. In cases where they may need resources that temporarily exceed the planned amount, your entire site may end up being shut down or you may have to pay excessive usage fees. Because of the flexibility of cloud computing servers, you can pay for what you use on a far more flexible basis, with many providers offering plans by the hour, and also allowing you to pay only for the capacity that is required at any particular time.

5. Flexibility/Scalability

It’s easy to make any changes or addition to cloud server as opposed to physical servers. For example, upgrading your server and adding extra memory or disk space can be quickly and easily done. You can also modify your operating system or make any other changes that are necessary. And of course, you pay for resources as and when they are required, instead of paying for one set amount.

6. Ease of setup/use

Because there is no complicated hardware setup involved, and because much of the necessary software has been tailored for a wide range of uses, deploying cloud servers is far easier than using traditional servers. Not only that, but managing is easier as well, since the software comes automated to conduct activities such as system updates and backups.

With the recent advances in technology, there are obvious advantages to using cloud servers over traditional servers. With cloud servers being cheaper, more flexible and easier to use than traditional servers, many businesses are now making the switch to the cloud for their server solutions. If saving money, time and effort sounds good to you, contact Greenlight ITC for a free quote on how we can help in providing the perfect solution to suit your needs.