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Cloud Hosting Made Simpler – Amazon Web Services Vs.  Microsoft Azure

Cloud Hosting Made Simpler – Amazon Web Services Vs. Microsoft Azure

There was a time when people used to run applications and software downloaded to their own devices or servers. This meant increased threats of data loss and less flexible systems – you actually needed data to be in the system to be able to complete the work.

With cloud hosting, people can now access all the application through the internet, no matter what the location is. The solution has become popular over the years, especially among small and medium enterprises, that run on a modest budget.

Companies can look at increased collaboration with cloud, enabling employees to share and work on data seamlessly, and individuals to pick up their work from any machine that has access to the cloud. Cloud services have also opened a world for businesses and users to interact. You can save your word files in cloud or just use a cloud invoicing system. There are different cloud host providers offering you space to store data online and collaborate easily but the development of SaaS has been the most significant.

According to the latest statistics issued by Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), 84 percent of all the companies in the United Kingdom have adopted at least one cloud service. The research also shows that about 78 percent companies in the country adopt two or more cloud services. In fact, this technology has evolved in phases, starting from utility and grid computing, application service provision (ASP) and the latest Software as a Service (SaaS).

Why Cloud Hosting?

There are different reasons that have owed to the remarkable success of cloud hosting:

  • Flexibility: Need more bandwidth or storage space instantly? The cloud has you covered. The ability to meet ever-changing business demands is what cloud services are known for.
  • Disaster recovery: You no longer need a sophisticated disaster recovery plan as cloud computing would take care of it. As a matter of fact, using a cloud service reduced the time to resolve issues by as much as 50 percent.
  • Software updates: According to statistics released in 2010, UK-based companies spent over 400 hours each month to manage website security. On the other hand, cloud computing suppliers such as Microsoft and Amazon would take care of this.
  • Work from anywhere: According to a recent survey, 42 percent of employees in the UK would give up some of their salary if they were given the option to telecommute. This would have a positive effect on the person’s work – life balance.
  • Eco-friendly: Businesses that require cloud services only use the space they need. This reduces carbon footprint by a considerable margin as switching onto a cloud is known to decrease the energy consumption by as much as 30 percent.

Comparing Arch Rivals – Amazon Web Services versus Microsoft Azure

Both Microsoft and Amazon are head over heels in grabbing the market share with their cloud-based services. While Amazon did have an amazing head start, Microsoft Azure is soon catching up. Both these companies have the resources to lure individual as well as enterprise customers.

Amazon Web Services Vs. Microsoft Azure: Computing

Amazon employs an Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which allows users to configure virtual machines in a pre-configured fashion or customize it according to their needs. Users get to choose the size, power, memory capacity and the number of VM. In addition, they can also choose the location and availability zone. Load balancing and auto scaling, are a couple of additional features supported by EC2.

Microsoft Azure was made available to consumers in May 2013. Users of this service can choose a virtual hard disk to create a virtual machine. This can either be pre-defined or user-defined. You would have to specify the number of cores and memory capacity.

Amazon Web Services Vs. Microsoft Azure: Storage and Databases

Amazon Web Services use temporary storage, which is allocated once an instance begins and gets destroyer once it has been terminated. Storage is provided that can either be attached to an instance or kept separate. Amazon also has full support for relational and NoSQL databases as well as Big Data.

Similar to AWS, Azure too user temporary storage as well as Page Blobs (Microsoft’s block storage) for virtual machine – based volumes. Azure too provides complete support for relational and NoSQL databases and Big Data, made available through HDInsight and Microsoft Azure Table.

Amazon Web Services Vs. Microsoft Azure: Networking

Amazon’s virtual private clouds and Azure’s Virtual Network give users the flexibility of grouping virtual machines into isolated networks on the cloud. Therefore, users would be able to precisely define a network topology, create route tables, subnets and private IP address ranges.

Amazon Web Services Vs. Microsoft Azure: Pricing

While customers using Amazon Web Services are charged, by rounding up the number of hours used, Microsoft charges customer based on the number of minutes used on demand.

You need to choose a service that suits to your needs. Talk to an expert or evaluate the pros and cons of each. Your choice of cloud hosting can directly affect the organizational productivity and performance so it’s a great idea to do your research on which cloud hosting provider can work to your advantage.

 

Azure_Vs._AWS 

 

Enterprise Mobility Trends in 2015

The last few years have been a whirlwind period for enterprises, as work cultures ruffled up and finally settled for new ways of doing business with enterprise mobility. It has made businesses realise the potential of mobile devices supplied by them to their employees and how it can create a positive impact on their business in terms of enhanced communication, increased productivity and improved efficiency.

According to a study by Salesforce, 60% of British workers use mobile apps for work-related productivity and around 21% use department-specific enterprise apps. It has also been found that enterprise apps boost employee productivity by 34%!

While enterprise mobility is focused on solving the business needs, normal mobile apps are mostly fun-orientated and specifically focused on the consumers.

Additionally, developing enterprise mobile apps is much more complex and expensive, demands reliable security features to prevent any breaches of confidential business transactions and requires highly-skilled resources.

So, what lies ahead for enterprise mobility? Is it going to evolve more this year? Although half of 2015 is already gone, we can expect to see more improvements in the remaining months.

So let’s see what’s in store.

More Devices for Greater Enterprise Mobility

Forrester states that about 20% of all tablets sold today are used in enterprise mobility. This all started with the Blackberry in 2000 and the pace increased with smartphones in 2007 and again with tablets in 2010.

Besides this, a heterogeneous world of devices is emerging as “internet of things,” connecting all possible devices together.

You need to keep up with the pace of the ever-changing world of digital devices where the success mantra is to provide an outstanding user experience by adopting new technology and engaging the customers through the variety of devices.

This caused a paradigm shift in workplaces with the deployment of enterprise-focused apps being on the rise. According to Forrester, 65% of enterprises view customer engagement as their primary mobile priority.

So, we will certainly witness more devices used by businesses to maximise the usage of enterprise mobility to improve efficiency.

Interactive Apps on Multiple Devices

You have tested the agility and efficiency of enterprise mobility with services delivered in your hands on your smartphones and you do business and personal transactions with a whole range of smart devices, resulting in higher expectations for better services in your terms.

But now you want a consistent experience through resourceful apps on all your communication channels. Isn’t it?

To handle such mounting client anticipation, the IT industry is gearing up to meet the ever growing demands of enterprise and customer mobility.

One way of doing this is by an overhaul of the backend architecture to provide SOA-based apps running on a variety of digital devices. Enterprises are shifting to provide a perfect customer experience on all possible devices through interactive apps that aptly represent their business processes.

Such architectures will need a common code-base for all devices. It’s like a single application wearing various masks for multiple channels of interaction.

Versatile, Scalable and Robust Customer Apps

As this trend is catching up, a need to provide versatile, scalable and robust apps is being felt. These apps can be off the shelf or customisable to handle various user demands. They should be instantly deployable or vertically or horizontally configurable to adapt to your business processes.

The coming years will see a major growth of control systems to integrate the apps with the back-end functioning of the enterprises to give proficient and expert guidance to customers for profitable business deals at both ends.

Another new mobility trend is shaping up in enterprises is “bring your own device” (BYOD). Organisations have visualised huge savings by using smart devices brought by employees to their workplace. Internal business processes are now mobile-enabled through apps for employees in manufacturing, human resources, sales and marketing, and many more.

According to Forrester, by the end of 2015, 60% of the enterprises will employ higher investments in their IT departments in mobile apps. The fast invasion of smartphones, encouraged by low-cost Android phones, is driving the rapid growth of app development and downloads.

Providing Good Customer Experience

Enterprise apps are bridging the gaps between designers and IT professionals. Designers are being encouraged to create appealing designs to provide a unique experience to the customers. This collaboration of designers with IT professionals and the adoption of development standards across organisations will help create apps which give an excellent and beneficial customer experience.

This will allow experts and professionals to present the business and its processes to customers. To hit the bull’s eye, a single interconnected technology stack is needed to cater to all the development needs, such as device management, design, development and testing processes for multi-channel applications.

As per Forrester, 226 billion apps will be downloaded in 2015 and this number will grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.2%. By the end of 2017, 45% of the cloud services will be SaaS based. The world of mobility is being redefined and so are the enterprise processes. So with bigwigs forecasting a bright future for mobility, enterprises would not want to miss this opportunity.

Final Thoughts

“The global market for enterprise mobility is expected to grow from $72 billion to $284 billion by 2019, nearly quadrupling in size,” said the president of Products and Marketing of Kony Inc.

Enterprises are growing with mobility by redefining, reshaping, refining and refreshing their internal as well as external business communications and collaborations.

Apps for communication, office productivity, sales force automation, human resources, supply chain logistics, mobile commerce and customers are opening a new avenue of enterprise mobile applications for any imaginable and conceivable business process.

So we can expect to witness much more advancements in this space in the coming years.

What’s your view about enterprise apps? Have you implemented it yet? Do you have any points to share? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!

The New Face of the Web: Trends in Front-End Development

The New Face of the Web: Trends in Front-End Development

While browsing through a website with an extremely easy user interface (UI), our mind inadvertently goes back to the times when just loading a web page was an enduring task.

Moving from the mouse-driven computers to smartphones and tablets, web pages have adapted themselves seamlessly over the years.

The year 2015 and beyond will witness some benchmark transformations in front-end technologies. Internet users will traverse this wave of change, enjoying speedier and more appealing web pages.

Moving along this technological wave, we are hooked on providing the best web solutions today. Based on our expertise, here is an in-depth view of the current and future trends in front-end development.

The User’s Perspective

Front-end development is the face of the application. As users, we want web pages to be friendly and appealing.

Here are some aspects of front-end technologies which users are most interested in:

  • Compatibility: The ability to adapt to different internet browsers.
  • Usability: This attribute signifies the easy-to-use aspect of the website.
  • Complexity: This specifies the back-end of the web application, which controls the speed and security of the data.

Whatever the style and time may be, engaging these aspects remains unchanged.

Recent Trends in Web Development

Web technologies have taken a major leap with the changing requirements. The applications that go well on a laptop screen are now also compatible with mobile phones.

There are some important parameters that have implemented these changes, so let’s take a look of these:

Responsive Web Design

For any website, the response of users is the most imperative factor. A responsive web design (RWD) allows users to browse the website from any appliance, including mobile phones and tablets. The most recent and famous RWD frameworks are Twitter Bootstrap and Zurb.

responsivegraphics

 

The above figure shows the compatibility of a webpage towards a screen of any size. Some features of RWD are that it:

  • Makes websites compatible with web and mobile; and
  • Minimises user efforts, such as updating data.

Hence, a web application with the best RWD is required to streamline the user’s interactions.

Mobile-First Architecture

The architecture of a web application is currently being controlled by the mobile-first strategy. It’s an obvious move, as we all have turned into frequent mobile users. The most recent is the Representational State Transfer (RESTful) architecture for server-side coding.

Note: The RESTful architecture style provides a uniform interface. Properties such as performance, scalability and modifiability to work on the web are induced in the application.

Mobile-stats-vs-desktop-users-global

Image credits: www.smartinsights.com

The bar diagram above shows the growth of smartphone users till 2018 and shows that meeting the demand of the use of adaptable architecture is important.

Features of mobile-first architecture are that it:

  • Supports mobile platform and enterprise integration;
  • Streamlines end-to-end procurement for the organisations; and
  • Streamlines web development.

Rise of API Driven Development

It is difficult to find someone who cannot operate a smartphone since the “touch factor” has made this possible. The Application Program Interface (API) is, therefore, the strength of these devices. The architectural design, especially RESTful architecture, has an important role to play.

Features of API-driven development, especially RESTful, are that:

  • It is compatible with both mobile and web applications;
  • Its server side is restricted to data and security only;
  • It is compatible with operating systems, such as Android, iOS, Windows and TV; and
  • It is adaptable to the changing technological landscape.

Mobile Back-End as a Service

Mobile Back-End as a Service (MBaaS) is the cloud technology facet of front-end technologies. The back-end services for Parse and Azure Mobile Services have already adapted MBaaS.

Mbaas

Image credits www.appspanel.com                                                           

The figure above explains how MBaaS can enhance the shaping of the enterprise.

Some of the strongest features in favour of MBaaS are that:

  • These platforms provide automatic Restful services;
  • It supports mobility-specific back-end services; and
  • The platforms provide JavaScript SDKs along with Mobile SDKs for HTML5 clients.

Hence, MBaaS will take over the pages for mobile as well as the web. It can induce a dramatic growth in front-end technologies.

Single Page Application

A Single Page Application (SPA) loads a single page and dynamically updates the page as per the user’s interaction. With the RESTful services, the web pages on our desktop act like the UI of the web browser. The server side is, therefore, limited to data and security.

 SPA Working

Some of the strong features of SPA are that it is:

  • Powered with hybrid mobile containers for multiple mobile platforms;
  • Best for small-sized to medium-sized mobile apps;
  • Recommended for UIs based on data forms; and
  • Single code base for both web apps and mobile apps.

ReactJS Front-End Frameworks

ReactJS

ReactJS is a form of JavaScript, which has been extensively used by recent web applications. The most well know implementations are Facebook and Instagram. This framework supports quick rendering.

Some important features of ReactJS are that it:

  • Can work as a face of the Model View Controller (MVC) framework;
  • Introduced the concept of virtual DOM;
  • Has a high performance while rendering the UI; and
  • Provides data flow in a single direction when used with FLUX architecture.

The six aspects mentioned above are an integral part of today’s web development.

With our years of experience and expertise in the field, we have comprehensively ventured into every aspect.

Predictions for 2015 and Beyond

Though the recent revolution in web technology is astounding, the next era will bring about a massive vertical leap.

Currently, the technologies that rule the brains of web developers are facing challenges with the changing requirements and landscapes.

The most common scripting methods like Node.JS, JavaScript and Koa framework are on the verge of “gradual extinction”. The year 2015 and beyond will bring in new trends, such as:

  • Dynamic languages will gradually come to an end;
  • Technologies like Node.JS can become obsolete for maintainability reasons;
  • The emergence of GO technology will occupy all the work done on Node.JS; and
  • Java and .Net will survive the medium-sized and larger enterprise apps.

The GO Technology Era

GO (i.e. golang) is a static, open source programming language that supports building simple and efficient software solutions.

Developed by Google, GO is predicted to be the next generation language. GO has already been implemented in systems like Docker, Packer:IO and websocketed. Some reasons that stand strong in favour of GO are that:

  • It is static with the flexibility of dynamic languages;
  • There are no JIT compilation needed and, hence, concurrency is its strength;
  • It is the most recommended for building an HTTP server using RESTful services;
  • It is flexible for use in system programming and large distributed apps; and
  • It will be known as the language of the cloud era.

Ace the Race with the Masters

Trends are dynamic and so are the technologies associated with them. The introduction of cloud and platform independent technologies has brought new languages to instruct digital devices.

RESTful services have taken over control and static languages, such as GO, are immersed as languages for cloud technologies. To ace this race of huge turnover, associating with the best maven would be the first and most important step.

So what’s your prediction about front-end development? Please share your comments below and thanks for reading!