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The Open Data Alliance centre has been created by some of the world’s largest companies to standardise the world of cloud computing.
The Open Data Alliance, which includes around 70 global firms, are working together for a new standard in technology.
The companies involved, including UBS, Shell, Marriott Hotels and BMW, make up a large proportion of IT spending, around 50 billion dollars.
Researchers believe that another billion users will come online in the next five years so the Alliance’s vision is to create a standardised cloud where web standard will be laid down for hardware and software giants. This is to ensure that businesses can cope with the ever increasing demand put on online services from devices connected to the internet including smart phones, televisions and tablet computers.
With technology evolving at an ever increasing rate, there are many solutions that are being developed quickly in order to solve problems in the short term, but technology bosses are worried that without the correct standardisation, many of these technologies won’t be compatible with each other.
The Alliance have said that, “We need one voice, one road map, so that companies are able to say to manufacturers here is a clear vision of what they should be developing their product to do.”
“If we want to add another billion people to the internet and lower the digital divide we have to reduce the cost of computing and cloud is a fundamental way to do that.”
There are other organisations, other than ‘The Alliance’ who are campaigning for cloud computing standards.
IBM launched its own open cloud initiative last year and earlier this week unveiled its cloud computing lab in the UK with the aim of helping partners reap the benefits of the cloud.
As well as offering great value dedicated servers and managed hosting solutions, CWCS are pleased to announce that our cloud system is currently in beta testing and with the extremely positive response we have had so far, we are looking forward to launching our cloud hosting platform in the near future.
With cyber-crime on the increase, it’s becoming more important than ever to keep your website secure.
The main threat against websites is hacking, or intrusion into a computer by a person or persons who do not have permission to enter.
Hackers may simply want to maliciously deface your content for the fun of it, or they may have darker purposes, stealing users’ credit card details on e-commerce sites. Whatever their motivations, you need to be able to stop hackers in their tracks.
First ensure the version of your site, stored on your own or your developer’s computer, is protected. It should have top of the range antivirus and firewall software installed, and, if a Windows machine, be regularly updated with the latest Windows server patches.
Also, verify that any scripts (computer files containing code) used by your website are secure and from reputable sources.
When it comes to accessing your website using your web site hosting company’s control panel (e.g. cPanel), ensure that you frequently change your password. Next, make sure you use strong passwords, as in 8 – 20 random upper/lower case strings, ideally including some numeric and punctuation characters.
Finally, it’s worth bearing in mind that your web hosting company will be doing its bit to keep your site secure.
Here at CWCS, where we have close on 10 years of experience in the hosting business, our server security is both up-to-date and industrial-strength. You can rely on us to do our part in keeping your site safe.
Speed now plays an important part in your search engine rankings as Google have now factored website loading time into their search engine algorithm. It is now vital that your website is hosted with a professional managed hosting company who can guarantee 100% uptime and unlimited bandwidth for your dedicated server.
According to Google’s Webmaster Blog:
“We’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests. Speeding up websites is important – not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed – that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings. We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites.”
We encourage you to start looking at the speed of your site, not only to see how to improve your search engine rankings, but your customers experience on your website. The loading time of your site could now be the difference between hitting that first page of Google and your website being nowhere to be seen.
In order to stay ahead of the competition, it is vital that your hosting company is not letting your website down, so make sure that it is hosted on high speed dedicated servers from CWCS Managed Hosting.
Colocation, at first sight, is a bit of a puzzling word with echoes of reality TV programmes and city folk finding homes in the country.
However, in the web hosting world, colocation is an arrangement that lets you use your own hardware but in a secure environment, housed in a location separate from your place of work.
Colocation hosting is especially suited to individuals or companies with complex large-scale IT setups, perhaps involving more than one server, and performing more than one purpose.
For instance, your organisation could be hosting a public-facing website, an intranet, and also running an IP Telephony implementation, all requiring housing for the equipment. It’s also possible your company itself could be multi-site, perhaps expanding and based in different geographical centres.
Trying to house and manage the IT infrastructure for such a setup can be a real headache. The equipment needs to be in a custom server room that is secure against adverse weather conditions, potential theft and vandalism, properly air-conditioned and fireproof. You will also need staff to maintain the servers physically and software-wise.
With colocation from CWCS, for instance, all this is taken out of your hands. Your equipment is housed in our state-of-the-art data centre, whilst your staff can manage the equipment with full remote access, complemented with site visits as you need to make them.
In other words, colocation hosting is a terrific compromise solution that allows you to have your cake and eat it.
If you are going to all the trouble to devise a domain name, create a website, find a suitable web hosting company, and launch a brand new site, you doubtless want to make it the best it can be.
However, it’s only too easy to make some mistakes, or just simple slips along the way. If there are too many of them, they can add up to you being saddled with a ‘bad’ website.
Here are some tips on the pitfalls along the way to building a website, so you can make sure you avoid them.
The first problem can start before your site even exists. This is making the mistake of picking a domain name which is bland, and not sufficiently unique or enticing. Also avoid inadvertently humorous names such as the art design website ’speedofart.com.’
Next there is the deceptively tricky business of ensuring that your site matches your vision. It should do what it says on the tin. If you are selling paper clips, for instance, make sure people don’t come to your site for clips from the newspapers.
Furthermore, steer clear of design blunders, such as distracting backgrounds which make text hard to read, or underlined text that is not a link.
Finally, make sure your web hosting package has sufficient bandwidth for the amount of visitors it gets. Here at CWCS, a long-established, experienced website hosting company, we can advise you on exactly the right package to satisfy your user base.
Software giant Microsoft is set to go head-to-head with Google in a war over their next gen cloud platform.
At a recent event in San Francisco, Microsoft unveiled their latest product, Office 365, which brings together a host of Microsoft applications including Microsoft Office, Sharepoint, Lync Online and Exchange.
This is set to change the way Microsoft will sell their software as it is now being offered as SaaS (software as a service) as they will host and deliver their products via their own data centres instead of paying for a packaged product.
At present, packaged software is still the biggest seller for Microsoft, but its cloud services have already generated around 40 million customers. With Office 365, they hope to target small and medium sized businesses that don’t have the resources to run their own in-house IT departments.
Microsoft began offering its popular software as cloud services a couple of years ago in large part to respond to a trend started by search engine giants Google.
Google launched its own versions of office software, including free spreadsheets and email, with premium versions for businesses also available. It has been estimated that Google are slowly gaining a share of the software market at around 4%.
But with Microsoft latest product, it now puts them in direct competition with Google.
Micorsoft Office 365 is currently available in 13 countries as a beta, with the final version available next year.
CWCS Managed Hosting are soon offering are own cloud hosting services as well as our dedicated servers and managed hosting services. Please come back to the site regularly to see how our cloud hosting solutions can benefit your business.
If your site is involved in online trading, or it represents a busy organisation, finding a web site hosting company and launching the site represent only the beginning. There is after all the crucial question of how to attract new and repeat visitors.
One way to maintain or increase your popularity is to optimise your site so that it gains a high ranking when users search for the site itself or content related to it. This optimisation is known as SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.
There are some basic SEO steps you can take for yourself, without necessarily investing in consultancy. Firstly, ensure that your site has a catchy, standout domain name. One reason, after all, why ‘Cbeebies’, ‘Amazon’ and ‘flickr’ are easy to find is that they have such distinctive domain names.
Next think hard the keywords potential visitors might enter to find the content your site specialises in. Put yourself in the users’ shoes. Then tactically distribute these keywords around the site.
Then make sure your page titles are clear, brief and capture the essence of the content they hold. It’s particularly helpful if keywords used in page titles match content in any given page.
Also bear in mind that lively, succinct, grammatically-correct prose can only help your case.
Here at CWCS, should you choose a web hosting package with us, with our excellent customer services department, we can guide you towards the best package upgrade; especially if you are struggling with increased traffic resulting from a successful SEO campaign.
As websites have grown in complexity over the past decade, so more has been required of the servers which host them.
For some website owners, a shared hosting solution is simply no longer sufficient to manage the traffic levels, technical sophistication, and sheer scale of their sites. They therefore opt for a dedicated server package, in which the web hosting company provides them with a specific machine, one which is entirely dedicated to that client’s site.
Since Microsoft got in to the server market in 1993, with NT Server, a web server has been part of the server operating system.
The product has now matured into Windows Server 2008, a powerful alternative to Linux, and more than able to hold its own.
The advantages of choosing a Windows dedicated server over Linux are as follows:
The operating system is Windows, which will immediately make navigation more familiar since Windows remains the world’s dominant operating system.
.NET and ASP.NET technologies are available on Windows servers, providing a convenient built-in framework for web application development, from websites, to forums and photo galleries within sites.
An enterprise class database can be catered for with support for MS-SQL.
The useful internal document sharing tool for companies, SharePoint, also comes with Windows server.
In the past few years, the Windows dedicated server has become a platform of equivalent reliability to Linux. This is especially the case here at CWCS, where we provide expert management from qualified technicians for our Windows dedicated server packages.
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If you are responsible for a high-traffic, commercial website, reliability and continuity of service will both be high priorities.
This kind of reliability is most likely going to be provided by choosing a ‘managed server’ hosting option. With managed hosting a site is hosted on a server dedicated entirely to that website, and is administered and supported by specialist, qualified staff at the web hosting company.
The kinds of support provided are as follows:
- Assisting with the server setup – this can be particularly helpful if you choose a Linux server, as the Linux operating system, with its remarkable power and flexibility, can sometimes overwhelm inexperienced users. Having said that, assistance with Windows server setup could also be invaluable.
- Server monitoring – it helps to have experts on a hand to “read” the self-monitoring messages generated by the server.
- Applying crucial patches and updates in a timely manner.
- Regularly backing up your data and server configuration.
These are just a few of the key admin tasks that would be taken out of your company’s hands, should you choose a managed server option.
Here at CWCS, with a decade’s experience in the web hosting world, we offer a managed server service that is second to none, and which is underpinned by peerless technical support available 24/7 365 days a year, and by phone or email.
Managed hosting is not necessarily the cheapest web hosting option, but it is certainly the most likely to bring you peace of mind.