Security Attacks

Discover Cutting Edge Techniques to Combat Cyber Security

In mid-February 2017, hackers were able to access several websites hosted on one of Afrihost shared hosting servers and defacing them.

Any one of us, no matter what our role in the company can unwittingly contribute to a cyber-attack and cost the company millions. The question is no longer whether a company will be attacked, but where, when and how. We can help to raise awareness of cyberattacks and other malicious software targeting companies like yours. This serves as an imperative that your site needs to be safe guarded as well as to ensure customer details and information is safely secured. The Afrihost attacks can be viewed on Mybroadband and Webrabbit for reference.

Take On Today’s Security Challenges

You’re facing a new generation of ICT security challenges, with social media, mobile devices in the workplace and cloud computing, all carrying with them new risks. Innovo Networks can help you overcome these challenges with our portfolio of security solutions.

Why Us For Cyber-Security

3 reasons to choose Innovo Networks:

  1. Our globally renowned team of White-Hat Hackers, use technology and knowledge to provide unparalleled analysis of and insight into your security risks and vulnerabilities. We implore all of our clients to do comprehensive testing even if they’vebeen tested before or have internal security staff in place, because unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint) our team too often finds that organizations are compromised by malicious criminals, rogue nations, and, often, internal figures.
  2. In a safe, controlled, professional, and authorizedtest we succeed in penetrating your systems, processes, technology, and people. Innovo Networks only deploys the most advanced team of security experts available to maximize results. Depending on your requirements, Innovo Networks deploys or team, a manner specific to each engagement, including augmenting our security specialists and trusted situational-specific resources. Then, using a blend of proprietary technology and methodologies, we test multiple attack vectors and simulate sophisticated hackers to analyze your company’s attack surface. Our clients must understand the level of current risk and what they can accept in the future.
  3. If you’re considering an assessment, you need to consider Innovo Networks. Innovo Networks probes and launches safe attacks against your applications, people, telecommunications, and internal and external networks. We have advanced up-to-the-minute knowledge of how hackers and possibly internal staff might seek to invade and damage your organization.Security expertise
with the acceleration of enterprise mobility, the adoption of multiple devices and increasingly demanding end-users, IT security has become very complex. Our security consultants and facilities provide the knowledge and expertise to help you meet your network security challenges, while enjoying the business benefits of increased mobility.

Clients normally use our recommendations to harden networks, systems, and devices based on our recommendations. They use Innovo Networks to analyze intrusions, risk mitigation, track down intruders, and provide thorough, in-depth forensic services.

People’s susceptibilities to manipulation and influence are the biggest security risks to businesses. Innovo Networks will design, implement, and promote the effort to train staff toward mitigating risk. We work with employees to educate and train, and, more important, change their security mindsets. You are now among other leaders in industry, technology, and government who want to know how well their technical and human-based security controls can hold up to a sophisticated attack.

You are among other leaders in industry, technology, and government who want to know how well their technical and human-based security controls can hold up to a sophisticated attack. They rely on Innovo Networks 100% successful track record of penetrating systems using technical exploits and social engineering to expose vulnerabilities. Due to our unique positioning within the industry, we are able to provide the most advanced and comprehensive analysis, recommendations, and support available.

This is call from the industry’s leading information security experts – contact us for cyber consultations and assessments.

www.innovonet.co.za

Tel: 0218113333

info@innovonet.co.za

Unified Communications

 

iot_unified_communications_collaboration

Today, most businesses will agree that private communications is beginning to shift towards a cloud-based Unified Communications (UC) model. Private communications systems such as premise-based PBXs made sense when work was conducted at fixed locations and the worker was at the desktop. Today, business is conducted both face-to-face and remotely using a wide variety of voice, web and video conferencing tools as well as mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Mobility is not really a choice any more it’s a fact of business life. Traditionally, the desktop was king (hence the PBX was the core element of the service delivery), but today mobility in its many forms (smartphones and tablets and handheld devices running on either public, cellular or WiFi networks) has taken center stage

For enterprises, it makes financial sense to centralize their communication applications and distribute these over private, public and hybrid cloud communication infrastructures. An enterprise can significantly improve productivity and save up to 40% by moving communications to network-based cloud solutions, which allows workers (and customers) to access communication applications from any location on any device.

But how can a service provider help an enterprise migrate to a cloud-based model when the enterprise has already so much invested in premise-based PBXs? The answer is by offering a cloud-based VoIP and UC that seamlessly connects to their PBXs.

Innovo Networks can help an enterprise cap investments in PBXs by deploying a hosted cloud-based UC solution that seamlessly connects to all its users. Those users already serviced by existing PBXs will continue to do so, but will also be able to benefit from the additional features offered by the new cloud-based solution. New enterprise users at the corporate office or remote home offices can be directly serviced by the new cloud-based solution, and can seamlessly communicate with other subscribers of the enterprise whether they are also serviced by the new solution or the legacy PBX. This provides a flexible and sensible model for enterprises to fully depreciate the investments made on the PBX, before migrating to a full cloud-based model – if they choose to eventually do so.

www.innovonet.co.za

Tel: 0218113333

info@innovonet.co.za

Broadband Internet Services

Broadband

 

Are you looking for speedy Internet service? Are you ready to be set free from the shackles of the dial-up modem? It might be time to consider broadband Internet service.

Innovo Networks provides high-speed last mile access bandwidth access and true converged services right to your business

On Beyond Dial-Up

Broadband is the name given to Internet access, such as DSL, cable, and mobile Internet, that is much quicker than traditional dial-up service. In some cases, its hundreds of times faster. It won’t be long before dial-up service is a thing of the past.

If you plan on watching movies, downloading music or uploading photos, broadband Internet is the right path for you. And it doesn’t end there; the speed of broadband Internet facilitates online gaming, telephone calls, video chatting, streaming radio, large email attachments and much more. Several companies offer the bundling of telephone and cable television with broadband access, too.

Broadband Internet service doesn’t tie up your telephone line like dial-up service, meaning you can make phone calls and surf the World Wide Web at the same time. Many broadband services also offer VoIP (Voice over IP), which lets you make telephone calls over the Internet. Like traditional phone services, VoIP features call waiting, voicemail and caller ID.

Broadband Internet service is always on. That means you don’t have to connect with your service provider and log in. As soon as you fire up your Web browser, the Internet will be there waiting for you. You won’t have to count hours, worrying about how long you’ve been online. You won’t get booted off the Web each time someone rings your telephone line, either.

Service Specifics

There are many companies offering broadband Internet access. So it’s important to understand what you’re shopping for.

  • Cable Internet is provided through the same network as cable television. It’s the fastest access available and can be bundled with other services.
  • DSL service accesses the Web through the traditional telephone infrastructure. This service isn’t as fast as cable, but doesn’t cost as much. It can also be bundled with other services.
  • Mobile Internet provides connections for cell phones, tablet computers, e-readers and other portable devices. It isn’t as fast as cable or DSL, but frees you from the confines of your home or business.
  • Satellite Internet offers Web access without the need for a traditional network. The speed is much slower than Cable or DSL, but faster than dial-up service. Like satellite television, you’ll need a dedicated dish to capture the signal.

Often, you can combine Internet, telephone and television service into one package with one bill and pay less than if you purchased these products separately.

Dial-up Internet service can be achingly slow. If you’re ready to speed it up, free up your telephone line and stay connected to the Web, then it’s time to sign up for broadband Internet with Innovo Networks.

www.innovonet.co.za

Tel: 0218113333

info@innovonet.co.za

 

Voice Communication Systems

Voice

 

Communication is vital in the business world. Technology has provided many options to the business world when it comes to communication. Today companies communicate using telephone, email, instant messaging, texting, and even video conferencing. There is no question that communication has been greatly improved thanks to technological advancements, but without the right equipment, your company might feel trapped in time.

Voice Communication

There is a very competitive market for forward thinking companies that want to establish better voice communication. Advanced technology helps them to choose better options for their data networking strategies.

Some of the key benefits of having good service to install, troubleshoot, or repair voice systems are available to both large and small businesses. The demand for better voice solutions over the traditional methods include VOIP, inter-company calling, and shared extensions. With all of the services available to keep phone systems running at the optimum level, expert technicians need to be available to provide solutions for individual needs.

Quality Installations

Adapting to changes as new features are added, data cabling and installations need to be done with efficiency. There are many companies that claim to be the best, but the good ones have experience and professional training in this field to help your company to expand. EIA/TIA standards need to be met. This requires people who know about the industry and have the right certifications to do the job.

Keeping your workforce informed of changes to the system puts you in control of keeping communication running properly. There is a lot to learn when it comes to voice networking, but the right people can really make a difference. When employees are using the internet, or cloud, for data sharing, hosted phone services that have good features help to keep up the pace while receiving incoming and outgoing calls.

Maintenance and Servicing

Effective and reliable phone systems require maintenance, servicing, and updating. Proper evaluation takes time and can be provided for you. This lets this business owner handle all of the other tasks necessary without the hassle of knowing who to call to get these things taken care of. Also if you have not already obtained these systems and need them to be installed, it can be done quickly by setting up a scheduled time. Convenience is what owners need if they have an outstanding data networking plan.

Easy Conferencing

Companies also enjoy the advantage of conferencing easily within the company or remotely to exchange information and tools. Training and communications are easily shared with these systems. When interruptions and errors occur, it is good to have a backup plan to restore service. People who know about fiber optic wiring, structures, and cabling are a very valuable asset to have when issues arise. From the largest call center to a medium sized office, there is a need present if your business requires and depends on staying in touch every day.

Innovo Networks

Innovo Networks has been servicing businesses of Arizona for a few years. Our contractors can help review and install the wiring infrastructure and create a stable and efficient foundation for your cable network and phone system. Innovo Networks provides the following services:

  • Cable Management
  • Network Installation
  • Data Transmitting

Unlike many companies in the area, Innovo Networks can perform every part of the computer and phone wiring installation. Our ability to do so saves you time, money, and the frustration of working with multiple contractor companies for cabling. Innovo Networks will handle everything from running cable to the install of jacks and equipment. We take pride in our customized structured cabling plans with the ability to upgrade, expand, and reconfigure your wiring needs to meet current and future business demands.

www.innovonet.co.za

Tel: 0218113333

info@innovonet.co.za

Do you Need to Efficiently Communicate Between Various Locations in your Business?

MPLS

An Innovo Networks MPLS VPN (Virtual Private Network) offers businesses a simple and secure solution to deliver a private network between one or more locations (offices, shops, warehouses etc). This enables you to send email, share files, domain authentication, make VoIP phone calls, and operate point of sale equipment on one single private network for your entire business. It doesn’t matter if you have two or twenty locations. We can setup a private network quickly and easily using Innovo Networks MPLS Network.

Flexible Configuration

If you have business requirements surrounding security, internet access and content filtering we can offer several configurations to meet these needs.

Connect using almost any technology

We can connect multiple network technologies together to provide you with a seamless, secure network. You may want to connect a head office with branch or retail outlets to your warehouses, almost any configuration is possible.

Given the diversity of communications infrastructure available in South Africa, some locations may be able to get fibre whilst others ADSL and others wireless. We can put all of these network technologies together to provide a single secure network. We can provide the MPLS VPN Cloud service using any combination of Ethernet, Broadband DSL, 3G Wireless and WiMAX (Fixed Wireless).

Works with your existing investment

Most organizations already have an existing investment in their network and don’t have the luxury of starting again from scratch. The Innovo Networks VPN service is both universally compatible and modular enough to integrate into most existing networks.

Cost Effective

Our MPLS VPN service can be included with almost any of our fibre, for only a few hundred rands per month depending upon the bandwidth, location and number of services you want to connect to your MPLS cloud.

How can we help you?

Innovo Networks is the expert in developing private networks for businesses requiring a scalable MPLS IP-VPN solution connecting multiple locations across South Africa. When your business has multiple locations, secure and cost effective networking solutions are essential. Interconnect your head office, remote branches, tele-workers and mobile staff, regardless of size, access technology used or proximity to head office, with the Innovo Networks Private Network.

www.innovonet.co.za

Tel: 0218113333

info@innovonet.co.za

Protect your Business from Cyber-attacks

cyber-attack

Small businesses are often poorly prepared to defend themselves against a cyber-attack.

Small businesses may feel that they are less at risk of attacks than larger businesses, and that the impact of an attack will be small.

In fact, small businesses are targeted by cyber-criminals to an alarming degree, and make up as much as 40% of all attempted attacks.

The threat is real, and while most small businesses do employ a range of security measures to protect themselves it is rare for us to encounter a new client who does not suffer from some glaring weaknesses in their protection strategy.

Our customers hear from us regularly about the strategies that we recommend to improve cyber security, and six of the key areas to consider are listed below:

Install anti-malware and anti-virus protection

 

It may seem obvious, but it is truly surprising to us how often we encounter a new client who has systems connected to their internal network with no form of security software installed at all. It only takes one infected computer for malware to spread within your business network, so ensuring that all of your systems have suitable security software installed is critical. Mobile devices, including smartphones, require protection, as do systems that may include a normal PC as part of their operations.

 

Some of the common sources of a malware or virus infection are:

  • compromised Wi-Fi network;
  • spam emails;
  • harmful websites;
  • Infected portable drives.

If a malware infection is successful the malware can install code that runs in the background, capturing keystrokes and login information and relaying it back to the attackers.

Secure your hardware

A cyber-attack can be facilitated if a company computer device is lost or stolen, exposing confidential system data or passwords. We have all heard about security blunders where confidential information is accidentally made public when a device is lost, but not many business owners have considered that a lost device can mean they are at greater risk of a cyber-attack directed at their business systems.

Physical security to prevent theft, and measures such as hardware based encryption, can ensure that you are less likely to lose information with hardware.

An additional measure to consider is tracking software, which is particularly important if your business regularly operates from mobile devices outside of your office. A lost device can be disabled or wiped remotely, and can even report its location back to you to aid in recovery.

Educate your employees

Many forms of cyber-attack rely on impersonating a legitimate email or website and tricking someone into triggering an infection of their computer. A properly configured network, where staff do not have the system permissions to infect their computers, can minimize the risks, but educating all employees about the risks and the signs of a cyber-attack is very important.

Some very effective measures to take are:

  • Drawing up a formal company Internet policy;
  • Advising all employees of the filtering and monitoring of Internet use;
  • Keeping employees up to date with current threats.

If an employee is aware of what past and potential threats can look like they are far less likely to click on an email purporting to be from your online banking site, or SARS

Test your security

Arranging for a professional assessment of your security can be a very simple way to identify the areas where you need to improve. Such an assessment will involve an expert firm performing various forms of tests to confirm your level of exposure, and may include automated probing of your online connections, simulated social engineering attacks, and other strategies.

When the assessment is completed you will receive a detailed report showing exactly how well your security measures have worked, and suggesting changes or improvements you could make – an ideal way to learn where you need to focus your efforts and investment.

Encrypt your data

The information stored on your systems, including local or cloud storage, can be encrypted so that only authorized parties can read it. This approach does not in itself prevent the information being intercepted, but the information will be ‘scrambled’ and unreadable without the required decryption keys, similar to a password.

Windows itself includes the BitLocker encryption system, and there are other products that allow information to be encrypted, but still used and shared within the business.

It can be inconvenient to encrypt all information stored on a system, but the simple strategy of storing sensitive information, such as banking details, online banking passwords, confidential customer or employee information and financial information in an encrypted location can be very effective.

Secure your network

Your network equipment, including firewalls, network switches, routers and wireless access devices, are all vulnerable to attack, and can in fact be the entry point into your network.

Many cyber-attacks target vulnerable Wi-Fi networks, with weak or in fact absent password protection. Apart from using strong password protection, a good, simple option is to disable the service set identifier (SSID) broadcasting function in your equipment. This creates a hidden network, invisible to casual Wi-Fi snoops and accessible only to users with the exact network name.

Of course, your network firewall represents a key part of your security systems, and it needs to be configured correctly, updated over time, and monitored continuously to warn you of an attack attempt, but other network equipment including network switches and routers are also at risk.

A strategy that including regularly updating and continuously monitoring your network will ensure that you are not exposed to a network based attack.

Innovo Networks staff receive ongoing training in cyber security and the systems that we design follow industry best practice to ensure that exposure to cyber-attacks is minimized. In our experience, most small businesses are vulnerable and yet are not aware of the risks they are exposed to.

 

If you would like to discuss the security of your business systems, give us a call on 021 811 3333, or email to info@innovonet.co.za

www.innovonet.co.za

Security Benefits of the Cloud

security cloud benefits

Security is at the forefront of minds everywhere when it comes to the Cloud. Many businesses and individuals are under the assumption that hosting your data through the Cloud makes you more vulnerable to security threats. However, cloud security is actually one of the better security options out there in terms of storing your data and being able to handle the DDoS attacks that are occurring more every year. With this being said, there are many reasons why a business or brand can rest assured in the comfort of cloud computer technology.

Complying with Regulations

There are several regulations that many businesses have to meet when it comes to online security. For example, banking institutions must have a high level of security with online access due to how many client’s information can be found online. This is one of the reasons why cloud computing is considered a better option. Cloud computing offers security that not only complies with these regulations, but in many cases surpasses the regulations that are in place.

Cloud Computing Offers TLS Protection

One of the major security benefits that is seen within the cloud includes the transition to TLS or transport layer security. This is the successor to Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). This type of security layer is meant to ensure data breaches become a thing of the past. With this type of security, it makes it impossible for online hackers to tamper with messages or even see messages that are sent.

Human Error Reduced with the Cloud

There are also errors when it comes to an actual person handling the placement and holding of data. However, the cloud takes away this error. Even if a person were to lose a laptop that had data backed up on the Cloud, they are safer than if they were to not to be involved with the Cloud. With this example, it shows just how safe your business data would be when stored with the Cloud.

Latest Security Updates Are First to the Cloud

One of the best benefits of the Cloud is that when security protocols or the like are updated, these updates and improvements are going to reach the Cloud before they reach private hands. Due to the Cloud being such a large infrastructure, security is a must have. These updates and improvements ensure that you have the latest security at your hands.

Cloud Security Includes Ideas that Answer Age Old Issues

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits for businesses when it comes to the Cloud, are the methods in which they security answers that help with old issues that have always plagued businesses. For example, password manager software, layer protections within a network, latest firewall protections, and the like. It is these security benefits that has many businesses turning to the Cloud, and why this is a recommended option for businesses who may be worried about security flaws.

 

www.innovonet.co.za

Tel: 0218113333

info@innovonet.co.za

Cloud Compliance.

cloud compliance

Cloud compliance problems emerge as soon as you make use of cloud storage or backup services. By moving information from your internal storage to someone else you are required to analyze closely how that information will be kept so that you remain certified with laws and market laws. When it comes to shadow compliance exactly what data should you move to the cloud and exactly what should be kept internal, what concerns do you need to ask your cloud company and exactly what terms should be composed into SLAs to preserve compliance?

Once you’ve decided to trust a public cloud platform enough to get started, the next question that arises is often compliance. How can you be sure that it’s legal for your organization to do this?

Answering this question can be challenging. Different industries have different requirements—financial services firms are typically more constrained than manufacturing companies, for example—and the rules also differ across countries. Add to this the fact that many of these laws and regulations were written before cloud computing existed, and the result is a complex stew of rules.

Still, the laws are being modernized, and the situation is getting clearer. It’s obvious, for example, that using public cloud technology is acceptable in many situations. The huge growth in software as a service (SaaS) solutions such as Office 365 makes this clear. Just as important, Azure has a range of third-party certifications that can make compliance easier.

If you have concerns about whether you can move data to Azure and remain compliant, you might need to get advice from legal professionals. And there are some situations in some industries that probably won’t be cloud-friendly for a while. But if you’re like most organizations, you’ll probably find that you can do more than you thought you could in the cloud while still complying with the necessary regulations.

www.innovonet.co.za

Tel: 0218113333

info@innovonet.co.za

The Cloud, Efficiency & Innovation

cloud-server-hosting1

Most people now agree that the cloud has become a core element of any enterprise’s technology strategy, and Innovo Networks provides cloud services to help businesses make right technology decisions. Indeed, in the past few years we have seen the conversation around cloud adoption move from “if” to “when” and “how.” It is, in short, a fact of life.

Nevertheless, it remains one of the most disruptive changes in computing in years, and it is worth reviewing what makes the cloud so compelling to enterprise IT. Its value proposition is many-faceted, ranging from significant cost savings over a traditional datacenter approach to the ability to quickly build robust, resilient applications that can scale up as traffic spikes, and scale down as it recedes.

Economics

In cloud computing, enterprises pay for what they use, much as they would a telecom provider. If demand decreases and you no longer need capacity, you can turn off systems and you are not charged. This simple model stands in stark contrast to the traditional model of enterprise computing, which is a capital-intensive function, requiring expensive data-centers, electricity, air conditioning, servers, networks, storage, and 24/7 operations staff. For most companies, maintaining a large IT presence in this model implies large capital expenditures and a nontrivial amount of accounting and record-keeping to track depreciation, tax considerations, and so forth. Moreover, when you purchase the hardware and the software, they become yours in every sense of the word. Operations staffs are responsible for hardware swaps, networks, backups, updates for operating systems, and upgrades to the system software and applications. The traditional model is a “capital expense” model. Innovo Networks provides recommendations for improving application performance and solving customer challenges.

The cloud, being subscription-based, is an operating expense model. In the cloud, computing becomes a service for which customers are billed a monthly charge. Like other such services, it is metered by usage. The more compute, network, and storage resources that you use, the higher will be your bill. Of course the reverse is also true: the less you use, the less you are charged. Indeed, most IT organizations find wide variations in system utilization: some applications (for example, retail, shopping) are seasonal; other applications (for example, training applications) run for a short period of time before being shut down; others are simply unpredictable.

Perhaps most important, the cloud is not an “either/or” proposition. It is certainly possible, and indeed in many cases desirable, to leave some applications running in a local, traditional datacenter while others are migrated to the cloud. Innovo Networks takes the confusion, hassle & doubt out of getting the right communications technology into your business.  Providers such as Microsoft have made huge investments in this hybrid cloud model that securely connects applications in the cloud to those remaining in a customer’s datacenter.

Daily efficiencies

After there is an on-demand computing service available, all sorts of other efficiencies become possible. For example, systems devoted to development and application testing often constitute a large cost area for IT departments, yet in the end do not actually provide any direct value to end users. Developers and testers can quickly allocate cloud-based resources, use them for their work, and then free them up when done. Similarly, with the vast, capacious amounts of cheap storage available, data backup to the cloud, and across multiple geographies if desired, becomes a straightforward and inexpensive function. Azure allows businesses to host websites on a secure cloud server that is managed by Microsoft and backed by their up-time guarantees through Innovo Networks.

www.innovonet.co.za

Tel: 0218113333

damian@innovonet.co.za

Modernization with Cloud Computing

 

cloud platform

It’s worth noting that Innovo Networks provide an opportunity to consider the IT ecosystem as a whole and how it can be modernized. As you shall see, cloud migration at scale involves looking at each application and determining how it should be thought of in this new environment called the cloud.

Many enterprises have held their applications for far too long without assigning to them a maintenance or retirement schedule. Therefore, for fear of complexity, lack of documentation, resources, source code, or other reasons, applications remain untouched.

Even for applications that remain on-premises, modernization can save time and money. An internal Microsoft IT study in 2010 demonstrated that the number of problem reports (“tickets”) and the time to resolve them increased with the age of the application and system software. (This analysis led to a focused effort to ensure that all applications were on the latest version of the operating system and other systems software such as database.)

Moreover, and more important, migration to the cloud provides an opportunity to evaluate and modernize applications and, in particular, their business logic. This activity can provide great returns on investment and impact to the top-line revenue.

Motions that one can take to modernize application and services portfolios:

  • Re-host – Move a VM or an operating environment from the on-premises datacenter to a hoster or a cloud. This model is also known as co-location
  • Re-platform – A legacy environment becomes unsustainable based on cost or operational requirements; a solution is to “retain and wrap” the application without making changes to the code, possibly compromising the integrity and security of the operation.
  • Retire and Rewrite (or Re-envision) – When there are sufficient new requirements that cannot be met by the older environment, the best way to proceed is to rewrite the application in a newer, better-suited environment. Often this occurs when examining the portfolio of applications and consolidating several that have similar function.
  • Burst out – With all of the new compute, data, and service models that are being provided in cloud environments, each providing capabilities and capacities that where never before accessible to an IT environment, many applications are bursting out to the cloud. These applications are doing innovative types of analytics, reporting, high-performance computing visualization, and so on. Keeping frequently used data locally while aging-out infrequently accessed data to far cheaper cloud storage is another common pattern.
  • Expand – Enterprises are now exploring how to expand their older applications and how to add functionality to provide to mobile devices and web front ends the same capabilities that previously were limited to a computer screen. They are even moving to enhance the applications with search or video services, as an example.
  • Cloud-Native Applications – As companies begin their investigation of the cloud, they frequently realize that there are new forms of applications like Big Data, new types of analytics, entirely new capabilities such as machine learning, and applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) that are uniquely fitted to live in the cloud.

Evolution of the five R’s of modernization

To focus our efforts on guidance for existing applications, let’s proceed with the most convenient way to think about modernization, which is commonly called “the five R’s”: retire, replace, retain and wrap, re-host, and re-envision. It’s likely that no single approach will be appropriate for all of an enterprise’s legacy applications, and a mix of differing approaches might be warranted, based on the value that an application delivers versus the cost of any given approach. Because these approaches depend highly on the situation, application, and types of cost involved, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Retire – if a legacy application is providing little value compared to its costs, the enterprise should consider it a candidate for retirement. When few people are using an application relative to its cost impact, the enterprise needs to run a cost-benefit analysis to determine if it is worth the expense. Additionally, some functionality provided by legacy systems may be rolled into a consolidated modern application running in the cloud, allowing some applications to be retired while others are replaced and modernized.

Replace – a legacy application is providing some value, but an off-the-shelf replacement with a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) is available. Many legacy applications were originally built because there was no alternative at that time. A modern, readily available application that is better suited to running in the cloud—most cost-effectively of all, a SaaS application—may now exist that can be used to replace the older one. Also, when a legacy application is replaced with a more comprehensive modern solution, there might be a chance to consolidate functionality from several older applications, thereby replacing multiple applications with a single system.

Retain and wrap – If a legacy application is providing good value and not incurring a high TCO, the best approach might be to retain it but put a modern “wrapper” around it in order to gain additional value and benefits.

 Rehost – If a legacy application is providing good value but is expensive to run, it might be a candidate for re-hosting. Re-hosting involves keeping the same basic functionality, but moving it to the cloud where it is easier to manage and less expensive to run. This is also called “lift and shift.” In a re-hosting situation, the legacy application might be currently located either on a local VM or on local hardware. Some VMs might be eligible to move with a simple migration. Those on local hardware might be able to be converted with a physical-to-virtual migration and then hosting the VM on the cloud. Some VMs, especially older ones, might not migrate easily to the cloud without some significant work. In those cases, you might want to consider re-envisioning and building the application in the cloud.

Re-envision – If a legacy application is providing good value but cannot be easily migrated, the best solution might be to re-envision it and build it again on the cloud. Re-envisioning is a process of rebuilding the application in the cloud using modern technology, a new architecture, and best practices; it normally also involves adding more business value to core functionality, such as improving market differentiation. Re-envisioning an application might require rewriting the main logic by using a modern development language and tools and making it service oriented. Re-envisioning an application can be facilitated by starting with VMs in the cloud, which can be instantiated in a matter of minutes.

Cloud migration: 3 stages

When planning migration to the cloud, there are many ways to think about a road-map. From our experience, however, we’ve seen three basic stages: experimentation, migration, and transformation.

In the essential experimentation phase, two processes take place. In the first, the engineers and others create the IT department’s first cloud applications, with the objective of learning what the cloud is all about: how to develop for it, how to test, how to deploy, and how to monitor and maintain a cloud application. Concurrently, businesses and IT departments envision the art of the possible; design new solutions to demonstrate how to advance the status quo; and envision a newer, expanded, more agile and better application or service.

In the migration phase —which in many ways is the most demanding of the phases the bulk of the IT portfolio is moved to the cloud in one form or another. This requires cooperation and collaboration across a number of different enterprise functions, including the technical staff, the operations staff, as well as the executive team, business sponsors, security professionals, regulatory compliance staff, legal, and HR.

In the transformation phase (which will often be coincident with the migration phase), selected applications are redesigned to take maximum advantage of the cloud—using the PaaS model—affording greater scale, greater integration with other cloud services, and numerous other advantages.

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