How many Clouds are there? and the demise of IE

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NLDC Monthly Newsletter


Welcome to our April 2015 Newsletter

We aim to provide you with a brief digest of IT information that you will find useful and informative.

Please let us know if this newsletter has been helpful to you. Any feedback will be gratefully received. If there is anything you would like us to address in future issues, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Please email or use the Contact Form on our website

About NLDC?

NLDC was formed by Neil Davies in 2002 to provide independent IT advice to businesses in the North West. We provide the services of an in-house IT Director, but only when you need it.
We pride ourselves on our integrity, competence, value for money and flexibility. To learn more about the kind of things we do, why not take a look at our website or give us a call on 0161 654 4155, we'll be more than happy to discuss any IT or Telecommunications related queries you may have.

Is the internet full of clouds?


Well, yes. Service Providers talk about “The Cloud” as though it is a single entity. It suggests that if your business “goes to the cloud” and your competitor “goes to the cloud” you are both doing the same thing. Whilst you may be doing the same thing, it is quite possible, even likely, that you are doing something completely different.

“The Cloud” is simply a computing resource located in a remote data centre. You could be sharing a physical server with other customers (a Public Cloud) or the server could be dedicated to you (a Private Cloud). You could be paying for it per user per month, which is the traditional way, or you could purchase the server and software yourself and rent the data centre space. This is termed a hybrid cloud and is often the less expensive model.

All remote data centres are not the same either. They can range from a server in a domestic garage (literally) to a fully certified, highly available and secure data centre with thousands of servers inside. As ever, it pays to do your homework.

It’s also important to consider what it is that you are actually using from this remote data centre. Platform as a Service (PaaS) provides your applications as part of the fee, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) just provides the processing platform for you to install applications on to.

You could even simply use individual applications from “the cloud”. Many businesses use hosted Exchange for their emails, paying per mailbox per month. DR as a Service (DRaaS) provides remote data storage with fast data recovery to meet your Disaster Recovery requirements. There are many other examples.

When considering whether to move to “The Cloud” or to change cloud providers, it is important to understand what you mean by “The Cloud” and how you see your business benefitting from such a move. The International Standards Organisation (ISO) has released two documents to assist businesses with the terms used by Service Providers to define their cloud offerings. ISO/IEC 17788  provides definitions of the terminology used and ISO/IEC 17789  contains diagrams and descriptions of how the various aspects of cloud computing fit together.

It you haven’t got the time or inclination to review these documents and investigate your options, then NLDC can help you. Please get in touch if you are considering the future of your IT systems to see how we can help you move to the next stage in your business’s development.

The death knell has sounded for Internet Explorer...


Microsoft have decided to put Internet Explorer (IE) out to pasture. Version 11, which came with Windows 8.1 will be the last version of IE. Windows 10, due out mid 2015, will have a new browser, codenamed Spartan. IE11 will still be present for backward compatibility, but Spartan will be the default browser.

Spartan is a completely new piece of software with a new rendering engine designed for the new computing environment. Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri and Google Now, is integrated into Spartan. So you can speak to your browser and Cortana will display the results within the browser.

The Web Note function in Spartan allows you to annotate a web page, ie highlight or write on it with a digital pen. You can then capture the image and save it to a document or elsewhere. This seems a nice feature, but this kind of screen grabbing has been around for a while via applets. It will be interesting to see how far Spartan develops when Windows 10 finally ships.

There are some reasonable video reviews of Spartan, click here, if you want to see more.

And finally...

Goldman Sachs have launched a Social Network aimed at the Financial Services Industry. The software, called Symphony, has been funded to the tune of $66M by a consortium of banks. Their hope is that the software will be used by most financial institutions initially, but then it will be rolled out to other sectors (including Legal) and maybe even the public. The banks, writing software to be used by the banks, what could possibly go wrong?

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