Monthly Archives: July 2019

INET Dynamics
Singapore Top Cloud Hosting provider

Understanding Cloud Hosting

 

Categories: Cloud Hosting
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Written by Xuan Luan for I-Net Dynamics

Cloud has undeniably grown more and more popular in recent years. Big names like Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Google provide many products and services on the cloud. Among them, one core service you may come across along your exploration of the cloud is cloud hosting.

What Is Cloud Hosting?

Traditionally, for hosting, organizations have to invest in their physical data center, and their applications and tools are deployed in this single physical server.

Cloud hosting is not a tangible physical product, but it’s how you configure your servers and then deploy your products. Now with cloud hosting, your applications and tools can be deployed to the cloud and accessible via the Internet. From a user’s perspective, you may find no difference. However, your business now can take advantage of a powerful network of servers. How much you want to tap into the resources is all up to your needs of scalability, availability, and so on.

How Does Cloud Hosting Work?
As explained above, instead of the traditional single server model, cloud hosting ensures that your applications and solutions are deployed in a cloud network, not the on-premises server.

Cloud providers have their network of physical servers, which then implement a huge network of virtualized servers. For most businesses, this is a nearly limitless supply of resources, including computing power, data storage, and other integrated services up to their demand at a reasonable cost.

Benefits of Cloud Hosting

1. Flexibility and Scalability
With physical servers, traditional hosting models are limited in its bandwidth. Cloud-hosted solutions can adapt to traffic demands easily and quickly. It can be scaled to meet high-season needs without the hassle of investing in physical resources or server reconfiguration.
With a network of clustered virtualized servers, your solution can easily tap into more cloud resources whenever you need and then release them when they are no longer needed.

 

2. Cost Efficiency with Flexible Pricing Model
Similar to many current cloud services, you can use the resources on a pay-as-you-go basis. With this pricing structure, you should be able to monitor and then predict your usage more accurately. It then may help you with cost planning for your business.

 

3. Reliability and Availability
Your traditional hosting websites are dependent on your physical servers, which undoubtedly are subject to downtime, disaster, and security risks.

Cloud hosting has a high-availability feature built into its architecture. Using top-quality services from big players like Microsoft and Amazon guarantees that you have access to the most reliable and secure network.

Your applications are no longer subject to a single point of hardware failures. Once a server goes down, plenty of other servers come in to do the job. Moreover, the data is also backed up and secured. Traffics travel across secured interfaces.

 

4. Fairly Easy and Speedy Implementation
You can now deploy a cloud hosting server in record time. For example, developers can easily use Azure Portal to deploy their websites on the cloud within a few clicks.

For organizations and businesses, there are more things in considerations; however, with the help of reputable providers, the general setup process is considerably faster and smoother than the long way of setting up physical servers.

 

5. Safety and Security
Similar to the point of reliability, with cloud hosting, you are no longer subject to your physical server issues including hacking, hardware failure, or system overload.

Moreover, cloud providers like Microsoft Azure guarantee one of the highest security standards for their products and services. Thus, using these resources means that at least your hosting platform is much more secure than your physical server, which you may not be able to invest and implement crucial security practices.

 

6. Easy Management and Monitoring
Now everything about your cloud-hosted solutions can be monitored and managed easily via management dashboards, for example, Azure portal gives you a fairly easy and intuitive view, where you can understand and manage your applications without a deep technical requirement.

Also, Azure offers many other services such as business and analytics, which you can quickly integrate with your cloud-hosted solutions for a whole better performance and experience.

With a brief overview of cloud hosting, hopefully, you can have more information to find a suitable solution to your business. To have a deeper look into it and how to best apply it for your business, please contact us for reputable cloud hosting services.

INET Dynamics
cloud hosting database

Comparing Databases: Cloud VS Local?

 

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What is a cloud database?

 

A cloud database is a database service built and run in a cloud platform. A cloud database’s structure and purpose is not much different to a traditional local database. However, the core difference of where the database resides (on cloud versus on-premises) can bring some striking competitive advantages, which attract businesses to cloud adoption.

 

One key attractive offer of cloud databases is a database as a service (DBaaS). DBaaS is a model that provides a database as a ready-to-use service, which users can quickly deploy and has access to a database without the need for infrastructure investment and setup. The aspects of administration and maintenance can be taken care of by the service provider so the focus of users is on using it and utilizing it for their maximum returns.

 

Some key players in the industry

 

Cloud databases and DBaaS are undoubtedly offered by cloud providers. Some prominent players in the market are Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, IBM. Most providers offer support for both relational databases (SQL) and nonrelational databases (NoSQL). Businesses should research carefully about each provider offer when they select one.

 

 

Some key features and competitive advantages of a cloud database

 

The core of a database is no difference since, for example, a SQL Server database works the same on-premises and on the cloud. Database users and admins still use the same knowledge and skills to handle the database. However, cloud database providers generally offer some key features and benefits as below.

 

  • The database is on the cloud.
  • It’s quick and easy to set a database up to use.
  • It’s cost effective since you can choose your database tier and pay for what you use.
  • Businesses no longer have to buy dedicated hardware upfront.
  • Can be managed by the user or offered as a service and managed by a provider
  • Support SQL (including MySQL) or NoSQL databases
  • Accessed through a web interface or vendor-provided API

 

 

Cloud Database vs Local Database

CriteriaCloud DatabaseLocal Database

Residence On the cloud (it can be either a private or public cloud) On-Premises (Typically, businesses’ own local server and machines.)
Access Via the Internet Mostly local network (LAN)
Investment Mostly fee-based models. Users pay for what they use without investing in physical hardware and software. Businesses have to invest their own physical infrastructure, software to install and IT staff to set up from scratch.
Administration Control options: Organizations can opt for what they want, a traditional database on a virtual machine or a DBaaS.
Database admins still have full control over how to use their data.
Users have full control of their databases and the infrastructure they reside in.
Maintenance Businesses do not have to worry about cloud infrastructure.
With DBaaS, database admins can focus on using their data only, cloud providers commit to manage and operate the databases.
Similar to the administration, businesses have full control here. However, sometimes, these tasks can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.
Speed It depends on the Internet. Speed is one big plus point of a local database as it lies locally and the access is over the intranet.
High Availability and Scalability Cloud providers often commit to nearly 100% availability of their services since their data servers are powerful with worldwide support.
It’s easy to migrate and replicate between data centers.
Also, scalability is one of the best selling points of cloud services since it’s so much easier to scale a cloud solution than an on-premise one. You can easily purchase new space and raise your database tier.
These aspects also depend on an enterprise’s investment in their infrastructure and their IT experts to build an appropriate database architecture.
Security With a remote database on cloud, your data is always backed up so, in case of a disaster, you should have a peace of mind that your backups are safe.
Also, cloud providers are often large enterprises who commit to necessary security compliances.
They also keep their hardware and software up-to-date for the newest digital threats.
Again, with full control, enterprises’ IT experts and database admins must stay sharp to implement crucial security setup and ensure their on-premises updated and ready for security threats.

 

Summary

 

With cloud technology growth, it’s undeniable that cloud databases are also attractive, however, the decision of choosing a database solution is still strongly up to your specific business needs. This article provides a brief overview of the two options so you can have an understanding of the pros and cons. For a more detailed assessment and solution, please contact us for consultancy.

INET Dynamics

Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Tips & Tricks: Database Logging – Part 3

 

Categories: Dynamics 365
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This is the third part of our Bring Your Own Database (BYOD) into Dynamics 365 series(Read Part 1 and Part 2 here! . In the second part, we have introduced the overview of BYOD, its functionality and how to set it up.

In third part, I will demonstrate some scenarios of using BYOD.

1.   Export Data to BYOD

In order to use a data entity with BYOD, it needs to be published in Data Management workspace > Data Entities

Publishing a data entity

After publishing successfully, the field is ticked and if you have several BYODs, you can select them and publish all.

The publishing step is essential because it defines the entity schema on the destination database. Before inserting any records into the database, the structure of the entity must first be created.

Then we can create a new export project to test. For different business requirements, you can either get the data with a full push or an incremental push,

2.    Full push

This, as expected, export all records of the data entity to BYOD. Here, for demonstration purpose, we will work with only one data entity.

For exporting action, you can see that the export job can be triggered right away with Export now or be configured to run in the background as a batch job with Export in batch.

We will go with Export now first and there is an example of setting up the batch job later.

The export job is run and you can see the record counts. All customers are exported successfully.

You can now see the data loaded in the table in the external database. The table is created in the publishing entity step.

3.    Incremental push:

A full push deletes all existing records from an entity and then inserts the current set of records from the selected entity. This action ensures you have the latest data, however, large data will require much overhead and more time-consuming.

 

Sometimes, your solutions might need near real-time data or track data regularly, incremental push supports this requirment by tracking the changes of an entity and performing the export of changed records only.

 

First, by default, the system does not track changes of all entities. We will have to enable change tracking for our desired entities by going to Data Management workspace > Data Entities again. Here, for each entity, we can select enable Change Tracking. There are 3 different options for change trackings, which decide when a change is qualified for an incremental push.

  • Enable primary table: only changes are made to the primary table of the entity, an incremental push trigger is called. Before changing some values of the primary table, there might be some other changes of non-primary tables, however, if an incremental push export job is run, no record will be updated or inserted to BYOD. Only changes in the primary table will trigger the insert or update action to BYOD but now the action will write all changes including both changes of non-primary and primary tables.
  • Enable entire entity: tracks every change
  • Enable custom query: this option is for a developer to track only a specific set of fields for their custom solution.

For incremental push, we have some important points to notice below.

  • The first run of an incremental push is always a full push. It’s logical since the destination database has no records so all data is considered new changes.
    After that, SQL knows which records exist and what to track for changes.

  • Subsequent runs: all subsequent runs will track changes of the entity and export the changed records.

First, I run the export job another time. Without any changes, no records are exported as below.

Then I test by creating a new customer and run the export job again. Following the new record creation, the export job performs an insert to the BYOD.

To double confirm, you can also find the new record in BYOD now.

4.    Export in batch:

Due to data size, the export job might be run in the background and/or scheduled in a low-activity time.

 

Another benefit is to combining export in batch with incremental push to get latest data of an entity in your BYOD, which meets several business requirements for integration or reporting and analytics.

You can set the batch job recurrence as you preferred. One tip is to have different batch groups for different sets of actions. For live environment, you should configure your batch server and allocate batch groups to servers to balance and optimize workload for better performance.

After setting the batch job, it will be added to the batch queue and you can see it in System Administration > Batch jobs

Here for the quick demonstration, the job recurrence is every 2 minutes. You can check the batch job history to see all records of batch runs.

In Data Management workspace, corresponding export jobs are also created whenever the batch job runs.

 

If you have not had the chance to follow up on our previous tips and tricks, read part 1 here and part 2 here! I-Net Dynamics is an  Gold Partner of Microsoft with 25 years of experience with implementation, training and support of Microsoft ERP Systems. If you are currently using Dynamics 365 and feel a little lost, you can contact us here for assistance and support packages!