Unlocked Greater Cloud Data Value

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There has been so many different types of constraints put on the digital operations of businesses during the pandemic that to list them all would be too much of a task. Ranging from inconveniences to full impediments, the problem with all of them was magnified so much by the concurrent new reality that so many people were changing the way they interacted with these businesses themselves based on their pandemic realities. There have been estimates that upwards of 80% of businesses in North America would have faced severe realities if they hadn’t been able to utilize cloud computing to get past these issues.

Here at 4GoodHosting we’re like any reliable Canadian web hosting provider in that we are just as wrapped up in the shift to the cloud when it comes data. What’s true is that smaller businesses are now coming to terms with the way physical limitations related to data can slow their own operations and / or profitability too, and the rise in their numbers plus the demands that come with their needs has meant that new offerings like cloud data warehouses are a priority for those with the means of designing and offering them.

Innovation is spurred in part this way, and there’s been so much of it over recent years when it comes to non-physical data storage and the applications of it as it pertains to business operations. Fortunately those responsible for these innovations tend to not be the type to rest on their laurels, and that’s why we’re seeing more and more value in cloud data being unlocked for use by businesses.

Talking about these types of topics always comes with surprising and encouraging examples of how new technologies are being implemented, so let’s get right into some of them as well as talking more about how cloud data infrastructure and application continues to get better.

Better Scaling, Better Speed

It is also true that nowadays business leaders are under increasing pressure to make decisions with more in the way of speed and scale as well as collaborating in real-time to adapt to change with maximum effectiveness. Despite all of this, many companies are still having difficulty leveraging their data in the cloud, which limits progress and inhibits reaching their full potential.

Cloud-first analytics is where this has needed to go for a long time, and now it’s finally moving in that direction. Cloud data warehouses are now more common and more popular, especially with the way they allow businesses to better leverage data using a powerful and intuitive data management platform. This can be very pivotal in the transformation of business operations to meet new operating realities – and independent of the type of business in most cases.

That’s because the vast majority of businesses still currently use on-site data platforms that increasingly don’t meet the needs of the business based on how users / clients / customers have their expectations. These limitations can be related to complexity, lack of scalability/inadequate elasticity, rigid monthly costs regardless of use, inability to consolidate siloed data, or an inability to share data inside and outside the business.


Fixes need to be with cloud data platform solutions featuring applicability across use cases and locations, and it seems that developers have finally made the connection between theory and practice there. At least to the point that workable solutions are starting to be rolled out, but of course this is going to be a work in progress for a long time.

Speedy & Unimpeded Movement

The many new and different working realities these businesses have aren’t exclusively related to between organizations like in the past. Locations and applications are a part of the equation now too, and free and fast data movement is key to enabling fast decision making. Before the cloud this would be done via file transfers, and the issue there was way too much latency constraining options for builders and reducing efficiency to the point that it was a deal breaker in some cases.

Being able to share, govern, and access is a huge plus and cloud data platforms enable a data marketplace where organisations can use the technology to be more assured in making certain decisions regarding the direction of their business. The ability to infuse external data into their own data in real-time to forecast business impacts, predict supply and demand, apply models, and more is hugely beneficial.

Better and More Accurate Insights

Cloud-native data environments make it so that business data can be more intelligently matched to what customers need most based on their dynamic. Bringing data together and serving it back through dashboarding allows for data transformation without moving it. Nothing more is required in the way of extra resources, physical infrastructure, or teams and this allows businesses to see how they can best serve their customers and have better and more accurate foresight into what customers will want from them in the future.

Research bears out the merit in this – companies that use data effectively have 18% higher growth margins and 4% higher operating margins, and in the healthcare industry in particular there have been many noted use cases where advanced cloud data management principles and infrastructures have been revolutionary in creating better case outcomes and making service and care so much better right across the board.

We’ll see much more in the way of advancements related to cloud data management in the coming years, and there’s no doubt that some of them will relate to web hosting in Canada more than others. That means we stand to benefit, and the needs of increasing numbers of customers with more in mind for what they’d like to have as their web presence will be addressed too.


Easy Cloud Access May Increase Data Security Risk

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It’s been said many times that you can’t stop progress, and that’s true to the point that it may be one of the more applicable maxims around these days. Especially when it comes to technology, as there’s no way any degree of stepping backwards is going to be tolerated if advances mean real benefits. Acronyms are a challenge for many, but even if you have the slightest amount of digital savvy you’ll know that SaaS stands for Software as a Service and its one of many examples where cloud computing technology has made the hassles of hardware installation a thing of the past.

Here at 4GoodHosting we’ve had firsthand benefits from the Cloud and how it’s removed the need for a lot of physical hardware and infrastructure is something any Canadian web hosting provider will be able to relate to. As a collective user base we’re certainly not going to approve of any regression here either, but more and more we’re learning how there are security risks related to cloud infrastructure. That’s not news, and the fact that ease of access increases that risk probably doesn’t come as a surprise either.

But that’s the truth of the situation, and it’s something worth looking into, especially as businesses are flocking to software-as-a-service applications with the aim of improving the efficiency of their operations and overall employee productivity. The question is though – is weak control of access to cloud apps putting those organizations’ data at risk?

1.5x Exposure on Average

There was a recent study that showed that the average 1,000-person company using certain SaaS apps is likely exposing data to anywhere from 1,000 and 15,000 external collaborators. Similar estimates from it suggested between hundreds of companies if not more would also have access to a company’s data, and around 20% of a typical business and their SaaS files might be available for internal sharing with little more than the click of a link.

What can be taken away from that is that unmanageable SaaS data access is a legit problem that can apply to businesses of any size these days.

Last year, slightly more than 40% of data breaches occurred as the result of web application vulnerabilities according to this report. Nearly half of all data breaches can be attributed to SaaS applications, and seeing as how more and more businesses rely on these softwares, it is legitimately a huge threat. Especially when you consider that many companies store anywhere from 500k to a million assets in SaaS applications.

This looks to be even more of a problem in the future. The incorporation of SaaS services is predicted to grow, with revenues expected to jump a full 30% over the next 3+ years to 2025.

COVID Factor

This growth has and will continue to be accelerated by the new working realities the COVID pandemic has created for us. This is because SaaS application are easy to set up and don’t require the same outlay of time and resources for an IT department. The way businesses can identify problems and procure solutions on their own and within a timeframe that works for them is a huge plus.

Add to that as well the shift to working remotely for so many people and having the ability to access a SaaS from anywhere and on any device is something that is going to be pushing the appeal of Software as a Service for a long time yet to come. And in the bigger picture that is definitely a good thing.

This goes along with massive increases in the adoption of cloud services, choices made for all the same reasons and a similar part of the new digital workplace reality for a lot of people. Many organizations that had this shift in mind had their timetable accelerated because of the pandemic and the new need for the ability to have team members working remotely.

Software Visibility Gap

In the early 2000s there was a trend where free and small-scale SaaS offerings were still something of an unknown but at the most basic level they were very agreeable because they met needs very well and offered more speed and agility compared to conventional and standard options. They often really improved business results, and that’s why they took off from there.

But since then the meteoric growth in adoption has introduced problems, and in many ways they were ones that industry experts foresaw – even back then. Unmanaged assets will always pose some degree of risk, and by making it so that ease of access is expected from the user base they’ve also created the possibility of greater data insecurity.

This is what creates a software visibility gap, with the cloud obfuscating the inner workings of the applications and the data stored in it and blurring the insight into potential attacks to the point that security measures can’t be validated for effectiveness in application the same way.

Problems with Data Everywhere

Cloud and SaaS platforms as they exist for the most part today make it so that the corporate network is no longer the only way to access data, and access gained through 3rd-party apps, IoT devices in the home, and portals created for external users like customers, partners, contractors and MSPs make security a much more complicated and challenging process.

It’s perfectly natural that companies are eager to use these access points to increase the functionality of their cloud and SaaS systems but going in full bore without understanding how secure and monitor them in the same way may lead to major access vulnerabilities that are beyond the capacity of the organization to identify and prepare against.

It’s entirely true that unmanaged SaaS usage means that sensitive corporate data may make its out of the house and do so long before those in charge of security become aware of the extent of the problem and what they might do to minimize the damage done.

When we consider further that SaaS applications often integrate with other SaaS applications the risk is magnified even further.

Responses in Progress

Organizations are making an effort to reduce the risk posed to their data by SaaS apps without stifling speed, creativity and business success, but it’s not an easy fix at this point by any means. Security and IT teams cant’ depend exclusively on in-house expertise to have the security measures they need in place in a timely manner. Or at all. With increasing complexity of cloud and SaaS environments companies will need to use automated tools to ensure that their security settings are in line with business intent, along with continuous monitoring of security controls to prevent configuration drift.

Device Prices Set to Go Up Due to Chip Shortage

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Anyone who knows of a quality smartphone that checks all the boxes and comes with an agreeable price tag can speak up and volunteer that information now. A good one that’s not going to be obsolete within a year or two is going to cost you, and it would seem that given recent worldly developments in the digital hardware sphere it might be that even the less expensive smartphones, laptops, and desktop computers are going to be going up in price quite a bit too. We’re entering an inflationary period in North America right now, but that’s not why prices on devices are shooting up.

It’s mostly related to how international chip makers are hamstrung in their ability to make the semiconductor chips in the same quantities they made them for years. Take a look at any of the very newest smartphones on the market and your enthusiasm for them based on the features is quickly slowed when you see how much they cost. If you’re a person who’s fine with a more standard and ordinary device this trend isn’t going to bother you too much, but if you’re all about the latest and greatest in technology – be prepared to pay quite a bit more for it.

There’s no getting around the basic principle of supply and demand with pretty much any consumer product in the world. It turns out this applies to components too, and when it comes to what enables these devices to work their magic the demand is now outdistancing the supply of them like never before. Any Canadian web hosting provider like us here at 4GoodHosting have our own operating constraints related to demand outstripping supply too, but it’s different when it’s the individual consumer who’s faced with the prospect of paying a LOT more when it’s time to upgrade or replace.

Wafers Wanted

Wafers aren’t only snacks, and in fact they are integral part of the chips that are so needed by mobile and computing device manufacturers these days. What’s happening now is that recent increases in wafer quotes by major manufacturers means there’s going to be a serious impact on the price of actual hardware, including cell phones and a broad range of everyday consumer hardware. It’s believed that this is going to result in more consumers being to buy lower-end hardware.

If you’re not familiar with the role these parts play, modern PCs and smartphones usually contain one or two key chips (CPU, GPU, SoC) made using the most advanced chip tech, like a leading-edge or advanced node. The foundries which make the chips have already increased pricing for their customers. Until recently most chip designers and other firms that make the finished products were hesitant to pass the price hikes on to their customers so entry-level and mainstream products were still agreeable to price-sensitive customers.

Now though the cumulative cost increases for some chips from 2020 to 2022 will be 30% or even more. It’s not possible to avoid passing this increase up the supply chain as margins are already very thin and these companies will not be okay with losing money. The expectation now is that chip designers will increase the prices they charge OEMs, and that will filter down to the end products in 2022.

Bigger BOM Costs


BOM is an acronym for Bill of Materials, and if vendors are going to pass on these higher wafer prices to OEMS then the estimate is that high-end smartphone BOM cost increases will be around 12% for 2022. The average BOM cost for a high-end smartphone is usually around $600. But what’s interesting is the cost for entry-level ones could have their BOM cost affected even more. They could see a 16% increase.

So an anywhere from 12 – 16% increase in BOM cost can create a major impact on a device’s recommended price, and experts say these factors will keep pricing high for years to come. Making chips using leading-edge fabrication technologies like TSMC’s N7 and N5 or Samsung Foundry’s 7LPP and 5LPE is very pricy due to contract chip makers charging up to 3x more for processing wafers using their latest nodes.

Investments in this hardware as part of technology advances are usually made long before those chips start to earn money. It’s for this reason that only a handful of companies in the world can afford leading-edge processes.

It’s also forecasted that over the next few years technologies will remain mostly inaccessible for the majority of chip designers, and even rather advanced chips will still be produced on 16nm and 28nm-class nodes but with 10% to 18% increases in wholesale pricing attached to them.

Demand, and More Demand

The demand seen for all electronics devices is already high than ever these days and emerging and powerful trends like 5G, AI, and HPC all mean that the demand for chips will only get bigger. Experts foresee supply balances not coming around until mid-2023, and adding to all that is the fact that demand for equipment designed for lagging-edge nodes is growing faster than demand for tools aimed at leading-edge nodes. The same nodes that won’t be part of the newer technology chips that major manufacturers are going to be focused on producing.

Adding to this further is that major chip foundries have increased their quotes for 40/45 nm, 55/65 nm, 90 nm, and larger nodes multiple times since mid-2020. This is going to mean that the price of a wafer processed using 90nm technology will increase by 38% in 2022. Again, prices will be passed on to consumers.

The fact that these foundries have utilization rates above 100% nearly all the time means they spend more time processing wafer and less time working on their maintenance too. They will be even more reluctant to drop prices even when demand-supply balance stabilizes.

More Will Go for Entry-Level Devices

Price-sensitive customers who buy higher-end smartphones and PCs may instead choose entry-level devices unless different midrange products appear on the market. The GPU market went through something similar not long ago. This happening with more popular devices like iPhones, Pixels, and Galaxies is quite likely.

This is because the price increases on chips made using mature nodes will affect the end costs attached to all devices. For high-end PCs and smartphones these additional costs won’t affect their recommended prices much at all. But for mainstream devices these additional costs may have a drastic effect on MSRP. Many buyers may feel they have to look past even midrange products and consider buying entry-level instead.

Servers – Why Bare Metal May Be Better

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Most people don’t know the workings of what goes into their being able to surf the Internet and visit web pages. That’s perfectly fine unless you’re a developer or something similar. When you click on URL what you’re doing is making a request, and that request is handled by a server. Back in the 1990s when the Internet was in its infancy there were requests being made, but nowhere near the massive numbers of them being made nowadays. This is why servers have been having a lot more asked of them all the time, and sometimes they just don’t have the capacity that’s needed for them.

Need and demand have always been the spurs for innovation, and this is no exception. The aim has been to design servers that have the ability to handle the ever-greater demands on them, and these days the top dog in that regard is a bare metal server. That may sound like a strange name, but they’re called bare metal servers because by being just ‘exposed metal’ they highlight the fully physical aspect of centralized and individual hosting of websites.

That’s because the appeal of bare metal servers is all about ‘single tenancy’ and having the best in performance, reliability and security. It means that your website will be as readily available as possible for visitors at all times, and of course if that site is a key part of your e-commerce business operations then having that performance, reliability, and security is going to be of primary importance for you. Here at 4GoodHosting it should come as no surprise that as Canadian web hosting provider this is the kind of stuff we are very in the know about, so let’s get further into why bare metal tends to be best when it comes to servers.

  1. Better Relative Costs

The performance of on-premises servers and bare metal servers is fairly similar. The biggest cost savings come with datacenter space for hardware as well as data center power costs. These cost savings can be significant, and both offer varying degrees of quality of service. You will pay more upfront for a bare metal server, and that’s because they’re pretty much exclusive to the client in terms of dedicated resources.

What you get for that is unparalleled performance, hardware configurations, and nearly unlimited scalability. The next advantage is that bare metal server providers often offer per-hour billing plans rather than full service contracts paid in advance for the entirety of the term. Bare metal servers may seem pricier, but this is offset by the advantage of paying only for what you use.

  1. More Features for Business

Bare metal servers can be utilized and provide advantages for any business. That’s primarily because of the ability configure them exactly how you want them to be before deploying bare metal servers. That can be done in a range of hardware configurations plus plenty of virtualization environments, but bare metal servers let businesses custom build their own servers with impressive flexibility and customization options. A business that is building bare metal servers can create new operating systems, virtual operating systems, or convert an existing operating system to a virtual environment.


Eliminating hardware redundancy is the next part of the appeal. One example being how a bare metal server can be used to ensure that the server’s power is never turned off, which could mean less in the way of server downtime.

  1. More Agreeable Cost Factors

The biggest determining factor for most when considering a bare metal server will be around the cost for top-end hardware and features. You’ll be evaluating which equipment they need, what features they require, and how much redundancy might still be needed with the hardware. The more you pay for your server the more you’ll have with available cores, powerful hardware configurations, and more available RAM.

One thing to factor into cost savings is the reliability of bare metal servers when it comes to downtime. This reliability comes from the fact that by not sharing the server with other renters, you’re not going to experience the kind of downtime that can cost a company when virtualized servers are the choice.

  1. Software Configurations are Usually Less Pricey

Software configuration is another important part of the equation. A bare metal server configurated with dedicated hardware components and high-end graphics is going to be quite the powerhouse unit. If that can be acquired not-so expensively that’s going to be a huge plus. Businesses will be considering how much they want to dedicate their resources to the maintenance and support of this server. Some companies are really interested in expanding their virtualization and virtual computing space, and a good virtualization platform can make that simpler process.

  1. Bare Metal Server Management and Overhead Costs

The management and general overhead costs for bare metal servers is much the same compared to virtualized servers. This usually isn’t a dissuading factor for decision makers, depending on what the organization wants from its servers.

We can consider how a bare metal server can have faster response times to the network than a virtualized server, something that definitely will be advantageous. The networking team can set up new server builds quickly and can configure the server with the features that they need in the shortest amount of time because a bare metal server can be set up quickly and without making any changes to the virtualization platform.