Cloud Computing – Making the Move to AWS

Posted by Mike Boyle, TCC Director of Business Development, 317.625.2547

Everyone today is talking about cloud computing. The worldwide public cloud services market is forecast to grow by almost 27 percent in 2021, compared to 2020. The software-as-a-service market alone was expected to expand past the 150-billion-dollar revenue mark by the end of 2020.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/258718/market-growth-forecast-of-public-it-cloud-services-worldwide/#:~:text=The%20cloud%20system%20infrastructure%20services,single%20digit%20annual%20growth%20rates

Many organizations are asking what is the cloud and why would it be good for me? Simply put, cloud computing is computing based on the internet. In the past, people would run applications or programs from software downloaded on a physical computer or server in their building. Cloud computing allows people to access the same kinds of applications through the internet. When you post a photo on Instagram, you’re using cloud computing. Checking your bank balance on your phone? You’re in the cloud again.

Cloud computing is transforming businesses across industries and creating a paradigm shift by delivering hosted services through the internet with cost benefits and business innovation. The private sector is building on cloud computing’s myriad benefits, but government organizations have also aggressively begun to capitalize on them. Increasing financial constraints have deeply affected how agencies deploy their solutions. Agencies are pressed to seek optimized business models while measuring their performance and service deliveries more closely — hence their inclination towards shared services.

Cloud is fast becoming the new normal in both the private and public sector and organizations are moving to a cloud computing platform such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) because cloud computing increases efficiency, lowers the burden on the agency’s IT department, increases flexibility, and reduces overhead costs. But there are more benefits that you may not have considered. Here are several reasons that government agencies should move to the cloud:

  • Greater Flexibility

Cloud-based services such as AWS are ideal for organizations with growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands. If your needs increase it is easy to scale up your cloud capacity, drawing on the service’s remote servers, or if you need to scale down again, the flexibility is baked into the service. It is not surprising that CIOs and IT Directors rank “operational agility” as one of the main drivers for cloud adoption.

  • Improved Disaster Recovery

Organizations of all sizes should be investing in robust disaster recovery, but this is often more an ideal than the reality. Hosting systems and storing documents on the cloud provides a smart safeguard in case of an emergency. Man-made and natural disasters can damage equipment, shut off power, and impair critical IT functions. Supporting disaster recovery efforts is one of the important advantages of cloud computing for most organizations.

  • Automatic Software Updates

In cloud computing the servers are off-premise, and suppliers such as AWS take care of them for you and roll out regular software updates – including security updates – so you don’t have to worry about wasting time maintaining the system yourself. This leaves you free to focus on the things that matter, like taking care of your core business.

  • Boosts Cost Efficiency

Cloud computing reduces or eliminates the need for organizations to purchase equipment and build out and operate data centers. This presents a significant savings on hardware, facilities, utilities and other expenses required from traditional computing. Reducing the need for on-site servers, software and staff can also reduce the IT budget.

  • Increased Collaboration

Cloud-based workflow and file-sharing applications give dispersed teams of people the ability to work together easily and efficiently and improve document control. Staff can make real-time updates, see what other team members are doing and communicate effectively. This level of collaboration can speed up projects and improve customer service.

  • Improved Security

Lost laptops are an expensive business problem. Potentially greater than the loss of an expensive piece of equipment is the loss of the sensitive data it contains. Cloud computing gives you greater security when this occurs. Your data is stored in the cloud so you can access it no matter what happens to your machine. You can even remotely wipe data from a lost laptop, so it does not fall into the wrong hands.

  • Measurable Business Outcomes

According to the AWS website (https://aws.amazon.com/cloud-migration/) there are measurable business benefits from migrating to the cloud, illustrated below.

AWS

Making the Move

Moving to the cloud sounds like the right thing to do for your organization, but it also sounds pretty daunting. To satisfy the mandates for innovation and achieving a lower total cost of ownership, it is important that government agencies choose a cloud provider that fits their needs. Government, education, and nonprofit organizations face unique challenges to accomplish complex missions with limited resources. Public sector leaders engaged in true cloud computing projects overwhelmingly turn to the power and speed of Amazon Web Services (AWS) when they want to serve citizens more effectively, achieve scientific breakthroughs, reach broader constituents, and put more of their time and resources into their core missions.

Over 5,000 government agencies use AWS, because AWS understands the requirements U.S. government agencies have to balance economy and agility with security, compliance, and reliability. AWS has been among the first to solve government compliance challenges facing cloud computing and has consistently helped customers navigate procurement and policy issues related to adoption of cloud computing. AWS provides commercial cloud capability across all classification levels: Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret, and Top Secret making it possible to execute missions with a common set of tools, a constant flow of the latest technology, and the flexibility to rapidly scale with the mission.

 Ready to Take the Next Step?

Please contact Mike Boyle via email at  Mike.Boyle@e-tcc.com or by phone at 317.625.2547.

TCC Seeks a Database Administrator, PostgreSQL

Posted by Kelly Grant, TCC Senior Technical Recruiter

Job Summary
Develops, implements, administers, and maintains policies and procedures for ensuring the security and integrity of the company database. Implements data models, database designs, data access and table maintenance codes. Resolves database performance and capacity issues, and replication and other distributed data issues.

The ability to self-manage and work independently is a must as this role is a remote role. Candidate must be available during the 8am – 5pm EST timeframe.

Responsibilities
• Drive end to end availability, performance monitoring, and capacity planning for PostgreSQL, using native and 3rd party tools.
• Implement automated methods and industry best practices for consistent installation and configuration of EDB PostgreSQL for production, pre-production and non-production environments.
• Administration of PostgreSQL databases throughout the non-production (Sandbox, development, test, UAT, Training), pre-production (Staging) and production lifecycles in an AWS environment.
• Ensuring optimal database performance through exhaustive pro-active testing and ongoing real-time monitoring.
• Monitor and maintain the backups for database recoverability for all production databases.

Qualifications
• At least twelve (4) years of experience in administering on-prem/cloud based multi user environment with expertise in planning, designing, building, and implementing complex database systems.
• In depth knowledge of the EDB PostgreSQL DB architecture.
• Must have experience working in the database domain with at least four (4) years of experience managing all operations of RDBMS databases such as Oracle/SQL Server/DB2 with a minimum of two (2) years of EDB PostgreSQL DB.
• Prior AWS cloud base Postgres database administration experience
• Experience in testing database security and enterprise policy guidelines according to established best practices.
• A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university with a major in Computer Science, Information Systems, Engineering, Business, or other related technical discipline is required.

Available Benefits
• Medical, Dental, Vision Insurance
• Employer-funded Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)
• Company sponsored 401k
• Paid Time Off

About TCC
Founded in 1996 in Indianapolis, IN, The Consultants Consortium (TCC) is an innovative solutions provider committed to designing and delivering high-value, cost-effective IT consulting services and application technology solutions for both the private and public sectors. With a team of more than 250 IT and business professionals, TCC serves clients nationwide, from state and federal government agencies to commercial sector customers. TCC is committed to providing the most cutting edge solutions, and with that, ensures they stay up-to-date on crucial certifications and affiliations. Among these are the highly accredited Microsoft Certifications.

At TCC, we know that having a strong company culture is paramount in sustaining the success and stability of the company, especially within the information technology industry. That’s why we place our focus on the people who make our success possible: our employees, partners and clients. We strive to create an environment that preserves and fosters growth while still promoting the DNA of our company.

Our core values:
• Building strong, reliable relationships with our employees, our partners and our clients
• Upholding integrity, honesty and respect
• Supporting our local community
• Encouraging continued education and development

Equal Opportunity Employer, including disabled and veterans.

TCC Seeks a Database Administrator, PostgreSQL

Posted by Kelly Grant, TCC Senior Technical Recruiter

Job Summary
Develops, implements, administers, and maintains policies and procedures for ensuring the security and integrity of the company database. Implements data models, database designs, data access and table maintenance codes. Resolves database performance and capacity issues, and replication and other distributed data issues.

The ability to self-manage and work independently is a must as this role is a remote role. Candidate must be available during the 8am – 5pm EST timeframe.

Responsibilities
• Drive end to end availability, performance monitoring, and capacity planning for PostgreSQL, using native and 3rd party tools.
• Implement automated methods and industry best practices for consistent installation and configuration of EDB PostgreSQL for production, pre-production and non-production environments.
• Administration of PostgreSQL databases throughout the non-production (Sandbox, development, test, UAT, Training), pre-production (Staging) and production lifecycles in an AWS environment.
• Ensuring optimal database performance through exhaustive pro-active testing and ongoing real-time monitoring.
• Monitor and maintain the backups for database recoverability for all production databases.

Qualifications
• At least twelve (4) years of experience in administering on-prem/cloud based multi user environment with expertise in planning, designing, building, and implementing complex database systems.
• In depth knowledge of the EDB PostgreSQL DB architecture.
• Must have experience working in the database domain with at least four (4) years of experience managing all operations of RDBMS databases such as Oracle/SQL Server/DB2 with a minimum of two (2) years of EDB PostgreSQL DB.
• Prior AWS cloud base Postgres database administration experience
• Experience in testing database security and enterprise policy guidelines according to established best practices.
• A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university with a major in Computer Science, Information Systems, Engineering, Business, or other related technical discipline is required.

Available Benefits
• Medical, Dental, Vision Insurance
• Employer-funded Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)
• Company sponsored 401k
• Paid Time Off

About TCC
Founded in 1996 in Indianapolis, IN, The Consultants Consortium (TCC) is an innovative solutions provider committed to designing and delivering high-value, cost-effective IT consulting services and application technology solutions for both the private and public sectors. With a team of more than 250 IT and business professionals, TCC serves clients nationwide, from state and federal government agencies to commercial sector customers. TCC is committed to providing the most cutting edge solutions, and with that, ensures they stay up-to-date on crucial certifications and affiliations. Among these are the highly accredited Microsoft Certifications.

At TCC, we know that having a strong company culture is paramount in sustaining the success and stability of the company, especially within the information technology industry. That’s why we place our focus on the people who make our success possible: our employees, partners and clients. We strive to create an environment that preserves and fosters growth while still promoting the DNA of our company.

Our core values:
• Building strong, reliable relationships with our employees, our partners and our clients
• Upholding integrity, honesty and respect
• Supporting our local community
• Encouraging continued education and development

Equal Opportunity Employer, including disabled and veterans.

Cybersecurity Concerns for Employees Working Remotely, Part 1

Posted by Stephen Palamara, TCC Director of Business Development

The Coronavirus outbreak has added to an already plentiful array of cybersecurity threats. Employers are responding to the outbreak by allowing or mandating remote working. I recently read an article on the Security Magazine website that outlines the top ten threats and the recommended solutions. https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/91999-the-top-10-employer-cybersecurity-concerns-for-employees-regarding-remote-work

Here are the first five:

  • Phishing – “Employees need to be reminded (and tested) that legitimate groups do not request personal information. Verify any hyperlink before clicking on it. Be wary of any email insisting on immediate action. Generic greetings or an unfamiliar sender are other markers. And while bad spelling and grammar often signal phishing, beautifully written communiques can be just as dangerous. The best defense is common sense. Remote workers should get into the habit of pausing before responding.”
  • Use of Personal Devices – “remote workers should be restricted to the use of company devices. Company devices meet minimal security benchmarks. Their hardware is designed to work within a corporate network. Their software has been optimized to cater to the specific needs of the individual user within the company environment. The introduction of personal devices injects a new element of risk into the security calculus. Remote workers will be limited to company devices. If this is impossible, personal devices should be vetted by employer IT prior to being used for company work.”
  • Use of Unsecured Networks – “remote workers must restrict themselves to home or other secure networks. The “free” WiFi available at cafes, libraries, or similar public places carry a steep security price tag. Traffic is not encrypted. Hackers target such environments, leaving cyber mines that activate when a user of interest uses the network. If a remote worker lacks access to secure WiFi, provide a HotSpot. It is a security investment that will pay for itself many times over.”
  • Limit Network Access – “remote access should be limited to network sections necessary to enable workers to complete their tasks. Every employer has data with varying degrees of value and sensitivity. The most valuable data – the “crown jewels” should not be remotely accessible. If access is imperative, it should be limited to the extent and time necessary to complete the assigned task.”
  • Make Remote Work Easy – “At first glance, this appears to contradict the prior principle. Didn’t we just recommend limiting data? Yes. But employees need to work. If access is too cumbersome, they develop workarounds. One common approach is to download material locally. Since an individual machine often has weaker defenses than a networked one, this presents attackers with an opportunity Indeed, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fined a major broker for an arrangement where an analyst, hampered by excessive controls, set up a personal “shadow network” to enable him to meet his deadlines. The shadow network, far more vulnerable than the broker’s, was breached, triggering an SEC examination.”

The article had a lot of great information, so we will take a look at the at the next five on the list in the next blog post.

To find out more about TCC Security Services please visit our website https://www.e-tcc.com/security-services.