Look beyond efficiency when it comes to cloud

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Cloud computing continues to permeate the federal government as agencies embrace its cost and productivity benefits. Nearly two-thirds of the federal employees responding to a recent Deloitte survey indicated their agency has moved at least some applications to the cloud. Identifying the primary motivators of cloud migration, survey respondents gave similar weight to cost savings, organizational efficiency and better data sharing.

Savings, efficiency, and sharing are inarguably worthy intents of cloud migration. Notably absent among these federal survey responses, however, is another objective routinely pursued by high-performing organizations: innovation.

For example, some two-thirds of survey respondents depend on cloud access to complete work assignments; storage and applications are the most commonly cited uses of cloud computing. At the same time, respondents appear to have a limited view of cloud capabilities, perhaps not fully aware of the opportunities it presents for innovation. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they did not know about cloud’s capacity to access software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, and 57 percent were unaware that cloud can accelerate the build and delivery of mobile services.

Applications such as these highlight how the cloud can advance and accelerate the federal government’s adoption of next-generation technologies, and how agencies can capture the value of cloud investments.

The importance of governance and change management

Some housekeeping appears in order for agencies planning to pursue cloud innovation. Nearly 60 percent of survey respondents described their organization’s cloud governance as either nonexistent or too lax, or insubstantial. Such assessment is borne out in 71 percent of respondents owning up to having used an unauthorized application at least once to streamline work or collaborate more easily, which could indicate that governance is too complex or cumbersome. A quarter of respondents expressed belief that their leadership had failed to properly manage workforce changes resulting from cloud migration.

These responses send a clear signal to agency leadership: communicating the strategy and organizational impact of cloud transformation is essential to employees feeling invested and accountable in abiding by a cloud governance framework in their daily work lives. Often, cloud aversion stems not from technical anxiety or lack of expertise, but a lack of education and involvement. IT modernization proceeds only as fast as leadership wills it.

As government technology leaders meet Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act milestones and look to take advantage of the Modernizing Government Technology Act, governance and change management will likely play key roles in agencies’ success.

An innovation opportunity

Along with enabling SaaS, mobile services, and other applications such as analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, cloud innovation extends to how agencies can better manage resources in a cloud-enabled world. Agencies may be using multiple clouds to address specific needs such as customer support, email as a service, mobility, application hosting, and DevOps, to name a few. As the adoption of cloud continues to progress, the integration and operation of these cloud environments and on-premises server stacks, as if one environment, comes into the mix as well.

Applying these resources effectively while providing a fertile environment for new cloud applications calls for a multi-cloud management approach. Multi-cloud management allows an enterprise to manage and utilize a mix of on-premises, private cloud, and third-party public cloud.

Twenty-nine percent of survey respondents are already deploying or are about to deploy hybrid cloud, and another third say their agency is exploring the option. We can expect this trend to continue through 2018 and beyond, highlighting the need for multi-cloud management.

The road ahead

How the cloud is used – governance and organizational factors – will be important to the success of cloud adoption. But key to agencies’ better return on their cloud investments will be how these new hybrid environments are managed and how agencies harness the full power, accessibility and capability of the cloud to drive innovation and the use of modern technology across the enterprise.

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How Does HIPAA Compliance Apply in the Healthcare Cloud?

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A 2016 IDC Health Insights report showed that providers are increasingly taking advantage of cloud implementations and leveraging mobile and analytics capabilities in the cloud. In fact, 18 percent of new software spend was allocated to software as a service (SaaS) and another 24 percent to projects that leveraged managed hosting by a third party.

Furthermore, comfort levels with cloud were on the rise. According to IDC survey of hospitals, 41.5% of respondents said they were more comfortable with cloud than they were in the recent past. Barriers to cloud adoption, primarily comfort levels with security and compliance, are clearly coming down.

More cloud adoption and use cases have recently emerged across the healthcare industry. The latest Gartner research of healthcare cloud services pointed out that growth in health IT infrastructure, system, and support requirements — compounded by tight budgets and IT staffing issues — will continue to drive providers toward a hybrid IT environment in which the cloud will play an increasing role. By 2021, researchers predict public cloud service providers will process more than 35 percent of the healthcare industry’s IT workloads.

Security remains top of mind for organizations moving into the healthcare cloud, and security strategies are evolving and maturing to accommodate the transition from on- to off-site data services. IDC identified cybersecurity as a new growth area in the provider IT budget with potential to increase. Threats are top of mind, but the increased availability of resources for IT security is allowing providers to begin to implement strategies to secure health data and networks. Top priorities included focusing on security in the cloud, monitoring the environment, and controlling shadow IT.

HOW HIPAA OMNIBUS CHANGED THE HEALTHCARE CLOUD

READ MORE: 4 Benefits and Barriers in Utilizing Healthcare Cloud

Beyond security, one aspect really helped fuel the growth in cloud, healthcare, and new use-cases. When the concept of the cloud was first brought to market, it was limited to organizations not bound by strict compliance rules. Furthermore, true cloud security needs time to mature. Today, the conversation around cloud compliance and security is much different.

In fact, laws and regulations changed to directly support new kinds of cloud initiatives. For example, the HIPAA Omnibus rule enacted in 2013 now allows third parties to become business associates (BAs). A BA is any organization that has more than just transient access to data (e.g., FedEx, UPS, USPS). An organization can sign the business associate agreement (BAA) and assume additional liability to manage protected healthcare information (PHI).

Regulations have also changed how data center providers approach e-commerce and PCI-DSS. At a high-level, data center providers intelligently control data through the cloud, the organization’s servers, and the payment gateway, in turn allowing an organization to continuously control the flow of sensitive information.

Take the use case of a healthcare organization in need of extra resources within a data center cloud provider to process large amounts of data. The organization does not want to invest additional dollars into internal resources, having realized that a pay-as-you-go model is optimal for their environment, so it organization turns to a healthcare-ready data center or cloud provider for help. By knowing that the latter has signed a BAA and can process healthcare information, the organization is able to directly link a public cloud with the private data center. Now, the organization is able to use this cloud platform to migrate applications, workloads, and data between their healthcare cloud and their private data center, which helps with security, data analytics and even efficiency.

There are going to be other great use cases for leveraging cloud services for healthcare initiatives, including:

Disaster recovery and backup Data backup and storage Data processing and analytics Offloading some applications and services Creating an edge computing ecosystem Improving telemedicine capabilities

READ MORE: Utilizing Cloud Computing for Stronger Healthcare Data Security

The great news for organizations that have yet to take advantage of the healthcare cloud is that the process of getting started has never been easier. Numerous organizations either have active projects within the cloud or are in the process of testing proof-of-concepts with a HIPAA-ready cloud provider.

For healthcare organizations just starting out, the first step is to make sure their cloud partner can meet their needs. A healthcare cloud partner must be able to properly secure and manage your data, accommodate changing needs, and provide services for both today and the near future.

Here are three other considerations for organizations choosing a cloud partner:

Develop both a technical and business relationship. A good cloud healthcare partner will understand an organization’s business and allow their healthcare services to be properly aligned. Leverage a cloud partner with growth in mind. In today’s healthcare world, organizations are either acquiring or being acquired, which is why working with a healthcare cloud partner that can scale effectively is absolutely critical. How quickly can the cloud provider spin up a new location should an acquisition happen? The cloud partner not only helps the organization scale, but it should also help the organization maintain a competitive edge. Work with a healthcare cloud partner that can meet specific use cases. Yes, there are several cloud partners that are HIPAA compliant and have signed a BAA. However, that does not translate into all providers being the same. When working with disaster recovery or data backup, a cloud partner needs to meet the unique needs of the organization.
LEVERAGING THE POWER OF THE HEALTHCARE CLOUD

Entire new services are under development to be deployed through the healthcare cloud. Big data is here to stay with analytics spending continuing to grow, according to IDC analysis of technology trends and best practices. Analytics continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments of the healthcare IT budget, a trend spanning several years. Ongoing investment in value-based care, clinical quality improvements, and resource use will continue, but new analytics investments are looking to target provider and care team performance analytics, referral patterns, and financial areas of the organization.

This is where a great healthcare cloud partner can help out. In light of the amount of new data being created each and every day, the cloud is a means to helping that data grow and become truly elastic.

READ MORE: What Hospitals Should Know about Cloud Computing Security

The healthcare cloud can lead to numerous other benefits and use cases:

Greater levels of virtualization. Application and desktop delivery continue to thrive as more organizations find ways to leverage cloud as their delivery model. The mobility of providers and patients has given rise to new demands around how content is accessed. Cloud allows the decentralization of the user while providing the best possible user experience based on context. What’s more, it can extend beyond application and desktop virtualization to the delivery of rich experiences so that providers can continue to serve patients and save lives. Reduction of data center footprints and the removal of legacy infrastructure. Most healthcare organizations are actively looking to reduce their data center footprint for two leading reasons. First, they can reduce spending on data storage. Second (and perhaps more importantly), organizations have the opportunity to rid themselves of legacy equipment, which also reduces spending, improves user experiences by moving them to better hardware, and helps address hardware-based security risks. Legacy infrastructure is notorious for being unpatched or unsupported but still living because of its supposed “importance.” Cloud helps alleviate these challenges by moving these important workloads to a better, cost-effective infrastructure. Leveraging cloud consumption models in healthcare. Healthcare leaders everywhere are asking the simple question: “Do I really need all of that additional data center hardware?” Why do healthcare organizations have to pay for infrastructure that’s just sitting idle only to be used in the event that rare set of conditions is met? Cloud partners are able to offload that part of the data center and allow healthcare organizations to leverage a real consumption model. That is, if the organization grows or needs the additional space, the latter will always be there and the former will only pay for what it consumes. The healthcare cloud is one of many places for managing healthcare workloads as it also provides an ecosystem for creating new types of operating expense (OPEX) models that help organization become much more flexible in leverage IT infrastructure.

This list is by no means comprehensive. The bottom line is that organizations that have not tried cloud to support its care system are likely missing out and missing out on a significant competitive advantage as well.

The abstraction of various healthcare services will continue. Organizations will leverage new types of services and resources sitting outside of their data centers. Those healthcare organizations that opt for a healthcare cloud partner will realize new business potential as they improve their ability to scale and be more competitive. Most of all, they will be able to deliver new types of healthcare services capable of impacting a much broader population. A good healthcare partner will help an organization remove the walls surrounding their healthcare services and enable them to become a true, digitally-enabled healthcare organization.

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Cloud Accounting Myths Exposed

3,032 Points

Preeti Gupta

Myths can prevent you from using the most productive alternatives available for you and opposing cloud accounting because of some myths falls into the same category of missing out on opportunities. Let’s expose the myths and enable your business to prosper by moving to cloud accounting.

Myths are open dreams and dreams are private myths. A similar saying goes for cloud-based accounting, which has turned into a routine and usual method of operation for many organizations. However, even in this time of technological advancement, numerous individuals are still encompassed by a dull billow of myths that continue to float about the productive level of cloud accounting platforms.

The idea that cloud computing has changed the method of working for some businesses and accounting is no big revelation. From large bundles of papers arranged by quirky geeks to technically knowledgeable bookkeepers who partake in essential business choices, bookkeeping has a lengthy and challenging voyage of change. Cloud computing has assumed a vital part in altering the structure of bookkeeping.

In any case, even with various advantages like anywhere, anytime, high uptime, upgraded security, diminished IT bother, numerous individuals still see the adoption of cloud computing through dark glasses of myth. That is the reason they linger behind in the race of technological selection, which is especially important when participating in the intense chase of rivalry.

Thus, in this article, we will expose the best ten cloud accounting myths that I think prevents individuals from benefiting from the advantages of the cloud age.

1. Unsafe

Without a doubt, the most critical information of any business is its financial information. Each company should take utmost care to guarantee its security and wellbeing. In any case, on the off chance that you feel that money-related details put away on a nearby PC is a significantly more secure place than the cloud environment, then you are living in your fantasies.

The cloud platform is a very secure platform which takes after the most refreshed security conventions to guarantee 360-degree assurance of your information. Every one of the server farms and outsider facilitating suppliers take strict safety rules on both a physical and virtual level, so you can work without agonizing over a cybercrime or information break.

2. Costly

The most widely recognized obstacle for the vast majority of SMEs is a restrictive spending plan and constrained assets. Contending with goliath players in the business with such imperatives turns out to be incredibly intense, and that is the reason the majority of the SMEs think about reasonable answers for their business. During the time spent overseeing everything on a constrained spending plan, they pass up a significant opportunity because they figure cloud-accounting is likely to be a costly answer for dealing with their records, while in all actuality cloud accounting is the most sparing and viable answer for overseeing different bookkeeping activities.

You can discover various cloud hosting service providers who offer hosted services for different accounting and tax software at an extremely ostensible rate which can fit like a glove in even the tightest spending limitations.

3. Difficult to Adopt

Few could argue the fact that adoption of new technology isn’t always a cakewalk. You need to train your employees, make little changes in the firm’s way of working and ensure a smooth adoption without any resistance. But ruling out the adoption of cloud accounting because it will be a cumbersome and sometimes difficult process is an entirely wrong approach.

The adoption of cloud accounting will not require a complete restructuring of the accounts department and months of training because it’s straightforward and easy to adopt. If you are using accounting software which can be hosted in the cloud, then the adoption "will" become a cakewalk for you.

4. Difficult To Learn

Cloud accounting is considered as a troublesome idea to see by those individuals who haven’t endeavored to comprehend it. Numerous SMEs oppose utilizing cloud-based accounting in their association since they imagine that the concept of cloud accounting is exceptionally intricate.

Cloud-based accounting isn’t an advanced science which will require a very long time to comprehend and utilize the innovation. All the accounting software have extremely easy to use apparatuses and capacities which can be effortlessly overseen by an even a non-bookkeeping individual. What’s more, after facilitating such programming on the cloud; you get similar devices and capacities which you get in the work area, yet it is joined by the various advantages that cloud also offers you.

5. Suitable for Giant Businesses Only

Most of the SMEs relate cloud accounting with large businesses, so they think that it’s not their cup of tea. But in this era of rapid technological evolution, enhancing your performance and productivity by utilizing the latest technology and trends has become essential for even startups. And this has been made possible because of the cost-effective technologies like cloud accounting.

Accounting solutions like QuickBooks have been specially designed to match the accounting needs of SMEs, CPA, Accountants, and Bookkeepers. By hosting solutions like QuickBooks in the cloud, you can increase the potential, productivity and collaboration in your accounting department by a mile.

6. Limits Control over your Information

Having complete control over your information is particularly imperative, and with regards to budgetary details, at that point, it turns into the prime worry for the vast majority of the organizations. However, numerous organizations believe that having the information put away on their nearby PC will give them preferred control over what the cloud put away information will offer. They likewise surmise that in the wake of moving their data to a cloud platform, their control over it will end up being restricted. But that’s not what reality says.

Indeed, even in the wake of moving your accounting software to the cloud, you will retain final control over your information, much the same as the way you controlled your information on your neighborhood work area. The reality is that when you move to cloud-hosted services, you won’t lose an inch of control over your information. You will be given login points of interest without which, nobody will have the capacity to reach even close to the financial information stored on the cloud platform.

7. Data is Accessible to Everyone

It might sound a little odd for people who are aware of the concept of cloud accounting, but yes, it has been found that many people think that if they shift to cloud, then their data will be accessible to everyone. Especially so in the case of shared public cloud hosting. But that is not the ultimate truth.

Public cloud doesn’t mean that your data will be shared with everyone present on the cloud server, but it does mean that the same cloud service is used to store data of different companies and individuals. Everyone’s data remains isolated from everyone else. Most SMEs go for public cloud hosting solutions because it’s easy to implement and a cost-effective way of using cloud computing as well.

8. Still in an Early Stages Phase

Considering cloud accounting is exceedingly dangerous and likely the most theoretical approach towards an innovative selection, yet at the same time, such myths exist as a public dream for some individuals and firms.

In any case, you should realize that cloud accounting has turned into another "typical" for the greater part of organizations around the world and is no longer an "outsider" innovation. The vast majority of organizations are exploiting cloud accounting and making the most out of it.

9. Less Dependable

You will discover a few people who will state that cloud accounting doesn’t guarantee a high uptime so you will need to confront stoppages while working in a cloud environment. In all actuality, cloud accounting is the most secure working platform which ensures 99.9% of high uptime, with the goal that you can work in a logical domain.

10. Single Cloud Accounting Arrangement

Some people think that if they go for a cloud accounting solution, they will have a single option of hosting their accounting and tax software in the cloud. But in fact, there are various options like Private, Hybrid and Public cloud solutions, from which you can choose the one best suited to your needs and requirements.

So expose the previously mentioned myths and enable your business to prosper by using the advantageous cloud accounting platform.

To learn more about the author, please view my Experts Exchange Profile page.

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Preeti Gupta

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TMD Web Hosting

TMD Web Hosting – TMD Web Hosting

Every business needs a web host, but the question is, which one? The problem is, there are too many choices. TMD Hosting is one of the many web hosting services that can quickly get your business online, but it manages to separate itself from its competitors thanks to its well-rounded plans in a multitude of categories. TMD’s shared, virtual private server (VPS), cloud, and dedicated hosting plans are all very attractive packages, but it’s the company’s truly excellent WordPress offerings that elevate it above all its peers. As a result, TMD is our new top pick for WordPress web hosts, despite its limited phone support hours and Windows-only server options.

Shared Web Hosting

TMD offers three tiers of competitively priced shared web hosting: Starter, Business, and Enterprise. Each plan includes a free domain name, as well as unlimited storage, monthly data transfers, subdomains, and email—they’re very attractive offerings. Of course, there are subtle differences between the three packages’ specs.

Starter (starting at $8.95 per month) has a single-core CPU and 1GB of RAM, which makes it a plan aimed at sites with less demanding needs. It also lets you host a single website, and offers more than 200 website-enhancing apps and scripts. Unfortunately, Starter disallows add-on domains. Business (starting at $9.95 per month) builds on Starter’s base by offering a two-core CPU, 1.5GB of RAM, and unlimited hosted sites and add-on domains. Enterprise (starting at $16.95 per month) tops Business by giving you a three-core CPU and 3GB of RAM. Please note that these are specs and prices for TMD’s Linux-based servers. Windows-based options are also available at similar prices, should you have a specific need for Microsoft’s operating system.

TMD’s shared web hosting plans are excellent, directly competing with HostGator’s Editors’ Choice award-winning packages that contain unlimited storage, monthly data transfers, and email. TMD’s shared servers go for slightly cheaper prices, too. Still, HostGator continues to hold the shared web hosting crown, thanks in part to its custom, toll-free number for your business.

Cloud Web Hosting

Cloud hosting, spreading resources across multiple servers, is becoming increasingly common. Thankfully, TMD offers three Cloud Hosting plans—Starter, Business, and Professional—should you choose to go in that direction.

Starter (starting at $12.95 per month) includes two CPU cores, 2GB of RAM, a free domain, and unlimited monthly data transfers, email, and storage. Unfortunately, you can only host one website. Business (starting at $13.95 per month) ups the CPU cores to four and RAM to 4GB, while letting you host an unlimited number of websites. The Professional tier (starting at $19.95 per month) builds upon Business by boasting six CPU cores and 6GB of RAM.

PCMag has yet to select a cloud hosting Editors’ Choice, as we’re still in the process of looking at what’s on offer, but we can already say that TMD’s offerings are worthwhile plans.

VPS Web Hosting

If you’re seeking a solid virtual private server (VPS) plan, TMD likely has it. The company offers five Windows-based VPN plans that include the entry-level Starter package ($39.95 per month) and the top-of-the-line Super Powerful package ($129 per month). Starter comes with 40GB of storage, 3TB of monthly data transfers, 2GB of RAM, two CPU cores, and unlimited email. Super Powerful builds on that foundation with 200GB of storage, 10TB of monthly data transfers, 12GB of RAM, six CPU cores, and unlimited email.

Those are good VPS plans, but they aren’t quite enough to dethrone Hostwinds as the category’s Editors’ Choice. Hostwinds has wallet-friendly, well-rounded VPS offerings that start at $7.50 per month for 1GB of RAM, 25GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, and unlimited email. The plans scale up to $129 per month for 18.5GB of RAM, 130GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, and unlimited email, so there’s room to grow.

Dedicated Web Hosting

TMD’s five dedicated servers plans pack enough resources to handle even the most demanding websites. The low-end $199 per month plan includes two 500GB storage drives, 10TB of month data transfers, four CPU cores, 16GB of RAM, and unlimited email. The high-end $389 per month plan has two 1TB storage drives, 10TB of month data transfers, 12 CPU cores, 24GB of RAM, and unlimited email.

Unfortunately, TMD offers only Linux-based servers. If you want a Windows-based server, I suggest checking out HostGator. The Editors’ Choice for dedicated web hosting has customizable packages that let you outfit a server with a Linux- or Windows-based operating system, up to 1TB of storage, 32GB of RAM, and unlimited monthly data transfers and email.

WordPress Web Hosting

WordPress is an absolute gem of a content management system, one that’s so easy to use that it powers nearly 30 percent of the Internet.

TMD offers three excellent WordPress hosting tiers—Starter, Business, and Enterprise—that carry the same prices and specs as the company’s shared web hosting packages. Its pre-built environment comes with many WordPress-friendly features, including live malware protection and curated plug-ins that are designed to enhance your experience.

TMD’s specs are similar to 1&1’s, but differ in one significant way. TMD offers unlimited storage across the board. As a result, TMD Hosting is the new Editors’ Choice for WordPress web hosting, knocking 1&1 from the top spot. For more on the fantastically popular content management system, you can read my story, How to Get Started With WordPress.

Building a TMD Web Hosting Site

I opted to build a website using TMD’s Starter shared hosting plan. Signing up for month-to-month payments adds a $9.95 set up fee; a fee that’s waived if you sign up for either the one-, two-, or three-year plans. Though I was eager to begin building my site, I had to wait more than two hours for the welcome email to arrive with my log-in details. In terms of set up time, that’s somewhere in the middle. Some hosts lets you begin construction nearly instantaneously, while others may take as much as a day or two to get you registered on the back end.

The installation comes with 15 customizable templates that let me give my site a face in just a few keyboard and mouse clicks. You can, of course, choose to create a site using Drupal, MyBB, WordPress, or another tool. Overall, the experience was a simple and satisfying one.

E-Commerce and Security

TMD’s web hosting plans are compatible with many e-commerce tools, including Magento (a shopping cart service) and Vertical Response (an email marketing service). You can also add ID Protect ($9.99 per year) for domain privacy, SiteLock ($19.95 per year) for SSL protection, and a handful of other features for strengthening the security of your domain.

Magento has more flexibility in terms of colors and design options than your generic shopping cart service, but with that flexibility comes an extra layer of complexity that will demand more of your time.

Reseller Plans

If you want to get into the web hosting business, but don’t want to deal with infrastructure matters, check out TMD’s reseller hosting packages. The three plans, the $24.95 per month Standard, $34.95 per month Enterprise, and $49.95 per month Professional, all offer sales and commission reports and credit card processing.

Standard comes with 700GB of monthly data transfers, 65GB of storage, and the ability to host an unlimited number of websites. Enterprise ups the ante with 1400GB of monthly data transfers, 130GB of storage, APCu Caching, and double the performance power. Professional has 2000GB of monthly data transfers, 200GB of storage, and triple Standard’s performance muscle. All the plans enable you to give your customers CPanels, unlimited email, and white-label hosting that lets you apply your own branding.

Unfortunately, TMD’s reseller plans are Linux-only affairs, unlike the category’s Editors’ Choice, Hostwinds, which offers both Linux and Windows servers. Hostwinds also boasts unlimited storage and monthly data transfers.

Uptime

Website uptime is a vital element of the web hosting experience. If your site goes down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services.

For this testing, I use a website monitoring tool to track my site’s uptime over a 14-day period. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings my website and sends me an email if it is unable to contact the site for at least one minute. The data revealed that TMD Hosting is extremely stable. In fact, of the web hosting services I’ve reviewed, only a handful went down less often. You can count on TMD Hosting to be a rock-solid foundation for your website.

Customer Service

TMD offers 24/7 web chat-based customer and tech support, but phone support is limited to operating "during US business hours." I tested the phone and chat support on a weekday morning and evening, respectively, and never had to wait more than a few seconds before a courteous TMD representative answered my questions regarding web hosting packages. Overall, I enjoyed the TMD customer support experience.

You can also submit tickets to have your site-related issues address, or explore a community-driven knowledge database for additional information.

Money-Back Guarantee

TMD has an impressive 60-day money-back guarantee that bests many web hosts’ 30-day money-back guarantees. It isn’t, however, as lengthy as the extremely generous 97-day guarantee offered by DreamHost. That said, if you choose to cancel, you have to dig through the account management section, as Dreamhost’s cancel button isn’t easy to find.

TMD FTW

TMD Hosting excels in the areas that companies need for getting their businesses online—unless they absolutely need Windows-based servers. Admittedly, I would love to see around-the-clock phone support and more Windows operating system options, but even as it is, TMD is an excellent web hosting service, particularly for hosting WordPress installations, for which it wins our Editors’ Choice award.

Once you’ve decided on a host, you can get more help getting started in our guide to creating a website. If you’re still learning about the hosting game, you might also want to check out our story on how to register a domain name for your website.

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Parsec delivers streaming games from the cloud or your PC

Earlier this month, I wrote about Shadow, a service that is hosting a virtual gaming PC in the cloud. Alas, cloud gaming isn’t the right answer to everyone. According to Benjy Boxer, CEO of Parsec, cloud gaming is a good option if you play five to eight hours of games per week. Like other companies in the game-streaming space, Parsec supports cloud access to a virtual PC.

Unlike Shadow, which has brought in all of its own highly tuned equipment via an exclusive partnership with Equinix, Parsec is supporting Amazon Web Services and the company is working with Paperspace, a company that specializes in hosting GPU-accelerated virtual machines in the cloud.

But there are many consumers who are well beyond that gaming time threshold. For them, Parsec offers another option — buying or building your own gaming rig and accessing it remotely. The company scored a big win at CES 2018 via an announcement that HP would be bundling its software on its Omen gaming PCs. In addition to Windows, its supported clients include the Mac and Linux, even when running on the modest Raspberry Pi. Android is also in the works.

While I was not able to try a configuration running on another home-hosted PC, I recently tried a pre-release of Parsec connected to a cloud PC running Cuphead. The controller responded instantly to controls, making it seem like the machine was playing on the local machine. Alas, that didn’t help much in succumbing to a quick demise in the notoriously difficult game styled with 1930s-styled animation and graphics.

Cloud-based streaming game services can charge significant monthly fees (Shadow plans to launch in the US at $34.95 per month) as they seek to justify their value versus buying a high-end gaming PC, In contrast, running Parsec at home doesn’t save the expense of a PC with at least a respectable amount of GPU-driven horsepower, However, Parsec itself is free. The company plans to drive revenue via premium services. It says the HP deal was also a revenue-generating transaction.

Unlike Shadow — which is looking to gaming as a test case for proving the feasibility of complete PC replacement (despite selling its own device) — Parsec claims it is focused on the gaming opportunity for the foreseeable future. That said, you can use it to remotely access the full desktop much as you would other remote PC control options for productivity or other entertainment endeavors.

Depending on distance and other limitations, Parsec is more likely to deliver better performance when professionally hosted on powerful machines rather than local machines. As Boxer puts it, enabling consumers to host their own remote sessions means a lot more work for them to accommodate a wide range of variables.

But self-hosting Parsec has at least one advantage — one can enable multiplayer sessions where you virtually "pass the controller" to a remote user as if that person were sitting next to you. This essentially brings a level of online multiplayer support to games that were never designed for it. Boxer says that a number of game companies that don’t want to go through the hassle of building true remote multiplayer support are looking at Parsec as an option. Parsec is also building a fair amount of identity infrastructure around its gaming community. While the company does not highlight it as such, it could lead to the development of an Xbox Live-type service and another potential revenue stream.

In general, self-hosted servers have had a tough time in the consumer market. Consider the usage of services such as Dropbox versus niche appliances such as the defunct PogoPlug and Transformer or the little-used remote file-sharing features that let consumers string hard drives off the USB ports of routers.

However, in these early days of PC cloud gaming, the same early adopters who are willing to invest in powerful rigs to run their compute-intensive games at home would likely have little resistance to extending that capability to themselves when away from home. That could provide enough of a beachhead for Parsec to develop a sustainable presence.

Your current PC may be the last one you’ll need if it runs Shadow, a new cloud PC service that its developers say has cracked previous performance limitations.

App of the week: LiquidSky is DaaS for gamers, but it’s also great for business

Gaming over the web with minimal lag and high-end processing power? That’s what LiquidSky is offering, which means it’s great for other intensive tasks too.

LiquidSky, a new DaaS gaming platform, claims to deliver high performance cloud desktops that are latency-free. If true, users of resource-intensive business software should take notice.

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The Many Benefits Of Cloud Hosting

Whether you plan on starting a new website or currently own one, you should think of cloud hosting. There are many benefits of hosting your website on the cloud. If you want to know what some of the key benefits of cloud hosting are, then continue to read on.

One of the key benefits of hosting your website on the cloud is there really is no point of failure. What this means is if a hardware issue arises, then the chances are your site will quickly be switched to another server. Your website visitors won’t even know there was ever an issue, and you probably won’t notice either.

Cloud hosting is extremely flexible. As your website and business grows, your bandwidth needs might change too. With cloud hosting, you will have the flexibility to increase your bandwidth at any given notice, and you can reduce bandwidth at any given notice too. Not many other hosting options allow you to quickly address your bandwidth needs.

Perhaps the best thing about hosting your website on the cloud is that many services will include data mirroring services. This means mirrored copies of your data will be saved and distributed to various devices. This will ensure your data’s safety, as well as ensure redundancy.

Performance is another benefit and reason more people are choosing cloud hosting. Your website will load faster, which will enhance the user experience. Cloud hosting services have been built with performance in mind, so you can rest assure your site will be reliable and fast.

It’s easy to see that cloud hosting is far superior to any other type of web hosting out there. If you are not hosting your website on the cloud, then you’re missing out. Just make sure that choose a reputable cloud hosting service provider because not all services are created equal.

Tech Earnings Takeaway: Cloud Growth Boosts Amazon, Microsoft

Biggest companies’ sales, profit soar above estimates Mobile ads fuel gains at Google; Intel outpaces PC market

The internet is steadily pulling in more shoppers, advertisers and businesses, helping the largest technology companies including Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc. churn out strong revenue and profit growth for another quarter.

All three beat analysts’ sales and profit estimates in the September quarter, sending their shares higher in late trading Thursday and putting the stocks on course to hit records or come close Friday. Consumers and corporations are moving more of their day-to-day functions and business to the internet, from advertising and shopping to workplace software, data storage and applications hosting. That means increased sales for Amazon’s online marketplace, more eyeballs on ads dished out in Google’s mobile search results, and busier servers in all three companies’ data centers.

Even technology companies on the periphery of this internet boom managed to catch some of the wave. Intel Corp.’s server-chip business has struggled as big companies use their own data centers less and move operations to the cloud. However, the semiconductor company is now selling more to the big internet companies that lead in those services.

There are risks: regulators around the world are considering how to control internet companies’ influence, and in the U.S., Google and Facebook Inc. are facing criticism after their advertising services were misused by Russia-linked groups to influence last year’s presidential election. But these issues have yet to slow the rise of internet use. Here’s what we learned from the four biggest tech reports Thursday.

Amazon

Amazon reported sales and profit that blew past analysts’ estimates, showing the pace of its growth continues even as it expands into new businesses and rolls out new hardware products.

Subscription services revenue, mostly Amazon Prime memberships, jumped 59 percent to $2.4 billion, fueled by the company’s annual Prime Day sales event.Revenue from Amazon Web Services, the company’s profitable cloud-computing business, increased 42 percent. The unit generated $1.12 billion in operating income, far and away the most of any Amazon segment.Whole Foods brought in $21 million in operating profit in the one month of the quarter that included the acquisition. For the first time, Amazon reported sales of $1.28 billion from "physical stores,” most of which are Whole Foods groceries.The stock’s surge in extended trading lifted the fortune of founder Jeff Bezos by as much as $6.6 billion.
Alphabet

The internet behemoth reported a 23 percent jump in revenue to $19.7 billion from Google online properties, such as its search engine and video-streaming site YouTube. That continued a run of year-over-year sales gains of at least 20 percent that has confounded doubters who worried the company’s size would slow its growth. Shares climbed 3 percent after the report.

Google’s "other revenue" category expanded by 40 percent. The company said the largest contributor to that line item during the quarter was its cloud unit.YouTube racked up more than 100 million viewing hours per day in living rooms, a 70 percent increase in the past year, Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said during a call with analysts on Thursday.
Microsoft

The software maker’s cloud transformation, spearheaded by CEO Satya Nadella, stayed on track amid buoyant demand for Azure cloud services, used to store and run customers’ applications in Microsoft’s data centers. Azure is No. 2 in this part of the cloud business behind Amazon Web Services, and the market is growing fast enough to lift both companies’ revenue.

Azure revenue gained 90 percent in the fiscal first quarter. Margins in the cloud business are widening as more data centers come online, with more Azure customers opting for profitable premium services such as AI and data-analytics software, according to CFO Amy Hood.Sales of the company’s Surface hardware products jumped 12 percent, driven by a new laptop design that went on sale June 15. Even as the overall PC market contracted, Microsoft’s More Personal Computing division posted better-than-projected revenue of $9.4 billion.Microsoft shares, already up 27 percent this year, jumped more than 4 percent in extended trading.
Intel

The computer-chip maker posted robust third-quarter growth in newer businesses – memory and the so-called internet of things — yet sales in its PC processor division were flat and data-center unit revenue is being held back by declining corporate spending on servers. Intel stock jumped about 2 percent in extended trading.

Still, within the server division, sales to cloud-services providers like Google, Microsoft and Amazon jumped 24 percent, leading to a 7 percent sales gain in the whole unit.Though its biggest division, PC chips, posted no growth, that was still better than the overall PC industry, which contracted 3.6 percent in the period, according to Gartner. Intel CFO Bob Swan said that’s because average selling prices are rising on consumer demand for high-performance chips.The company gave an upbeat forecast for the final three months of the year, pegging revenue at about $16.3 billion, which would be ahead of analysts’ projections.

— With assistance by Jing Cao, Mark Bergen, Spencer Soper, and Ian King

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Verimatrix Launches Cloud-Hosting Service

Amsterdam, IBC 2017 (Booth #5.A59)– Aug. 24, 2017 —Verimatrix, the specialist in securing and enhancing revenue for multi-network, multi-screen digital TV services around the globe, today announced the launch of the Verimatrix Secure Cloud™, a new deployment option that equips video service operators with a trusted, flexible, fully managed framework for video content security and analytics. Supported by the highly respected Verimatrix Global Services team and monitored on a 24/7/365 basis, Secure Cloud broadens the scope of deployment options available for operators who take advantage of Verspective™, MultiRights™ OTT Plus and Video Content Authority System (VCAS™) solutions of any size or scale. This convenient and cost-effective alternative to on-premise systems and operations can be rapidly deployed and reconfigured as required, all while keeping operators in full control of their service offerings and subscriber relationships.

“In order to drive their competitive profile and continued subscriber growth, operators are looking to more flexible deployment strategies for their critical service subsystems – that’s why Verimatrix is offering a managed cloud deployment approach,” said Steve Oetegenn, president of Verimatrix. “Verimatrix Secure Cloud puts operators at ease, knowing that their security and analytics implementations are expertly provisioned and updated by a trusted team, ultimately increasing their own business agility.”

Secure Cloud is implemented via a customer-dedicated Amazon Web Services (AWS) virtual private cloud environment that includes private and secure storage for critical data and assets. Deployments of VCAS and Verspective software solutions in Secure Cloud become best-in-class video service components, interoperable with other components of the cloud video ecosystem, including encoders and streamers, CDNs and content management systems.

Verimatrix will showcase how Secure Cloud helps operators overcome today’s challenges and maximize their service revenue and content ROI at IBC 2017 (booth #5.A59). For additional information or to book an appointment with the team, please visit www.verimatrix.com/ibc2017.

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Unisecure Hybrid Cloud Hosting Introduces New Integration and Collaboration Support

The integration empower clients to all more effectively stream huge data into hybrid cloud platform. Tending to the constraints of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) stages, the integrations empower the accumulation and exchange of data at its source (client gadgets, IoT, and so on.), and in addition the spilling of that information progressively to cloud-based platforms for facilitating analysis and action.

“Overall, there are very real trends toward cloud platforms, and also toward massively scalable processing. Virtualization, service orientation and the Internet have converged to sponsor a phenomenon that enables individuals and businesses to choose how they’ll acquire or deliver IT services, with reduced emphasis on the constraints of traditional software and hardware licensing models,” Benjamin, Vice President – Business Development at Unisecure. “Services delivered through the cloud will foster an economy based on delivery and consumption of everything from storage to computation to video to finance deduction management.”

"Unisecure is the pioneer in hybrid cloud and endeavor IT administrations and our innovation will propel our customers’ encounters and also convey new capacities to Unisecure base," said Olivia, Head of Business Development at Unisecure. "With this integration and collaboration, we have the capacity to enable more undertakings to deal with their growing private and open cloud situations."

About Unisecure
Unisecure is the data center provider and home of innovative hybrid cloud solutions. They offer a full scope of hybrid cloud data benefits that disentangle management of applications and data crosswise over a cloud and on-premises infrastructure to quicken digital transformation.

Unisecure is an established name in the industry with more than a decade long experience pursuing a vision to evolve and develop innovative technologies to make the services more economical and let your business gain on ROI. We offer a bundle of web solutions – Cloud Platform, dedicated servers, VPS Hosting, Colocation Services and data center related services.

They have 5 contemporary highly advanced data centers, with all the latest technologies, best resources and robust security systems installed at all of our facilities. We are a team of more than 650 experienced professionals with proven records, possessing expertise in managing web services in the US and all over the globe.

For more information about their services, visit www.unisecure.com

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The Latest Web Hosting News That You Should Know

There are always going to be changes in the different types of web hosting that are available. Many people are not sure of which type they actually need. They might start with something that is shared, move up to VPS, but they are not sure if going to a dedicated server would be the best choice for them to make. There are dedicated servers which are also cloud-based which makes them accessible from remote locations across the globe. Here is some of the latest web hosting news that you ought to know about technologies that are currently available.

Latest News On Web Hosting

Web hosting can be extremely beneficial if it is chosen properly. For example, if you have a business that is growing rapidly, and you have a shared or even a business package, you are probably going to have many of your websites not load. If you expand to quickly to a dedicated server, especially a large one, you might be paying too much money for all of the traffic that you actually receive. Therefore, you need to consider how much traffic you have right now, look at the growth over the last six months, and then make your choice accordingly. There are new VPS servers that have just come out which are cloud-based which would be perfect for many small to medium-size businesses. Best of all, they have now made it easy to expand cloud-based servers within minutes, which is why many people are taking advantage of these services.

Find One Today

You can find one very quickly by searching online for these companies that offer this type of service. Look for discounts that they are currently offering and take advantage of the savings. By the end of the day, you should be signed up with the company that can provide you with excellent hosting that you probably cannot find anywhere else for the price they are offering. This small amount of research that you do looking for the latest web hosting news will lead you to the best deals and packages.

An Insight Into Technology And Its Impact

Innovations that have been made are what have shaped the world since the beginning of time. Since it is something new, it is very uncertain and therefore, the outcome cannot be predicted. For the most part, it has played out for the benefit of mankind. Mankind has always been creative as to how they can improve their lives. This determination is what has led to numerous milestone being achieved.

The greatest milestone of all is in the technology sector that has revolutionized everything in the 21st century. The world has all of a sudden shifted to the digital age with processes being configured to keep up with the ever changing world. Over the past few decades, there have been a significant changes with regard to how we communicate and compute data.

Technology is everywhere and basically revolves around application and use. The internet has helped eliminate barriers to communication which has enabled people to interact at a global scale. Sadly, military technology has also brought forth weapons of mass destruction like nuclear weapons. If a war were to break out, millions of people would die which is why it is important to maintain the peace between nations.

Technology has also played a major role in influencing the global economy available today. It is really astonishing as how much of an impact it has on our lives. Like everything else that has ever happened in the world, change is not easily accepted and that also applies to innovations made which are known to directly influence values in the society.

Questions on the ethics of technology have been raised and there have been several debates as to whether it improves human standards or not. Those arguing are simply reluctant to change. Technology is here to stay and there is no sign of it slowing down anytime soon. Actually, future technology will change everything again in a revolution known as the ‘GNR Revolution’ of Genetics, Nanotechnology, and Robotics. You should brace yourself because things are only beginning. Science and technology will always evolve.

Do You Need Cloud Hosting?

Not so long ago, the only way to host a website along with its files and vital information was to utilize a physical high-power server that was often times remotely located. The continuous eruption of innovative ideas has once again spewed a ground breaking technological discovery that revolutionized the process of file hosting.

Cloud hosting is basically a system that involves the use of virtual servers that are mostly online but integrate computing resources from an extensive network of physical servers. In loose terms, one can simply say a cloud server is online; though if it is intrinsically assessed it is way more complicated than that statement.

How does cloud hosting work?

The efficiency with which a cloud server performs its duty regardless of the number of data or files being hosted is quite remarkable, it is basically able to process data from individual websites lodged in its networks with impressive speed and absolute dedication even though it may be performing several different functions for other websites also on its virtual network. What is also incredible about the cloud servers is the ease with which they delegate tasks to each other, ensuring that even a defect in any portion of the network doesn’t affect the general performance of the servers. This attribute of cloud hosting that is also referred to as resource pulling ensures that the cloud servers belonging to a provider can be dispatched to effectively complete varying activities for multiple clients while also exhibiting properties of dynamism and spontaneity.

With cloud servers, consumers can facilitate several complex user actions without interacting with their hosting providers.

Also, the flexibility of cloud hosting is vital to its optimized performance, with the servers able to expand their functional prowess when necessary in order to complete very intricate tasks. And while the versatility of the cloud servers is impressive, their functionality is also quite measured leading to the apt appropriation of duties to each component of the servers.

Cloud hosting classes

All forms of cloud hosting services fall under these two main classifications; Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas)

In this classification of cloud hosting, the customer is basically given access to the virtualised hardware resource to install their preferred choice of software environment for the modification of their web application. It is usually more customizable, making it perfect for businesses with very intricate IT infrastructure. Its utilization of a virtualised hardware resource makes it necessary to be managed by experienced IT personnel.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

In PaaS, the software environment is already available to the client who simply goes ahead to develop and install their application. Though it is less customizable compared to IaaS, it is able to perfectly function in a business with a well laid out framework. Also, easier to operate than IaaS, it is the right fit for businesses only able to hire less proficient IT personnel.

Why cloud hosting is right for you

Cloud hosting is gradually becoming the hosting system of choice for many users who have educated themselves with the mode of its operations and the functional competency. One of the pros of cloud hosting that makes it the ideal hosting type is its reliability. How often times with traditional hosting do websites suddenly become inactive, and URL addresses suddenly do not channel internet visitors to the websites they wish to be conveyed to all because of a malfunction or defect in the physical servers hosting the websites. This is very much unlikely the case with cloud hosting because of the foundation of its framework, which has been equipped to draw resources such as disk space from a very extensive network of underlying physical servers. Customers, therefore, don’t have to worry about physical server failures or malfunctions because when that happens, the virtual server catering to the client simply pulls its resource from the rest of the functioning network.

Many clients who are apprehensive about the use of cloud hosting most often times believe that it is less secured because of the absence of properly secured physical servers. But it must be explained that the cloud doesn’t just exist on the internet space by the snap of the fingers, rather it is engineered by the intricate interaction between a vast amount of reclusive physical servers that are properly protected and secured.

You don’t have to worry about switching servers

This is all too familiar for many who use traditional hosting plans for their businesses. Yes, remember those times when the surge in the numbers of visitors and activities affect the functionality of a website, and it is usually resolved by relocating the files and data of the website to a more appropriate server? With cloud hosting, one need not worry about such constraints as the cloud servers are highly scalable, able to retrieve more resources to meet the expanding needs of the website.

Companies like Umbrellar Cloud Hosting are able to provide quality cloud hosting services at very competitive prices, ensuring that your hosting needs are met with competent implementation.

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Silicon Valley preps for a potential flood of Snap shares

Our Silicon Valley spies are all atwitter over Snap and the more than 1 billion shares that may be flooding the market in the next two weeks after the 180-day initial public offering lockup expires.

CEO Evan Spiegel and newlywed wife actress Miranda Kerr may want to do some estate planning with the 200,000 shares he has coming due in the wake of Snap’s $3.4 billion IPO in March for $17 a share.

The recent direction of the social media stock would have any financial planner suggesting diversity in the portfolio.

Snap is now trading at $13.69, a far cry from its $29.44 all-time high price right after the offering.

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Silicon Valley Leadership Group seeks to banish “twin demons”

SAN JOSE — Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s moniker is a mouthful and might be unfamiliar, yet the organization has helped some household names such as BART and Google find their way to downtown San Jose.

The leadership group, a trade association representing hundreds of Silicon Valley businesses in trying to shape public policy, is about to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Its members include large and small businesses from the tech sector, but also health care providers, airlines, universities, professional sports teams, banks, accounting firms, development-related businesses, and more.

A number of Bay Area business and political leaders credit the leadership group with spearheading some of the most dramatic transportation and transit improvements in the South Bay, and perhaps the entire Bay Area.

Yet despite many successes, the leadership group acknowledges its work in tackling the Valley’s most egregious problems is far from finished.

“Some of the foundation issues of the organization were the twin demons of traffic and housing,” said Carl Guardino, chief executive officer of Silicon Valley Leadership Group since 1997. “And guess what: We’ve accomplished a lot, but 40 years later, the twin demons facing our region are traffic and housing.”

The organization’s first major effort created the financing to build a freeway, Highway 85, where none existed between south San Jose and Mountain View. Some of its most recent efforts have helped to set the stage for transforming Diridon Station, a downtown San Jose transit complex, into one that some believe will evolve into a Grand Central Station of the West. Google is in talks with San Jose officials about buying city-owned properties as part of a massive land assembly in the area to potentially build a huge tech campus near the station that could house up to 20,000 employees.

“Through our group’s guidance, BART will be coming to San Jose and Silicon Valley,” Guardino said. “It was done through three local ballot campaigns, and we were the decisive vote for both state and federal funding for BART.”

Peter Giles, the first head of the leadership group, then known as Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group, recalls how approval of an early ballot measure bolstered construction through one of California’s crucial freeway gaps, extending State Route 85 between Cupertino and south San Jose. That measure also reshaped State Route 237 as a full freeway with interchanges and ushered in numerous improvements to U.S. Highway 101.

“Without the group, we probably would never have gotten voter approval to fund Highway 85, and had that not happened, there would not have been a way for the West Valley to be accessible,” Giles said. “The success of Measure A not only created the infrastructure for Highway 85, it also created the precedent and the formula for transportation and transit financing measures throughout the Bay Area and even the state.”

Labor unions that represent Valley workers have found common ground with the leadership group at times — but a natural tension can still exist with the business organization.

“They are like any of these other business groups,” said Mike Henneberry, political director with United Food & Commercial Workers Local 5, based in San Jose. “When you can work with them, you work with them on one issue. It’s good to try to cross the bridge with them, but once you get to the other side, you still have your differences.”

Launched in 1977 at a lunch in Palo Alto organized by legendary tech entrepreneur and mogul David Packard, the organization was officially founded in 1978 as Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group. The name was eventually changed in 2005. The original meeting was a lunch for 33 top executives, including Packard. Now, the group has 365 members.

Bay Area News Group is one of Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s member companies.

“No organization in the state has had a bigger impact in areas of critical importance to our Valley — from affordable housing to transportation to education to economic competitiveness — than Silicon Valley Leadership Group,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said. “I know I’m not the first mayor of this or any other city to believe that my job would be far more difficult if Carl Guardino and SVLG were not doing the heavy lifting they do every day to improve quality of life in our region.”

The leadership group, in the view of former San Jose Mayor Thomas McEnery, has bolstered the South Bay economy without bulldozing the green elements that some residents believe are vital to the area’s attractiveness.

“They are bridging the gap between quality of life and economic vitality,” McEnery said. “The group has greatly helped the people who live in this valley to be more poised and ready to be very successful in the 21st century.

Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said the group’s greatest successes have been in spurring transit and transportation upgrades, but the greatest setbacks have been in prodding construction of housing that’s sufficient to accommodate a steadily expanding workforce.

“They have had the least success in housing because they are truly paddling upstream in California to get more housing built,” Reed said. “The entire state is structured in such a way as to discourage more housing. Silicon Valley is way behind as a region in creating more housing.”

And despite the group’s best efforts, clogged roadways continue to plague commuters.

Traffic was a mess decades ago, when Giles frequently warned of the “jobs-housing imbalance” as a way of describing the concentration of tech companies, jobs and workers in cities such as Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Santa Clara. The housing has been built mainly in San Jose, and primarily the southern sections of the Bay Area’s largest city.

Today, a flood of morning traffic flows heads north on highways 101, 280 and 85, west on 237, and south on interstates 880 and 680, while a barely visible counter-commute heads in the other direction. Then, the opposite happens in the evening.

The lack of new home construction has exacerbated the problem by forcing many workers to move farther from their employers to find affordable housing, causing steadily worsening commutes.

Yet Guardino indicated he still has plenty of passion for the leadership group’s endeavors and the challenges that remain.

“Am I making a difference? Do I enjoy what I’m doing? Do I respect and value the people with whom I’m working? And am I continuing to learn? As long as I can answer all four of those affirmatively on a weekly basis, then I’m in the right place. And I believe I’m in the right place,” Guardino said.

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