What are some common reasons why a blog doesn’t rank on Google?

What are some common reasons why a blog doesn't rank on Google

Any content destined to the public that doesn’t rank on Google or Bing is destined to be obscure and gets no visibility. Writing any blog post or article is not enough to be ranked on Google or Bing, the top 2 search engines in the world.

In this blog, we are going to describe what are some common reasons why a blog doesn’t rank on Google or Bing or Yahoo search engine.

  1. Poor content: Little or no content value
  2. Site heavy to load
  3. No tags
  4. Insecure site (no SSL certificate)
  5. Poor formatting
  6. Articles are in a very competitive space
  7. Disconnect between blog title, and content
  8. Lack of keywords or misplaced keywords: The primary keyword must be the first word of both your domain name and blog title.
  9. Malformed URLs
  10. Site Not mobile friendly
  11. No inlinks
  12. No meta-tags
  13. No Alt Tags

What to do Next?

If you resolve all the issues above, register your site to google search console,, then submit a sitemap url to google or Bing, then check your site performance and index status regularly to make sure that your site is getting indexed properly.

What are some financial software products that do not require you to store data in the cloud?

For privacy sake, it is very important for a lot of people to not trust cloud providers with their financial data. Below are some free desktop financial software products that do not require you to store data in the cloud.

1- Intrinio

Reliable, clean data, you only pay for what you use, your data stays on your computer.

2- LibreOffice Calc : Calc is the free spreadsheet program you’ve always needed. Newcomers find it intuitive and easy to learn, while professional data miners and number crunchers appreciate the comprehensive range of advanced functions. Built-in wizards guide you through choosing and using a comprehensive range of advanced features.

3- Open Office Calc :

Calc is the spreadsheet application you’ve always wanted. Newcomers find it intuitive and easy to learn; professional data miners and number crunchers will appreciate the comprehensive range of advanced functions.

4- Google Sheets: With Google Sheets, you can create, edit, and collaborate wherever you are. For free. Price:
Free for non-business use
$5/month per user for basic G-Suite
$10/month per user for business license

5- Excel: Well it is Microsoft Excel….Enough said. Excel provides a simple way to download financial data into a preconfigured spreadsheet at the click of a button.

6- Money Manager Ex

Money Manager Ex is a free, open-source, cross-platform, easy-to-use personal finance software. It primarily helps organize one’s finances and keeps track of where, when and how the money goes. It is also a great tool to get a bird’s eye view of your financial worth.

Money Manager includes all the basic features that 90% of users would want to see in a personal finance application. The design goals are to concentrate on simplicity and user-friendliness – something one can use everyday.

7- Xero: Xero backs up your data and protects it with multiple layers of security including industry-standard data encryption and secure data centres. We also offer two-step authentication as an additional layer of protection for your Xero account.

8- Smartsheet Smartsheet is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company focused entirely on its core cloud-based work automation platform. Their competency is in simplifying tasks and including many diverse types of output. Since all their efforts revolve around a single product and its extensions, there is strong user support. 

Resources:

1- Quora

2- Top 20 budgeting financial solutions

What are the corresponding or equivalent Azure services for each of the AWS services?

What are the corresponding or equivalent Azure services for each of the AWS services?

What are unique distinctions and similarities between AWS and Azure service? For each AWS service, what is the equivalent Azure service? For each Azure service, what is the corresponding AWS Service? AWS Services vs Azure Services? Side by side AWS and equivalent Azure Service?

Category
{
AWS Service | Azure Service
Similarities
Differences
}

Marketplace
{
AWS Marketplace | Azure Marketplace

Easy-to-deploy and automatically configured third-party applications, including single virtual machine or multiple virtual machine solutions.

Following the nature of Infrastructure-as-a-Service, AWS Marketplace offers a wide variety of server images. These server images have been created by different sellers, and they can contain custom software. Customer always pays the normal fees of AWS usage, and also for the seller’s proprietary software and/or support.
As a Platform-as-a-Service type cloud environment, Windows Azure Marketplace offers customers finished SaaS-applications and datasets. Something to note is that applications can also be building block components for other applications (e.g. logging service). Both applications and datasets often have a possibility for trial subscription.
Differences between marketplaces stem from the differing nature of cloud environments. As you well know, Windows Azure is a Platform-as-a-Service while AWS is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service.
Source: Read more here.

}

AI and machine learning
{
SageMakerAzure Machine Learning Service

A cloud service to train, deploy, automate, and manage machine learning models.

Azure Machine Learning is a cloud service that you use to train, deploy, automate, and manage machine learning models, all at the broad scale that the cloud provides.
Amazon SageMaker provides every developer and data scientist with the ability to build, train, and deploy machine learning models quickly. Amazon SageMaker is a fully-managed service that covers the entire machine learning workflow to label and prepare your data, choose an algorithm, train the model, tune and optimize it for deployment, make predictions, and take action. Your models get to production faster with much less effort and lower cost.

}

SageMakerAzure Machine Learning Studio

A collaborative, drag-and-drop tool to build, test, and deploy predictive analytics solutions on your data.

Alexa Skills KitMicrosoft Bot Framework

Build and connect intelligent bots that interact with your users using text/SMS, Skype, Teams, Slack, Office 365 mail, Twitter, and other popular services.

Amazon LexSpeech Services

API capable of converting speech to text, understanding intent, and converting text back to speech for natural responsiveness.

Amazon LexLanguage Understanding (LUIS)

Allows your applications to understand user commands contextually.

Amazon Polly, Amazon Transcribe | Azure Speech Services

Enables both Speech to Text, and Text into Speech capabilities.
The Speech Services are the unification of speech-to-text, text-to-speech, and speech-translation into a single Azure subscription. It’s easy to speech enable your applications, tools, and devices with the Speech SDK, Speech Devices SDK, or REST APIs.
Amazon Polly is a Text-to-Speech (TTS) service that uses advanced deep learning technologies to synthesize speech that sounds like a human voice. With dozens of lifelike voices across a variety of languages, you can select the ideal voice and build speech-enabled applications that work in many different countries.
Amazon Transcribe is an automatic speech recognition (ASR) service that makes it easy for developers to add speech-to-text capability to their applications. Using the Amazon Transcribe API, you can analyze audio files stored in Amazon S3 and have the service return a text file of the transcribed speech.

Amazon RekognitionCognitive Services

Computer Vision: Extract information from images to categorize and process visual data.
Amazon Rekognition is a simple and easy to use API that can quickly analyze any image or video file stored in Amazon S3. Amazon Rekognition is always learning from new data, and we are continually adding new labels and facial recognition features to the service.

Face: Detect, identy, and analyze faces in photos.

Emotions: Recognize emotions in images.

Alexa Skill SetAzure Virtual Assistant

The Virtual Assistant Template brings together a number of best practices we’ve identified through the building of conversational experiences and automates integration of components that we’ve found to be highly beneficial to Bot Framework developers.

Big data and analytics

Data warehouse

AWS RedshiftSQL Data Warehouse

Cloud-based Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) that uses Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) to quickly run complex queries across petabytes of data.

Big data processing
EMR | Azure Databricks
Apache Spark-based analytics platform.

EMR HDInsight

Managed Hadoop service. Deploy and manage Hadoop clusters in Azure.

Data orchestration / ETL

AWS Data Pipeline, AWS Glue | Data Factory

Processes and moves data between different compute and storage services, as well as on-premises data sources at specified intervals. Create, schedule, orchestrate, and manage data pipelines.

AWS GlueData Catalog

A fully managed service that serves as a system of registration and system of discovery for enterprise data sources

Analytics and visualization

AWS Kinesis Analytics | Stream Analytics

Data Lake Analytics | Data Lake Store

Storage and analysis platforms that create insights from large quantities of data, or data that originates from many sources.

QuickSightPower BI

Business intelligence tools that build visualizations, perform ad hoc analysis, and develop business insights from data.

CloudSearchAzure Search

Delivers full-text search and related search analytics and capabilities.

Amazon AthenaAzure Data Lake Analytics

Provides a serverless interactive query service that uses standard SQL for analyzing databases.

Compute

Virtual servers

Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)Azure Virtual Machines

Virtual servers allow users to deploy, manage, and maintain OS and server software. Instance types provide combinations of CPU/RAM. Users pay for what they use with the flexibility to change sizes.

AWS BatchAzure Batch

Run large-scale parallel and high-performance computing applications efficiently in the cloud.

AWS Auto ScalingVirtual Machine Scale Sets

Allows you to automatically change the number of VM instances. You set defined metric and thresholds that determine if the platform adds or removes instances.

VMware Cloud on AWSAzure VMware by CloudSimple

Redeploy and extend your VMware-based enterprise workloads to Azure with Azure VMware Solution by CloudSimple. Keep using the VMware tools you already know to manage workloads on Azure without disrupting network, security, or data protection policies.

Containers and container orchestrators

EC2 Container Service (ECS), FargateAzure Container Instances

Azure Container Instances is the fastest and simplest way to run a container in Azure, without having to provision any virtual machines or adopt a higher-level orchestration service.

EC2 Container RegistryAzure Container Registry

Allows customers to store Docker formatted images. Used to create all types of container deployments on Azure.

Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS)Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

Deploy orchestrated containerized applications with Kubernetes. Simplify monitoring and cluster management through auto upgrades and a built-in operations console.

App MeshService Fabric Mesh

Fully managed service that enables developers to deploy microservices applications without managing virtual machines, storage, or networking.
AWS App Mesh is a service mesh that provides application-level networking to make it easy for your services to communicate with each other across multiple types of compute infrastructure. App Mesh standardizes how your services communicate, giving you end-to-end visibility and ensuring high-availability for your applications.

Serverless

AWS Lambda | Azure Functions

Integrate systems and run backend processes in response to events or schedules without provisioning or managing servers.
AWS Lambda is an event-driven, serverless computing platform provided by Amazon as a part of the Amazon Web Services. It is a computing service that runs code in response to events and automatically manages the computing resources required by that code

Database

Relational database

AWS RDS | SQL Database Azure Database for MySQL Azure Database for PostgreSQL

Managed relational database service where resiliency, scale, and maintenance are primarily handled by the platform.
Amazon Relational Database Service is a distributed relational database service by Amazon Web Services. It is a web service running “in the cloud” designed to simplify the setup, operation, and scaling of a relational database for use in applications. Administration processes like patching the database software, backing up databases and enabling point-in-time recovery are managed automatically. Scaling storage and compute resources can be performed by a single API call as AWS does not offer an ssh connection to RDS instances.

NoSQL / Document

DynamoDB and SimpleDBAzure Cosmos DB

A globally distributed, multi-model database that natively supports multiple data models: key-value, documents, graphs, and columnar.

Caching

AWS ElastiCache | Azure Cache for Redis

An in-memory–based, distributed caching service that provides a high-performance store typically used to offload nontransactional work from a database.
Amazon ElastiCache is a fully managed in-memory data store and cache service by Amazon Web Services. The service improves the performance of web applications by retrieving information from managed in-memory caches, instead of relying entirely on slower disk-based databases. ElastiCache supports two open-source in-memory caching engines: Memcached and Redis.

Database migration

AWS Database Migration ServiceAzure Database Migration Service

Migration of database schema and data from one database format to a specific database technology in the cloud.
AWS Database Migration Service helps you migrate databases to AWS quickly and securely. The source database remains fully operational during the migration, minimizing downtime to applications that rely on the database. The AWS Database Migration Service can migrate your data to and from most widely used commercial and open-source databases.

DevOps and application monitoring

AWS CloudWatch, AWS X-Ray | Azure Monitor

Comprehensive solution for collecting, analyzing, and acting on telemetry from your cloud and on-premises environments.
Amazon CloudWatch is a monitoring and observability service built for DevOps engineers, developers, site reliability engineers (SREs), and IT managers. CloudWatch provides you with data and actionable insights to monitor your applications, respond to system-wide performance changes, optimize resource utilization, and get a unified view of operational health. CloudWatch collects monitoring and operational data in the form of logs, metrics, and events, providing you with a unified view of AWS resources, applications, and services that run on AWS and on-premises servers.
AWS X-Ray is an application performance management service that enables a developer to analyze and debug applications in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud. A developer can use AWS X-Ray to visualize how a distributed application is performing during development or production, and across multiple AWS regions and accounts.

AWS CodeDeploy, AWS CodeCommit, AWS CodePipeline | Azure DevOps

A cloud service for collaborating on code development.
AWS CodeDeploy is a fully managed deployment service that automates software deployments to a variety of compute services such as Amazon EC2, AWS Fargate, AWS Lambda, and your on-premises servers. AWS CodeDeploy makes it easier for you to rapidly release new features, helps you avoid downtime during application deployment, and handles the complexity of updating your applications.
AWS CodePipeline is a fully managed continuous delivery service that helps you automate your release pipelines for fast and reliable application and infrastructure updates. CodePipeline automates the build, test, and deploy phases of your release process every time there is a code change, based on the release model you define.
AWS CodeCommit is a source code storage and version-control service for Amazon Web Services’ public cloud customers. CodeCommit was designed to help IT teams collaborate on software development, including continuous integration and application delivery.

AWS Developer ToolsAzure Developer Tools

Collection of tools for building, debugging, deploying, diagnosing, and managing multiplatform scalable apps and services.
The AWS Developer Tools are designed to help you build software like Amazon. They facilitate practices such as continuous delivery and infrastructure as code for serverless, containers, and Amazon EC2.

AWS CodeBuild | Azure DevOps

Fully managed build service that supports continuous integration and deployment.

AWS Command Line Interface | Azure CLI Azure PowerShell

Built on top of the native REST API across all cloud services, various programming language-specific wrappers provide easier ways to create solutions.
The AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) is a unified tool to manage your AWS services. With just one tool to download and configure, you can control multiple AWS services from the command line and automate them through scripts.

AWS OpsWorks (Chef-based)Azure Automation

Configures and operates applications of all shapes and sizes, and provides templates to create and manage a collection of resources.
AWS OpsWorks is a configuration management service that provides managed instances of Chef and Puppet. Chef and Puppet are automation platforms that allow you to use code to automate the configurations of your servers.

AWS CloudFormation | Azure Resource Manager , VM extensions , Azure Automation

Provides a way for users to automate the manual, long-running, error-prone, and frequently repeated IT tasks.
AWS CloudFormation provides a common language for you to describe and provision all the infrastructure resources in your cloud environment. CloudFormation allows you to use a simple text file to model and provision, in an automated and secure manner, all the resources needed for your applications across all regions and accounts.

Networking

Area

Cloud virtual networking, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) | Virtual Network

Provides an isolated, private environment in the cloud. Users have control over their virtual networking environment, including selection of their own IP address range, creation of subnets, and configuration of route tables and network gateways.

Cross-premises connectivity

AWS VPN Gateway | Azure VPN Gateway

Connects Azure virtual networks to other Azure virtual networks, or customer on-premises networks (Site To Site). Allows end users to connect to Azure services through VPN tunneling (Point To Site).

DNS management

AWS Route 53 | Azure DNS

Manage your DNS records using the same credentials and billing and support contract as your other Azure services

Route 53 | Traffic Manager

A service that hosts domain names, plus routes users to Internet applications, connects user requests to datacenters, manages traffic to apps, and improves app availability with automatic failover.

Dedicated network

AWS Direct Connect | ExpressRoute

Establishes a dedicated, private network connection from a location to the cloud provider (not over the Internet).

Load balancing

AWS Network Load Balancer | Azure Load Balancer

Azure Load Balancer load-balances traffic at layer 4 (TCP or UDP).

Application Load Balancer | Application Gateway

Application Gateway is a layer 7 load balancer. It supports SSL termination, cookie-based session affinity, and round robin for load-balancing traffic.

Internet of things (IoT)

AWS IoT | Azure IoT Hub

A cloud gateway for managing bidirectional communication with billions of IoT devices, securely and at scale.

AWS Greengrass | Azure IoT Edge

Deploy cloud intelligence directly on IoT devices to run in on-premises scenarios.

Kinesis Firehose, Kinesis Streams | Event Hubs

Services that allow the mass ingestion of small data inputs, typically from devices and sensors, to process and route the data.

AWS IoT Things Graph | Azure Digital Twins

Azure Digital Twins is an IoT service that helps you create comprehensive models of physical environments. Create spatial intelligence graphs to model the relationships and interactions between people, places, and devices. Query data from a physical space rather than disparate sensors.

Management

Trusted Advisor | Azure Advisor

Provides analysis of cloud resource configuration and security so subscribers can ensure they’re making use of best practices and optimum configurations.

AWS Usage and Billing Report | Azure Billing API

Services to help generate, monitor, forecast, and share billing data for resource usage by time, organization, or product resources.

AWS Management Console | Azure portal

A unified management console that simplifies building, deploying, and operating your cloud resources.

AWS Application Discovery Service | Azure Migrate

Assesses on-premises workloads for migration to Azure, performs performance-based sizing, and provides cost estimations.

Amazon EC2 Systems Manager | Azure Monitor

Comprehensive solution for collecting, analyzing, and acting on telemetry from your cloud and on-premises environments.

AWS Personal Health Dashboard | Azure Resource Health

Provides detailed information about the health of resources as well as recommended actions for maintaining resource health.

Security, identity, and access

Authentication and authorization

Identity and Access Management (IAM) | Azure Active Directory

Allows users to securely control access to services and resources while offering data security and protection. Create and manage users and groups, and use permissions to allow and deny access to resources.

Identity and Access Management (IAM) | Azure Role Based Access Control

Role-based access control (RBAC) helps you manage who has access to Azure resources, what they can do with those resources, and what areas they have access to.

AWS Organizations | Azure Subscription Management + Azure RBAC

Security policy and role management for working with multiple accounts.

Multi-Factor Authentication | Multi-Factor Authentication

Safeguard access to data and applications while meeting user demand for a simple sign-in process.

AWS Directory Service | Azure Active Directory Domain Services

Provides managed domain services such as domain join, group policy, LDAP, and Kerberos/NTLM authentication that are fully compatible with Windows Server Active Directory.

Cognito | Azure Active Directory B2C

A highly available, global, identity management service for consumer-facing applications that scales to hundreds of millions of identities.

AWS Organizations | Azure Policy

Azure Policy is a service in Azure that you use to create, assign, and manage policies. These policies enforce different rules and effects over your resources, so those resources stay compliant with your corporate standards and service level agreements.

AWS Organizations | Management Groups

Azure management groups provide a level of scope above subscriptions. You organize subscriptions into containers called “management groups” and apply your governance conditions to the management groups. All subscriptions within a management group automatically inherit the conditions applied to the management group. Management groups give you enterprise-grade management at a large scale, no matter what type of subscriptions you have.

Encryption

Server-side encryption with Amazon S3 Key Management Service | Azure Storage Service Encryption

Helps you protect and safeguard your data and meet your organizational security and compliance commitments.

Key Management Service AWS KMS, CloudHSM | Key Vault

Provides security solution and works with other services by providing a way to manage, create, and control encryption keys stored in hardware security modules (HSM).

Firewall

Web Application Firewall | Application Gateway – Web Application Firewall

A firewall that protects web applications from common web exploits.

Web Application Firewall | Azure Firewall

Provides inbound protection for non-HTTP/S protocols, outbound network-level protection for all ports and protocols, and application-level protection for outbound HTTP/S.

Security

Inspector | Security Center

An automated security assessment service that improves the security and compliance of applications. Automatically assess applications for vulnerabilities or deviations from best practices.

Certificate Manager | App Service Certificates available on the Portal

Service that allows customers to create, manage, and consume certificates seamlessly in the cloud.

GuardDuty | Azure Advanced Threat Protection

Detect and investigate advanced attacks on-premises and in the cloud.

AWS Artifact | Service Trust Portal

Provides access to audit reports, compliance guides, and trust documents from across cloud services.

AWS Shield | Azure DDos Protection Service

Provides cloud services with protection from distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks.

Storage

Object storage

Simple Storage Services (S3) | Azure Blob storage

Object storage service, for use cases including cloud applications, content distribution, backup, archiving, disaster recovery, and big data analytics.

Virtual server disks

Elastic Block Store (EBS) | Azure managed disks

SSD storage optimized for I/O intensive read/write operations. For use as high-performance Azure virtual machine storage.

Shared files

Elastic File System | Azure Files

Provides a simple interface to create and configure file systems quickly, and share common files. Can be used with traditional protocols that access files over a network.

Archiving and backup

S3 Infrequent Access (IA) | Azure Storage cool tier

Cool storage is a lower-cost tier for storing data that is infrequently accessed and long-lived.

S3 Glacier | Azure Storage archive access tier

Archive storage has the lowest storage cost and higher data retrieval costs compared to hot and cool storage.

AWS Backup | Azure Backup

Back up and recover files and folders from the cloud, and provide offsite protection against data loss.

Hybrid storage

Storage Gateway | StorSimple

Integrates on-premises IT environments with cloud storage. Automates data management and storage, plus supports disaster recovery.

Bulk data transfer

AWS Import/Export Disk | Import/Export

A data transport solution that uses secure disks and appliances to transfer large amounts of data. Also offers data protection during transit.

AWS Import/Export Snowball, Snowball Edge, Snowmobile | Azure Data Box

Petabyte- to exabyte-scale data transport solution that uses secure data storage devices to transfer large amounts of data to and from Azure.

Web applications

Elastic Beanstalk | App Service

Managed hosting platform providing easy to use services for deploying and scaling web applications and services.

API Gateway | API Management

A turnkey solution for publishing APIs to external and internal consumers.

CloudFront | Azure Content Delivery Network

A global content delivery network that delivers audio, video, applications, images, and other files.

Global Accelerator | Azure Front Door

Easily join your distributed microservice architectures into a single global application using HTTP load balancing and path-based routing rules. Automate turning up new regions and scale-out with API-driven global actions, and independent fault-tolerance to your back end microservices in Azure—or anywhere.

Miscellaneous

Backend process logic

AWS Step Functions | Logic Apps

Cloud technology to build distributed applications using out-of-the-box connectors to reduce integration challenges. Connect apps, data and devices on-premises or in the cloud.

Enterprise application services

Amazon WorkMail, Amazon WorkDocs | Office 365

Fully integrated Cloud service providing communications, email, document management in the cloud and available on a wide variety of devices.

Gaming

GameLift, GameSparks | PlayFab

Managed services for hosting dedicated game servers.

Media transcoding

Elastic Transcoder | Media Services

Services that offer broadcast-quality video streaming services, including various transcoding technologies.

Workflow

Simple Workflow Service (SWF) | Logic Apps

Serverless technology for connecting apps, data and devices anywhere, whether on-premises or in the cloud for large ecosystems of SaaS and cloud-based connectors.

Hybrid

Outposts | Azure Stack

Azure Stack is a hybrid cloud platform that enables you to run Azure services in your company’s or service provider’s datacenter. As a developer, you can build apps on Azure Stack. You can then deploy them to either Azure Stack or Azure, or you can build truly hybrid apps that take advantage of connectivity between an Azure Stack cloud and Azure.

Source: AWS to Azure services comparison – Azure Architecture

Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing

Cloud User insurance and Cloud Provider Insurance

Cloud computing is the new big thing in Information Technology. Everyone, every business will sooner or later adopt it, because of hosting cost benefits, scalability and more.

This blog outlines the Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing, Pros and Cons of Cloud Technology, Faqs, Facts, Questions and Answers Dump about cloud computing.

AWS Cloud Practitioner Exam Prep App – Free

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam Prep App
AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam Prep PWA App

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is an information technology paradigm that enables ubiquitous access to shared pools of configurable system resources and higher-level services that can be rapidly provisioned with minimal management effort, often over the Internet. Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economies of scale, similar to a public utility.
Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping you lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.

What are the Pros of using cloud computing? What are characteristics of cloud computing?


  • Cost effective & Time saving: Cloud computing eliminates the capital expense of buying hardware and software and setting up and running on-site datacenters; the racks of servers, the round-the-clock electricity for power and cooling, and the IT experts for managing the infrastructure.
  • The ability to pay only for cloud services you use, helping you lower your operating costs.
  • Powerful server capabilities and Performance: The biggest cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure datacenters, which are regularly upgraded to the latest generation of fast and efficient computing hardware. This offers several benefits over a single corporate datacenter, including reduced network latency for applications and greater economies of scale.
  • Powerful and scalable server capabilities: The ability to scale elastically; That means delivering the right amount of IT resources—for example, more or less computing power, storage, bandwidth—right when they’re needed, and from the right geographic location.
  • SaaS ( Software as a service). Software as a service is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet, on demand and typically on a subscription basis. With SaaS, cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure, and handle any maintenance, like software upgrades and security patching. Users connect to the application over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet, or PC.
  • PaaS ( Platform as a service). Platform as a service refers to cloud computing services that supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering, and managing software applications. PaaS is designed to make it easier for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network, and databases needed for development.
  • IaaS ( Infrastructure as a service). The most basic category of cloud computing services. With IaaS, you rent IT infrastructure—servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks, operating systems—from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis
  • Serverless: Running complex Applications without a single server. Overlapping with PaaS, serverless computing focuses on building app functionality without spending time continually managing the servers and infrastructure required to do so. The cloud provider handles the setup, capacity planning, and server management for you. Serverless architectures are highly scalable and event-driven, only using resources when a specific function or trigger occurs.
  • Infrastructure provisioning as code, helps recreating same infrastructure by re-running the same code in a few click.
  • Automatic and Reliable Data backup and storage of data: Cloud computing makes data backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity easier and less expensive because data can be mirrored at multiple redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network.
  • Increase Productivity: On-site datacenters typically require a lot of “racking and stacking”—hardware setup, software patching, and other time-consuming IT management chores. Cloud computing removes the need for many of these tasks, so IT teams can spend time on achieving more important business goals.
  • Security: Many cloud providers offer a broad set of policies, technologies, and controls that strengthen your security posture overall, helping protect your data, apps, and infrastructure from potential threats.
  • Speed: Most cloud computing services are provided self service and on demand, so even vast amounts of computing resources can be provisioned in minutes, typically with just a few mouse clicks, giving businesses a lot of flexibility and taking the pressure off capacity planning.

What are the Cons of using cloud computing?


  • Privacy: Cloud computing poses privacy concerns because the service provider can access the data that is in the cloud at any time. It could accidentally or deliberately alter or delete information.Many cloud providers can share information with third parties if necessary for purposes of law and order without a warrant. That is permitted in their privacy policies, which users must agree to before they start using cloud services.
  • Security: According to the Cloud Security Alliance, the top three threats in the cloud are Insecure Interfaces and API’s, Data Loss & Leakage, and Hardware Failure—which accounted for 29%, 25% and 10% of all cloud security outages respectively. Together, these form shared technology vulnerabilities.
  • Ownership of Data: There is the problem of legal ownership of the data (If a user stores some data in the cloud, can the cloud provider profit from it?). Many Terms of Service agreements are silent on the question of ownership.
  • Limited Customization Options: Cloud computing is cheaper because of economics of scale, and—like any outsourced task—you tend to get what you get. A restaurant with a limited menu is cheaper than a personal chef who can cook anything you want.
  • Downtime: Technical outages are inevitable and occur sometimes when cloud service providers (CSPs) become overwhelmed in the process of serving their clients. This may result to temporary business suspension.
  • Insurance : It can be expensive to insure the customer and business data and infrastructure hosted in the cloud. A cyber insurance is necessary when using the cloud.
  • Other concerns of cloud computing.

      • Users with specific records-keeping requirements, such as public agencies that must retain electronic records according to statute, may encounter complications with using cloud computing and storage. For instance, the U.S. Department of Defense designated the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to maintain a list of records management products that meet all of the records retention, personally identifiable information (PII), and security (Information Assurance; IA) requirements
      • Cloud storage is a rich resource for both hackers and national security agencies. Because the cloud holds data from many different users and organizations, hackers see it as a very valuable target.
    • Piracy and copyright infringement may be enabled by sites that permit filesharing. For example, the CodexCloud ebook storage site has faced litigation from the owners of the intellectual property uploaded and shared there, as have the GrooveShark and YouTube sites it has been compared to.

What are the different types of cloud computing?


  • Public clouds: A cloud is called a “public cloud” when the services are rendered over a network that is open for public use. They are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service providers, which deliver their computing resources, like servers and storage, over the Internet. Microsoft Azure is an example of a public cloud. With a public cloud, all hardware, software, and other supporting infrastructure is owned and managed by the cloud provider. You access these services and manage your account using a web browser. For infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS), Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) hold a commanding position among the many cloud companies.
  • Private cloud is cloud infrastructure operated solely for a single organization, whether managed internally or by a third party, and hosted either internally or externally. A private cloud refers to cloud computing resources used exclusively by a single business or organization. A private cloud can be physically located on the company’s on-site datacenter. Some companies also pay third-party service providers to host their private cloud. A private cloud is one in which the services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network.
  • Hybrid cloud is a composition of a public cloud and a private environment, such as a private cloud or on-premise resources, that remain distinct entities but are bound together, offering the benefits of multiple deployment models. Hybrid cloud can also mean the ability to connect collocation, managed and/or dedicated services with cloud resources. Hybrid clouds combine public and private clouds, bound together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. By allowing data and applications to move between private and public clouds, a hybrid cloud gives your business greater flexibility, more deployment options, and helps optimize your existing infrastructure, security, and compliance.
  • Community Cloud: A community cloud in computing is a collaborative effort in which infrastructure is shared between several organizations from a specific community with common concerns, whether managed internally or by a third-party and hosted internally or externally. This is controlled and used by a group of organizations that have shared interest. The costs are spread over fewer users than a public cloud, so only some of the cost savings potential of cloud computing are realized.


Other AWS Facts and Summaries and Questions/Answers Dump

Reference


Cloud User insurance and Cloud Provider Insurance

Cloud User insurance and Cloud Provider Insurance

In this blog, we are going to explore the following topics and provide some suggestions and recommendations:

As cloud user, cloud customer, company storing customer data in the cloud, you probably have a lot of personal or private data hosted in various infrastructure in the cloud. Losing that data or having the data accessed by hackers or unauthorized third party can be very harmful both financially and emotionally to you or your customers. A cloud User or Customer Insurance can protect you against data lost or stolen data. Practically, the cloud computing insurance is a cyber liability policy that covers web-based services. Before looking for a customer insurance in the cloud, you need to clarify “What data should the insurance cover and under which governing laws?“, “What data can be considered a loss?” . The good news is : as cloud adoption is increasing in the insurance industry, insurers have the opportunity to better understand their operations models and to implement tailored insurance solutions for cloud.

Cloud Data loss can happen in the following forms:

First Party Losses: losses where the cloud provider incurs damages. Those types of losses include:

  • Destruction of Data
  • Denial of Service Attack (DOS)
  • Virus, Malware and Spyware
  • Human Error
  • Electrical Malfunctions and Power Surges in data centers
  • Natural Disasters
  • Network Failures
  • Cyber Extortion

Each of the above exposures to loss would result in direct damages to the insured, or first-party loss.

Third-Party Losses – damages that would occur to customers outside of the cloud provider. These types of losses include:

  • Breach of Privacy
  • Misuse of Private Personal Information
  • Defamation or Slander
  • Transmission of Malicious Content

The above exposures could result in a company being held liable for the damages caused to others (liability).

Cyber insurance is a form of insurance for businesses and individuals against internet-based risks. The most common risk that is insured against is data breaches. … It also covers losses from network security breaches, theft of intellectual property and loss of privacy.

Data Compromise coverage insures a commercial entity when there is a data breach, theft or unauthorized disclosure of personal information. … Thus Cyber Liability covers both the expenses to notify affected individuals of data breaches and the expenses to make the insured whole for their own damages incurred.

Some insurance companies that specialize in Cyber Insurance include:

Contact an Independent Insurance Agent near you that writes Cyber Insurance and ask them to get multiple quotes for your business.

However, a more effective risk management solution might be loss control rather than financing. If you encrypt your data at rest and set up and adopt a process of automatic regular backups, and geographically distribute those backups , then you have effectively minimized the potential costs of loss.

Cyber Insurance is not yet standardized as many other forms of commercial insurance. Therefore, breadth of coverage and pricing can vary widely.

Below is AWS commitment to data privacy:

  • Access: As a customer, you maintain full control of your content and responsibility for configuring access to AWS services and resources. We provide an advanced set of access, encryption, and logging features to help you do this effectively (e.g., AWS Identity and Access Management, AWS Organizations and AWS CloudTrail). We provide APIs for you to configure access control permissions for any of the services you develop or deploy in an AWS environment. We do not access or use your content for any purpose without your consent. We never use your content or derive information from it for marketing or advertising.
  • Storage: You choose the AWS Region(s) in which your content is stored and the type of storage. You can replicate and back up your content in more than one AWS Region. We will not move or replicate your content outside of your chosen AWS Region(s) without your consent, except as legally required and as necessary to maintain the AWS services.
  • Security: You choose how your content is secured. We offer you strong encryption for your content in transit and at rest, and we provide you with the option to manage your own encryption keys. These features include:
    • Data encryption capabilities available in AWS storage and database services, such as Amazon Elastic Block Store, Amazon Simple Storage Service, Amazon Relational Database Service, and Amazon Redshift.
    • Flexible key management options, including AWS Key Management Service (KMS), allow customers to choose whether to have AWS manage the encryption keys or enable customers to keep complete control over their keys.
    • AWS customers can employ Server-Side Encryption (SSE) with Amazon S3-Managed Keys (SSE-S3), SSE with AWS KMS-Managed Keys (SSE-KMS), or SSE with Customer-Provided Encryption Keys (SSE-C).
  • Disclosure of customer content: We do not disclose customer information unless we’re required to do so to comply with a legally valid and binding order. Unless prohibited from doing so or there is clear indication of illegal conduct in connection with the use of Amazon products or services, Amazon notifies customers before disclosing content information.
  • Security Assurance: We have developed a security assurance program that uses best practices for global privacy and data protection to help you operate securely within AWS, and to make the best use of our security control environment. These security protections and control processes are independently validated by multiple third-party independent assessments

Microsoft Azure Data Privacy and protection Commitment

Google Cloud commitment to data privacy and security:

What types of business insurance are available?

  • Property and Casualty Insurance: Property insurance covers the physical location of the business and its contents from things like fire, theft, flood, and earthquakes—although read the terms carefully to make sure they include everything you need. Casualty insurance, on the other hand, covers the operation of the business, but the two are usually grouped together in policies.
  • Auto Insurance: Auto insurance protects you against financial loss if you have an accident. It is a contract between you and the insurance company.
  • Liability Insurance: Liability insurance is insurance that provides protection against claims resulting from injuries and damage property.
  • Business Insurance: Business interruption insurance can make up for lost cash flow and profits incurred because of an event that has interrupted your normal business operations.
  • Health and Disability Insurance: Health insurance provides health coverage for you and your employees. This insurance covers your employees for the expenses and loss of income caused by non work-related injuries, illnesses, and disabilities and death from any cause.
  • Life Insurance: Life and disability insurance covers your business in the event of the death or disability of key owners.
  • Cyber Insurance: Cover Data loss, destruction of data, privacy breach, Denial of Service Attack (DOS), Network failure, Transmission of Malicious Content, Misuse of personal or private information, etc.
  • Crime & Employee Dishonesty Insurance: To cover your business for fraudulent acts committed by your employees, e.g. theft or embezzlement of money, securities, and other business-owned property and for burglary, theft, and robbery of cash and other representations of money, e.g. money orders, postage stamps, travelers checks, and readily convertible securities, e.g. bearer bonds;
  • Mandatory Workers Compensation Insurance: To cover your employees for injuries and illnesses sustained during the course of employment. This would include medical expenses and loss of income due to a work-related disability;
  • Transportation/Inland & Ocean Marine Insurance: To pay for loss of damage to property you own or are responsible for while it is being transported or shipped to or from customers, manufacturers, processors, assemblers, warehouses, etc. by air, ship, or land vehicles either domestically or internationally.
  • Umbrella Liability Insurance: To provide an additional layer of liability insurance over your primary automobile liability, general liability, employers liability, and, if applicable, watercraft or aircraft liability policies;
  • Directors & Officers Liability Insurance: To defend your business and its directors or officers against allegations that they mismanaged the business in some way which caused financial loss to your clients (and/or others) and pay money damages in a court trial or settlement;
  • Condos Unit Owners Personal Insurance & Landlord / Rental Property Insurance: Cover expenses that come from having a loss within your property. Whether the unit owner is living in their unit or not, it is your responsibility to ensure that your personal assets and liabilities are adequately protected by your own personal insurance policy. This coverage includes all the content items that are brought into a unit or stored in a storage locker or premises, such as furnishings, electronics, clothing, etc. Most policies out there will also cover personal property while it is temporary off premises, on vacation for example.
  • Landlord property coverage is to protect the property that you own within your rental unit, which includes but is not limited to, appliances, window coverings, or if you rent out your unit fully furnished, then all of that property that is yours.
  • Rental Property insurance coverage allows you to protect you revenue source. Your property is your responsibility and if you property gets damaged by an insured peril, and your tenant can’t live there for a month or two (or more), you can purchase insurance to replace that rental income for the period of time your property is inhabitable.

Do online businesses need insurance?

All businesses need insurance. Here are some suggestions:

Property Insurance: To cover your owned, non-owned, and leased business property (contents, buildings if applicable, computers, office supplies, and any other property that you need to operate your business) for such perils as fire, windstorm, smoke damage, water damage, and theft.

EDP Insurance: To cover your computer hardware and software for such perils as mechanical breakdown and electrical injury;

Cyber Property and Liability Insurance: To cover your business for its activities on the Internet. Cyber Property coverages apply to losses sustained by your company directly. An example is damage to your company’s electronic data files caused by a hacker/security breach. Cyber Liability coverages apply to claims against your company by people who have been injured as a result of your actions or failure to act. For instance, a client sues you for negligence after his personal data, e.g credit card numbers or confidential information is stolen from your computer system and released online.

Loss of Income (Business Interruption) Insurance: To cover your business for the loss of income you would sustain because it was damaged by a covered peril under your property insurance, e.g. fire, windstorm, smoke damage, and theft;

Read this blog about insurance for E-commerce

Thinking of purchasing cyber insurance? Make sure the policy you choose covers more than paying ransomware. Paying cyber criminals should be a last resort. Your policy should include cleaning & rebuilding current systems, hiring experts, & purchasing new protections.

Resource:

1- Quora

2- AWS Data privacy

3- Does Cyber insurance makes sense?

4- What does cyber insurance do? What does it protect?

The purpose of cyber security is to protect all forms of digital data. Protecting personal information (SSN, credit card information, etc.), protecting proprietary information .(Facebook algorithms, Tesla vehicle designs, etc.), and other forms of digital data.

5- Cloud based Insurance Providers

* https://www.cloudinsurance.io

6- Understanding Cloud insurance

Cloud computing insurance is meant to protect a cloud provider. The implementation of a system and the preservation of important information comes with risks. If anything goes wrong, such as an outage at a critical time that results in business interruption, your client can hold you responsible and seek damages. Cloud insurance can not only provide compensation to your client as a result of a claim against you, but can also cover your legal defense and lost income.

7- Ransomware still dominates the cyber threat landscape in 2019: Europol report.

What are good competitors to G-Suite?

What are good competitors to G-Suite?

Office 365 comes to mind.

Office 365 is a line of subscription services offered by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Office product line. The brand encompasses plans that allow use of the Microsoft Office software suite over the life of the subscription, as well as cloud-based software as a service products for business environments, such as hosted Exchange ServerSkype for Business Server, and SharePoint, among others. 

Office 365 and G Suite give you professional email, cloud storage, mailing list and fast access from anywhere using a browser.

I use both, but G suite still has an edge over all their other competitors for me.

My problem with Office 365 is that its email interface is heavy and can be confusing. Try adding an alias to forward to your main email using Office 365 and get back to me.

G suite email interface is well, Gmail: the best email system ever created.

Why G suite?

G Suite is a set of cloud computingproductivity and collaboration tools, software and products developed by Google, first launched on August 28, 2006 as Google Apps for Your Domain. G Suite comprises GmailHangoutsCalendar, and Currents for communication; Drive for storage; DocsSheetsSlidesForms, and Sites for productivity and collaboration; and, depending on the plan, an Admin panel and Vault for managing users and the services. It also includes the digital interactive whiteboardJamboard and the app development platform App Maker.

  • Gives you a professional custom email (you@yourcompany.com)
  • Allows you to access documents in the cloud with over 30GB of storage
  • Helps you work faster from anywhere and from any device

G Suite Pros:
* All useful apps to manage your small business in one place from same provider with 24/7 support
* Slick and extremely fast apps like gmail, google groups
* You can set them up yourself with no knowledge of IT
* Cost efficient
* Easy to use as most people already use gmail and other google products.

As low as $7 per month per user

24/7 Support: If you call or email Google anytime , they will help you set it up very quickly and get you ready.

Get 20% off G-Suite Business Plan with this discount code: PCQ49CJYK7EATNC

Get 20% off G-Suite Basic Plan with one of the following discount code if you are in the US:

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Get 20% Off G-Suite Basic Plan with one of the following discount code if you are in Canada:

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With G Suite Basic, you and the other users in your organization get:

  • Gmail: Send and receive mail using your professional address, as in bob@yourcompany.com
  • Calendar: Share calendars to easily schedule meetings and events
  • Docs: Collaborate in real-time on online documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
  • Drive: Store and back up files securely in the cloud
  • Hangouts: Join video meetings from their laptop or other device

Administrative controls

Your administrative or IT team can also:

  • Manage user accounts and security settings from a central Admin console
  • Control user access to features and services
  • Remotely manage your mobile fleet
  • Track usage trends via audits and reports
  • Receive 24/7 support from G Suite experts

Unlimited storage

With G Suite Business, each user in your organization can store unlimited Gmail messages, Google Photos, and files in Drive. Or if there are 4 or fewer users in your organization, each user gets 1 TB of storage.

Company-wide search

Users can also use Google Cloud Search to:

  • Search for company content across Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and their other G Suite services
  • Receive useful information and suggestions from assist cards

Learn more about Google Cloud Search.

Shared drives

With shared drives, files belong to a team instead of an individual. If members leave, files stay where they are so the team can continue to share information and get work done. Learn more

Advanced administrator controls

Archiving with Vault

Use Vault to retain, archive, search, and export your organization’s data for eDiscovery and compliance needs. Learn more

Advanced reports

  • Advanced Drive audit reporting, custom alerts, and APIs. Learn more
  • Mobile audits and alerts, such as when a device is compromised. Learn more

Drive activity alerts

Get custom alerts on Drive activity, such as when documents are shared outside your domain. Learn more

Security keys

Deploy and monitor security keys for your organization, and purchase them at a discounted rate. Learn more

Extra policy controls

Restrict even more tasks to specific users, based on organizational units.

  • Sync Drive files with local files on their computer. Learn more
  • Share Drive and Docs editors files outside your organization, to anyone or only whitelisted domains. Learn more
  • Use Docs editors offline. Learn more
  • Open files in third-party web apps from the Chrome Web Store. Learn more
  • Use Docs add-ons built by third-party developers. Learn more

The cons:

You cannot add more than 25 emails to your Google groups at a time with G Suite Basic. Maybe it is possible with their enterprise option.

G suite document processing applications like Google Docs are far behind Office 365 popular Word and Excel software.

Other notable competitors to G-Suite are:

Pros of Office 365

One of the biggest advantages of Office 365 is the ability to work from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. Because it’s entirely cloud-based, you can access your email, files and Office programs (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) from any location and any device.

Multiple, flexible plans tailored to businesses

Advanced Security : It is a feature that provides extra protection from sophisticated threats that may be hidden in emails and attachments. Users are also provided with additional security features such as two-factor authentication

Cons of Office 365:

Relying on network and bandwidth. If your Internet provider goes down, then you haven’t any access to your enterprise software and data. Microsoft does not control how you access the Internet and, therefore, cannot account for any failures.

The user interface for email is heavy and cumbersome.

What are the top 10 biggest lessons you have learned from the corporate world?

What are the top 10 biggest lessons you have learned from the corporate world?

According to Wikipedia, Corporate America is  an informal (and sometimes derogatory) phrase describing the world of corporations and big business within the United States and Canada.

A job or career in corporate America is usually the best entry to true middle class or even upper middle class for managers,  but it comes with baggages.

The question is What are the top 10 biggest lessons learned from the corporate world?

1- Every single day, there is someone whose job is to figure out how to get rid of you without impacting the business. Make choice that are good for you and your family only. If you leave, no one will care. Everybody is replaceable.

2- No emotion, nobody cares for you. The occasional smiles are 95% fake. Never forget that.

3- Always figure out a way to be good and be needed, because at the second they realize they can do it without you with minimal effect to the team or business, you will be gone.

4- Always improve yourself and keep your eyes open on the market. Never get too comfortable. Be nice to recruiters, always reply nicely to their email even if you are not available. The tide can turn very quickly. Always keep a pulse on the job market. At least twice a year apply for jobs in your industry to get a sense on what your skills trade for in the open market and to sharpen your interviewing skills. It is also a great habit to be in the orbit of recruiters because they operate within a tight-knit ecosystem, network with, and know one another. If you’re not a great fit for one role, and they like you, they’ll refer you to a friend or colleague looking to fill another role as a courtesy.

5- If you are very technical , the best outcome for you is to open your own business or become an independent consultant or contractor or freelancer while working in corporate. Once your own business pick up, quit your corporate job and discover real freedom.

Read this thread on Reddit for successful freelance stories from people who are sick and tired of Corporate America:

Read this excellent answer from Quora

6- Be very wise and knowledgeable about the business, but stay humble at the same time: Be friendly without making friends. Being too cold can prevent colleagues from sharing gossips with you and those gossips can be helpful sometimes.

7- Stay away from people who complain too much, they slow productivity and can drag you with them and expose you.

8- HR is not your friend. Their jobs is to protect the big bosses and their own job. Think twice before reporting racists, sexists, bullies, …or you will be gone. If you are victim of any of that as a minority, look for a new job and report it anonymously, otherwise your career will be over. All the following characteristics are overlooked by most HR departments:

Compassion

Sympathy

Empathy

Kindness

Gratitude

Humility

Patience

Self awareness

The ability to be the “bigger person”

Sincerity

9- Become a subject matter in at least one topic or area within your department of team to make yourself indispensable. Be result oriented and not effort oriented. Result matter more than effort. Focus on getting things done instead of on working hard. They are more than often not the same thing.

10- Volunteer to headline new projects and gain visibility from leadership. It might help during tough times when cuts are needed.

11- Be kind, especially to nerds, they will probably own a company one day and will remember you. Be authentic, work hard and be wise and kind, especially to the awkward and silent ones. Introverts, extroverts, flashy dressers, frumpy dressers, are sometime gifted with supreme execution and succeed in business, which proves one thing: Success doesn’t care how you show up; just that you show up.

12- Never waste your weekend or holidays for office work. Your company is not going to take care of your family. You will regret later when the time will start taking your loved ones back, every product of nature has expiry date. This is harsh truth.

13- Emotional and professional are opposite words in corporate culture. Don’t share your emotional stories with your colleagues, surely one day, they are gonna make fun of your emotions and use it against you.

14- Keep your spirit and self respect up and never let anyone harm your image. They selected you because you were better than others and you add value to the company.

15- Never make a relationship in the office, a single mistake will destroy your personal and professional life.

Other Corporate America stories:

What are the unwritten rules and dark truth of corporate America?

What are your best tips to survive corporate America?

Disclaimer: The content of this post doesn’t describe or target any company I worked with in particular, it is based on research and discussion with friends working with several companies within Corporate America.

How does using a VPN or Proxy or TOR or private browsing protects your online activity?

What are some common reasons why a blog doesn't rank on Google

VPNs are used to provide remote corporate employees, gig economy freelance workers and business travelers with access to software applications hosted on proprietary networks. To gain access to a restricted resource through a VPN, the user must be authorized to use the VPN app and provide one or more authentication factors, such as a password, security token or biometric data.

A VPN extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Applications running on a computing device, e.g. a laptop, desktop, smartphone, across a VPN may therefore benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network. Encryption is a common though not an inherent part of a VPN connection.

To ensure security, the private network connection is established using an encrypted layered tunneling protocol and VPN users use authentication methods, including passwords or certificates, to gain access to the VPN. In other applications, Internet users may secure their connections with a VPN, to circumvent geo restrictions and censorship, or to connect to proxy servers to protect personal identity and location to stay anonymous on the Internet. However, some websites block access to known VPN technology to prevent the circumvention of their geo-restrictions, and many VPN providers have been developing strategies to get around these roadblocks.

Private browsing on incognito window or inPrivate window a privacy feature in some web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, Edge). When operating in such a mode, the browser creates a temporary session that is isolated from the browser’s main session and user data. Browsing history is not saved, and local data associated with the session, such as cookies, are cleared when the session is closed.

These modes are designed primarily to prevent data and history associated with a particular browsing session from persisting on the device, or being discovered by another user of the same device. Private browsing modes do not necessarily protect users from being tracked by other websites or their internet service provider (ISP). Furthermore, there is a possibility that identifiable traces of activity could be leaked from private browsing sessions by means of the operating system, security flaws in the browser, or via malicious browser extensions, and it has been found that certain HTML5APIs can be used to detect the presence of private browsing modes due to differences in behaviour.

The question is:

How does using a VPN or Proxy or TOR or private browsing protects your online activity?

What are the pros and cons of VPN vs Proxy?

How can VPN, Proxy, TOR, private browsing, incognito windows How does using a VPN, Proxy, TOR, private browsing, incognito windows protects your online activity? protects your online activity?

  • VPN masks your real IP address by hiding it with one of its servers. As a result, no third party will be able to link your online activity to your physical location. To top it off, you avoid annoying ads and stay off the marketer’s radars.
  • VPN encrypts your internet traffic in order to make it impossible for anybody to decode your sensitive information and steal your identity. You can also learn more what a development team tells about how they protect their users against data theft.

If your VPN doesn’t protect your online activities, it means there are some problems with the aforementioned protection measures. This could be:

  1. VPN connection disruption. Unfortunately, a sudden disruption of your connection can deanonymize you, if at this moment your device is sending or receiving IP-related requests. In order to avoid such a situation, the kill switch option should be always ON.
  2. DNS/IP address leakage. This problem can be caused by various reasons from configuration mistakes to a conflict between the app under discussion and some other installed software. Regardless of the reason, you will end up with otherwise perfectly working security app, which, in fact, is leaking your IP address.
  3. Outdated protocol. In a nutshell, it is the technology that manages the сreation of your secured connection. If your current protocol becomes obsolete, the app will not work perfectly.
  4. Free apps. This is about free software that makes money on your privacy. The actions of such applications are also considered as unethical and illegal. Stealing your private data and selling of it to third parties is one of them.
  5. User carelessness. For instance, turn on your virtual private network when you visit any website or enter your credentials. Don’t use the app sporadically.

How is a VPN different from a proxy server?

On top of serving as a proxy server, VPN provides encryption. A proxy server only hides your IP address.

Proxies are good for the low-stakes task like: watching regionally restricted videos on YouTube, creating another Gmail account when your IP limit ran out, accessing region restricted websites, bypassing content filters, request restrictions on IP.

On the other hand, proxies are not so great for the high-stakes task. As we know, proxies only act as a middleman in our Internet traffic, they only serve a webpage which we are requesting them to serve.

Just like the proxy service, a VPN makes your traffic to have appeared from the remote IP address that is not yours. But, that’s when all the similarities end.

Unlike a proxy, VPN is set at the operating system level, it captures all the traffic coming from the device it is set up on. Whether it is your web traffic, BitTorrent client, game, or a Windows Update, it captures traffic from all the applications from your device.

Another difference between proxy and VPN is – VPN tunnels all your traffic through heavily encrypted and secure connection to the VPN server.

This makes VPN an ideal solution high-stakes tasks where security and privacy are of paramount of importance. With VPN, neither your ISP, Government, or a guy snooping over open Wi-Fi connection can access your traffic.

What are daily use of VPN for?

There are many uses of Virtual Private Network (VPN) for normal users and company employees. Here are the list of the most common usages:

Accessing Business Networks From Any Places in the World :

This is one of the best use of VPN. It is very much helpful when you are travelling and have to complete some work. You can connect any computer to your business network from anywhere and set up your work easily. Local resources need some security so they have to be kept in VPN-only to ensure their safety.

To Hide Your Browsing Data From ISP & Local Users :

All Internet Service Providers (ISP) will log the data of your IP address. If you use the VPN then they can only see the connection of your VPN. It won’t let anyone spy on your website history.

Moreover, it secures your connection when you use a public Wi-Fi network. As you may or may not know, users on these networks can spy on your browsing history, even if you are surfing HTTPS websites. Virtual Private Networks protect your privacy on public unsecured Wi-Fi connection.

To Access Geographically Blocked Sites :

Have you ever faced a problem like “This content is not available in your country”? VPNs are the best solution to bypass these restrictions.

Some videos on YouTube will also show this restriction. VPNs are a quick fix for all these restrictions.

What about TOR and VPN? What are the Pros and Cons?

The Tor network is similar to a VPN. Messages to and from your computer pass through the Tor network rather than connecting directly to resources on the Internet. But where VPNs provide privacy, Tor provides anonymity.

Tor is free and open-source software for enabling anonymous communication. The name is derived from an acronym for the original software project name “The Onion Router”. Tor directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer overlay network consisting of more than seven thousand relays to conceal a user’s location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis. Using Tor makes it more difficult to trace Internet activity to the user: this includes “visits to Web sites, online posts, instant messages, and other communication forms”.[ Tor’s intended use is to protect the personal privacy of its users, as well as their freedom and ability to conduct confidential communication by keeping their Internet activities from being monitored.

Tor does not prevent an online service from determining when it is being accessed through Tor. Tor protects a user’s privacy, but does not hide the fact that someone is using Tor. Some websites restrict allowances through Tor. For example, Wikipedia blocks attempts by Tor users to edit articles unless special permission is sought. Although a VPN is generally faster than Tor, using them together will slow down your internet connection and should be avoided. More is not necessarily better in this situation.

Is VPN necessary when using the deep web?

The deep web is the part of the web that can not be indexed by search machines: internal company login pages, or a school portal (the internal portal) private google sites or government pages.

The dark web is the more sinister form of the Deep Web. The dark web is more associated with illegal activity (i.e child pornography, drug dealing, hitmen etc).
VPN is not necessary when connecting to the DEEP WEB. Please do not confuse the DEEP WEB with the DARK WEB.

Are there any good free VPN services?

It is not recommended to use free VPN for following reasons:

1- Security: Free VPNs don’t necessarily have to ensure your privacy is protected.

2- Tracking – Free VPNs have no obligation to keep your details safe, so at any point, your details could be passed on.

3- Speed / bandwidth – Some free VPN services are capped at a lower bandwidth that is you will receive less browsing or download speed to that of paid VPN.

4- Protocols supported – A free VPN may not support all necessary protocols. PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP are generally provided only on paid VPN services.

If you are ok with the risks of using Free VPN, here are some you can try:

  1. TunnelBear: Secure VPN Service
  2. Hide.me VPN
  3. SurfEasy | Ultra fast, no-log private network VPN for Android, iOS, Mac & Windows
  4. CyberGhost Fast and Secure VPN Service
  5. Windscibe Free VPN and Ad Block
  6. OpenVPN – Open Source VPN
  7. SoftEther VPN Open Source
  8. Zenmate
  9. HotSpot Shield

Paid VPNs are better and give you:

  • great customer support
  • lighting internet speed
  • user friendly design
  • minimum 256-bit security
  • advanced features such as P2P, double encryption, VPN over Onion etc.

Below are the top paid VPNs:

1- NordVPN – cost-effective, provides Netflix in 5 countries (US, CAN, UK, JP, NL) and does not log your info.

2- ExpressVPN – nearly 3x NordVPN’s price but guarantees Netflix in the US. Excellent customer service and claims to not log your info.

3- Private Internet Access – a U.S. based VPN that has proven its no log policy in the court of law. This is a unique selling point that 99.99% VPNs don’t have.

4- OpenVPN provides flexible VPN solutions to secure your data communications, whether it’s for Internet privacy, remote access for employees, securing IoT, or for networking Cloud data centers. 

Other Questions about VPN and security:

Why might certain web sites not load with VPN?

For security, some corporations like Banks often block IP addresses used by major VPN companies, because it is thought to improve security.

Can a VPN bypass being flagged as a suspicious log-in on Facebook & Instagram?

You probably need a VPN that allow you to use dedicated IP address, otherwise the server ips are constantly switching every time you reconnect to your vpn and shared ip usually raised as suspicious logins due to many people logging in from the same ip address (which make the site thinks it might be bots or mass-hacked accounts).

How is a hacker traced when server logs show his or her IP is from a VPN?

  • Start looking for IP address leaks. Even hackers are terrible at not leaking their IPs.
  • Look for times the attacker forgot to enable their VPN. It happens all the time.
  • Look at other things related to the attcke like domains for example. They might have registered a domain using something you can trace or they left a string in the malware that can help identify them.
  • Silently take control of the command and control server legally.

What is the most secure VPN protocol?

  • OpenVPN technology uses the highest levels (military standards) of encryption algorithms i.e. 256bit keys to secure your data transfers.
  • OpenVPN is also known to have the fastest speeds even in the case of long distance connections that have latency. The protocol is highly recommended for streaming, downloading files and watching live TV. In addition to speeds, the protocol is stable and known to have fewer disconnections compared to its many counterparts.
  • OpenVPN comes equipped with solid military grade encryption and is way better, security wise, than PPTP, L2TP/IPSec and SSTP.

What are some alternatives for VPN?

  • Tor network, it is anonymous, free and well, rather slow, certainly fast enough to access your private email, but not fast enough to stream a movie.
  • Proxies are remote computers that individuals or organizations use to restrict Internet access, filter content, and make Internet browsing more secure. It acts as a middleman between the end user and the web server, since all connection requests pass through it. It filters the request first then sends it to the web server. Once the web server responds, the proxy filters the response then sends it to the end user.
  • IPSec (Cisco, Netgear, etc.): secure network protocol suite that authenticates and encrypts the packets of data sent over an Internet Protocol network.
  • SSL (Full) like OpenVPN
  • SSL (Partial) like SSL-Explorer and most appliances
  • SSH Tunneling is a method of transporting arbitrary networking data over an encrypted SSH connection. It can be used to add encryption to legacy applications. It also provides a way to secure the data traffic of any given application using port forwarding, basically tunneling any TCP/IP port over SSH.
  • PPTP
  • L2TP (old Cisco, pre IPSec)
  • DirectAccess 
  • Hamachi
  • You can create you own VPN as well using any encryption or simple tunneling technology.

How does private browsing or incognito window work?

When you are in private browsing mode, your browser doesn’t store any of this information at all. It functions as a completely isolated browser session.

For most web browsers, their optional private mode, often also called InPrivate or incognito, is like normal browsing except for a few things.

  1. it uses separate temporary cookies that are deleted once the browser is closed (leaving your existing cookies unaffected)
  2. no private activity is logged to the browser’s history
  3. it often uses a separate temporary cache

What are the advantages of Google Chrome’s private browsing?

  • simultaneously log into a website using different account names
  • access websites without extensions (all extensions are disabled by default when in Incognito)
  • Shield you from being tracked by Google, Facebook and other online advertising companies
  • Allow you to be anonymous visitor to a website, or see how a personalized webpage will look like from a third-party perspective

Firefox private browsing or chrome incognito?

Mozilla doesn’t really have an incentive to spy on their users. It’s not really going to get them anything because they’re not a data broker and don’t sell ads. Couple this with the fact that Firefox is open-source and I would argue that Firefox is the clear winner here.

Chrome now prevents sites from checking for private browsing mode

Mozilla Private Network VPN gives Firefox another privacy boost

Adding a VPN to Firefox is clever because it means the privacy protection is integrated into one application rather than being spread across different services. That integration probably makes it more likely to be used by people who wouldn’t otherwise use one.

Pros and Cons of Adding VPN to browsers like Firefox and Opera:

Turning on the VPN will give users a secure connection to a trusted server when using a device connected to public Wi-Fi (and running the gamut of rogue Wi-Fi hotspots and unknown intermediaries). Many travellers use subscription VPNs when away from a home network – the Mozilla Private Network is just a simpler, zero-cost alternative.

However, like Opera’s offering, it’s not a true VPN – that is, it only encrypts traffic while using one browser, Firefox.  Traffic from all other applications on the same computer won’t be secured in the same way.

As with any VPN, it won’t keep you completely anonymous. Websites you visit will see a Cloudflare IP address instead of your own, but you will still get advertising cookies and if you log in to a website your identity will be known to that site.

Additional reading:

Resources:

1- Wikipedia

2- Quora

3- SearchExpress

4- Reddit

5- VPN’s for Remote Workers: A Beginners Guide for 2019

What is the programming model and best language for Hadoop and Spark? Python or Java?

What are some common reasons why a blog doesn't rank on Google

Hadoop is an open-source software framework for storing data and running applications on clusters of commodity hardware. It provides massive storage for any kind of data, enormous processing power and the ability to handle virtually limitless concurrent tasks or jobs. Apache Hadoop is used mainly for Data Analysis

Apache Spark is an open-source distributed general-purpose cluster-computing framework. Spark provides an interface for programming entire clusters with implicit data parallelism and fault tolerance

The question is Which programming language is good to drive Hadoop and Spark?

The programming model for developing hadoop based applications is the map reduce. In other words, MapReduce is the processing layer of Hadoop.
MapReduce programming model is designed for processing large volumes of data in parallel by dividing the work into a set of independent tasks. Hadoop MapReduce is a software framework for easily writing an application that processes the vast amount of structured and unstructured data stored in the Hadoop Distributed FileSystem (HDFS). The biggest advantage of map reduce is to make data processing on multiple computing nodes easy. Under the Map reduce model, data processing primitives are called Mapper and Reducers.

Spark is written in Scala and Hadoop is written in Java.

The key difference between Hadoop MapReduce and Spark lies in the approach to processing: Spark can do it in-memory, while Hadoop MapReduce has to read from and write to a disk. As a result, the speed of processing differs significantly – Spark may be up to 100 times faster.

In-memory processing is faster when compared to Hadoop, as there is no time spent in moving data/processes in and out of the disk. Spark is 100 times faster than MapReduce as everything is done here in memory.

Spark’s hardware is more expensive than Hadoop MapReduce because it’s hardware needs a lot of RAM.

Hadoop runs on Linux, it means that you must have knowldge of linux.

Java is important for hadoop because:

  • There are some advanced features that are only available via the Java API.
  • The ability to go deep into the Hadoop coding and figure out what’s going wrong.

In both these situations, Java becomes very important.
As a developer, you can enjoy many advanced features of Spark and Hadoop if you start with their native languages (Java and Scala).

What Python Offers for Hadoop and Spark?

  • Simple syntax– Python offers simple syntax which shows it is more user friendly than other two languages.
  • Easy to learn – Python syntax are like English languages. So, it much more easier to learn it and master it.
  • Large community support – Unlike Scala, Python has huge community (active), which we will help you to solve your queries.
  • Offers Libraries, frameworks and packages – Python has huge number of Scientific packages, libraries and framework, which are helping you to work in any environment of Hadoop and Spark.
  • Python Compatibility with Hadoop – A package called PyDoop offers access to the HDFS API for Hadoop and hence it allows to write Hadoop MapReduce program and application.
  • Hadoop is based off of Java (then so e.g. non-Hadoop yet still a Big-Data technology like the ElasticSearch engine, too – even though it processes JSON REST requests)
  • Spark is created off of Scala although pySpark (the lovechild of Python and Spark technologies of course) has gained a lot of momentum as of late.

If you are planning for Hadoop Data Analyst, Python is preferable given that it has many libraries to perform advanced analytics and also you can use Spark to perform advanced analytics and implement machine learning techniques using pyspark API.

The key Value pair is the record entity that MapReduce job receives for execution. In MapReduce process, before passing the data to the mapper, data should be first converted into key-value pairs as mapper only understands key-value pairs of data.
key-value pairs in Hadoop MapReduce is generated as follows:

Resources:

1- Quora

2- Wikipedia

3- Data Flair

What is the best app for finding people to join group activity in USA and Canada for free?

In this blog, I will help answer this question that i get frequently:
What is the best app for finding people to join group activity ?

1- The meetup app is the best. You can join as a member or as an organizer or both. I run multiple meetup groups and organize drop in soccer/football games. I post and also allow members to post all kind of games and people join and play together. It is a lot of fun. Check out my Show Up And Play meetups app at https://meetup.com/ShowUpAndPlaySports

2- Facebook Groups or pages

Look for established facebook group or pages for your specific activity or create a new group of your own for free and grow it organically.

3- Kijiji activity and groups under community section in Canada

You can find teams looking for players or players looking for teams on this section. You can also post your own ad and you will get a lot of answers.

4- Craigslist Community-activity section of your city in USA or Canada

Same as kijiji: You can find teams looking for players or players looking for teams on this section. You can also post your own ad and you will get a lot of answers.

5- WhatsApp Groups for your activity in your city

One can send messages and media individually as well as in groups through WhatsApp. Yes, I know you all are familiar with these things and even better than me. If you really wish to send you messages to a large number of people having a common identity, we make use of groups. We create groups so that every message is delivered with great accuracy. Additionally, these groups created will help business owners and organizations to promote and set up their business.

Moreover, all the WhatsApp group resembles our social connection. It has now become an ineluctable part of our personal lives. Spreading information to a big crowd has now become an easy job with aid of WhatsApp groups. You can easily make a personal connection with your old school and college mates. Also, Whatsapp groups help people to get connected with relatives living on the other part of the world.

Search online for WhatsApp group for soccer in your city for example. Unfortunately most WhatsApp groups are private to avoid being spammed and the best way is to know someone part of a specific WhatsApp group and request to be added. For example, to join Calgary and Edmonton Soccer WhatsApp group, you must contact the Admin at 4zero3695SevenThree0Four to be added.

Top 10 legal side business that can make you $1000-$2000 a week?

What are good competitors to G-Suite?

Below are the Top 10 legal side business that can make you $1000-$2000 a week. This list is based on my own experience and research. I have tried most of them and it takes dedication and passion to get there. Do your due diligence and make sure you have enough passion and patience to make it work.

1- Referee (If you like sports)

Become an amateur team sports referee and officiate about 20 to 30 games per week. I did it myself and it works. You make extra cash and stay in shape and meet a lot of people( hot girls playing soccer or basketball included).

To become a soccer referee, you just need to take a 2 days certification that will cost you about $100 depending on your state.

Amateur soccer Referees are paid up to $50 per game and games are played everyday after 05pm and on week ends.

I have created a referee locator app and listed how to become a referee anywhere in US and Canada at Amateur Referees Locator – How to become a referee? – Djamga – ShowUpAndPlaySports

2- Buy and sell popular or efficient cars (Japanese makes like Corolla, Camry, Honda, etc…) on Craigslist , kijiji, facebook marketplace or any local popular online used item market site.

3- Learn web design, coding and apply for part time consulting gigs at Remote Jobs: Design, Programming, Rails, Executive, Marketing, Copywriting, and more. or any other site posting IT work remote jobs in US or Canada.

4- Organize sports tournaments (soccer, basketball, hockey): Rent good and inexpensive fields, convince friends to create teams, run a great campaign and organize amateur sport tournaments monthly and you can easily make $5000 after expenses if you do it right. This is not easy though, you must know local players and team captains and convince them to join.

5- Become a freelancer writerIf you’re creative about how you write (hint: use speech to text and edit down into prose) you can get your hourly > $40/hour even at rates like $1/100 words.

6- Learn to play poker either online or in-person. Online, go for low-stakes and grind out your cash. Live, go for higher stakes and hunt down atrocious players (see my answer to How much can a competitive online poker player make? for more)

7- Become a tutor that focuses on students that are under-performing in the subjects you’re best at.

8- Do contract sales for companies that pay you recurring revenue. Over time, if you take care of your accounts, you won’t even need to close new ones if the retention rate is high.

9- Arbitrage mispriced items on Craigslist or kijiji

10- Arbitrage textbooks on Amazon. Time it with quarters / semesters / school years ending and hold until next quarter / semester / school year.

Bonus1- Drive 20 hours a week for Uber or https://lyft.com

Bonus2- Buy vending machines so that your cashflow for your investment is $1,000-$2,000 a week

Bonus- More opportunities here

Top 10 Financial Tips for Young Adults in USA and Canada

What are good competitors to G-Suite?

This blog is geared towards young adults, particularly young first and second generation immigrants like me who don’t have any real estate and assets inherited from their parents here in Canada and USA. In this blog, I will help answer the following questions below based on my own experience and extensive research:

I- What are some financial tips for middle class people? What is the best financial advice for middle age people?

  • Work Hard first and foremost and do well at your job. If you are not working hard at your job, you will lose it and any advice below won’t matter.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle. Your health is your most important asset: Any advice below will be useless if you don’t eat healthy, exercise and have a stress free life. Get medical insurance and get a health check up done once every year
  • Live within your mean; within your budget; Don’t spend more than you earn.
  • Use your credit cards, but always pay them off at the end of the month.
  • Never miss a credit card payment: It will affect your credit negatively and cost you money.
  • Don’t buy a car unless you really really need one. If you do need a car, don’t buy old cars; You will end up spending more in the long run. Buy new cars at bargain price.
  • Take public transit or bike to work: You will save money and exercise and read a lot in the process.
  • Rent empty rooms in your apartment or house, and use that rental income to pay off your mortgage.
  • Get a side job in an area you are passionate about: If you like team sports, you can become a referee or coach and make extra money. You can help people fix their web site if you are tech savvy; You can buy and sell used items on facebook marketplace or kijiji or craigslist for a profit; you can be a tutor on week ends or evenings, etc…
  • After paying all your student loans and more importantly your credit cards debts, save money every single month automatically in your TFSA, RRSP , Roth IRA, 401K accounts.
  • Negotiate everything involving money coming in and out of your pocket. There are no rules set in stone about interest rates or pay grade; Negotiate, Research, Negotiate again until you get the best value for anything you are buying. Don’t be a jerk though and don’t come across as cheap: Learn when to stop and accept and appreciate a good value.

II- How do I improve my personal finances?

  • Work hard. The harder you work, the more likely you are to become financially independent. 
  • Diversify your income. You should never rely on one source of income, you should try and diversify your income streams. On top of your monthly salary at your main job, try to get rental income by renting empty rooms in your house or apartment. Get a side job in an area you have some expertise. Example: Tutoring, Team sport referee, Dance instructor, Handyman, Cleaner, salesman, etc…
  • Cancel recurring paying for things you don’t need (Netflix, Spotify, cable, etc…) ; They add up.
  • Save as much as possible into your TFSA and RRSP, Roth IRA Account and let them compound.
  • Don’t stress too much about anything, particularly finances; Stress is harmful.
  • Have self control: Resist the temptation of buying things that you don’t need.
  • Start investing early and focus on compounding. Always think about long term. Have your money earn money.
  • Read, read and read: Education will help you make and save a lot of money.
  • Exercise and invest on your health which is your most important asset.

III- What should I invest in as a 18-45 year old?  How do I become financially stable in my 20’s?

  • As soon as you get paid, transfer at least $100 automatically to your TFSA, or Roth IRA Account every month. Select an aggressive portfolio and forget it. You will likely get a big return after 10 years.
  • If you can afford a 5% down payment for a house, buy one and if you are still single, rent the empty rooms and make sure that your rental income can cover at least half of your mortgage payment.
  • If you have time to research about stocks market, do your due diligence and buy some good stocks. Don’t invest more than $10000 on stocks from your own pocket. Invest in stocks as if it is lost money and you might be lucky down the road.
  • Start saving money monthly in your RRSP, 401K and RESP accounts if you have kids.
  • Invest in your physical, mental and emotional health: Yes I am repeating myself. If you are not healthy, any other advice is useless and you might not even be around to enjoy the benefits of your investments.

IV- What is a financial rule you should never break? What personal finance mistakes should everyone avoid?

  • Easy to say, but hard to do: Never buy depreciating assets on credit. Cars, RVs, appliances, clothes, trips, leasing, etc. You won’t get rich that way.
  • If you’ve ever thought about buying a house, you’ve probably heard it: Don’t take out a mortgage until you’ve saved up at least 20 percent for a down payment. Otherwise, you’ll be forced to pay notorious private mortgage insurance.
  • Save 10 percent of your income.
  • Don’t rent or throw away money. Buy a house and be the landlord.
  • Investing before spending rather than investing after spending.
  • Pay all your bills and dues in time so as to never pay them with heavy interest or penalty!
  • Don’t invest in anything that you don’t understand. Yourself. Not because someone sold it to you or because others are doing it.
  • Don’t focus on the short-term, allow yourself to be unduly influenced by the financial news media, or let news about the market or the economy affect your long-term investing strategy.
  • Save and Invest early and aggressively in your 20’s. Time and a higher risk tolerance are extraordinarily valuable and everyone can make this call when they are younger—or do so for their children/family. This also sort of falls under the “rule” of paying yourself first. This is key to maximizing wealth.

V- How can you attain financial freedom by working 9 to 5 job?

  • Read , read, read and be curious. This will help you find and execute ideas to make some money on the side.
  • Increase your income streams: On top of your day job, try freelancing on the side for a few extra bucks. Identify where you can provide your freelancing services (Referee in team sports, Handyman, Tutor, Buy and Sell used items for a profit, art, etc..). The more sources you have, the better.
  • Start saving as early as you can.  The earlier you start, the better.
  • Make your money work. Start a business, make investments, do something that makes you more money from what you have.
  • Make money from your existing assets (rent rooms in yours house, Uber or deliver stuffs with your car or truck, etc..)
  • Never spend money on depreciating commodities that doesn’t affect your safety. What you can do with a  used $200 phone, doesn’t have to be bought at $1000 just because it is hip.
  • Don’t jeopardize your safety. If you buy old cars that  break down regularly and put you at risk on highway, all the advice above won’t matter.

VI- What is the best way to invest in real estate?

  • Whatever you are buying, put at least 20% down to avoid paying extra insurance fees and be stuck with a high interest rate for years.
  • Buy in decent neighbourhood.  It usually means better tenants who will be more likely to  pay their rents and not damage the property.
  • Buy a mix of multi family and single family homes.  It usually results in better tenants and higher equity growth over time.
  • Invest on home inspection: Make sure to use an agent who is able to point out potential problems.  Get a home inspection and don’t buy a property that requires extensive repair.  Especially on your first one and when you don’t have a ton of disposable income.
  • Build: Contact builder who build properties and buy from them, allowing you to get great discount and customize the house for extra rooms and developed basement. 
  • Become Part of a Bigger Deal:  By partnering up with others interested in investing and pooling your resources to make a larger deal happen. Do some research online on how you can do this for either a commercial or residential property, which in some cases, requires an investment as small as $1000. The good thing about these deals is that you can hedge your bets by placing multiple investments into various properties.
  • Real Estate Investment Trust: Also known as a REIT, you can invest in a publicly traded trust that uses the capital of its investors to acquire and operate properties. You can find REITs in the major Wall Street exchanges and it requires companies to shell out 90% of their taxable profits through dividends to investors in order to retain their position as an REIT.
  • Rent A Portion Of Your Existing Home via Airbnb or VRBO: I prefer those options because you it is short term and you can always stop renting when you have family visiting. This gives you a lot of flexibility.

VII- Is it worth taking out a loan to pay for a house?

  Year 1 Year 10
Time to Sell
John Doe 1
Buys 1 house cash putting 20K down and invest 80K
Gets $800 per month from the $80K savings
easy life and always has plenty of cash
$96,000 in rental income
sells his one house for $200,000 and nets $100,000, so his total gain was $196,000, not bad. His $100,000 investment has nearly tripled!
John Doe 2
Borrows and Buys 4 houses with 100K putting down 20K for each
Gets $200 per house per month but spends it all towards the principal of the loan, so gets $0 per month
Must keep his full time job and has a struggle keeping up with expenses
around $24,000 in rental income
sells his 4 rentals for $200,000 each netting $100,000 each for a gain of $400,000, so his total gain is $424,000, so his investment has more than quadrupled!

Who won?

VIII-  What are some rookie mistakes of first-time house buyers?

  • Rushing to accept any financing offer because of the excitement to own your first house: Not good. Get various and competitive financing offer from different institutions and negotiate to get the lowest possible interest rate.
  • Don’t just focus on the aesthetic part of the house; Most first houses are never your dream house:  Focus on features that will make the house  easily and quickly sellable (Number of rooms, size of rooms, garage, easy to maintain, location, etc..).
  • Don’t buy an above average size and price house for your first house, go to the lower end and get a size that is proportional to your family size.
  • Using a family or friend for a realtor: Don’t do it. This is your first most important investment and don’t mix it with feelings and emotions.
  • Location, location, location: Buy where you can easily access public transit so you don’t have to spend all your savings on driving to work. In the same token, buying closer to public transit will help you get renters easily if you have empty rooms available.
  • Inspection, inspection, inspection: Get the best home inspector available. Some of them are really bad. Look for home inspectors reviews before hiring them. If the home inspection misses important defective stuffs like dry rot on the siding, you will end up spending thousands of dollars to fix them.

IX- What’s a realistic down payment percentage for a first-time home buyer?

  • As a buyer, if you have  enough money for a 20% down payment and closing costs and has something left over for cash reserves, 20% is fine. But if you carry any consumer debt with rates higher than that of a mortgage, it is far better to pay those more expensive items off with available cash than to put it into a home down payment.
  • When you get a conventional mortgage with a down payment of less than 20 percent, you have to get private mortgage insurance, or PMI. The monthly cost of PMI varies, depending on your credit score, the size of the down payment and the loan amount. 

X- Resources & Definitions:

1- Quora

2- CRA

3- What is RRSP: An RRSP is a retirement savings plan that you establish, that we register, and to which you or your spouse or common-law partner contribute. Deductible RRSP contributions can be used to reduce your tax. Any income you earn in the RRSP is usually exempt from tax as long as the funds remain in the plan; you generally have to pay tax when you receive payments from the plan. (Applies to USCanadaonly)

4- What is TFSA: The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) program began in 2009. It is a way for individuals who are 18 and older and who have a valid social insurance number to set money aside tax-free throughout their lifetime. Contributions to a TFSA are not deductible for income tax purposes. Any amount contributed as well as any income earned in the account (for example, investment income and capital gains) is generally tax-free, even when it is withdrawn.  Administrative or other fees in relation to TFSA and any interest or money borrowed to contribute to a TFSA are not deductible. (Applies to Canada only)

5- What is RESP: A registered education savings plan (RESP) is a contract between an individual (the subscriber) and a person or organization (the promoter). Under the contract, the subscriber names one or more beneficiaries (the future student(s)) and agrees to make contributions for them, and the promoter agrees to pay educational assistance payments (EAPs) to the beneficiaries. (Applies to Canada only)

There are two different types of RESP available: family plans and specified plans.

6- What is Roth IRA? A Roth IRA is an IRA that, except as explained below, is subject to the rules that apply to a traditional IRA. (Applies to USA only)

  • You cannot deduct contributions to a Roth IRA.
  • If you satisfy the requirements, qualified distributions are tax-free.
  • You can make contributions to your Roth IRA after you reach age 70 ½.
  • You can leave amounts in your Roth IRA as long as you live.
  • The account or annuity must be designated as a Roth IRA when it is set up.

The same combined contribution limit applies to all of your Roth and traditional IRAs. 

A traditional IRA is a way to save for retirement that gives you tax advantages (USA)

  • Contributions you make to a traditional IRA may be fully or partially deductible, depending on your circumstances, and
     
  • Generally, amounts in your traditional IRA (including earnings and gains) are not taxed until distributed.

7- 401K: A 401(k) is a feature of a qualified profit-sharing plan that allows employees to contribute a portion of their wages to individual accounts.

  • Elective salary deferrals are excluded from the employee’s taxable income (except for designated Roth deferrals).
  • Employers can contribute to employees’ accounts.
  • Distributions, including earnings, are includible in taxable income at retirement (except for qualified distributions of designated Roth accounts).

Free and Effective Internet Marketing in USA and Canada: Top 10 Tips to Sell Online at No Cost

Free and Effective Internet Marketing - Online Advertising
Free and Effective online marketing with instagram
Free and Effective Internet Marketing or Online Advertising in USA and Canada

Online advertising is the process of promoting a business or brand and its products or services over the internet using tools that help drive traffic, leads, and sales. Internet Marketing, also called online marketing or Internet advertising or web advertising, is a form of marketing and advertising which uses the Internet to deliver promotional marketing messages to consumers.

Online Advertising is also known as Digital Marketing, Web Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Advertising, etc…

What is the secret for Free and Effective Internet Marketing or Online Advertising in USA and Canada?

What and when to sell free of charge on kijiji in Canada and Craigslist in USA?

What and when to sell free of charge on Facebook Marketplace in USA and Canada?

What and when to sell free of charge instagram, reddit, Linkedin, WhatsApp?

How to sell new or used items online fast and at no cost?

The cost of Internet Marketing can be overwhelming for every day people who want to sell new or used items, but there are ways to do it at no cost and be effective.

There are various platforms and tools available for Free and effective  Internet Marketing, but those platforms evolve and some fall behind as technology and users evolve. 

The prerequisite for an efficient internet marketing campaign is the quality of the ad. No Tools or website will help you sell if your ad doesn’t have the following basic qualities:

  • Clear Pictures or Videos of your products 
  • Clear and concise title
  • Clear and short description
  • Cost
  • Location
  • Category
  • Hashtags
  • Honesty 

Once those prerequisites are satisfied, you need to know your target users and the best tools to use and I will help with some pointers in this blog.

The efficiency of your internet marketing also depends on the products or services you are selling.

Below are the tools and websites to use for an efficient  internet marketing  free of charge:

I- Facebook Marketplace

In October 2016, Facebook announced a new Marketplace, citing the growth of organized “buy and sell” Facebook Groups, and gave the new version a higher prominence in the main Facebook app, taking the navigation position previously held by Facebook Messenger

Facebook and Google ad platforms use machine learning and artificial intelligence to find people more prone to making the advertiser’s desired action. To achieve this, they analyze the user’s information, like their interests, demographics, and other aspects to learn and detect the best audience for their brand.

Facebook Market place is your best best to sell the following products quickly and at no advertising cost:

  • Household items
  • Garage sale
  • Art and crafts
  • Electronics and Computers
  • Furniture
  • Kids and baby toys
  • Clothing
  • Accommodation (Room, house rental)
  • Auto parts
  • Sport Equipment

To be efficient, you must join the local facebook groups for your neighbourhood. Post your items to Facebook marketplace and share it to groups in your neighbourhood. Don’t share your ads to vague groups or city wide groups unless it is a very rare and unique item. If you share it to city wide groups, you will waste a lot of time talking to interested users who will not show up because of the distance: So it is very important to stick to groups in your neighbourhood only.

Facebook has superior technology and artificial intelligence to show your ads to targeted users who need your products and you only create your ad once and you can post, repost, share and re-share the same ad to various target groups very easily.

Free and Effective Facebook Marketplace Ad
Free and Effective Facebook Marketplace Ad

II- Kijiji in Canada and Craigslist in USA

Kijiji and Craigslist used to be the best place to sell anything in USA and Canada, but they have been overtaken by facebook superior technology and artificial intelligence. Kijiji gives priority to paid ads and your ad can fall far below in a few minutes after posting it. 

When i post the same ad on facebook marketplace and kijiji at the same time, I receive better response on facebook for a ration of 10 to 1. 

Kijiji and Craigslist remain the best place for the following buy and sell products and services type of ads:

  • Cars, Autos Sales
  • local contractors (Carpenters, Basement developers, Plumbers, Electricians, etc..)
  • local non corporate Jobs and Services
  • Local Trades jobs and services
Free and Effective Contractor Ad on kijiji or craigslist
Free and Effective Contractor Ad on kijiji or craigslist

III- WhatsApp Groups

WhatsApp groups are very efficient and will soon become the best place to buy and  sell ads  and share info for free. If you are not part of a whatsApp group, i strongly suggest you join one that is closer to you and your interests. The best thing about WhatsApp group is trust. Members are usually friends or family who have met each other at least once.

WhatsApp group users share interest and people who join WhatsApp group are really motivated about the group, otherwise they will remove themselves to avoid annoying notifications on their phones.

When you are part of a whatsApp group, you always read the message posted on the group, because it pops up on your phone directly like a text message.

If you are part of a large WhatsApp group, post your items for sell there if the groups allows it and you will likely gets serious inquiries immediately. It is very important to avoid spamming. Check with the group admin privately if it is ok to post a sale ad.

What to post on WhatsApp groups?

  1. Local jobs and services
  2. Announcement
  3. Events
  4. Charity post
  5. Offering your service
Free and Efficient  Buy and sell Ad on WhatsApp Groups
Free and Efficient Buy and sell Ad on WhatsApp Groups

IV- Hashtags

hashtag is a type of metadata tag used on social networks such as Twitter and other microblogging services, allowing users to apply dynamicuser-generated tagging which makes it possible for others to easily find messages with a specific theme or content. 

Whatever you are posting online, use hashtags (Example: #HairExtension) to be found for free. Even if you don’t have a lot of followers and friends, you can post your items of your twitter, linkedin, facebook, instagram feed  and use hashtag to be found by thousands of people.

V- Instagram

Instagram (also known as IG or Insta) is a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook, Inc.

Instagram is very powerful for the following visual products and services:

  • Beauty (Hair Salon, Nail Salon, etc..)
  • Clothing, fashion
  • Shoes
  • Aesthetician
  • Food, Restaurants
  • Fitness
Free and Effective Sell Ad on Instagram - Extensionista Hair Salon
Free and Effective Sell Ad on Instagram – Extensionista Hair Salon

VI- Facebook Pages

Efficient to promote local events with RSVP options.

Free and Efficient Internet Marketing with Facebook Page
Free and Efficient Internet Marketing with Facebook Page

VII- Reddit

Reddit is an American social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website. Registered members submit content to the site such as links, text posts, and images, which are then voted up or down by other members. Posts are organized by subject into user-created boards called “subreddits”, which cover a variety of topics including news, science, movies, video games, music, books, fitness, food, and image-sharing.

If you are developing a product (web app, tool, prototype, etc,) and want to have a feel for how it will be received, you can post it on Reddit as long as you are not spamming.

Reddit users are very clever and harsh and will bash whatever you post in most cases, but you can use the negative feedbacks to improve your product and make it better.

Free and Effective Internet Marketing or Online Advertising in USA and Canada - reddit
Free and Effective Internet Marketing or Online Advertising in USA and Canada

What to post or promote on Reddit?

  1. Web App
  2. Prototype of a product or service asking for feedback
  3. Link to blogs

VIII- LinkedIn

If you are looking for candidates for a job in the corporate world, if you are looking for a job in the corporate world, linkedin is your best bet if you add proper hashtags on your posts.

Linkedin is mainly used for professional networking, including employers posting jobs and job seekers posting their CVs.

Free and Effective Internet Marketing - Linkedin
Free and Effective Internet Marketing – Linkedin

IX- Twitter

According to wikipedia, Twitter  is a microblogging and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as “tweets”. Tweets were originally restricted to 140 characters, but on November 7, 2017, this limit was doubled to 280 for all languages except Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Registered users can post, like, and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. Users access Twitter through its website interface, through Short Message Service (SMS) or its mobile-device application software (“app”). 

You can post ads on twitter when you want to use a large audience. Even if you don’t have a large follower base, a proper hashtag of your tweets can help your post been re-tweeted and re-shared to a large audience. Efficient ads on twitter must send users to a website for actions. 

What to sell on twitter for free ?

  • Promote a web site or blog
  • Promote an event
  • Promote a product or service from a website to a large audience
Free and Effective Internet Marketing on Twitter
Free and Effective Internet Marketing on Twitter

 

X- Google My Business

Google My Business is an Internet-based service for business owners and operated by Google. The network launched in June 2014 as a way of giving business owners more control of what shows in the search results when someone searches a given business name. Google allows business owners to verify their own business data via creating a new profile or claiming an existing auto-generated profile. The Google My Business listing appears in the Google Maps section of Google as well as the “Local Pack” for qualifying search queries.

Google My Business is Free and any small business should have it. Google has full control of the digital search market and having an account with Google My Business will give your company a boost for people looking for your products and services in your area.

Free and Effective Online Marketing with Google My Business
Free and Effective Online Marketing with Google My Business

Any small business or company with a specific location or address should have a Google My Business account to stay relevant and be found and no cost by consumers.

Google My Business allows business owners to supply information that can show up in a Google search, such as open hours, address, phone number, and photos.

Google My Business allows businesses to create a website at no cost.

Google My Business allow customers to review businesses and business owners can respond to reviews. 

Google My Business allows business owners to post updates about announcements or sales.  Business owners are able to upload pictures and videos to a company’s Google My Business page.

Posts from Google My Business show up in Google search results.

XI- Ressources:

  1. What are the best Internet Marketing Techniques
  2. Online Advertising
  3. Digital Marketing and AI

AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification Exam Prep: Facts and Summaries, Questions and Answers Dump

AWS Solution Architect Associate Exam Questions and Answers Dump

In this blog, we will help you prepare for the AWS Solution Architect Associate Certification Exam, give you some  facts and summaries, provide AWS Solution Architect Associate Top 65 Questions and Answers Dump

 

Definition 1: Solution architecture is a practice of defining and describing an architecture of a system delivered in context of a specific solution and as such it may encompass description of an entire system or only its specific parts. Definition of a solution architecture is typically led by a solution architect.

Definition 2: The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate examination is intended for individuals who perform a solutions architect role and have one or more years of hands-on experience designing available, cost-efficient, fault-tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on AWS.

AWS Solution Architect Associate Exam Facts and Summaries

  1. This exam validates an examinee’s ability to effectively demonstrate knowledge of how to architect and deploy secure and robust applications on AWS technologies. It validates an examinee’s ability to:
    • Define a solution using architectural design principles based on customer requirements.
    • Provide implementation guidance based on best practices to the organization throughout the lifecycle of the project.
  2. There are two types of questions on the examination:
    • Multiple-choice: Has one correct response and three incorrect responses (distractors).
    • Multiple-response: Has two correct responses out of five options.

    Select one or more responses that best complete the statement or answer the question. Distractors, or incorrect answers, are response options that an examinee with incomplete knowledge or skill would likely choose. However, they are generally plausible responses that fit in the content area defined by the test objective. Unanswered questions are scored as incorrect; there is no penalty for guessing.  

  3. The table below lists the main content domains and their weightings:
  4. Domain 1: Design Resilient Architectures
    • Choose reliable/resilient storage.
    • Determine how to design decoupling mechanisms using AWS services.
    • Determine how to design a multi-tier architecture solution.
    • Determine how to design high availability and/or fault tolerant architectures
  5. Domain 2: Define Performant Architectures
    • Choose performant storage and databases.
    • Apply caching to improve performance.
    • Design solutions for elasticity and scalability.
  6. Domain 3: Specify Secure Applications and Architectures.
    • Determine how to secure application tiers.
    • Determine how to secure data.
    • Define the networking infrastructure for a single VPC application.
  7.  Domain 4: Design Cost-Optimized Architectures
    • Determine how to design cost-optimized storage.
    • Determine how to design cost-optimized compute.
  8. Domain 5: Define Operationally-Excellent Architectures
    • Choose design features in solutions that enable operational excellence.
  9. Take an AWS Training Class
  10. Study AWS Whitepapers and FAQs: AWS Well-Architected webpage (various whitepapers linked)
  11. If you are running an application in a production environment and must add a new EBS volume with data from a snapshot, what could you do to avoid degraded performance during the volume’s first use?
    Initialize the data by reading each storage block on the volume.
    Volumes created from an EBS snapshot must be initialized. Initializing occurs the first time a storage block on the volume is read, and the performance impact can be impacted by up to 50%. You can avoid this impact in production environments by pre-warming the volume by reading all of the blocks.
  12. If you are running a legacy application that has hard-coded static IP addresses and it is running on an EC2 instance; what is the best failover solution that allows you to keep the same IP address on a new instance?
    Elastic IP addresses (EIPs) are designed to be attached/detached and moved from one EC2 instance to another. They are a great solution for keeping a static IP address and moving it to a new instance if the current instance fails. This will reduce or eliminate any downtime uses may experience.
  13. Which feature of Intel processors help to encrypt data without significant impact on performance?
    AES-NI
  14. You can mount to EFS from which two of the following?
    • On-prem servers running Linux
    • EC2 instances running Linux

    EFS is not compatible with Windows operating systems.

  15. When a file(s) is encrypted and the stored data is not in transit it’s known as encryption at rest. What is an example of encryption at rest? 

  16. When would vertical scaling be necessary? When an application is built entirely into one source code, otherwise known as a monolithic application.

  17. Fault-Tolerance allows for continuous operation throughout a failure, which can lead to a low Recovery Time Objective.  RPO vs. RTO

  18. High-Availability means automating tasks so that an instance will quickly recover, which can lead to a low Recovery Time Objective.  RPO vs. RTO
  19. Frequent backups reduce the time between the last backup and recovery point, otherwise known as the Recovery Point Objective.  RPO vs. RTO
  20. Which represents the difference between Fault-Tolerance and High-Availability? High-Availability means the system will quickly recover from a failure event, and Fault-Tolerance means the system will maintain operations during a failure.
  21. From a security perspective, what is a principal? An anonymous user falls under the definition of a principal. A principal can be an anonymous user acting on a system.

    An authenticated user falls under the definition of a principal. A principal can be an authenticated user acting on a system.

  22. What are two types of session data saving for an Application Session State? Stateless and Stateful

 

23. It is the customer’s responsibility to patch the operating system on an EC2 instance.

24. In designing an environment, what four main points should a Solutions Architect keep in mind? Cost-efficient, secure, application session state, undifferentiated heavy lifting: These four main points should be the framework when designing an environment.

25. In the context of disaster recovery, what does RPO stand for? RPO is the abbreviation for Recovery Point Objective.

26. What are the benefits of horizontal scaling?

Vertical scaling can be costly while horizontal scaling is cheaper.

Horizontal scaling suffers from none of the size limitations of vertical scaling.

Having horizontal scaling means you can easily route traffic to another instance of a server.

Top
Reference: AWS Solution Architect Associate Exam Prep

AWS Solution Architect Associate Exam Prep Questions and Answers Dump

Q0: A company is developing a highly available web application using stateless web servers. Which services are suitable for storing session state data? (Select TWO.)

  • A. CloudWatch
  • B. DynamoDB
  • C. Elastic Load Balancing
  • D. ElastiCache
  • E. Storage Gateway

B. and D.

Reference: AWS Session management

Top

Q1: A Solutions Architect is designing a critical business application with a relational database that runs on an EC2 instance. It requires a single EBS volume that can support up to 16,000 IOPS.
Which Amazon EBS volume type can meet the performance requirements of this application?

  • A. EBS Provisioned IOPS SSD
  • B. EBS Throughput Optimized HDD
  • C. EBS General Purpose SSD
  • D. EBS Cold HDD

A.
EBS Provisioned IOPS SSD provides sustained performance for mission-critical low-latency workloads. EBS General Purpose SSD can provide bursts of performance up to 3,000 IOPS and have a maximum baseline performance of 10,000 IOPS for volume sizes greater than 3.3 TB. The 2 HDD options are lower cost, high throughput volumes.

Reference: Amazon EBS Performance Tips

Top

Q2: An application running on EC2 instances processes sensitive information stored on Amazon S3. The information is accessed over the Internet. The security team is concerned that the Internet connectivity to Amazon S3 is a security risk.
Which solution will resolve the security concern?

  • A. Access the data through an Internet Gateway.
  • B. Access the data through a VPN connection.
  • C. Access the data through a NAT Gateway.
  • D.Access the data through a VPC endpoint for Amazon S3

D.
VPC endpoints for Amazon S3 provide secure connections to S3 buckets that do not require a gateway or NAT instances. NAT Gateways and Internet Gateways still route traffic over the Internet to the public endpoint for Amazon S3. There is no way to connect to Amazon S3 via VPN.

Reference: S3 VPC Endpoints

Top

Q3: An organization is building an Amazon Redshift cluster in their shared services VPC. The cluster will host sensitive data.
How can the organization control which networks can access the cluster?

  • A. Run the cluster in a different VPC and connect through VPC peering.
  • B.Create a database user inside the Amazon Redshift cluster only for users on the network.
  • C. Define a cluster security group for the cluster that allows access from the allowed networks.
  • D. Only allow access to networks that connect with the shared services network via VPN.

C
A security group can grant access to traffic from the allowed networks via the CIDR range for each network. VPC peering and VPN are connectivity services and cannot control traffic for security. Amazon Redshift user accounts address authentication and authorization at the user level and have no control over network traffic.

Reference: AWS Security best practice

Top

Q4: A web application allows customers to upload orders to an S3 bucket. The resulting Amazon S3 events trigger a Lambda function that inserts a message to an SQS queue. A single EC2 instance reads messages from the queue, processes them, and stores them in an DynamoDB table partitioned by unique order ID. Next month traffic is expected to increase by a factor of 10 and a Solutions Architect is reviewing the architecture for possible scaling problems.
Which component is MOST likely to need re-architecting to be able to scale to accommodate the new traffic?

  • A. Lambda function
  • B. SQS queue
  • C. EC2 instance
  • D. DynamoDB table

C.
A single EC2 instance will not scale and is a single point of failure in the architecture. A much better solution would be to have EC2 instances in an Auto Scaling group across 2 availability zones read messages from the queue. The other responses are all managed services that can be configured to scale or will scale automatically.

Reference: Eliminating Single Points of Failures on AWS Cloud

Top

Q5: An application requires a highly available relational database with an initial storage capacity of 8 TB. The database will grow by 8 GB every day. To support expected traffic, at least eight read replicas will be required to handle database reads.
Which option will meet these requirements?

  • A. DynamoDB
  • B. Amazon S3
  • C. Amazon Aurora
  • D. Amazon Redshift

C.
Amazon Aurora is a relational database that will automatically scale to accommodate data growth. Amazon Redshift does not support read replicas and will not automatically scale. DynamoDB is a NoSQL service, not a relational database. Amazon S3 is object storage, not a relational database.

Reference: Replication with Amazon Aurora

Top

Q6: How can you improve the performance of EFS?

  • A. Use an instance-store backed EC2 instance.
  • B. Provision more throughput than is required.
  • C. Divide your files system into multiple smaller file systems.
  • D. Provision higher IOPs for your EFS.

B.
Amazon EFS now allows you to instantly provision the throughput required for your applications independent of the amount of data stored in your file system. This allows you to optimize throughput for your application’s performance needs.

Reference: Amazon EFS Performance

Top

Q7:
If you are designing an application that requires fast (10 – 25Gbps), low-latency connections between EC2 instances, what EC2 feature should you use?

  • A. Snapshots
  • B. Instance store volumes
  • C. Placement groups
  • D. IOPS provisioned instances.

C.
Placement groups are a clustering of EC2 instances in one Availability Zone with fast (up to 25Gbps) connections between them. This feature is used for applications that need extremely low-latency connections between instances.

Reference: Placement Groups

Top

Q8: A Solutions Architect is designing an online shopping application running in a VPC on EC2 instances behind an ELB Application Load Balancer. The instances run in an Auto Scaling group across multiple Availability Zones. The application tier must read and write data to a customer managed database cluster. There should be no access to the database from the Internet, but the cluster must be able to obtain software patches from the Internet.

 

Which VPC design meets these requirements?

  • A. Public subnets for both the application tier and the database cluster
  • B. Public subnets for the application tier, and private subnets for the database cluster
  • C. Public subnets for the application tier and NAT Gateway, and private subnets for the database cluster
  • D. Public subnets for the application tier, and private subnets for the database cluster and NAT Gateway

Answer: C.
The online application must be in public subnets to allow access from clients’ browsers. The database cluster must be in private subnets to meet the requirement that there be no access from the Internet.
A NAT Gateway is required to give the database cluster the ability to download patches from the Internet. NAT Gateways must be deployed in public subnets.

Reference: Public and Private Subnets

Top

Q9: What command should you run on a running instance if you want to view its user data (that is used at launch)?

  • A. curl http://254.169.254.169/latest/user-data
  • B. curl http://localhost/latest/meta-data/bootstrap
  • C. curl http://localhost/latest/user-data
  • D. curl http://169.254.169.254/latest/user-data

Answer: D.
Retrieve Instance User Data
To retrieve user data from within a running instance, use the following URI:
http://169.254.169.254/latest/user-data

Reference: Instance Metadata and User Data

Get user data from AWS Ec2 running instance
Get user data from AWS Ec2 running instance

Top

Q10: A company is developing a highly available web application using stateless web servers. Which
services are suitable for storing session state data? (Select TWO.)

  • A. CloudWatch
  • B. DynamoDB
  • C. Elastic Load Balancing
  • D. ElastiCache
  • E. Storage Gateway

Answer: B. and D.
Both DynamoDB and ElastiCache provide high performance storage of key-value pairs.
CloudWatch and ELB are not storage services. Storage Gateway is a storage service, but it is a hybrid
Storage service that enables on-premises applications to use cloud storage.

A stateful web service will keep track of the “state” of a client’s connection and data over several requests. So for example, the client might login, select a users account data, update their address, attach a photo, and change the status flag, then disconnect.

In a stateless web service, the server doesn’t keep any information from one request to the next. The client needs to do it’s work in a series of simple transactions, and the client has to keep track of what happens between requests. So in the above example, the client needs to do each operation separately: connect and update the address, disconnect. Connect and attach the photo, disconnect. Connect and change the status flag, disconnect.

A stateless web service is much simpler to implement, and can handle greater volume of clients.

Reference: Stateful & Stateless web service

Top

Q11: From a security perspective, what is a principal?

  • A. An identity
  • B. An anonymous user 
  • C. An authenticated user
  • D. A resource
  • E. 

Answer: B. and C.

An anonymous user falls under the definition of a principal. A principal can be an anonymous user acting on a system.  An authenticated user falls under the definition of a principal. A principal can be an authenticated user acting on a system.

Reference: Access management

Q12: What are the characteristics of a tiered application?

  • A. All three application layers are on the same instance
  • B. The presentation tier is on an isolated instance than the logic layer
  • C. None of the tiers can be cloned
  • D. The logic layer is on an isolated instance than the data layer
  • E. Additional machines can be added to help the application by implementing horizontal scaling
  • F.  Incapable of horizontal scaling

Answer: B. D. and E.

In a tiered application, the presentation layer is separate from the logic layer; the logic layer is separate from the data layer. Since parts of the application are isolated, they can scale horizontally.

Reference: Tiered Application

Q13: When using horizontal scaling, how can a server’s capacity closely match it’s rising demand?

A. By frequently purchasing additional instances and smaller resources

B. By purchasing more resources very far in advance

C. By purchasing more resources after demand has risen

D. It is not possible to predict demand

Answer: A

Reference: AWS Horizontal Scaling

 

Q14: What is the concept behind AWS’ Well-Architected Framework?

A. It’s a set of best practice areas, principles, and concepts that can help you implement effective AWS solutions.

B. It’s a set of best practice areas, principles, and concepts that can help you implement effective solutions tailored to your specific business.

C. It’s a set of best practice areas, principles, and concepts that can help you implement effective solutions from another web host.

D. It’s a set of best practice areas, principles, and concepts that can help you implement effective E-Commerce solutions.

Answer: A.

 
Q15: Select the true statements regarding AWS Regions.

A. Availability Zones are isolated locations within regions

B. Region codes identify specific regions (example: US-EAST-2)

C. All AWS Regions contain the full set of AWS services.

D. An AWS Region is assigned based on the user’s location when creating an AWS account.

Answer: (A, B, D)
Reference: AWS Regions
Q16: Which is not one of the five pillars of a well-architected framework?

A. Reliability

B. Performance Efficiency

C. Structural Simplicity

D. Security

E. Operational Excellence

Answer: C

 

What are the 5 pillars of a well architected framework:
1. Operational Excellence
The operational excellence pillar includes the ability to run and monitor systems to deliver business value and to continually improve supporting processes and procedures. You can find prescriptive guidance on implementation in the Operational Excellence Pillar whitepaper.

2. Security
The security pillar includes the ability to protect information, systems, and assets while delivering business value through risk assessments and mitigation strategies. You can find prescriptive guidance on implementation in the Security Pillar whitepaper.

 

 

3. Reliability
The reliability pillar includes the ability of a system to recover from infrastructure or service disruptions, dynamically acquire computing resources to meet demand, and mitigate disruptions such as misconfigurations or transient network issues. You can find prescriptive guidance on implementation in the Reliability Pillar whitepaper.

4. Performance Efficiency
The performance efficiency pillar includes the ability to use computing resources efficiently to meet system requirements and to maintain that efficiency as demand changes and technologies evolve. You can find prescriptive guidance on implementation in the Performance Efficiency Pillar whitepaper.

5. Cost Optimization
The cost optimization pillar includes the ability to avoid or eliminate unneeded cost or suboptimal resources. You can find prescriptive guidance on implementation in the Cost Optimization Pillar whitepaper.

The AWS Well-Architected Framework provides architectural best practices across the five pillars for designing and operating reliable, secure, efficient, and cost-effective systems in the cloud.
The framework provides a set of questions that allows you to review an existing or proposed architecture. It also provides a set of AWS best practices for each pillar.
Using the Framework in your architecture helps you produce stable and efficient systems, which allows you to focus on functional requirements.

 

 

Other AWS Facts and Summaries and Questions/Answers Dump

What means undifferentiated heavy lifting?

The reality, of course, today is that if you come up with a great idea you don’t get to go quickly to a successful product. There’s a lot of undifferentiated heavy lifting that stands between your idea and that success. The kinds of things that I’m talking about when I say undifferentiated heavy lifting are things like these: figuring out which servers to buy, how many of them to buy, what time line to buy them.

 

Eventually you end up with heterogeneous hardware and you have to match that. You have to think about backup scenarios if you lose your data center or lose connectivity to a data center. Eventually you have to move facilities. There’s negotiations to be done. It’s a very complex set of activities that really is a big driver of ultimate success.

 

But they are undifferentiated from, it’s not the heart of, your idea. We call this muck. And it gets worse because what really happens is you don’t have to do this one time. You have to drive this loop. After you get your first version of your idea out into the marketplace, you’ve done all that undifferentiated heavy lifting, you find out that you have to cycle back. Change your idea. The winners are the ones that can cycle this loop the fastest.

 

On every cycle of this loop you have this undifferentiated heavy lifting, or muck, that you have to contend with. I believe that for most companies, and it’s certainly true at Amazon, that 70% of your time, energy, and dollars go into the undifferentiated heavy lifting and only 30% of your energy, time, and dollars gets to go into the core kernel of your idea.

 

I think what people are excited about is that they’re going to get a chance they see a future where they may be able to invert those two. Where they may be able to spend 70% of their time, energy and dollars on the differentiated part of what they’re doing.

— Jeff Bezos, 2006