Cloud-based solutions, cloud-based security, and Software as a Service (Saas) are all terms that grow increasingly more common and are quickly approaching being the primary way of conducting business. While it’s all well and good to know that the cloud is the future of computing and service delivery, it’s essential to understand why Cloud Computing and Software as a Service are both currently increasing in usage and will continue to increase in usage.

Having Microsoft Azure as our Layer 0 provider assists Sonar in delivering a smoother, more reliable, and globally load-balanced solution. With Azure, Sonar can provide all their competitive cloud advantages directly to you, such as 24/7 access, scalability of services, and robust security.

Scalability, Redundancy, and Resiliency

Scalability in Sonar means we can offer a well-priced, faster, and more responsive experience for any size of an organization. For example, if an organization has multiple inline devices, designed to handle address lists and connection authentication, and were to try and authenticate numerous connections across several devices simultaneously, an on-premise solution would struggle, as it would need to queue up the requests and process them one-by-one across each device. With a cloud-based solution, the performance scaling allows Sonar to deploy a unique worker queue to process the requests on each inline device, meaning no round-robin and no waiting.

Redundancy in the cloud means more than one thing, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll be examining two central aspects of redundancy:

  • Data Redundancy means all information; all data is stored and backed up in perpetuity. Cloud-Based solutions provide the flexibility of automatically running full or incremental backups, and backups in Sonar can also be triggered manually from within your instance.
  • Instance redundancy covers access to your instance. Cloud-Based solutions offer peace of mind in knowing that your instance is always accessible. Traditional Server/Software models involve installing the service on one or maybe two machines when hosted on-premise, lacking persistent access.

Finally, we reach Resiliency. Data resiliency represents similar functionality to a data backup, but in this case, acts as a mirror. The information on your instance is stored on another system exactly as you have it and can be quickly turned on and used in the event of a disaster. This means the integrity of your data – the whole instance – is resilient to being taken down by any single failure (in most cases, even multiple failures).

Securing your data

The most common – and a very reasonable – concern is in the face of not only data security but also physical security when using cloud-based software. Sonar takes advantage of Microsoft’s detailed and robust protections for the physical data centers and their secure hosting for your instance’s data. Your data will remain secured by the same principles that secure all other Azure customers.

Additionally, Sonar protects your data through several means above and beyond the security of our Layer 0 provider:

  • Access Restrictions – all user access is controlled by the instance administrator – determining the roles within your organization and the level of data access each member of your organization gets. This means that while all users can access your instance from anywhere, they’ll only ever be able to see and access what you let them.
  • The support team has no backdoors to your instance – if our team requires access, you need to provide it. This also means there’s no backdoor to exploit in the case of bad actors.
  • Password Complexity Restrictions – This means you can set the complexity requirement of all instance users, reducing reused passwords. Additionally, Sonar will query entered passwords against passwords that have been compromised in the past and disallow the use of those passwords. Password complexity is also set per instance, which means bad actors can’t simply assume a set complexity if attempting to gain access to an instance.
  • Instance Isolation – from the perspective of a user, your instance is the only instance you’ll ever see. This isolation of hundreds to thousands of instances is only possible thanks to cloud devices and the ability to have virtually limitless virtual machines, each running in their own walled garden environment.
  • Encrypted Communication – all communication to your instance is encrypted using an SSL certificate, and all email and ticket communication through your instance is similarly encrypted.

Rapid Convenience

Cloud-delivered services allow the application to be accessed from anywhere but will also allow faster access from anywhere. By implementing region-specific servers and dynamic hosting, access to your instance, your tickets, and your business is fast and reliable. However, convenience means more than quick access – it also means making things easy. With Sonar, documentation is being created, monitored, and updated on a routine basis, without any impact on your instance. Training videos, training documentation, and explanations on all the basic functions are included and available from within the instance.

Furthermore, cloud-based services increase your business’s profitability and efficiency, reducing upfront investments in equipment and upfront time in onboarding. By reducing your software’s time-to-use, you can proceed more quickly to getting customers added and billed.

Common Questions about using Sonar in the cloud

Why can’t I host my instance locally – I’d feel more comfortable managing all my data.

  1. The compliance issues surrounding how sensitive customer information needs to be handled renders local hosting inefficient. Additionally, having to monitor and upgrade the various pieces of hardware in order to scale the instance and handle the workload of all the moving pieces would be a job on its own. By enforcing cloud-hosting, we remove the hassle from your hands and accept the responsibility for data storage and system maintenance.
  2. Resource availability is also a very large factor, and the Sonar software is not an easy application to run, update, and scale. Adding hardware and resources to the instance to manage a large customer database would necessitate a high-cost and low-return. This would eliminate a large portion of the cost-savings that you see by using the cloud.

How can I be sure my data is secure?

Your instance’s data is not only secured by Microsoft Azure’s secure hosting but is also physically secured by the robust and detailed protections in place for Microsoft’s data centers. In addition to this, all communication to your instance is encrypted, and you are the sole controller of access to your Sonar instance; you get to determine which individuals should be granted access, as well as the level of access, and can remove and restrict that permission at any time.

What if I want a manual data backup?

Sonar does not support recoverable backups of your instance data; however, we allow you to export a copy of all data contained in your instance, which can be performed manually or set to happen automatically. These data exports include your customer data, notes made on accounts, settings, user data, etc. While the data can be exported for use with other applications, there’s no way to import prior data into Sonar. If a data snapshot is required, so that a restore point is available for your Sonar instance because you are performing a mass data edit, get in touch with us as we can properly help you through this process.

Do I lose my data if I stop using Sonar?

If you choose to use another provider or competitor to Sonar, we’ll assist you in exporting your less sensitive customer data to make your transition easier. Despite being a cloud-hosted service, we’re not holding your data hostage.

If you would like to learn more about the advantages of streamlining your operation with automation and leveraging the cloud for capital savings, schedule a personalized demo with one of our experts.