Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Business considerations when selecting domain extensions for your web site.

Choosing the right domain extension(s) for your business is a project that must be given sufficient attention, time and priority. After all, it is one of the important means to get potential customers and business partners to access the list of products and services you offer.

The most sought-after top-level domain extensions are .com, .net and .org. If you haven’t already registered your domain name, chances are that domain will have already been registered to someone else. With the advent of several generic and country-code domain extensions (.co, .biz, .us, .info, .cc, .tv, .fm, .cn, .in, etc.), it is imperative companies not only choose one or more of the above-mentioned extensions, but also taken into account many of the following vital factors:
  1. Name of the domain – This should be as short as possible and preferably without hyphens or underscores. It should be clear enough for anyone to identify it with your company, products, services or nature of activity such as manufacturing, distribution, logistics, IT services, etc.
  2. Type of industry – generic top-level domains are available to suite any industry. They are .co (for those who missed .com), .biz, .us, .cc, etc. Domain extensions such as .tv and .fm are typically used by TV stations, multimedia firms and internet radio firms.
  3. Domestic and international reach – In a globalized world, it is essential to portray a global presence, even if it were only in cyberspace. I would recommend buying domain extensions in all countries (.cn for China, .in for India, for England, etc.) where current and & prospective clients & business partners are based.
  4. Global competition – In continuation to point (3), it is essential to cover your bases through domain extensions in current and future business prospects. Absence of registering domain names in multiple countries can hurt the your company if the competition were to buy a domain with your company name on it.
  5. Current and prospective names of products and services – To keep in mindcater to the expansion into global markets, acquisitions, and mergers, diversification into multiple and sometimes unrelated products; domain names and extensions should be so accordingly registered, leaving no room opportunity for someone else to buying and parking that domain.
  6. – It has become a trend for the competition, phishers and saboteurs to buy domains such as (see, populate the website with rant, artificially drum up web traffic and attach this unwanted site to all popular search engines. These not only hurt your business image, but turn off genuine customers.
  7. Mistype your companyname – It is important to register at least top level domains with your company name mistyped (See instead of These mistyped domains are usually targeted to siphon away your visitors through either offering competitive products and services or give your company a bad reputation by phishing or pushing malware to unsuspecting visitors.

There are other factors such as business strategy, goals and objectives for the next 3 to 5 years that also help decide the choice of domain extensions and names. The cost of registering domains is pretty cheap, especially when considering propagation of business opportunities, mitigating potential damage to company reputation, etc. All purchased domain extensions names can point to a single web site to and ensure an identical message is conveyed through the same server or hosted site.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cloud Computing: Failures and lessons learned

Outages experienced by customers of major and minor Cloud Service Providers, over the past couple of years and especially in the past two weeks, have resulted in down times beyond those offered in Service Level Agreements (SLAs). While some have made headlines, many have gone unnoticed and unreported. IT executives, including those already embarked on the Cloud or intending to, are scrambling to find reliable means of capitalizing the benefits of Cloud while mitigating risks posed by them.

Hybrid Cloud infrastructure is the key to ensuring minimum disruption to business. Mission critical data should reside in both the Cloud and the company’s internal or co-located data centers. Access to this data should be provided through multiple routes, including Internet and WAN service providers, for both the customers and business partners. Technologies such as Continuous Data Replication/Protection should be deployed to replicate data needing high availability. SLAs from service providers and IT should be in sync and set realistic and acceptable expectations to the consumers. IT infrastructure should be designed, configured, deployed and thoroughly tested to validate the SLA. Mock drills with varying degrees of impact should be performed by teams including IT and representatives from different facets of the business.

As businesses venture into this relatively new medium of computing, expected hiccups are bound to occur that can violate the SLA. Over time, with proactive monitoring, testing and continuous improvement, a credible SLA can be enforced that is acceptable to the business.