July 2012

Cloud computing for the people? It’s called SaaS

Grazed from GigaOM.  Author: Derrick Harris.

Cloud-based servers simple enough to be at the beck and call of every Joe Schmo off the street are a compelling vision, but presently not a realistic one. At this point, in fact, one could argue that the holy grail of the consumer cloud has already been realized. In the business world, it’s called software as a service, but the rest of the world just knows it as “the cloud.”

In a blog post on Thursday, Anil Dash laid out a vision that pretty much boils down to this quote: “[W]e need a consumer cloud offering. An app store for EC2 or a marketplace for Rackspace. The same one-click stores that offer us easy apps on our own local devices should let us purchase consumer-friendly apps that run on our own individual cloud servers.” It reads well, but until cloud computing prices drop far enough that individual servers cost next to nothing, the vision seems infeasible. That’s why multitenant cloud services, what Dash calls “centralized services,” are proving so popular....

Crazy Weather And The Real Cost Of Cloud Computing

Grazed from Forbes.  Author: Anthony Wing Kosner.

What a Cloud-a-palooza! I am neither a climate scientist or cloud computing expert, but I know that many of our readers are those things and more. To me, as a commentator on how the distribution and format of content effects user experience, the Amazon cloud outage raise some really pressing questions for the technology industry. Since I have more questions than answers, I will limit myself to asking some (perhaps leading) questions and hope that our own expert cloud of readers and contributors can fill in the (perhaps contentious) details:...

Microsoft Can Use Yammer`s 'Freemium' Model to Sell Office: Analyst

Grazed from eWeek.  Author: Robert J. Mullins.

As Microsoft moves forward with its acquisition of enterprise social networking company Yammer, industry analysts are starting to identify opportunities for the upstart Yammer to help the software giant to make a faster transition to cloud computing.

Microsoft’s $1.2 billion deal to acquire enterprise social media company Yammer still has some people scratching their heads about the synergy the two companies will generate, but Yammer could actually teach Microsoft a thing or two, an industry analyst says.

Microsoft built its fortune by selling software licenses to computer makers, businesses and consumers. Yammer built its business into something worth paying $1.2 billion for by what’s called the “freemium” model...

Eastern Storms Disrupt Amazon.com Data Centers

Grazed from Wall Street Journal.  Author: John Letzing.

Large electrical storms on the east coast disrupted power for Amazon.com Inc. cloud-computing operations Friday night, causing outages for customers such as Netflix Inc. and photo-sharing service Instagram.

The Seattle-based online retailer operates data centers with servers that manage the Web operations of many other companies, a practice often called cloud computing. Power outages caused by catastrophic storms that blanketed the east coast affected Amazon's operations in Virginia.

On Saturday afternoon, Amazon was still reporting performance issues for what it calls its elastic cloud compute, relational database and elastic beanstalk services. The problems appeared to have begun appearing on the site at around 11:21 p.m. EDT on Friday...

Next Stop in Cloud Computing: How Can It Be Implemented?

Grazed from Sys Con Media.  Author: Patrick Burke.

Cloud computing is being embraced by most enterprise IT shops - at least according to attendees and vendors at the 10th Cloud Expo in New York, writes Roger Strukhoff of Cloud Computing Journal. Many organizations now want to know how to harness the strengths of cloud computing.

The word of the day at Cloud Expo was "multi-cloud," Strukhoff explained:

"It turns out that enterprise IT is complex, and that cloud is not going to eliminate that complexity, at least with larger shops. However, it will continue the push in recent years to eliminate silos, decouple and loosely recouple services, get a grip on measuring things, and provide the vaunted 'single pane of glass' through which IT management can view and manage what's going on," he writes...

The enterprise needs a better network to the cloud

Grazed from GigaOM.  Author:  Rick Dodd.

While much of the networking industry today is focused on improving speeds and feeds inside the data center, we need to recognize the importance of improving the networks that connect enterprise data centers to each other, and to the public cloud. If the industry can deliver an elastic network with programmable performance, then the walls between data centers could effectively disappear.

Trying to overlay cloud services on the same pipe being used for best-effort internet is going to disappoint users, and limit cloud service adoption. Specifically, we need to add speed and intelligence to these networks, and several factors are driving this requirement. For example:...

New E.U. Guidelines to Address Cloud Computing

Grazed from New York Times.  Author: Kevin J. O'Brien.

The European Commission’s panel on privacy is expected to endorse Monday the concept of cloud computing as legal under the Continent’s privacy law and to recommend for the first time that large companies and organizations police themselves to assure that personal information kept in remote locations is protected.

The panel, known as the Article 29 Working Party, is expected to make the recommendation as part of its long-awaited guidelines on cloud computing, which have the potential, some industry experts say, to allay concerns over data privacy and pave the way for wider adoption of the remote-computing services that are more common in the United States.

The report will highlight the advantages of using cloud computing to encourage innovation and economic efficiency, said a person with knowledge of the recommendations, who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to speak for the group. This would reflect a new, more practical approach by European officials to remote computing’s role in the broader economy....

Why performance will help Google steal cloud customers from Amazon

Grazed from GigaOM.  Author: James Urquhart.

This week’s announcement by Google of its new Google Compute Engine cloud offering is a big deal, and GigaOM’s coverage to date has been pretty spot on. However, having read the excellent coverage by Om Malik and Derrick Harris, as well as some interesting analysis on other sites (like here and here), I’m stuck with the feeling that most are missing the real reason Google will get some stalwart Amazon Web Services customers to give Compute Engine a try. Google’s quest to win over users will be all about performance.

The Google Developers Blog post announcing the service broke down three key “offers” of GCE,  which I interpret as the three key differentiators from Google’s perspective of its service over the competition (not necessarily just AWS):...

Amazon Web Services knocked offline; Observers say cloud outage raises questions

Grazed from FierceCommunications.  Author:  Chris Rizo.

A quick-moving catastrophic storm late Friday night knocked part of Amazon Web Services' (AWS) data center temporarily offline, and with the crash down came the websites of some of the marquee customers of Amazon.com's (Nasdaq: AMZN) cloud-computing unit.

Downed was AWS's vaunted Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service, which remotely hosts the public-facing websites of movie-streamer Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), cloud platform-as-a-service Heroku, photo-sharing service Instagram, and the social-networking site Pinterest, among other online services that similarly rest on Amazon's digital infrastructure.

The content-delivery failures--blamed on a two-hour massive electrical storm--affected one AWS availability zone, the US-East-1 Region, which resides at Amazon's data center in northern Virginia...

Cloud Outages Show CIOs Still at Vendors’ Mercy

Grazed from Wall Street Journal.  Author: Clint Boulton.

Some CIOs may face renewed questions about their cloud adoption strategies in the wake of Amazon.com’s well-publicized service disruption Friday night, the result of severe thunderstorms Friday night, and the outage that affected customers of Salesforce.com Thursday, the result of a glitch affecting communications between Salesforce.com’s storage and database systems.

Irrespective of the benefits of cloud computing, which allows companies to shift the capital expenditure and labor costs of managing software and computing infrastructure to external providers, many CIOs are also questioning how cloud vendors communicate with them during service interruptions...

Big data is all the rage now, but don’t expect government spending frenzy

Grazed from The Washington Post.  Author: Alex Rossino.

Three years ago, cloud computing was generating all of the hype in information technology. Now the spotlight is on “big data,” a term used to describe the exploding volume of data accumulated by federal agencies.

Despite the attention, big data spending within the federal government is likely to be limited at first and probably will not pick up until cloud computing is more established.

Private industry has already realized the value in the collections of data stored on their servers. This data can tell companies what their customers have bought, and what they might buy again, particularly if a targeted marketing campaign reaches them at the right time...

Cloud Computing: Who do you trust with your data?

Grazed from Sydney Morning Herald. Author: Michael Hall.

Who should you trust with your data when every cloud promises a silver lining?

While vendors claim cloud computing is more secure than on-premise data centres others suggest only user experience will eventually allay security fears to break down adoption barriers for wary enterprises. After all, who now keeps cash under a bed?

Cloud computing refers to computer resources that can be turned on or off and scaled up or down, depending on demand. It is increasingly used by businesses to supplement or replace their on-site computing facilities...

Public Sector Behind the Curve as Cloud Computing Becomes Mainstream

Grazed from PublicNet. Author: Editorial Staff.

Cloud computing has become mainstream in 2012 for providing IT facilities, but the public sector is slower to move into the cloud than private companies.

Cisco commissioned independent research amongst IT decision makers, in enterprises with more than 1,000 employees across a broad range of vertical sectors including government. The results clearly show that cloud has moved from hype to reality, with cloud now seen as a mainstream element of IT strategy.

Cloud computing, which allows oganisations to share resources, software and applications, has the potential to bring radical change to public sector ICT services. Using the cloud reduces costs and risks and brings scalability, and resilience...

MarketsandMarkets: Global Healthcare Cloud Computing Market Worth $5,419.8 Million by 2017

Grazed from MarketWatch. Author: PR Announcement.

The "Healthcare Cloud Computing (Clinical, EMR, SaaS, Private, Public, Hybrid) Market - Global Trends, Challenges, Opportunities & Forecasts (2012 - 2017)", published by MarketsandMarkets ( http://www.marketsandmarkets.com ), analyzes and studies the major market drivers, restraints, and opportunities in North America, Europe, Asia, and Rest of the World.

Browse more than 100 market data tables spread through 231 pages and in-depth TOC of "Healthcare Cloud Computing (Clinical, EMR, SaaS, Private, Public, Hybrid) Market - Global Trends, Challenges, Opportunities & Forecasts (2012 - 2017)". http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/cloud-computing-healthcare-market-347.html Early buyers will receive 10% customization on reports.

This report studies the global healthcare cloud computing market over the forecast period 2012-2017...

Pano Logic Launches System for VDI Cloud Platform

Grazed from eWeek. Author: Nathan Eddy.

Pano for Cloud is an extension of the core technology in Pano System for VDI, a hardware-and-software virtual desktop solution.

Zero client virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) specialist Pano Logic introduced Pano for Cloud, a cloud computing platform with a centralized architecture that provides a single management console to deploy, control, and secure both endpoints and cloud desktops. The architecture eliminates the need for a local operating system and central processing unit and delivers Web-based computing, through Google's Chrome browser.

In an effort to simply IT management for small businesses with limited staff and budgets, the platform provides IT managers with centralized desktop controls without the required software and operating systems to manage. By eliminating the endpoint device operating system, which can be the target of malicious code, and endpoint device storage, where unauthorized or malicious applications can hide or proprietary information may be lost if the device is stolen, Pano has also focused on providing enhanced security...

Prior Knowledge wants to be your data oracle

Grazed from GigaOM.  Author: Stacey Higginbotham.

Startup Prior Knowledge opened up the public beta to its database API on Monday so it can solve the problems of developers who want to play with data, but who would rather avoid all that pesky math.

The need for data analysis often starts with a hunch. But somewhere between trying to figure out if the parking meters near a local police hangout are generally ticketed faster than others, you realize that aside from the data on where parking tickets were given and how often, you may need more info and you still aren’t sure what math to perform to prove a relationship. Generally, that’s where most people give up...

How much can you store in the cloud?

Grazed from TechGoblin.  Author: Daniel Moeller.

Cloud computing has revolutionized the way millions of people share, store and even safeguard information. Just a few years ago, most PC users would balk when their monitors refused to turn on or decided to mysteriously reboot for fear that all their information would be lost. Sure, methods of backing up information existed since the floppy disk, but who really bothered with such a cumbersome procedure at the end of a long night of writing? Many a report has been lost by such carelessness.

But now with cloud storage services, from iCloud, Dropbox and Google Drive, the fear of losing your documents has diminished, as your information is no longer saved in just one location. Add to this your ability to save thousands of photographs and ebooks (say, almost 3000 copies of Ulysses), and your laptop has suddenly been transformed into both a music festival and a library, which you can bring to life with your fingertips...

Cloud Computing Forecast: Cloudy With A Chance of Fail

Grazed from Forbes. Author: Reuven Cohen.

Amazon’s Cloud service is having a bad a couple weeks. For the second time in as many weeks Amazon’s East Coast cloud crashed during a severe storm that left 1.3 million in the Washington D.C. area without power. The outage brought down numerous high profile web sites hosted on Amazon including Netflix, Instagram, Pinterest, and Heroku. Making things worse was the fact that other cloud services hosted in the area experienced no downtime.

I spoke briefly to the George Branch, Director of Service Delivery for Washington D.C. based cloud provider Virtustream, who told me “The Virtustream Data Center was generally unaffected by the storms in the region. We did not have to switch over to generator at any time and we remain on utility power at the facility. Due to problems with one of our telephone vendors, we did lose access to our 877 telephone support line.”...

Cloud Computing: Dell Gets Quest for $2.36 Billion

Grazed from Sys Con Media. Author: Maureen O'Gara.

Dell has won the bidding war for Quest Software agreeing to pay $28 a share, a 50 cent improvement on its last bid.

That brings the price to $2.36 billion, which is what JPMorgan claimed the company was worth weeks ago.

Insight Venture Partners, which offered $23 a share back in March, had to bring in Vector Capital, another private equity firm, to offer a financed cash bid of $25.75 a share. Dell retorted with $27.50 or about $2.32 billion. That's where things were last Monday with the ball in Insight's court...

Cloud Computing: Apple Pays $60 Million for Chinese iPad Trademark

Grazed from Sys Con Media. Author: Maureen O'Gara.

Apple has agreed to pay $60 million to make the Proview Technology (Shenzhen) Company's claims that it owns the iPad trademark in China go away.

Apple bought Proview's iPad trademarks in 10 countries through a UK lawyer and a specially organized company for about $55,000 (£35,000) in 2009 before the iPad came out and sued when Proview claimed the Taiwan affiliate it dealt with wasn't authorized to sell the Chinese rights. Apple lost the suit and appealed.

The appeals court, which announced the settlement on its web site, reportedly mediated the deal, which, it said, was struck on June 25. The dickering took since the end of February...