January 2013

Amazon apologises for Christmas Eve outage

Grazed from The Age.  Author: Danielle Kucera.

Amazon.com has apologised for a December 24 disruption in its cloud-computing services that hindered Netflix customers from watching movies, and said it is taking steps to prevent a recurrence.  Netflix said last week that many users in the Americas were unable to access online content on Christmas Eve because of an outage caused by Amazon's web storage and computing system. Amazon didn't identify Netflix in its statement, which was posted online on December 29, according to Tera Randall, a spokeswoman for Amazon Web Services.

"We want to apologise," Seattle-based Amazon said. "We know how critical our services are to our customers' businesses, and we know this disruption came at an inopportune time for some of our customers."...

Data Center Consolidation and Adopting Cloud Computing in 2013

Grazed from Sys Con Media.  Author: John Savageau.

Throughout 2012 large organizations and governments around the world continued to struggle with the idea of consolidating inefficient data centers, server closets, and individual “rogue” servers scattered around their enterprise or government agencies.  Issues dealt with the cost of operating data centers, disaster management of information technology resources, and of course human factors centered on control, power, or retention of jobs in a rapidly evolving IT industry.

Cloud computing and virtualization continue to have an impact on all consolidation discussions, not only from the standpoint of providing a much better model for managing physical assets, but also in the potential cloud offers to solve disaster recovery shortfalls, improve standardization, and encourage or enable development of service-oriented architectures...

The 4 cloud computing resolutions you should make for 2013

Grazed from InfoWorld.  Author: David Linthicum.

It's 2013. Cloud computing is another year older. As adopters, we're making fewer mistakes, but I suspect we'll repeat many of the same errors from 2012.  Now is the time to work on cloud computing improvements, to set reasonable goals -- and to make sure we live up to them. To that end, here are four cloud computing resolutions for 2013 I suggest we all adopt:

1. I resolve not to "cloud-wash." 2012 was another year of cloud everything. Virtually all products had some cloud spin, no matter what it was or the type of problem it solved. The truth is that cloud computing should be a specific type of technology that includes attributes such as on-demand, self-provisioned, elastic, and metered by use. By calling everything "cloud," the vendors look silly -- and they sow confusion...

Cloud Computing: Zynga carries out planned games shutdown, including 'Petville'

Grazed from Yahoo News.  Author: Mayathi Nayak.

Social games publisher Zynga Inc confirmed on Monday that it has carried out 11 of the planned shutdowns of 13 game titles, with "Petville" being the latest game on which it pulled the plug.   Zynga in October said it would shut down 13 underperforming titles after warning that its revenues were slowing as gamers fled from its once-popular titles published on the Facebook platform in large numbers and sharply revised its full-year outlook.

The San Francisco-based company announced the "Petville" shutdown two weeks ago on its Facebook page. All the 11 shutdowns occurred in December.  The 11 titles shut down or closed to new players include role-playing game "Mafia Wars 2," "Vampire Wars," "ForestVille" and "FishVille."...

What are the top 3 myths about cloud ERP software?

Grazed from CloudTech. Author: Editorial Staff.

The growth of cloud computing has caused a paradigm shift in all sorts of business applications, but perhaps most notably in ERP software. As noted in a previous article, cloud ERP is growing like wildfire as more and more businesses move to their ERP system to the cloud. But as cloud ERP becomes more popular, misconceptions about it also spread and it becomes more difficult to separate fact from fiction. In an effort to do just so, here are the top 3 myths about cloud ERP:

Myth #1: Cloud ERP is the same as hosted ERP

This is somewhat analogous to saying that renting a house is the same as leasing a house, which obviously is false. There are numerous differences between cloud ERP and hosted ERP involving software maintenance, network traffic, security, and statelessness...

7 deadly sins of cloud computing

Grazed from CSO. Author: David Geer.

Automation, cost savings, and data redundancy—no wonder cloud adoption is tempting. The CISO can rest easy knowing there is no vice in moving to the cloud to reap these rewards. What may keep her up at night is not knowing how many missteps the enterprise is making in the process. Here CISOs and security buffs round up seven security sins that can undermine cloud computing's benefits.

Failing to check IDs at the door

The only secure way to log in to the cloud is through enterprise identity management systems. Though many cloud services permit just about anyone in the organization to sign themselves up, create their own IDs and passwords without registering these with the enterprise, and then connect these credentials to personal email addresses, that does not mean that IT or the business should let it happen...

Canonical Enhancing JuJu Cloud Services Orchestration Tools

Grazed from TalkinCloud. Author: Christopher Tozzi.

Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth is focused on JuJu, a solution for deploying cloud services. JuJu is already mature and useful, but Ubuntu developers envision expanding on it in major ways in 2013, as evidence from mailing archives and Canonical announcements.

When it comes to cloud computing -- which Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has earmarked as a major focus for Canonical in 2013 -- one of the Ubuntu ecosystem's most innovative projects is JuJu, a solution for deploying cloud services. JuJu is already mature and useful, but Ubuntu developers envision expanding on it in major ways in the new year, as evidence from mailing archives and Canonical announcements reveals...

Synchronoss Acquires Cloud Services Provider NewBay From RIM

Grazed from TalkinCloud. Author: Chris Talbot.

Research In Motion (RIM) has let go of its cloud services company, NewBay, selling it to Synchronoss Technologies for $55.5 million in cash. The acquisition closed just after Santa's visit to all the good, little boys and girls. The acquisition of the Dublin, Ireland-based cloud services company will give Bridgewater, New Jersey-based Synchronoss the ability to expand its global mobility platform enablement strategy considerably. The acquisition followed shortly on the heels of two C-level executive appointments at NewBay. The cloud services company appointed Tom Goguen as CEO in September and Mark Payne as CFO in October. Both were former RIM executives who now find themselves with brand new bosses. Still, this deal must have been in the works for some time.

This is a fast turnaround for RIM, which only snapped up NewBay in October 2011. RIM, which is frequently being scrutinized for its recent issues in the mobile device market, barely held onto the cloud services company for a year. Whether it just wasn't the fit RIM execs thought it would be or it was a sale of necessity is unknown...

Cloud Computing: VMTurbo Operations Manager Certified on VCE Vblock

Grazed from TalkinCloud. Author: Chris Talbot.

Cloud builders that use VCE Vblock as the central piece to their cloud puzzle have a new tool available in their kits. VMTurbo, which makes intelligent workload management software for cloud and virtualized environments, has managed to receive VCE Vblock Ready certification for its VMTurbo Operations Manager.

According to VMTurbo, its technology provides a cloud-scale control plane capable of continuously identifying and automating resource allocation and workload placement decisions, but it also keeps in mind technical and business constraints so it can optimize performance and maximize utilization. Now the technology is officially available for use on Vblock systems...

LabTech Software Preps 2 Cloud Computing Surprises for MSPs

Grazed from MSPMentor. Author: Joe Panettieri.

LabTech Software, the remote monitoring and management (RMM) software company, is working on two specific cloud computing strategies to empower MSPs over the long haul. The first involves integrated, end-to-end cloud solutions that MSPs can offer their customers. The second involves integrated capabilities that allow MSPs to provision, monitor and bill for those services. CEO Matt Nachtrab offered MSPmentor some deeper thoughts about the strategy during a recent email exchange. I’m starting to wonder: Will LabTech and/or sister company ConnectWise emerge as a cloud aggregator — allowing MSPs to source and manage a range of third-party cloud services for customers? Here’s the update.

First, some big-picture background. The cloud aggregator industry seems to be accelerating rapidly. Most of the major IT distributors — Avnet, Ingram Micro, Tech Data and more — have cloud aggregator or cloud services strategies in place. Tech Data will update its TD Cloud initiative during a conference next week in Tampa, Fla.; and Ingram will host a cloud conference March. (Both are among our Top 100 Channel Partner Conferences of 2013.)...

RiverMeadow Software Cloud Migration SaaS to Be Offered to VMware Service Providers

Grazed from RiverMeadow Software.  Author: PR Announcement

RiverMeadow Software Inc., developer of the RiverMeadow cloud migration SaaS, the world's only automated server migration solution developed specifically for Carrier and Service Provider Clouds, today announced it will offer its cloud migration SaaS to VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP) partners.

Only RiverMeadow can truly migrate servers into and between clouds "as-is" with the least amount of cost and complexity, eliminating the onboarding challenges for service providers and enterprise users. The RiverMeadow cloud migration SaaS is an API based platform designed from the ground up to automate the migration of physical, virtual and cloud based servers into and between public, private and hybrid cloud environments. The RiverMeadow SaaS supports an unlimited number of service providers and enterprise users at a given time. By simply providing their Cloud URL and credentials, users can instantly access all the processes necessary to automate server migrations from start-to-finish.

Ten predictions for cloud computing in 2013

Grazed from Business News Americas. Author: Patrick Nixon.

Chile-based Latin American IT company Sonda sees 2013 as the year when cloud computing will see consolidation in the region. Sonda's regional cloud computing manager Sergio Rademacher has identified 10 key trends.

1 Cost saving

According to international studies, 30% of companies will move a significant part of their business applications to the cloud, generating a reduction of 10-40% in the cost of hardware, servers, software licenses and upgrades, energy consumption, and support tasks...

Cloud Computing: HP Suggests It’s Looking at Weeding Its Holdings

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

Hewlett-Packard, which is desperately seeking ways to get its boat off the sandbar, told the SEC last week in its annual 10-K that "we continue to evaluate the potential disposition of assets and businesses that may no longer help us meet our objectives."

Bloomberg, which worked over New Year's Eve, says the company didn't use that language in its last 10-K filing when CEO Meg Whitman reversed her ousted predecessor's destabilizing notion of somehow spinning off the company's PC unit, and instead moved printers into it...

Everyone Envies Amazon Cloud Computing Business

Grazed from eCommerce Bytes. Author: Ina Steiner.

The largest retailers and the smallest online merchants bemoan the power Amazon wields in retail, but the company also has tech firms racing to keep up. Over the years, Amazon developed expertise building its own retail site, and in 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) began offering IT infrastructure services to other businesses in the form of web services - now commonly known as cloud computing.

Some people may have been confused when an outage at Netflix on Christmas Eve was blamed on Amazon, but despite the fact that Netflix competes with Amazon in streaming digital content, Netflix uses AWS to power its site. (Amazon apologized for its outage without naming which customers had been affected.)...

Growing confidence in cloud security

Grazed from CSO. Author: Ellen Messmer.

Cloud computing is blowing into 2013 on the winds of confidence, with IT professionals increasingly convinced that the security controls are adequate, but still very, very leery. Take Len Peters, CIO at Yale University, who has undertaken a cost-benefit analysis of cloud-based services in comparison to on-premises software purchases, finding that not only are unit costs less for the kind of software-as-a-service (SaaS) he's most interested in, but that SaaS can also further the compliance and security goals the IT department has long espoused.

Last spring, Yale elected to migrate from an on-premises IT management application to the cloud-based ServiceNow. The economic analysis indicated a positive cost advantage within 13 months. But security and compliance considerations were and always are going to be critical factors in cloud-computing decisions, Peters says. Like many IT pros, he found himself asking the questions, "Is the cloud safe? What are the potential risks?"...

Cloud Computing: Google Pushes Paperless Pledge

Grazed from InformationWeek. Author: Thomas Claburn.

Google is encouraging users of its Google Drive online storage service to go paperless in 2013 as a way to save time, money and trees. "This year, Google Drive is part of the Paperless Coalition, a group of organizations and products that help you live completely in a paper-free world," declared Google product marketing manager Meredith Blackwell in a blog post. "So whether you're an expense reporter, invoice tracker, file hoarder or note jotter, you can do it all without using paper."

Joining Google in its coalition are several other online services: HelloFax, an online fax service; Manilla, an online bill management service; HelloSign, an e-signature service; Expensify, an online expense reporting service; Xero, an online business accounting service; and Fujitsu, which makes the ScanSnap scanner...

Understanding The Cloud Computing Infrastructure

Grazed from CloudTweaks. Author: Abdul Salam.

As a long time advocate of cloud computing, I already know most of the technology and terms surrounding cloud computing and if someone mentions a new application or feature I might be able to gleam how it works based on the technologies used. This is not necessarily true for most people even if they have been in the IT industry for a long time. That is why I write “simple” articles that the less informed might be able to grasp easily. But to get a real understanding of something, you need to get an understanding of its internal structure, understand how it works and not just what it does. If someone tells you that an airplane flies because of engines and wings, it will still seem like magic because you are not really informed on the how. Same as cloud computing, for many it simply provides them with that service that they take for granted without really knowing how it is done. And to understand it better, we must understand the underlying infrastructure of cloud computing.

To put it simply, the infrastructure or how all the hardware technology and other elements come together cloud computing is very similar to that of traditional network computing. You have your servers that contain the CPUs, RAM, and other processing elements, and then you have your various storage devices like NAS and RAID-style setups. Of course, to round out the bunch you have your networking hardware, the routers, switches, modems, repeaters, and any and all combinations of networking hardware technology. If you look at the list I just mentioned, it is obvious that the hardware used for cloud computing has been existing, but why hasn’t cloud computing existed as long?...

Challenges remain for agency cloud computing adoption, says CAGW

Grazed from FierceGovernmentIT. Author: Greg Slabodkin.

While federal agencies have made progress expanding their use of cloud services, many challenges remain for full implementation, Citizens Against Government Waste says in its 2012 review of the federal cloud.

As part of the Obama administration's "cloud ?rst" strategy for IT procurement, federal agencies are moving various services, including email, legacy software, archival services, public website hosting and infrastructure services to the cloud. CAGW says federal spending on cloud computing, include public, private and shared service models, is expected to total $11.2 billion between 2012 and 2017...

Cloud Computing: Imation Buys Nexsan

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

Imation, the storage and data security outfit, has bought Nexsan, the privately held disk-based and solid-state storage systems shop, for $105 million in cash and $15 million in stock.  Imation said Nexsan, which has raised about $36.5 million in venture funding and twice abandoned the idea of going public, had 2011 revenues of $82 million and is still growing.

It reportedly has gross margins in the 40% range. The deal is expected to be immediately accretive although Nexsan's profitability is questionable. Imation means to use Nexsan to focus on the SMB market with purpose-built storage systems and appliances...

Will The Cloud Ever Stop Being The Cloud?

Grazed from CloudTweaks. Author: Robert Shaw.

Cloud computing wasn’t always cloud computing. Depending on who you ask, first it was either time sharing or grid computing. Strangely, nobody actually claims to know how cloud computing got its name. To this day, no one claims credit for coining the phrase. (Maybe I shouldn’t have said that…)

The phrase “cloud computing” is rather poetic for a field that’s not known for its literary devices. It’s certainly not typical of utilitarian terms like social networking, Internet, voice over IP, and distributed computing.Perhaps that’s why marketing pros love it so much — and why it grates on so many old-school IT pros...