February 2013

Cloud Computing: Amazon E-Retail Down For Hour On Thursday

Grazed from InformationWeek. Author: Charles Babcock.

For about an hour starting around 11:30 a.m. Pacific, the Amazon.com retail site was inaccessible to customers. Attempts to access the site were met with a http://1.1 message on an otherwise white and unadorned screen. The site appeared to be operating normally again about 12:45 p.m. Pacific. Several customers noted the outage on Facebook and Twitter. At 12:24 p.m. Pacific, The San Francisco technology reporting site, GigaOm, noted: "Amazon is down; Yes, you read that right."

Security blogger George V. Hulme noted about 12:30 p.m. on Facebook: "Http/1.1 Service Unavailable." Queries submitted to Amazon Web Services and Amazon.com public relations personnel did not result in any immediate response. Amazon Web Services appeared to be up and running during that time. The AWS home page appeared on cue and key services, such as the Heroku cloud running on AWS, were still up during the period Amazon.com was inaccessible.

Cloud Connect to Launch in Shanghai in September with International Top Cloud Brands

Grazed from PRNewsWired. Author: PR Announcement.

The World's Top Cloud Computing Event, Cloud Connect (http://www.cloudconnectevent.cn/) will first launch at the Shanghai International Convention Center from September 15 to 17, 2013 (Sunday to Tuesday). Supported by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy & Information and Shanghai Promotion Center of Software Industry, Cloud Connect will engage with nearly 50 top companies and more than 3,000 professional visitors at one time.

The rapid development of the cloud computing business model has had a significant impact on China's IT industry and created new prospects for it. In 2013, China's cloud computing service market will develop even further. Cloud computing will become one of the mainstream business models, constantly fused with big data, mobile, socialization, and more. At the time of enterprises' transitions to the cloud computing model, organizers are introducing Cloud Connect into China, with a goal to provide the latest top cloud technology for Chinese clients and business partners, which will lead an innovation wave for the cloud industry.

Roundup of Cloud Computing & Enterprise Software Market Estimates and Forecasts, 2013

Grazed from Forbes. Author: Louis Columbus.

When the CEO of a rust-belt manufacturer speaks of cloud computing as critical to his company’s business strategies for competing globally, it’s clear a fundamental shift is underway. Nearly every manufacturing company I’ve spoken with in the last ninety days has a mobility roadmap and is also challenged to integrate existing ERP, pricing and fulfillment systems into next-generation selling platforms.

One of the most driven CEOs I’ve met in manufacturing implemented a cloud-based channel management, pricing, quoting and CRM system to manage direct sales and a large distributor network across several countries. Manufacturers are bringing an entirely new level of pragmatism to cloud computing, quickly deflating its hype by pushing for results on the shop floor...

PaaS and IaaS: Rising Champions of Cloud Computing

Grazed from CloudTweaks. Author: Arthor Nichols.

In the cloud conversation, Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) appear much less than the famed Software as a Service (SaaS). This is not surprising when you consider that a world already populated with built platforms and infrastructure has but to operate on them. However, offering Platforms and Infrastructure through the cloud has been a boon to the software development field, especially with the recently growing push toward increased collaboration between developers and admins, commonly referred to as Development Operations (DevOps).

Distinctions and Utilization

Though somewhat easy to confuse the two, it may be best to view PaaS as a subset of IaaS with fewer responsibilities in terms of provision of infrastructure. Specifically, choosing PaaS over IaaS moves the responsibility of managing the database, runtime, and middleware from an organization to the vendor of the service. PaaS and, to a lesser degree, IaaS are a direct route via the cloud to facilitating the work of software developers, though IaaS may be more desirable in cases where an organization has a suitable existing infrastructure and prefers more control over those elements...

State of Cloud Computing: Cloud PBX

Grazed from Business2Community. Author: Matthew Ramsey.

Internal telephone networks, switches, wires, and other equipment used to make up a significant part of the enterprise infrastructure. The rise of cloud computing has changed this and nowadays you have a cloud computing alternative to consider, as with most everything else. Cloud PBX is now a widespread phenomenon. If your organization hasn’t considered such a system instead of implementing or upgrading a traditional phone system, it probably will soon.

Chances are, your business has some form of Voice-over-Internet protocol, or VoIP, in place. Many hosted and cloud PBX systems are based on this concept. The transition is being guided by the much more expansive transfer of public switched telephone networks to VoIP. Internet based telecommunications services have been used in homes for several years. The technology has advanced to the point that businesses find it reliable enough for their telecom needs, at a much lower cost of ownership...

The Biggest Pitfall in Cloud Computing: Security

Grazed from CloudTweaks. Author: Abdul Salam.

Technology is not without its pitfalls even if it has so many benefits, especially if it is not used properly. Cloud computing is no exception; in fact a lot of people think that cloud computing has more pitfalls than the current solutions that they are already employing in their business. Some of these are actually real but can be prevented, while others are just rationalizations out of laziness to plan and execute or even simply an undeniable resistance to change. A lot of people are afraid of change, to step out of the comfort zone. True enough, stepping out of your comfort zone half-heartedly and without a real plan will quickly help you realize these fears. But we shall only tackle the biggest one here.

The most glaring of these pitfalls that people are buzzing on about is security. In a data-driven world, security is paramount. And why shouldn’t it be, it’s the most powerful weapon anyone could possess; whole empires have come crashing down because of a few key pieces information. Granted it would take years to tear down an empire with mere information or disinformation, but it would only require a few minutes for a big company, no, a whole economy to fall because of lost information. Imagine if the worldwide stock exchange entity suddenly lost all of its valuable data including all the backups at the same time, that would be billions in every currency lost, causing an entire worldwide economy collapse...

Dell cloud strategy could benefit from going private, partners say

Grazed from TechTarget. Author: Beth Pariseau.

Talk of Dell going private might scare enterprise customers, as they may see it as a sign of ill health for the company, but when it comes to cloud computing, it could be a good thing. Dell partners say it's in the company's best interest to go private, as it struggles to deliver a cohesive Dell cloud strategy.

Going private would potentially rid Dell's management of worries about its PC business, which has dragged the company's revenues down as of late, and it could free executives up to focus on new efforts like the cloud, said Scott Houston, CEO of GreenButton, a Dell partner that runs its cloud-based software management tool on a mix of Dell's vCloud infrastructure and Amazon Web Services...

Cloud computing for government is not just a cost cutter

Grazed from Information Daily. Author: James Johns.

Before the birth of the electricity generating industry, any enterprise needing power had to build and run private generators. These were inflexible, inelastic and did not scale easily. In the mid 19th Century, centralised generation allowed electricity to be provided as a utility, meaning that consumers only had to pay for what they used. Consumption could be scaled up or down to meet demand without the need for capital expenditure. A century and a half on, this is precisely the emancipating effect that cloud computing is now having on the enterprise.

Organisations no longer need to build, maintain and renew cumbersome IT infrastructure in order to consume as much, or as little computing resource as they need. The cost implications of this model for both public and private sector organisations are clear inasmuch as cloud allows the enterprise to make use of sophisticated business solutions on a “pay as you go” basis with almost no capital costs...

Cloud Computing and Your Small Biz: Is It a Match Made in Heaven?

Grazed from ERP Cloud News. Author: Editorial Staff.

Cloud computing — you’ve heard of it, you may even be using it without realizing it. What is it exactly, and what potential benefits does it offer for your small business? As the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) points out, cloud computing has been around in some way, shape or form for years. Facebook, Gmail and Flickr are just three applications of the technology that many of us use daily to store comments, photos, videos and other content in the cloud. But that are many other applications, says the SBA.

“Imagine being able to log onto a website and access all the tools and programs that your employees need to do their jobs without having to invest in lots of standalone software licenses,” it notes. “What if you could access all your office productivity tools (email, calendar, word processing, databases, invoicing, CRM, intranet, etc.) from any location or device? What’s more, all the software management and trouble-shooting can be done by the cloud service provider, freeing up your IT resources.”...

The cloud is coming to your business, like it or not

Grazed from InfoWorld. Author: David Linthicum.

A new survey from Brocade finds the role of the CIO is changing, apparently driven by cloud computing. The survey of 100 CIOs from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa finds that half expect cloud adoption to take less time than required to deal with IT infrastructure issues, such as email and storage.

Moreover, one-third of the CIOs report that cloud computing is already in their enterprises -- and IT had nothing to do with it. Finally, about 70 percent stated that cloud computing services are here to stay, and they would adopt more in the years to come. We've known for some time that cloud computing is showing up in all enterprises, with or without CIO approval. Although shortsighted CIOs push back hard on those who use cloud services such as Dropbox or Google Apps, CIOs who "get it" are using this interest in cloud computing to move in more productive and innovative directions...

Leveraging Cloud and Virtualization for Disaster Recovery

Grazed from DataCenterKnowledge. Author: Bill Kleyman.

As the data center continues to become an integral part of any organization, administrators are working hard to find ways to be as resilient as ever. The data center environment is a lot more complex now with many moving parts – all of which are vital to the efficiency foundation of an infrastructure. With cloud computing, more users, and an increase in data – the challenge has become disaster recovery and business continuity. All distributed systems have to be checked and the data points must all be monitored. In working with these more complex data centers, many administrators are turning to the cloud and virtualization to help them create a more robust DR plan.

The reality is this: a well-planned out cloud and virtualization solution can truly help any organization create a more agile environment. There are inherent benefits to working with specific types of cloud models and virtualization platforms. A large part of IT is creativity – that’s why using new types of technologies can help reduce management costs and keep an environment running longer...

Cloud computing law puts Canadian users at risk of snooping by American spies

Grazed from The Ottawa Citizen.  Author: Ian Macleod.

American spies can snoop through Canadians’ computer data — including that of political organizations and without warrants — if the data resides within popular U.S. cloud computing services, says a former Microsoft executive.

In a report commissioned by the European Parliament, former Microsoft chief privacy adviser Caspar Bowden reveals, “it is lawful in the U.S. to conduct purely political surveillance on foreigners’ data accessible in U.S. clouds,” operated by U.S. firms such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, IBM and others.  One sweeping provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorizes the targeting of, “foreign-based political organization(s)... or foreign territory that relates to... conduct of the foreign affairs of the United States.”...

SAP expands partner program to account for cloud applications

Grazed from InfoWorld.  Author: Chris Kanaracus.

SAP's burgeoning portfolio of cloud-based applications has prompted it to make some changes to its PartnerEdge program.  More than 500 partners who have relationships with SuccessFactors, the cloud HCM (human capital management) vendor SAP finished acquiring last year, will be added to the program during the course of 2013, SAP said this week.

Partners "now have the opportunity to tackle the fast-growing cloud market and offer best-of-breed cloud solutions and suites to their installed base customers and prospects," SAP said in a statement. SAP is also trying to make life easier for partners on the contractual side of things. A single deal will allow partners to sell all of SAP's cloud offerings, rather than requiring separate agreements for each one, according to the statement...

Cloud Based Digital Asset Management Picks up Momentum

Grazed from Technorati.  Author: Geoff Simon.

Early Friday, Wisconsin based Widen Enterprises announced that its cloud-based digital asset management solution (DAM), Media Collective, will be adopted by WAGO Corporation, a German company that manufactures components for electrical connection technology and electronic components for decentralized automation technology. And the automotive industry isn't the only one choosing to use cloud-based DAM solutions. From marketing, software, governments, and food industries, companies of all kinds are realizing the benefits of a more centralized digital media library.

Media Collective, which offers cloud-based asset management solutions, offers a centralized media library that companies like WAGO can use to manage all their digital media needs. In total, WAGO has over 18,000 individual products, each one with numerous images and other digital media attached to them...

State of Cloud Computing: Locking in Migration Cost

Grazed from Business2Community.  Author: Matthew Ramsey.

While migrating to the cloud is ultimately intended to reduce costs and make it easier to run your business, not following the right steps at first can lead to the exact opposite. Ultimately, it is the risk of downtime, security of your data, and objectives of the cloud service vendor in question as your enterprise nurtures this ongoing relationship. A Statement of Work (SOW) should be developed from the start, with a focus on objectives, tasks, and deliverables. The SOW should also cover details on project management in a fixed price model.

A vendor often presents a special deal if an organization like yours signs a contract immediately. Signing a proposal is not the same as signing an SOW, as most proposals simply outline the services to be offered. These also do not break down the cost of services or list acceptable performance criteria. A proposal is just a legally binding contract, which could put your organization at risk if the services do not meet the qualifications for quality and consistency....

Cloud Computing Code Speeds Processing of Data-intensive Microscopy Data

Grazed from SciCasts.  Author: Editorial Staff.

Salk researchers have reported a how-to secret for biologists: code for Amazon Cloud that significantly reduces the time necessary to process data-intensive microscopic images.  The method promises to speed research into the underlying causes of disease by making single-molecule microscopy of practical use for more laboratories.

 "This is an extremely cost-effective way for labs to process super-resolution images," says Hu Cang, Salk assistant professor in the Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center and coauthor of the paper. "Depending on the size of the data set, it can save over a week's worth of time."...

GovCloud 2.0 – Harnessing Cloud Computing for Digital Government Transformation

Grazed from CloudVentures.  Author: Editorial Staff.

Recently the USA Government announced a Digital Government strategy.

Our new white paper ‘GovCloud 2.0′ describes how Government Cloud Computing can provide an accelerating platform for implementing this policy, covering topics such as:

  • Business Transformation - Harnessing social media and collective intelligence models to reinvent government to be more collaborative.
  • Procurement Frameworks - Cloud procurement best practices, such as the UK’s G-Cloud...

Cloud Latency Issues? Dedicated Network Connections Will Help

Grazed from TechCrunch.  Author:  David Strom.

Do you ever encounter delays in loading web-based applications and get impatient? Resulting from poor network latency, or how fast data is transferred from one location to another, these delays are frustrating to as end users, but are far more costly to Internet businesses that depend on lightning-quick web experiences for their customers. With the proliferation of cloud computing placing added demands on Internet speed and connectivity, latency is becoming a more critical concern for everyone, from the end user to the enterprise.

Pre-Internet, latency was characterized by the number of router hops between you and your application, and the delay that packets took to get from source to destination. For the most part, your corporation owned all of the intervening routers, so network delays remained fairly consistent and predictable. As businesses migrate and deploy more and more applications to the cloud, the issue of latency is becoming increasingly complex. In order to leverage cloud computing as a true business enabler, it is critical that organizations learn how to manage and reduce latency...

MGI Cloud30 Index Now Available - Best Proxy for Cloud Computing Industry Growth

Grazed from PRWeb. Author: PR Announcement.

MGI Research, LLC announced today the general availability of MGI Cloud30TM Index data. “Cloud computing has emerged as one of the most dominant and disruptive trends in technology. It is one of the key tools in transforming enterprise IT and is the underlying enabler of both social networking and mobile computing”, said Igor Stenmark, Managing Director of MGI Research. "While it is unclear if cloud computing will deliver on all of its promises, the reality is that no technology project is undertaken today without evaluating the use of cloud computing.

The MGI Cloud30TM Index is intended to be the most accurate proxy of the financial impact of cloud computing – whatever direction it takes”, Mr. Stenmark continued. The current data for MGI Cloud30TM Index indicates that over the past three years, the cloud computing trend generated a distinct and above average impact in financial markets. The MGI Cloud30TM Index is comprised of shares of thirty US-listed companies that have the most direct exposure to cloud computing. Today’s announcement makes the MGI Cloud 30 Index historical data generally available.

For data access, licensing information, details on index components, methodology and weights, refer to http://www.mgiresearch.com. or contact MGI Research at +1 (888) 801-3644 or via email: mgicloud30@mgiresearch.com.

Law enforcement slow to adopt cloud computing

Grazed from FierceGovernmentIT. Author: David Perera.

Cloud computing adoption remains low among law enforcement agencies, according to the results of a survey unveiled Jan. 31. According to a Ponemon Institute survey (.pdf) of 272 officials, most of them chief executives of police or sheriff departments, 46 percent of law enforcement agencies are not considering utilizing cloud computing. Thirty-eight percent say they're considering it, or planning for adoption within the next 2 years, and 16 percent say they use it now. Ponemon did the survey at the behest of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and cloud computing promoter SafeGov.

Cloud adoption in law enforcement faces the hurdle of meeting FBI Criminal Justice Information Services security policy standards (.pdf)--standards which the FBI says (.pdf) are "cloud-compatible," although acknowledging that "the requirements may be tough for some vendors to meet." In a high-profile case, the city of Los Angeles in 2011 reversed (.pdf) a Google Apps for Government deployment to its police department on the grounds of noncompliance with CJIS policy...