July 2013

Q&A: Interview with Jez Humble Talking DevOps and Puppet

Jez Humble, principal consultant at ThoughtWorks Studios, will be speaking at the upcoming PuppetConf (expected to have 1,600 attendees this year) about how organizations can deliver valuable, high-quality software frequently and reliably through implementing effective engineering practices.  To find out more about his plans at PuppetConf and to learn more about DevOps, ThoughtWorks Studios and Puppet, we reached out to Jez for more information.

Q:  What can attendees expect to learn about devops from your presentation at PuppetConf?

Jez Humble:  Although people often focus on tools and automation, DevOps is really about a mindset. In this talk I'll say what I think that entails, and discuss the characteristics of organizations in which it can exist. Most organizations don't support a DevOps mindset, so I'll also talk about what you can do to change your organizational culture.

Q:  How has DevOps helped expand virtualization and cloud computing?

The 3Cs of SaaS ERP: Cost, Customization, Control

Grazed from Business2Community.  Author: RJ Burgess.

Traditionally, companies have had to buy, build, and maintain their IT infrastructure in an expensive and complicated process. SaaS ERP provides businesses with an alternative where they can subscribe to services on a shared infrastructure via the Internet. Given the many advantages of the SaaS model over on-premise, businesses of all types and sizes are flocking to the cloud. The main reasons for the popularity of SaaS ERP, according to a study by ERP analytics firm Mint Jutras, have much to do with the three “Cs” – cost, customization, and control.

Costs are reduced in various ways when using SaaS ERP instead of on-premise software. The first is through lower IT overhead, as much of the spending required for implementing conventional enterprise software (purchasing and maintaining software, servers, their secure location, installation, maintenance, patching and service contracts) is eliminated. In fact, Phil Wainewright, analyst with Summit Strategies, calculates the cost of traditional enterprise software implementation to be 4-to-5 times the cost of the original license...

Business Agility Through Cloud Computing

Grazed from Business2Community.  Author: David Grimes.

In so many industries, the pace of business and the intensity of competition translate into a new mandate: be agile. More than ever before, companies need the ability to retool on the fly, respond to competitive threats, pounce on market opportunities, and support shorter product development lifecycles. In most cases these needs can only be met by a correspondingly agile supporting IT infrastructure.

With its self-service, on-demand provisioning of services, pay-as-you-go pricing, and world-class management capabilities, cloud computing can provide the agility that so many businesses require. However, many businesses have concerns. Their data is often – rightfully – regarded as the critical asset to be highly protected, which can create an “anti-cloud” mindset...

3 things to consider before buying into Disaster Recovery as a Service

Grazed from CSO.  Author: David Geer.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) backs up the whole environment, not just the data.  "Most of the providers I spoke with also offer a cloud-based environment to spin up the applications and data to when you declare a disaster," says Karyn Price, Industry Analyst, Cloud Computing Services, Frost & Sullivan. This enables enterprises to keep applications available.

Vendors offer DRaaS to increase their market share and revenues. Enterprises, especially small businesses are interested in the inexpensive yet comprehensive DR solution DRaaS offers. There are cautionary notes and considerations too that demand the smart businesss attention before and after buying into DRaaS...

Networking Solutions Partners with OS33 to Deliver Unified Cloud IT to Northern California Area Businesses

Grazed from PR NewsWire.  Author: PR Announcement.

Networking Solutions, a provider of IT solutions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley, today announced it has been named a Certified Delivery Partner of OS33, the leading unified cloud computing IT platform, to deliver cloud-hosted virtual desktops and services to Northern California area businesses.  As an OS33 Certified Delivery Partner, Networking Solutions adds the capability to rapidly deliver cloud-desktops, servers, applications and storage for business looking to shift some or all of their IT assets to the cloud.

This new Networking Solutions service, powered by OS33, provides companies access to a fast, secure and centralized IT platform, meeting the demand for businesses looking to reduce costs, improve performance, and maximize productivity via the cloud. Employees can easily access all their apps, data and IT from any device including mobile phones and tablets, via the OS33 Webtop, providing the workforce with a consistent and secure experience 24x7x365. Additionally, the platform ensures the IT network is always up and running with company infrastructure that is centralized and protected via fully managed, redundant data centers, automated backup and disaster recovery...

CERN signs up Rackspace for hybrid cloud collaboration

Grazed from CloudPro.  Author: Jane McCallion.

CERN openlab has signed a year-long collaboration agreement with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider Rackspace to develop a hybrid cloud system to help further the centre’s research into the origins of the universe.  CERN openlab is the framework through which the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) tests and validates new technologies in partnership with private industry.

Speaking to Cloud Pro, Tim Bell, infrastructure manager at CERN, explained: “[The framework allows] CERN and commercial organisations to do combined research.  “This gives us the opportunity to take the extreme computing challenges that come from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and are able to then apply those both to areas of interest to CERN and areas of interest for the company in a research environment.”...

Cloud Computing: Microsoft to shut down TechNet subscription service

Grazed from ZDNet.  Author: Ed Bott.

Good night, TechNet.  The online Technet blogs and customer support forums will live on, but Microsoft announced today in a letter to subscribers that it plans to retire its venerable TechNet subscriptions service. New subscriptions will no longer be available after August 31, 2013, and the subscription service will shut down as current subscribers' contracts end.

Microsoft has offered TechNet subscriptions for most of the modern Windows era, debuting in 1998 as a massive packet of CDs, and evolving into a download option as broadband connections became common.  The services have historically been one of the best deals around for frugal IT professionals and PC enthusiasts. For an annual subscription fee of a few hundred dollars, subscribers get the right to download virtually all of the desktop and server software Microsoft sells, with multiple product keys...

Roambi Unifies Data Access via SaaS Application

Grazed from IT Business Edge.  Author: Mike Vizard.

There is no shortage of data that users of mobile computing devices need to access; the problem has been finding a simple way to actually make that happen.  To address that specific issue, Roambi has made its report writer engine that unifies access to multiple types of data available as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application in the cloud.

According to Co-Founder and President of product innovation Quinton Alsbury, Roambi Business is designed to make data more accessible to mobile computing users regardless of whether that data was originally stored in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or NoSQL unstructured database...

European Commission Urges Increased Security for Cloud Computing

Grazed from CloudTimes.  Author: Saroj Kar.

A group of experts appointed by European Commission will scrutinize how European cloud computing contracts are established. It will also try to develop a standard contract.  The European Commission launched a call for applications to recruit people from the industry, academia and other profiles, to establish a group of experts whose mission is to create a model on transparent cloud contract.

According to Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission, one of the big barriers to using cloud computing is a lack of trust. People don’t always understand the terms in their contract: what they’re paying for, and what they can expect. It should be easy to ensure that the terms in contract are reasonable: open, transparent, safe and fair...

1&1 Dynamic Cloud Server Adds Benchmark for Flexibility & Power

Grazed from Ping Zine.  Author: Editorial Staff.

1&1 Internet Inc., www.1and1.com, a global leader among Web hosting providers, today unveiled a new cloud server package that delivers unrestricted cloud-based efficiencies to both businesses and professionals alike.  1&1 Dynamic Cloud Server, available from a total price of only $0.06 per hour,  features dynamically adjustable resources – Processor Cores (vCore), RAM (GB) and Hard Disk Space (GB) – that are configurable upwards and downwards by the user themselves anytime.

The solution offers capacity for a very high performance resource at a very low and accurate hourly price.  1&1 expects the package to be a highly popular option for businesses to take further steps toward Cloud computing, and raise efficiencies in their online projects.  1&1 Dynamic Cloud Server is an enormously flexible and robust virtualized server solution.  The server is particularly effective for companies whose resource requirements change frequently or for a new business that cannot accurately estimate how much computing power will be needed for online projects...

System Services (SSi) is Now SaaS Software, Inc., and Unveils "Powered by SSi" Strategic Solutions

Grazed from PRWeb.  Author: PR Announcement.

System Services (SSi), a strategic information technology (IT) and software solutions company, is now SaaS Software, Inc. (SSi). The new name reflects the organization’s progression from IT outsourcing activities to application development, specifically, SaaS and mobile applications. Notably, the move transforms SSi from being a tactical IT resource to a strategic partnership role with its clients in helping them leverage revenue opportunities, gain competitive advantage, and turn their business ideas into reality.

Synonymous with the strategic direction SSi has taken to meet the needs of its clients, the company unveils “Powered by SSi™.” The new positioning demonstrates its commitment to creating business-changing applications that are designed, developed, and supported by the organization’s power, expertise and experience...

How to Take Your Enterprise Applications to the Cloud

Grazed from Sys Con Media.  Author: Mark Clayman.

With so many stories about cloud computing, IT outsourcing, hosting, SaaS solutions and managed services, we should all be well beyond the question of whether organizations should be moving their enterprise applications to the cloud. For those companies that have not yet started to move these applications outside of their own four walls or, worse yet, have yet to develop a plan to do so, a window is ever shrinking on your ability to keep up with your competitors. Why?

Because unless your value proposition to your customers is managing data centers, connectivity, routers, firewalls, servers, storage, backups, operating systems, databases, applications, etc., you'll always be a step or maybe even two or three behind cloud service providers that do this day in and day out as part of their core business model...

CIOs On Cloud Computing Adoption: Conquer Complexity And Help Us Grow

Grazed from Forbes.  Author: Louis Columbus.

NTT Europe recently completed a study that found 56% of CIOs and Senior IT leaders see complexity of their own Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems as the biggest barrier to their organization’s enterprise-wide adoption of the cloud.  The survey contends that cloud adoption continues to be tactical in nature as a result of the inordinate complexity of existing and legacy ICT platforms.

Completed in April and May of this year in the United Kingdom, the study Growing Pains In The Cloud, 300 CIOs Express Their Views About Barriers To Cloud Adoption (opt in required) was completed by Vanson Bourne and included 300 interviews of CIOs and Senior IT leaders from public and private organizations with 250+ employees...

Oracle debuts 'first database designed for the cloud'

Grazed from CloudPro.  Author: Jane McCallion.

Cloud service provider Oracle has launched its new database offering that the company claims will better meet the technology needs of organisations moving to the cloud.  Oracle Database 12c provides a new multitenant architecture built on top of a fast, scalable, reliable and secure database platform. The next-generation database is the first to be designed for the cloud, the company claims.

The platform is particularly suitable for organisations wishing to deploy private database clouds in addition to being of use to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors, Oracle said.   “The innovations in Oracle Database 12c were developed with our customers’ cloud requirements very much in mind," said Andrew Mendelsohn, senior vice president for database server technologies at Oracle...

Protecting data in the cloud

Grazed from MIT News.  Author: Larry Hardesty.

Cloud computing — outsourcing computational tasks over the Internet — could give home-computer users unprecedented processing power and let small companies launch sophisticated Web services without building massive server farms.

But it also raises privacy concerns. A bank of cloud servers could be running applications for 1,000 customers at once; unbeknownst to the hosting service, one of those applications might have no purpose other than spying on the other 999.  Encryption could make cloud servers more secure. Only when the data is actually being processed would it be decrypted; the results of any computations would be re-encrypted before they’re sent off-chip...

Cloud computing for dummies - IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and NaaS explained

Grazed from Techradar.  Author: Editorial Staff.

No-one quite knows where the term 'cloud computing' came from, but it seems appropriate when you think that it's essentially about removing data and various IT functions from your office to another plane.

Of course the data isn't really floating in the clouds, but residing in the service provider's data centre, which could be located anywhere between the edge of the M25 and the edge of Bangalore. The crucial points for the user is that the data is secure, stored in a way that complies with their own country's regulations, and easily accessible...

CERN's Hadron Collider Research Fueled By OpenStack

Grazed from InformationWeek.  Author: Charles Babcock.

CERN, the birthplace of the World Wide Web, is rebuilding its Large Hadron Collider and re-architecting its data center infrastructure on OpenStack Grizzly as it continues its pursuit of the Higgs Boson particle and other advanced physics.  
At the end of the process, it will be able to collect twice as much data from a research experiment in the collider as before, and that data will be uploaded to a "federated" Grizzly OpenStack cloud. Grizzly is the name of the OpenStack project's seventh and latest release, which came out in April.

CERN's federated cloud will encompass 15,000 servers in two locations, Budapest, Hungary, and Geneva, Switzerland.  The collider is being rewired and rebuilt with stronger magnets to run at twice the power level at which it ran before, and that means, says Tim Bell, CERN infrastructure manager, it will generate twice as much data as it did when it was taken offline earlier this year, after a breakthrough in particle physics on March 14...

The Year of the Virtual Desktop? For IaaS Provider Navisite it Definitely Is

Grazed from ServicesAngles.  Author: Bert Latamore.

If you are a CIO you’ve probably heard it every year. “This is the year of desktop virtualization”. Well, for IaaS provider Navisite, 2013 definitely is the year of VDI, or more precisely Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS). It has found a nice growth business, primarily initially in higher education and healthcare, where it has found strong use cases based on the high mobility of end-users and the security concerns. But, says Navisite VP of Product Management Chris Patterson, the appeal is really horizontal.

For instance, “last summer we had several customers in London who wanted us just for a few weeks. They said while the London Summer Olympics were on their employees wouldn’t be able to get to their offices. This constituted a disaster for them.”  The big market drivers, he says, include BYOD and the growing use of contract workers, both on- and off-shore. And one of the big concerns is security...

Founder of PHP Joins Jelastic PaaS Cloud Hosting Provider

Grazed from The Var Guy.  Author: Christopher Tozzi.

Jelastic is building what it says is "the next generation Java and PHP cloud hosting platform."  Now, it has enlisted the father of PHP himself to help in that endeavor. On Monday, the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider announced that Rasmus Lerdorf has signed on as an "Advisor" to provide technical expertise for PHP cloud hosting.

It's hard not to compare Lerdorf to Linus Torvalds, the founder of the Linux kernel. They're both Scandinavian natives—Torvalds is a Swedish-speaking Finn and Lerdorf a native of Greenland, which makes him Danish (tangential thought: Denmark controls a huge portion of North America, yet no one seems to realize it, except maybe the Danes)—who developed open source software that has played a central role in defining computing as we know it.  Like Linux, PHP, which Lerdforf introduced in 1994, powers millions of websites around the world. It remains one of the most popular server-side scripting languages today, despite competition from newer alternatives...

Is the cloud exchange concept ready for primetime? Deutsche Boerse thinks so.

Grazed from GigaOM.  Author: David Meyer.

Financial services giant the Deutsche Boerse Group, which runs the Frankfurt Stock Exchange among other things, is about to make a pretty serious leap into the cloud computing space. The German company said on Tuesday that it will launch a global, vendor-neutral marketplace for compute and storage capacity in 2014.

The idea of a cloud marketplace is not new, but there aren’t many serious players out there yet. Deutsche Boerse’s take is very much aimed at the corporate and medium-to-large enterprise market, as well as the public sector, and it uses infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud management software from Berlin-based Zimory to connect buyers and sellers through open APIs (the two companies are treating this as a joint venture)...