October 2013

OutSystems Launches Public Cloud PaaS Offering

Grazed from OutSystems. Author: PR Announcement.

OutSystems today announced general availability of its cloud application platform as a service (PaaS). The OutSystems Platform is the only PaaS available as a cloud, on-premises or hybrid solution that generates standard Java and .NET applications with fully automated DevOps support. By extending its popular on-premises platform to the cloud, OutSystems is raising the bar for the PaaS market, making it exceedingly easy for IT organizations to build, deploy and manage enterprise-class web and mobile applications in any environment.

“We have delivered highly complex and scalable enterprise web and mobile applications faster than we ever thought possible,” said Rogério Campos Henriques, CIO of Fidelidade, the largest insurance operator in Portugal. “The OutSystems Platform as a PaaS offering will be an amazingly powerful solution for companies that need to deploy and maintain enterprise-class applications more effectively. And the ability to bring the platform back on-premises or deploy a hybrid approach avoids the cloud lock-in.”...

Logentries Raises $10 Million and Names SaaS Veteran Andrew Burton as CEO

Grazed from GlobalNewsWire. Author: PR Announcement.

Logentries, a new cloud-based service provider for collecting and analyzing huge quantities of machine-generated log data, has received $10 million in Series A financing and has named Andrew Burton as president and CEO. Unlike costly log management alternatives that require advanced technical skills to use, Logentries utilizes a unique collective intelligence model to transform otherwise difficult-to-consume log data into actionable business and operational insights. Logentries will use the funds to accelerate product development and aggressively drive a go-to-market strategy. The financing round was led by Polaris Partners, along with Floodgate, Frontline Ventures, and RRE Ventures. Floodgate is a new investor joining the other firms that provided $1 million seed money in 2012.

"With big data transforming businesses of all kinds, Logentries lets customers focus on the data that matter most - the less than 1% of log entries that contain the game-changing information that's hidden among the other 99%," said Andrew Burton, president & CEO, Logentries. "I'm excited to join the Logentries team where our goal is to harness the power of log data and make it accessible to anyone."...

5 Great SaaS Applications to Stay Organized at Work

Grazed from Business2Community. Author: Alexandra Levit.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think twice about the little things. That’s how I get into trouble, because it’s the little things that make a big impact when they slip through the cracks. Whether it’s a forgotten follow-up call to a customer or a lost password, you can’t afford to let the little things slow you down. Fortunately, when life is moving faster than ever and our primitive human brains can’t catch up, there are some terrific SaaS organization applications to help out.

LastPass: If you’re like me, your poor password management is a disaster waiting to happen. While it’s certainly easier to use the same password all the time, or passwords that are extremely simple to remember, it’s definitely not safer. When you have a password service like LastPass, you only have to remember one master password. By typing in that master password, you are able to log in automatically to any website with saved login credentials. And LastPass syncs passwords in the cloud so all of your devices will display the same information...

Cloud Collaboration Gets Boxed Into Security

Grazed from InformationWeek. Author: Anita Karve.

Sharing files and collaborating in the cloud are old news. DropBox, SkyDrive, Google Docs and many more cloud-based service providers have made it possible to store files, sync them, and make them accessible to others. But one company is thinking outside the box (pun intended) and going beyond simple file sharing and collaboration. Box is making its first foray into the applications space with Box Notes, a tool that lets users capture and share ideas securely from anywhere in real-time.

And "securely" is the key word here. Box has distinguished itself from the rest of the file-sharing pack by offering very high security levels for its services. With 256-bit AES encryption, intrusion detection systems, redundant backups, uninterruptible power and more, Box has become the go-to cloud-based sharing service among enterprises. It boasts 180,000 corporate customers, including most of the Fortune 500...

Cloud Computing: Business Continuity vs. Disastrous Events

Grazed from CloudTweaks. Author: Ali Din.

Bad weather can cost companies money. It is an unfortunate lesson to learn the hard way, but natural disasters like hurricanes, floods or super storms are dramatic examples of the value of cloud solutions when it comes to resiliency in the face of a catastrophe, and the ability to recover and resume operations as quickly as possible.

The problem is that many workers lack the ability to work remotely – when they are away from the office or transportation systems fail. IT systems in the cloud allow workers to conduct business from anywhere by accessing emails, documents, lines of business applications, and communicating online...

Dell updates private cloud to become PCI compliant

Grazed from NetworkWorld. Author: Brandon Butler.

Looking to solidify its refocused efforts on private cloud platforms, Dell today rolled out new features to improve security and manageability of its offerings. Dell now offers a payment card industry (PCI)-compliant cloud computing service. It also rolled out a new choice that allows customers to rent Dell-owned and operated hardware in their data centers. Dell is also expanding its cloud-based applications, adding a disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) option.

The moves come months after Dell announced plans to refocus its cloud computing strategy more on its private cloud business, instead of the public cloud market. The company had been developing an OpenStack-powered public cloud, but it halted those development efforts to focus on private and managed clouds this summer...

How to consolidate and integrate the public and private cloud

Grazed from CloudComputing News. Author: Lee Fisher.

Most households have many services to keeping things ticking. No two households are the same; they have different priorities, values and structures, and different services suit different households. Water, gas and electricity all come from separate service providers, so if the electricity goes down in a house, it is not left in the cold. Like a household, organisations are unique and something that works for one organisation, may not work for its competitors.

Choices, choices, choices

Like household utility services, cloud services are designed to bring agility, simplicity, efficiency and self-service capabilities to a business. Organisations have freedom of choice in terms of selecting infrastructure and services; but in order to make the right choice it is vital organisations have an understanding of what the business requires and the capabilities of existing infrastructure...

Half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud by 2017, says Gartner

Grazed from ComputerWeekly. Author: Archana Venkatraman.

About half of large enterprises will have adopted a hybrid cloud computing model in the next four years, according to analyst firm Gartner. The findings show an appetite among enterprises for cloud services that combine public cloud scalability and private datacentre security principles.

According to a Gartner special report on the outlook for cloud, hybrid cloud computing implementation will gather pace as private cloud matures. Hybrid cloud today is at the same level of adoption that private cloud was three years ago -- actual deployments are low, but aspirations are high, said Gartner...

What The Cloud Engineer Must Know

Grazed from DataCenter Knowledge. Author: Bill Kleyman.

Before the cloud boom, there were virtualization, storage, networking (WAN/LAN) and data center engineers. These folks were the pillars and pioneers of what we know as the modern cloud infrastructure. These are the people that helped build the foundation of the cloud in conjunction with application and software teams. Today, we still have these positions. However, new job titles have been created as well.

The growing demand for cloud services has similarly created a quickly growing need for cloud architects and engineers. A new IDC report sponsored by Microsoft and published by Forbes indicates that the demand for a cloud-ready IT force will grow by 26% through 2015. Furthermore over the next two to three years, more than 7 million new cloud-related industry positions will become available globally. Here’s the reality: although this industry is expected to grow rapidly in the future, there is a demand for cloud engineers now...

Cloud Computing: ForeScout, Splunk Partner on Big Data, Security Intelligence

Grazed from TalkinCloud. Author: Chris Talbot.

ForeScout Technologies has partnered with Splunk (otherwise known as Those Guys with the Cool T-Shirts at tech conferences) to provide bi-directional interoperability between ForeScout CounterACT and Splunk Enterprise, as well as the new ForeScout App for Splunk Enterprise.

According to the two companies, the partnership combines ForeScout's dynamic endpoint visibility, access and security capabilities with Splunk Enterprise's advanced machine data analytics capabilities to provide enterprises with better threat insight and more automated control...

Aruba Debuts Bare-Bones Cloud WLAN

Grazed from NetworkComputing. Author: Lee H. Badman.

Aruba Networks is launching a cloud-based Wi-Fi management offering, including Aruba Central, its cloud management system. So how does Aruba stack up against Aerohive, Airtight and Cisco Meraki on the cloud front? So far, I’m intrigued but not impressed.

Cloud-based networking is becoming a more popular alternative to traditional premises-based management. This market gained a significant endorsement when Cisco purchased Meraki in late 2012. Thus, Aruba’s expansion into cloud-managed offerings is hardly a surprise...

Amazon CloudFront CDN: Goodbye 404 Messages

Grazed from InformationWeek. Author: Charles Babcock.

The Amazon Web Services content delivery network CloudFront wants to give its subscribers a way to present a more meaningful message than "server not found" when their users encounter a bad link.  CloudFront now lets subscribers customize the infamous 404 message so people trying to visit their business site won't be left with the baffling dead end that "server-not-found" messages so often represent.

"We've added two new features that allow to you to configure how CloudFront handles error responses for your website. Error responses can occur for many reasons. For instance, a user might request objects that don't exist (and receive a 404 Not Found response)," wrote AWS staff in announcing the service. "Or a user you haven't authorized might attempt to download an object you have secured using CloudFront's private content feature (and receive a 403 Forbidden response)."...

Cloud computing and the rise of big data

Grazed from TechRepublic. Author: Nick Hardiman.

The cloud enables big data processing for enterprises of all sizes by relieving a number of problems, but there is still complexity in extracting the business value from a sea of data. Cloud computing democratizes big data – any enterprise can now work with unstructured data at a huge scale. At first glance, it isn’t obvious why the unstructured data methods of the new big data world are even necessary. Even if new methods bring new business value, why not stay on-premise? Why bother with cloud databases?

The big data label

Big data is one of those new, shiny labels, like SDN, DevOps and cloud computing, that is both hard to ignore and hard to understand. There is no single “big data” type – it is a collective label stuck on unstructured data, the technology stack it inhabits, and the new business processes that are growing up around it...

Apache CloudStack 4.2: Easier upgrades, faster installation, better scaling

Grazed from InfoWorld. Author: Serdar Yegulalp.

Apache CloudStack, software for creating and managing private cloud infrastructures and IaaS generally, is now in its second release -- 4.2 -- since becoming an Apache Software Foundation (ASF) project. Formerly a Citrix product, CloudStack was open-sourced and then donated to the ASF, where it became an ASF Top-Level Project -- a mark of ASF prestige -- in March. Citrix still offers Apache CloudStack as part of its commercial CloudPlatform product, but one can always download CloudStack itself and use that for free.

Chip Childers of the ASF uses the term "cloud orchestration software" to describe what CloudStack is meant to be about, and he stressed its wide adoption. "[CloudStack is] used in hundreds of production environments today, powering everything from large-scale public cloud providers, to small dev/test lab infrastructure, and everything in between," Childers said...

Cloud Computing: Dovetail Software Launches Dovetail Employee Engagement Suite 8

Grazed from PRWeb. Author: PR Announcement.

Dovetail Software, a leading provider of SaaS HR Help Desk and Case Management solutions, today announced its latest release of Dovetail Employee Engagement Suite. Dovetail Employee Engagement Suite 8, including over 50 new features and improvements, is Dovetail's largest, most advanced release to date in terms of features, technology, architecture, and new operations capabilities.

New features include a redesigned console displaying the most used and accessed features in the tool; an extensible object model that enables fields to appear based on specific attributes, such as case type; improved search functionality that auto-searches for relevant solutions and similar cases when a new case is created or an existing case is opened; and point-in-time support for employee data, which ensures accurate case history regardless of dynamic data changes. Additionally, several features and enhancements have been added to improve workflow, case notes, and case routing...

Grow Your Sales: Why Your Business Should Use SaaS Tools

Grazed from Business2Community. Author: Anthony Smith.

Businesses want to focus on the main tasks at hand – for one, growing their sales – not the ins and outs of IT issues that arise from complicated technology solutions. Turning to cloud services is one way companies can do this. The cloud is a strategic asset for small businesses and startups, and more are jumping on board.

Why rely on the cloud?

Cloud solutions, or software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools, are easy to implement; often you can sign up for an account with just an email address. By using cloud-based email, project management, accounting and other services, companies can make sure their operations are running as optimally as possible. Cloud solutions are also less expensive than on-premise ones, and small businesses don’t need to worry about on-site maintenance requirements. Outsourcing to the cloud makes it easier for a business to run smoothly because employees don’t need to worry about backups, server upgrades or security. Running a business on a cloud-based model means companies can more easily share information, back it up automatically and not have to worry about administering services...

Cloud Computing: Amazon.com To Hire 70,000 In Fourth Quarter

Grazed from InformationWeek. Author: Charles Babcock.

With its online retail business growing, Amazon.com will hire 70,000 seasonal workers in the fourth quarter to help it fulfill holiday orders, an increase of 40% or 20,000 workers over last year. The announcement comes as something of a jolt. How can hiring on such a massive scale be going on in a limping economy? The federal government is laying off two-thirds of its employees due to the stand-off over funding bills in Congress. Will your former IRS auditor be fulfilling your holiday purchases this year?

Amazon.com said in its announcement today that last year, it converted 7,000 of these seasonal workers or 14% into full-time jobs after the holiday season was over. If that ratio holds, it would mean 9,800 of this year's 70,000 would end up in permanent jobs. Furthermore, an Amazon.com spokesman hastened to add that the seasonal workers are hired into temporary but full-time jobs, earning 94% of the starting pay of regular workers at its chain of fulfillment centers. They also receive health benefits...

CompTIA Unveils Cloud+ Certification

Grazed from TalkinCloud. Author: Chris Talbot.

CompTIA is expanding on its existing cloud certification program launched two years ago with a new Cloud+ designation. The association, which offers a growing number of vendor-agnostic certification exams to its members, collaborated with ITpreneurs two years ago on the CompTIA Cloud Essentials exam.

The new CompTIA Cloud+ certification is aimed at IT professionals with 24 to 36 months of work experience in networking, storage or data center administration. Although not required, CompTIA recommends professionals interested in gaining the credential to have CompTIA Network+ and/or CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA certifications before pursuing the new credential...

Cloud Computing: SAP seeks an edge from NSA surveillance worries

Grazed from ComputerWorld. Author: Chris Kanararcus.

SAP may build a second data center in Australia in order to meet customer demand for locally delivered cloud services in the wake of revelations over the National Security Agency's Prism surveillance program. "When I talk to the public sector . . . it's clear they will only consume cloud if we can guarantee their data stays here in Australia. And we are ready for that," co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe told the Australian Financial Review in a report published Monday.

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's stream of leaks about the agency's spying programs have changed the game for tech vendors, Snabe told the AFR. "I think the stakes have moved up," Snabe said. "People have realized that you need to manage the data center in a physical location where the jurisdiction fits your assumptions."...

Cloud is a key-management pain: NIST

Grazed from The Register. Author: Richard Chirgwin.

The ISA's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – recently accused of collaborating with the NSA to weaken security standards – has put together a paper highlighting the key-management challenge posed by cloud computing platforms.

As readers will know, key multiplication (and therefore management) can be headache-making even in in-house IT environments. Just one service, SSH, was criticised by its creator earlier this year for spreading 1unwanted keys far and wide. The paper, Cryptographic Key Management Issues & Challenges in Cloud Services, would be available at http://www.nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/ir/2013/NIST.IR.7956.pdf if it were not for the fact NIST's site has been DOSed by the US government shut down. The Reg has popped it into Dropbox here as a PDF. (See - we don't need no lousy government, do we?)...