April 2014

Ingram Micro Takes Cloud Business Global

Grazed from TheVarGuy. Author: Michael Cusanelli.

Ingram Micro (IM) is pushing its cloud wares to a wider global channel, with the news of its plans to transform itself into a worldwide cloud services provider. Nimesh Dave, Ingram Micro’s executive vice president of Global Cloud Computing, will lead the company’s bid for worldwide cloud dominance with the new expansion of its program. According to the distributor, Dave will be essential in coordinating the company’s cloud services business in approximately 170 countries and driving continued expansion for Ingram’s global operations.

"Ingram Micro's proven expertise, experience and ability to execute as a master cloud services aggregator has accelerated our success and positioned us as one of the Top 100 cloud providers," said Dave in a prepared statement. "Ingram Micro's recent acquisition of SoftCom and adoption of a best-in-class automation platform also serve as significant growth catalysts that will further enable us to scale our cloud services success globally."...

Microsoft Azure Matches Amazon's Price Cuts And Introduces New "Basic" Tier

Grazed from TechCrunch. Author: Frederic Lardinois.

After Google’s drastic price cuts for its cloud computing services, Amazon quickly matched them. Given that Microsoft always promised to match prices, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the company today announced its own round of massive price cuts. Prices for compute on Microsoft Azure (previously known as Windows Azure) dropped by up to 35 percent and Microsoft cut storage prices by up to 65 percent. With these changes, Microsoft matches all of Amazon’s prices and sometimes undercuts them by 1 to 6 percent.

“We recognize that economics are a primary driver for some customers adopting cloud, and stand by our commitment to match prices and be best-in-class on price performance,” the company writes in its announcement today. Today’s announcement comes just a few days ahead of Microsoft’s big BUILD developer conference, but as Microsoft general manager for Azure Steven Martin writes today, “I’ve yet to meet a developer who travels just to hear about pricing updates, so you won’t see us take the stage at BUILD and use the opening moment to announce a price cut.”...

HP Bridges Wired-Wireless Gap with Cloud Managed Networking

Grazed from TomsITPro. Author: Bill Olivier.

Hewlett Packard has announced a cloud managed software-defined network (SDN) that will improve mobile end user experience and help businesses simplify network management and possibly increase retail revenue, according to the company. The new solutions announced today at Interop 2014 in Las Vegas cover both wired and wireless networks.

The HP Cloud Managed Network Solution includes IEEE 802.11ac wireless access points (AP) and software-defined network applications. According to HP, it is a unified wired and wireless network solution that is combined with SDN. HP's wireless AP models 560 and 517 are based on IEEE 802.11ac standards will provide end users up to three times faster speeds over 802.11n...

Google Provides Cloud Computing Resources for Climate Change Research

Grazed from eWeek. Author: Todd R. Weiss.

Google is donating 50 million hours of cloud computing time to the U.S. government to assist in a recently announced Climate Data Initiative that aims to help organizations and communities use public data to look at climate conditions in their areas. "Up until now, it's been difficult for the public to locate detailed, timely data relevant to climate-related risks such as extreme weather events," Tyler Erickson, developer advocate for the Google Earth Engine, wrote in a March 19 post on the Google Lat Long Blog.

"To help address this challenge, Google is donating cloud computing storage and access to other tools to support institutions that are driving climate change resilience." The efforts are being made as part of the Climate Data Initiative announced by the White House earlier this month, wrote Erickson. To help in those efforts, Google is providing 50 million hours of high-performance computing on the Google Earth Engine geospatial analysis platform, according to Erickson...

A Focus on Cloud Security

Grazed from CradlePoint. Author: PR Announcement.

CradlePoint, www.cradlepoint.com, announced it has joined the CSA (Cloud Security Alliance). CSA is a not-for-profit organization to promote the use of best practices for security within cloud computing. CradlePoint’s participation within the alliance aligns its cloud-based management solution, Enterprise Cloud Manager, with an industry-accepted framework.

Cloud computing is changing the way organizations support distributed enterprises and improve operations. CradlePoint’s enterprise customers have turned to its Enterprise Cloud Manager to deploy, monitor, and manage their networks since the company delivered the first certified 4G/LTE networking solution. Focused on distributed enterprises, CradlePoint hired industry security veteran, Kent Woodruff as CSO, and adopted a number of industry standards that are a part of the CSA Cloud Control Matrix...

Cloud Computing: Why Is Citrix Becoming So Popular?

Grazed from SmartDataCollective. Author: Mike Solomonov.

Citrix has been in business since 1989 and today is the leader in virtual access technology for businesses. What began as a small tech company running in the red for six years has matured into a major enterprise through a series of smart acquisitions and continuous development of its products, and a little help from its friend, Microsoft.

With the popularity of Cloud Computing increasing daily, the newest Citrix software products, XenDesktop and XenApp, are increasingly used by companies to allow employees to run a broad range of programs on their mobile devices seamlessly, raising effectiveness and productivity. Huge companies like Deutsche Bank, Mutual of Omaha and Kindred Healthcare rely on XenApp to enable flexible computing by employees all over the country and around the world. Why is Citrix the go-to solution? Let’s take a look at the things that really matter to companies, and the ultimate end users...

Public cloud computing pricing is becoming increasingly competitive

Grazed from CIOL. Author: Editorial Staff.

A new report by Tariff Consultancy Ltd (TCL) finds that public cloud computing pricing is becoming increasingly competitive, with price reductions averaging 10 per cent per annum, with private (dedicated) cloud services also seeing a decline in pricing - as new virtualized services with a high degree of automation are being made available even for the SME enterprise.

Cloud computing services are typically being offered on a per hour or a per GB basis for virtualized computing power, storage and bandwidth. Providers are offering services based on a simple hourly rate based on a per GB or per unit of computing power or per defined Computing Instance...

HIPAA and cloud computing: What you need to know

Grazed from ThoughtsOnCloud. Author: Allan Tate.

Many of my clients are in the healthcare field, so a common question is if data can be managed on IBM cloud computing solutions in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The relevant part of this law, enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1996, establishes rules for the storage and transmission of electronic health information. In summary, these rules are:

• Privacy Rule: regulates the use and disclosure of protected health information

• Security Rule: sets national standards for the security of electronic protected health information

• Breach Notification Rule: requires that entities and business associates notify affected individuals (and others) following a breach of unsecured protected health information...

Big data and cloud computing drive up software sales, propel Salesforce into big league

Grazed from V3.co.uk. Author: Madeline Bennett.

The global software market grew by five percent last year, highlighting businesses' willingness to invest in newer technologies such as big data and the cloud while making savings on hardware investments. Overall, $407.3bn was spent on software last year, compared with $388.5bn in 2012. The top earner was Microsoft, which raked in a massive $65.7bn in software sales, compared with $62bn the previous year.

Despite the Redmond firm’s recent struggles to cement its place in the world of mobile and cloud, Microsoft’s results show just how strong a hold it still has on the software market, with its revenues more than double that of its closest competitor. The firm will no doubt be hoping the death of Windows XP will help raise this number further, as businesses finally start to migrate to newer Windows 7 or 8.1 systems...

Cloud Security Solutions for Hybrid Clouds

Grazed from DataCenterKnowledge. Author: Editorial Staff.

When large enterprises move to a public infrastructure cloud (such as Amazon Web Services or others), it is a gradual, and often times, carefully measured process. Large enterprises strive for 100 percent certainty that the migration process will not impact the business; therefore, they’ll usually start slowly, by migrating one application or process to the cloud.

This is where hybrid clouds kick in. Hybrid clouds offer (just as their name insinuates) a hybrid between on-premise and cloud infrastructure. But once even part of the business is in the cloud, the need arises for cloud security. As data is migrated away from the local “safe” data center, access to the information is no longer controlled by the enterprise, and different, cloud-oriented, security measures must be considered...

Logicalis US: Confidence in Cloud Computing is Tied to Early IT Assessments

Grazed from PRNewsWire. Author: PR Announcement.

Implementing cloud computing is a pragmatic decision that needs to be executed with painstaking attention to detail and a deep and broad understanding of an organization's needs. The good news, according to Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), is that it is possible to start the journey toward cloud computing one step at a time from wherever the organization is today, and even realize some efficiencies and performance rewards in the early stages.

It's a challenging process that requires CIOs to clearly define where they are as well as where they want to be, but the payback is worth it: If it can be defined in enough detail, it can be done. To help, Logicalis has put together a four-point checklist that will help CIOs and IT managers set off with confidence on the road to cloud computing...

From outer space storage to the "Northern Bytes": The best cloudy April Fool stories

Grazed from CloudTech. Author: Editorial Staff.

It’s a tradition as old as the hills, from the BBC’s scoop on spaghetti trees in 1957 to Google’s Pokemon Maps earlier today. Not surprisingly the hype around cloud has prompted a few firms to try their own spoof stories on April Fool's Day. Here are three of CloudTech’s favourites.

Digital Science, a technology division of Macmillan Science and Education, posted worrying findings this morning that “the computing cloud is drifting towards the North Pole.”

In a blog post entitled ‘Cloud computing suffers a major blow’, the company has evidence to suggest that “global warming and the changes thus caused in the Jet Stream pose a danger to ‘the cloud’.”...

Cloud Computing: Filling the gaps - Microsoft contest locates new prime numbers

Grazed from CNet. Author: Stephen Shankland.

Prime numbers are endlessly fascinating to computing and math fans, and there's an infinite supply of them. A Microsoft contest succeeds in fleshing out the list of primes that aren't actually the largest. A contest to promote technical education and Microsoft's cloud-computing infrastructure has turned up a previously unknown prime number more than 342,000 digits long -- and a bunch of other smaller ones.

The Microsoft Prime Challenge contest winner, a US resident who goes by the username PHunterLau, also turned up at least four other primes in the contest. The object of the competition was not to find the largest prime ever, but instead to find primes within the wide swaths of unexplored territory that current prime-number search techniques don't scrutinize...

Amazon super-sizes instances to lure Hadoop users to Web Services

Grazed from ITWorld. Author: Mikael Ricknäs.

Amazon Web Services hopes to entice more Hadoop users to its Elastic MapReduce service with new virtual servers, one of which has 262GB of memory and 6.4TB of storage for big-data analytics. On Tuesday, the company launched 12 new virtual servers or instances that organizations can use to run their applications using Elastic MapReduce clusters. Potential applications include Web indexing, data mining, log file analysis, financial analysis, scientific simulation and bioinformatics research.

Hadoop is an open-source platform that allows for the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers. The MapReduce framework assigns work to nodes in the cluster. Amazon's compute-optimized c3.8xlarge virtual server is aimed at tasks such as image processing. It has 32 vCPUs (virtual CPUs), 64GB of memory, two times 320GB of SSD storage and 10Gbps network connectivity...

How Cisco Plans to Win the Cloud Computing Industry

Grazed from Fool. Author: Adrian Campos.

The cloud is poised for rapid growth in the the business world. A growing number of companies are swapping traditional IT systems for affordable cloud-computing services to improve efficiency. Aware of the cloud market's huge potential, tech giant Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) is looking forward to offering a new cloud service. The networking company plans to spend $1 billion on this project over the next two years, called Cisco Cloud Services.

At first glance, Cisco's new venture could be regarded as yet another cloud service. However, the service that Cisco plans to provide is well-differentiated. The company plans to use OpenStack technology -- an open-source cloud-computing platform for private and public clouds -- to create a global intercloud, which is a network of clouds designed for high-value application workloads. Cisco will likely employ an infrastructure as a service, or IaaS, model...

The Non-Cost Benefits of the Cloud

Grazed from MSPMentor. Author: Michael Brown.

By this point, the financial benefits of cloud computing (and cloud-based file sharing) are becoming obvious to all. But as this article points out, there are quite a few more that don’t receive the attention they probably should. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the reasons besides saving money that companies may want to transition to cloud based file sharing:

Accessibility – Next to the financial benefits, accessibility is probably the most frequently mentioned advantage. In the mobile, multi-device world we live in, accessible data is paramount to the corporate world. Most people today have smartphones, tablets, laptops and work computers (or more!) and want or need to be able to access their corporate data on all of them...

Oracle Corporation: Hitting a Cloud Home Run, Internet of Things on Deck

Grazed from Fool. Author: Tim Brugger.

With a market capitalization of over $180 billion, and a flamboyant, America's Cup-winning CEO in Larry Ellison, it's not often Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) flies under the radar. But it may have done just that last year, as the company quietly went about making a significant dent in one of the most cutting-edge industries around, cloud computing. Now it's prepping for the expected growth to come from the Internet of Things, or IoT.

New research from Gartner showed software stalwarts Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) at or near the top for software sales in 2013, as measured by revenue. That's to be expected, but what may be a bit surprising is the leap Oracle made last year compared to its software peers...

Mobility: 5 Benefits of Cloud Computing for Your Field Team

Grazed from MobileInsight. Author: Editorial Staff.

Cloud computing has changed the way that people work by overhauling the manner in which computer data is stored and accessed. Essentially, “the cloud” stores data through the Internet rather than a hard drive. Through the cloud, employees can now work remotely, operate more efficiently as a team, and data can be permanently secured. Here are the five benefits of cloud computing for your field team:

1. Enhanced Collaboration

One of the largest benefits of cloud computing is the ability for your field team to access the same documents, share information, simultaneously work on projects, and provide real-world updates to other group members. By allowing information to be shared instantaneously, the days of mailing private documents, printing and scanning, or team members only working on one file at a time are over; rather, team members can multitask, assign out projects that can be viewed amongst everyone, and exchange data with the click of a button...

Road to Cloud Computing Obscured by Confusion, Marketing Hype

Grazed from eWeek. Author: Wayne Rash.

Ask pretty much anybody who is in the process of moving some business operations to the cloud exactly what they think the cloud is, and the chances are you'll get a different answer from each one. This is, as you might expect, a problem when it comes to moving critical business functions to the cloud. "The cloud doesn't have to mean the public cloud," Margaret Dawson told eWEEK in an interview at the Interop conference here.

Dawson, who is Hewlett-Packard's vice president of product marketing and a cloud evangelist" for the company said that the misunderstandings of what the cloud is and how it works play a significant role in slowing cloud adoption for many companies. This is because a surprisingly large number of people assume "the cloud" means the "public cloud." In reality, Dawson said, most companies don't, and shouldn't, use the public cloud for their operations...

GSA: Blazing Government's Path To Cloud

Grazed from InformationWeek. Author: Wyatt Kash.

GSA's leap to cloud computing began as a billion-dollar real estate problem. As part of its mandate to provide a range of services to other federal agencies, the General Services Administration owns or leases 354 million square feet of office and warehouse space in 9,600 buildings, and it provides workspaces for more than 1 million federal workers. The problem: Half the time, those people are out in the field or working away from their desks. For a government agency that spends roughly $10 billion annually on leasing and construction costs, officials knew there had to be a smarter approach.

They moved toward a hoteling model, whereby employees check in and out of workspaces. However, that move required GSA to overhaul its IT infrastructure, says acting CIO Sonny Hashmi. Enter cloud computing. Beginning in 2010, when cloud computing was still mostly a vision for federal policy-makers, GSA officials, including Casey Coleman, the CIO at the time, crafted a multiyear strategy to migrate core agency systems to the cloud...