March 2015

Containers Explained

Article written by Leo Reiter
It’s hard to spend any time in cloud computing today without hearing or reading about containers. Let’s understand what they are, and why they are disrupting the landscape so much…
Containers, the “Elevator Pitch”

Containers take individual applications and their dependencies (libraries, configuration files, etc.), and package them up for easy deployment on any virtual or physical infrastructure. Unlike virtual machines they do not capture full operating system “images” (complete with device drivers, boot loaders, etc.). This makes them much lighter weight, faster to launch, and easier to move, without giving up many of the benefits of virtualization. Simply stated, containers are much more agile and scalable for today’s most demanding applications.

How Cloud Computing Service Management is Evolving

Grazed from SocialMediaToday. Author: David H. Deans.

Cloud service management is going to become yet one more segment of the legacy enterprise software sector that's being affected by the ongoing adoption of open-source software subscription models. The shift in end-user IT consumption preference to cloud services will trigger disruption and pressures old-school Infrastructure Management (IM) software vendors on two fronts, according to the latest market study by Technology Business Research (TBR).

Cloud consumption models rely on subscription revenue. The revenue recognition patterns for subscriptions are in stark contrast to the expensive software vendor license models that include ongoing maintenance support agreements, generally purchased after the first year of deployment. The shift to subscription models negatively impact margins as traditional IM software vendors shift go-to-market and delivery strategies to align with end-user consumption preferences -- and the growing demand for a lower-cost IT operations model...

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Bridging the Gap to the Future of Cloud

Grazed from MSPMentor. Author: Editorial Staff.

Over 4,000 VMware partners, in over 80 countries around the globe, gathered together and Dared to Thrive at this ever-growing and evolving high-tech industry event—Partner Exchange 2015. The event unveiled a major product launch and partnership as it kicked off with a General Session keynote, led by VMware President and Chief Operating Officer Carl Eschenbach. He challenged three members of the company’s leadership team to describe the value proposition of a specific part of the business in just five minutes.

  • Bill Fathers, EVP and GM of Cloud Services at VMware, discussing hybrid cloud
  • Raghu Raghuram, EVP of the Software Defined Data Center Division at VMware, discussing the value proposition of the software defined data center
  • Sanjay Poonen, Executive Vice President and General Manager of End-User Computing at VMware, discussing the current and future state of end-user computing...

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Cloud Computing: Brocade to Acquire Connectem - Extends Leadership in New IP to Mobile Networks

Grazed from MarketWire. Author: PR Announcement.

Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) today announced its intent to acquire Connectem, a privately-held company in the LTE virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) market, in an all-cash transaction. The continued explosive growth of traditional mobile data combined with emerging requirements around machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity place new demands on mobile networks.

To meet these challenges, mobile operators are looking to the power of virtualization to create flexible, scalable, and easy-to-deploy packet cores. Connectem provides highly-differentiated vEPC solutions with unique architectural attributes that leverage cloud computing, network virtualization, and software networking technologies to deliver higher scale and efficiency on industry-standard x86-based servers. Connectem software focuses on mapping mobile workloads to cloud resources, eliminating the constraints of physical equipment boundaries yet still maintaining the capablity to integrate with traditional node-based EPC architectures.

VMware Unveils vCloud For NFV With Integrated OpenStack to Help Service Providers Accelerate Service Innovation

Grazed from MarketWire. Author: PR Announcement.

VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, today debuted VMware vCloud® for NFV, an integrated Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) platform that will combine VMware's production-proven virtualized compute, networking, storage and management solutions with integrated OpenStack support. With support for more than 40 different virtual network functions (VNFs) from more than 30 vendors, VMware vCloud for NFV is the only platform available today that runs different VNFs from different vendors side by side on the same unified platform for the cloud. With vCloud for NFV, communication service providers (CSPs) can deploy NFV solutions into production on a proven platform to achieve faster time to market for new and differentiated services while driving sustainable cost reductions.

At Mobile World Congress, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger will deliver a keynote address titled, "The New Mobile Identity" on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 from 9:15 - 10:45 a.m. CET in Hall 4, Auditorium 1. Faced with declining margins and the need to accelerate service innovation, CSPs globally are embracing NFV to make their core network more agile and cost-effective. As the pioneer in virtualization and cloud, VMware is engaging with CSPs to deliver NFV solutions today...

IBM overtakes AWS in cloud race to close in on Microsoft

Grazed from CBROnline. Author: Eleanor Burns.

Compare the Cloud has today released the global #CloudInfluence rankings for February 2015, highlighting how IBM has leapfrogged AWS and Apple into second place. Coming in behind Microsoft who retained the number one spot, IBM's leap from 6th to 2nd was put down to the planned $4 billion investment to grow revenue in areas like cloud computing to $40 billion by 2018. Trailing behind Microsoft and IBM, Apple took the 3rd spot while Amazon and its cloud business AWS took 4th and 5th respectively.

"All the cloud players are in a massive battle for market share and mind share," commented Dan Thomas, founder of Compare the Cloud. "Until Amazon breaks out its AWS revenues separately as it will for the first time in its next financial report, we won't know for sure, but its cloud growth appears to be faltering in the face of recent stiff competition from Microsoft and IBM...

Ericsson joins with Intel to help telecoms firms get in the cloud

Grazed from Reuters. Author: Eric Auchard.

Telecom equipment maker Ericsson and chipmaker Intel have agreed a partnership deal to help network operator customers build datacentres, putting them on a more competitive footing against big, cloud-based Internet firms such as Google, Facebook and Amazon. "We will build datacentre equipment which will actually have the same performance as many of the big cloud providers are doing for themselves," Ericsson's chief executive, Hans Vestberg, told a news conference at the Mobile World Congress telecoms trade show in Barcelona on Monday.

Ericsson, the world's leading maker of mobile network equipment, said it will help its global base of major telecoms companies to shift to cloud computing using Intel datacentre designs to compete more actively with Web rivals. No financial terms of the partnership were disclosed...

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Is cloud computing secure enough for spies? CIA bets on Amazon

Grazed from ZDNet. Author: Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.

When you think spy agencies and the cloud, you probably think about the National Security Agency (NSA) snooping on the cloud. Well, guess what? Intelligence agencies use the cloud for their own IT as well. Or, at least the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), aka the Company, does with its own private Amazon cloud.

Why would the CIA do this? Well, as Michael McConnell, former director of the National Security Agency, said in 2012, "The economics of the cloud are so compelling they can't be denied. [But,] we have to get the security aspects right." So while I'm sure the CIA's cloud takes the notion of a private cloud to new levels, it's not going to share its cloud security secrets...

Security Concerns Drive Companies Back to Private Cloud

Grazed from Whir. Author: Cheryl Kemp.

Nearly all organizations would use hybrid cloud if the public Internet structure could be made more secure, yet most of them (57 percent) are migrating back to private clouds due to security and data protection concerns. According to 1,000 interviews with senior IT decision-makers conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Tata Communications, cloud computing has been widely adopted yet concerns over security remain an obstacle to wider use.

Although most of organizations have some type of cloud, not all the data is stored there. Even though most companies would move to the cloud tomorrow if it were possible, only 28 percent of data is stored in the cloud and only 42 percent of infrastructure is virtualized. One of the barriers to more widespread cloud adoption and use is application readiness...

Catering to Happy Employees with Cloud Computing

Grazed from SecurityMagazine. Author: Diane Ritchey.

Want happy employees? It’s more than the occasional catered office lunch. It’s providing an environment where employees can be productive, collaborate with colleagues and find creative ways to power through their to-do lists. Mobile devices play a primary role in this movement, but so have the widespread adoption of public and private cloud applications, which have provided workers access to their files, and each other, anywhere, anytime and from any device.

According to research by Softchoice, an IT and managed services provider, technology – specifically, access to and use of cloud apps – makes employees happier at work, more satisfied with their work-life balance and more willing to stay with their current employers. Softchoice research reveals that 74 percent of employees who use up to five cloud apps say they are happy at work, compared to just 19 percent of non-app users, and that 85 percent of employees who use six or more cloud apps for work feel that they have an optimal work-life balance, compared to 59 percent of non-app users...

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HP shakes up cloud execs

Grazed from NetworkWorld. Author: Brandon Butler.

Last week was a busy one for HP, and specifically its cloud. Multiple media outlets reported that the company’s cloud chief – Marten Mickos – will no longer lead cloud efforts at HP. Mickos will stay on, but the company has three new executives heading up its Helion cloud platform.

Mickos came over to HP with the acquisition of Eucalyptus, an open source private cloud platform that has high fidelity with Amazon Web Services APIs. According to an internal memo cited by multiple media outlets, Mickos stepped down and will instead focus on what he says is his passion: “Identifying disruptive companies that transform the technology landscape."...

Google Cloud Platform Adds Status Update Dashboard

Grazed from StorageReview. Author: Lyle Smith.

Google has added status update functionality to their Status Dashboard of the Google Cloud Platform, acknowledging that even small interruptions can cause issues with users and businesses and lack of information pertaining to what’s going on only adds to the problem. This new transparency helps to improve their current tools and services, such as Google Cloud Monitoring, which monitors the health of a service.

As such, Google hopes that these augmented services will help to make disruptions more manageable by presenting users with the latest information on all issues as well as the ability to help find workarounds to these issues. Launched in May of 2010, the Google Cloud Platform is a paid cloud computing platform designed to offer businesses the same supporting infrastructure that Google uses for products such as Google Search...

BlackBerry To Offer MDM via Cloud Subscription

Grazed from TopTechNews. Author: Dan Heilman.

Canada-based smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd. said Monday that it was releasing a cloud Relevant Products/Services version of its mobile Relevant Products/Services security Relevant Products/Services software Relevant Products/Services. The release marks BlackBerry's latest move to win business Relevant Products/Services from its traditional government and business customers.

BlackBerry designed the software, BES12, to work across mobile operating platforms to help it generate sales. The company's share of the smartphone market has fallen to less than 1 percent. The mobile-device management software, which was released last November, allows companies to securely manage employee BlackBerry devices, iPhones and Android-powered devices among others used on corporate networks...

Paperspace Lets Anyone Access A Better Personal Computer That Lives In The Cloud

Grazed from TechCrunch. Author: Sarah Perez.

Imagine never having to buy new and expensive hardware to upgrade your personal computer with more speed and storage space. That’s the vision behind Y Combinator-backed Paperspace, a new company launching today, which is building a full, personal computer that lives in the cloud, which you access from any web browser. Similar, to some extent, to enterprise-grade solutions like VMWare, Citrix or Amazon Workspaces, but aimed also at a consumer or “prosumer” audience, the company is selling a small hardware device that plugs into any older desktop or laptop in order to provide you with the computing power you need on demand.

Called Paperweight, this low-cost hardware device connects you with your own remote machine on Paperspace’s servers, where you can choose from either a “basic” or “pro” option based on your computing needs. The device is considered a “zero client,” because unlike thin client technology, there’s only a small microprocessor on the inside – all the processing is taking place on the cloud...

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Containerized cloud computing - the next big thing?

Grazed from ITWorldCanada. Author: Don Sheppard.

Cloud computing seems to have become a roller coaster of technology advancement – everyday there’s something new and improved, and every other day something fades away. There is certainly no shortage of new terms, acronyms and venture-backed products. Also, cloud computing is no longer a simple concept or a single solution – it has rapidly evolved into a new and significantly expanded IT ecosystem.

Competition among cloud providers is intense on many fronts, and yet many of the innovations seem to be older ideas re-visited. Perhaps you’ve been wondering – what really is “the next big thing” in cloud computing? Application containerization, as popularized by Docker, may just be the answer!...

Cloud Computing: Net neutrality will put U.S. behind Europe, Cisco's Chambers argues

Grazed from ComputerWorld. Author: Stephen Lawson.

U.S. net neutrality rules will help Europe take the lead in broadband, Cisco CEO John Chambers says. The regulations approved last week by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission will slow down broadband deployment, Chambers said at Mobile World Congress on Tuesday. Instead of focusing on net neutrality, the government should aim for more available broadband, he said.

"Sometimes, if you're not careful, your regulatory goals can slow down your end goals," Chambers said. He praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying she's kept Germany focused on fast Internet access for every citizen. The U.S. led in the Internet era until about 2010 but in a few years will be behind the major European countries, India and China, he said...

HP adds Eucalyptus to Helion cloud portfolio alongside OpenStack

Grazed from Author: Daniel Robinson.

HP has announced a refresh of its Helion cloud computing portfolio, updating not only its Helion OpenStack build but also a new release of the Eucalyptus platform it gained when it acquired the firm of the same name last year. Available immediately, the new releases raise interesting questions about HP's cloud strategy, following the firm's commitment to the OpenStack platform when it launched Helion last year.

Since then, the firm has acquired Eucalyptus Systems, a developer of private cloud solutions that are API compatible with Amazon's AWS public cloud services. This enabled enterprise users to operate a hybrid cloud deployment, where workloads could run on their own infrastructure or AWS, and move between the two...

How Far Along In The Cloud Are You?

Grazed from TalkinCloud. Author: CJ Arlotta.

There's a way of thinking about cloud computing that the channel needs to throw out the window faster than IBM can lay off employees — and that's the "all or nothing" approach. Not everything needs to live in the cloud, even though almost every partner conference points you in this direction.

There are times when businesses will want to keep sensitive data on the ground, and their needs — not a vendor's solutions roadmap — are what keep you in business, don't you agree? Going all in with cloud isn't always the best route for every channel partner. Some business models leave room for opportunity in the cloud while others don't...

You Think Private Clouds Are More Stable And Agile Than Public? Think Again

Grazed from ReadWrite. Author: Matt Asay.

You can't really blame your IT staff for inflicting a private cloud—actually just a corporate data center with a fancy new name—on you. In some ways, their jobs depend upon it. Self-preservation is a powerful incentive. Of course, your CIO's job is only truly threatened by the public cloud if she chooses to fight it, or mindlessly continues to believe she can build a better cloud than Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.

For 99.999% of enterprises, building your own cloud or data center may be a comforting way to stick with old habits, but it's generally going to be the wrong decision. While there are certainly workloads that will perform better or need to be secured within the four walls of your firewall, the reality is that most infrastructure belongs in the cloud...

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The rock star who helped invent Amazon Web Services just joined a company called Pivotal

Grazed from BusinessInsider. Author: Matt Weinberger.

Pivotal has just hired engineer Benjamin Black — the regular Amazon employee who co-wrote the paper that would become cloud titan Amazon Web Services all the way back in 2003. Black most recently worked at Microsoft, where he helped build Office 365, its answer to Google Apps, and prior to that founded a startup called Boundary, which monitored computer networks. Wired first reported the news last week.

Black becomes the third such cloud pioneer to join Pivotal recently, joining OpenStack co-founder Joshua McKenty and Puppet Labs co-founder Andrew Shafer. These are important people in the world of cloud computing — a major movement that is reshaping how companies spend money on technology...

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