July 2015

Changing Channels - Make Shift to Cloud Evolutionary, Not Revolutionary

Grazed from TheVarGuy. Author: Charlene OHanion.

One of the topics I often find myself discussing with both vendors and partners is cloud services. To be more specific, the role cloud services should play in channel partners’ business models. And with every conversation, one thread keeps popping out: Channel partners should embrace cloud services, but shouldn’t expect to make the transition overnight.

In other words, make it an evolutionary event, not a revolutionary event. Two conversations I had last week bolstered this idea. One was with Blake Wetzel, vice president of CenturyLink’s Channel Alliance, and the other was with Bob Skelley, vice president of Global Channel at Infinio...

Common Legal Concerns in Cloud Transactions

Grazed from FoundersWorkbench. Author: Gerry Stegmaier.

Having recently examined scalability as a key motivation to founders’ use of cloud computing funding, we will now take a look at the various legal issues that may arise from cloud computing-based transactions. The implementation of cloud computing infrastructure implicates several issues inherent to the technology – most notably data control and regulatory compliance.

The simple act of contracting with a cloud computing service provider, for example, requires a company to delegate significant control over its data and computing infrastructure to that service provider. Because the purchasing company likely continues to have responsibility for that core business data, ensuring that the cloud relationship addresses this responsibility remains an important operational consideration...

Cloud Computing: Parallels renames service provider business unit Odin

Grazed from CCI. Author: Editorial Staff.

Parallels, has announced the rebranding of its virtualisation and cloud service provider business unit. Effective from today, the company’s Service Provider business will operate as Odin while the cross-platform solutions unit will continue to operate as Parallels. From this week the new Odin brand will handle the businesses cloud hosting solutions which currently powers a wide range of businesses from small and local hosters to some of the world’s largest telecommunications providers.

The brand will service and support more than 10,000 service providers in delivering applications and cloud services to more than 10 million SMBs from 15 countries. The Odin business will provide consultancy, a catalogue of cloud applications (Plesk, Plesk Automation, and Virtuozzo), and a selection of software including web business builder, server virtualisation, provisioning, and billing automation...

Read more from the source @ http://cloudcomputingintelligence.com/item/2239-parallels-renames-service-provider-business-unit-odin

Blurred lines: How cloud computing is reshaping the IT workforce

Grazed from TheRegister. Author: Editorial Staff.

From every angle, developers are the key to the public cloud. Unfortunately, today's developers often aren't up to the challenge and frequently end up being as much of a roadblock as operations administrators. New breeds of technologists are required, bringing new ways of thinking to using the emerging infrastructure superpowers of tomorrow.

Actually, I lie. What's needed isn't – for the most part – a particularly new way of thinking. It's a rather old one, with a twist. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning, of the modern era of computing. This began with the introduction of the microcomputer. Suddenly (it took about 15 years) everyone had a computer on their desks. Servers held some centralised resources, but individual PCs could crunch away on things and nobody had to worry about time sharing on mainframes...

Amazon Unveils Cloud Drive Apps

Grazed from MSPMentor. Author: Dan Kobialka.

Amazon (AMZN) is providing Cloud Drive users with the ability to access files via smartphones and tablets. The technology giant this week launched Cloud Drive applications on iTunes, Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. So what do the new apps mean for managed service providers (MSPs)?

These apps offer a simplified folder list and a way to view and share files that could make it easier for sales representatives and service technicians to access files on the go, according to TechCrunch. The Cloud Drive apps allow users to view files stored with Amazon and navigate through directories, InformationWeek noted...

Cisco Plans to Buy Cloud Platform MaintenanceNet

Grazed from WSJ. Author: Lisa Beilfuss.

Cisco Systems Inc. on Tuesday announced a deal to buy privately held MaintenanceNet for $139 million, the latest acquisition for the network giant. Carlsbad, Calif.-based MaintenanceNet, which was founded in 2004, operates a cloud-based platform that uses data analytics to help automate sales processes.

The companies have partnered since 2009, whereby MaintenanceNet’s software alerts Cisco clients to service contracts that are coming up for renewal or overdue and enables automated quoting and online ordering. In a blog post, Cisco said MaintenanceNet will join its global customer success organization and called the ability to easily track and manage contracts “critical” as more information technology business models shift to a recurring revenue model for products and services...

Read more from the source @ http://www.wsj.com/articles/cisco-plans-to-buy-cloud-platform-maintenancenet-1436281361

Better Analytics Must Address Cloud Computing's Remaining Challenges

Grazed from InformationWeek. Author: Bob Violino.

Without proper analytics in place, many cloud services customers are wasting resources, struggling with compliance and suffering from outages and unexpected costs, according to a new study from Forrester Research. The study, sponsored by enterprise cloud hosting provider iLand, shows that all of the 275 IT decision makers and senior business executives surveyed in the United States, United Kingdom and Singapore said they’ve experienced at least one negative financial or operational impact due to missing or hidden metadata.

These negative business impacts include outages, wasted resources, unexpected costs and challenges reporting to management. “Companies aren’t just using the cloud—they depend on it,” the report says. “Nevertheless, cloud providers fail to keep cloud users happy. As companies expand their use of cloud services, they need to be confident that their cloud providers aren’t holding anything back, and are committed to their success.”...

Open Cloud Project testing is a 'complete and total joke'

Grazed from TheRegister. Author: Chris Mellor.

Facebook's Open Compute Project testing is sub-standard and doesn't follow well-established industry procedures, according to The Register's sources. The Open Compute Project (OCP) was formed in 2011 and involves the Facebook-initiated design of bare-bones computer equipment that can supposedly be built, installed and operated at a lower cost than branded servers. A product certification lab was opened at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) in January 2014. There is another lab at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Taiwan. UTSA said it would:

  • Conduct OCP certification and deliver the certification logo
  • Develop OCP certification quality assurance tools and methodologies
  • Research, build and publish OCP-based cloud and Big Data reference architectures
  • Support Open Compute events by providing educational opportunities...

2015 is the Year of the Cloud, ProfitBricks executive says

Grazed from BizJournals. Author: Editorial Staff.

ProfitBricks opened an office in San Antonio last year expecting big things in the cloud computing industry. So far this year it has not been disappointed. “2015 is proving to be the year where cloud computing becomes the norm,” said William Toll, vice president of marketing for Boston-based ProfitBricks.

The company, which also has an office in Berlin, Germany, provides its clients with access to cloud servers, storage and networks using its own platform. The company uses a drag-and-drop data center design and management tool giving customers the ability to customize their cloud environment...

The DOD's New Cloud Security Requirements: What Hosts Should Know

Grazed from Datamation. Author: Editorial Staff.

Towards the middle of January, the Defense Information Systems Agency - a subdivision of the United States Department of Defense - released a new cloud computing security requirements guide, which we first heard talk of back in November. The primary purpose of this SRG is to make the process of acquiring commercial cloud services more efficient for DoD agencies (without undermining security, of course). Not surprisingly, this means that the SRG effectively renders obsolete the DoD’s original Cloud Security Model, under which only a few select vendors received authorization.

“In plain language, the new guide explains that components “remain responsible for determining what data and missions are hosted” by cloud service providers,” writes Frank Konkel of Nextgov. “Each use of cloud services will also require an enterprise IT business case analysis, with each analysis required to consider DISA-provided cloud services such as DISA’s milCloud offering.”...

Market nears public cloud adoption tipping point

Grazed from TechTarget. Author: Jim O'Reilly.

Public cloud adoption has grown significantly over the past few years, as even the most skeptical IT pros admit the technology is right for certain use cases. Spending on public cloud services is expected to exceed $127 billion in 2018, up from $56.6 billion in 2014, according to industry analyst group IDC.

But, even as adoption grows, many organizations still question whether they can use public cloud to run all mission-critical workloads. The answer, however, depends on several factors. To protect data, a business' most mission-critical applications are kept close. In fact, by law, certain data must be protected...

Lessons learned from Cloud World

Grazed from CIO. Author: Bernard Golden.

It’s easy to despair about the cloud computing industry and its seemingly endless navel-gazing. It often seems that the cloud crowd is more interested in internecine warfare than actually helping customers realize the benefits of this emerging platform. The prime example of this tech narcissism is the ongoing industry slugfest regarding private/public/hybrid cloud and what the “right” solution is.

Out in the real world of enterprise IT, however, organizations are adopting cloud computing with enthusiasm, which was displayed in full force at London’s Cloud World Forum in June. One of the strengths of this conference is how it’s able to entice end users to present case studies of their actual experience; this is a refreshing change from other cloud events that seem to serve primarily as opportunities for vendor marketing departments to pitch their products...

Are You Selling Trust and Transparency In Your Cloud Approach?

Grazed from MSPMentor. Author: Michael Brown.

MSPs build trust with customers and prospects by providing transparency in their approach to cloud data storage and cloud-based file sharing. Because many businesses are cautious about making the transition to cloud computing. When customers move their data and applications to the cloud, they’re relinquishing some of their control. Of course, many find this disturbing. In this environment, how can you alleviate stress and establish trust?

Transparency

One critical component of building trust is transparency. Merely claiming your services are secure and reliable isn’t enough. Transparency gives customers information about not just what you can promise, but also how you’re going to fulfill that promise. How can you achieve transparency? How can you tailor your cloud approach to build trust?...

DigitalOcean Raises $83M to Help Move Cloud Provider Forward

Grazed from eWeek. Author: Sean Michael Kerner.

Cloud vendor DigitalOcean today announced that it has raised $83 million in a Series B round of funding led by Access Industries and with the participation of Andreessen Horowitz. The new funding, according to Ben Uretsky, co-founder and CEO of DigitalOcean, will help finance his company's growth, buying new servers and investing in the facilities and assets that are needed to move the company forward.

"We're trying to look two to three years ahead to understand what the capital needs of the business are," Uretsky told eWEEK. "When you go out to raise capital, what you're doing is balancing the valuation against the time horizon." To date, DigitalOcean has raised $123.4 million in venture capital, with a $3.2 million seed round of funding in July 2013 and a $37.2 million Series A round in March 2014...

Red Hat Unveils Certified Cloud and Service Provider Program

Grazed from TheVarGuy. Author: Michael Cusanelli.

Red Hat (RHT) launched its global Certified Cloud and Service Provider program this week, which replaces the company’s existing Certified Cloud Provider Program. The new program is designed to expand the company’s cloud ecosystem to provide support for additional distributors, managed service providers and partners selling hybrid cloud-centric services. Red Hat said the Certified Cloud and Service Provider program would allow cloud providers to grow their private cloud solutions with Linux-based infrastructure and platform as service solutions, according to the announcement.

“Much like enterprise IT itself, the world of cloud computing is constantly evolving, especially with the growing promise of hybrid cloud approaches and Linux container-based architectures,” said Michael Ferris, senior director of Business Architecture at Red Hat, in a statement...

Where tech terms like 'bug,' 'robot,' and 'cloud' originally came from

Grazed from BusinessInsider. Author: Matt Weinberger.

Hey, did you see that there's a new patch for that game out? Yeah, it introduces a new bug, so make sure you saved your game to the cloud before you grab it. Thanks to the smartphones, tablets, and laptops we're increasingly carrying around all day, computer jargon is entering our daily speech at an alarming rate. But these words started somewhere else.

From bugs to cloud to to mice to spam, here's where we get 11 common computer terms. The term "bug," meaning a flaw in a piece of software, gained popularity after a moth flew into the insides of the Harvard Mark II supercomputer in 1946. "Booting," meaning to start a device up (think "rebooting") comes from "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps."...

Cloud Computing: IBM Research Alliance Produces Industry’s First 7nm Node Test Chips

Grazed from IBM.  Author: PR Announcement.

An alliance led by IBM Research (NYSE:IBM) today announced that it has produced the semiconductor industry’s first 7nm (nanometer) node test chips with functioning transistors.  The breakthrough, accomplished in partnership with GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Samsung at SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY Poly CNSE), could result in the ability to place more than 20 billion tiny switches -- transistors -- on the fingernail-sized chips that power everything from smartphones to spacecraft.
 
To achieve the higher performance, lower power and scaling benefits promised by 7nm technology, researchers had to bypass conventional semiconductor manufacturing approaches. Among the novel processes and techniques pioneered by the IBM Research alliance were a number of industry-first innovations, most notably Silicon Germanium (SiGe) channel transistors and Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography integration at multiple levels...

IBM unleashes NVIDIA GPU on SoftLayer cloud for faster processing power

Grazed from CloudTech.  Author: James Bourne.

While the rest of the tech media marvelled at the world’s first seven nanometre chips unveiled by IBM earlier this week, the Armonk giant has quietly pushed out a couple of impressive cloud announcements alongside it.  IBM – who, let us not forget, wants to be seen as a cloud-first organisation – has announced the availability of NVIDIA Tesla K80 dual-GPU accelerators on bare metal cloud servers. In other words, it provides supercomputing powers to the SoftLayer cloud without the need for companies to expand their existing infrastructure.
 
GPU, in a cloud environment, works alongside a server’s CPU to accelerate application and processing performance. Combining the two instead of using a CPU alone, utilising thousands of small efficient cores, results in faster processing of information...

Oracle reportedly wields audits, license disputes to push cloud agenda

Grazed from Fortune.  Author: Barb Darrow.

 Anyone who has ever met an Oracle  ORCL 0.45%  sales person knows from a high-pressure sale.  For these people much of their rich compensation comes in bonuses earned when they hit particular quota numbers. So it’s not at all surprising that Oracle, now all-in on cloud computing, is telling its sales people to push cloud and structuring incentives so that cloud sales are richly rewarded while sales of traditional on-premises software licenses, not so much.
 
If there is any doubt about Oracle’s priority these days, co-founder and executive chairman Larry Ellison says it’s cloud, and when Ellison speaks, the sales staff listens, especially when compensation aligns with what he says...

Cloud Costs vs. Cloud Value: A Complicated Picture

Grazed from ITBusinessEdge.  Author: Arthur Cole.

The declarations came fast and furious this week following news of price increases for some key cloud services: The race to the bottom is finished, the era of cheap cloud computing is over.  But a closer look at what is really happening produces a more muddled picture, which unfortunately will make it even more difficult for the enterprise to chart the correct course through the clouds.
 
The biggest price reduction in recent weeks came from Microsoft, which has announced hikes of as much as 26 percent for such popular products as Azure, Office 365, CRM Online and the Enterprise Mobility Suite. The new rates are set to take effect August 1 and will affect customers in Europe, Canada and Australia, but only those who sign or renew their contracts – existing annual volume licensing agreements will not be affected until, of course, it’s time for renewal. The chief justification for the increases is the fluctuating currency rates...