December 2015

Amazon AWS IoT Cloud Service Now Generally Available

Grazed from TalkinCloud. Author: Christopher Tozzi.

Amazon (AMZN) has announced the general availability of its AWS Internet of Things (IoT) offering, which allows small devices to connect to the company's cloud platform. Although AWS IoT was introduced as a beta offering back in October, Amazon said the full launch of the service is the company's effort to make the cloud more IoT-friendly.

The new service was designed specifically for users with small devices running on limited system resources who still need to connect to the cloud, according to AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr. Toward that end, AWS IoT features a SQL-like programming interface and lightweight communication protocols...

Cloud Foundry Launches Cross-Vendor Cloud Service Certification

Grazed from InformationWeek. Author: Charles Babbcock.

Cloud Foundry, the open source project for application developers, says modern apps can be developed on its platform to run in multiple clouds. Furthermore, it will certify which cloud products and services are guaranteed to work with applications produced on Cloud Foundry. Cloud Foundry Certified is a kind of a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval that says: Develop on Cloud Foundry and your application will work with the following tools and cloud environments. One publication, the UK's The Register, even called it the "good cloud-keeping seal of approval."

The program is starting off with a list of seven cloud suppliers. Amazon isn't on the list, but other partners include IBM Bluemix, HP Enterprise Helion on-premises cloud, CenturyLink's AppFog development platform (based on Cloud Foundry open source), SAP HANA Cloud Platform, and Chinese giant Huawei's FusionStage...

Cloud and VDI Performance Metrics: What to Keep an Eye On

Grazed from WindowsITPro. Author: Bill Kleyman.

The modern business has become a distributed environment with many users accessing a number of different resources. IT engineers are no longer just concerned about users at that specific location—they must now focus their efforts and monitor thousands of users actively accessing the corporate environment 24/7/365.

These users are coming in from all places using a variety of devices – iPads, Android tablets, Macs, PCs and so on. Effective VDI workload monitoring can help catch performance issues before they happen. By knowing how a VDI environment is behaving, engineers are able to deliver a more powerful cloud-computing experience to the end user...

The public cloud is not safe - and it's your fault

Grazed from TechRadar. Author: Jamie Carter.

What has the cloud ever done to you? General enthusiasm for moving huge tranches of private, sensitive company data onto the public cloud seems to wax and wane. It waxes as prices drop, new pay-as-you-go business plans emerge and new SaaS products go online, and it wanes when the media cover an Ashley Madison or a TalkTalk hack – and there have been plenty of those in 2015.

Security concerns remain the most common reason for businesses avoiding public cloud services, but providers like AWS, Microsoft, Google and IBM insist that their clouds are safe. That only leaves one weak link – the people who work for the businesses that use them. If the cloud isn't as safe as it should be, it's your fault...

Read more from the source @ http://www.techradar.com/us/news/internet/cloud-services/the-public-cloud-is-not-safe-and-it-s-your-fault-1311243

Hello Barbie! Welcome to the cloud and IoT

Grazed from InfoWorld. Author: David Linthicum.

I’ve always thought dolls were creepy -- not because I’m a guy, but because it seems that horror movies are chock-full of evil dolls trying to kill you. How many “Chucky” sequels do you have to watch before the stuff becomes real in your mind? Now, there is Hello Barbie, a network-enabled, cloud-powered, AI-driven doll that will hold a conversation with your kid.

According to Tech Republic, “Hello Barbie's necklace is both a recorder and a microphone. Using Wi-Fi, the jewelry will pick up a child's questions and conversations -- and transmit them back to a control center for processing. Speech-recognition software, operated through ToyTalk, will detect the input. Then, Hello Barbie will reply, using one of 8,000 pre-programmed lines.”...

Read more from the source @ http://www.infoworld.com/article/3017524/cloud-computing/hello-barbie-welcome-to-the-cloud-and-internet-of-things.html

Cloud computing - The 2015 CIO review

Grazed from CIO. Author: Matt Egan.

What CIOs, business technology executives, and thought leaders had to say in 2015 about cloud computing. PLUS: what you need to know about cloud computing for 2016

The CIO on... why cloud?

Vince Stobart, Eddie Stobart IT director, says "Cloud service provision [is important] for flexibility and rapid deployment." He says the logistics company is adding to its cloud arsenal: "The focus in on reducing time cycles to produce meaningful data and dashboards for both execs and operational management. Tactical BI solutions are deployed in finance via Cognos TM1 to improve information accuracy and speed of production using memory cube technology. The second focus is on near real time operational performance measures to enable better decision making."...

Secure cloud networking

Grazed from ZDNet. Author: Manek Dubash.

Security continues to top the list of concerns cited by cloud computing users, so you can be sure that cloud service providers also place a high priority on ensuring that your data is neither compromised nor corrupted. Below are some of the key points you should check that your provider has implemented.

The service provider should embed security into the fabric of the infrastructure, test for vulnerabilities and respond quickly to any that may be discovered. They need to operate a rigorous set of operational security controls, including tight control over authentication and high levels of monitoring, logging and reporting...

How to Evaluate Cloud Solutions vs. Legacy IT Operations

Grazed from InformationManagement. Author: Ravi Shankar.

Enterprise executives are always facing new challenges when it comes to running their IT operations. Today, this is especially true as the number and demand for new cloud applications spurs a corresponding complexity of service delivery models. More and more, IT departments are choosing a hybrid model that incorporates several options: developing “born-in-cloud” applications, selecting certain external applications to be hosted in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) environment, and modifying existing applications that then must be hosted either on premises or in the cloud.

In the end, IT executives must ensure that each application meets the business needs and computing architecture policies of the company. To do so, IT leaders must apply a set of high-level evaluation questions:..

Cloud Computing: Oracle Plans Massive New Austin Campus

Grazed from SiliconHills. Author: Editorial Staff.

Oracle Tuesday announced plans to build a 560,000-square-foot campus and parking development on 27 acres on the waterfront of Austin’s Lady Bird Lake. In addition, Oracle is buying an adjacent 295-unit apartment building for employees to live and “to support a work-life balance.” The campus will be focused on Oracle’s cloud expansion.

Oracle also announced plans to expand its local workforce by 50 percent during the next few years. The company declined to disclose how many employees it currently has in Austin. The Austin Chamber of Commerce reports Oracle has between 1,000 and 2,000 employees in Austin. The new jobs will be in Oracle Direct, its cloud sales organization. The company plans to hire a lot of recent university graduates and technical people early in their career...

Review: Google Cloud flexes flexibility

Grazed from InfoWorld. Author: Peter Wayner.

If one company among all companies is synonymous with cloud-centered computing, it would be Google. From the very beginning, Google built a business located somewhere in the murky depths of the Internet, and its search engine continues to be one of the most formidable engineering marvels of the modern world. When was the last time there was an outage?

It’s only natural that anyone looking to build an information-based business that spans the Internet would turn to Google and leverage all of its experience. As pioneers, if Google needed a technology, Google engineers had to develop it themselves, then deploy it. Now everyone can profit from Google’s skills and build a Google-grade system with Google-grade reliability for pennies per hour or per click...

Read more from the source @ http://www.infoworld.com/article/3017978/cloud-computing/review-google-cloud-flexes-flexibility.html

SQL Server 2014 features enable hybrid cloud scenarios

Grazed from TechTarget. Author: Basit Farooq.

Microsoft continues to improve the integration between its cloud and on-premises products and services, and SQL Server 2014 features take a big step in that direction by enabling hybrid cloud scenarios. Now you can integrate an on-premises platform with the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform (e.g., to back up data in Azure or add an AlwaysOn replica in Azure virtual machines, or VMs, for improved on-premises disaster recovery).

Let's look at the features that allow your organization to use SQL Server 2014 to create hybrid cloud scenarios and move from an on-premises data center at your own pace. SQL Server 2014 features enable native support for SQL Server database files as Microsoft Azure blobs. This feature, which lets you create and place your database data and log files as blobs in Microsoft Azure storage, works for on-premises SQL Server instances and SQL Server instances running in Azure VMs...

Read more from the source @ http://searchsqlserver.techtarget.com/feature/SQL-Server-2014-features-enable-hybrid-cloud-scenarios

The Cloudy World Ahead for Insurance IT

Grazed from InsuranceNetworking. Author: Joe McKendrick.

“In the future, enterprises may be as unlikely to stand up their own data centers as build their own power plants.” We’ve been hearing this message for some time – that data center capacity would be delivered in the same manner of electricity, in which companies can plug in and receive their service.

However, it appears that cloud computing has achieved a momentum that is on the verge of making this a reality. Is it time for insurance companies to start gravitating away from the business of managing large data centers to depend on the cloud? In a recent post at InfoWorld, Matt Asay points out that the data center as we’ve known it is moving to the cloud en masse...

Cloud Computing: The 2015 Trends and Predictions of 2016

Grazed from CloudWards.net. Author: Editorial Staff.

Mergers and acquisitions have changed the financial situations of cloud computing companies. Innovations and advancements are setting the technological tone for the year past and the one to soon come.

Looking Back at 2015

The cloud computing world consolidated with several companies involved in:

  • Mergers
  • Partnerships
  • Acquisitions

The highest price tag of 2015 was $67 billion, paid by Dell for EMC, including its VMware virtualization software. Dell was in the news also for a new partnership with Microsoft to create Azure in a Box, a cloud system that can be used in multiple industries. Meanwhile, Microsoft also announced a partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise that involves each being a preferred partner to the other...

The next big tech trend in 2016? Hyperconvergence

Grazed from Upstart. Author: Maia Heymann.

Hyperconverged virtualization or infrastructure is a massive tech trend that is the most recent architectural shift to reduce IT costs and improve efficiencies. As with prior architectural waves, we expect that in 2016 and beyond, entrepreneurs will form many new disruptive companies to benefit from this new way of providing infrastructure.

One of the leaders is here in Massachusetts: SimpliVity, based in Westborough. SimpliVity is the first private company in this infrastructure space to reach a $1 billion valuation in under two years, indicating the huge market potential that venture capitalists see. Waltham-based Actifio, too, is also another company in this space that has raised significant funding — more than $200 million...

Cloud Computing: SalesForce Buys SteelBrick for $360M

Grazed from CloudWedge.  Author: Erick Wingfield.

SteelBrick has rapidly gained recognition inside of the SalesForce ecosystem by providing small businesses the ability to “Configure, Price & Quote” their customers.  SteelBrick gives small businesses a rapid method of collecting payments from their customers. SteelBrick automates much of this process, giving it’s users a leg up on the competition. So why is SteelBrick worth $360M when so many other cloud based vendors exist that do essentially the same thing?
 
SteelBrick is much more than a simple invoicing app. Pricing and quotes can become a science with specific industries. Within some small businesses, pricing isn’t as a simple as coming up with a number and applying your margin. For this reason alone, invoicing apps are glossed over...

Only cloud could make citizen services at massive scales possible

Grazed from GovernanceNow.  Author: Shubhendu Parth.

How important a role do you see cloud playing while the government looks to transform IT as a means towards goals like Digital India? Traditional models of IT delivery are not in tune with changing times, especially when India is looking ways to go paperless and digital. In such a dynamic environment, seamless and timely flow of information is the need of the hour, which the cloud technology is capable of.

Governments across the world are on the lookout to host data on the cloud. Meghdhoot, Digital Locker and Meghraj are prime examples of the Indian government’s cloud-based initiatives. Given the limitations in scaling of National Informatics Centre and state data centres, the department of electronics and IT (DeitY) is aggressively working on accreditation of cloud service providers that will be used by central and state government departments and banks, for various e-services...

Oracle to Spur Public Cloud Growth by Acquiring StackEngine

 Grazed from MarketRealist.  Author: Parkter Thomas.

Oracle is spurring its growth in cloud computing by acquiring StackEngine, a Texas-based startup that develops management and automation tools for Docker containers. As a part of its strategic acquisition, StackEngine will be integrated with Oracle’s “public cloud” unit.
 
The acquisition will allow Oracle to offer a variety of cloud services to its customers by leveraging containers, which brings agility to the software development process and offers new ways to quickly roll out software to the clients on large networks. By leveraging containers, Oracle can lure its existing customer base that makes use of Oracles’ own server...

The Cloud’s Biggest Threat Are Data Sovereignty Laws

Grazed from TechCrunch.  Author: Mike Ettling.

 The beauty of the cloud is the promise of simplification and standardization — without regard to physical or geographic boundaries. It’s this “any time, any place, any device” flexibility that is driving rapid adoption.
 
However, new government regulations on data sovereignty threaten to complicate the delivery model that has made cloud computing attractive, presenting new concerns for companies with operations in multiple countries...

Blueprint: The (Near) Future of Enterprise Apps, Analytics, Big Data and The Cloud

Grazed from Converge. Author: Derek Collison.

In 2016, technical innovation, combined with evolutionary trends, will bring rapid organizational changes and new competitive advantages to enterprises capable of adopting new technologies. Not surprisingly, however, the same dynamics will mean competitive risk for organizations that have not positioned themselves to easily absorb (and profit from) new technological changes. The following predictions touch on some of the areas in IT that I think will see the biggest evolutions in 2016 and beyond.

1. Hadoop: old news in 24 months. Within the next two years, no one will be talking about big data and Apache Hadoop—at least, not as we think of the technology today. Machine Learning and AI will become so good and so fast that it will be possible to extract patterns, perform real-time predictions, and gain insight around causation and correlation without human intervention to model or prepare raw data...

Major Misconceptions About Cloud Security in European Financial Sector, New Survey Shows

Grazed from SecurityIntelligence. Author: David Strom.

The ENISA report titled “Secure Use of Cloud Computing in the Finance Sector,” published in December 2015, showed just how far European banks and other financial institutions lag behind with respect to perceptions and usage of cloud computing in their businesses. While more than 87 percent of those institutions are already using some form of cloud computing, their knowledge of basic cloud technologies and best practices is either sadly disappointing or shocking, depending on your perspective.

There’s a Need for More Information Regarding Cloud Security

The study was sponsored by the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA is its French acronym) and had input from the Cloud Security Alliance, an international best practices body. The authors, Rossen Naydenov, Dimitra Liveri, Lionel Dupre and Eftychia Chalvatzi, developed two survey instruments: one for financial and cloud service providers, and the other for the national regulatory bodies in various EU countries...