July 2016

ISO Compliance in the Cloud - why should you care?

Grazed from CCI. Author: Editorial Staff.

Issues around mobility and multi-tenancy, identity and access management, data protection and incident response and assessment all need to be addressed. And with multiple modes – SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, public, private, hybrid – creating added complexity in how security and compliance is carried out and by whom, this can lead IT leaders to think twice about leveraging cloud...

Organisations already in the processes of implementing ISO 27001 to audit and report on the state of controls within their environment will know the immense amount of work required. However, while addressing compliance in the cloud is undoubtedly tough, it doesn’t have to be an obstacle...

Why cloud workload portability is a pipe dream

Grazed from InfoWorld. Author: Eric Knorr.

At last week’s AWS event in Santa Clara, California, Amazon GM of product strategy Matt Wood gave a rousing recapitulation of the abundant services offered by the world’s leading public cloud, from good old Elastic Map Reduce to Kinesis to AWS Lambda to the ruggedized AWS Snowball box for shipping data via UPS 80TB at a time.

When you hear this litany, it’s hard to avoid wondering how other clouds can catch up in the sheer number and variety of services, let alone in market share. At the same time, Google and others maintain they're hearing enterprise customers say they don’t want to put all their eggs in one basket and are spreading their bets across multiple clouds...

Cloud Computing: Microsoft Wins Landmark Email Privacy Case

Grazed from InfoSecurity. Author: Phil Muncaster.

A US federal appeals court has ruled in favor of Microsoft in a major privacy case related to whether the government can demand access to data stored on servers outside the country. The decision reverses a court order from 2014 requesting that the computing giant hand over emails stored in Ireland for use in a drugs case.

Judge Susan Carney of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York ruled that the Stored Communications Act only applies to data stored in the US. Microsoft had argued that if the government got its way in the case, it could open the floodgates for foreign agents to raid its offices in jurisdictions all over the world and demand access to US citizens’ data...

Prometheus unbound: Open source cloud monitoring

Grazed from InfoWorld. Author: Sedar Yegulalp.

Prometheus, an open source system for monitoring and alerting a wide spectrum of enterprise IT events, including containers, released its 1.0 revision this week. It's also the second product in what amounts to a portfolio assembled by the CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation) for realizing the promise of a container-powered cloud built entirely on open source and open standards.

Originally developed at music hosting site SoundCloud, Prometheus has been a work in progress over the past four years, but during that time it's enjoyed attention and uptake from major names. CoreOS, for instance, found Prometheus useful for improving the performance of Google's container scheduling system Kubernetes, and Kubernetes now integrates natively with Prometheus without needing a plugin...

IBM grows in cloud and data analytics but overall revenue slides

Grazed from PCWorld. Author: John Ribeiro.

IBMs revenue continued to decline in the second quarter but growth in some of its strategic initiatives like cloud computing and data analytics suggest that the company may be on track in its transition plans. The Armonk, New York, company said Monday that revenue from its new “strategic imperatives” like cloud, analytics and security increased by 12 percent year-on-year to US$8.3 billion. That increase was, however, lower than the growth the company had reported in these businesses in the first quarter.

Cloud revenue – public, private and hybrid – grew 30 percent in the second quarter, while revenue from analytics grew 4 percent, revenue from mobile increased 43 percent and the security business grew 18 percent. Over the last 12 months, strategic imperatives delivered close to $31 billion in revenue, and now accounts for 38 percent of the company's revenue, said Martin Schroeter, IBM senior vice president and chief financial officer, in a conference call...

IBM Blockchain Launches Secure Cloud Service in Beta

Grazed from Cloudwards. Author: Editorial Staff.

Long associated with Bitcoin and not well understood, blockchain technology is generating more discussion, as well as going beyond its Bitcoin connection. IBM Blockchain has announced beta testing for a secure cloud service for the new technology. The IBM Blockchain beta is one of a series of recent announcements from the company of cutting edge technologies.

In May, they introduced IBM Quantum Computing, an experimental cloud-enabled quantum computing platform. In June, they launched the Data Science Experience, a cloud-based development environment for data scientists. Blockchain, as explained by IBM is: "a technology for a new generation of transactional applications that establishes trust, accountability and transparency while streamlining business processes"...

Is a cloud HR management system as useful as it seems?

Grazed from HumanResourcesOnline. Author: Jerene Ang.

While cloud-based technologies have the potential to revolutionise the HR function, this requires more than simply plugging into the cloud – people, processes and technology need to be successfully integrated in order to realise the greatest benefits from a cloud HR management system (HRMS).

According to the recently released KPMG 2016 Global HR Transformation Survey, of 854 HR executives from 52 countries surveyed, 42% are intending to replace their current HR system with a cloud-based one. However the survey also pointed out that HR’s high expectations for cloud computing to deliver revolutionary business benefits are largely failing to materialise...

Microsoft just rubbed Google's nose in a big cloud computing customer win: Land O' Lakes

Grazed from Reuters. Author: Editorial Staff.

Microsoft on Monday posted a surprising case study about a $13 billion company: Land O' Lakes. Land O' Lakes owns several businesses, among them the agriculture tech company WinField. On Monday, Land O' Lakes CIO Mike Macrie described in a blog post published by Microsoft how WinFien will be moving its "R7” app to Microsoft Azure.

"This app takes a vast array of agronomic research, weather information and satellite data and puts it together on a mobile device for farmers – and the WinField specialists who help them – so they can make important planting decisions and react to real-time changes in the field, every day," Macrie says...

Is your workload cloud-ready? Ask these 3 questions

Grazed from InfoWorld. Author: David Linthicum.

Application workloads that migrate to the cloud often need some work before the move, but IT usually opts to get the workloads to the cloud as expeditiously as possible, which means the workloads often go to the cloud as is. If you don’t modify or refactor the application or data, you will probably not take advantage of some cloud-native features that could really improve your ROI.

However, when you do modify the application, you must consider portability trade-offs. Can you move your application workload to the public cloud without any modification? Perhaps, but only if the workload in question passes these tests. All three answers must be yes...

Vlocity Communications Delivers Next-Generation BSS in the Cloud

Grazed from Vlocity Communications

Vlocity, Inc., a leading industry cloud company, is fundamentally transforming how the world's leading communication companies engage with their customers by building business support system (BSS) applications in the cloud, on the Salesforce Customer Success Platform. The company today announced the general availability of its 12th product release, Vlocity Communications Summer '16, now available on the Salesforce AppExchange.

Vlocity's communications industry domain expertise, combined with the power of Salesforce, the world's #1 CRM company, enables organizations to launch new offers in hours, capture and fulfill orders, and effortlessly engage B2B and B2C customers through their channel and device of choice. 

Service providers are constantly working to increase business agility, reduce IT cost and complexity, and deliver an effortless digital customer experience. To achieve this, these organizations are increasingly replacing their legacy customer-facing systems with innovative new CRM and BSS applications born in the cloud. Vlocity and Salesforce are on the vanguard of this historic technology transition. 

Brightsolid Improves Performance, Reliability and Service Levels with INFINIDAT

Grazed from Brightsolid and INFINIDAT

INFINIDAT, a leading provider of enterprise data storage solutions, today announced that Brightsolid, a leading UK cloud provider, has implemented the InfiniBox enterprise-proven storage array to improve storage performance and reliability in its VMware cloud environment. Using InfiniBox, Brightsolid reduced the time to deploy storage from hours to minutes, and lowered write latencies from 2-10 ms to below 1 ms, thereby gaining a competitive edge in its market. 

“Our mission is to deliver technical innovation with personal service. By this, we mean finding the best way to apply the most effective technology so that we always surpass the expectations of our customers in the performance, reliability and price of our service,” said Richard Higgs, CEO at Brightsolid. “InfiniBox has delivered the outstanding performance we require as we serve some of the most data-intensive industries, such as energy. Flexibility is one of our key priorities and the scalability of the InfiniBox platform meets this requirement, particularly where customers need to quickly spin resources up and down depending on business demand and budget.”

Eight VFX Produces High-End Visual Effects for Commercials With Avere Systems and Google Cloud Platform

Grazed from Eight VFX and Avere Systems

Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, announced today that Eight VFX, a visual effects studio known for its outstanding work in commercials, feature films and music videos, uses Avere's Virtual FXT Edge filers to speed up production times, remove rendering limitations and enhance its storage infrastructure.

Eight VFX, known in the industry for delivering high-end visual effects on tight timelines, was experiencing challenges when delivering on-demand render power to customer projects for BMW, Chevrolet, HP, Mars, Nike, Puma and Samsung. The studio initially turned to rental nodes to manage its fast-changing production pipeline and dynamic digital assets, however this process proved to be time and equipment intensive. Due to these issues, the studio explored a number of cloud-based rendering solutions with burst-compute capability, and found that Avere Systems was the only solution that did not require complex scripting or data management.

Cloud computing turns into Microsoft’s sunny side

Grazed from Omaha.com. Author: Editorial Staff.

In a world where there’s a smartphone app for everything, one company — Amazon.com — has long been the host for an outsized share of online software and computing services. Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella wants to change that. Nadella has poured billions of dollars into building new data centers around the world, hoping to position Microsoft as the leading alternative to Amazon in selling online computing power — housed in remote centers, or “clouds” — to Internet startups, big corporations and consumers.

As evidence the investment is paying off, Microsoft Corp. reported Tuesday that its Azure cloud-computing business more than doubled in sales last quarter, compared with a year earlier. That growth, combined with increases in revenue from Windows software licenses and other key segments, helped offset a big decline in revenue from the Nokia smartphone business that Microsoft largely shut down last year...

Huawei Shared Practices at the First OpenStack Days China, Accelerating Cloud Computing Ecosystem

Grazed from Huawei. Author: Editorial Staff.

The first OpenStack Days China Conference was held on July 14th and 15th at the China National Convention Center in Beijing. In this event, Huawei participated and shared the practices of public cloud and private cloud with the China Telecom's Guangzhou Research Institute and Dongfeng Motor Corp. Huawei also introduced container deployment technology, cascading technology and data protection technology based on OpenStack.

By working with open-source entities, partners and customers, Huawei's goals are to jointly build a cloud ecosystem and to help enterprises achieve their digital transformation, moving them forward on the path to a fully cloudified IT enterprises. Jiang Xiaoli, OpenStack & Container Open Source Ecosystem General Manager of Huawei, introduced Huawei’s FusionCloud, an open, hybrid and integrated cloud architecture based on OpenStack...

Cloud Computing: Dell/EMC - Biggest Merger in IT History Approved by Shareholders

Grazed from TopTechNews. Author: Shirley Siluk.

Shareholders of EMC Corp. today overwhelmingly voted in favor of the company's planned merger with Dell Inc. -- a more than $60 billion transaction that's been described as the biggest tech deal in history. According to a preliminary tally, 98 percent of EMC shareholders who voted were in favor of the merger.

Final results are set to be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission later this week. The shareholders casting votes represented about 74 percent of EMC's outstanding common stock. As part of the transaction, Dell, which ceased being a publicly traded company in 2013, must compensate EMC shareholders for taking the firm private...

Scientists are using cloud computing and AI to track these mysterious, beautiful whale sharks

Grazed from ZDNet. Author: Jo Best.

Someone grabbed my wrist and pointed sharply below us: 'Quick, look down!' I swam to face the seabed and gasped through my snorkel. A shark stretching some 8m long, as long as a bus, had moved silently underneath us -- and I hadn't noticed it at all. The whale shark, a beautiful creature, a filter-feeder whose giant mouth gives it a benign look, is good at escaping detection.

It's still not known how large the global population of whale sharks is, how they migrate across the oceans, and where they give birth, despite being the largest fish species alive today. For a few minutes off the coast of Ningaloo in Western Australia, I was able to swim with one such shark, before it disappeared off into the Indian Ocean, too deep and too fast for humans to follow...

Why Online Gambling is a Private Cloud Early Adopter

Article Written by Mario Blandini, VP Product Marketing, SwiftStack

As the global online gambling market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of nearly 11 percent between now and 2020 (Technavio), the amount of data associated with online gambling is also rapidly rising, entering the world of mind-boggling numbers.

This is an immediate problem for data-intensive companies like bet365 and others in the media and entertainment, life sciences and financial services industries. As data continues to grow worldwide in all facets of life and industry, organization as a whole are looking to these fast-moving companies as examples of how to solve their own data growth challenges.

CloudPhysics Adds Rightsizer Analytics to Its Public Cloud Cost Calculators

Grazed from CloudPhysics

CloudPhysics, provider of data-driven insights for smarter IT, today announced that it has added Cloud Planning Rightsizer analytics to its Public Cloud Cost Calculators for enterprises who want to move to the public cloud and their channel partners. CloudPhysics' Cloud Cost Calculators discover the configuration of every virtual machine (VM) in the data center and determine the cloud instance that best fits those discovered configurations. The Cloud Planning Rightsizer then examines the resource consumption patterns of those VMs and automatically identifies the on-premises VMs that are over-provisioned and have more resources than they need. The customer can then "rightsize" the VM and see what the costs would be to run the smaller, more appropriate VM in the public cloud.

"Today's IT administrators are constantly asked if the enterprise can save money by moving applications to the cloud. The answer can only emerge after rightsizing each and every on-premises VM to its appropriate public cloud instance," said Chris Schin, VP, Products at CloudPhysics. "Now IT teams can quickly and easily make data-supported decisions about the costs of running applications in the cloud -- based on the actual resource needs of their VMs. The savings are real. We've seen customers save more than 50 percent  of costs by rightsizing with CloudPhysics."

Asigra Survey Reveals MSPs Offering Cloud Backup Services Generate High Profitability and Customer Retention

Grazed from Asigra

Asigra, Inc., a leading cloud backup, recovery and restore software provider since 1986, released the results of an Asigra-driven global survey of more than 125 Managed Service Providers of all sizes, revealing that cloud backup services lead to increased business revenue opportunities and customer retention. Respondents also cited compliance-driven verticals, such as healthcare and financial services, as offering significant market opportunities for MSPs to grow their services. The patent-pending Asigra Recovery License Model supports the MSP profitability opportunity to maximize revenue, serve as trusted advisors and retain existing customers.

Survey Response Highlights

  • 89 percent of MSPs offering cloud backup services are profitable, and 87 percent expect growth to continue
  • Healthcare and financial services are top growth markets for cloud backup services
  • 67 percent of profitable MSPs are offering cloud backup as a bundled service
  • 50 percent of MSPs are recovering less than five percent of customer data in a typical year, and 75 percent are recovering less than 10 percent

NetEnrich Survey: Containers Going Mainstream but Still Challenging to Deploy

Grazed from NetEnrich

NetEnrich announces the results of a survey of 200 IT professionals. The survey, which ran online in June, focused on the use of containers and related technologies by US companies. The key takeaway from the survey was that companies appear to be moving quickly to deploy container technologies, with 70 percent of respondents using containers today and another 21 percent indicating they plan to do so soon.

Container technology represents an opportunity for developer and operations teams to increase efficiency and flexibility in the delivery of software applications. Containers enclose pieces of code in a layer of software that can be transported easily between computers. While not new, container technology is gaining steam as companies look for ways to speed software delivery and leverage emerging technologies such as public cloud infrastructure.