Contributed

IBM Smartcloud Infrastructure - Build your private and hybrid cloud computing environment

Contributed Article.  Author: Deney Dentel, CEO Nordisk Systems, Inc.
 
CloudCow Contributed Article
 
Cloud computing is quickly becoming the standard. The convenience and power afforded by cloud computing has helped millions of businesses, organizations, and individuals to build up very impressive computing systems, the likes of which were once the exclusive domain of much larger and richer entities. What the cloud enables is access to all the latest advances in computer technologies available, as well as the power of virtualization and connectivity.
 
As Clear as Day
 
The intelligence and convenience cloud computing are completely obvious once you start using it for yourself. “The Cloud” has several different definitions and connotations, as well as several different firms offering themselves as the alpha and omega when it comes to getting you together with the cloud. But there are few if any with the institutional knowledge and talent of IBM Smartcloud.

AWS Outage – Thoughts on Disaster Recovery Policies

Contributed Article.  Author: Dotan Horovits, Senior Solutions Architect at GigaSpaces
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

AWS Outage – Thoughts on Disaster Recovery Policies

 
A couple of days ago it happened again. On June 14 around 9 pm PDT Amazon AWS hit a power outage in its Northern Virginia data center, affecting EC2, RDS, Elastic Beanstalk and other services in the US-EAST region.



 
 

Are You Up to Date? Today’s Top Five Security Threats to Your Data

Contributed Article.  Author: John Milburn, vice president and general manager, Identity and Access Management, Quest Software
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Are You Up to Date? Today’s Top Five Security Threats to Your Data

 
If you’re feeling a little paranoid about data security threats, you can relax. You’re not paranoid! The threats are real. While financial institutions have gotten smarter (the recent breach at Global Payments notwithstanding), companies in other industries, such as retail and hospitality, are now in the crosshairs, and hackers and scammers are finding easier prey in small to medium businesses.
 
According to the Verizon Business report, “2012 Data Breach Investigations,” last year saw the second-highest data loss total since the company started keeping track in 2004. Some 855 incidents resulted in 174 million compromised records.
 

Cloud On-Boarding - The True Story

Contributed Article.  Author: Dotan Horovits, Senior Solutions Architect at GigaSpaces
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Cloud On-Boarding - The True Story

 
 
Everyone wants to be in the cloud. Organizations have internalized the notion and have plans in place to migrate their applications to the cloud in the immediate future. According to Cisco’s recent global cloud survey:

Presently, only 5 percent of IT decision makers have been able to migrate at least half of their total applications to the cloud. By the end of 2012, that number is expected to significantly rise, as one in five (20 percent) will have deployed over half of their total applications to the cloud.

But that survey also reveals the fact that on-boarding your application to the cloud “is harder, and it takes longer than many thought”, as David Linthicum said in his excellent blog post summarizing the above Cisco survey. Taking standard enterprise applications that were designed to run in the data center and on-boarding them to the cloud is in essence a reincarnation of the well-known challenge of platform-migration, which is never easy. But why is there a sense of extra difficulty in on-boarding to the cloud? The first reason David identifies for the extra difficulty is the misconception that cloud is a “silver bullet”. Such “silver bullet” misconception can lead to lack of proper design of the system, which may result in application outage, as I outlined in my previous blogs. Another reason David states for the extra difficulty is the lack of well-defined process and best practices for on-boarding applications to the cloud:

Is All Virtualization Destined for the Cloud?

Contributed Article.  Author: Mike Thompson, SolarWinds’ director of business strategy for virtualization and storage
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Is All Virtualization Destined for the Cloud?

 
 
It seems that the message to the millions of virtualization users is that if you are not either working in a cloud environment or moving to a cloud environment, you are behind or you have yet to be enlightened.
 
Vendors, press and analysts publish maturity curves that often show the progression through which IT professionals should be moving to achieve cloud enlightenment. Often, the typical virtualization user would be in the “immature” portion of these maturity curves with a long road ahead of them before they get to cloud “nirvana”.

Illuminating the Cloud for Increased ROI

Contributed Article.  Author: Sharon Wagner, CEO of Cloudyn
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Illuminating the Cloud for Increased ROI

 
Whenever I speak with CIOs and IT professionals about the benefits of cloud computing, I encounter a wide range of responses – from enthusiasm, to guarded optimism, to even outright skepticism.
 
While it’s clear that the cloud is playing an increasingly central role in IT, both the opportunities and challenges inherent therein, can be tricky to navigate. This has created a situation where efficient and economical use of the cloud is not all that common.
 
By clarifying some of the major issues swirling around cloud computing, I hope to equip the business community with knowledge and insight that will allow them to better maximize their IT investments.  

Office 365 Migration: Plan for the unknown

Contributed Article.  Author: Ron Robbins, Product Manager at Quest Software
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Office 365 Migration: Plan for the unknown

 
Since Office 365 is a relatively new platform, it stands to reason there are a few things customers face in their migration projects that blindside them. Things come up that they did not expect that really throw a wrench into the project plan. Here are just three that I see most often:
 
Speed – Let’s face it, Microsoft throttles the speed at which you can migrate data into Exchange Online. They do this to make sure that no one tenant uses all the resources at once, to protect the service performance for the other tenants. This tends to slow down migrations, and really puts the scheduled date for completion in question when moving through a large migration project. At times, this is a surprise to customers, as they see their timelines extend. There are several ways to work around this. With a third party tool like Quest’s OnDemand Migration for Email you can run a migration with several hundred concurrent threads. All it takes is multiple accounts to gain access to the target mailboxes, and it will increase the number of mailboxes that can be migrated to simultaneously. This will help mitigate the risk of extended project timelines.

Enterprise Cloud Best Practices: Setting High Standards Early To Simplify and Standardize IT

Contributed Article.  Author: Derick Townsend, ServiceMesh VP of Product Marketing

CloudCow Contributed Article

In this article, we'll discuss the importance of leveraging cloud to greatly simplify and standardize your enterprise IT service offerings, and why it's important to design from the beginning with this goal in mind.

IT Complexity = Tremendous Burden

When describing cloud computing benefits, we often talk about improved business agility and cost savings. One of the most profound and impactful ways to achieve these benefits across the enterprise comes from the pursuit of IT standardization and simplification, which is an important cloud computing objective that deserves more attention.

Think about the hundreds or thousands of different IT technologies and processes that exist within an enterprise IT organization today. If you inventory just one enterprise data center, you'll see scores of hardware vendors, platforms, and operating systems assembled in unique combinations to support a sprawling assortment of heterogeneous apps.

The time and cost to manage this complexity is tremendous, and the chaos it creates places a significant burden on those charged with keeping IT running smoothly. In addition to support, there are redundant costs and waste associated with building solutions on top of this complex ecosystem including different overlapping tools, platforms, and processes. That's one reason why enterprise IT budgets tend to follow an "80/20 rule", where 80% is consumed in maintaining the status quo, and just 20% goes to new projects that directly add business value.

 

Do You Know A Cloud Skeptic? Everybody does...

Contributed Article.  Author: Michael Tweddle, Sr. Director of Product Management at Quest Software

CloudCow Contributed ArticleThe cloud has changed the way technology is viewed – there is no denying it. No matter what the service is, many IT organizations are looking to move to the cloud, but, along the way, run into “cloud skeptics” within their organizations who don’t trust the cloud and are not open to investigating the idea. In my role at Quest Software, I often encounter cloud skeptics who have concerns about moving their on-premises messaging and collaboration environments to Microsoft’s new Office 365 service.

There are many reasons someone might give as to why they are skeptical about moving IT services to the cloud, including lack of control; business continuity and recovery; security and compliance; data migration; and data protection. These are legitimate concerns that need to be addressed as you evaluate cloud vendors, but, I believe there is more to a cloud skeptic...

Best Practices for Evaluating Migration Tools

Contributed Article.  Author: Greg Jones, Manager of Solutions Architecture at Quest Software
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Best Practices for Evaluating Migration Tools

 
When you are moving to Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud offering, choosing the right migration tool to help you get there is very important. It’s a good idea to evaluate third-party migration products that provide the extended functionality, support, and the capabilities necessary to ensure success.
 
Every organization might not require help from a third-party vendor, but, it’s a best practice to calculate the benefits a migration partner might bring to your project and compare them to the needs of your organization. I must caution you, however, to choose your vendors wisely, and be absolutely sure you’re getting the functionality you need.