Contributed

Safe and Effective Office 365 Pilot Programs

Contributed Article.  Author: Chad Lindley, Quest Software
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Safe and Effective Office 365 Pilot Programs


Is your organization considering Office 365 as an alternative or compliment to the existing messaging and collaboration infrastructure? If so, you likely are wondering how to effectively evaluate Office 365 without impacting your organization. “Try-before-you-buy” considerations seem to be a common concern as organizations evaluate Office 365 functionality and determine the most appropriate implementation approach for their needs. 

Developing an effective pilot program can be complicated, with numerous variables and factors to consider. As a result, the first step for each organization must be documenting their definition of “pilot”:
 

Benefits of Utilizing the Microsoft Azure Platform for your SaaS Solutions

Contributed Article.  Author: Shawn Barker, Quest Software
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Benefits of Utilizing the Microsoft Azure Platform for your SaaS Solutions

 
As a software developer, Quest Software has a great deal of experience building on-premises software to solve such customer challenges as migrating email from one platform to another.  While these products have done very well, the inherent drawbacks to on-premises software, include the need to provision hardware, as well as download, configure, patch, and maintain the software.  Companies generally live with this for software that solves ongoing management problems like identity management, data protection and auditing.  These requirements of on-premises software can add significant time, cost and resources to short-term projects, however.

For the last few years, I’ve been working with development teams at Quest to build Software as a Service (SaaS) products, most of these on Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform.  One of those products – Quest OnDemand Migration for Email – was released last September and, as the name suggests, it migrates email from on-premises or cloud-based email platforms to Office 365, Live@Edu and hosted Exchange.  The following are the main factors we considered when deciding on a cloud platform for this product.
 

Optimize Your Infrastructure; From Hand-built to Mass-production

Grazed from GreenPages.    Author: Trevor Williamson, Director of Solutions Architecture @ GreenPages Technology Solutions.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that I write a lot about cloud and cloud technologies, specifically around optimizing IT infrastructures and transitioning them from traditional management methodologies and ideals toward dynamic, cloud-based methodologies.  Recently, in conversations with customers as well as my colleagues and peers within the industry, it is becoming increasingly clear that the public, at least the subset I deal with, are simply fed up with the massive amount of hype surrounding cloud.

Everyone is using that as a selling point and have attached so many different meanings that it has become meaningless…white noise that just hums in the background and adds no value to the conversation.  In order to try to cut through that background noise I’m going to cast the conversation in a way that is a lot less buzzy and a little more specific to what people know and are familiar with.  Let’s talk about cars (haa ha, again)…and how Henry Ford revolutionized the automobile industry...

 

The IaaS Rush

Contributed Article.  Author: Giridhar L V, Head – VMUnify, MindTree Ltd
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

The IaaS Rush

 

Why is everybody getting into the IaaS business? For a long time, it was only Amazon, then Rackspace, Savvis etc followed but there were no new significant players for a long time. However, most recently, IaaS has been really hot; the new entrants into this space are Google, Microsoft and HP. While Amazon, Rackspace, Savvis have predominantly been operating in the IaaS space, Google was more of a PaaS and SaaS player. It did a little bit on the IaaS side with Google drive but nothing to the extent of Amazon S3. Microsoft was also a platform player with Azure, but recently introduced an IaaS offering into Azure. For HP, it was a brand new entry into the Cloud Space. While I am not sure about what technology Google is using to power its IaaS (should most probably be something based on Xen or KVM), HP’s IaaS management layer is run on OpenStack with probably Xen as the Virtualization layer.

Enterprise Clouds and Swiss Cheese

Contributed Article by Carlos Escapa, CEO of VirtualSharp Software
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Enterprise Clouds and Swiss Cheese

 
 The cloud is a very complex machine with lots of moving parts. The whirring and humming of modern data centers are caused by fans, air conditioners and power converters, but the “moving” parts are in fact pieces of solid state deep inside the cloud. We are referring to the huge number of software-controlled virtual components that work together to create the computing environment that we know as the cloud.

Computing clouds have become some of the biggest and most complex machines ever made by man. For every physical component in a cloud, there are easily 10 virtualized components corresponding to all layers where virtualization is present - including storage, networks, CPU, memory, operating systems and even applications. The entire set can easily run into the hundreds of thousands of components in an enterprise cloud, and tens of millions in a public cloud. By way of comparison, the space shuttle had 2.5 million parts1...

Going for Gold in the Olympic IT Infrastructure Event

Contributed Article by Joop Janssen, Director, Solution Services Sales, Stratus Technologies
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Going for Gold in the Olympic IT Infrastructure Event

 

The countdown is on - we're less than a month away from the London Olympics. While many are getting excited to watch their countries compete, there's a group of people outside of the Games that are getting ready for their own competition of sorts. Nope, it has nothing to do with swimming or gymnastics, this new event is called the Internet crawl. Who's competing? Anyone that has a business or is does business in London, whose cash flow relies heavily on Internet transactions. Thankfully, for this event multiple companies can share the podium. All they have to do to achieve gold is figure out a way to avoid having their services go down.

Think about this: Over 20 million tickets have already been sold for the Games. On top of that, there will be thousands upon thousands of world news and sports media in attendance. Combined, that equals a massive amount of smartphones, tablets and laptops churning out tweets and posting pictures, over and above the massive data volumes already generated daily by citizens of the U.K.

 
 

Cloud Services & Consumerization Driving Competition with Internal IT

Contributed Article.  Author: Bernard Harguindeguy, CEO, Atlantis Computing
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Cloud Services & Consumerization Driving Competition with Internal IT

 

There are two market forces that are fundamentally changing the nature of enterprise application delivery and consumption:

  1. delivery of enterprise applications as a service via the cloud
  2. the rapid shift of accessing enterprise applications on mobile devices

IT organizations are facing stiff competition from Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud providers who are delivering enterprise applications as a service that are faster, cheaper and accessible anywhere, on any device.

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.