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Cloud Computing: NetApp, Cisco Advance Converged Infrastructure Genre with FlexPod SF

Grazed from eWeek. Author: Chris Preimesberger.

Storage maker NetApp, once described as a "nice little server company" but is now among the world leaders in storage hardware marketshare, is celebrating its 25th year in business. It has been a true survivor in the cutthroat IT products and services business. In this regard, please note: Only about 15 percent of companies that go public on the Nasdaq index last 20 years.

NetApp has been on the index almost 22 years, since December 1995. Why has NetApp forged on when others have fallen? Well, if you ask co-founder Dave Hitz, it's probably because the company has been able to change lanes fairly quickly when it comes to seeing market trends as or before they happen and then adjust to them...

Read more from the source @ http://www.eweek.com/storage/netapp-cisco-advance-converged-infrastructure-genre-with-flexpod-sf

Cloud Computing: Wal-Mart Prods Partners, Vendors to Leave AWS for Azure

Grazed from MSPMentor. Author: Aldrin Brown.

The competition between Amazon Web Services (AWS) and a host of brick and mortar retailers reached a new intensity this week that could significantly impact managed services providers (MSPs) who partner with the market leader in public cloud, or with second place Microsoft Azure.

On the heels of Amazon’s announcement last week that it planned to acquire grocer Whole Foods Market, retail giant Wal-Mart revealed it has been asking some of its vendors, developers and other tech partners to no longer host applications on AWS, the Wall Street Journal reported...

Read more from the source @ http://mspmentor.net/cloud-computing/wal-mart-prods-partners-vendors-leave-aws-azure

Cloud Computing Protest Offers Lessons For Buyers & Suppliers

Grazed from PublicSpendingForum. Author: Frank McNally.

A recent protest decision from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) provides several important lessons for procurement professionals who are buying cloud-enabled services as well as vendors hoping to sell them. Let's dive in! Red River Computing Company protested the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) request for quotations (RFQ) for agency-wide enterprise computing services and cloud computing services.

Red River challenged both the technical and price evaluation, asserting that DHS's best-value determination was flawed. GAO denied Red River's challenge of the technical evaluation but sustained its challenge of the price evaluation. Each decision is instructive, so let's take a closer look...

Oracle Revenue Blows Away Estimates on Surging Cloud Demand

Grazed from MSPMentor. Author: Brian Womack.

Oracle Corp.’s push into cloud computing is picking up momentum, sparking a fourth straight quarter of revenue gains for the software maker. The company, which set a record closing high Wednesday for its shares, reported total sales that easily topped analysts’ estimates. Oracle’s cloud businesses grew 58 percent in the fiscal fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, new software licenses, a measure that’s tied to the company’s traditional on-premise software offerings, declined 5 percent compared with a drop of 16 percent in the previous period. Oracle’s long shift to the cloud, which lets customers access services without installing them on their own computers, is now producing more sturdy growth, indicating that the company can compete against rivals such as Salesforce.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp...

Independent Research Firm Study Cites Cloud Migration Challenges, Says Migration Should Be a 'Continuous Process'

Grazed from CloudHealth Technologies

Cloud migration should not be thought of as a one-time project but as a continuous process that requires thoughtful reassessment and re-alignment to maximize the potential value of cloud, an independent research firm concluded in a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of CloudHealth Technologies.

The research from Forrester Consulting, "Due Diligence is the Cornerstone of Public Cloud Migration Success," is a Technology Adoption Profile (TAP), a format in which Forrester summarizes market surveys and custom research questionnaires to show how IT organizations are using and benefiting from emerging technology and industry trends. The study polled 108 U.S. decision makers responsible for public cloud (IaaS) strategy at firms migrating workloads to public cloud.

The study reached the following conclusions:

CareCloud Announces SSAE 16 SOC 1 Cloud Security Compliance

Grazed from CareCloud

CareCloud, the platform for high-performing medical groups, today announced that it has successfully completed its first Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) No. 16 Service Organization Control (SOC) 1 report. This voluntary attestation allows medical groups and their auditors to quickly verify that CareCloud has the proper internal controls and processes needed to ensure the highest quality and security of services provided.

"Our clients depend on us to deliver a quality, secure information technology infrastructure to support their financial, administrative, and care delivery processes," said Ken Comée, CEO of CareCloud. "With this independent audit, we're giving them the external validation they need for their financial statements while reinforcing the steps we take every day to protect the integrity and security of their data."

Subscription Boxes – Is the Ecommerce Phenomenon Right for Your Business?

If you run an ecommerce business using a cloud based platform, then looking for new ways to generate revenue is an important part of keeping your competitive edge. One interesting way businesses both big and small in ecommerce have been creating new revenue streams is with subscription services and products.

What kinds of Subscription Services Do Ecommerce Sites Offer?

A good example of a subscription service is Amazon Prime, which allows people to, for a fixed monthly fee, receive access to next day delivery at no charge as well as a lot of online media. This is a way Amazon can add value to customers for a small monthly fee, bringing in its own revenue, which has the second benefit to the brand of making people want to shop with them more frequently to get the most out of it.

Subscription boxes are the other kind of subscription service many businesses are starting to use. For brands who are not household names, like Amazon, or major supermarkets, the added value route isn't a great model, but selling monthly subscriptions to receive a selection of products can work very well.

IBM Unveils New Ways to Use, Develop for Db2 for Greater Data Control

Grazed from IBM

IBM today announced several key additions and enhancements to its popular database software, IBM Db2, that bring the trusted enterprise-class data management capabilities to global clients in fast, new, easy ways.

The company launched today Db2 Developer Community Edition, a new offering aimed at developers that can be quickly and easily downloaded, at no cost. This new edition, is a full-featured version of Db2 that is designed to enable developers to rapidly build prototypes of applications that leverage all the capabilities of the Enterprise Edition. Whether to desktops or laptops, users can download the complete software and begin uploading and managing their data usually within 15 minutes or less.

"Among many organizations, we're witnessing a shift in influence to a new breed of application developer who is looking for agile ways to create apps that their companies can leverage," said Rob Thomas, General Manager, IBM Analytics. "Through these Db2 innovations, we're making it easier than ever for developers to get involved with this rich environment and create innovative apps that propel their businesses."

SkyKick Announces Major Upgrades to Cloud Management Platform to Help IT Solution Providers Enhance Cloud Offerings

Grazed from SkyKick

SkyKick, a global provider of cloud management software for information technology (IT) solution partners, announced today major enhancements to its Cloud Management Platform for partners. The product enhancements are a direct response to rapid global adoption of SkyKick's platform, and the need to continually innovate to provide partners with more efficiency and profitability in their IT cloud projects.

The company is releasing a significant upgrade to its award-winning Office 365 Migration Software Suite, with new features to make managing migrations simpler, while giving partners even more visibility and control over active projects. Partners will have a new user interface that provides more granular visibility over project phases, and control buttons to quickly execute key email migration tasks. A new project review feature will provide increased transparency into the status of active migrations. Partners will also have more ways to configure mailboxes, and to manage devices using the SkyKick Outlook Assistant (SKOA) individually or in bulk.

Red Hat Unveils Industry's First Production-Ready Open Source Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Grazed from Red Hat, Inc.

Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today introduced Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure, the industry's first production-ready fully open source hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solution. By combining innovative virtualization and storage technologies with a stable, proven operating platform, Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure is designed to help enterprises to bring datacenter capabilities into locations with limited space, such as branch offices and other remote facilities.

Organizations with distributed operations, such as those in the banking, energy or retail industries, need to be able to offer the same infrastructure services in remote and branch offices as they run in their datacenter. However, remote and branch offices can have unique challenges: less space and power/cooling, and fewer (or no) technical staff onsite. Organizations in this situation need powerful services, integrated on a single server that can scale out.