KML_FLASHEMBED_PROCESS_SCRIPT_CALLS

Archive for December, 2009

 

Cloud News: Azure + Server = New Cloud Division, Cloud Computing Group & Linthicum’s 5 Cloud Predictions

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 by

More news raining from the Cloud:

  • Microsoft Azure, Server teams form new cloud division
    “In a much anticipated move, Microsoft announced the combination of the Windows Azure group with the Windows Server and Solutions group into a new organization, titled the Server and Cloud Division. The new division, headed by Senior Vice President Amitabh Srivastava, will be a part of the Servers and Tools Business, headed by Bob Muglia.” (source: cnet – the Wisdom of Clouds)

    • Commentary: As always, James Urquhart breaks the news on his great blog, the Wisdom of Clouds. While it seems that this announcement has been some time in the making, it is good to see it materialize. It only makes sense to me that Microsoft blend the Server/Cloud environments. It’s important that synergies exist from the get-go since many of the features can be leveraged cross-departmentally and should be views as a “single solution.” I’ve mentioned this numerous times before but this is why we at GoGrid developed Cloud Connect which is a Hybrid Hosting solution of physical and cloud servers all connected via private dedicated physical connections. Buried in James’ article is the mention that CTO Ray Ozzie is no longer in charge of the Azure team which signifies Microsoft’s move toward making Azure an important part of their business offerings.
  • Microsoft, Cisco, IBM and Others Form Cloud Computing Group
    “A group of companies is starting up an Enterprise Cloud Buyers Council in hopes of removing barriers to enterprise use of hosted cloud computing. Initial members include companies that offer hosted cloud computing as well as enterprises that use such services, including Microsoft, IBM, HP, Cisco, AT&T, BT, EMC, Deutsche Bank, Alcatel-Lucent, Amdocs, CA, Nokia Siemens Networks, Telecom Italia and Telstra. Two industry organizations, Distributed Management Task Force and the IT Service Management Forum, are also involved. The TM Forum, an industry association that helps information and communications companies create profitable services, came up with the idea of the council.” (source: PCWorld)

    • Commentary: It’s great to see so many big names joining together to form a “Council.” My only fear is that egos within each of the organizations will come into play as each company tries to promote their own agenda. I can only hope that this (and other similar organizations that have been set up) will actually do something constructive with their efforts. Working on avoiding “vendor lock-in” and “standards-based solutions” is great and all, but these are overly hyped buzz-words that have been discussed throughout 2009 (and back some). Perhaps by throwing some big names behind a council will help to mitigate the fear that so many enterprises have about the cloud (e.g., security, reliability, compliance, standards, etc.) Time will tell if this new organization will produce any effects or results whatsoever. I’m a bit skeptical myself.
  • Top 5 cloud computing predictions for 2010
    “Cloud computing standards and major cloud computing outages top Linthicum’s list. Evidently it’s a requirement that all of those in the cloud computing world must chime in with their cloud computing predictions for 2010, so here are mine…” (source: InfoWorld)

    • Commentary: Oh boy, I’m already behind on my predictions. Guess I need to start on that really soon! David’s Linthicum’s top 5 is a pretty sensical list actually, although numbers 4 and 5 might indirectly go hand-in-hand. Hint, if you are thinking about a successful new-business to start, do a cloud computing startup since you will be snapped up by a large player once you are mildly successful. Well, that is a dramatic oversimplification of #’s 4 and 5. Read through his list though as they are distinct and good thoughts.

    (more…) «Cloud News: Azure + Server = New Cloud Division, Cloud Computing Group & Linthicum’s 5 Cloud Predictions»

Cloud News: Multiple Faces of Cloud on Windows Azure, Real-World Cloud Case Study & State Cloud Service Providers

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 by

It’s still cold in San Francisco. No snow today but there are a few “clouds” (sorry). Posts and articles I saw today:

  • Windows Azure and the many faces of cloud
    “One of the reasons it’s so difficult to satisfactorily define cloud computing is that people have many different needs and expectations from a cloud platform. To start a conversation about cloud — especially one that seeks to evaluate the relative merits of competing cloud platforms — without first identifying what needs are being met is to invite misunderstanding and confusion. So before I come to my analysis of Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform and the hidden danger lurking there for many ISVs looking to embark on a SaaS strategy, I’m going to segment cloud computing into several important but separate categories.” (source: ZDNet)

    • Commentary: This article is an extremely good analysis of Windows Azure and details a series of use cases for companies evaluating Azure as a solution including: “Short-term, overflow or burst capacity to supplement on-premise assets, Cloud-based services and applications that extend on-premise assets with new capabilities, Interim hosting as part of a cloud migration strategy, and, Cloud-based services and applications that replace and supersede on-premise assets.” One way to use Azure and GoGrid together is outlined in this post (with a demo video) where we demonstrate how the GoGrid cloud can be used seamlessly building, deploying and testing applications for Windows Azure.
  • Gartner “Cloud Computing in the Real World” Panel Features Appistry Customer Next Century
    “This year cloud computing is front-and-center at the Gartner Application Architecture, Development and Integration (AADI) Summit in Las Vegas, NV. One of the many interesting items on the agenda this year was today’s no-BS enterprise cloud end-user panel, organized by analysts David Cearley and Gene Phifer, along with the OMG/SOA Consortium. The focus of the panel is on real-world, enterprise-grade cloud computing deployments.” (source: Appistry blog)

    • Commentary: Appistry has been a long-time partner of GoGrid’s. We have a RHEL image that has Appistry already baked into it. It’s nice to get Sam’s analysis (in the form of a case study, albeit from our competitor) of the practical applications of moving physical infrastructure into the cloud. Sam points out how there is a lot of “fluff” around the promotion of Cloud Computing and that actual case studies are the way to cut through the hype. The study talks about how with physical infrastructure costing $80k and consuming 8-14 days of processing time, the same process could be achieved within 12 hours and only costing $130 per run. The same could be done on any Infrastructure-based Cloud with dramatic time and cost savings. It was also nice to see the GoGrid Cloud Pyramid in the graphic.
  • Government Technologist: States As Cloud Service Providers
    “As state CIOs devise cloud computing strategies, they must assess whether their teams can provide services with the same skill and efficiency as commercial providers. Some state CIOs are evaluating cloud computing as the way to provide IT services to state agencies and other groups of users, including local governments and schools. It makes sense for states to go this route, but there’s a right way and a wrong way.” (source: InformationWeek)

    • Commentary: Author John Foley brings up some interesting points here. Do States and Education go with Private or Public Clouds? Or is there a happy medium? It seems that while some items must remain under strict “state” control, others could easily be offloaded to a public cloud. State budgets are in the red now, so plopping down multi-millions of dollars to built their own private cloud is probably not something that tax-payers could swallow very easily. The right strategy I would think is to do a cost-benefit analysis on a gradual move of non-critical/data-sensitive IT infrastructure to a public cloud. The problem here though is that “gradual” is an extremely subjective term. For me, gradual would be over a quarter or two. For state/government, “gradual” means 1-2 years or more. There are many efficiencies to be gained as well as considerable cost saving (that could be invested elsewhere…education perhaps?). One way or another, I agree with Foley in that governments should offload some of the risks and costs onto public cloud providers when implementing their IT strategies.

    (more…) «Cloud News: Multiple Faces of Cloud on Windows Azure, Real-World Cloud Case Study & State Cloud Service Providers»

Cloud News: Novell Identity Mgmt in the Cloud, Cloudy Financial Advisors & Cooperative Community Clouds

Monday, December 7th, 2009 by

Happy Monday all! This morning I was greeted with some snow from the clouds in the Bay Area. Pretty amazing actually! Here is what is buzzing in the Cloud Computing space this morning:

  • Novell to extend identity management to cloud, virtualized apps
    “Novell plans eight new virtualized and cloud apps with built-in security that will aid in ‘intelligent workload management’.  (source: ComputerWorld)

    • Commentary: This announcement by Novell plays directly into what we at GoGrid are trying to accomplish with the introduction of The GoGrid Exchange. When we first launched GoGrid back in March 2008, we provided a variety of images that had different “stacks” (e.g., LAMP, WAMP, etc.) baked into them. The idea was to facilitate in the deployment of pre-configured applications running on the GoGrid cloud. However, as time progressed, we realized that we are better at the raw Infrastructure business and not at maintaining super-specialized images that have applications installed above the infrastructure level. So, recently, we reduced our server image number to include primarily base OS images and then put the application layers above that in the hands of our partners. Since our partners are subject-matter experts, GoGrid users benefit from the latest and greatest security, management or other types of “stacks” installed on top of base GoGrid images. For example, Novell could provide their own “partner image” that has the Novell Identity Manager 4 baked into it.
  • Advisers embracing ‘cloud computing’
    “Online technologies increase efficiency and reduce costs drastically, say satisfied users. Adviser Curtis Smith doesn’t have to worry about getting to the office; it comes to him. He has created a virtual office by using online technologies for the day-to-day tasks that he formerly did on a desktop computer attached to servers. “I’ve got everything I need now online,” Mr. Smith said.” (source: InvestmentNews)

    • Commentary: This article isn’t about Cloud Infrastructure the way I normally write about it. It’s more about how particular users (who could probably be generalized to encompass many business users) are using “the cloud” to increase efficiency and reduce costs. The way that Curtis Smith, for example, is doing it is by offloading many traditional software infrastructures to Cloud Apps or SaaS offerings. However, within the article, there are other examples of how Financial Managers are moving critical operations from aging physical infrastructure into online computing in the cloud. Not only does the article point out how Financial institutions are looking to the cloud for cost savings, they also view it as solid disaster recovery solutions or online alternatives for computing resources. I think this trickle-up effect will continue to pervade various verticals as the “cloud” begins to become ubiquitous for online compute and software.
  • Open Cloud Services & Co-operative Community Clouds
    “Now that I’m back and have had chance to recuperate from from my trip to Israel I thought I’d share a few of the more interesting ideas to come out of the conversations I’ve had. In particular were several comments that Alistair Croll made at CloudCamp Tel Aviv about the potential opportunities for what he described as “Free / Open Cloud Services” as well as an idea I had around the potential of so called “Cooperative Community Clouds”.” (source: ElasticVapor)

    • Commentary: This is less of a news story and more of a topic that is thought-provoking. Reuven gives a recap of an idea that circulated at CloudCamp Tel Aviv called: Cooperative Community Cloud. The idea being that a cloud infrastructure is shared by various organizations and that it (and all aspects therein like mission, security, requirements, policy & compliance) is managed by that community. While I think that this idea is sound, I’m wondering if it is a bit premature for those NOT in the Cloud Computing space. That is to say, we have all of the current obstacles of defining standards, overcoming security obstacles and generally “managing by committee” to overcome. I worried that while those of us who sit within the “Cloud bubble” (those who work in the industry) might think that this idea is the “cat’s meow,” that in a real-world application other users may scratch their collective heads and say “huh?” I do think this idea should be pursued, developed and nurtured, but it is also important that we don’t lose focus on helping the general (less cloud-educated?) community at large understand why the cloud is important for them, and then, perhaps show this “Cooperative Community Cloud” as a case-in-point or example of how it can be used for the greater good.

    (more…) «Cloud News: Novell Identity Mgmt in the Cloud, Cloudy Financial Advisors & Cooperative Community Clouds»

Cloud News: DoD “Save Millions with Cloud”, India Looks at the Cloud & SOA Intersects the Cloud

Friday, December 4th, 2009 by

More fun scraping the layers of Cloud Computing news. Here is what caught my interest today:

  • DoD: Cloud Will Save Us ‘Hundreds of Millions’
    “Moving the U.S. military’s IT operations to a cloud computing model hasn’t been easy. But the payoff is clear, according to Henry Sienkiewicz, who oversees the Department of Defense’s cloud computing platform, known as the Rapid Access Computing Environment (RACE).” (source: Data Center Knowledge)

    • Commentary: The Obama Administration has been very forward thinking when it comes to Cloud Computing. I’m encouraged to see the tremendous efforts being made across the board by the monolithic sectors of government to embrace or at least seriously consider the Cloud as a feasible and substantial IT strategy. Obviously, not everything within Government can be “cloud-enabled” to gain all of the professed efficiencies. There are data and security concerns, many of which are shared by the Enterprise, however, in-roads are being made to gain adoption across the board. Here at GoGrid, we host some Government clients and have plenty of Enterprise customers. IT managers and C-level execs are now being pushed from multiple angles to implement cloud strategies. 2009 was a year of “research and understand” Cloud Computing as a potential alternative. 2010 will be the year of implementation and wider adoption across the board.
  • Cloud Computing, a cost and time effective solution: experts
    “If used smartly, cloud computing –a process by which computing tasks can be carried out on third party internet servers on a payment for use of IT infrastructure basis –can be very cost-effective, speakers at a seminar on “Demystifying Cloud Computing” organised here on Friday by the FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) said.” (source: thehindu.com)

    • Commentary: This article provides a generalized overview of Cloud Computing. The sole reason I’m listing it is to showcase how other worldwide governments (in this case, the FICCI – Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) are, like the US and others, truly marching forward with this IT strategy in hand. I’m not sure if it is just me, over-analyzing the article, but it seems that some of the discussion points are ones that were already talked about this year ad nauseum, but of course, I live in a “cloud bubble” and already expect IT professionals to have a firm understanding of the concepts. But there are definitely some good points here, specifically “it works best if you know exactly the amount of process you are planning to run and the duration.” However, the example cited is the over-played NYTimes example of digitizing all of the 11 million articles. This one-time use of Cloud processing is but one of many types of possible uses of Cloud Computing. Hopefully, meetings similar to what the FICCI had will explore the Cloud much deeper.
  • Where SOA and cloud computing intersect: the loosely coupled business
    “One of the things we talk about here is how service orientation is enabling the rise of the “loosely coupled” business — an organization that acts as a broker of services, focusing on its core business and serving its markets while relying on services brought in through third parties (or internally). SOA and cloud computing are bringing this about, and I’ve encountered an example of this new loosely coupled business model in action.” (source: ZDNet)

    • Commentary: This is an interesting case study of M-Dot, a digital coupon processing service, who utilized Cloud Computing to launch as a startup back in November 2008. The mere fact that startups have to worry a bit less on their IT infrastructure and focus more of their human capital and money on the development of a product and service goes a long way this day and age. It is simply “smart business.” Outlined within the article is the discussion of a “hybrid cloud model” which utilizes the benefits of the public cloud coupled with a private cloud to maintain data security. At GoGrid, we realized this importance quite a while ago when we announced Cloud Connect (“Hybrid Hosting”), a means to physically join the GoGrid Cloud infrastructure with our ServePath physical dedicated server infrastructure, all via a private dedicated connection. I’m happy to see that this type of model is starting to get coverage within the Tech Media space.

    (more…) «Cloud News: DoD “Save Millions with Cloud”, India Looks at the Cloud & SOA Intersects the Cloud»

StartUp SF v2.2 Video & Presentation by David Weekly (PBWorks)

Friday, December 4th, 2009 by

SUSF_give_ideas_exlaxThis past Wednesday night, GoGrid was the host of another StartUp SF (along with co-host Microsoft BizSpark of which we are a Hosting Partner). The guest speaker was David Weekly, founder of PBWorks, a client of GoGrid & ServePath. StartUp SF is a regular meetup in San Francisco designed to help young businesses become more successful. Each meetup has a format designed to stimulate, engage and network in a social learning environment. Each event has a guest speaker who talks about expert subject matter and how it relates to helping startups. Also, successful companies showcase their products and services in an interactive manner with product demos occurring throughout the event.

Full details from the 12/02/09 event are on the StartUp SF page.

Below is the video of David’s talk titled “Give Your Ideas Ex-Lax“:

David Weekly (PBWorks) Speaks at StartUp SF v2.2 from HighTechDad on Vimeo.

His presentation is also available on SlideShare and is below:

(more…) «StartUp SF v2.2 Video & Presentation by David Weekly (PBWorks)»