Posts Tagged ‘Cloud infrastructure’

 

Report: A third of office systems will be in the cloud by 2017

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 by

Cloud computing is transforming the business world, allowing companies of all sizes to implement advanced software and embrace innovative IT trends with fewer concerns and bigger savings. At the same time, however, not everything that can benefit from the cloud is doing so, as there are many technologies that have yet to make the transition to the hosted environment.

33 percent of office systems will be in the cloud by 2017

33 percent of office systems will be in the cloud by 2017

Unfortunately, the transition of many technologies, such as office systems and email, is slower than many advocates predicted. Gartner recently highlighted this occurrence, noting that only 8 percent of all office system users are in the cloud. Still, analysts believe this is a progressing market, noting that 33 percent of these tools will be in the cloud by 2017.

This market will gain significant momentum after 2015, Gartner noted. This is likely because the cloud will be more familiar to most organizations by then and employees will demand the ability to access mission-critical resources from anywhere.

“Despite the hype surrounding migration to the cloud, big differences in movement rates continue, depending on organizations’ size, industry, geography and specific requirements,” said Tom Austin, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “While 8 percent of business people were using cloud office systems at the start of 2013, we estimate this number will grow to 695 million users by 2022, to represent 60 percent.”

What factors weigh into cloud decisions?
Analysts noted that email is one of the world’s most significant collaborative tools, as it provides individuals with the ability to share information across networks and platforms. In many organizations, the option to move email to the cloud is among the biggest decisions, weighing into moving the entire office system to the cloud or not. Gartner believes that at least 10 percent of all email users will be based in the cloud by the end of next year, a number that will triple by the end of 2017.

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Get Your Game On in the Cloud

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 by

Do you play mobile games on your smartphone or tablet? What about on your computer? And do you still put in a CD or DVD to play them? Or do you download an app to play? Have you ever tried an online game within Facebook? And what about on your game console? As bandwidth has increased and technology has evolved, more and more of these gaming experiences are being served from the cloud. Online gaming has transcended physical media like CDs, DVDs, and installed applications and moved to virtual environments based on Flash, HTML5, or other streamed or in-browser technologies.

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According to investment bank Digi-Capital, mobile games account for 42 percent of all new game investments. If money trails are any indication of success, we should watch to see where the banks are investing. In December 2012, Forbes reported that US video game sales dropped 25 percent in the month of October 2012, falling from $1 billion to $775.5 million. Conversely, general spending on mobile and social games rose 7 percent to $7.24 billion in 2011…and that was a few years ago!

Just take a look at some of the games listed in this .NET article, “The top 10 HTML5 games of 2012.” It’s very impressive that the underlying technology is completely browser-based and that these games are absolutely interactive and full-featured. Just for fun, I decided to see how many of these HTML5 games are cloud-hosted. (Remember though, because HTML5 is in-browser code, it doesn’t matter that much if it is cloud or traditionally hosted.) Here’s what I discovered:

  • “A Grain of Truth” – shared hosting
  • “Dune 2 Online” – colocation
  • “Cut the Rope” – cloud/dedicated/custom hosting
  • “Hex GL” – shared/dedicated hosting
  • “Lux Ahoy” – cloud/dedicated hosting
  • “D.E.M.O.” – cloud hosting
  • “BananaBread” – telco hosting
  • “Save the Day” – cloud hosting
  • “Bombermine” – shared hosting
  • “BrowserQuest” – ISP/VPS/Web hosting

As you can see, there’s quite a mixture of hosting provider types, ranging from shared to large-scale ISP/telco to cloud. The physical requirements for these types of HTML5 games rely mainly on the end user and the capabilities of the specific device. However, if any of these HTML5 games were to take off in popularity, the game owner would need to scale its infrastructure to handle the increased demand.

(more…) «Get Your Game On in the Cloud»

Cloud opportunities, benefits exceed global expectations

Friday, May 31st, 2013 by

When cloud computing first emerged, IT analysts had mixed feelings about the hosted services, unsure if they would be embraced or disregarded in the enterprise. Today, experts understand that the cloud now plays a central role in the ongoing development of the business world, providing decision-makers and employees with innovative solutions for growth and performance improvements.

Cloud opportunities, benefits exceed global expectations

Cloud opportunities, benefits exceed global expectations

Companies are using a mix of different cloud models, including Platform, Software and Infrastructure as a Service, all with positive results. In fact, a recent CA Technologies survey of IT decision-makers who have been using the cloud for at least a year found that the benefits of using the hosted solutions are exceeding many respondents’ expectations.

Many executives highlighted the cost-saving advantages of the cloud. This is because the ongoing use of the cloud is allowing decision-makers to become more familiar with the technology and, as a result, establish new goals and objectives. ”Cost is often considered an early benefit – or even a required result – in order for IT teams to justify moving in the direction of the cloud,” said John Michelsen, chief technology officer of CA Technologies. “Once they show that cloud computing improves the bottom line, they can shift their focus to innovation and other objectives, such as increased performance and enhanced security.”

Who is using the cloud?
CA Technologies found several unique distinctions between organizations planning to invest more in cloud servers and other solutions within the next year and firms that are still on the fence. First, businesses that have been using the cloud for four or more years are roughly six times as likely to spend more money on the hosted services in 2013 than their counterparts that are relatively newer to the environment. This suggests that companies that have done more than just tested the water are more comfortable with the cloud and are experiencing greater results.

Second, the study found that organizations in the United States are more likely to invest in the cloud this year than businesses in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Benelux. In fact, 48 percent of U.S. respondents stated they plan to up cloud spending by up to 30 percent, while another 17 percent will invest even more. This is a stark contrast between the 42 percent and 4 percent, respectively, of European IT decision-makers.

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How To Create an Auto-Scaling Web Application on GoGrid (Part 1 – Theory)

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 by

Creating an auto-scaling web application is an ideal use of cloud computing. Although manually scaling your infrastructure is easy in the GoGrid cloud, programmatically controlling your infrastructure to scale automatically is an even better example of the power of the cloud. This scenario–an application that can increase and decrease its server count, and therefore capacity, based on the load it’s experiencing at any given time–makes IT professionals, sysadmins, and application developers alike extremely happy. And it’s also something you can build using out-of-the-box tools in GoGrid.

We’ve divided this topic into two articles:

Part 1 (this article) – The Theory of Auto-Scaling:

  • Background: traditional vs. cloud hosting
  • Programmatically architecting a solution
  • The underlying Orchestration methodology

Part 2 – A Proof of Concept of Auto-Scaling:

  • Do-it-yourself Orchestration
  • Proof-of-concept examples

(more…) «How To Create an Auto-Scaling Web Application on GoGrid (Part 1 – Theory)»

Is Your High-Tech Company Ready For An SDN-Enabled Cloud?

Thursday, April 18th, 2013 by

When it comes to technology, there are many companies on the “bleeding edge” these days. Sometimes these companies achieve greatness by being visionary, producing products or services that others haven’t thought of, or investing heavily in R&D. But they all have one thing in common: They use the latest high-tech, innovative solutions to power their journeys.

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When it comes to the underlying infrastructure powering a technology-oriented company, “cutting edge” means success. Sites and services need to perform, be reliable, be resilient, and have the flexibility to expand and contract based on the ebb and flow of day-to-day business. For me, that means cloud infrastructure is the best solution for companies looking to stay ahead of the curve.

Over the past few months, GoGrid has released a variety of services and features designed to give companies a leg up on the competition. It’s all centered on providing cloud infrastructure that’s flexible, yet forward-thinking. It’s much more than simply needing faster and bigger clouds—it’s about architecting our cloud solutions to provide customers with a highly available and distributed set of infrastructure components. And it’s architected according to software-defined networking (SDN) concepts.

SDN architecture isn’t focused on internetworked commodity hardware or new ways to provide networking services. It’s designed to distribute a variety of formerly hardware-based solutions across nodes, data centers, and clouds. When you think about “old school” infrastructure architecture, you probably think of physical devices. And if you think about one device, you really need to think about two, for redundancy and backup. If your hardware load balancer or firewall fails, you have to be sure you have a warm or hot standby available to immediately take its place. That requires time and money. And if you want to be cutting edge, you don’t want to be spending your precious time and money planning for the inevitable. You want to be innovating and iterating.

That’s where SDN is truly powerful and why many of the leading technology companies are adopting solutions that use it. With SDN, you can build in fault tolerance and redundancy. Take our recently released Dynamic Load Balancers as an example. Instead of relying on a single hardware device for routing traffic between available servers, our Dynamic Load Balancers are distributed and highly available across our Public Cloud. If one of the Dynamic Load Balancers fails, another instance, complete with configurations, is spawned immediately elsewhere thanks to our self-healing design. And these load-balancing services can be controlled programmatically via our API.

This month we announced another service that operates in the same distributed manner, our Firewall Service. Although many companies choose to use Cisco ASAs as a security front end for their cloud and physical infrastructure environments (an offering we also provide), these are physical devices that require management. However, our SDN architecture lets us provide more resilient and creative solutions. Like our Dynamic Load Balancers, our Firewall Service is built around SDN concepts and distributed across nodes and our data centers. When you create a security group (that has policies assigned to it), it’s automatically replicated across all our data centers within seconds. If you have distributed infrastructure, you can simply assign a security group to any similarly configured Cloud Server, regardless of that server’s location. If you subsequently change a policy, it’s automatically synchronized to all servers across all data centers that are part of that security group. In other words, you configure once, assign the security group to the server(s), and then watch the SDN magic happen.

(more…) «Is Your High-Tech Company Ready For An SDN-Enabled Cloud?»