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Posts Tagged ‘Cloud News’

 

3 Steps to Building a Healthy Cloud Partnership

Monday, March 4th, 2013 by

Implementing public cloud computing is quickly becoming a top priority for companies of all sizes and industries, as the technology enables employees to be more efficient and flexible – both of which are crucial in today’s highly competitive private sector. Because the public cloud is managed off-site, decision-makers need to find the right provider with services that will meet short- and long-term demands. Equally as important is developing a healthy cloud partnership.

TechTarget recently highlighted several ways to develop a strong partner program with a cloud vendor, as doing so will ensure a firm is given the best opportunity to succeed in the coming years. This growing demand for a robust relationship between the user and provider has forced many cloud companies to reevaluate their business models and create more relevant offerings.

3 steps to develop a healthy cloud relationship

3 steps to develop a healthy cloud relationship

Because cloud vendors come from a variety of backgrounds and offer myriad solutions, they need to find unique ways to differentiate themselves from other providers, TechTarget noted. Doing so will make certain services more appealing to companies and support healthy collaboration between the two parties.

“Every partner is slightly different,” cloud expert Jaywant Rao said, according to TechTarget. “They each have a different flavor of how they go to market. That means you have to focus on which models make sense for your own business and align things from there.”

Step 1: Decision-makers must identify objectives
Finding a service provider to meet corporate demands means executives must know what they intend to get out of the cloud. To do so, organizations should consider building a channel program that clearly defines the image of the perfect partner, TechTarget noted.

(more…) «3 Steps to Building a Healthy Cloud Partnership»

Cloud supports mobility better than legacy infrastructure

Thursday, February 14th, 2013 by

Although there are still some advocates for legacy enterprise computing technologies, decision-makers need to understand the global IT transformations that are contributing to change. In many cases, traditional infrastructure solutions simply cannot keep up with the fast-paced demands of today’s businesses, especially as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and other mobile strategies become more incorporated into everyday operations.

A recent CIO report highlighted how using cloud infrastructure services is the only effective way to manage a company’s use of the “three Ms” – mobile, media and marketing. Because the public cloud is highly flexible, scalable and cost-efficient, decision-makers can migrate the three Ms to the hosted environment without worrying about connectivity, availability or wasting precious time and resources.

Cloud supports mobility better than legacy infrastructure

Cloud supports mobility better than legacy infrastructure

If executives fail to grasp the importance of using the cloud in today’s business world, they will have trouble keeping their business up to date and relevant with the ongoing transformations in the private sector, CIO noted. Mobility in particular will play a crucial role in the development of the enterprise, as individuals will continue to demand the use of smartphones, tablets and other devices in the workplace.

Understanding the mobile landscape
Legacy applications were developed with a particular set of operating systems in mind because executives were able to predict the tool’s usage and population. Today’s applications are much different because decision-makers cannot accurately forecast when and how any given mobile device will be used or what software will be leveraged outside the office, CIO reported.

Furthermore, mobile apps are developed with a wide range of endpoints in mind. This means the software needs to be capable of supporting a bigger combination of interfaces. When solutions are created and used in the cloud, they are much more open than traditional applications, allowing them to be accessed by more devices.

(more…) «Cloud supports mobility better than legacy infrastructure»

Cloud News: Amazon Outage Thriller, EC2 Hacking & Microsoft Acquires Opalis for Cloud Management

Friday, December 11th, 2009 by

Whoops! Missed a day there. I was busy planning out events for 2010 for GoGrid! I realize now that this is somewhat difficult writing about Cloud News every day so I’m going to start something for Fridays called “This Week in Cloud” which will have some of the bigger Cloud Computing news stories that I came across. I may still do the regular “Cloud News” if there are events or items that warrant coverage. Without further ado, here’s what I read about that got my interest:

  • Amazon’s Data Center Outage Reads Like a Thriller
    “When an Amazon Web Services data center lost power early Wednesday, the company wrote about the unfolding event with the brevity and tension of one its bestselling pot boilers.” (Source: CIO/ComputerWorld)

    • Commentary: Ok, we all know that outages happen, whether in the cloud or not. The cloud is under intense scrutiny so when there is even the most minor of hiccups, people scream and yell and pull out their SLA’s and demand immediate recourse. It’s never fun when I read about an outage since we are all birds of a feather working towards a common good. The reason I linked to this article in particular is because of the nature in which it was written…truly like a technology thriller! The funny thing is, I have been through a few outages in various companies that I have worked for and they are never fun. You are torn in many directions of trying to find out internally what is going one, and figuring out the best way to communicate with customers in a way where they won’t freak out but still understand that an “event” is being actively working on. When there is an outage, it truly does unfold organically (and hopefully not catastrophically, causing a cascade effect). Third party monitoring is important as is a good backup and disaster recovery strategy. (GoGrid recently partnered with Stratonomic who provides real-time DR solutions.)  Regardless, the Amazon Data Center outage did not last long and everyone was back on track (but hopefully thinking about making their IT infrastructure more resilient). It was nice to see that GoGrid had (and still seems to have) the highest marks on the Apparent Networks Cloud Provider Scorecard.
  • Hackers Find a Home in Amazon’s EC2 Cloud
    “Security researchers have spotted the Zeus botnet running an unauthorized command and control center on Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing infrastructure. This marks the first time Amazon Web Services’ cloud infrastructure has been used for this type of illegal activity, according to Don DeBolt, director of threat research with HCL Technologies, a contractor that does security research for CA.” (Source: PCWorld)

    • Commentary: I don’t want to turn this into an AWS bashing, that is not my intent (even though they are a direct competitor to GoGrid). But this news (old by internet news speed standards) is important to look at. Hackers are an inquisitive (yet destructive) bunch. Recently, I heard about how some hackers created a service (called AutoWhaler) to pull account details from phishing sites. Now if that isn’t innovation, I don’t know what is! Seriously though, hackers can cause a variety of damage to infrastructures that are not protected and actively monitored. The problem is, they are so innovative (or perhaps “creative” is a better word), that it is often difficult to prevent or plan for intrusions within one’s infrastructure. Obviously this and other examples simply prove that while Cloud Computing can help many, we still have a ways to go. On the flipside, this same type of invasion could well have happened within a server farm of physical servers. It’s just the Cloud has the spotlight now.
  • Microsoft buys Opalis to strengthen cloud management capabilities
    “Moving to strengthen its management tools related to virtual environments, Microsoft Friday said that it has purchased IT process automation vendor Opalis for an undisclosed sum. Microsoft said the acquisition, which had been rumored for nearly two months, adds to its System Center portfolio needed tools that can manage highly automated and scalable virtual environments. The tools complement Microsoft’s strategy to stretch its management tools across on-premises environments and the cloud.” (source: NetworkWorld) (more…) «Cloud News: Amazon Outage Thriller, EC2 Hacking & Microsoft Acquires Opalis for Cloud Management»

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»