Posts Tagged ‘financial’

 

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»

Financial and Technology Markets are “Cloudy”

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008 by

Perhaps that subject was not strong enough. The Financial Sector is currently weathering a hurricane, recently suffering the largest drop since 9/11. Merrill Lynch fell into the hands of Bank of America. Lehman Brothers is in bankruptcy and looking for a buyer with Barclays buying some of their assets. The Airline industry is failing. AIG and other financial companies are looking for some sort of an economic bailout. HP is eliminating 24,600 jobs. And this was all over just a few days. If one extends the look a bit further, the perspective is just a grim: gas prices going up, the dollar losing value and housing going down. One simply cannot be surprised by any of this.

Source: e*Trade graph of Dow Jones on 9/16/08

The Tech Sector is getting hammered as well, but this time, it isn’t “our fault.” The Dot Com bust managed to drag down the other sectors last time, but we learned our lesson. Long gone are unproven businesses and their associated models. Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors are taking long looks at business, not just getting in the car for a drive but doing a full check under the hood, looking at the road both ahead and behind and fully vetting the drivers and passengers. To get money as a start-up is truly an accomplishment nowadays. You have to have a proven business model, installed user base, and a clear direction of where your company and your industry will go.

I recently attended TechCrunch 50 which showcases 50 startups and allows them to present their business or service to a panel of experts. I saw about 1/2 of the companies’ presentations and I noticed that the companies where they couldn’t articulate or prove their monetization strategy, these companies got an earful of criticism from the experts. Similarly, at a meetup in San Francisco, the question asked every presenter is “How are you making or going to make money?” It’s a very simple question, but one that must be answered or the company loses credibility.

Perhaps we should apply these same simple questions to the Financial, Housing and Airline Industries? I guess the markets are already doing that.

It will take a long time before all of these markets start to recover, and corporations and businesses are currently challenged to prevent the hemorrhage of money and capital expenditures within their IT infrastructure. I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal called “Cutting Tech’s Energy Bill” by William M. Bulkeley that discusses how large companies are looking at ways to cut electricity usage within the Enterprise. With energy costs directly and indirectly rising, it’s critical for the embattled IT manager or director to make fiscally sound and environmentally responsible decisions to keep their business moving forward will simultaneously ensuring that their technology progresses.

(more…) «Financial and Technology Markets are “Cloudy”»