Author Archives: CloudTweaks

Is Microsoft Winning The Public Cloud Wars?

Is Microsoft Winning The Public Cloud Wars?

Is Microsoft Winning The Public Cloud Wars?

I came across an interesting survey the other day that details public cloud usage from the folks at the Everest Group. Their report provides a really great snapshot on the state of cloud adoption – both public and private. After reading the report and reflecting on the data, it had me asking: Is Microsoft winning the public cloud war?

Now before you jump right to the comments section to tell me just how delusional or what a Microsoft homer I am, hear me out.

Private Cloud: The Real Winner

First, it should be pointed out that the Everest Group confirms what many others have observed. That users still prefer private clouds to public clouds – by roughly 2 to 1. So if we were judging who is leading the race to the cloud, it would have to be all those organizations that are transforming their static data centers into elastic and dynamic clouds.

Admittedly, as a story, that does not have the same appeal as watching someone get voted off the island.

Microsoft Poised to Win in Public Clouds?

The Everest study also looked at what public cloud service companies are using, which ones they are considering, which ones they are not considering and which ones they are aware of or following.

We all know you can measure momentum through a variety of different mechanisms – including market and mindshare. Market share provides a snapshot of who is winning today, and mindshare provides a measure of who is poised to grab the lead in the future. When I parse the data from the Everest Group report and compare use with awareness, I see two very different pictures.

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The first chart demonstrates what everyone already knows, that the public cloud is dominated by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

graph-2

The second graph shows awareness or the mindshare of each of the major public cloud services. This is the one that surprised me. It shows Microsoft leading the mindshare battle with 92% of those surveyed aware of Azure – versus 74% of the respondents claiming awareness of AWS, and less than half aware of Savvis cloud services.

So, what can we conclude from this? Is Microsoft losing the battle but winning the war? Is this ‘awareness gap’ a function of the millions of marketing and advertising dollars Microsoft is spending on Azure (versus the word of mouth viral marketing approach being employed by AWS)? Will the Azure mindshare translate into actual spending and market share gains from Azure in the coming years?

It’s this last question that, as a marketer, interests me the most.

A Quiet Revolution

Over the last decade there has been a revolution quietly occurring. Gone are days when new segment-defining products and services could only be launched with massive marketing and advertising budgets. For start-ups creating new markets, success is predicated on digital marketing initiatives, viral adoption and making it easy for people to consume and use your product. Those that follow these market segment-defining companies have to play a very different, and much more expensive, game.

That above everything else I suspect is what’s behind the ‘awareness gap’ seen in the Everest report. While AWS has been getting their product into the hands of people who, in turn, have used it to build new, innovative and interesting businesses (Zynga, Foursquare, Dropbox to name a few), Microsoft, has been playing the long game by focusing on its branding and advertising as a means to saturate the market and create an impression of inevitability.

And while Microsoft has not released numbers, they’ve left some clues that suggest the strategy is building some momentum.

And Now Back to Private Cloud

To bring the discussion full circle, the Everest Group survey found that 70% of responders want to run financial applications and ERP in a private cloud setting, 60% want their email and collaboration and 55% preferred their custom applications to run in private clouds.

So how do the public cloud wars factor into the mega trend of private cloud? From a marketing perspective, the question is what can public cloud providers do to tap into the massive movement toward private clouds? The answer is tied up in self-service.

The concept of self-service has been building over the last few years. We see it in our gas stations, in our grocery stores and now even in our IT. Increasingly organizations are enabling their employees to design, deploy and manage their own IT solutions. They are exposing them to the costs of those solutions and they are using self-service portals as the mechanism to facilitate those interactions.

Public cloud providers should see the explosion in self-service as an opportunity to tap into a captive and qualified market. Public cloud providers can leverage the wave in self-service and blur the line between public and private cloud services by exposing their infrastructure or software through private cloud management portals.

The benefits from a customer’s perspective are also particularly clear. Users get a one-stop shop where they can design, deploy, manage and pay for cloud services. Users can choose, based not on technology, but on characteristics like price, service levels, security and compliance capabilities, where they run their workloads.

In this way they develop a cloud strategy. For example, an organization may want to run their test and development workloads on low cost cloud providers, they may decide to run their non-secure production apps on a public provider who meets their service uptime requirements and they may decide to save their compliance and security-sensitive workloads for their private cloud. That is exactly the approach we are seeing more and more organizations beginning to take.

So whether it’s Amazon leading the market share race or Microsoft winning the mindshare battle, the ultimate winner in the public cloud wars will be the one who taps into this move to self-service clouds.

By John Humphreys, VP of Marketing at Egenera

humphreysPrior to joining Egenera, Humphreys was senior director, Data Center and Cloud Marketing at Citrix Systems. There he drove efforts around virtualization and cloud and had responsibility for developing marketing strategy, defining packaging and pricing, leading program execution, driving customer engagements and pre-sales activity, and acting as a primary spokesperson. Prior to Citrix, Humphreys founded and was vice president of the virtualization practice at IDC, a global information technology research firm.

Cloud Infographic: The Content Cloud

Cloud Infographic: The Content Cloud

Cloud Infographic: The Content Cloud

The ever expanding internet data coupled with social and mobile infrastructure expansion has made big data analytics a buzz word, especially looking at the fact that ninety percent of the world’s internet data is created in the last couple of years… Read More

Included is an attractive infographic courtesy of Olswang which delves a little further into the nature of big data content, and the cloud…

cloud-content

Infographic Source: Olswang 

Interview:The 8KMiles Acquisition Of FuGen Solutions

Interview: The 8KMiles Acquisition Of FuGen Solutions

8K Miles recently acquired FuGen solutions for $7.5 Million. The move signifies 8K Miles focus and interest in expanding into the Cloud IAM (Identity Access Management) and Identity federation brokerage services. What’s evident from the acquisition is the rising demand for simplified identity and access management on the Cloud, especially in hybrid cloud deployment scenarios. I interviewed Suresh Venkatachari, who is the Chairman and CEO of 8K Miles about the Cloud landscape and also about the acquisition.

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself and 8KMiles and its acquisition of FuGen?

I have an engineering background and bring over 24 years of management experience in the software product and consulting industry to 8KMiles. In the last 14 years I’ve had a strong entrepreneurial focus and founded 4 companies—successfully taking one public while selling two others. Prior to this, I headed the electronic banking software development at Deutsche Bank, Singapore.

8KMiles is a leading global, end-to-end cloud solutions provider and Amazon Web Services Premier Consulting Partner. The company is focused on delivering value-added cloud solutions designed to provide enterprise-level cloud security, mobile collaboration and large-scale data analytics for enterprise, SMBs, government and managed service providers.

8KMiles has deep expertise in secure cloud solutions, meeting important security qualifications such as FISMA in verticals such as government and more. The acquisition of FuGen Solutions will further enhance 8KMiles’ security services platform in the cloud, while offering innovative, complementary security measures such as Identity and Access Management to help streamline authentication across multiple cloud-based business systems. By incorporating and expanding on FuGen’s intellectual property for its enterprise Cloud Identity Broker, 8KMiles will be better poised to meet the growing security and compliance needs of large enterprises and government agencies.

Q. Describe how 8KMiles is adding value to the Cloud eco-system?

We recently received the honor of being selected as an Amazon Web Services Premier Consulting Partner, a designation given to only 15 cloud integrators in the industry. We’re very proud of this.

We have over five years of experience in building cloud solutions. Our team of cloud experts and enterprise-level cloud architecture is robust yet tailored in its approach to help companies power their cloud and go-to-market strategies, while achieving greater cloud computing savings and efficiencies. Our customers benefit greatly from our enhanced security services offered through our cloud platform, while being able to take advantage of more innovative, complementary security measures such as Identity and Access Management to help them better manage and streamline authentication as they increasingly migrate other business systems into the cloud. We pride ourselves in being able to help large enterprises and government agencies to meet growing security and compliance needs.

Q. In simple terms, how do you describe Federated Identity Management on the Cloud?

User identities authenticated by an authentication provider or identity provider other than a company’s identity management system, are said to be federated.

If an identity management system is hosted on the Cloud, identities are said to be managed using Federated Identity Management on the Cloud.

•If enterprise users can reuse their existing corporate credentials to access SaaS applications in the cloud without signing in again, then those users are also considered federated.

Government or Large Enterprises can also rely on a cloud identity broker or gateway as the federated identity management in the cloud to allow users to seamlessly access other cloud applications with their own credentials (BYOD) or with multiple types of credentials at different assurance levels.

Q. Do you see increased adoption of SSO within the enterprise Cloud space in near future?

Yes. Enterprise users will access an increasing number of resources or SaaS applications hosted on the Cloud (public, private or hybrid) and prefer using their credentials once to login, which would be the primary motivation for SSO adoption on the Cloud. On the consumer side, Financial, Ecommerce and Insurance applications, and Government Online Citizen services will see an uptake in adoption of federated access and streamlined authentication across sites.

Q. Tell us about the on-going pilot program of FuGen with some of the Fortune 500 companies?

In FuGen’s SaaS Onboarding and Certification for CA’s Cloud SSO Readiness Program, FuGen’s has onboarded and certified 50 plus SaaS partners of CA from a private cloud environment, helping many Fortune500 customers of CA to integrate with various cloud applications.

Q. Hybrid cloud deployments and federated SSO – perfect match?

Hybrid cloud deployments for enterprises usually have federated identities with or without SSO enabled. SSO enablement is usually preferred functionality for ease of access for users. Federated SSO reduces the complexity of handling password management related issues by providing improved convenience for enterprise users with streamlined authentication for Hybrid cloud deployments.

Q. How does FuGen’s IAM and SSO solutions address security concerns?

FuGen’s IAM solution precludes access to external resources or cloud applications for unauthenticated and unauthorized users. FuGen’s IAM solution with SSO prompts for re- authentication credentials if credentials are revoked or if access mechanisms are compromised. Specifically, FuGen’s cloud identity broker helps to address the following:

• Rapidly onboard and operationally certify SSO partners or cloud applications in real-time for federation compliance and security requirements

• Reduces the SSO and cross domain IAM deployment risks with respect to security, compliance and auditing

• Provide continuous monitoring and reporting capabilities for Federated IDM and SSO

• Minimizes the SSO partner friction and setup time

• Helps big enterprises to manage identity access for SMB partners and minimizes the weakest link problem

• Helps to manage Relying Parties federation policies and ensure compliance with Authentication providers

• Ensures the establishment of federated IAM trust framework from the start

• Continuous or ongoing management of federated connections for achieving the best Federation QoS (Quality of Service) for large deployments

By Salman Ul Haq

Disclaimer: This interview was conducted by Salman Ul Haq on behalf of CloudTweaks.

Understanding Technical Debt: Cutting Corners That Can Cost You Later

Understanding Technical Debt: Cutting Corners That Can Cost You Later

Understanding Technical Debt: Cutting Corners That Can Cost You Later

Cloud technologies are known to offer many benefits, but it’s safe to say that two words dominate expectations when it comes to development cycles: faster and nimbler. As more organizations implement agile development, it’s becoming clear that expedited time to market is an expected standard – and so is the speedy development that goes along with it.

As fast turnarounds and flexible production become a baseline of cloud development, so does the necessity for developers to fix, tweak, change and adapt as they go. On a sprint, it’s tempting to prioritize speed over completion, especially when a deadline for an impatient client is drawing closer. As a result, some developers are tempted to rush and cut corners in an effort to meet the delivery deadlines. Because of this, many in our field are becoming familiar with the term “technical debt.”

The danger, of course, is that even though those shortcuts can seem like an efficient way to achieve speed to market, they can damage teams in other ways. For instance, last year when LinkedIn suffered a hack and millions of email addresses were stolen, the company was harshly accused of cutting corners, which led to the vulnerability. Whether they did or did not is still debatable, however the cost to the brand and revenue were apparent from the mere idea that the company scrimped when it came to coding.

Every organization that’s using agile should be well aware that sometimes cutting corners can turn into technical debt that will cost your organization later – and can ultimately cause deadlines to be missed, sabotaging the same cycle time you were trying to protect.

Managing technical debt

Many developers make the mistake of thinking they know what corners they can cut without sacrificing quality. But as development evolves and uncompleted changes and abandoned directions pile up, the team can find themselves staring at a serious technical debt that must be paid.

The causes of debt are fairly common. The pressure to release a product prematurely, a lack of collaboration and knowledge-sharing, or a lack of thoughtful testing or code review and key documentation, are just a few dynamics that can lead to a significant amount of debt. So how do you keep this from happening to your team?

One tip to keep in mind is resolving issues as soon as they appear instead of putting them on a back burner. The earlier the stage of detection, the less expensive those issues will be to fix. Issues left unresolved, on the other hand, will expand into a technical debt that will eventually demand more time and money in eliminating. As one example, consider legacy code where the software engineers spend so much effort in keeping the system running, thereby supporting the debt that there’s not enough time to add new features to the product without additional expense.

cut-costs-cloud

Common shortcuts – and their costs

When work cycles are on the line, developers tend to cut some of the same corners over and over. A good example is Quality Assurance work, such as code reviews, unit testing, integration tests and system tests. Many developers feel comfortable skipping tasks here for one simple reason. Because this is work undertaken to validate the code, rather than actually writing the code (other than corrections found by the QA activities), they assume it can be eliminated with minimal risk.

The truth is that cutting corners here can mean sacrificing knowledge and productivity. While it might not be immediately apparent, the overall productivity of the team tends to be higher during a lot of these activities since they increase interactive learning within the team, which in turn leads to higher levels of output.

One way to protect this valuable phase is to implement processes that are used as a check list among every development cycle. In my company, we call this Tiempo Quality System (TQS), a defined set of best practices and processes that standardizes the engineering process. By using a configurator that ensures best practice QA activities are defined up front, TQS minimizes overhead while maximizing overall team productivity. Similar systems can easily be implemented among any development team and are a great way to eliminate technical debt.

Managing quick cycles without cutting corners

All of this might sound as if agile developers need to choose between delivering on fast-paced cycles or executing on solid development. Rest assured, both are possible.

One solution is tracking velocity to produce data that shows the production delays resulting from a backlog of coding issues. By demonstrating the exact fault lines that jeopardize product quality, developers can head off debt at the start. Things like Code Reviews should be looked at not merely as QA activities, but as opportunities for the team to learn together, create improvements on producing the code and work towards optimization.

The shortcuts worth taking

Developers must accept that the pressure to cut corners will never go away. So is it taking a shortcut ever acceptable? Under some circumstances, yes. One category that qualifies would be issues that aren’t showstoppers when working on release or deadline driven products. In this situation, rather than delaying time to market, refactoring can and should be implemented after meeting the deadline.

Predictable release schedules, deadline adherence, and expedited development cycles are good things and should always be prioritized in intelligent cloud development. At the same time, it’s critical to adopt a long view and not sacrifice quality in the pursuit of speed. Manage your technical debt during development and you’ll find it that much easier to deliver a high-performing product – on deadline.

By Bruce Steele

Bruce Steele is the COO of Tiempo Development. He drives Tiempo’s software engineering, professional services, consulting and customer support initiatives. Mr. Steele is a seasoned executive with over 25 years of management experience in the areas of operations, corporate development, sales and strategic planning with leading technology firms. He can be reached at bsteele@tiempodevelopment.com.

Private And Public Cloud Migration Standards

Private And Public Cloud Migration Standards

Cloud Migration Standards

Ever since cloud computing has seen mainstream adoption, the ability to migrate data between public or private clouds is becoming a key concern, especially due to the large size and the cost involved in the switch. The first question that comes to mind when discussing cloud migration is if there are any cloud standards that will ensure interoperability? This is because in the absence of such frameworks, the effort of translation or manual data transfer operations might exceed budgets, especially for large public clouds. Hence it is essential to understand if there are any interoperability standards that may help in the migration. Another key point is to understand the reasons behind a cloud migration whose assessment will justify such a shift.

We can say that cloud interoperability is still a topic under discussion by various cloud providers including HP, Red Hat, Rackspace, Citrix etc. The forum known as ‘OpenStack’ is promoting to build an open platform with open standards that various cloud providers can integrate in their systems making them more interoperable. The platform is backed by several players as seen in this list of supporting companies and many are hopeful that the cloud community will soon witness a complete set of standards along with guidelines to form an OpenStack certified cloud system. The standard is expected to cover all major components in the cloud including compute, networking, storage and OpenStack shared services running on standard hardware and providing an OpenStack dashboard. The custom user applications will run on top of this framework. This is collectively known as OpenStack cloud operating system that is easier to move between public and private cloud setups due to ease of interoperability.

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Another organization that runs by the name of Open Data Centre Alliance (ODCA) is also working to formalize the a specifications set for enterprise ready cloud. They have released a virtual machine interoperability usage white paper that describes their suggestions with examples from a test bed which features several offerings in this proposal along with architecture diagrams. The paper concludes with the statement that, “A capability for VM interoperability is an important precondition to truly realize the oft expressed benefits of virtualized clouds, such as the ability to balance resources through fungible pools of resources, business continuity and load balancing by leveraging distributed publicly available resources, as well as demonstrable avoidance of lock in to a single Cloud Provider, platform or technology.”

There is a cost associated with cloud migration which becomes a significant factor in making a decision about this move. The key factors to consider include IT service reimplementation, data destruction and sanitization, developers resource training, user guidance, regulatory compliance, vendor lock-ins and portability. Hence it comes down to whether or not this shift is justified in terms of expenditure, downtime and future gain in the business. Ideally one should look into cloud systems can support at least one open standard to facilitate future migration.

By Salam UI Haq

How CloudCheckr Is Leading The Cloud Analytics Charge

How CloudCheckr Is Leading The Cloud Analytics Charge

How CloudCheckr Is Leading the Cloud Analytics Charge 

Over the past few years, there has been an explosive growth in cloud computing, mainly due to the cost efficiencies of its pay-as-you-go model as compared to legacy IT. However, many companies that have migrated to the cloud have done so for more than cost savings; for them, performance has been the deciding factor. Whatever be the reason, these companies want to know what they are getting for their money.

cloud-checkr

(Image Source: Cloudcheckr)

This is where the specialized field of cloud analytics comes in to deliver answers. From utilization and cost analytics that are more important in the pay-as-you-go model, to performance and security analytics that are the focus of different cloud architectures, cloud analytics is a field that has attracted a number of players.

Among the leading contenders is CloudCheckr, a company that has carved a niche for itself by concentrating on the most popular public cloud provider Amazon Web Services (AWS). Unlike many of its competitors that focus solely on cost analytics, CloudCheckr places equal importance on performance analytics. As CloudCheckr founder Aaron Klein explained, “Cost is a major consideration for public cloud users, but it is not the only one. Users need tools for control beyond cost. Both SMBs and enterprises need visibility into performance. This means tracking resources, utilization and deployment changes. This means alerts around security and best practices. CloudCheckr’s goal is to deliver all of these capabilities while still retaining its best in class cost and utilization analytics.”

The company recently announced major service improvements that address the aforementioned user needs. It has added change monitoring alerts, map overlays, and utilization heat maps for both Glacier and ElastiCache, and usage predictors for services such as S3. While all these allow public cloud users to improve performance, CloudCheckr has given cost analytics equal importance by expanding its cost predictors for EC2, RDS and other AWS services. Additionally, to cater to the needs of growing SMBs and enterprises, it has added multiple sorting, tagging and cost allocation features.

The company is also growing on the ground, as evidenced by a fresh $2 million of funding in April and additions to its workforce. CloudCheckr offers new customers a full-featured free trial (https://app.cloudcheckr.com/), a permanent free tier of service, along with a competitively-priced $179/month professional tier. With more and more businesses moving to the cloud and looking to optimize their deployments, CloudCheckr should continue to grow aggressively.

By Sourya Biswas

IBM To Acquire SoftLayer To Accelerate Adoption Of Cloud Computing In The Enterprise

IBM to Acquire SoftLayer to Accelerate Adoption of Cloud Computing in the Enterprise

IBM to Form New Cloud Services Division

ARMONK, N.Y. – 04 Jun 2013: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a definitive agreement to acquire SoftLayer Technologies, Inc., the world’s largest privately held cloud computing infrastructure provider. The acquisition will strengthen IBM’s leadership position in cloud computing and will help speed business adoption of public and private cloud solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

As businesses add public cloud capabilities to their on-premise IT systems, they need enterprise-grade reliability, security and management. To address this opportunity, IBM has built a portfolio of high-value private, public and hybrid cloud offerings, as well as software-as-a-service business solutions,” said Erich Clementi, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Technology Services. “With SoftLayer, IBM will accelerate the build-out of our public cloud infrastructure to give clients the broadest choice of cloud offerings to drive business innovation.”

IBM is acquiring SoftLayer to make it easier and faster for clients around the world to incorporate cloud computing by marrying the speed and simplicity of SoftLayer’s public cloud services with the enterprise grade reliability, security and openness of the IBM SmartCloudportfolio.

SoftLayer accelerates IBM’s ability to integrate public and private clouds for its clients, with flexibility that provides deployment options that enable a faster, broader transformation for small, medium and large businesses with a range of performance and security models.

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, SoftLayer serves approximately 21,000 customers with a global cloud infrastructure platform spanning 13 data centers in the U.S., Asia and Europe. Among its many innovative cloud infrastructure services, SoftLayer allows clients to buy enterprise-class cloud services on dedicated or shared servers, offering clients a choice of where to deploy their applications. These clients will benefit greatly as new enterprise grade functionality from IBM emerges for SoftLayer customers, who will then have a unique opportunity to incorporate it as their business grows.

“SoftLayer has a strong track record with born-on-the-cloud companies, and our move today with IBM will rapidly expand that footprint globally as well as allow us to go deep into the large enterprise market,” said Lance Crosby, CEO of SoftLayer. “The compelling opportunity is connecting IBM’s geographic reach, industry expertise and IBM’s SmartCloud breadth with our innovative technology. Together SoftLayer and IBM expand their reach to new clients – both born-on-the-cloud and born-in-the-enterprise.”  

Already one of the world’s leading cloud providers, IBM expects to reach $7 billion annually in cloud revenue by the end of 2015. IBM offers more than 100 SaaS solutions to help marketing, procurement, ecommerce, customer service, human resources, city management, and other professionals make better decisions and better serve their customers. IBM also offers Watson solutions such as Client Engagement Advisor in the cloud, superior solutions such as IBM PureSystems and SmartCloud Enterprise+, as well as mission critical cloud services for SAP.

IBM is a leader with enterprise customers based on its vertical industry expertise delivered from 10 cloud computing centers on five continents. The acquisition of SoftLayer will complement IBM’s existing SmartCloud portfolio, providing enterprises with easy access to a broader range of choices that transform their workloads while continuing to innovate with SoftLayer to meet the needs of born-on-the-cloud firms.

New IBM Cloud Services Division 

Recognizing the importance of cloud to global clients, IBM today is announcing the formation of a new Cloud Services division. Following the close of the acquisition of SoftLayer, which is expected in 3Q 2013, this new division will combine SoftLayer with IBM SmartCloud into a global platform. The new division will provide a broad range of choices to both IBM and SoftLayer clients, ISVs, channel partners and technology partners. SoftLayer’s services will complement the existing portfolio with its focus, simplicity and speed. The division will report to Erich Clementi, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Technology Services.

“Our clients are telling us they want to realize the transformative benefits of cloud today – not just for individual applications, but across their entire enterprise,” said Clementi. “SoftLayer is a perfect fit for IBM. It will help us smooth the transition of our global clients to the cloud faster, while enabling IBM to more efficiently offer them its broad portfolio of open IT infrastructure and software services.”

IBM intends to expand SoftLayer cloud offerings to include OpenStack capabilities, consistent with its entire SmartCloud portfolio and historic commitment to open standards such as Linux. Given that most companies will mix public and private cloud services, clouds need to interoperate. In that way, firms can better leverage cloud to run their social, mobile and Big Dataapplications.

IBM will also support and enrich the SoftLayer cloud-centric partners and ecosystem and its performance capabilities for Big Data and analytics. IBM will provide go-to-market and customizable resources for its expanding cloud ecosystem.

The Value of SoftLayer 

Among its many innovative cloud infrastructure services, SoftLayer allows clients to buy enterprise-class cloud services on dedicated or shared servers, offering clients a choice of where to deploy their applications. By building out a cloud with IBM and SoftLayer, a client can choose the work that belongs on a dedicated or a shared computing resource – thereby tailoring the privacy, data security and overall computing performance to the client’s needs. Importantly, this level of reliability and scale is critical for cloud-centric companies.  

SoftLayer provides the infrastructure for cloud-centric, performance-intensive applications in the areas of mobile, social media, gaming and analytics. The growing number of businesses incorporating mobile computing is helping drive SoftLayer growth.

·    In the last two quarters, more than 60 new gaming companies have moved to the SoftLayer global platform, frequently migrating from commodity cloud platforms because of problems with cost, latency, availability and raw performance.

·    SoftLayer’s architecture provides superior technical capabilities such as a software definable environment critical to a cloud infrastructure, programmable interfaces, and hundreds of hardware and network configurations.  This is designed to deliver a higher level of flexibility — mixing virtual and dedicated servers to fit a variety of workloads—automation of interfaces and hybrid deployment options.

·    SoftLayer’s automated networking infrastructure supports public, private and data center-to-data center architectures, and is designed to provide maximum flexibility and control for clients. The SoftLayer IT infrastructure connectivity enables connections with leading global network providers and Internet access networks.

•   IBM SaaS solutions for Smarter Cities, Smarter Commerce and other applications will be made available via SoftLayer over time, providing line-of-business clients improved time to value and new innovation across an increasingly integrated portfolio of solutions that accelerate business process innovation, provide analytics at the point of impact, and connect collaborative business networks within and across organizations.

The acquisition is expected to close following customary closing conditions including regulatory clearances.

About SoftLayer
SoftLayer, whose majority shareholder is GI Partners of Menlo Park, Calif., operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. Spanning 13 data centers in the United States, Asia and Europe and a global footprint of network points of presence, SoftLayer’s modular architecture provides unparalleled performance and control, with a full-featured API and sophisticated automation controlling a flexible unified platform that seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices, and a global network for secure, low-latency communications. With 100,000 devices under management, SoftLayer is the largest privately held Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider in the world with a portfolio of leading-edge customers from Web startups to global enterprises.

About IBM Cloud Computing

IBM has helped thousands of clients adopt cloud models and manages millions of cloud- based transactions every day. IBM assists clients in areas as diverse as banking, communications, healthcare and government to build their own clouds or securely tap into IBM cloud-based business and infrastructure services. IBM is unique in bringing together key cloud technologies, deep process knowledge, a broad portfolio of cloud solutions and a network of global delivery centers. For more information about cloud offerings from IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com/smartcloud. Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ibmcloud and on our blog at http://www.thoughtsoncloud.com.

Simplifying Workplace Collaboration Using Cloud Communications

Simplifying Workplace Collaboration Using Cloud Communications

Simplifying Workplace Collaboration Using Cloud Communications Cloud…

gives enterprises an opportunity to streamline all their business operations into one big place, the “Cloud”. With multitudes of small, medium and big enterprises embracing the Cloud and the early adopters broadening their penetration, why should communications be left behind? For years, voice communications systems within an organization, big or small, were never considered to be a good candidate for deployment on the Cloud under a SaaS or IaaS model. Thanks to the “liberalization” of communication technologies, Cloud based communications have made their way into the Cloud and are here to stay. Services like Twilio have now made it easier than ever to build enterprise communication services which entirely reside on the Cloud, saving customers the cost, complexity and time it requires to set up an on-premise voice communication infrastructure. Customer services, both internal and external will stand to benefit the most.

communications

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

In the early days of phone based customer service, complete voice routing and phone systems had to be installed in a dedicated customer care “call center”. This changed with IP based voice systems which promised significant cost savings, both in terms of infrastructure required to operate a service center and also the cost of voice calls. With Cloud, another major shift is happening, serving voice based services directly from the Cloud, without the need for sophisticated and bulky infrastructure and delivering better, if not same quality of service. Cloud communications have also achieved something which even IP telephony could not: liberalization of voice communication services. This is evident with the success which Twilio has achieved, both in terms of adoption and the quality it delivers. What’s interesting is that even independent developers can put together a voice communication service within minutes! I personally tried it to route calls from an online number, which I purchased on Twilio, creating a voice menu for the number and then routing the call to the relevant person based on what the caller selects. It took me less than an hour to achieve this.

Enterprises now have a plethora of collaboration and communication services to meet diversified and changing needs and requirements of the modern workforce with the goal to increase productivity and keep the focus on business instead of managing the infrastructure. Unifying all these collaboration and communication services deployed in-house for employees and external customer care services not only improves employee collaboration and customer care but also addresses the changing workplace with small teams placed remotely and home based or mobile employees. Solutions served out of the Cloud give enterprises, small and big, the opportunity to deploy UC (Unified Communication) and extract all the benefits which comes with this strategy while at the same time cut down on IT cost, both in terms of the spend on infrastructure and its management.

Frost & Sullivan has announced an eBroadcast featuring talks from Cloud communication industry experts. This eBroadcast will give you an update on the Cloud UC (Unified Communications) and external customer care markets. It will also discuss some of the benefits of cloud communications and will recommend strategies for selecting the right cloud solution and provider.

To register, visit this page.

By Salam UI Haq

CloudTweaks Comics
Cloud Infographic – Interesting Big Data Facts

Cloud Infographic – Interesting Big Data Facts

Big Data Facts You Didn’t Know The term Big Data has been buzzing around tech circles for a few years now. Forrester has defined big data as “Technologies and techniques that make capturing value from data at an extreme scale economical.” The key word here is economical. If the costs of extracting, processing, and making use…

The Business of Security: Avoiding Risks

The Business of Security: Avoiding Risks

The Business of Security Security is one of those IT concerns that aren’t problematic until disaster strikes. It might be tomorrow, it could be next week or next year. The fact is that poor security leaves businesses wide open for data loss and theft. News outlets just skim the surface, but hackers cost business up…

Lavabit, Edward Snowden and the Legal Battle For Privacy

Lavabit, Edward Snowden and the Legal Battle For Privacy

The Legal Battle For Privacy In early June 2013, Edward Snowden made headlines around the world when he leaked information about the National Security Agency (NSA) collecting the phone records of tens of millions of Americans. It was a dramatic story. Snowden flew to Hong Kong and then Russia to avoid deportation to the US,…

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies Clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities are embracing new mobile technologies in order to be more efficient in their daily tasks. With faster communication and better collaboration, clinicians can spend much less time handling medical devices and more time administering care to their patients. Industry experts are stating that mobile connected technologies…

Is The Fintech Industry The Next Tech Bubble?

Is The Fintech Industry The Next Tech Bubble?

The Fintech Industry Banks offered a wide variety of services such as payments, money transfers, wealth management, selling insurance, etc. over the years. While banks have expanded the number of services they offer, their core still remains credit and interest. Many experts believe that since banks offered such a wide multitude of services, they have…

The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

What’s Missing in the IoT? While the Internet of Things has become a popular concept among tech crowds, the consumer IoT remains fragmented. Top companies continue to battle to decide who will be the epicenter of the smart home of the future, creating separate ecosystems (like the iOS and Android smartphone market) in their wake.…

Cloud Infographic – The Data Scientist

Cloud Infographic – The Data Scientist

Data Scientist Report The amount of data in our world has been exploding in recent years. Managing big data has become an integral part of many businesses, generating billions of dollars of competitive innovations, productivity and job growth. Forecasting where the big data industry is going has become vital to corporate strategy. Enter the Data…

Cloud Infographic: Programming Languages To Build Your Cloud

Cloud Infographic: Programming Languages To Build Your Cloud

Programming Languages What programming languages are the building blocks to help develop and facilitate these present and future cloud platforms? Where can we learn and develop these skills in order to help us build our own careers? A couple of options would be to visit sites such as Stackoverflow which can provide you with a good source of information.…

4 Industries Being Transformed By The Internet of Things

4 Industries Being Transformed By The Internet of Things

Compelling IoT Industries Every year, more and more media organizations race to predict the trends that will come to shape the online landscape over the next twelve months. Many of these are wild and outlandish and should be consumed with a pinch of salt, yet others stand out for their sober and well-researched judgements. Online…

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations Everyone knows what the cloud is, but does everybody know where the cloud is? We try to answer that as we look at some of the most unusual data centre locations in the world. Under the Eyes of a Deity Deep beneath the famous Uspenski Cathedral in the…

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

Individuals and Password-Sharing With the 1980s came the explosion of computing. In 1980, the Commodore ushered in the advent of home computing. Time magazine declared 1982 was “The Year of the Computer.” By 1983, there were an estimated 10 million personal computers in the United States alone. As soon as computers became popular, the federal government…

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security It’s no secret many organizations rely on popular cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft for access to computing infrastructure. The many perks of cloud services, such as the ability to quickly scale resources without the upfront cost of buying physical servers, have helped build a multibillion-dollar cloud industry that continues to grow each…

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

Cancer Moonshot In his final State of the Union address in January 2016, President Obama announced a new American “moonshot” effort: finding a cure for cancer. The term “moonshot” comes from one of America’s greatest achievements, the moon landing. If the scientific community can achieve that kind of feat, then surely it can rally around…

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

How to Identify and Authenticate in the Expanding IoT Ecosystem It is a necessity to protect IoT devices and their associated data. As the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, the need to create an identity to newly-connected things is becoming increasingly crucial. These ‘things’ can include anything from basic sensors and gateways to industrial controls…

Beacons Flopped, But They’re About to Flourish in the Future

Beacons Flopped, But They’re About to Flourish in the Future

Cloud Beacons Flying High When Apple debuted cloud beacons in 2013, analysts predicted 250 million devices capable of serving as iBeacons would be found in the wild within weeks. A few months later, estimates put the figure at just 64,000, with 15 percent confined to Apple stores. Beacons didn’t proliferate as expected, but a few…

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

There is a Difference – So Stop Comparing We are all familiar with the old saying “That’s like comparing apples to oranges” and though we learned this lesson during our early years we somehow seem to discount this idiom when discussing the Cloud. Specifically, IT buyers often feel justified when comparing the cost of a…

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks Does cloud security risks ever bother you? It would be weird if it didn’t. Cloud computing has a lot of benefits, but also a lot of risks if done in the wrong way. So what are the most important risks? The European Network Information Security Agency did extensive research on that, and…

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Cloud Security Mindset Businesses are becoming wise to the compelling benefits of cloud computing. When adopting cloud, they need a high level of confidence in how it will be risk-managed and controlled, to preserve the security of their information and integrity of their operations. Cloud implementation is sometimes built up over time in a business,…

Technology Influencer in Chief: 5 Steps to Success for Today’s CMOs

Technology Influencer in Chief: 5 Steps to Success for Today’s CMOs

Success for Today’s CMOs Being a CMO is an exhilarating experience – it’s a lot like running a triathlon and then following it with a base jump. Not only do you play an active role in building a company and brand, but the decisions you make have direct impact on the company’s business outcomes for…