Author Archives: CloudTweaks

Software Overload: Containing The Cloudy Chaos

Software Overload: Containing The Cloudy Chaos

There is little argument about whether business applications are useful in cutting costs and boosting profits. Even small businesses are at a serious disadvantage if they don’t make use of any. Most small businesses start out with simple accounting software and an office suite. As a business grows, it begins to incorporate more and more applications to suit the needs of a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) such as customer relationships managing, human resources, and shopping cart software, etc. On top of those, large businesses employ applications designed for business process management, enterprise resource management, and product lifecycle management.

Unfortunately, the more applications used in a business’ network environment, the greater the potential for problems as new software often doesn’t integrate well with other software. Issues that have plagued software development companies and led to faulty software in the past still affect much of the software being produced. However, these companies also realize that better integration is increasingly marketable which will hopefully improve their approach. In the meantime, the issue weighs upon IT departments.

According to Forrester, application performance is a critical element of workforce productivity and “the complexity of [multitier] business services has grown unmanageable. Enterprises clearly want to rationalize their business services and make them more manageable. However, this can’t be accomplished without tools to abstract the current complexity of applications.” This means that at some point in its growth, a business is going to need to have a good strategy for managing its applications.

Whatever your approach may be, there are key factors to consider:

  1. Does your system identify problems before they become serious detriments to your flow of business? One of the key factors of a successful business is the quickness with which it adapts to a changing environment. This holds especially true with application management. When things begin to go wrong, you want to fix the problem before it becomes a catastrophe.
  2. Does your system learn from past mistakes? There may be a quick way to resolve a problem because it is one that has occurred and been addressed before. It is important that records are kept.
  3. Is your system able to identify the source of the problem? This ability is critical because much time can be wasted sifting through the components of a complex system.
  4. Is your system able to analyze the source of the problem? In other words, your system must be able to understand what the cause of the problem is and be able to come up with a viable solution.

The answers to these questions are probably not black and white, but it is important to understand that the level of affirmation to them directly correlates to the success of your business.
Fortunately, these days there is software available to manage your software. Application performance management software is readily available in today’s market and it isn’t difficult to see why. Applications have been improving the efficiency and flow of business in all departments. There is no legitimate reason applications wouldn’t be used to do the same for IT.

The demand for applications that help businesses run more efficiently has grown significantly in recent years, partly due to ease of access, which also creates a need to manage them more closely. Though some businesses may remain reluctant to move into the cloud, most have already integrated into it even if they haven’t put all their eggs in that basket. Software as a Service (SaaS) is proliferating quickly enough that even CIO’s find themselves surprised by how many of these applications their company is using.

Some speculate that the role of IT is diminishing as processes become more automated and business networks continue to shift into the cloud either by choice or consumerization of IT. However, the truth is simply that the role of IT is changing, so adaptation to change is as vital to IT as it is to the businesses being supported. A more optimistic view indicates that better management software frees IT personnel to focus on more fundamental matters rather than having to run around putting out fires. Some also speculate that IT may shift into a role that involves less control over what the business does in terms of its computer technology and more cooperation with business leaders to enable them with the applications that suit the business best. This means that knowledge of software, integration of improving software, and managing a complex application-saturated network environment become the best and most marketable skills for IT personnel.

If your business is growing, chances are good that it will experience growing pains. In terms of software, it is increasingly wise to prepare for the influx of applications in your network environment than to let it develop and then figure out how you can make it all fit together smoothly. While IT manpower will always be a fundamental aspect of the computer environment of business, the tools they use are just as important.

By Arthur Nichols

Arthur Nichols is a Systems Analyst with a passion for writing. His interest in computers began when Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov in a regulation chess tournament. When Arthur isn’t drawing up diagrams and flow charts, he writes for BMC, leading supplier of application performance management software.

Collaboration Solution: IBM CloudSmart Docs

Collaboration Solution: IBM CloudSmart Docs

According to Ed Brill, director of product line management for Collaboration Solutions at IBM, the launching of CloudSmart Docs, IBM’s portfolio in the collaboration space is now complete.  The solution is competitively priced, security-rich, reliable, flexible and extensible.

IBM CloudSmart Docs challenges Google Docs and Microsoft 365 and includes similar applications to those included in its rivals offerings.

IBM CloudSmart Docs provides the tools needed in order to help individuals and communities interact, form relationships, make decisions, accomplish work such as: online collaboration with people inside or outside your company, collaborative creation, editing, sharing of word, spreadsheet and presentation documents, instant messaging, web meetings, mail and calendar.

According to IBM, a social business recognizes that people do business with people and optimizes how people interact to accomplish organizational goals:

  • Deeply connecting individuals in productive, efficient ways

  • Providing line of sight across traditional boundaries and better aligning actions to needs

  • Speeding up business with insight to anticipate and address evolving opportunities

The service is available in 3 versions for standard configurations: Connections, Engage Advanced and Engage Standard.  Users can select the solution that fits your business needs. Stand-alone services such as Meetings, Notes and iNotes can also be purchased.  A great benefit for IBM CloudSmart Docs is that mobile apps for accessing files are available with all of the plans. This feature allows people to be more efficient anytime, anywhere, on any mobile device.

With integrated applications such as Salesforce for Customer Relationship Management or Skype and Ariba for Community & Collaboration, extension of your social business capabilities is guaranteed.

CloudSmart Docs will most likely be biting into Google Docs and Microsoft 365’s market share, it is just a matter of time.

By Rick Blaidsell / RicksCloud

The Cloud Computing Market In 2013

The Cloud Computing Market In 2013

When it comes to cloud computing, expectations are high for 2013. Businesses of all sizes are putting their hopes into cloud computing technologies and services to help them deliver business value while reducing operating costs. According to a recent Foresights survey nearly 50% of all enterprises in North America and Europe will set aside budgets for cloud investments in 2013. Also, 50% of software development companies are planning to deploy applications in the cloud. Let’s see what analysts and researchers expect from the cloud computing market in 2013:

Cloud technology will reach more customers in 2013

The cloud computing marketplace will reach $16.7B in revenue by 2013, including the large and well-established software-as-a-service (SaaS) category, according to a research report by 451 Market Monitor, compared to a revenue of $8.7B in 2010.

According to analyst firm TechMarketView, more customers will start using Software as a Service (SaaS) and hosted business process (BPaaS) over the next year. Research director John O’Brien explained that in 2013 cloud technologies will have to respond to business expectations with “new services, partnerships and contracting models to meet client expectations for increased delivery flexibility, cost transparency, and elasticity of consumption. 2013 will be the test-bed for this and determine which models and suppliers are likely to succeed or fail.”

Cloud storage market to grow to $46.8 billion

According to the Cloud Storage Market-Worldwide Forecasts & Analysis research report (that includes Cloud Storage Gateways, Backup & Recovery, Data Movement & Access, Data Replication, Hsm & Archiving, Security And Storage Resource Management Solutions), published by, the global cloud market is expected to grow from $5.6 billion in 2012 to $46.8 billion by 2013, at an estimated CAGR of 40.2% from 2013 to 2018.

Cloud computing in the federal government infrastructure

According to the U.S. Federal Cloud Computing Market Forecast 2013, the Federal Government cloud computing market enters into double-digit growth phase – at about 16% CAGR over the period 2013-2018.

Cloud IaaS market to grow by 47.8% through 2015

Gartner makes this prediction and it also advises outsourcers not moving in this direction that consolidation and cannibalization will occur in the 2013 – 2014 timeframe.

It’s obvious that cloud computing is expected to grow at an unprecedented rate in 2013. For sure, the cloud computing environment will extremely change over 2013 as it becomes inevitable for most companies.

By Rick Blaisdell

Is Cloud Computing A Threat To Older Tech Companies? Part 2

Is Cloud Computing A Threat To Older Tech Companies? Part 2

Continued From Part 1…. 

So, how accurate were IDC’s predictions?

Hindsight is, as the saying goes, 20/20; so while we won’t know exactly how precise IDC’s projections are, we can certainly determine if their aim was true.

IDC predicted: “Worldwide IT spending will grow 6.9%, surprisingly solid growth in a fragile, recovering economy. Mobile devices and apps and emerging markets will be the biggest growth drivers, while European debt issues will dominate downside risks.”

The reality: It’s close. IT spending is projected to top out at 6 percent in 2012, driven by software, storage, networking and mobile technologies. Research firm Gartner predicts that the release of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 8 OS could spur a surge of growth in the fourth quarter.

IDC predicted:Emerging markets IT spending will grow 13.8% … In the second half of 2012, China will supplant Japan as number 2 in the IT market.”

The reality: Right on course. Emerging markets are still growing, but China is slowing in response to Europe’s economic troubles. Japan’s growth has stagnated while IT spending in China is on course for fourteen percent growth this year; matching growth in India and Brazil. Russia is expected to finish at eleven percent and South Africa, eight percent.

IDC predicted: “Mobility wins” will be the top theme of the year as mobile devices outship PCs by more than 2 to 1 and generate more revenue than PCs for the first time. 85 billion mobile apps will be downloaded, and mobile data network spending will exceed fixed data network spending for the first time.

The reality: When even Microsoft is conceding that tablets will outsell PCs in coming months, that’s a pretty safe bet. As for the mobile-devices-versus-PC-shipments conjecture, some sources are positing that PC manufacturers have a little more wiggle room – until 2016 – before their former business becomes obsolete. And if projected security spending is any indication – Juniper Research believes that By 2016, 277 million mobile devices will have some kind of protection installed, costing mobile users a collective US$3.6 billion, and that 69 percent of this investment will be made by corporations concerned about corporate data is stored on mobile devices – then, yes, mobile data network spending will surpass fixed data network spending by the end of the year.

IDC predicted: Spending on public and private cloud services, and the building of those services (the “cloud arms dealer” opportunity), will reach $60 billion… and the strategic focus in the cloud will shift from infrastructure to application platforms and the race to build the largest portfolios and ecosystems around those platforms.

The reality: How about $109 billion? That’s what Gartner’s now predicting for public and private cloud spending this year.

And the same Gartner research shows that the majority of this spending is focused on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), developing process-specific applications (like billing systems, for instance) and on-premise services like phone systems and storage.

IDC predicted: Big Data will join mobile and cloud as the next “must have” competency as the volume of digital content grows to 2.7ZB (1ZB = 1 billion terabytes) in 2012, up 48% from 2011, rocketing toward 8ZB by 2015. There will be lots of Big Data–driven mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity.

The reality: IT behemoth Oracle certainly believes the hype. CEO Mark Hurd (formerly of Hewlett-Packard) is doubling down on Big Data and looking for ways to capitalize on the opportunity. As far as mergers and acquisitions go, here’s a very short list: Oracle acquired Endeca (a big-data company), IBM acquired HPC firm Platform Computing; Groupon acquired Adku, a big data startup that focuses on the e-commerce sector; and EMC picked up Pivotal Labs, a private agile software development firm.

Despite the ups and downs of the economy, 2012 has been a pretty good year for the IT industry. If the growth trend continues, 2013 could be even better.

By Sharon Florentine

This post is written by Rackspace blogger Sharon Florentine. Rackspace Hosting is the service leader in cloud computing, and a founder of OpenStack, an open source cloud operating system. The San Antonio-based company provides Fanatical Support to its customers and partners, across a portfolio of IT services, including Managed Hosting and Cloud Computing.

Is Cloud Computing A Threat To Older Tech Companies? Part 1

Is Cloud Computing A Threat To Older Tech Companies? Part 1

Almost exactly a year ago, The Informational Data Corporation (IDC) made some pretty bold predictions regarding the development of a new high-tech industry in the convergence of social networking, and cloud-based computing and data storage.

IDC suggested that many industry giants may scramble to maintain relevance in 2012, while some startups would gain leadership positions – part of the technology industry’s fastest transition ever.

Today’s major big players may be in trouble if they don’t prepare for change.

Spending on the new technologies will reach nearly $700 billion, or about 20 percent of the $3.5 trillion in hardware, software, and services spent on information technology worldwide, IDC said. As a great deal of spending in the sector goes toward maintaining older systems, such a share for relatively new technologies is a surprising speculation. Spending on these new technologies is growing six times that of traditional computer servers and personal computers, IDC said, and by 2020 will be 80 percent industry growth.

Much of the new development will also take place in emerging markets such as China, IDC said. It predicted that 28 percent of overall spending, and 53 percent of the industry’s growth, would come from outside the United States, Japan and Western Europe. By mid- 2012, China is expected to be the world’s second largest consumer of information technology, eclipsing Japan.

Frank Gens, chief analyst at IDC and head of the study, said: “Hewlett-Packard will be challenged. Microsoft, Intel, SAP, RIM, Oracle, Cisco, Dell – they are all facing the next transition, competing to be around in 2020. At least a third will fade away.”

Among the notable claims in the forecast, IDC said that spending on hardware, software and services in cloud computing systems alone will be $60 billion in 2012. The growth rate in this sector is about four and a half times that of the industry overall. About $36 billion of that was projected spending for companies providing cloud services to businesses, and the balance will be from so-called “arms dealers,” supplying things like servers and networking gear.

Mobile devices, which in 2011 outshipped personal computers worldwide, will in 2012 generate more revenue than PCs for the first time, IDC said. Shipments of mobile devices will outstrip PCs by two to one and 85 million mobile applications, or apps, will be downloaded. More money will be spent on mobile data networks than on networks tethered by lines.

The rapid transition to mobile, driven by an explosion of tablet computers, will challenge both traditional computer software companies like Microsoft and beneficiaries like Apple, which is seeing the dominance of its iOS operating system challenged by the open source Android operating system developed by Google.

By 2013 we’ll know who the leaders are,” Mr. Gens said.

So, how accurate were IDC’s predictions?  Find our by reading Part 2 tomorrow…

By Sharon Florentine

This post is written by Rackspace blogger Sharon Florentine. Rackspace Hosting is the service leader in cloud computing, and a founder of OpenStack, an open source cloud operating system. The San Antonio-based company provides Fanatical Support to its customers and partners, across a portfolio of IT services, including Managed Hosting and Cloud Computing.

Major Cloud Computing Events In 2013

Major Cloud Computing Events in 2013

Cloud Computing is a vibrant technical environment and 2013 is full of many conferences, workshops, exhibitions and learning programs dedicated to cloud technologies. Here are some of the most important events in 2013 you should keep a close eye on and consider attending:

Cloud Connect 2013April 2-5, Silicon Valley, California

Cloud Connect gathers application developers, senior IT professionals, infrastructure and service providers, and cloud computing innovators to share deep cloud insights. Hosted and led by the industry’s top experts, Cloud Connect delivers the latest business, technology and cloud regulatory insights.

Conference tracks I recommend:

  • Application Design & Architecture;

  • Cloud Economics & Strategy;

  • Infrastructure;

  • Performance & Availability;

  • Private & Hybrid Clouds;

  • Risk Management & Security;

Cloud & Big Data Conference & Expo / 3PX|TechCon – April 16-17, Bellevue, Washington

Cloud&Big Data Conference&Expo brings together business leaders and technology experts to explore the “third platform” (Social, Mobile & Mobility, Big Data & Analytics and Cloud Services) and its opportunities to streamline operations, mitigate risk, enhance security and increase profits.

Conference topics I find most interesting:

  • Software for Application Defined Networking: Secure Network Virtualization for M2M and Cloud Computing;

  • How In-Memory Computing Can Boost Cloud Performance for Big Data;

  • Enabling Widespread Enterprise Cloud Adoption;

  • How to Simplify Application On-boarding and Optimize Price-performance on the Cloud

  • Cloud-Based BI and Big Data Analytics for Strategic Business Advantage

  • The Distributed and Decentralized Cloud

Virtualization & Cloud Computing Summit 2013 May 30 – Jun 6, Anaheim, California

The summit gathers security managers and analysts, auditors, compliance analysts who want to discuss and understand the risks of virtualization and cloud computing models and scenarios.

Topics from the agenda that I recommend:

  • Extending Your Private Cloud into Public Clouds

  • Emerging Architectures, Emerging Threats

  • Tools You Can Use: The Virtualization and Cloud Toolkit

CloudCon Expo & ConferenceMay 14-15, San Francisco, California

The event brings IT professionals and decision makers together, to discuss best practices and strategies for Cloud Deployment. It aims to help them understand how cloud technologies implementation can bring benefits such as reliability, adaptability and cost reduction.

Interesting topics on the event agenda:

  • Challenges of Cloud Computing in Highly Scalable and Secure enterprises

  • PaaS on Software Defined Data Centers (SDDC)

  • Cloud Storage & Backup Platforms

The 12th International Cloud Expo – June 10-13, New York

The event brings together decision makers in SMBs and enterprises to discover  the latest innovations in Cloud Computing that can help them minimize cost, improve scalability and maximize performance. I don’t have the full details yet, but the Call for Papers is open until March, 17th.

By Rick Blaisdell

CloudTweaks Comics
Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

Security, Security, Security!! Get use to it as we’ll be hearing more and more of this in the coming years. Collaborative security efforts from around the world must start as sometimes it feels there is a sense of Fait Accompli, that it’s simply too late to feel safe in this digital age. We may not…

Reuters News: Powerfull DDoS Knocks Out Several Large Scale Websites

Reuters News: Powerfull DDoS Knocks Out Several Large Scale Websites

DDoS Knocks Out Several Websites Cyber attacks targeting the internet infrastructure provider Dyn disrupted service on major sites such as Twitter and Spotify on Friday, mainly affecting users on the U.S. East Coast. It was not immediately clear who was responsible. Officials told Reuters that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau…

The DDoS That Came Through IoT: A New Era For Cyber Crime

The DDoS That Came Through IoT: A New Era For Cyber Crime

A New Era for Cyber Crime Last September, the website of a well-known security journalist was hit by a massive DDoS attack. The site’s host stated it was the largest attack of that type they had ever seen. Rather than originating at an identifiable location, the attack seemed to come from everywhere, and it seemed…

The Conflict Of Net Neutrality And DDoS-Attacks!

The Conflict Of Net Neutrality And DDoS-Attacks!

The Conflict Of Net Neutrality And DDoS-Attacks! So we are all cheering as the FCC last week made the right choice in upholding the principle of net neutrality! For the general public it is a given that an ISP should be allowed to charge for bandwidth and Internet access but never to block or somehow…

Cloud Infographic – DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms

Cloud Infographic – DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms

DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms Above DDoS attacks, unauthorized access and false alarms, malware is the most common incident that security teams reported responding to in 2014, according to a recent survey from SANS Institute and late-stage security startup AlienVault. The average cost of a data breach? $3.5 million, or $145 per sensitive…

Update: Timeline of the Massive DDoS DYN Attacks

Update: Timeline of the Massive DDoS DYN Attacks

DYN DDOS Timeline This morning at 7am ET a DDoS attack was launched at Dyn (the site is still down at the minute), an Internet infrastructure company whose headquarters are in New Hampshire. So far the attack has come in 2 waves, the first at 11.10 UTC and the second at around 16.00 UTC. So…

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

Botnets and DDoS Attacks There’s just so much that seems as though it could go wrong with closed-circuit television cameras, a.k.a. video surveillance. With an ever-increasing number of digital eyes on the average person at all times, people can hardly be blamed for feeling like they’re one misfortune away from joining the ranks of Don’t…

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Password Challenges  Simple passwords are no longer safe to use online. John Barco, vice president of Global Product Marketing at ForgeRock, explains why it’s time the industry embraced more advanced identity-centric solutions that improve the customer experience while also providing stronger security. Since the beginning of logins, consumers have used a simple username and password to…

Why Security Practitioners Need To Apply The 80-20 Rules To Data Security

Why Security Practitioners Need To Apply The 80-20 Rules To Data Security

The 80-20 Rule For Security Practitioners  Everyday we learn about yet another egregious data security breach, exposure of customer data or misuse of data. It begs the question why in this 21st century, as a security industry we cannot seem to secure our most valuable data assets when technology has surpassed our expectations in other regards.…

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,…

How You Can Improve Customer Experience With Fast Data Analytics

How You Can Improve Customer Experience With Fast Data Analytics

Fast Data Analytics In today’s constantly connected world, customers expect more than ever before from the companies they do business with. With the emergence of big data, businesses have been able to better meet and exceed customer expectations thanks to analytics and data science. However, the role of data in your business’ success doesn’t end…

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart  Breaches Formal verification is not a new concept. In a nutshell, the process uses sophisticated math to prove or disprove whether a system achieves its desired functional specifications. It is employed by organizations that build products that absolutely cannot fail. One of the reasons NASA rovers are still roaming Mars…

Which Is Better For Your Company: Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment?

Which Is Better For Your Company: Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment?

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? You know how enterprise resource management (ERP) can improve processes within your supply chain, and the things to keep in mind when implementing an ERP system. But do you know if cloud-based or on-premise ERP deployment is better for your company or industry? While cloud computing is becoming more and…

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

The Cloud Is Not Enough! Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions

Why Businesses Need Hybrid Solutions Running a cloud server is no longer the novel trend it once was. Now, the cloud is a necessary data tier that allows employees to access vital company data and maintain productivity from anywhere in the world. But it isn’t a perfect system — security and performance issues can quickly…

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Cloud Email Migration In today’s litigious society, preserving your company’s data is a must if you (and your legal team) want to avoid hefty fines for data spoliation. But what about when you move to the cloud? Of course, you’ve probably thought of this already. You’ll have a migration strategy in place and you’ll carefully…


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