Author Archives: Humayun

Need for Speed: Towards Satiating End Consumer Cloud Speed Craving

Need for Speed: Towards Satiating End Consumer Cloud Speed Craving

Every passing day, end consumers have involuntarily been fine-tuned to anticipate technology at large becoming swift in terms of the offered data rate, superior in terms of quality of service and inexpensive in terms of aggregated cost.

In essence, the modern day consumer is in a constant state of technological rush – the distinctive feature that has an impact on all facets of business operations and returns. It is not long ago that users exhibited a craving for web based content to be delivered instantly after system power up. The advent of optical fiber network made achieving this feat a piece of cake; after all optical fiber meant reaching out to the world at the speed of light. Came along on the shoulder of this giant the concept of cloud computing, and intrinsic to it was mounting end-user expectancy of seamless cloud platform access without spatiotemporal bounds of any sort.

It is worth to note that the mere incorporation of optical fiber as the core physical layer element itself is not enough to render the hosted cloud applications to function at lightning speeds. For that to take place the cloud architecture needs to be worked out. The end-user geographical location and the underlying root technology in particular have a lot to do with the actual experienced cloud data pull-down speed. Warranting thunderous access to cloud-based information in general and business-intensive data in particular, thus, needs ample consideration.

The primary aspect to take into consideration is, well simple – distance. To synchronize two or more computing machines for reliable data exchange a three-way handshake is essential. While a file is being pulled down off the cloud, the end-user’s system sends an OK signal for each block of data that has been acquired correctly. So logically, shorter distances between cloud hosts and end-users are valued more as compared to longer distances. The idea is to liberate computers of idle time in which they wait for reception confirmations and instead put them to the actual task of data transit. In simple words, a person located in New Delhi, India might find it extremely difficult to achieve connectivity speeds of 11-14 Mbps with a cloud located in New York, whereas the same rate could have easily reached up to 35 Mbps had the same cloud been hosted in, say, Dubai.

In addition to hosting (ideally multiple) clouds at appropriate proximity of end-users, another important facet is to come up with shortest possible routes which makes perfect sense – shorter the distance lesser the latency and greater the pull-down speed.

Yet another move that is bound to vouchsafe high speed access is the incorporation of the cloud within the network itself. Once morphed into the cloud computing backbone, the network can provide instant access to the required information.

Cloud computing augmented with surgically tailored intelligent network additives can lead to outright satiation of the escalated craving for utterly fast access to remote storage and data processing services. With the data rates improving, the pieces of the cloud technology future puzzle fit together just perfectly.

By Humayun Shahid

Cloud Computing Brings Huawei And Intel Together

Cloud Computing Brings Huawei And Intel Together

China’s premium telecommunication manufacturer Huawei has recently joined hands with global computing giant Intel via signing of a MoU, a move that aims at strengthening Huawei’s commitment to provide cutting-edge offerings to its existing and perspective consumer base. The partnership would heighten core mutual engineering collaboration, a step that would bring to the market novel products including servers, storage platforms, data center essentials and most importantly, cloud computing solutions. The cooperation further extends to harmonize long-term objective attainment and cut down product development time-span.

Technology innovation” was described by Zheng Yelai, president at Huawei IT product line, as being the key binding corporate value that has been holding Intel and Huawei together for as long as 10 years now. Huawei’s recent hardware marvel publicized in July, the Tecal V2 server, is powered at its roots by Intel’s Xeon E7 and E5 processor line – a vivid indicative of the duo’s pledge to provide consumers with dependable IT solutions.

Huawei also unveiled its latest cloud-oriented product, the FusionCube Converged Infrastructure in addition to three storage-related offerings.

The FusionCube boasts software support for virtualization and cloud management. The solution can double to serve as a distributed storage engine. Huawei demonstrated hardware interplay and compatibility of the same with other storage options and networked devices. At the heart of the product is the ability to fuse, explained Ren Zhipeng, Vice President of cloud products at Huawei. FusionCube distinguishes itself as a multifunctional management system that is bound to reduce the otherwise inevitable expenditures including IT installation, commissioning and continuance. The FusionCube is all about cloud platform optimization and that as well with expediency and resourcefulness.

Huawei is the first in the industry to provide this kind of solution”, claimed Ren, one that “integrates computing, storage, and networking in a single device.”

The Huawei OceanStor HVS, Universal Distributed Storage System and MVX Big Data Storage Solution were also announced at the congress; offerings that are expected to improve on the previous (utterly popular) cloud storage models offered by Huawei. Fan Ruiqi, president at Huawei’s IT storage division explained that OceanStor HVS, equipped with Smart Matrix Architecture, conforms to the highest of industrial standards and stands out as one of the most adaptive, consistent and efficient cloud storage architectural hardware out there.

While the Chinese manufacturer seems all set to make its mark on the global cloud hardware scene, response in the US might be lukewarm owing to the stained repute as an outcome of ongoing scrutiny over probable spying allegations.

Jawee Sun, in charge of the marketing division, was nothing but positive about the North American market. “It is true the government has a tight grip over America’s big carriers, but the enterprise market in the U.S. is huge and keeps open for Huawei. It is a win-win situation.”

Sun, beaming with optimism, revealed that Huawei has only just secured a $6 million worth of contract with an undisclosed American corporation. This seems very good news for all the cloud zealots out there, since the majority of Chinese firms are known for competitive price quotes. Cloud cost shed awaited.

By Humayun Shahid

Cloud Confusion: The ‘Fluffy White Thing’ And The Potential Within

Cloud Confusion: The ‘Fluffy White Thing’ And The Potential Within

A recently conducted national survey has revealed that the layman American consumer is not precisely aware of what cloud computing in actual is and how, in essence, does it function. The research survey, initiated by Citrix and carried out by Wakefield Research, incorporated responses from more than 1000 American adult consumers.

A significant percentage from amongst the surveyed lot was convinced that cloud technology is linked with weather, has kinship with heaven, is closely related to happenings in the outer galaxy and even has something to do with toilet paper (huh?).

One has to admit that the survey, at some points, was evidently crafted to bring some humorous specks to the main. Consider, for example, the inquiry that posed what the cloud is, about 29% declared it being a ‘fluffy white thing’ (a real cloud) or a close variant; a mere 16% were able to read between the lines and correlate to computer network, remote storage, data sharing and the internet.

The utterly encouraging part is that despite the evident lack of sound knowledge (and a strongly felt presence of absurd beliefs) about cloud computing, the majority of participants, 68% to be exact, frequently recognized the potential inherent to cloud computing endorsement – lowering the cost of the operations was agreed upon by about 35% of the respondents, small business promotion and growth was marked by about 32% of those interviewed. Furthermore, about 35% expressed their belief that customer relations can be bolstered by cloud adaptation.

In addition, about 60% of the respondents thought they are yet to use cloud computing. Clearly they are unaware of the fact that whether knowingly or not, 95% of those surveyed actually made use of cloud computing in one form or the other. The breakdown includes using online banking, purchasing stuff online, being socially connected, enjoying online games, saving photos online and file sharing – powered at the core by cloud computing technology.

Participants of the survey are quite sure about the changes that cloud endorsement would bring about at ventures. A hefty 59% are confident that workplace of the future would reside on the cloud in its entirety. The associated fun side of cloud computing has captivated a mammoth percentage of Americans. An estimated 40% found the ability to use the cloud as a primary work-from-home tool an enriched experience. A startling 33% found direct access to their digital content in the middle of a sunbath truly fascinating.

The question remains whether it truly is important for the general public to understand the dynamics behind cloud computing? Well, it sure does. The cloud is expected to reshape on-job responsibilities of a significant proportion of those working in the US. And this holds true nor only for IT professionals but for a broad spectrum of employment genres. The cloud continues to add novel facets to sales, operations, finance and marketing.

By Humayun Shahid

 

New Crystallization Technique To Slash Cloud Computing Costs

New Crystallization Technique To Slash Cloud Computing Costs

Researchers specialized in material science and organic chemistry have unveiled an inexpensive process to obtain elongated crystalline elements possessing enviable characteristics. This was accomplished by the use of two tiny organic molecules exhibiting strong mutual affinity which leads them to assemble autonomously into a structured lattice, the condition for a material to be rendered ferroelectric.

The process makes use of readily available and inexpensive raw materials, making it suitable for next-generation, high-end technological applications. The end product, the crystals, is produced quickly and is definitely resourceful. This crystal seeding process is in contrast with the conventional industrial procedures used to obtain ferroelectric substances that are mainly surgical modifications of polymers and ceramics – extremely difficult to handle and inherently expensive to produce.

Ferroelectric materials are known for their ability to demonstrate impulsive electric polarization, a phenomenon that results in charge to be accumulated on one end of the material, making it electrically positive (and the other end, intuitively, electrically negative). The beauty is that the polarization can be reversed through the application of an external electric field. This makes the material valuable to computer memory researchers – the paired transitional polarity states could very well correspond to digital data bits being in a high or low state.

The core utility of the newly-discovered crystals is predicted to be in the sphere of computer server back-end memory. The technology can also enhance the operational performance of sensor devices, alternative energy systems focusing on solar radiation, and nanoelectronics in general.

In addition, these new materials could help reduce the expensive operation of cloud computing services. At the backbone of every cloud-based service are volatile memory banks for storing data for real-time or offline processing. Volatile memory is completely reliant upon a continuous supply of power for maintaining the integrity and entirety of the stored data. This translates into an essential requirement of an always-on power supply.

The recently discovered and easy to make material can be morphed into non-volatile memory. This type of memory resource has the ability to retain information even under a power-off scenario. The researchers are convinced that a transition to a cloud infrastructure only partially power-reliant, driven by non-volatile memory, could lead to savings in electricity costs as gigantic as $6 billion per year in the U.S. alone, not to speak of the resulting worldwide savings should the rest of the world follow a similar idea.

The amazing discovery by the Northwestern University Non-equilibrium Energy Research Group, funded generously by the U.S. Department of Energy, is all set to bring in significant cloud cost reduction (if adapted) for end-users and ventures alike. After all, the savings will most likely generate a trickle-down effect in the realm of cloud computing for sure.

By Humayun Shahid

Fiscal Confessions: CFOs Sight Is Definitely Cloud Worth

Fiscal Confessions: CFOs Sight Is Definitely Cloud Worth

Prompted by the infamous Mat Honan hack attack, cloud computing has been exposed to severe criticism over the last couple of weeks, pouring in from even those like Steve Wozniak and company. The (needlessly excessive) denigration has, however, served little to diminish the cloud demand prevalent at the end of ventures and individuals alike. Following the footsteps of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and top IT leaders, Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) have started exhibiting complete faith in cloud computing, a recent Google-backed study reveals.

The main research objective was to dig deep into how CFOs typically felt about cloud computing to see if the financial geniuses actually understood the cloud computing philosophy in its entirety. How beneficial would the cloud transition eventually be? To seek answers, Google reached out to about 800 CFOs originating from ventures located within Europe and the United States.

The results are in and the CFOs are certain of the cloud’s benefits. Remember that these are the folks who normally take pride in encouraging push-backs instead of forward leaps when adopting organization-wide novel technologies, unless the resulting gains are truly worth it. In this case, a hefty 81 percent of the interviewees are confident that implementing cloud technology would lead to improved employee performance and productivity. On top of that, a sturdy 71 percent are of the view that incorporating cloud computing would significantly dwindle the amount of time needed to transform product prototypes and conceptual service framework to a tangible state.

Within Europe, an approximated 67 percent of the respondents have either already endorsed or are planning to adopt cloud computing, whereas in the US about 52 percent of the surveyed CFOs declared that they constantly consider cloud-based systems in their ever-important IT roadmap and decision-making procedures.

Additionally, CFOs envision a significant decrease of the investment and operational costs, enhanced security, and considerable productivity boost inherent to the cloud-fueled freedom to collaborate with peers and teammates using cloud-based tools. Moreover, 69 percent of CFOs from Europe are positive that cloud computing emphasizes the innovation capacity of the concerned IT divisions.

The results of the survey are a vivid indicative of the fact that cloud computing enjoys unmatched popularity amongst the big guns – those who administer the money and call the shots. Logically speaking, arranging funds for initiating cloud-based projects within the organization should not be a problem; that’s good news for the IT people. CFOs have been prompt to sight the mammoth business benefits inherent to the cloud, and it’s about the rest of us to follow.

By Humayun Shahid

In Cloud Lies Convenience: Gov India Endorses Cloud Computing

In Cloud Lies Convenience: Gov India Endorses Cloud Computing

In a world where ventures and individuals are dubious in regards to cloud computing, content security and data integrity in particular, the Indian central government stands distinct by taking perhaps the boldest in nationwide IT management decisions of all times.

The Department of Information Technology India is convinced to transfer the critical information infrastructure all the way to the cloud. The chalked out shift involves formulating a national cloud based network that will serve to connect data centers for each of the constituent Indian states. The said cloud based network is expected to serve as the core underlying link for the national e-governance initiative – a suite of internet based government-to-citizen and government-to-business services aimed at facilitating the mammoth population of the country.

Once complete, each of the constituent state, in addition to the union territory it belongs to, will be allocated a private cloud of its own. When calculated over 28 constituent states and 7 union territories, the Indian governments’ cloud shift project sounds utterly tempting to service providers in terms of monetary returns. The awarded contract involves deployment and maintenance of private cloud network within each state. The Department of IT awaits proposals in response to its invitation sent already to cloud giants such as Cisco, IBM, HP and Dell.

The Government expects the project to cost a little less than a Billion Indian Rupees. The investment has its due worth; primarily because it will function to save on additional money that would have otherwise been exhausted on setting up redundant resources. The taxpayers are set to benefit the most out of this setup – sharing of invaluable soft resources such as number crunching capabilities of servers and storage capacity of centralized memory units promises a flexible and on-demand service structure, ensuring all important time being saved.

The cloud changeover endorsement by India has taken place only about time; United States being the first country to opt for the much needed cloud transition. The federal cloud strategy was brought into play by Vivek Kundra in 2010-11, the then CIO of the United States. A hefty $20 billion of the Federal Government’s IT budget was apportioned to the cloud migration by the Obama administration this year. The UK government was prompt to follow, forming its G-cloud approach aimed at diminution in operational expenses and a scalable economy.

With the existing cloud market anticipated to reach the $685 million mark by 2014 and an 80%-20% private-public cloud market break up, the future for cloud computing in India is definitely promising. Should India continue to sail towards the cloud, HP and IBM are likely to extract the most out of it, as majority of the functional data centers belong to the two. That’s good news for folks back home in the US – cloud building economies.

By Humayun Shahid

Lesson Well Learnt: Killer Tips For Securing The Personal Cloud

Lesson Well Learnt: Killer Tips for Securing the Personal Cloud

The hefty majority of internet users exhibit a significant level of dependency upon the cloud for digital content applications. From attractive personal cloud storage options to utterly useful email and web-services, cloud technology now has its stranglehold deep into the core dynamics of contemporary personal computing infrastructure. While every passing day witnesses cloud service providers pumping in a great deal of monetary funding as well as human effort to render the private cloud a safer abode for digital content, it is important to realize that the proceedings at the user’s end are equivalent of a decisive factor while taking the efficacy of cloud security measures into account.

There are certain types of breaches that extend beyond the scope of mitigation ensured at the user end – the most noteworthy example being the surgically tailored social hack experienced by Mat Honan last week. For the softer genres of hack attempts, a few extra precautionary measures can mark a definite difference between secured content and the otherwise inevitable information leakage.

To start off with, it is an excellent idea to have distinct usernames and passwords corresponding to each of the cloud-based services. This is fairly important as one would never want a single account contravention to trigger an unavoidable avalanche of the same. Furthermore, the passwords must contain an ample degree of controlled ambiguity so that the ultimate guess would still be a hard nut to crack. Blending in complexity serves the purpose pretty well; an inter play of special characters, alphabets and numbers is bound to make the hack a thorny feat to achieve.

Same applies for answers to security questions. It is preferable not to come up with custom designed questions for secondary level security. Sticking with the defaults is the last thing one would want to do. If the latter does happen to be the case, be sure to come up with answers that are not commonplace. As per theory, one of the most appropriate answers to, e.g., your birthplace would be: JUP1T3R – that’s ‘Jupiter’ jumbled up – obscure, distinct enough, and literally out of this world.

Another counter-intrusive measure is to have one’s digital content encrypted. Tousled information would appear non-sense to anybody lacking the password (and spur) to decipher (or crack) it. Setting up data-encryption does require a slight added effort at the user’s end. Obtaining relevant encryption software and having the encryption password(s) off pat is the least that’s needed. The subscription will cost a few extra bucks and it’s worth it.

Two-factor authentication is another effectual mechanism by virtue of which content can be further secured. Introducing an additional dimension of verification, a unique code sent to the users’ personal communication device in real time for example, is all set to bring a higher level of security. Certain service providers prefer a designated device for two-factor authentication purposes. The dedicated device is provided to end-users that generates a pseudo-random sequence at the push of a button. The sequence needs to be seeded in along with the username and password at each authentication instance. If you’ve landed yourself such a gadget, double-check that it’s kept somewhere safe and is reachable.

In addition, it makes perfect sense to have important data backed up. External hard-drives supporting mammoth capacity ranges have now become affordable. Equally effective is the option of having a secondary cloud backing up your primary cloud. Third party cloud services custom tailored to serve as backup cloud are in vogue.

Last but not the least, it’s advisable to have data done with for good when it is no longer in use. This is particularly important for confidential email messages, sensitive information, secretive contacts and so on. Practices such as using an updated antivirus, deploying a website advisor tool, securing your Wi-Fi network, avoiding anonymous file-sharing and, in general, staying away from anything that seems woolly will accentuate digital content’s integrity. Change willingly before hack-events storm in to prove their might.

By Humayun Shahid

The Cloud Build Up: Findings From Gartner’s Cloud Hype Cycle 2012

The Cloud Build Up: Findings From Gartner’s Cloud Hype Cycle 2012

Ventures today are on the verge of modifying their overall cloud-purchase conduct. The said has been prompted primarily by the diverse range of available operational options offered by the cloud technology providers including pace of implementation, associated finances and requirement-adaptation dynamics. Conversely, ventures still are distant from entirely giving up their conventional models and applications in favour of making space for the cloud; a recent study conducted by Gartner reveals.

hype cycle

The findings pour out of the eagerly awaited cloud technology analysis – the Gartner Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing, 2012. The report indicates that the most favorable of the results are demonstrated by companies that concentrate their (fiscal and human) energies on one particular cloud approach and making the most out of it to step up on the performance. Establishing a tactical framework of general objectives to start off with and then consequently working out towards the exact pre-crafted achievables significantly augments the chance of extracting success out of cloud-based policies. Businesses that think of the cloud as a mere cost cutting remedy are bound to wobble along their transitional journey, to an extent that would knock them off the course.

The Hype Cycle clearly describes that although the cloud upsurge might have reached the steepest levels in years, the cloudwashing phenomenon continues to haunt cloud-endorsers, serving further as a source of perplexity and puffed up expectations. This leads to an inevitable slow down of the cloud sales cycle in the long run. Among the cloud service providers, the ones that are living up to their promise of delivering timely, flexible, budget-friendly cloud solutions are beginning to surpass those that make use of cloudwashing as their frontline selling policy.

There are additional significant findings originating from the report. Summing it up, cloud based email is projected to have an in-enterprise adaption rate of up to 10% by the end of the year 2014. The figure has gone done by an exact half as opposed to the estimates of 20% in the previous Hype Cycle findings. This symbolizes unpretentious rise, as the embracing rate of this particular category hovered between 5 to 6% in the year 2011. The study also establishes private cloud as being the prime area of interest, with more than 75% of the participants chalking out a strategy in the said area. Software-as-a-Service is also securing firm ground in expansion plans of businesses. Gartner is convinced that more than 50% of companies will incorporate SaaS application components in their technical operations. Platform-as-a-Service remains the most widely misunderstood facet of cloud computing.

In a nutshell, Gartner’s Cloud Computing Hype Cycle is a vivid indicative of the fact that cloud-based initiatives, when inline with surgically-tailored thorough business mapping, bring about the most significant of returns (both tangible and abstract) to a venture.

The cloud band wagon is rolling big – and it’s about time corporations do their math and hop onboard.

By Humayun Shahid

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