Author Archives: John

Top 25 European Rising Stars 2012: Zyncro

Top 25 European Rising Stars 2012: Zyncro

Top 25 European Rising Stars: Zyncro

Stay Socially Zynchronized in Enterprise 2.0: Yours Zyncro

Zyncro is a Spanish cloud startup, with its base in Barcelona. It has spanned its reach to seventeen other nations (with individual subscribers in a total of 27 nations) and its active fan base has reached 140,000. Its latest mark of success came during the awarding ceremony by a sponsor, EuroCloud, which places it as the most important startup extending solutions in the European cloud for the year in early October. So what could be so ‘golden’ about an entity that has just come as an addition to the Enterprise 2.0 wave?

Zyncro traces its success to being an Enterprise Social Networking platform. The company has drawn a whitepaper, that it claims to be the initial such paper commentating on the topic of entrepreneurial networking. The manual provides the fundamentals, the how-to’s, management guide on interactive corporate intranets, details on departmental networking and the sharing basics of the Enterprise Social Network.

The key to the windfall of success that has visited upon Zyncro is its software which is on Software as a Service dispensation, to use a cloud buzz word. It provides corporations with a flexible tool that can adapt easily to other corporate networking requirements, rather than generically. According to the site, the tool enables data “exchange” securely, flawlessly and collaboratively within an organization. It also synchronizes with other sharing platforms that already exist in-house, to improve the social interactions of enterprise at the mid and high levels.

Other providers of Enterprise 2.0 like Yammer, which has millions of subscribers, will find this offering different in the aspect of functionality. Its Application Programming Interface has the ability to sync with other open-ended software programs in the market and scripting languages like JavaScript. If a company has a site that only operates under a given set of applications, the management can easily synchronize the virtual activity of that existing stat with the service provision of Zyncro. Users can even go a step further, especially on the PaaS platform and develop an original tool that has a foundation in Zyncro. This makes the latter less of stand-alone tool but a flexible interface for widespread integration with existing or native applications. The only drawback, with reference to Yammer, is that the latter has bagged direct synchronization with Microsoft desktop products like Windows Office 365, while Zyncro needs to write these programs into its interface after launching.

Hyper-connecting a corporation using the cloud as an economical stepping stone, for easy management and accessibility of data is the major concern of the Enterprise 2.0 dispensation of Zyncro. There are charts and graphical representations on the startup’s site that depict this hierarchical and pedagogical interconnectivity. Different departments interact and collaborate, while managers and employees discuss issues through the right channels. The ROI of an entity can rise when there is interaction between the staff and the managers, to make productivity an organizational effort that utilizes investment resources that are core to the company. Micro-blogging also earns a mention on how organizations can cooperate through their sales, finance, management and IT departments, among others, by posting daily activities online. These are some of the infographics that Zyncro presents as primary to a company’s breakthrough using an interactive technology as the bridge.

The Website

At first glance, the Zyncro site looks lackluster but on further investigation, one begins to filter the underlying professional outline. There is, for example, the forum segment that provides details about how to use the products of the startup. The forum demarcates several selections where one can share information including that of a group, activity and department. As a model of the Enterprise 2.0 wave, Zyncro, through its forum ensures that people understand both the broad terminology of the term and the specific software from the firm itself.

Zyncro qualifies as a European Rising Star because as an entrepreneurial workspace, it traverses programming shortcomings by integrating API and scripting languages. Secondly, it has already managed to create a territory for mid-and-high-tier companies through its interactive tools that have an affinity with the most advanced enterprise interaction platforms in the market today. It helps companies using intranets and private clouds to benefit most from internal interactions in their midst. Currently, its clientele base consists of well-known corporations in Spain and continental Europe.

Previous Mention: DoxOut

By John Omwamba

Where Hardware Meets The Cloud: Arraying High-End Server Platforms

Where Hardware Meets the Cloud: Arraying High-end Server Platforms

The web has brought out hardware machinery spot-on to cloud-based applications. Some of these servers are so scalable in magnitude, mindboggling in performance and high-end in gigabytes capacity, that they even sound a little alien. Suddenly they are here and those who only thought of them as data processors without a name can now identify with them, courtesy of cloud computing platforms. Intel, through its Tyan partners, is an example of companies that have enabled this to happen through its cutting-edge processing units. These can be discussed under the following headings.

GPU equipment

The Graphics Processing Unit is one of the biggest server products. It allows users to combine the three-dimensional and high-end qualities of videos and graphical interfaces with the core processing power of the Central Processing Unit (CPU). The result is a great chain of reactions. The server becomes at once fast for remote clients to remit and retrieve encrypted data across the cloud infrastructure. It also comes up with a modular system that helps to optimize capacity by users and thus reduce costs. Furthermore, its scalability is beyond question quite high, meaning virtual businesses that start small can expand within the server environment without any need to move to new hardware. Finally, the particular Tyan-Intel combination comes with a double-edge capacity that stores data, doubly, for a rainy day.

HPC hardware

High Processing Computing is essential in this age because it brings together open source formats for tapping data across infrastructural frameworks for the scientific community. There is nothing to prevent virtualization in a server that sometimes comes with features that are operational in any Operating System. It can best apply to the cloud, particularly the Intel one, for deployment in the Platform as a Service (PaaS) model. It can support experimenting with new applications in order to process mind-boggling scientific data in all server settings. This is particularly relevant to the current times when research on big data is going on to show how it can affect every practical aspect of living. It can, for example, help resolve traffic issues, increase yields in farms and boost productivity in industries. It is these fast processors, for science, that are necessary to make this a reality.

Embedded hardware

Embedded technology is now everywhere. It is apparent in videophones inside cars, connectors that make cell phones hands-free inside vehicles, as well as other wireless units. Sometime ago, only a few privileges like direct communication via the Internet were available for car owners. Now they can do every bit of communication, ranging from infotainment to virtual terminals inside cars thanks to internet-based hardware. This is the very aspect that is making the car become a moving computer, day by day, even without carrying bulky machinery.

The cloud itself is also represented by numerous hardware products that have come up of late. IaaS, which denotes the infrastructural connectivity of the cloud, comprising of servers, firewalls and the networks in the access-core layers is at the center of this transformation. An example is again the Tyan-Intel processors that come with capacities of as little as 32 gigabytes storage to more than 144 GB for those who look for more room to scale up. This storage discrepancy shows that they cater for both small-scale and large-scale storage ideals. Thus, the private and public clouds can use them all at ease, while scaling their services at the same time.

By John Omwamba

Can Telematics Be A Path To Securing The Cloud?

Can Telematics Be A Path To Securing The Cloud?

There are various terminologies that describe the use of Wi-fi, signals and data sensors to help send a message securely and fast. Telematics is one of these and it deploys its reach in three patterns: from one device to another, from a device to a person or from the source to the cloud. The latter form of interaction is important because it implies that it is possible to trace a vehicle, for which telematics is best known for, within a cloud computing environment. One does not have to install expensive equipment to facilitate this tracking, for most of the software is available at a server somewhere.

This begs the question of whether the technology in question can help to resolve the security issues in cloud computing. The answer is right, especially from the fact that the technology primarily concerns the import of staying in a safe environment when doing any activity whether on a computer or inside a vehicle.

Another reason why the technology can be the right one for enhancing cloud security is because it is real-time and micro in nature. It is micro because it can deploy on weak signals that are below 4G connectivity levels and yet still pass an emergency log from the source to the recipient. Secondly, it is real-time since it endorses signal connections between various network layers. This means that one will never lose track of a document on the web because the system maps the communication path, for example from one email to another, until it reaches the addressee.

Telematics can also be a safe solution for working on the Internet, safely, because besides being real-time in its observational scope, it can operate seamlessly across various devices. It is particularly prominent in cell phones where it provides instantaneous messages through a line. It also uses fast hands-free technologies like Bluetooth to enhance data acquisition. In the latter facilitation, it can play a diagnostic role where it increases the assessment of what a certain network is doing or what lies ahead for the driver in case of being on the road.

Just like the technology uses GPS to alert car owners about the traffic conditions, like when to apply emergency brakes and such, it can also help to notify database owners of impending cyber attacks. This can be a breakthrough that can change the face of Internet security as a whole, but it is still undergoing experimentation. What it can help with at the moment, is to enhance the strength of networks that form an infrastructure such as that inside a private cloud.

The technological scope of telematics is still evolving and may one day infiltrate the cloud computing sector with a lot of significance. This can be a worthwhile gain, especially considering the fact that security remains the most cited issue by Information Technology analysts as threatening the integrity of the cloud.

By John Omwamba

Top 25 European Rising Stars 2012: DoxOut

Top 25 European Rising Stars 2012: DoxOut

……An Open Source App That Can Marry Devices with No Boundaries

Ever wondered why the document always comes after the file? And why the file as data stays away in a remote datacenter while the document, as the living part of the file, remains for perpetual exploitation on that limiting cocoon that is the personal computer? Each of these questions has an answer courtesy of DoxOut, a startup cloud company from Macedonia in southeast Europe. It is one of the select 5 in the shortlist of the Europe 2012 LaunchPad honors by Gigaom.

According to DoxOut, it is still possible to save changes, check mistakes, collaborate and create documents across devices, anywhere, using an app that interconnects through leveraging on functionality. If it is hard to edit a novel on a five-inch Smartphone screen, the solution comes with this app that melts hardware connections first, by attaching the device to a larger, often incompatible screen like a smart TV set. Next, the app melts different software by synching all OSs so that the novel will be an end product, quick enough, using the DoxOut app and other native processors, now in full sync.

On the site itself, one learns that DoxOut is a do-it-all sort of application. There is a screen shot that shows a cross-section of gadgets, all smart, some computers, others tablets and yet others television sets. The homepage explains the reason for these mind-boggling interconnections with electronics of different tech breeds. There is even a point where an Apple Smartphone, despite that family of devices being mouse-free, acts as a makeshift mouse for some bigger device. Talking of madness that makes sense, this is one that really does.

The bottom-line is that DoxOut is a sort of HTML 5 of devices. It does not require a disparate version for the desktop, handheld device, personal computer or television. The makers claim that it is just one system that operates on its own Operating System but works on other OS’s, as well. For example, they show that when using Windows 7, it is still possible to synchronize the DoxOut machinery concurrently and so is it with Android OS.

Such high affinity device marriages are reportedly the first to ever have happened in the tech and Operating Systems’ world.

Where do all these interconnections lead? According to DoxOut creators, it is all about open source syncing of devices, be it a phone or computer, for easy editing, creation and collaboration on files. This means that it does not matter the gadget that is at hand at the given time, for it will be compatible with the system. Additionally, it supports UI, as well as, UX technologies. It all boils down to a fact: cloud systems have enabled this high-end and almost unimaginable integration to work out eventually.

The Cloud aspect

So what exactly is the cloud aspect on DoxOut? It is more of Platform as a Service (PaaS) kind of offering than infrastructure. It concentrates on the application part of cloud computing. It helps to manage documents/files across gadgets, however functionally different they may be. There are exceptions, however. Instead of keeping the files faraway into a server for a rainy day, as the mainstream cloud normally does, DoxOut offers an intelligent formula of storing and amplifying. The amplifying part means that users have full access of their documents, without any requirement to download them, because the app controls changes locally. As one improves upon a file, the process will be taking place in a virtual sphere outside the device, but only the foolproof copy will be within the local system.

In other words, searching, manually keeping and offloading of documents will never happen again. DoxOut treats files as documents, rather than taking documents for files. This means that any fine changes that visit upon the important piece of data will always come as an alert to the user, who does not have to insert it by hand or rummage through data, looking for it.

In the spirit of collaborating with other office workers, any revision that comes off a document will emerge as an alert to each member. They can then decide to add or dismiss these changes, before convening on a clean copy. All this time, no downloading or storing takes place.

The only downturn to such a perpetual system is that, when it creates a private cloud, it does so using CDs, which might be limiting. Many cloud operators usually render their app cannon through online means. However, for cloud security reasons, the disk format might be wise.

Testimonials from presentation teams reveal an affinity for the DoxOut app among the populace. A user of PowerPoint, known as Marco exclaims: “Long time I’ve been searching for an app…for PowerPoint presentations…on an iPad.”

There are others who associate with DoxOut in a heroic manner, like Brigit, a user who says that she has emerged a ‘rock star’ in her close circles for presenting ideas through the application.

Some of the inspirational stories that label DoxOut a true European Rising Star include Grigor Dacevski, the Chief Executive Officer at DoxOut. He has had multiple successes as an innovator who has seen four other tech startups reach their full bloom, often with no external financial injection.

The only limitation which often faces innovative startups is lack of outreach. This is one company that needs to spread its wings, far and wide, to help people look at technology, documents, cloud and hardware in a more functional manner.

Previous Mention: ComodIT

By John Omwamba

The Top 25 European Rising Stars is a special annual series by CloudTweaks, where we seek to celebrate new cloud startups that have demonstrated the strongest impact across the year. These have earned little or no press coverage nor loquacious claims but they are indeed rising. To authoritatively arrive at the top 25, we have applied a criteria pegged on critical parameters like the quality of management, current funding, valuable service provision, European based and professionalism in all respects.

We welcome you to join us in this year’s tour de force where as you will discover, every rising star has a unique angle that just serves to demonstrate that the potential of the cloud could be more gigantic than most of us can possibly imagine.

Interactive Education Via Cloud: Welcome To The Brave New World

Interactive Education Via Cloud: Welcome To The Brave New World

Interactive Education Via Cloud: Welcome To The Brave New World

Nowadays it’s possible to trace the route a learner takes to and fro campus in a jiffy. It is not physical stalking that matters, here, but the technology. One will only need to profile a piece of travel communiqué on a social

networking site by the given student to a friend, to know his/her whereabouts. This is because for everything one does, the intranet or profile that they subscribe to observes them too. Though this data about a profile does not get overboard, the email company, the datacenter or the network where the information passes gleans part of it. Networks are playing the role of Big Brother, everyday, assessing clients’ behaviors and knowing how many times they have visited their private cloud.

In other words, the brave new world of cloud computing is bringing education into the social sphere. Though in most countries, especially in Europe, it would be criminal to gather specific data about someone, it is no crime, however, to map profile details. For example, a college can use its cloud intranet to trace the time Tom, Dick and Harry usually log in to the school’s e-library and the time they spend there. They might also monitor their sleeping times, which might affect their education in a way, courtesy of the messages they remit over their networking accounts to their friends.

In the light of the above examples, here are two elements that will continue to define the educational scene via the cloud.

Ubiquity in networking

The emergence of social media has had a strong influence on the way learners interact. At first this was just a social platform for exchanging personal information. However, it has turned into an educational setting where learners can exchange notes from each other. They can also display their resumes there for the employers to see them. They can also stay updated, all the time, about developments in the learning institution from independent sources rather than the authorities. Knowing, for example, from a third-party source that the top management is changing hands at a college soon can help a student prepare for the transition even before the official announcement.

Identification details will enhance personal accessibility of learning materials

A student with a user ID will get greater access to an institution’s pool of online resources than another who does not have one. If there is a question about a schedule that learners may have forgotten about, they can find it on the register, online. One can even resolve personal choices that reflect the psychological pressures of staying in an educational setting. For example, if one feels conscientious about the way he or she uses their pocket money, they only need to use their ID to enter into a tips section of their school’s Internet and find out what suggestions experts are offering on running a student’s budget successfully. Thus, having recognition in the cloud is helping in getting handy information.

Though all the elements above show a preference for knowing the profile information of the learners, in the long run it does not amount into compromising identity. It helps institutions to create analytical trends about their individual students for a more harmonized educational model. Chiefly, it aids students to access texts and enhance their decision making power, while at the same time boost their social life because they have a cloud identity.

By John Omwamba

Cloud-Inspired Autonomous Vehicles May Revolutionize Traffic

Cloud-Inspired Autonomous Vehicles May Revolutionize Traffic

Autonomous Vehicles May Revolutionize Traffic

News coming from the Silicon Valley is not about things tech or computers this time round. Rather, it is how robotics technology is making advances in the world of vehicles by introducing the initial autonomous models. These automated autos from Google, the largest search engine company in the world, will need no human operator at all. In fact, the earliest releases have already undergone a cumulative experimental mileage of three hundred thousand miles. Only one State in the United States has licensed the makers to introduce the autonomous models into traffic situations, while another jurisdiction has allowed them to operate within experimentation scope.

The efficacy of autonomous cars has become possible courtesy of cloud computing. For an automotive to drive on its own, it requires a horde of guiding data that must be stowed away in a server somewhere. The technology, too, must have some human overseers who get to know whether every command for the vehicle is going according to the plan. For instance, the latest brands are receiving ample tracking through video technology. This helps to ensure that they do not go off track and do return to their station at the set time.

No crashes

This cloud technology in the auto industry may revolutionize the sector, if what analysts call half-a-decade before the masses get their first autonomous brands, comes to be. This will mean that there will be fewer costs for employing a chauffeur and more efficiency at arriving to work. There will, too, be greater productivity for the hands-free car owner who can transact business when in transit.

One of the most inspiring facts about the autonomous vehicles is that they will have little incidences of crashes. So far, Google has reported that none has taken part in a collision.

There are even traffic identification marks that will help tell the rest of the driving community that there is an autonomous automobile on the road. There will be a scarlet light on an experimental model in a traffic situation, while, when the masses begin to use them for transportation, theirs will bear a lime-green sign.

One of the major contributions of cloud in this development is that the data fed to the vehicle will remain the guiding factor, throughout. It will not need remote instructions to change its course: before departure, the machine will already have set its destination. It will also help to curb the occurrence of a traffic snarl-up because it will always stay tight on the right lane and won’t give in to the human impulse of overlapping. It also goes without saying that the vehicle will take artistic license to seek what its system might consider the easiest way to follow to a destination.

It is all systems go as the initial independent machines roll their wheels on the roads of the United States. It might be interesting to have one in 5 years as analysts are predicting for the population.

By John Omwamba

Cloud Security: A Round Up Of Prominent Highlights Across The Planet

Cloud Security: A Round Up Of Prominent Highlights Across The Planet

Though cloud security is a mandate that is heartfelt across the world, its approach in continents is as diverse as the cultures therein. Still, one can trace some parallel lines in what each of the global demarcations are offering that can eventually lead to a global consensus. As Africa emphasizes on user-supplier mutual playoff to prevent data compromise, the Asian bloc is heading the way with a range of conferences to talk on all matters safety. The Europeans are concentrating on laws that increase virtual data safety through encryption just when the Americans are concentrating on envisioning how to deal with a massive cyber criminal act, while the Australians concentrate on safer country-driven mechanisms.

The most disturbing issue in cloud computing is in focus again. There are conferences left, center and right, all hinging on security. There are even Asian circuits that are attracting the public backing of some major Internet and electronics multinationals.

In the scheme of things therefore, it would only be right to set the drum rolling for the global security highlights. What better approach would serve than that of a continental approach?


Though lagging behind in the currently estimated revenue of cloud computing (150 billion US Dollars), Africa is emerging as one of the fastest opportunity hubs. Tech firms are taking the virtual space inexorably. App developers and the networks are taking the fight against phishing and cyber compromises by using a manual-cum-automatic approach. In a manual sense, sites, as the best example of Software as a service, are offering their visitors tips on how to encrypt their documents through passwords. They are also explaining how they are deploying their own encryption by using denial certificates and proxies to overcome data phishing.


This ranks as the land of opportunity, with some analysts banking on the huge potential of computer-literate populations to turn the tide of cloud computing from Western to Eastern domination. There is not a day that one types in a keyword with cloud on it without the many Asian conferences, each having keynote speakers, rearing its head. There are many issues to pick from these conventions but it is hard to bypass the security mandate. There are now organizations that cumulatively bring together qualified professionals into Internet hubs like Singapore. They exchange notes on the current status of security, illuminate on how app development can offer better safety, and seek ways on integrating Western and oriental safety measures in data safety.


The major focus of the Australian cloud computing scene is security. However, the tack of this land is that of an isolationist approach where the private cloud and infrastructural networks in the ‘Land Down Under’ are getting popular. Many cloud enthusiasts are deciding that their data is better off in onshore rather than offshore settings. They are also concentrating on legality concerns through their existing electronic laws. There are also hints that profile identification of users will also become a key factor in the security policies in coming times.


This is the heartland of decisions that work by the book of rules rather than by hear say. There are provisions now, in the Euro zone, for curbing third-party accessibility of data in the cloud in order to instill more profile encryptions. This liberalization of a person’s right to exist freely on the web will be very influential on how businesses implement it. For example, it is now legally binding for sites to give instantaneous reports on a cyber compromising of a document, hacking or such acts or else face penalties. The other side of the Atlantic is not happy with these laws, dynamic as they are, since American secret agencies may every now and then want to investigate a hacker whose details are in a European datacenter. However, this clash of wills may meet with amicable solutions.

The Americas

The United States represents the overall interest of security across the globe, to a great measure, since most of the innovations that lead to enhanced safety emanate from here. The US is now concentrating on staging mock shows that can anticipate a major attack on the Internet that can affect a substantial number of users. At the same time, they are holding conferences, like their Asian counterparts, to help combat overwhelming data safety concerns.

There are unified efforts, albeit a little bit different depending on settings across the globe to address security concerns. It’s only hopeful that they will lead to a better cloud model.

By John Omwamba

Cloud Services On The East Coast Clog In The Wake of Sandy

Cloud Services On The East Coast Clog In The Wake of Sandy

In an age where the Internet infrastructure depends on the engineered redundancy of underwater cables, it is hardly possible that the effect of super storms like Sandy can go unnoticed. Hosting and colocution services went off tune after data facilities and websites on the East Coast went down in the wake of the super storm. Since the Internet is a real industry in the US, it is easy to imagine the level to which cloud providers have reached the blink trying to restore unstable networks.

Like a herald, Super Storm Sandy came with forewarnings but New Yorkers and New Jersey residents, including the captain of the lost ship Bounty of the famous Mutiny on the Bounty film, took no heed. They had not expected things to go haywire. It also brought down the cloud from the Internet skies as some service providers shut down. This came of the power outages, in the aftermath of the fire that the surging waters caused in the streets of Manhattan.

The blood stream of the global Internet is AC-2, the cables that traverse the Atlantic Ocean and bridge the data and communication divide between Europe, the Americas, Asia and Oceania. Sandy has affected them, to varying degrees, but the main blunt is on the East Coast sites.

Here is a roundup of the effects Sandy has visited upon particular cloud data facilities:

  • Telx, a provider in the Big Apple and the neighboring states said a great number of its data facilities had to rely on diesel power.
  • Internap and Peer 1, all of which have data facilities in the more sunken part of NYC were also in the eye of the storm.
  • Equinix, a data center on the big Apple, was forced to bank on its two-day strong diesel backup to operate after the blackout.
  • Navisite, on the other hand, in the sea-level side of Manhattan Island relied on its 3-day long generator backup with surplus at hand.
  • Nirvanix foreclosed the approach of Super Storm Sandy by advising its clients to churn out their data, without charge from its New Jersey headquarters, October 29.

Even when the immediate point of concern has been power failure, the cloud community is still apprehensive of the ghost of cable disruption underneath the surface of the ocean. Luckily enough, analysts are saying that redundancy, or double distribution parameters of the cables, might beat permanent Internet collapse to the chase.

While data facilities were looking up to the good old fuel guzzlers to generate power for them, websites were all night by candlelight. Some of those that doused their light for a day or two after the storm visited their premises include:

*Huffington Post, one of the most popular news blogs in the United States, crashed severally. According to the Independent UK, the site reinstated its services unsuccessfully several times throughout the unfortunate moments.

*October 31 through November 1, the flickering ghost of the Gawker site would also resurface through the Internet airwaves, severally.

*Gizmodo site went down for several hours.

If buzz from the Internet is anything to go by, certain servers for sites like Huffington Post went under a surge of water up to their waist. They lost electricity when more than 5ft of deluge visited their cellars unexpectedly.

Climatologists are arguing that the surge of the unnatural storm Sandy, so late in the season, must be due to industries, and inversely climate change. Webmasters of weather sites have noted how the ocean is 1 degree hotter than it was forty years ago. This relates directly to the fact that storms gain momentum from heat waves on the water surface. Cloud sites have been doing all they can to reduce the effects of climate change. Their methods include looking for green methods of cooling devices, such as solar. They are also using biofuel, which is not as adverse as electricity, to reduce the carbon footprint on the globe.

By John Omwamba

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