Author Archives: kiril

Data Storage Startup Acunu Raises $3.6 Million To Launch Its First Product

Data Storage Startup Acunu Raises $3.6 Million  To Launch Its First Product

London-based startup Acunu managed to secure USD 3.6 million in a Series A funding, provided by UK’s venture capital companies Eden Ventures, Oxford Technology Management and Pentech Ventures LLP, intended to help the company launch its first data storage product. The company’s software is still in private beta and a small number of undisclosed companies in the cloud computing, advertising, and social media business segments are running the software on commodity servers, Acunu said in a press release.

Acunu’s software is optimized to help solid drives act as a more efficient bridge between expensive, in-memory RAM and cheap-but-slow hard disks. The company bets on a technology that rewrites software stack for SSDs since modern applications require quick access to large amounts of data stored in memory or on memcached servers or SSDs near the web server. The software kernel uses a modified version of the Cassandra database for input and allows for multiple queries on distributed databases,
giving customers a unified view of the databases, which is advantageous for companies with multiple data stores located around the globe.

The Acunu Storage Platform is a software product dealing with “Big Data”, or very large amounts of data, combining existing Big Data tools with a cardinal re-architecture of the storage stack, making commodity storage much more faster than high-end conventional databases.

“Acunu tackles some of the hardest challenges in Big Data, both for startups and for large enterprises, reducing time to market and increasing performance. This funding will support our growth and speed  the adoption of our technology,” Tim Moreton, CEO of Acunu, was quoted as saying by Businesswire.

The company was founded in 2009 and its total funding stands at USD 5 million with backing form UK’s government agencies The Carbon trust and Finance Southeast. Acunu’s solution can be deployed in own data centers of enterprises and government agencies as well as in the cloud, allowing customers to meet growing storage demands with fewer computers and save on energy.
The company is founded and managed by Oxford and Cambridge researchers who are developing an open, fast and flexible storage engine based on patented algorithms. The Acunu Storage Platform, now open for public beta testing, features a powerful management interface for scale-out deployment and cluster management. Initially, the storage platform will be used to power Apache Cassandra and an Amazon S3 -compatible store, the company revealed.

The Acunu Storage Platform is open software running on clusters of commodity machines, allowing users’ application to run unmodified while providing a great number of open source tools to customers. Extensible tools for deploying, managing and monitoring the whole stack are also available.The Acunu Storage Core, an open source next-generation storage stack, runs inside the Linux Kernel, powering databases like Acunu’s Distribution for Cassandra through a native key-value interface.
The company claims that benefits include performance from large cost-effective SATA disks and consumer-grade SSDs as well as enhanced data integrity. Risk and performance impact of disk rebuilds are eliminated by the product, Acunu insists.

Developers will rest satisfied with a familiar interface in view of the fact that Acunu uses a modified version of Apache Cassandra, an open-source database based on systems utilized at Google, Amazon and Facebook.

The company did not elaborate when the product will be officially launched, however, we could expect it to come to life in late-2011. Obviously, more detailed analysis of Acunu’s product should be conducted after the public beta testing progresses to a level where a critical mass of beta-testers is accumulated.

By Kiril Kirilov

Top 25 European Cloud Computing Rising Stars: iCloud

Update: Acquired by Apple

Xcerion Develops Internet OS Which Provides More Than SaaS

Xcerion AB is not a newly established company, really, it was founded in 2001 by Daniel Arthursson but attracted public attention in 2008 and 2009 when it started its Internet OS as a Web 2.0 service over the Internet. Back in 2001, cloud computing was a relatively new technology, not to speak of viable business model, so the company had to wait until 2007 to launch its online desktop that is available in the Cloud from any device or computer anywhere. The booming cloud computing market gave boost to company’s operations and now we can confirm Xcerion and its iCloud platform and service can be depicted as one of the cloud computing rising stars based in Europe and operating worldwide.

Features

One of the features that distinguishes iCloud from other similar services is the fact that it is free to use. No subscription fees are applied and no premium paid membership is offered while customers are able to purchase additional 100 GB of storage space.

Main features of iCloud include functionality to create a personal online desktop allowing users to chat with MSN users and other iCloud users. The system offers possibility to store and share files on iCloud as well as to manage schedules through multiple iCloud utilizing various iCloud calendars. Applications for iPhone and Android are also available. Sweden-based Xcerion AB boasts two dozens of patents on which its operating system is built with a new AJAX XML OS enabling Visual Orchestration™ that allows visual creation of software without programming.

A growing number of customers interested in cloud-based solutions, and not willing to pay license fees for their operating systems, will find that iCloud offers extended features like productivity tools and applications needed for everyday computing, visual development tools and the ability to scale millions of users. The service provides essential applications like IMAP Email, Calendar, Presentation, Contacts, Todo, Instant Messaging, Visual Application Designer (IDE), Document Explorer, Word Processing, Money Manager, Photo Organizer, Music Player, Radio, RSS Reader, XML Editor and Widgets.

Open Source

Moreover, the company bets on Open Source technologies and all applications are delivered under Open XML Source license. Such an approach allows developers to customize solutions provided by Xcerion and combines two fast developing IT segments – cloud computing and open source technologies. Skeptics might argue that such a combination of cloud computing and open source could pose security risks and they would have been right a couple of years ago. However, open source applications already proved their stability in practice while the Cloud transforms into a really secure environment very fast.

Actually, iCloud applications are executed locally, not in the cloud, and Xcerion utilizes its data centers mainly for storing the users files. Therefore, Xcerion offers a Hybrid Cloud Computing solution that uses the company’s XML Virtual Machine (XVM) to support richer applications and fewer server round-trips.

The XIOS/3 operating systems runs within an Internet browser and is able to operate offline too. The company explains that its Internet OS boots itself and runs in the primary memory of the computer with the OS disappearing from the computer once the browser is shut down. The OS is self-updating and describes applications at a higher abstraction level in pure XML which is advantageous for developers. On the other hand, such a model allows developers to easily and faster create new applications for the Internet OS and XIOS/3 boasts hundreds of applications in different categories.

Another advantage offered by XIOS/3 is its ability to run word processing, mail and calendar applications within the browser eliminating the need to install standalone software while allowing users to store their documents in Xcerion’s data center. The system features functionality to share documents and calendars with other users by creating groups of trusted peers and friends, providing built-in support for collaboration, a vital part of each and every cloud computing solution. In addition, the company’s data centers are able to deal with over 40 million users of its Internet OS.

The company’s service is not widespread in the United States, independent analysis showed, with some 13 percent of all iCloud users coming from the U.S. However, iCloud is very popular in Scandinavia and is attracting a growing number of users across Europe and Asia since its launch in September 2007.  In September 2008, the company secured USD 12 million in series A funding which helped the company to open its U.S. office in Seattle and continue developing XIOS/3. Xcerion faces fierce competition from at least two other providers of cloud-based OS and file storage solutions but it looks like a company which is well prepared to deliver advanced technology to end-users. Rumors are that Xcerion is looking for funding from major market players but no official reports on such investment were issued in the past couple of years. On the other hand, the growing demand for cloud-based solutions and related outsourcing and cost saving activities of enterprises worldwide might give a major boost to company’s activities. The growing confidence in cloud computing environment and the lessening of security concerns related to the Cloud could be a major driving force behind iCloud’s future expansion.

Visit: iCloud

By Kiril Kirilov

Cloud Computing Adoption Can Generate EUR 763 Billion in Europe by 2015, Cloud Dividend Report

Cloud Computing Adoption Can Generate EUR 763 Billion in Europe by 2015, Cloud Dividend Report

Cloud-based solutions and adoption of cloud computing could generate up to EUR 763 billion in economic benefit in the five largest European economies by 2015, part two of EMC Corporation’s 2011 Cloud Dividend report conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) revealed. The report studied possible economic benefits of cloud computing adoption and deployment of cloud-based solutions in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Distribution, retail and hotels sectors alone could generate EUR 233 billion in value in the next four years, according to the report.

The study examines the benefits generated by the three most widespread cloud computing models; namely, public cloud, which is controlled by a cloud provider; private cloud, which is controlled internally by an organization’s own IT team as well as hybrid cloud, which is a combination of the two.

Distribution, retail and hotels are expected to generate EUR 233 billion by 2015, mostly from accelerated business creation, business development and cost savings. The sum represents some 31 percent of the total economic benefit forecast by CEBR while 77 percent of the overall value is expected to be generated by adoption of private and hybrid cloud solutions.

France, Italy, Spain and the UK saw their distribution, retail and hotels sectors benefit most from the Cloud, while banking, financial & business services sectors are leading the pack in Germany, reporting IT capital expenditure (CapEx) savings of EUR 18.1 billion.

Over 800,000 new jobs could be created in the government sector within the region, the report said. Adoption of cloud computing solutions could create up to 2.4 million new jobs by 2015, according to the Cloud Dividend 2011 report.

Cumulative Economic Benefits 2010 – 2015

Industry Sectors

EMEA (EUR mil)

Jobs (‘000s)

Distribution, retail and hotels

233418

355

Banking, financial and business services

183566

207

Government, education and health

112539

801

Manufacturing

98504

514

Other sectors¹

135271

519

Total

763297

2396

Source: Cloud Dividend Report 2011

Data show obvious benefits offered by adoption of cloud computing solutions across various economic sectors in the five countries. “Distribution, retail and hotels is projected to generate the largest returns from cloud deployments despite decreased spending power and commodity price pressures. Banking, financial & business services is also one of the stronger sectors, in terms of the resulting benefits, but lower relative IT CapEx-to-labour ratios in this sector mean its share of the total benefits in EMEA isn’t proportional to the sector’s powerful contribution to overall GDP. One of the key drivers for economic recovery will be job creation and, interestingly, the public sector should gain most here with up to 800,000 positions expected to result from the adoption of cloud services,” Oliver Hogan, CEBR’s managing economist, commented in a press release.

Apart from distribution, retail and hotels sector, the banking, financial & business services sector could potentially aggregate EUR 183 billion in economic benefits by 2015. According to the report, between 60 and 80 percent of all enterprises in this segment utilize cloud solutions, with 76 percent of them employing private and hybrid cloud models.

Government, education and health sector can benefit most from cloud computing in terms of job creation, with some 800,000 new jobs predicted. The net total cost savings could reach up to EUR 14.5 billion by 2015 with levels of private and hybrid cloud adoption being predicted.

Manufacturing and SMEs can achieve substantial productivity gains through faster time-to-market and IT scalability resulting in EUR 11.4 billion of potential benefit in the UK, the report said. Other sectors to benefit from adoption of cloud computing solutions include agriculture, forestry & fishing, construction, transport, storage & communications and energy & utilities. The energy & utilities sector is forecast to witness EUR 14.1 billion in benefits from the adoption of cloud computing, with private cloud models dominating the sector due to strict government regulations related to data and information security in this industry.

Country positions overall 2010 – 2015

Country

Total economic benefit (EUR mill)

Jobs (‘000s)

Germany

221239

789

France

162749

469

Italy

150770

456

UK

117989

289

Spain

110550

392

Total

763297

2396

Source: Cloud Dividend Report 2011

Commenting on the report’s findings EMC Consulting’s Vice President EMEA, Sandra Hamilton, said on the company’s website, “The adoption of cloud technologies and services across EMEA brings with it the mission-critical agility that businesses need to survive and thrive in the current economic climate. A hybrid cloud model – a dynamic combination of internal and external resources where a private cloud serves as the gateway and control mechanism for public cloud services – provides organizations with the ultimate flexibility. However, a critical element in businesses achieving the competitive advantage presented by cloud computing lies in the successful visualization of mission-critical and revenue-generating applications. That will be key to realizing the full cloud dividend – and to deriving the powerful growth and productivity gains which, as the new report shows, can lead to meaningful job creation across the EMEA region.”

By Kiril Kirilov

Cloud Computing Sector to Witness More M&A in 2011, PwC Report

Cloud Computing Sector to Witness More M&A in 2011, PwC Report

The rush for cloud-based technology solutions and development of virtualization and security technologies will fuel growing interest in cloud computing during 2011 and a new wave of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is expected, a recent report by PwC revealed. Cost savings opportunities and growing confidence in cloud computing are the driving force behind a new technology trend; namely, switching to cloud-based solutions by large and small and medium enterprises alike.

Companies now have more confidence in security provided by the cloud and a growing number of businesses are migrating to the cloud to host their data and applications while a growing number of cloud start-ups are entering this lucrative market. For their part, larger players want to retain their market positions and one of the methods is to aggressively acquire smaller cloud computing companies. Cincinnati Bell and Montagu Private Equity paid double digit EBITDA multiples for CyrusOne and Host Europe Group, PwC said, adding that these deals look moderate compared with the prices paid by HP and Dell in the data storage space.

More high quality assets are now being brought to market as sellers seek to take advantage of the presence of cash-rich corporates with a renewed appetite for mega-deals, a resurgence of private equity buyers and improving capital markets. We are seeing a change in deal dynamics as appetite returns. The number of pre-emptive deals is on the rise with buyers originating deals rather than competing in traditional auction processes. Growth is firmly back on the corporate M&A agenda,” Andy Morgan, partner at PwC, said in a press release.

Technology Sector Top 10 Global Deals 2010 In Euro’s

Jan 10 – 5,481m – Sun Microsystems acquired by Oracle Corp
Jul 10 – 5,595m – Sybase Inc acquired by SAP AG
Feb 10 – 5,536m – Affiliated Computer Services acquired by Xerox Corp
Apr 10 – 2,798m – Renesas Technology Corp acquired by NEC Electronics Corp
Oct 10 – 2,457m – Dimension Data Holdings plc acquired by NTT
Apr 10 – 2,127m – 3Com Corp acquired by Hewlett-Packard
Sep 10 – 1,837m – 3PAR Inc acquired by Hewlett-Packard
Oct 10 – 1,687m – Intergraph Corp acquired by Hexagon AB
May 10 – 1,516m – Skillsoft plc acquired by Berkshire Partners, Advent and Bain Capital
Nov 10 – 1,466m – Netezza Corp acquired by IBM

Source: PwC

According to the report, about 393 technology sector M&A deals worth EUR 75.5 billion were finalized in 2010 compared to deals worth EUR 36.8 billion in 2009. US companies emerged as global leaders last year, accounting for 39 percent of all global deals. Companies in Asia Pacific accounted for 28 percent of overall technology sector transactions while European business was involved in only 25  percent of all M&A deals. However, European technology companies accounted for just 17 percent of all deals in 2009, hence their involvement in global IT deals rose significantly in 2010.

Mobile applications are another sector which is expected to witness a wave of consolidation, being traditionally more fragmented that other IT sectors, the report said. Advertising, payments, messaging, gaming and content are areas where mobile applications gain momentum and attract attention from big market players as smart phones are gaining market share. Google and Apple acquired advertising vendors in 2010 and now compete for a leading role in mobile payments which is an extremely fast developing market.

In general, we can expect to witness more mergers and acquisitions in the cloud computing sector in 2011 with several major deals already under way while rumors are a number of start-ups are in talks to be acquired by leading market players. Google Inc. will most probably preserve its buying spree and appetite for successful start-ups while other major players will also continue to broaden their service range which will force them to acquire competitors in the small and medium enterprises segment in order to offer a full range of Cloud services.

By Kiril Kirilov

Acer Attacks U.S. Cloud Market with New Server and Storage Solutions

Acer America Corp. unveiled a new line of server and storage solutions aimed to regain company’s market positions on the booming U.S. market for cloud-based services. The company announced its family server and storage products include tower, rack, blade and multi-node solutions that are based on Intel® Xeon® and AMD Opteron™ processors aimed to provide solutions to wide range of customers from small and medium sized businesses to large data centers involved in cloud computing services.

Acer has steadily built one of the broadest lines of server and storage solutions in the world and now we are bringing this offering to the U.S. to meet customer demands for cost-effective performance, simplified management, flexible scalability, and return on storage investments over time,” Gianluca Degliesposti, vice president of worldwide business development for Acer Servers and Storage, said in a press release.
The company ranks second in the world in the PC and notebooks market but its North American operations lost momentum in the past couple of years, so Acer decided to attack the market with a new line of server and storage solutions.

Our initial family of 16 server solutions also leverages our deep expertise in virtualization, multi-node architectures and HPC to meet increasingly challenging needs in cloud computing and other complex computing applications. We plan to further expand our family this year to meet additional customer needs across the full range of server and storage environments,” Degliesposti added.

The new offerings cover all server platforms including tower, rack, multi-node and blade platforms. The company unveiled a solution targeting the Cloud market with its Acer rack multi-node server (Gemini AW series). Acer claims that these servers offer  increased performance, reduced size and optimal power and cooling while enabling applications to be run independently and in parallel using multi-node architectures in space saving 2U form factors. The Gemini AW series are designed to optimize performance, density and power efficiency for applications that require a high-density design with full remote control capabilities, the company said.

Other offerings include Acer tower server (AT) line which includes servers optimized for high price/performance ratios and incorporating one or two processors to maximize compute capabilities with increased I/O and storage options. These servers are designed to meet the needs of growing companies that are in process of expanding their operations and their IT load is increasing.

The Acer rack server (AR) line offers new rack-based servers designed to reduce power consumption, space and cooling costs. Another product line is named Acer blade server (AB) which features shared power, integrated Ethernet and Infiniband options.

Acer Network Attached Storage (AN) line provides customers with industry-standards-based storage systems with key features like data de-duplication and snapshot. This line includes the Acer AN1600 F1, which delivers up to 12 SAS or SATA hot plug drives and is protected by a robust operating system and key reliability features like RAID, redundant hot-plug power and redundant hot-plug cooling.

The company’s offering provides additional benefits like vertical integration not offered by other major server and storage players in the United States. Acer is known for its policy to vertically integrate manufacturing and configuration in the U.S. Supporting the requirements of government, HPC and other mission-critical applications.

In a growing Cloud Computing market most major players are expected to unveil new solutions to retain their market positions or grab market share. Acer is among those companies that explicitly state their intentions to attract new customers and we can expect other major players to strike back in the near future. The need for more data storage that is managed remotely is growing while cloud-based solutions are becoming widespread even among larger corporations and manufacturers like Acer realize  the Cloud is becoming a major driving force in the IT sector. Customers will only benefit from such a fierce competition among major market players while start-ups still can offer customized solutions and grab a market share.

By Kiril Kirilov

Information Security Professionals Need New Skills to Secure Cloud-based Technologies, Study Warns

Information Security Professionals Need New Skills to Secure Cloud-based Technologies, Study Warns

More than 70 percent of information security professionals admit they need new skills to properly secure cloud-based technologies, a survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan and sponsored by (ISC)2  revealed. The 2011 (ISC)2 Global Information Security Workforce Study (GISWS) is based on a survey of more than 10,000 (2400 in EMEA) information security professionals worldwide and some of its findings are alarming, including the fact that a growing number of technologies being widely adopted by businesses are challenging information security executives and their staffs.

The widespread use of technologies like cloud computing and deployment of mobile devices jeopardizes security of governments, agencies, corporations and consumers worldwide over the next several years, the survey said.

The survey also finds that most respondents believe they and their employees need new skills to meet the challenges of new technologies like cloud computing and the growing number of social networks and mobile device applications. Actually, these findings are not surprising since information security professionals have always been a step behind the growing number of new technologies that appear very fast. One could not expect that information security staff will be well-prepared to answer all security threats related to fast paced market of cloud computing and mobile devices. Moreover, information security professionals are under pressure from end-user who want new technologies to be deployed as soon as possible, sometimes underestimating the related security risks.

In the modern organization, end-users are dictating IT priorities by bringing technology to the enterprise rather than the other way around. Pressure to secure too much and the resulting skills gap are creating risk for organizations worldwide,” Robert Ayoub, global program director – network security for Frost & Sullivan, commented in a press release.

More alarming is that cloud computing illustrates a serious gap between technology implementation and the skills necessary to provide security. Over 50 percent of respondents admitted they are using private clouds (55 percent EMEA), with over 70 percent (75 percent EMEA) realize the need for new skills to properly secure cloud-based technologies.

However, respondents reported application vulnerabilities as the greatest threat to organizations with 72 percent of those surveyed worldwide are ranking application vulnerabilities as No. 1 threat.
Mobile security could be the single most dangerous threat to organizations worldwide, the survey revealed, while about 70 percent (67 percent EMEA) of respondents reported having policies and technology in place to meet the security challenges of mobile devices.

Social media is another big threat, and respondents reported inconsistent policies and protection for end-users visiting social media sites, according to the study. Viruses and worms, hackers and internal employees are considered less threatening compared to 2008, the most recent year of the study.

Demand for information security professionals will continue to grow at 13.2 percent a year until 2015, reaching 4.2 million (1.15 million in EMEA) compared to 2.28 million (over 617,000 in EMEA) in 2010. Regulatory compliance demands, greater potential for data loss via mobile devices and mobile workforce, and the potential loss of control as organizations shift data to cloud-based services are among the most important factors behind the growing demand for professionals.

We are seeing a paradigm shift in how organizations are operating, brought on by the triple impact of cloud computing, the pervasive use of mobile devices and social media via the corporate network, along with the wave of new applications being developed to support it all,” John Colley, CISSP, managing director for EMEA of (ISC)2, commented.

The survey was conducted among 10,413 information security professionals from companies and public sector organizations around the world in the fall of 2010, including 61 percent in the Americas, 22.5 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and 16.5 percent in Asia Pacific. Forty-five percent (42 percent EMEA) were from organizations with over 10,000 employees.

Read Our Case Studies Regarding Network Security

By Kiril Kirilov

Top 25 European Cloud Computing Rising Stars: Podio

Podio Provides Highly-Customizable Collaborative Web-Based Platform

Anders Pollas and Jon Froda founded Podio in early 2009 with the idea to create a work platform that works like average customers do in their everyday job. Initially, the project was named Hoist, but entered the web space as Podio in August 2009. Actually, Podio offers a connected work platform boasting it is revolutionizing the way employees and professionals work and interact, and one cannot miss that its graphic design resembles the one of Facebook. Media experts and analysts called the new collaborative platform Facebook for professionals and enterprises that prefer to work in the cloud and Podio is exactly what it claims to be. In addition, it enables customers to build their own applications as tools with their own structure, logic and flow.

WEB-BASED SOCIAL PLATFORM

The web-based social platform features work spaces functionality that allows users to create as many work spaces as they want. Later, users are able to invite other people to work within these spaces, providing also social features functionality.

Another main feature of the platform is its stream functionality, which means users can receive information fast when co-working with partners and colleagues. As a matter of fact, users can get an easy overview on their entire working process by looking at the aggregated stream, which can include all work spaces or an individual space. The platform offers possibility to link, share and comment on one’s work, providing very useful communication capabilities.

Tasks are part of each and every collaborative work platform and Podio is no exception from the rule. The platform allows users to track who is working on a particular project and when. Tasks functionality includes option to share and comment as well as functionality allowing integration of tasks into your application, which helps make work-flows smoother. Tasks can be added to individual objects like meetings, milestones, etc.

Podio describes its calendar as one that understands time and focuses on what’s next. The platform’s built-in calendar automatically pulls users’ tasks, deadlines etc., providing customers with more information than meetings.

APPLICATIONS MODULE

Applications module is probably the most innovative one, especially for those working in cloud computing environment. The application allows users to build applications that best suit their needs with their own structure, logic, and flow. Actually, users can build applications related to all kinds of business tasks one can imagine. This high-customizable functionality is a great advantage since no special software developer’s skills are required.

Podio features practically unlimited number of spaces, allowing users to collaborate with people both inside and outside their organization. Company managers can create a space to handle the entire internal company communication while adding special spaces for particular departments, the top management, etc.

Contact list is populated automatically in Podio, with the software adding all the people users are working with to their contact list. In fact, Podio offers a new technology in the Enterprise 2.0 space, providing a highly-customizable web-based work environment that can used in company intranets and extranets, project management and recruiting solutions, CRM, business intelligence and company-wide social platforms. According to Tommy Ahlers, CEO of Podio, the platform attracts the interest of growing number of customers with more than 6,000 organizations on the service.

FUNDING

Actually, Tommy Ahlers boosted the project in August 2010, providing $500,000 in angel investment which secured him also the position of CEO.

In 2011, the company managed to secure USD 4 million in Series A funding, with Sunstone Capital leading the round. The funds raised will be used to hire new key figures in the company and further develop the product.

Ours is the only product out there that puts people instead of technology at the center by allowing them to create their own tools and work environment. Hundreds of paying customers already see the benefit in that, and we expect this trend to dominate the space of Enterprise 2.0 in the coming years,” Tommy Ahlers commented in a press release after the round was closed.

Although currently in private commercial beta phase, Podio is definitely a web-based platform one should watch in the next couple of years. Podio founders bet on innovative approach toward cloud-based applications and one should expect that such a business and technology model must start paying-off in the near future.

By Kiril Kirilov

AT&T Announces New Cloud Capabilities

AT&T Announces New Cloud Capabilities

Communications giant AT&T is launching new cloud capabilities, new mobile applications for the cloud and increases third-party development and industry activity, the company said in a press release. The communications holding will continue its partnership with other leading companies in the cloud such as IBM and Vmware, the company added.

New features include an enhanced computing offer allowing customers to tie their cloud computing systems to AT&T’s network in an easier manner. The company’s enhanced storage offer includes features that help companies meet corporate governance and compliance requirements.

The company also releases a new mobile application offering extended cloud capabilities to users on the go who need to store and access content remotely in a highly-secure manner.

Cloud computing vendors and third party developers will be able to assemble capabilities based on the company’s networking technologies. Thus, business customers will be able to derive more benefits from AT&T cloud solutions.

The company also announced it participates in a working group with the Cloud Security Alliance to define cloud-based security-as-a-service offers.

With cloud-based solutions powered by AT&T’s global network, we can enable companies to become more efficient, more mobile, and more nimble while helping to control their costs,” John Stankey, President and CEO, AT&T Business Solutions, said in the press release.

Additionally, AT&T announced that IBM technology is being used in its new release of AT&T Synaptic Compute as a Service(SM). “We believe business caliber clouds need to run on a robust virtual private network and we see AT&T as offering one of the best business class VPN services,” Scott Stainken, general manager, IBM global telecommunications industry, commented in a press release.

Enhancements to AT&T Synaptic Compute as a Service solution include integration with AT&T’s VPN Service to enable virtual private clouds. Other features include an expanded number of operating system templates, improvements to firewall policies to meet special security requirements, and new self-service and self-provisioning capabilities.

The company also introduced new enhancements to its Synaptic Storage as a Service including long term data retention options to help meet corporate governance or compliance requirements and new data management and compression capabilities.

The new mobile application will allows users to reliably move data to and from AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service using mobile devices. Mobile access to business information stored in the cloud such as documents or reference material which may be needed while on the go is implemented in the new application.

Third-party developers and vendors are allowed to assemble capabilities that can help business customers more easily, flexibly and more efficiently transport data to/from AT&T-based cloud solutions. Companies that participate in AT&T’s program include vendors like Cirtas, CommVault, Dolphin, EMC, Gladinet, Metalogix, Nasuni, Riverbed Technology, Seven10, StorSimple, and TwinStrata.

The company joined a working group with the Cloud Security Alliance to develop industry-wide definitions and categories of service for cloud-based Security-as-a-Service offers, AT&T said.

Although the company is considered a blue chip company its shares experienced significant fluctuations since the start of 2011. Recently, the company stock prices on the NYSE are going up and market analysts forecast even further growth based on new offerings and introduction of new technology solutions.

By Kiril Kirilov

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Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud One of the least considered benefits of cloud computing in the average small or mid-sized business manager’s mind is the aspect of disaster recovery. Part of the reason for this is that so few small and mid-size businesses have ever contemplated the impact of a major disaster on their IT…

Cloud Computing – The Good and the Bad

Cloud Computing – The Good and the Bad

The Cloud Movement Like it or not, cloud computing permeates many aspects of our lives, and it’s going to be a big part of our future in both business and personal spheres. The current and future possibilities of global access to files and data, remote working opportunities, improved storage structures, and greater solution distribution have…

Three Reasons Cloud Adoption Can Close The Federal Government’s Tech Gap

Three Reasons Cloud Adoption Can Close The Federal Government’s Tech Gap

Federal Government Cloud Adoption No one has ever accused the U.S. government of being technologically savvy. Aging software, systems and processes, internal politics, restricted budgets and a cultural resistance to change have set the federal sector years behind its private sector counterparts. Data and information security concerns have also been a major contributing factor inhibiting the…

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Hybrid Cloud Environments After several years of steady cloud adoption in the enterprise, an interesting trend has emerged: More companies are retaining their existing, on-premise IT infrastructures while also embracing the latest cloud technologies. In fact, IDC predicts markets for such hybrid cloud environments will grow from the over $25 billion global market we saw…

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Once upon a time, only a select few companies like Google and Salesforce possessed the knowledge and expertise to operate efficient cloud infrastructure and applications. Organizations patronizing those companies benefitted with apps that offered new benefits in flexibility, scalability and cost effectiveness. These days, the sharp division between cloud and on-premises infrastructure…

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

Data Insecurity In The Cloud Today’s escalating attacks, vulnerabilities, breaches, and losses have cut deeply across organizations and captured the attention of, regulators, investors and most importantly customers. In many cases such incidents have completely eroded customer trust in a company, its services and its employees. The challenge of ensuring data security is far more…

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 Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…

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…

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Paying Attention To Data Security Your biggest data security threat could be sitting next to you… Data security is a big concern for businesses. The repercussions of a data security breach ranges from embarrassment, to costly lawsuits and clean-up jobs – particularly when confidential client information is involved. But although more and more businesses are…

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…