Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Cloud Based Education On The Rise And For Good Reason

Cloud Based Education On The Rise And For Good Reason

Cloud Based Education

Founded by Gerd Kortemeyer, CSO, Co-Founder and Rob Fulk, CEO, Co-Founder in June 2013. CourseWeaver plans to completely revolutionise education and is well on the way to doing so.

Think of CourseWeaver as education in the cloud, how it does that, is by providing education materials and aids such as textbooks, templates and other learning tools to teachers; professors and students, while all the time being able to track as well manage the progress of their students and their work.

robert-fulkWhat’s out there is not innovative at all,” says Rob Fulk, “We are taking all those systems and making them electronic, creating a new landscape”. He went on to say “It’s really the next generation of learning platform.”

This has the benefit of saving valuable time for teachers and professors, who no longer have to wade through countless textbooks and papers, thus increasing the availability of teachers, as well as students who will no longer have to spend a small fortune on materials.

There is also the option for universities to purchase web hosting, which allows them to outsource the management of student assignments as well as their homework.

Real Time Feedback and Analytics

The company’s humble beginnings started out in 1992, when the Computer Assisted Personalized Approach or CAPA was tested in Michigan State University at a physics class. Over the years it has grown into an ability to give its students customised exams, projects and quizzes with real time feedback, analytics and assessment on their progress.

Since then CAPA has merged into LON-CAPA or Lecture Online Computer Assisted Personalized Approach. This has been allowed to happen thanks to a $4 million grant provided by the NSF National Science Foundation, with its vision to develop an all in one learning management platform.

Continuing Rob said; “We look forward to welcoming and continuing to support existing LON-CAPA customers. Their experience and ideas, together with our educator-industry coalition, help drive the continued development of the next generation CourseWeaver learning platform: by educators for educators”.

CourseWeaver is now being used by over half a million students, in over 19 different countries across the world as well as being supported by Universities, publishers, academics and students. In 2016 they are on track to become profitable with over $9 million in revenue and targeted revenue of $50 million in 2018.

Progressing Forward

Back in February of 2014 CourseWeaver completed an acquisition of Haslett-based EduCog LLC. Educog was set up in 2004, equipping educational establishments and K-12 schools with an array of online services such as migration,hosting, support and training for the LON-CAPA e-learning management system.

cloud-education

Last year CourseWeaver formed a partnership with Michigan Virtual University to provide a leading Learning & Content Management System to all K-12 schools within the state of Michigan.

Our strategic alliance with CourseWeaver will foster the development of powerful learning tools that have the potential to transform K-12 education”, said Jamey Fitzpatrick, CEO and President of MVU. The success of CourseWeaver is continuously going from strength to strength.

According to Rob Fulk; “We’ll have two main revenue streams. The first, which we’re already doing, is from charging schools for Web hosting, service support and integration with our platformEventually, we’ll also collect licensing fees from students using customized course content.”

Investment Interest In Eductech

investment

All this success is no doubt attracting strong interest from a number of venture capitalist firms and investors, who are keen to get a slice of the edutech pie.

All this growth has also had the benefit of opening up a number of local job opportunities, although CourseWeaver has found it a challenge initially attracting people with the necessary talent and skills it has been searching for.

In closing Rob Fulk has this advice for the entrepreneur of the future “Live as cheap as you can and bootstrap it.”

By David Doyle

Alphabet’s Google Points To Mobile-Desktop Convergence

Alphabet’s Google Points To Mobile-Desktop Convergence

Mobile-Desktop Convergence

The announcement by Alphabet Inc.GOOGL -0.13%‘s Google that it plans to fold its Chrome PC operating system into Android is the latest sign of the growing dominance of mobile computing, the WSJ’s Alistair Barr writes. But for CIOs the news marks a step towards the day when they won’t have to develop or manage so many different versions of applications for desktops, tablets and phones.

The company plans to unveil its new, single operating system in 2017 and, to be sure, the decision should not come as a surprise. Google co-founder Sergey Brin hinted at such a convergence way back in 2009. What is a surprise, perhaps, is that it was Android’s app-based approach that won out over Chrome, a niche player, but one boasting a Web and browser-centric experience closer to Google’s original mission…

Read Full Article: WSJ

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Bigger Fears

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Bigger Fears

cloudtweaks-trick-or-treat-2015

By Christian Mirra

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The Internet of Things – Redefining The Digital World As We Know It

The Internet of Things – Redefining The Digital World As We Know It

Redefining The Digital World

According to Internet World Stats (June 30th, 2015), no fewer than 3.2 billion people across the world now use the internet in one way or another. This means an incredible amount of data sharing through the utilization of API’s, Cloud platforms and inevitably the world of connected Things.

The Internet of Things is a tremendously exciting area with IDG projecting the IoT solutions industry to hit $7.3 trillion by 2020. This is an extremely important time for startups to get involved as there is much business to be had.

Provided is an infographic produced by: appcessories.co.uk which offers an interesting look at this exploding investment industry.

IoT-infographic

Google Project Loon Takes To The Skies In Massive Internet Rollout

Google Project Loon Takes To The Skies In Massive Internet Rollout

Google Project Loon – Massive Internet Rollout

With a population of over one quarter of a billion people spread around a massive archipelago of seventeen thousand islands, Indonesia has struggled to get most of its population online and engaged with the centerpiece of the 21st century economy, the internet. But all that could be set to change as Google announced on October 28 that it will be rolling out the next phase of its groundbreaking Project Loon in Indonesia, following months of research in smaller locations.

Google describes Project Loon as ”a network of balloons travelling on the edge of space, designed to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps, and bring people back online after disasters.” The Mountain View, California-based internet giant will partner with a trio of Indonesian mobile network operators (Indosat, Telkomsel and XL Axiata) to begin “testing Project Loon airborne base station technology over Indonesia in 2016”, according to tech news site ZDNet.

4 Billion Unconnected People

Google has made clear its intentions to try and connect four billion unconnected people to the internet over the next few years. In so doing, the company is poised to go head to head with Facebook and it’s Free Basics platform which is also being rolled out to emerging markets in an attempt to capture the next wave of internet users who will be coming of age in the era of mobile technology.

In Indonesia, mobile penetration stands at around 24.2 percent of the population, in marked contrast to the only 1.3 percent of the population who have access to a fixed line connection. Google explains on the Project Loon homepage that “’by partnering with telecommunications companies to share cellular spectrum we’ve enabled people to connect to the balloon network directly from their phones and other LTE-enabled devices. The signal is then passed across the balloon network and back down to the global Internet on earth.

20000

loon
(Image Source: Shutterstock)

The company’s ambitions for the project are enormous: early speculation is that Google aims to put 20000 of these balloons over Indonesia during 2016. “Indonesia is the perfect fit for Project Loon” is the view of project leader Mike Cassidy, during a press conference at Google’s headquarters.
The Guardian newspaper reports that “Google will spend 12 months testing the technology with its three partners before rolling out a commercial product. Tariffs have yet to be established. The mobile operators handle the customer relationship and billing, while Google is simply building the cell ‘towers’ – balloons 20,000 metres in the air.”

Telecommunication Company Concerns

The system of balloons flying in the stratosphere appears to be a very effective solution for a country where the population is spread so thinly across some particularly remote areas. But not everyone is thrilled by the developments. Telekomunikasi, the country’s largest telecommunications company argues that this move by the Silicon Valley giant undermines all the work that it has done in laying fibre-optic cables up to this point.

However Google’s partners were quick to point out that they are focusing on hard-to-reach areas that would never be accessible via traditional methods. Clearly, the battle to win the loyalty of a fully-connected Internet enabled world is entering a critical phase.

By Jeremy Daniel

Rackspace Carina – A Free Container Technology Service

Rackspace Carina – A Free Container Technology Service

Open Source Docker, Containers & Rackspace’s Free Service

Containers

Containers, sometimes known as virtualization engines (VE), operating-system-level virtualization, software containers, virtual private servers (VPS), or jails, can look and feel like a real server, but are server-virtualization methods in which the kernel of an OS allows for multiple isolated user-space instances. Commonly used in virtual hosting environments to securely allocate finite hardware resources amongst countless unrelated users, containers can also separate applications for improved security and better resource management.

Implementing Docker

docker

Containers have other purposes though and are becoming more popular as the core components of public and private Platform as a Service (PaaS). Linux Containers, much like virtual machines, can run almost anywhere, but in contrast with VMs are lightweight and easier to manage. The open-source Docker project automates the deployment of applications inside software containers, using Linux kernel resource isolation features such as cgroups and kernel namespaces to enable independent containers to run within a single Linux instance. In recent years, Docker has been extremely successful and has been adopted by projects in various fields including PaaS, continuous integration, and testing.

Carina by Rackspace

rackspace-carina

Rackspace is one of many organizations putting Docker to work, and until general availability (expected sometime next year), their newly released beta version of Carina container service will be free. The Carina container service, using the native Docker API and tooling, has been developed to enable users to spin up containers quickly and easily. Offering data scientists, developers, and operators a quick way to create and deploy a cluster for containerized apps, Carina has been designed to widen the use of container clusters, employing tools such as Swarm for orchestration, transferring applications between dev, testing, and production environments.

john

John Engates, Rackspace CTO, says, “What we’ve done, using our OpenStack public cloud and technologies around Docker, is create a container service where a customer can very quickly, in seconds, spin up a container. It’s a container-as-a-service platform. [Customers] can spin up a container using their native Docker tools. Behind the scenes, OpenStack is orchestrating everything to provision those containers, and those containers can be provisioned on top of bare-metal servers, virtual machines, or even other containers underneath the platform.”

Using far less compute resources than typical VMs, containers additionally provide greater availability and scaling, and with bare-metal performance indicating the increased speed containers can attain when installed directly onto servers without hypervisor, Rackspace has simplified the creation and management of containers in a service, using Docker tools to interact with it. Engates asserts, “It should be very familiar to developers who are already using Docker. It should be almost brain-dead simple to spin up a container.”

Carina, touted to provide “a ‘zero infrastructure’ hosted container environment, where users no longer worry about building, managing, and updating their container environment,” is apparently not only for public cloud, but will also encompass firms using private clouds. Likening Carina to a turnkey service, Engates suggests it provides the necessary performance, reliability, and security without user intervention while providing as much understanding into its workings as possible. Says Engates, “What containers are doing is bringing back some of the mindset of ‘I want turnkey, I want it as a service but I want control, I want the ability to tune things and I want to put my own code in there and understand what’s running and where it’s running and be able to direct and orchestrate some of that myself.’ This is a good happy medium between those two.”

By Jennifer Klostermann

How The Cloud Is Turning Retail Health Providers Into Power Players

How The Cloud Is Turning Retail Health Providers Into Power Players

Telemedicine and Healthcare Cloud Trends

“With the role of retail clinics expanding, the healthcare industry is entering into a dynamic period of change” – Rand Corporation

Retail health is changing the face of healthcare delivery by moving care outside the four walls of the hospital and offering care in drug store chains, grocery stores, and superstores. Retail health clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners who provide treatment for minor illnesses, preventative care and vaccinations.

Retail health is on the upswing — more and more people are choosing retail healthcare before seeking medical treatment in physician offices and hospitals. Global management consulting firm, Accenture, predicted that the number of walk-in retail clinics in the United States would almost double in 2015, to nearly 3,000.

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Wearable Infection

So What’s All the Fuss about Retail Health?

Affordable: According to Advisory Health, retail clinics cost 30% to 40% less than at a physician’s office because clinics typically employ mid-level providers, such as nurse practitioners or physician assistants.

Predictable, Transparent Pricing: Many retailers offer fixed, predictable prices. They also post their prices online (including Walgreens and CVS) adding a level of transparency not available in traditional hospitals.

Convenient: Retail health makes healthcare accessible and convenient. They typically stay open later than a doctor’s office and on weekends. At a “one stop shop”, patients can visit a health care provider and immediately pick up a prescription at the same place.

What’s in Store for Retail Health?

The trend in retail healthcare started with medical clinics in pharmacies and continues to evolve with health kiosks, walk-in clinics, telemedicine services, and more. Let’s explore some of the major trends in retail health. (Click to view/zoom the archived Infographic discovered at http://www.envisioning.io)

Telemedicine heath cloud

Trend #1: Telemedicine

Telemedicine combines technology with health care, allowing remote communication between physicians and patients.

As technology advances, medical care follows suit. Telemedicine utilizes technology to permit better communication between the patient and healthcare professional from a distance. The trend has become popular with several of the nation’s largest pharmacy chain companies. CVS’s in-store program manages calls from patients, caregivers, nurses, doctors or pharmacists providing information on specific diseases, related therapies, and adverse reactions.

Trend #2: The Health Cloud

The Salesforce Health Cloud allows physicians to coordinate better with their patients.

Salesforce made headways in telemedicine by launching its Salesforce Health Cloud, a solution that empowers caregivers to connect with patients via mobile, social, and other channels. The platform includes a complete view of electronic medical records (EMRs) and enables better communication between patients and their caregivers. When combined with online guidance platforms such as Walkme, the Salesforce Health Cloud makes it easier than ever for patients to get in touch with a doctor right away.

For more information on the drivers behind the adoption of the cloud, click here.

Trend #3: Walk-In Clinics

Walk-in clinics provide faster, more convenient options to get basic medical care.

Retailers like Target, Rite Aid, and Walmart started to build walk-in clinics and hire health care providers to provide basic medical services in their stores. For example, Novant Health partnered with Target to open walk-in clinics inside Target locations staffed by Target nurse practitioners and overseen by Novant doctors. The clinics aim to provide affordable telemedicine, mobile coaching apps, and other prescription and health care options.

Even supermarkets have joined the mix. Food stores find themselves in a unique position to combine health care with overall wellness. The parent company of Stop & Shop deployed nutritionists to stores and trained pharmacists to help patients take medications correctly and eat healthier diets. Whole Foods also announced their plans to provide health retreats along with walk-in medical clinics.

Trend #4: Telemedicine Goes Mobile

Retail clinics partner with telemedicine vendors to provider mobile healthcare applications.

The advent of smartphones has ushered in a new chapter in health. In 2014, Walgreens teamed up with telemedicine vendor, MDLIVE to provide virtual doctor visits through a mobile application. Unlike competitors Rite Aid, CVS, and Walmart, which currently provide in-store telemedicine services, Walgreens offers this service via a downloadable app allowing patients to consult virtually with physicians and mental health specialists anytime and anywhere from a computer or mobile device—not just from within a Walgreens pharmacy.

The new age in retail health promises a more accessible and cost-effective approach to medicine. With more communication between doctors and their patients and better access to information, we should be seeing improved patient care and outcomes.

By Boaz Amidor

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg’s Commitment To Net Neutrality And Free Basics

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg’s Commitment To Net Neutrality And Free Basics

Commitment To Net Neutrality And Free Basics

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage in New Delhi, India on Wednesday for a “Town Hall” session in which he strongly defended Facebook’s commitment to net neutrality, and explained how Free Basics, its open access platform previously known as internet.org, has brought 15 million people online who would otherwise not have internet access.

But with reports that India’s government is considering drafting new regulations to guarantee net neutrality, and some withering criticism from Indian net activists about Facebook’s platform and its partnership with mobile operator Reliance Communication, there has been much skepticism in the press and the blogosphere on why Zuckerberg has chosen to visit India so soon after his initial visit a year ago.

Free Basic was launched in a blaze of glory earlier in August 2013 with the promise of “bringing together technology leaders, nonprofits and local communities to connect the two thirds of the world that doesn’t have internet access.” The argument is an inspiring one and presented universal internet access as a fundamental human right of the 21st century.

Drones & Hot Air Balloons

drones-pizza-delivery

Free Basics is now operational in 25 countries and has some groundbreaking technologies rolling out, including drones and hot-air balloons to deliver wi-fi to Africa, but it is in India, the second biggest Facebook market in the world after the United States with over 130 million Facebook users, where the prospects for the project will be decided. With over 1 billion Indians still not connected to the Internet at all, it’s become a crucial market for Facebook to get right as it looks to expand its global reach.

There are signs that Facebook’s technological savvy and all the good intentions in the world may not be enough to achieve its goal of free global internet access. Uptake has been slow and the New York Times spent a lot of time on the ground talking to ordinary Indians who had never heard of the service. “Facebook says the primary goal is to show people what the Internet is all about,” reported the New York Times of October 25, “but many Indians want more and complain that, contrary to its altruistic claims, the project is simply a way to get them onto Facebook and to sign up for paid plans.”

Furthermore, Facebook and its mobile partner Reliance Communications have been accused of cherry-picking partners to create a ‘walled-garden’ environment.

Scathing Criticism

Advocates for a free and an open Internet have been scathing in their criticism of the service. The editor of Indian news site MediaNama.org explained how ‘’on the open internet, everyone is equal, yet on Internet.org, Facebook is the kingmaker.’’ Global news service Al-Jazeera reported that Zuckerberg was quick to address these concerns, explaining how the service is not limited internet, and how “operators have spent billions of dollars on the infrastructure and so you cannot get the complete internet for free. So with Free Basics, we are letting developers offer zero-rated services. This is powerful. We are not being a filter of any content going through that.”

By Jeremy Daniel

CloudTweaks Comics
Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

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

Five Cloud Questions Every CIO Needs To Know How To Answer

Five Cloud Questions Every CIO Needs To Know How To Answer

The Hot Seat Five cloud questions every CIO needs to know how to answer The cloud is a powerful thing, but here in the CloudTweaks community, we already know that. The challenge we have is validating the value it brings to today’s enterprise. Below, let’s review five questions we need to be ready to address…

Internet Of Things – Industrial Robots And Virtual Monitoring

Internet Of Things – Industrial Robots And Virtual Monitoring

Internet Of Things – Industrial Robots And Virtual Monitoring One of the hottest topics in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the Internet of Things (IOT). According to the report of International Telecommunication Union (2012), “the Internet of things can be perceived as a vision with technological and societal implications. It is considered as a…

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War There’s little question that the business world is a competitive place, but probably no area in business truly defines cutthroat quite like cloud computing. At the moment, we are witnessing a heated price war pitting some of the top cloud providers against each other, all in a big way to attract…

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Cloud Infographic – The Future (IoT)

Cloud Infographic – The Future (IoT)

The Future (IoT) By the year 2020, it is being predicted that 40 to 80 billion connected devices will be in use. The Internet of Things or IoT will transform your business and home in many truly unbelievable ways. The types of products and services that we can expect to see in the next decade…

Are Women Discriminated Against In The Tech Sector?

Are Women Discriminated Against In The Tech Sector?

Women Discriminated Against In Tech Sector It is no secret that the tech industry is considered sexist since most women are paid less than men; there are considerably fewer women in tech jobs; and generally men get promoted above women. Yet the irony is twofold. Firstly, there is an enormous demand for employees with skills…

Consequences Of Combining Off Premise Cloud Storage and Corporate Data

Consequences Of Combining Off Premise Cloud Storage and Corporate Data

Off Premise Corporate Data Storage Cloud storage is a broad term. It can encompass anything from on premise solutions, to file storage, disaster recovery and off premise options. To narrow the scope, I’ve dedicated the focus of today’s discussion to the more popular cloud storage services—such as Dropbox, Box, OneDrive—which are also known as hosted,…

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…

Do Small Businesses Need Cloud Storage Service?

Do Small Businesses Need Cloud Storage Service?

Cloud Storage Services Not using cloud storage for your business yet? Cloud storage provides small businesses like yours with several advantages. Start using one now and look forward to the following benefits: Easy back-up of files According to Practicalecommerce, it provides small businesses with a way to back up their documents and files. No need…

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy A few weeks ago I visited the global headquarters of a large multi-national company to discuss cloud strategy with the CIO. I arrived 30 minutes early and took a tour of the area where the marketing team showcased their award winning brands. I was impressed by the digital marketing strategy…

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises: It’s About More Than Just Dollars

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises: It’s About More Than Just Dollars

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises The surface costs might give you pause, but the cost of diminishing your differentiators is far greater. Will a shift to the cloud save you money? Potential savings are historically the main business driver cited when companies move to the cloud, but it shouldn’t be viewed as a cost-saving exercise. There…

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

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

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

The Catch 22 The very same year Marc Andreessen famously said that software was eating the world, the Chief Information Officer of the United States was announcing a major Cloud First goal. That was 2011. Five years later, as both the private and public sectors continue to adopt cloud-based software services, we’re interested in this…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

Box.net, Amazon Cloud Drive The online (or cloud) storage business has always been a really interesting industry. When we started Box in 2005, it was a somewhat untouchable category of technology, perceived to be a commodity service with low margins and little consumer willingness to pay. All three of these factors remain today, but with…

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

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

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Five Requirements for Supporting a Connected Workforce It used to be that enterprises dictated how workers spent their day: stuck in a cubicle, tied to an enterprise-mandated computer, an enterprise-mandated desk phone with mysterious buttons, and perhaps an enterprise-mandated mobile phone if they traveled. All that is history. Today, a modern workforce is dictating how…

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? Find Out

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? Find Out

ERP Deployment You know how ERP deployment can improve processes within your supply chain, and the things to keep in mind when implementing an ERP system. But do you know if cloud-based or on-premise ERP deployment is better for your company or industry? While cloud computing is becoming more and more popular, it is worth…

Three Challenges of Network Deployment in Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Private Cloud

Three Challenges of Network Deployment in Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Private Cloud

Hyperconverged Infrastructure In this article, we’ll explore three challenges that are associated with network deployment in a hyperconverged private cloud environment, and then we’ll consider several methods to overcome those challenges. The Main Challenge: Bring Your Own (Physical) Network Some of the main challenges of deploying a hyperconverged infrastructure software solution in a data center are the diverse physical…

Cloud Services Providers – Learning To Keep The Lights On

Cloud Services Providers – Learning To Keep The Lights On

The True Meaning of Availability What is real availability? In our line of work, cloud service providers approach availability from the inside out. And in many cases, some never make it past their own front door given how challenging it is to keep the lights on at home let alone factors that are out of…