Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing Meets The Smart Electricity Grid

Cloud Computing Meets The Smart Electricity Grid

The Smart Electricity Grid

New research makes possible time-variable pricing of cloud services based on variably-priced power from a smart grid

Cloud computing data centers often consume energy at the rate of megawatts, like other large industrial systems. Large consumers of electricity likewise often have to deal with time-varying pricing of electrical power from suppliers, who increasingly prefer “smart” (time-varying) metering and smart power grids. The cost of electrical power is often the largest component of the cost of cloud and other IT services.

So how can cloud computing servicesoffer variable tariffs to their consumers based on the variable pricing of power from a smart grid? This question is addressed in the research article “Power-Aware Cloud Metering” by Akshay Narayan and Shrisha Rao, appearing in the most recent issue of the IEEE Transactions on Services Computing (volume 7, number 3,), a research journal of the IEEE Computer Society.

Akshay Narayan, presently a Ph.D. student at the National University of Singapore did this work jointly with Shrisha Rao, a professor at IIIT Bangalore, as part of his Master of Technology (M.Tech.) thesis in information technology. In their work, Narayan and Rao arrive at a metering mechanism for cloud services in which the price of a cloud service tracks the variable input cost of electricity from a smart power grid. The power-aware cloud metering developed is a dynamic pricing and billing model where tariff for a cloud service is varied in accordance with the input electricity cost. They arrive at a model for power consumption of virtual machines hosted on a cloud infrastructure; this power consumption model is then used in calculating the cost of operation of the service. A cloud instance leased by a consumer is billed based on the cost of operation, and its resource utilization.

energy-cloud

Conventional metering of cloud services is based on a fixed tariff rate (e.g., as defined in an SLA). The weakness of this model is that consumers are billed based on a predefined tariff rate, regardless of load and cost. “Smart metering” of services on the other hand would enable service providers to effectively manage computing resources with tariff plans accounting for the load condition on the infrastructure as well as the dynamic, time-varying nature of the input costs (especially electrical power).

Pay as you go (a/k/a static pricing) also does not suffice if service providers wish to provide bulk discounts or other economic incentives. It also is inadequate if there is a need to achieve congestion control, more uniform usage, or such objectives (as is done with time-varying highway tolls).

Power cost is often the largest component of an IT service’s lifecycle costs, and the major share of its operating expenditure (OpEx). In large IT systems, in addition to the power consumed by the computing devices themselves (all of which gets dissipated in the form of heat), the power consumed by the inevitable cooling systems is also significant. Google and others claim exceptionally low power usage effectiveness (PUE) values, but 2–3 seems common in the data center industry, meaning that in a typical data center, at least as much power is consumed in the cooling system as in the computing equipment itself.

Smart grids that price electrical power at time-varying rates, and also have associated demand-response programs that require electricity consumers to rapidly reduce power consumption on demand, are becoming common worldwide in the electrical power industry. It is thus likely that data center operators and vendors of cloud services will have to account for electrical power being available at time-varying rates, and further will have to devise mechanisms to reduce their power draws when asked. Smart grids are a hot topic of research these days, as is cloud computing. However, there is hardly any work to date which considers how the former would affect the latter. With smart grids becoming the new worldwide norm for electrical distribution, and power costs for IT systems being very high and also continually on the rise, it is likely that power-aware cloud services will become common in the foreseeable future.

(Image Source: Meszaros David / Shutterstock.com

By James Monroe

Where’s the Capital of the Internet of Things?

Where’s the Capital of the Internet of Things?

Where’s the Capital?

We all know the capitals of fashion are London, New York and Paris, while the capital of film is Hollywood (or Bollywood!) – but what’s the new capital of the internet? Specifically, the internet of things?

The answer – according to new research by Ozy – might surprise you. It’s not Tokyo, Seoul, or even Silicon Valley. Rather, it’s the capital of the Republic of Ireland – Dublin. Not normally considered a ‘tech city’, Dublin is on its way to leapfrogging its more illustrious and prestigious competitors to become one of the ‘smartest’ cities in the world.

dublin

The city benefits from being in the Republic of Ireland. Following the financial crisis of 2008, the country has gone out of its way to make itself as open to business as possible. The enterprise-friendly climate means several of the world’s top tech companies have been attracted enough to locate their European headquarters there. Google are now Ireland’s number one exporter, while Intel recently invested $5 billion into the city and it’s wider economy. Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, PayPal, Twitter and Zynga also use the city as their home.

As part of Intel’s investment, the city is soon to connect every street, park and alleyway with high-tech sensors that will have the capability to monitor everything from air pollution and noise volumes to traffic density and citizen feedback of tourist spots.According to Peter Finnegan – Dublin’s Director of Economy and International Relations – the sensors will become “a strong, unique selling point for Dublin and help [them] consolidate the brand of a digital hub”.

Dublin isn’t alone in using sensors – Santander in Spain has partnered with IBM to install more than 12,000, while Chicago is using environmental sensors on every lamp post. The Irish capital does, however, aim to become the largest city covered completely in sensors. They will have 200 gateways (one per square kilometre), and each one will contain at least twelve sensors.

The city was chosen not only because of the number of tech companies in residence, but also because of its relatively small size. A population of 500,000 means the intensive project can be set up easily and used as a testing ground ahead of larger rollouts. Intel will cover most of the cost – though it is not clear exactly how much the bill will come to.

It is also not clear what the benefits will be for an ordinary Dubliner. The authorities hope it will make the city more attractive to investors and consequently will help battle the 14.7 percent unemployment rate, but the outcome of that ambition will not become clear for some time.

What do you think? Is it a sensible project or an unnecessary expense for Intel? Let us know in the comments below.

(Image Source: littleny / Shutterstock.com)
By Daniel Price

China’s Internet of Things market breaks 500 billion yuan

China’s Internet of Things market breaks 500 billion yuan

With the Internet of Things (IOT) booming in China, the practice of demo projects for the IOT typical applications in public security, urban administration, healthcare, energy conservation and environmental protection, and services for the people’s livelihood is expected to be carried out, said Miao Wei, minister of Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). It is scheduled to …Read the source article at China Economic Net

How Cloud Computing Changes the Game in Media & Entertainment

How Cloud Computing Changes the Game in Media & Entertainment

How Cloud Computing Changes the Game

Advances in technology and consumer behavior are driving a transformation in the way video content is delivered to consumers. The change involves a migration away from traditional broadcasting models and platforms towards digital distribution over the Internet to a widening array of connected devices. This fundamental shift is triggering three major disruptions for broadcasters, each calling for the scalability, cost flexibility and agility of cloud computing.

Accenture-How-Cloud-Computing-Changes-The-Game-in-Media-and-Entertainment-smallAccenture has summed this up in a new report titled: How cloud computing changes the game in media and entertainment.

Three Challenges for Broadcasters

This shifting media and entertainment environment brings three major disruptive forces that threaten to overwhelm the legacy technology infrastructures of traditional broadcast companies: consumer demand, pressure to develop new offerings, and cost competition.

Consumers now demand more choices than ever before, requiring far more computing power and flexible infrastructures resources that can accommodate a proliferation of devices and channels. Additionally, new over-the-top (OTT) providers are entering the market that have a digital advantage over traditional broadcasters. This is putting pressure on broadcasters to accelerate the pace by which they bring new solutions to market. Finally, there are greater cost pressures on technology sourcing and operations. Factors including rising prices for content rights, intensifying competition from lower-cost agile entrants and strains on legacy technologies are creating a need to reduce up-front technology investments and align costs more closely with usage and revenues.

Broadcasters that are experiencing these major disruptions are gravitating towards the scale and flexibility of cloud computing.

Changing the Game with Cloud

At its most basic level, cloud computing allows users to obtain computing capabilities through the Internet, regardless of their physical location. There are four distinct advantages in the cloud that makes it ideal as a cornerstone in a digital distribution platform.

media-entertainment

1) Faster speed to market – The cloud provides a platform to invent, test and roll out innovation to the marketplace. Through the cloud, broadcasters can more readily roll out new services in weeks or months rather than years. It delivers a service delivery cycle on par with their OTT competitors..

2) Increased scalability – The cloud gives broadcasters the scalability to handle spikes in workload, including live events, and surges in the popularity of new services. With a cloud model, infrastructure availability expands or contracts to handle peak usage requirements, and cloud clients pay only for what they use—much the way that we pay for water, telephone or electricity. In terms of live events delivered online, the capabilities brought by cloud are having a transformational effect on the ability to stream live events

3) Improved Customer Insights – Revenues are tied to engaging customer experiences, particularly ones where the consumer can easily find and choose the content they want on the device of their choice.. With the cloud, broadcasters can collect, store and conduct analytics on vast amounts of data, generating insights to drive personalization, service development, customer experience and one-to-one relationships.

4) Ongoing Service Innovation – Cloud computing is provided as an externally managed service. The ability to instantly obtain access to computing resources through a third party can greatly reduce the need that new entrants have had to build an IT infrastructure in-house. Therefore, cloud computing allows broadcasters to pilot, trial and experiment with different types of services to test their potential to engage consumers and drive revenues, without putting significant investment at risk. If managed correctly, this approach means incumbent broadcasters can emulate the “fail fast” culture of start-ups and accelerate the speed, agility and effectiveness of their service innovation efforts – putting them ahead of the curve relative to their peers.

Predictions for the Future of Cloud in Media and Entertainment

The use of cloud solutions by broadcasters and new startups will progress on several fronts over the next few years. First, the cloud will play an increasingly pivotal role in the delivery of content-rich services to multiple devices, whether on an ad-funded or subscription basis. The cloud will also increasingly be used to analyze customer preferences and add more data capacity during peak workloads.

On the backend, the cloud offers a strong business case for realizing an end-to-end digital supply. The burden of such an integrated workflow was previously hampered by in-house systems operating in silos, huge costs, and high server requirements. The cloud circumvents those obstacles through virtualized resources available on an on-demand basis. This digital supply chain will make it possible to rapidly create and deliver more innovative services to the customer.

Finally, with cloud solutions lowering the barriers to entry, the stage is set for all types of brands, from retailers to consumer goods, to move into video distribution.

Conclusion

Staying agile amidst changes in the media and entertainment industry is a critical element for success. The cloud presents tremendous opportunities for keeping pace and driving high performance.

francesco-venturini

By Francesco Venturini

Francesco Venturini is the global managing director for Accenture’s Media & Entertainment industry group. He can be reached at Francesco.Venturini@accenture.com

Cloud Infographic: The True Cost Of Downtime

Cloud Infographic: The True Cost Of Downtime

So what’s the true cost of downtime?

A third of websites experience downtime every month, and 90% of organizations have unexpectedly lost access to their critical systems. Website outages can last, on average, 7.9 hours in North America and 10.3 hours in Europe. For a society so dependent on connectivity such outages are extremely costly for organizations whose customers expect high availability anytime, anywhere.

This infographic compiled by Peer 1 Hosting outlines the true cost of website downtime, including the top five downtime disasters you never want to experience, including: damaged reputation, lost revenue, weakened loyalty, reduced productivity, and regulatory and compliance costs. It also details how organizations can proactively avoid downtime with a strategic Web hosting and cloud provider.

Peer1-Infographic-Be-Infallible_001

Big Data In Your Garden: Initiatives For Better Understanding Nature

Big Data In Your Garden: Initiatives For Better Understanding Nature

Big Data in Your Garden

Big Data and IoT initiatives are springing up all across the globe, making cities, protesters–and just about everything else–smarter. However, thus far there’s been little attention paid to the interactions between these bizarre technologies and living things other than humans. Biology, that is, human biology is one field where Big Data initiatives have already gone so far as to generate too much data. However, sometimes it’s worth to focus on something that’s out the window, or on the windowsill for that matter.

A plant’s tweet for helpModern-art

Are you a plant killer? With a Botanicalls kit, a plant can alert its owner if s/he forgets to water it. The Twitter-connected kit, planted in a pot, measures moisture levels and sends its owner reminders when there’s not enough water the green friend to thrive. The idea is to help plants maintain healthy relationships with their humans. Botanicalls fetch for $100 apiece and come equipped with what appears to be an ethernet slot and a power cable. Don’t get the wrong idea; these things have been featured at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, so they’re not taking the commercial angle here.

Datafying life on Earth

On the other hand, initiatives of a more serious nature are made to attempt cataloging and democratizing information about the planet’s flora and fauna. A team at the Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) is documenting and uploading the 6.3-million sample base found at the garden, albeit very slowly. With high-quality photos, the academic world is set to benefit from the wide accessibility of such data.

MBG is also part of a larger initiative, the Encyclopedia of Life (EoL), which attempts to catalog all the planet’s species of life by 2017. The encyclopedia is a trustworthy, definitive initiative that brings together freely available data, crowdsourcing pictures and nomenclature of the 2 million species that have been recognized on this planet. Even though Big Data isn’t the operative word here, as it’s freely available, hackers across the globe can mine EoL’s vast database to come up with creative uses or correlations between species.

Even though there’s limited information available on Big Data/IoT initiatives concerned with non-human organisms–which is understandable as nature interests us mainly from our own standpoint–there’s reason to believe that eventually forests and nature parks will become connected as well. Moisture sensors can help us save our precious flowers, but they can also tell biologists meaningful things about a forest’s ecosystem. Satellites can alert authorities about impending forest fires faster; and so on. Perhaps technology can indeed bring us closer to nature, or at least make us better-attuned to it.

(Image Source: alexpro9500 / Shutterstock)

By Lauris Veips

CloudTweaks Comics
Low Cost Cloud Computing Gives Rise To Startups

Low Cost Cloud Computing Gives Rise To Startups

Balancing The Playing Field For Startups According to a Goldman Sachs report, cloud infrastructure and platform spending could reach $43 billion by 2018, which is up $16 billion from last year, representing a growth of around 30% from 2013 said the analyst. This phenomenal growth is laying the foundation for a new breed of startup…

Digital Marketing Driven by Cloud, Big Data and IoT

Digital Marketing Driven by Cloud, Big Data and IoT

Digital Marketing Successful digital marketing campaigns are being driven largely by trending technologies, specifically the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and The Cloud. These may be used for a huge number of marketing applications, from optimizing the performance of sports teams to improving science and research, even helping to aid law enforcement. Amazon Web…

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most Cloud computing is rapidly revolutionizing the way we do business. Instead of being a blurry buzzword, it has become a facet of everyday life. Most people may not quite understand how the cloud works, but electricity is quite difficult to fathom as well. Anyway, regardless of…

Cloud Infographic – Guide To Small Business Cloud Computing

Cloud Infographic – Guide To Small Business Cloud Computing

Small Business Cloud Computing Trepidation is inherently attached to anything that involves change and especially if it involves new technologies. SMBs are incredibly vulnerable to this fear and rightfully so. The wrong security breach can incapacitate a small startup for good whereas larger enterprises can reboot their operations due to the financial stability of shareholders. Gordon Tan contributed an…

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services Business Intelligence (BI) services have recently seen an explosion of innovation and choices for business owners and entrepreneurs. So many choices, in fact, that many companies aren’t sure which business intelligence company to use. To help offer you a solution, we’ve compiled a list of 12 Business Intelligence companies…

How Big Data Is Influencing Web Design

How Big Data Is Influencing Web Design

How Big Data Is Influencing Web Design For all you non-techies… You’re probably wondering what big data is (I know I was….a few years back) so let’s get the definitions out of the way so we’re on the same page, okay? Big data is A LOT of data – really, it is. It is a…

The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

What’s Missing in the IoT? While the Internet of Things has become a popular concept among tech crowds, the consumer IoT remains fragmented. Top companies continue to battle to decide who will be the epicenter of the smart home of the future, creating separate ecosystems (like the iOS and Android smartphone market) in their wake.…

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences Many people have heard of cloud computing. There is however a tremendous number of people who still cannot differentiate between Public, Private & Hybrid cloud offerings.  Here is an excellent infographic provided by the group at iWeb which goes into greater detail on this subject. Infographic source: iWeb

Four Reasons Why CIOs Must Transform IT Into ITaaS To Survive

Four Reasons Why CIOs Must Transform IT Into ITaaS To Survive

CIOs Must Transform IT The emergence of the Cloud and its three delivery models of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) has dramatically impacted and forever changed the delivery of IT services. Cloud services have pierced the veil of IT by challenging traditional method’s dominance…

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…

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Out-of-the-box Cloud Solutions Although people may argue that data is not safe in the Cloud because using cloud infrastructure requires trusting another party to look after mission critical data, cloud services actually are more secure than legacy systems. In fact, a recent study on the state of cloud security in the enterprise market revealed that…

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…

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Security In The IoT The network security market is experiencing a pressing and transformative change, especially around access control and orchestration. Although it has been mature for decades, the network security market had to transform rapidly with the advent of the BYOD trend and emergence of the cloud, which swept enterprises a few years ago.…

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

Hybrid-Cloud Approach For over 20 years, organizations have been attempting to secure their networks and protect their data. However, have any of their efforts really improved security? Today we hear journalists and industry experts talk about the erosion of the perimeter. Some say it’s squishy, others say it’s spongy, and yet another claims it crunchy.…

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…

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

The Digital Twin  How smart factories and connected assets in the emerging Industrial IoT era along with the automation of machine learning and advancement of artificial intelligence can dramatically change the manufacturing process and put an end to the dreaded product recalls in the future. In recent news, Samsung Electronics Co. has initiated a global…

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

Cloud Security Missteps Cloud computing remains shrouded in mystery for the average American. The most common sentiment is, “It’s not secure.” Few realize how many cloud applications they access every day: Facebook, Gmail, Uber, Evernote, Venmo, and the list goes on and on… People flock to cloud services for convenient solutions to everyday tasks. They…

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks: The Top 8 According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks Does cloud security risks ever bother you? It would be weird if it didn’t. Cloud computing has a lot of benefits, but also a lot of risks if done in the wrong way. So what are the most important risks? The European Network Information Security Agency did extensive research on that, and…

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…