Category Archives: Cloud Computing

The Compromise For Internal And External IT

The Compromise For Internal And External IT

The compromise for internal and external IT

Sourcing of processes and parts manufacturing have been commonplace in the industry for a long time. For example, large automotive companies like Ford and Toyota do not make every single part of the ca that they design and sell. They do not make each nut and bolt, seat cover or the windshields or even brakes in their vehicles, but rather they source them from other companies that are more specialized to make them cheaper. This puts Ford or Toyota in a position where they can use the resources supposedly for those small parts into something that would make a difference in their core business, which is design and engineering.

This goes the same for an organization with a running IT department. The organization should not rely solely on that relatively small department for all of their services and technology. This often results to overload and misfires by the IT department. The organization should assess the strengths and weaknesses of their in-house IT and put it to work on the things it can do efficiently. All other things that look like it is out of the expertise of the department but are truly required will have to be sourced from different third party cloud computing service providers.

But the common vision is that corporate IT should be evolving and gets ever closer to the core requirements of the business organization. It should then be able to anticipate business requirements and even suggest emerging technology trends that may benefit the business. But to be able to take advantage of cloud computing fully, any self-serving corporate IT should source some commodity services to outside third-party service providers who can actually do it better than them, of course only when and where it makes sense. There is no point for an internal IT department if everything will be sourced anyway.

An informed decision is always required when it comes to assessing cloud computing options, especially on which services can be done by internal IT and which ones should be sourced to third-party providers. Graphs and lists should be made in order to have a graphical representation of all the services and processes required by the organization and the reason and pros and cons of each when given to internal IT or sourced to outside providers.

Efficiency as well as cost effectiveness are two key elements to look for when choosing internal or external.

By Abdul Salam

Cloud Infographic: Big Data Opportunities

Cloud Infographic: Big Data Opportunities

Cloud Infographic: Big Data Opportunities

Big Data has seen its fair share of coverage over the past couple of years. Much of the focus has been placed on the Analytics and Monitoring of Big Data. This will be a much discussed area  and expect a large number of startups to put forward new and innovative services to help analyze, locate and extract critical data from their findings.

Here is an infographic courtesy of Elexio which provides some really nice insight into the growing opportunities of Big Data.

big-data-infographic-cloud

Infographic Source: Elexio

Cloud-Enabling Technologies Market To Reach $22.6 Billion In 2016

Cloud-Enabling Technologies Market to Reach $22.6 Billion in 2016, According to New 451 Research Study

End Users Remain Focused on Internal Cloud Initiatives

NEW YORK, Sept. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Market Monitor, a service of 451 Research, projects that the Cloud-Enabling Technologies market revenue will increase at a 21% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $22.6 billion in 2016.

The recently published Market Monitor Cloud-Enabling Technologies overview report defines Cloud-Enabling Technologies as technologies that are installed, delivered and consumed on-premises. The report examines 143 vendors, segmented into three primary categories – virtualization, security, and automation and management. Cloud-Enabling Technologies, by definition, are not hosted by third parties. A report overview can be viewed here.

Full report highlights include:

  • Virtualization – the foundation of cloud computing – accounts for the majority of total market revenue, with a 66% share. But, as the most mature market segment, it also has the lowest CAGR through 2016 (16%).
  • Automation and Management, a broad category that includes incumbent technologies and cloud platforms, will continue to grow at a healthy 28% CAGR as users move up the stack from first-tier virtualization implementation.
  • At the top of the stack is security, with no single vendor dominating. This sector has the highest CAGR through 2016 at 29%.
  • Since September 2012, there have been 12 significant acquisitions in the CET space. Going forward, we expect to see more of the same as firms look to either bulk up their cloud offerings or make an initial ‘roll of the dice’ in the cloud market.
  • Revenue generated by public firms accounted for 87% of the total, with private firms accounting for the remaining 13%.
  • Public vendors accounted for 21% of the total companies in the CET space, with private vendors accounting for 79%.
  • A smaller percentage of companies are generating less than $5m in revenue than the year before: nearly half of the vendors in 2012 generated less than $5m in revenue (44%), compared with 58% in 2011. Roughly one-third of vendors fall into the midmarket range (defined as $5m-$25m), up from 27% in the midmarket the year before. Only six vendors have revenue (deriving strictly from CET) over $500m.

The drivers of growth are twofold,” said Victoria Simons, Research Analyst, 451 Research. “Initial adoption of the cloud is driven by the need for cost reduction and more efficient computing options. As the infrastructure is virtualized, customers then need tools to manage, control and secure their IT environments to fully realize the benefits of virtual/cloud environments. We see the cloud-enabling technologies market growing strongly as large enterprises and SMBs continue along the path of flexible computing.”

Leveraging 451 Research’s deep insight into established cloud vendors and startups, Market Monitor employs a pure bottom-up approach, with active participation from sector analysts. The resulting forecast incorporates the unique traits, strengths and weaknesses of each market participant, and when used with in-depth qualitative research from 451 Research, Market Monitor provides a holistic view of the cloud computing marketplace. This bottom-up analysis methodology enables 451 Research to provide granular detail at the vendor and individual service level.

About Market Monitor: Cloud-Enabling Technologies

Market Monitor: Cloud-Enabling Technologies is a quantitative research service that tracks and forecasts the size and growth of the rapidly evolving server virtualization and on-premises cloud-enabling technologies marketplace. In addition to forecasting revenues over a five-year horizon, the service breaks out revenue by geographic region, company size and industry verticals. The service tracks revenue generated by server virtualization, automation and management, cloud security, and cloud platforms. The Market Monitor analyst team uses a bottom-up approach to track and project revenue for vendors operating in this marketplace.

About 451 Research 

451 Research, a division of The 451 Group, is focused on the business of enterprise IT innovation. The company’s analysts provide critical and timely insight into the competitive dynamics of innovation in emerging technology segments. Business value is delivered via daily concise and insightful published research, periodic deeper-dive reports, data tools, market-sizing research, analyst advisory, and conferences and events. Clients of the company – at vendor, investor, service-provider and end-user organizations – rely on 451 Research’s insight to support both strategic and tactical decision-making. 451 Research is headquartered in New York, with offices in key locations, including San Francisco, Washington DC, London, Boston, Seattleand Denver.

SOURCE 451 Research

Cloud Startup: CloudVolumes

Cloud Startup: CloudVolumes

Cloud Startup: CloudVolumes

Go Modular In the Virtualization of Big Data With CloudVolumescloud-volumes

CloudVolume is a virtualization giant that focuses on the innovativeness of its products on the cloud, including modulating applications without swapping those of the client. Though its apps are advanced than most of what the clientele uses, it integrates the latter natively with no notable change in application behavior. This is unlike situations where customers have to upgrade to new software if they are to achieve parity with a new system. Alternatively, big data users do not have to expect a slow, protracted process similar to how their CPU performs when processing gigabytes of information. Rather, the advanced systems gobble up huge apps or excessive data of the client in what it terms on its website as ‘milliseconds.’

Modulation in Different Aspects

What really makes this company tick? The easiest answer to the question is that it is a modulator of infrastructure, apps, integration and scalability. Here is a look at each of these elements successively.

Virtual Infrastructure: CloudVolume directly penetrates and becomes a part of the existing systems or rather the latter setup transforms to the system of the startup. Even in cases where there are thousands of servers to gobble up, it does this without altering anything and at once. In short, it shuns the long path home where one has to synchronize with each server successively for it does so simultaneously. The client side remains intact with its existing hypervisor and network machinery.

Apps: The factor to key in for a machine to integrate with all apps at once is that each app ought to be accessible natively as before the integration. What is the purpose of Software as a Service (SaaS) anyway? Secondly, if special administrative attributes of applications including prohibited copies are available, the system will connote a single copy for all inclusive servers to share, which in a way retains the same prohibition or read-only status of the original.

Integration: One way of achieving parity of applications, storage and infrastructure elements is by ensuring that all volumes are accessible on even incompatible machines. CloudVolumes does this via a clone-free premise. One does not have to clone a volume in order to be accessible in a new device. The instantaneous modulation power of the system does this, making all volumes available on any machine.

Scalability: Workloads always increase in virtual environments. There is registry information, like log files, and mammoth big data output to keep of a client’s organization. This is why storage through a scalable system like that of this startup is essential.

image-cloud-volumes

The Team behind the Startup

CloudVolumes has beginnings of 2011 when a team of experts configured a modulated virtual infrastructure system. The Chief Executive, Raj Parekh was a co-founder of a venture capital company on the West Coast. The Chief Technology Officer also worked in a technology firm that focused on virtual security. The other team members have each a gamut of former links with leading IT and marketing firms.

Recent Activity of the Firm

A partnership with Dell came to be in July, 2013 when the later electronics giant provisioned a virtualization application from CloudVolumes. This brings the startup a step closer to offloading the cloud onto the desktop for the smart user. This goes by the name of Enterprise Desktop, whose virtual appearance creates an aura of being inside a real desktop. It works for, among others, Microsoft RDS.

Thus, if seeking to make configuration of servers an easy task that demand just a simple, one-off relocation process, then this is the cloud offer to seek. Despite being relatively young, CloudVolumes has managed pretty well to make a name for itself in a world where even Dell seeks partnership with the firm. The greatest winning attribute, however, which makes the start up earn a permanent pace, among its peers, is the level of modulation on these scores: infrastructure, integration, app transitioning and volume sharing. This alone makes it one of the leading North American cloud startups.

By John Omwamba

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Music Faceoff

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Music Faceoff

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Music Faceoff

Music cloud services have become hugely popular. These digital music lockers are making people pay for music again, and why not? These huge music libraries in the cloud have pretty much every song you could ever want. That is an amazing amount of convenience, made even better by the fact it streams to nearly any device. Music lovers can have high-quality streamed music with actually downloading it. Music lovers are flocking to these digital boutiques to store and access their music. Continue Reading

Over the years CloudTweaks has written a fair bit about Cloud related music services, and we feel that we’ve found an older, but still very relevant infographic that helps complement this industry.

music-cloud

Infographic Source: Visual.ly

The Tolly Group Report: How Dimension Data Beat Out Some Big Players

The Tolly Group Report: How Dimension Data Beat Out Some Big Players

The Tolly Group Report: How Dimension Data beat out some big players to help keep your data up to date

(Update Revision: Initial Post, August 30th)

The next time you check out busy commercial websites – those, for example, that talk about products, sell them, ship them and generate buzz and conversation about them, spare a thought for all of the billions of bits of data running around behind the scenes to make these sites’ videos, promos and “buy now” catalogues work smoothly, reliably and securely. Much of the infrastructure behind sites like these comes to you courtesy of a few organizations that have recognized the need for a more cohesive approach to collection and redistribution of data on the cloud, through the use of a “network-centric,” rather than “best effort” structure.

The technological wizardry behind complex websites tends to go unnoticed by the average consumer; at least until something goes wrong, at which point the great “fail whale” emerges to spoil the fun.

The cloud is growing by leaps and bounds, but a great deal of the infrastructure is built on existing components. It can often be a hodgepodge of servers and programs built using elements that were not always designed to scale up to the degree and with the versatility currently required. “Cloud” may exist at the top of every CIO’s agenda, but, according to Gartner Research, it still forms a relatively small portion of the 3.7 trillion dollar IT industry.

This means we are still in the early days of the cloud as a primary technology. It has a way to go to emerge as a platform for more than just testing and development, and to become the place for hosting mission-critical data applications.

Enter the Tolly Group.

The Tolly Group was founded in 1989 to provide hands-on evaluation and certification of IT products and services. In a recent study, conducted in May 2013, Tolly researchers tested the cloud performance of some major providers: Amazon, Rackspace, IBM and Dimension Data in all four areas: CPU, RAM, storage and network performance. Their findings exposed the price and performance limitations of today’s “commodity” or “best effort” clouds that rely on traditional, server-centric architectures. The report found that of these four big players, the network-centric approach used by Dimension Data’s enterprise-class cloud helped lower cost and risk, and accelerate migration of mission-critical apps to the cloud.

keao-caindec

Keao Caindec, CMO of the Cloud Solutions Business for Dimension Data was obviously pleased with the results of Tolly’s stringent testing, but not surprised. He points out that the report tells an interesting story. He says it shows how not all clouds are created equal, and that there is a big difference between providers. This, he believes, will force end-users to look more critically at underlying performance of any provider they choose to do business with.

As an example, Caindec points out that when someone goes and buys a router switch or server, these pieces come with specs.  But such specs don’t exist broadly in the cloud world. In many cases, he says, clouds were developed as low cost compute platforms – a best effort. Now, however, this is not enough. A provider must demonstrate a great deal more reliability in terms of speed, security and scalability – for example, designing an application to scale either up or out. When scaling up, a provider must be able to add more power to the cloud server. When scaling out, it must be able to easily add more instances. He points out that clients in a growth phase must be careful about scaling up, since such expansions may not lead to the desired level increased performance.

Caindec points to some specific types of work that Dimension Data does with its high-profile clients: “We help them with their websites by leveraging the public cloud for testing and development. This allows granular configuration of the server, which means that each server is configured with as much storage/power as is needed.” He points out that customers often need to make sure they are not buying too much of one resource. For example a database app needs lots of memory, maybe 32 Gig of memory on a server, but not necessarily a lot of computing power. Dimension Data, he says, takes care to help clients to configure exact amount of resources necessary, allowing them to save money by not over-provisioning.

Caindec finds the Tolly study to be eye-opening primarily because it begs the question: are low cost clouds really low cost? “If the model is more best effort and because of that you have to run more servers, are you being as economical as you could?” For the most part, he points out, the costs of cloud providers are similar. But performance levels vary much more dramatically. In other words, “You may not be saving all the money you could. You may find a lower cost per hour, but in a larger environment, especially when running thousands of servers, this does not become economic.”

Caindec points out that at this point in IT history there is still a great deal that is not well understood. There are not a lot of statistics. He hopes that IT managers and CTOs everywhere will be able to obtain more granular insights from the full Tolly Report. Insights such as the fact that more memory does not mean applications will run better or provide better throughput. “If you scale up the size of the server, the server runs faster, but requires higher throughput to reach other servers.” He says companies must be careful to benchmark their own applications. It is not necessary to hire a high-profile testing firm like Tolly to do this, however; testing tools are available publicly, but he strongly advises more testing and awareness as standard practice.

By Steve Prentice

Breaking The Mold: Why IT Veterans Can’t Resist The Cloud

Breaking The Mold: Why IT Veterans Can’t Resist The Cloud

Why IT Veterans Can’t Resist the Cloud

Like it or not, Cloud Computing has transformed the way we communicate; from online storage to social networking, server virtualization truly pushes the boundaries of what is possible in a digitized world. Yet it was only a few years ago that the cloud was merely being used as a buzzword to describe specific web services hosted on shared web space. So what has changed? Cost, for one thing and availability for another; IT decision makers who once criticized the cloud may soon have to embrace it.

The Economics of Cloud Computing

A recent report in the economist wrote that small banking firms were expected to spend nearly $180 million on cloud services to better serve their clients. That means a global market for cloud services and availability is growing rapidly to support consumer demands, as well as expectations. Small banking firms can now host PDFs, email and other important financial documents on cloud storage platforms without having to invest in costly infrastructure. From a supply and demand standpoint the price of cloud based services can only get cheaper.

Lower costs reduce IT complexity and enable organizations to scale infrastructures depending on needs. That aforementioned small banking firm need not employ an entire IT department to maintain a virtual environment. Staff members may now work remotely allowing them to make the most of company resources – favorable attributes made possible by cloud-based resources. Even still, glitter isn’t gold amongst IT veterans who cannot make it past the shortcomings of the cloud. Gartner lists 3 key challenges for cloud computing: Security, governance and privacy for starters.

Security Risks

The threat of downtime is imminent to any organization reliant on cloud-based resources, particularly because cyber-attacks can render this virtual environment unresponsive. To most skeptics, security has become the main concern. At one end, you have the physical layer – a group of servers collocated within a secure location each partitioned to handle a certain amount of traffic, both upstream and downstream. The virtual end routes traffic to and from physical servers accordingly, but the more convoluted the signal path becomes (in theory) the more room for error exists.

Cloud environments are increasingly susceptible to DDoS (distributed denial of service attacks) because security protocols are easily bypassed by attackers at specific points of entry. Some organizations have gone as far as to implement a security appliance within the physical layer of a data center. Others simply rely on cloud security software, of which, can still be foiled by malicious attack. But aside from these obvious security pitfalls (that often beget other technologies), CTO’s still cannot and must not deny that the cloud computing business model works – and to an extent, works rather well considering its shortcomings. In fact, cloud based services are actually driving consumer trends faster than organizations can keep up.

Two Steps Forward One Step Back

Cloud’s popularity often outgrows infrastructure simply because it is cheap and everyone wants to offer a service to one-up the competition. What happens then is that companies partition more storage – enough to keep up with demand for the next few years, only to find that they’ve exceeded capacity in just a few short months. In that regard, cloud becomes a victim of its own success forcing IT decision makers back to the drawing board. Skeptics will still argue you cannot make a cloud environment secure as in a dedicated environment. Yet at this point there is no turning back. Clients, shareholders and customers expect to have specific IT resources at their fingertips, and as everyone runs to cloud based computing platforms, traditionalists must adapt or risk falling behind the times.

From an economic standpoint, cloud will continue to level the playing field for all types of IT vendors so long as organizations realize what their true cost of ownership is. If they aren’t utilizing their infrastructure efficiently they may be losing money by not outsourcing to a cloud provider such as, for example, AWS amazon web services. Whichever solution decision makers decide to stick with, one thing’s for certain; cloud product offerings will improve and costs will come down.

This is a post written by on behalf of Colocation America, a leading provider of data center services in Los Angeles.

Cloud Startup: Message Bus

Cloud Startup: Message Bus

Cloud Startup: Message Bus

Message Bus: Secure Cloud-based Messaging Service for Scaling Business Correspondence

logo-message-bus

Once in a while, a giant comes from the gamut of reigning monsters of technology. One such entity is Message Bus, a cloud startup that has taken North America by storm in 2013. The messaging company emerged as one of this year’s top nominees in the cloud category by a leading journal in the United States. Its glory lies in the ability to offer clients messaging freedom over a range of platforms, ranging from the basic email to tablet and phone clients. Its features include web protocols that improve communication over secure infrastructure. The following is a display of the features and other characteristics that define the startup.

Relay Format: SDK, SMTP or REST API?

There are three protocol standards that Message Bus employs when transferring information between the various servers it has to pass, per the client’s request. One of these is Software Development Kit (SDK) where the business or client appropriates messaging to pass through paths that the client can validate locally. It provides nodes and programming languages, such as, Java that the message will use when it is transferring to recipients over the secure SDK path.

The SMTP standard, on the other hand, acts as the universal transfer tool for most of the emails that the company remits on behalf of the users. Its security lies in the fact that it is compatible with most protocols in use in the world today. This is because it was one of the first to set messaging standards, dating back to the early 1980s. However, it acts as a relay or go-between from the source to the client’s server before it can reach the recipient, which adds a level of encryption.

SDK-SMTP

The third way is to use the Rest API relay which is open source and conforms to most protocols on devices today. It is also great because of its integrity with many applications, where the message needs to penetrate different software clients.

The Scaling Premise

If the merit of a cloud service lies in its ability to attract more customers for a company, then Message Bus is the knight in shining armor for users. It features a scaling provision on the number of messages that the clientele can remit. If its word is anything to go by, the cloud startup offers “endless capacity, 70% cheaper.” This is when it commits to a comparison with existing rivals.

Scaling can also mean to improve the way one monitors missives as they transit through the cloud infrastructure. For this, the company provides diverse metrics that can assist to track down which area needs scaling. One of these is showing the real response of the fan base through its instantaneous feedback, if any. Another way is using all departments of a business and assessing how each is performing in the messaging dispensation before increasing its output, thereof. In this way, users can easily create parts to an email that is outbound by any of the metrics above.

Native to the Cloud

Another qualification that makes Message Bus an attractive prospect for delivery of missives through the web or on devices is the fact that it is one of the few such providers that did not start in the traditional emailing niche. Rather, it is native to the cloud. This means that the features of its messaging technology are meant to operate inside huge relay environments like that of the cloud rather than merely the web where the email transits.

An attestation to the above assessment is that the level of privacy is enhanced when using Message Bus because of its ISP conformance. The company asserts that its novel set of apps can stem any brand disrepute that emanates from email interception. The company employs dedicated Internet Protocol with all relevant encryption details.

The Pricing

The basic structure of pricing for Message Bus is rather simple. It has these three ingredients:

  • 10 to 100 million messages each 30 days attract $1000 and an extra fee of $0.10, per copy.
  • 100 to a billion messages include the same details as above with half the fee, per copy, as the above figures.
  • Messages that have hit the 1-billion mark attract $1000 and a $0.03 fee.

Whether that meets the pricing standards of the niche or not is up to the client but one thing is for sure: there is unlimited scalability. The higher the message count, the lower the fee per copy. There is also the assurance that the pricing is 70 percent below that of the market.

In short, Message Bus has come strong as one of the truly native startups in the cloud niche providing messaging support. From API-based communication to SDK relays and from cross-platform compatibility involving mobile devices and computers to secure communication, this company has it all. This is why it manages to be one of the top North American cloud startups for the current year.

By John Omwamba

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Report: Enterprise Cloud Computing Moves Into Mature Growth Phase

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