Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Windows Azure In Real Time Gaming

Windows Azure In Real Time Gaming

Windows Azure in Real Time Gaming

The promise of painless scalability and continuous integration on the Cloud resonates well with the gaming industry because of the efficient mechanisms that make it possible for the gamers to enjoy state-of-the-art playing experience while gaming on the Cloud. Windows Azure would be a perfect benchmark for gauging games which have intensive connectivity requirements and frequent event updates as Microsoft’s Xbox One is a perfect fit to demonstrate the value which Cloud capabilities bring for the gamers to fully exploit and experience next generation machine capabilities. Windows Azure media services integrated in Xbox One makes use of Microsoft smooth streaming (MSS) to deplete lags in gameplay. Features like segmented streaming, live downloading and multifarious cloud based services for the users are also the perfect depiction of the cloud based MSS technology. MSS technology works on the small content fragments making it possible for the console to update downloading and playtime of the frames and defragments the incoming chunks of multimedia data from the Cloud. The defragmented data is produced in the form of files in order to revamp the data packets to map optimally on the buffer of Xbox.  As Windows Azure Cloud has multilayered support offering within PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) along with datacenter support, the performance and quality of storage, streaming and back up services of the console built on top of this architecture and has deep integration with, opens up a whole new world of opportunities.

windows-azure

Cloud’s evolution in the gaming industry has manifested the benefits of Cloud and the contribution of Azure Cloud is one of the stepping stones towards increased Cloud adoption within gaming, apart from business facing verticals. The compute intensive calculations are offloaded on-the-go which has solved the “lag problem” in gaming. Although there are latency issues, however, effective cloud based database querying techniques and infrastructures like SQL Database, work to create, scale and extend applications into the Cloud using Microsoft SQL Server technology. Xbox One also integrates with Active Directory and Microsoft System Center at the back-end to provide the segmented MSS streaming at different levels.  Windows Azure platform also provides strong API built on REST, HTTP, and XML based parsing and cross platform compatibility that helps the gamers to download and play third party games in a much easier way. Indeed, a lot is expected from the next generation gaming consoles which tightly integrate with one of the several Cloud providers. Upcoming gaming consoles are more likely to revolutionize Cloud gaming experience for users and deliver phenomenal new ways and perhaps new verticals within gaming. Keep playing!

By Salman UI Haq

Task Scheduling In Cloud Environments For Optimum Performance

Task Scheduling in Cloud Environments for Optimum Performance

Task scheduling is one of the primary components of any Operating System and Cloud is not an exception. In fact, task scheduling in the Cloud is one of the hottest research areas for practitioners driven by increasing need for squeezing maximum performance out of a Cloud deployment. A typical Cloud deployment follows the cluster architecture where multiple users spin VM instances which race for the physical resources available. In addition to task scheduling, load balancing has to be handled effectively and if the load balancing and task scheduling are not optimized, the performance degradation will augment, resulting in failure to extract maximum performance out of your Cloud deployment. Various frameworks are already in practice to ensure optimized task scheduling, for example, Hadoop deploys the master slave architecture of genetic algorithms in which the nodes have specific quota of map and reduce calls to ensure servicing of requests.

Genetic algorithms are used for generalizing task scheduling techniques and the specific architectures are sorted out depending upon the nature of the tasks. In grid computing, the load balancing and task scheduling algorithms are generally divided as centralized, decentralized, dynamic and static algorithms but cloud computing being based on the virtual resource allocation principal cannot deploy the centralized architecture.  Private Cloud deployments done for the first time are quite volatile when it comes to load balancing and may lead to blocking conditions were multiple service calls from the clients tend to cease the optimization architecture.

Going a bit deeper towards the hardware, algorithms like Fuzzy algorithms, which are based on runtime-decide architecture. Fuzzy algorithms are good in handling complex non-linear industrial problem solving. The algorithms select and decide optimization servicing technique on the go. First, the fuzzification property of the parameters is decided keeping in view the demands of remote clients. Second, a suitable and optimized strategy for implementation of the algorithm is sorted out.

Fuzzy algorithms also give the capability to program architectures in a way where the engine decides which task is in need of greater response time and which request can wait. Fuzzy algorithms, unlike genetic algorithms facilitate Cloud layer to use both the exclusive calls to the resources and shared calls. Tools like kernel canonical correlation analysis (KCCA) and job analysis tools like HDFS must be used to overhaul task optimization of any Cloud environment. Tasks in cloud computing are always a-periodic which means they can arrive any time and they have their specific time stamps. The dispatch Queue (DQ) must be maintained in order to keep a track of the scheduled arrivals. The scheduler must be smart enough to introduce the preemptive actions if there is a need to disturb the conventional job servicing flow for optimization of the Cloud deployment.

By Salman UI Haq

Cloud Computing In Education: The New Start-up Frontier?

Cloud Computing In Education: The New Start-up Frontier?

Ever since the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, the dream (or perhaps more accurately, fantasy) of creating a successful start-up and striking gold on the Internet has continuously drawn in new entrepreneurs seeking both fame and fortune. Constantly looking for a new market to conquer (or create), entrepreneurs tend to be drawn to sectors that are either innovating quicker than anywhere else, or that are lagging sorely behind the times. As cloud computing is incrementally being introduced as a useful technology in classrooms across America, entrepreneurs have begun to flock to education technology start-ups, quickly making it one of the fastest-growing areas of new development in technology as a whole.

The appeal of pursuing a start-up in education software or web services is multifaceted. Aside from the limited amount of existing education technology companies (obviously changing now), many school districts (specifically in urban and suburban areas) are beginning to spend large amounts of money upgrading their classrooms and buildings to make them useful for education in the 21st century. As such, the amount of cash waiting to be spent on new software licenses, hardware, or technology-based learning methods is exponentially larger than it was even a decade ago. This means that there are many more customers and potential buyers for education products, and a much greater chance of succeeding and returning an initial investment by innovating in education.

Another aspect of the appeal of creating a successful start-up in education is the capital to be gained by it, both social and for your business. Assisting in education is a great way for a company or individual to make money while also working toward positive change, a rare opportunity in entrepreneurship given the goals of the venture. The remarkable confluence of factors that have led to education becoming a lucrative arena have also opened up the possibility for companies to improve their image and their outreach by bringing their investments and ideas to the public good. Investments in education can return companies and their investors two-fold, offering an opportunity to make money and to gain valuable customer and public capital by improving their image.

While the course of investor entry and development in education remains very much a murky proposition, the chance to make money and gain good will out of the proposition is very clear. For technology companies looking for a chance to expand their reach and influence outside of the current commercial channels and market segments, education remains an untapped proving ground that can be ripe for expansion if the right company or entrepreneur seizes the opportunity. Already, Google has begun to expand its footprint in educators’ minds significantly, developing new web services and tailoring existing services and products to meet educator and student needs. Products like Google Drive and cheap Chromebooks have vast appeal for teachers and parents of students alike, and as Google sees more success it will become harder and harder for more to resist entering the education spectrum themselves. The expansion we could see in education technology in the coming years could be jaw-dropping.

By Adam Hausman

5 Ways CIOs Can Tackle Cloud Fears

5 Ways CIOs Can Tackle Cloud Fears

5 Ways CIOs Can Tackle Cloud Fears 

CIOs are tired of hearing about cloud computing concerns. They’ve spent years reading about how cloud resources are subject to risks, and wonder – what can they do to help people trust the cloud?  The truth is that despite being a hot issue for years, the topic of cloud security is more important than ever before as growing corporate dependency on web and mobile services coincide with national privacy concerns – most recently with the NSA scandal. The good news is that the hybrid cloud environment, which integrates on-premise and cloud-based solutions, allows companies to embrace the cloud without disruption.

According to Wakefield Research, CIOs are adopting the hybrid cloud approach to achieve significant benefits for their business. Although the majority of respondents believe a hybrid approach simplifies IT processes, 75 percent of CIOs still report institutional barriers that need to be overcome in order for the integration of cloud and on-premise solutions to gain wider acceptance. How can CIOs tackle these institutional barriers and conquer cloud fears in their workforce?

As a CIO with more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, and after holding many IT-related positions, I’ve realized that most people want to be cautious before investing in new technology. Through the years, I’ve helped companies understand that technology leveraged the right way is the key to business velocity, and have discovered the following top five ways for CIOs to tackle cloud fears in their workforce:

1) Bridge the Gap between IT and the Business

According to the Harvard Business Review’s two-year study, CEOs believe that CIOs are not in synch with the new issues CEOs are facing and do not understand where the business needs to go. Additionally, over 60% of IT purchases are now being made by the line-of-business, not IT. If CIOs believe the company needs to innovate by integrating cloud with their core systems, and CEOs aren’t aligned with this vision, you can see how this is a recipe for miscommunication and wasted resources.

2) Give Them Their Cloud, Their Way

With a hybrid approach, your workforce doesn’t have to rush all applications to the cloud right away. Few companies want (and can afford) a rip and replace approach. CIOs should explain to their workforce that a hybrid landscape supports fast adaptation while stabilizing areas where the current on-premise approach still makes sense. Therefore, companies can create new value and save costs while also reducing disruption.

3) Spell out Security from the Start

Cloud security policy and technology have dramatically advanced. The use of encrypted data bases and tokenized access to information has given CIOs and managers in LoB confidence in cloud security. However, gaining the confidence of your workforce means following through on a proven security plan. CIOs need explain how the cloud vendor they are using protects customers against unauthorized data access and misuse, as well as confidential data disclosure, using various measures for employees, applications, organization, systems, and networks.

4) Be Transparent

No matter how much CIOs plan, unanticipated technical issues can come up during integration projects. It’s important to vet the cloud vendor, but also important to set expectations with your workforce. To be honest, transparency is really a bigger issue than security. CIOs and IT departments not only have to ensure that cloud deployments comply with external and internal regulations, but they need to be able to prove that compliance to auditors and regulators.

5) Highlight the Benefits

CIOs shouldn’t just deliver the technology. They need to show how integrating on-premise and cloud-based applications can transform a business and deliver tremendous value – such as efficiency and flexibility. Additionally, pre-packaged integrations help businesses adopt and consume innovation faster than ever before in an IT environment that involves both on-premise and cloud-based applications. A hybrid cloud environment ultimately offers flexibility, choice, and control for companies that need to manage change and capitalize on emerging trends.

I believe that the cloud serves a strategic purpose in helping organizations accelerate innovation, and when done correctly, the hybrid cloud approach answers the need for flexibility. But, like a winning doubles tennis team, hybrid cloud computing requires skill, strategy, and most of all – constant communication. When hybrid cloud computing is out of an organization’s comfort zone, it’s up to CIOs to help their workforce stay focused on the big picture – the profound flexibility that integration will give to companies who want an edge in our customer-driven world.

By Robert Grazioli, CIO of SAP Cloud

Robert Grazioli is the CIO for SuccessFactors, an SAP Company. Bob is currently responsible for corporate technologies and SuccessFactors Cloud Operations. Bob joined SuccessFactors through the acquisition of Plateau Systems, a leading provider of cloud learning systems, where he also served as CIO.

Cloud Infographic: The Growth Of The Data Center

Cloud Infographic: The Growth Of The Data Center

Cloud Infographic: The Growth Of The Data Center 

Ideal location and growing business opportunity spawn the Caribbean’s first and only tier-IV data center.

Hidden beaches, colorful architecture, pristine reefs, and picturesque plantations; located in the southwestern corner of the Caribbean, Curaçao has it all. But it’s about to get more. Much more.  The island continues to gain prominence as a hub of international finance and commerce. And Curaçao Technology Exchange (CTEX) is preparing to be a key enabler of the region’s business boom.

We are building the first tier-IV data center complex in the region,” says Anthony deLima, CTEX Chairman and CEO. “It will be the most advanced, purpose built, high density technology services facility in the Caribbean and Latin America.” Three catalysts have converged in CTEX’s favor: growth in Latin American emerging markets, advances in cloud computing, and an auspicious locale.

More business, more technology needs 

Business activity in Central and South America has been on the rise for some time. Caribbean nations, at the commercial crossroads between North America, Europe, and Latin America, are experiencing a similar business surge.  Review Full Report

Attached is an infographic provided by Forrester/Equinix that specifically focuses on Data Center Investments which are present in the Asia Pacific.

Datacenter-Investments

Infographic Source: Equinix

Cloud Infographic: The Adoption Of Cloud Services

Cloud Infographic: The Adoption Of Cloud Services

Cloud Infographic: The Adoption Of Cloud Services

Nice infographic provided courtesy of Aerohive Networks Surveying 200 IT professionals, notable stats include:

  • 90 percent of IT professionals are investigating, implementing, or maintaining a cloud service today
  • 53 percent of IT professionals would prefer to manage and configure their network through the cloud instead of using an on-premise device or server

aerohive_cloud_infographic

 

Infographic Source: Aerohive Networks

UPDATE: Xbox One To Bury Deep In The Cloud

UPDATE: Xbox One To Bury Deep In The Cloud

UPDATE: Xbox One To Bury Deep In The Cloud As Microsoft Emphasizes More on ‘Digital’

(Updated from initial July 4th, 2013 posting)

In what seems like a complete departure from Xbox 360, the next generation Xbox One that is coming November 2013 will live most of its lifespan in the gaming realm of the cloud. According to Microsoft, the switch to more digital content is likely to change user agreements and accessibility options, but then, the transition increases the association of developers between products, all in the cloud. The company has it that the new release will be like having a console at home and an extra Central Processing Unit in the cloud. The latter will perform all computing work for the sit-at-home gamer, and in particular games, it will be possible to leave bots playing for one while off the net.XBox360_and_XBox-One

The Implications of the Switch To Digital

Some of the early preconditions of selecting cloud servers as the lifeline of Xbox One gaming console have now undergone review. At the start, gamers had to check onto the web every twenty-four hours but in mid-June the company bowed down to pressure to remove this online restriction. This indicates the ability to use discs to engage in play while off the web. However, it is inherent that to use the cloud feature, gamers must have unrestrained use of the Internet.  This means that the digital switch still remain firm for match-making and linking enthusiasts.

The other implication involves the predecessor, Xbox 360, which will receive a revamp in its external appearance. This plastic therapy will be an inspiration of the look of Xbox One, which the company has already premièred in the beginning part of the year, in anticipation to the November roll out. Furthermore, perhaps because of the proliferation of cloud computing everywhere around the globe, the new product will no longer impose international, but will endorse local denominations to buy games therein, on the web.

The Microsoft website depicted a cloud scenario at the center of which was Xbox One. An executive explains in abstract terms how having the play happening online equals to realistic details that are hard to resist. One of these is the fact that Software as a Service (SaaS) environments can save the pain of looking for one software at a time to accomplish a piece of action. In lieu of framing light slowly to depict a lightening-speed car crash scene, or another fast moment in a video, the users will only require the combination of various gaming devices or software on the web for this depiction to come out dazzlingly clear and real.

In short, having an Xbox One at one’s premises, with a connection, will equal to possessing three gadgets on a cloud server. This reduces the pain of making impossible computations in, say, enabling a race come alive for players. This may also be the secret why it will be possible now to let inanimate emissaries of gamers to continue play for them offline.

Playing Offline

Though the digital premise of Xbox One is a little off-the-mark for current users of Xbox 360, it might be matter of months before they discover the new meaning of ‘offline.’ Take one popular racing engagement: it will feature a ‘drivatar’ icon that will simulate the electronic play of a human gamer and continue on his or her behalf when the latter goes to sleep.

Secondly, it is now official from Microsoft, as abstract as it may sound, that one can transmute hardware or Central Processing Units into the cloud server and have it perform various complicated tasks during or off the game. This may mean saving even the lifespan of the device at home, because it will not require too much processing power.

Thus, as Xbox One hits the shelves this winter, it will already have anticipated a trend half a year before. That trend is cloud computing in video gaming technology as it has never before delved. It will be time to turn very smoggy alien worlds of games into crystal clear fighting and racing scenes courtesy of the rapport of various gaming consoles, in one cloud, in support of the console at the player’s house.

By John Omwamba

(Image Source: Wikipedia)

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – The Cloud Lecture

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – The Cloud Lecture

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – The Cloud Lecture

cloud_157

 

 

By David Fletcher

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Containerization: The Bold Face Of The Cloud In 2016

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5 Surprising Ways Cloud Computing Is Changing Education

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Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

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