Category Archives: Education

5 Cloud Course Teaching Platforms

5 Cloud Course Teaching Platforms

Though Cloud Computing has been in the offing for some years now, its inner core is still enshrouded in a cloak of mystery as people only see the surface. One of the more important sides of the service include the platform, which is useful for teaching the fundamentals of the technology that ties together all networks in a developing cloud. Though the platform is important for developing concepts and doing practical work, it is, however, still the best stepping stone for learning about the subject. This is because app-based platforms are always evolving.

There have been many brands that have come up to replenish the role of Platform as a Service (PaaS) which is the application arm of the cloud. They approach the technology from various angles, which suit particular business models, while others are mere development platforms for stats.

Here are five of the leading platforms that use cloud courses as their teaching models.

Appistry

For slightly more than a decade, this platform has targeted courses that rely mainly on PaaS. It helps to expand the usability of current software. While students use it to learn more on how to think outside the box when employing an already functional application, it also helps them to make their own contributions.

Companies keen to reduce their operational costs can use this teaching model to improve their technicians’ knowledge. By doing this, they will no longer have to rely on rented app stages on the public cloud. The technicians can come up with industry-specific apps that can help a tech entity meet its challenges, head on, without relying on generic software.

Windows Azure

This Microsoft-based cloud course teaching platform is the quintessential example of knowing both the fundamentals of network interactions and all about hosting. It also pays especial attention to the architectural bit of cloud computing. This is through its presence as a dynamic option for hosting information remotely while tapping into dynamic technology without any need to install the same in one’s personal computer.

Because of its long-term existence, the Azure has entrenched itself as a perfect example of what it means to scale the network and experiment with it. If one needs to leverage on the performance of his/her organization, they just need to rent more space, tap into more apps and employ them on a pay-as-you-use basis. It is no wonder then that it should be a beginner’s workbook while at the same time great for Information Technology experts who want to learn more.

AppScale

This is a search engine-based platform that mainly helps in the deployment section of the cloud, meaning when choosing a private, web-based or hybrid area of operation. Though compatible to many networks, it is mainly perfected for the particular search engine’s horde of related software.

As a teaching course, the platform switches gears and concentrates more on app profiling rather than mere deployment. It helps learners to know how they can change particular software essentials so that through this profiling, the programs can work in another cloud setting other than the one they were originally intended for.

AT&T

Among the platforms that serve as the cloud course teaching areas, this particular one exemplifies how one can be independent and still be on a free-for-all World Wide Web. One does not even have to be in the Private Cloud to manage their affairs. This provider helps to supervise the access and core infrastructural layers, provides the machines, and remotely hosts them.

However, because it allows those using the service to come up with their own stats and tools, it can be a perfect way to learn how to improve on software. It’s also serving as a good example of how IT students can get savvy with managing their own databases, though from a remote locale. They would also learn how there are no contractual details in this arrangement, where users come and go as they like as long as they provide the usual live-renting costs.

Amazon EC2

For those who want a cloud course on a very functional and flexible platform, then this is the one to seek. It helps to understand how one can contract and expand space as need be. It also enables one to comprehend how to maintain an operational scope for a business depending on the current economical climate: when the going gets tough, a user contracts the rental space and vice versa.

It is also a way out for IT enthusiasts who want to test new applications, upload something huge, and manage other affairs, expeditiously, before closing them again in a matter of fractions of minutes. This is the way to go for those who need to be in a web setting where they can make hosting decisions quickly.

There goes the curtain to some of the platforms that have proved to be worthy learning courses in the Cloud. All, in their different ways, embrace particular learning environments like infrastructure, deployment or the platform aspect itself.

By John Omwamba

The New Cloud Academia: What If Future Graduates Never Saw A Classroom?

The New Cloud Academia: What If Future Graduates Never Saw A Classroom?

As technology gets more personal and remote connectivity becomes more of a necessity, one-on-one coercions between people are slowly ebbing. The future may look bleak for inter-personal meetings like that between teachers and students in a typical classroom. But it holds a synergy that is highly appropriate for the contemporary hi-tech generation. One of the leading arguments that pro-micro-learning advocates cite is that the fight for mandatory education should go to what learners love most: the mobile, the computer and the social networks. This will bring even more fruitful means of using these cutting-edge technologies, and by the way, recue school budgets at the same time.

Cloud computing has helped initiate learning programs that are heading to a brave new world where classrooms may be a thing to be remembered. Currently, Information Technology schools by one of the leading global computer giants have provided e-learning resources to a tune a million learners in five continents.

The trend of virtual education will not stick to Information Technology and related professions. It is already getting attention from mid-level colleges that have about thirty thousand or so students. The institutions are finding it hard to admit more global students into their programs because the campus space is shrinking. This is why they are aiming to capture the attention of would-be graduates through online means. All tech resources will be charged back to the provider, with the quintessential formula of Software as a Service in cloud computing.

It might seem like a new crop of aliens to have students who have never seen the interior of a physical classroom. The United States’ school program is so flexible that parents are now taking their sons and daughters on long voyages and other land trips while hiring resourceful tutors on the way. Through integrated means, like cloud computing on gadgets, some of these students even do their math homework and score excellently while still abroad. If the student passes and opts to go to university, chances are that he or she will prefer to continue the virtual way.

Future cloud computing and education platforms will have only two tiers. The access point will be the university website which will use its dynamic hosting network to store and stream the materials. The core point will be the lecturers who will be maintaining standards between campus-based and online learning materials. The fact that tuition will be miscellaneous is a welcoming plus to students who can relay podcasts of their lecturers time and again. They can even go to parallel programs on the Internet with no lecturer of theirs getting the wiser of their educational pranks.

The good news is that the cloud will bring a system where students from all over the world can identify with one particular degree model. It will be no longer that university A from country B employs such and such standards. The unified standards will make referencing easier where they are not defined by a particular learning institution.

The question is once again posed: will there be a time when physical classrooms will be an option and not a necessity? The answer is yes, there are plenty of possibilities. There are even new programs that can only be practical online. A good example is the new certification for cloud computing. This is an instance of the revolution towards an all-inclusive e-learning model, from kindergarten to university.

By John Omwamba

Cloud Computing Certifications You Can Take

Cloud Computing Certifications You Can Take

Cloud Computing Certifications

A cloud computing certification is a powerful tool to advance your career in IT. Since many organizations and professionals are shifting towards cloud computing, it is expected that they will need assistance as they adopt the new system. A cloud computing professional certificate proves that you have the necessary skills to assist a cloud computing user. This certification is also a proof that you are dedicated to continually improving your skills as an IT professional. This will increase your motivation, commitment, and responsibility towards your career, while making you eligible for new career opportunities in cloud computing. Some of the certification you can take are as follows.

The Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) evaluates your competency in basic cloud security issues. It usually consists of 50 questions which must be answered within an hour, and the passing grade is 80 percent. The multiple-choice examination can be taken online and it costs US$295. Although the CCSK certificate has no expiry date, you may need to take updated exams because of changes in the body of knowledge in cloud computing.

The CloudU Certification, on the other hand, is for business leaders and IT professionals who want to enrich their knowledge on the basics of cloud computing. Advantages of acquiring a CloudU Certificate include an understanding of: cloud computing integration issues into an organization’s current regulations, risk, and compliance framework; an ability to build an economic importance inside the organization by implementing cloud innovations; understanding cloud computing integration into an organization’s IT infrastructure; a technical knowledge of cloud computing foundations; and a tool to demonstrate professional development. The certificate can be earned by successfully completing each of the ten CloudU quizzes and a final examination consisting of 50 questions. The passing grade is 80 percent.

An IBM Cloud Computing Certification allows you to become a Certified Solution Advisor for Cloud Computing Architecture V2, a professional who understands cloud computing concepts, benefits, design and architecture principles. This certification demonstrates that you are able to describe how cloud computing can help a user as well as map user requirements to IBM’s various cloud computing products and services.

Taking another IBM Cloud Computing Certification, you can become an IBM Certified Solution Architect for Cloud Computing Infrastructure V1, an expert in IBM’s cloud computing plan, management, design, and architecture principles. This certificate will demonstrate your proficiency in IBM’s cloud computing design principles and concepts and your ability to provide a user with a roadmap towards a cloud solution. You will also be able to design a complete solution using IBM’s design as well as blue principles in order to meet a user’s requirements. Finally, this certification demonstrates your skills in applying IBM’s Cloud Management Principles.

By Florence de Borja

Effective Ways Cloud Computing Can Contribute To Education Success

Effective Ways Cloud Computing Can Contribute To Education Success

Cloud Computing Education Success

Cloud computing and education sounds ambiguous on the face of it. Naturally, it’s because, very few individuals, publishers and users alike come from the education sector. In most cases, cloud computing is only associated with businesses and how they can leverage their efficiencies.

Just to introduce how the cloud deserves a place in our current education institution, it’s important to reiterate the education philosophy. Its essence is knowledge. It’s this knowledge which brings advancement, achievement and success. However, there are several things which make these parameters unattainable. In blunt language, this is failure. Small classrooms, lack or resources, short-handed staff, lack of adequate teachers…the list is endless. One way or the other, cloud computing can be utilized to improve education standards and activities. The end result will be to curb the above problems and instead, boost performance.

Capitalizing on economies of scale

Problems like those in which students cram into a class room can be solved with virtualization of the class environment. Students can actually log onto a space online and attend classes outside of the ineffective class environment. As such, the lecturers do not have to stress themselves out with outflowing classes beaming with crammed students. Instead, they can focus their attention to creating content students will understand, develop their skills and pass their exams.

There are also other ways colleges can leverage on economies of scale outside the classroom. For instance, if the paper systems are replaced by distributed work management systems, the workload can be reduced substantially. This can boost the rate at which they achieve efficiency needed to work optimally, just to name but, a few.

Improve collaborations and assignments working

Whereas many schools already have in place computer based learning, enough has not been done yet. With the adoption of different cloud computing platforms, students can collaborate more. They can work on assignments together as a team on the cloud.

This process is not only efficient for time saving qualities, but it also promotes understanding in students who are not great with face to face tutoring or discussion groups. As a result, more progress can be recorded among these students, compared to scenarios where traditional methods apply.

Improved access to education resources and sharing

The nature of the cloud also allows students to share beyond ideas. They can share education infrastructure and tools. With this in mind, colleges can spend less on new software, text books and latest-expensive quality learning material. This ensures that students and schools have it easy sharing quality resources. This will not only help colleges leverage tight budgets, but will also enable students to access vital information. Eventually, this will boost their academic grades, learning experience and enforce collaboration, all of which will boost the quality of education.

In general, education is wide. It has many functions, individuals and processes. Innovative tools like those hosted in the cloud can help optimize their functions, effectively. The above are broader aspects. There is a greater potential colleges can achieve with the cloud. However, adequate planning and investment need to be invested to enable this transition.

By Walter Bailey

10 Industries That Will Gain From Adopting The Cloud

10 Industries That Will Gain From Adopting The Cloud

10 Industries That Will Gain

Cloud computing, or ‘cloud’ as it is popularly known as, is the latest trend in the computer world. Everyone is talking about it and everyday new developments are coming in. Cloud computing is like a huge switchboard; when you need a power outlet, just plug in your device; and when you are done, remove it. You do not have to carry a switchboard or an adapter with you everywhere.

Therefore, the switchboard becomes a ‘service’ given to you at a cost or for free (depending on the vendor). Without doubt, cloud computing is here to stay, and more and more industries are joining the vast virtual world. Let us look at ten industries that will gain from adopting the cloud.

1. Education: It is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. The need and demand of education never goes down. Cloud computing in education opens avenues for better research, discussion, and collaboration. It also provides a software desktop environment, which minimizes hardware problems. Cloud computing also enables classes to be run on remote locations..

2. Marketing Companies: Today’s world is all about marketing and cloud computing takes marketing to a whole new level. The seller can have a marketplace without the need of investing in extra hardware, software, license fees etc.; and the buyer has more options for products.

3. Online Entertainment: Most people come on the internet for entertainment; therefore, cloud computing is the perfect place for reaching to a varied consumer base. Cloud-based entertainment can reach any device be it TV, mobile, set top box, or any other form. Better clarity and sound quality gets cloud entertainer more customers.

4. Healthcare: A better data management makes healthcare a perfect candidate for cloud computing. Both patients and doctors can access medical images, reports, records, and care management advice through cloud computing.

5. Information Technology: The IT industry thrives on information and cloud computing provides the perfect platform for testing of new software and techniques

6. Finance and Banking: As the international market grew so did the need for a more condensed and easier financial reach. Cloud computing eliminates the need for having a separate banking portal and client database for every location. This means faster and better business.

7. Telecommunication: Telecommunication companies can use cloud computing to provide both private and public cloud networks to customers and organisations for domestic and commercial purposes.

8. Hospitality Industry: Many big hotels have moved to cloud computing to get closer to customers. From reservation systems to menus, everything is available across the continents without any extra cost in infrastructure and individual training resources at every location.

9. Start-ups: Cloud computing has come as a boon for many start-ups. Start-ups can be built on cloud computing with little or no investment. A wider and diverse computer base can be easily accessed on the cloud.

10. Security: The computer and IT industry are forever plagued by hackers and other security attacks; therefore, security business will always be very much in demand. Security on cloud computing cuts down the investment cost and also decreases the need of extra space on every system.

By Tim Burg

Understanding The Place Of Cloud Computing In Higher Learning

Understanding The Place Of Cloud Computing In Higher Learning

Understanding The Place Of Cloud Computing In Higher Learning

As higher learning institutions deal with the inevitable challenge of rising costs and therefore the need to cut budgets, a good number are thinking of cloud computing solutions as suitable long term remedies. Although cautious stakeholders in the education sector have raised concerns over security issues, just as any other business would, the potential benefits for higher learning seem to already outweigh the risks which are no doubt being addressed by leading players in the cloud computing industry.

A 2011 cloud tracking poll by CDW showed that 28 per cent of the organizations sampled use cloud computing to a considerable extent. In the U.S alone, 34 per cent of higher learning institutions are using some form of cloud computing services, only 3 percentage points behind usage among businesses which led at 37 per cent. The study also went ahead to illustrate that only 5 per cent of higher learning institutions are not considering cloud computing in the foreseeable future.

With respect to SaaS, IaaS and PaaS, cloud computing can boost the endeavors of higher education through increased access to hitherto expensive IT services, higher interoperability between disconnected functions both internally (within institutions) and externally (between institutions and the outside environment), and scalable, 24 X7X 365 working systems

There are already impressive examples of learning institutions which have achieved considerable cost reductions by adopting cloud computing. A good case in point is the Eastern Washington University which managed to save $70,000 in a span of three years once they deployed Live@edu by Microsoft for their email services. Lakehead University on the other hand retains up to $250,000 in annual spending on email services after outsourcing their services to Google.  Email is just one tiny section of cloud computing but the results are clearly reflective of the revolutionary effects the cloud can achieve in higher learning institutions.

Analysts have bravely pointed out that in the next five to ten years, all major IT services as well as resources that are currently managed from physical working premises will be outsourced to cloud computing providers. Research organizations have observed that in the near future, cloud computing will change the face of IT to a magnitude equal to what the internet has done to business.

Therefore, higher learning institutions should attend to the need to embrace the cloud and take a lead because higher learning equally needs to play a role in the future of this technology that promises to be the next ‘revolt’ in the history of Information Technology.

By John Omwamba

Proven Ways To Increase Competitiveness With Cloud Computing

Increase Competitiveness With Cloud Computing

As cloud computing is currently enjoying a wave of global discourse by the business community, it is projected that more and more businesses are adopting cloud computing services as the preferred way to do business. Senior Vice President of Research for Gartner, Mr. Peter Sondergaard claims that cloud computing sits among the top four trends that will change IT in the next few years. It is no secret that any business outfit that is still reluctant in the adoption of this technology is losing out on a lot of benefits. The early adopters, furthermore, are not sitting pretty and enjoying these benefits but rather are looking for more effective ways that they can harness for a more competitive edge in their field of business

Competitiveness is often acquired when a business attains an upper hand through practices or resources that will outperform its competitors. These practices, strategies or resources are those that will save the company money in cost reduction, those that will improve effectiveness and or increase revenue. Any business can indeed achieve competitiveness through strategic exploitation of cloud features as follows;

Cost Reduction

To ensure a higher ROI, which is a realization of your competitive edge, you ought to reduce costs as much as possible. The first cost that cloud computing will help hive off is the “cost of ownership” or the capital expenditure; the setting up and the maintenance of servers, physical space and staff.

This reduces significantly the need for a humongous capital base and ensures that small enterprises can go up against bigger businesses with bigger capital bases and still claim a competitive muscle. Cloud computing also ensures that businesses pay only for what they use and utilize through the ‘pay as you go’ feature of cloud computing.

Information & business scalability

To be competitive in the current market environment one needs relevant information; the correct data, forecasts and analysis that will help them make strategic decisions. The business may not have the necessary hardware and algorithms to access, tabulate and utilize such data but they can easily and cheaply access them through cloud service providers. Such data may include data on customer/consumer demographics or “socialknowledge” that will give you a competitive edge in terms of better market intelligence.

Depending on the current need, a company can keep up with the competition through the ability to easily and cheaply scale up or down-size their systems to fit instant or essential market conditions. This hassle-free scalability could not be achieved without employing the magic of the cloud.

Flexible working practices

There is a generational and perceptional change in modern day working practices where employees tend to be more productive when placed in flexible working environments like working from home or at their own time.

When Google launched Google Docs, it broke ground in the world of file sharing and document accessibility. This allowed anybody with an account access to a cloud ‘storage’ or virtual office facility where they can keep their presentations, spreadsheets and other office documents. This flexibility in access means that your employees can work from their preferred environments. They get increased internal and external coactions coupled with quick universal access for improved productivity.

The environment is also crucial because there is an increasing universal pressure on environmental concerns. There are a lot of people now with changed or changing perceptions when it comes to environmental sensitivity. Businesses can achieve a competitive advantage by addressing these concerns. You can go “green” with cloud computing as it cuts down your carbon emission by reducing the need for massive energy usage in the data centers.

By John Omwamba

Weird Assumptions About Cloud Computing And How To Solve Them

Weird Assumptions About Cloud Computing And How To Solve Them

Cloud computing is a dynamic field. It’s been incorporated and used by many people, companies, non-profit organizations, and so many more. The technology, which allows you to use other people’s applications, is still growing. There have been so many useful things associated with it. Some are good and some bad. Cloud computing, however, remains a progressive tech sphere in 2012.

One interesting thing, and in a way weird about cloud computing, is the association it has with weather. Somehow, people still imagine cloud computing has something to do with the weather. According to a recent survey carried out by Wakefield Research and commissioned by Citrix, 51 percent of non-tech people think cloud computing is related to the weather.

For other people surveyed, cloud computing is associated with smaller things. Drugs and toilet paper were the answers some of the respondents gave when asked what they know about the cloud and its services. A question that one would beg to answer is why the public has so little information about cloud computing, or rather, is it a question of lack of interest in the subject matter? Here are some of the arguments that explain why in 2012 so many people have no idea what cloud computing is.

The first, most obvious reason not so many people understand cloud computing is their lack of knowledge. People are not interested in asking questions about the technology they use. You could blame this on the present education systems around the world, but there is a possibility that people just don’t care about what it is they use.

Another reason why people fail to understand cloud computing is because of the thin information available in the sphere. More commonly, the information provided by the content vendors is either too vague or too technical for the regular person. This means that people rely on television, newspapers, and magazines to find out about cloud computing. Knowing that only hot topics become news stories, and that sometimes these are inaccurate reports, it justifies why people may get a wrong picture about the cloud.

People also have lots of misconceptions about cloud computing because the general slow uptake of the technology by corporations. Compared to technologies like social media that have been embraced rather fast, cloud computing uptake has not been viral. There is a relatively slow uptake of cloud computing because of the traditions that have characterized most corporations. This means that very few people are aware of the interactions, even if they use it.

Overall, there is no single direction you can use to explain why cloud computing is confusing. However, what is needed is more interaction, training, public campaigns, and publishing on the same to get the information out of the door. This will tremendously boost its popularity and skew the knowledge graph.

By Walter Bailey

CloudTweaks Comics
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