How a Personal Cloud Might Streamline Our Personal Business

Jon Udell in a post today in Wired Cloudline uses a story of his son’s car accident and hospitalization, and the related auto and health insurance issues, to paint a hopeful picture of how a “Personal Cloud” might, sometime in the future, simplify and streamline the flow of documents and bills.

What’s interesting is that instead of the usual ranting about the inefficiencies of various health care providers (doctors, hospitals, rehab clinics) and insurance payers (auto and health, he acknowledges that only he can be the “router” of documents for this single event.

His business relationship with particular providers and payers, combined with the event (an accident and subsequent treatment) makes him the only party uniquely able to be the traffic cop for data flow.

One View of the customer is a laudable business mantra. But a customer often engages with many businesses in the context of what is, from the customer’s point of view, one business process. It’s a decentralized game with many players, and the only referee is the customer. Only we can create the One View that we need. Today we do it the hard way, using phone calls and faxes and piles of papers on our desks, and we do it poorly. I’m hoping our personal clouds will enable us to do it easily and well.

He’s right. There’s no magic way to take these burdens off our shoulders. But the right technology could make it lighter and more efficient.

Read his post.

Zend Teams with VMware in the Name of the Cloud

This being VMworld week Zend, the PHP company, says it has an integrated solution for VMware vFabric Application Director that makes it easier for enterprises to move their virtualized PHP apps to a fully automated cloud environment.
The integration of Zend Server, the PHP application platform, with vFabric lets enterprises deploy and manage enterprise-class PHP applications in private, public and hybrid clouds.

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Cloud Computing Application Market Driven by Small, Medium-sized Financial Institutions in China

With the continuous growth of China’s economy over the recent years, the small- and medium-sized financial institutions have also witnessed rapid development. According to statistics of China Banking Regulatory Commission, the urban commercial banks and rural financial institutions have outplayed the large state-owned commercial banks in terms of total assets growth rate in recent years. By the end of December 2011, the total assets of urban commercial banks registered a year-on-year growth rate of 26.6%, much higher than that of state-owned commercial banks, which was 16.8% year-on-year.

The rapid development of small and medium-sized financial institutions has boosted the development of IT application in the financial industry. As small and medium-sized financial institutions need to reduce investment costs and accelerate their own business development, building the public cloud will undoubtedly be the best choice, which will be a new type of data center outsourcing service. Various application platforms will provide all kinds of settlement services for small and medium-sized banks, saving them from building application systems on their own. In this case, the small and medium-sized financial enterprises no longer have to build data centers and they can throw all technical problems with software and hardware to the cloud computing service providers. Besides, the use-on-demand and pay-per-use delivery model can also significantly cut the construction and operation costs.

According to statistics of CCID Consulting, China’s financial application of cloud computing yielded a revenue of RMB 15.62 in 2011, up 48.2% year-on-year and accounting for 9.5% of overall cloud computing application market. The small and medium-sized financial institutions, contributing 20% of the revenue, are an important force in promoting the rapid development of cloud computing application in the financial industry. For instance, banks in villages and towns of Jiangsu, Henan and other provinces and cities have carried out informatization construction through managed cloud services. Thealliance of urban commercial banks of Shandong Province also actively deployed cloud service platforms for its 14 member banks, providing unified IT system and product development, data operation maintenance, gross settlement and business operation platform services.

Lenovo Calls it “PC Plus” Era, Releases PCs Primed for Windows 8

Today at the IFA consumer electronics show, Lenovo introduced a comprehensive update of its Idea-branded consumer PCs, including a new IdeaPad® U Series Ultrabook, IdeaPad Y and Z Series laptops, and IdeaCentre® A and B Series all-in-one (AIO) desktops. Powered by third generation Intel® Core™ processors or AMD A-Series processors, Lenovo’s new PCs offer consumers a variety of style, color and performance options, designed for the upcoming Windows 8 operating system.

“Our latest Idea-branded products offer more comfort, simplicity and responsiveness than ever before,” said Wei Jun, vice president, Idea Product Group, Lenovo. “Designed for an optimal Windows 8 experience, users can enjoy up to 10-finger multi-touch for versatile computing; Intelligent TouchPad for easy scrolling, zooming and rotating; Lenovo Cloud for media sharing between devices; and the Windows Store for access to thousands of entertaining and useful apps. These new Idea PCs embody our commitment to deliver products that reflect the style and energy of the user.”

The IdeaPad U510 will be available September 2012 starting at US$679.

The IdeaPad Y400 and Y500 will be available October 2012 starting at US$649.

The IdeaPad Z400 will be available November 2012 starting at US$549.

The IdeaPad Z500 will be available September 2012 starting at US$549.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre A520 will be available October 2012 starting at US$999.

The IdeaCentre B340 and B345 will be available October 2012 starting at US$599.

The IdeaCentre B545 was available in April starting at US$699.

Enterprise Class or Internet Scale? The Right Cloud for the Job

The sky is full of clouds. Some are perfect for companies needing outsourced IT, but others are built specifically for scalable Internet-enabled apps and solutions.
In his General Session at Cloud Expo New York, Duke Skarda, CTO of SoftLayer, explores the difference between enterprise-class and Internet-scale, explores hybrid clouds and networks of networks, examines specific use cases and case studies, and focuses on the requirements of those visionaries building the next wave of massively scalable Internet-facing applications.

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Workday Discloses Its Financials Ahead of IPO

Workday, the cloud-based HR company started by the guys who built PeopleSoft, is inching closer to going public.
The company filed to go public in July but took advantage of a provision in the regulations to postpone disclosing its financials. As it happens it lost $46.9 million in the six months ended on July 31 on revenues of $119.5 million, double its sales year-over-year. It lost $36 million in the same period last year.
It’s looking to raise at least $400 million, presumed to be a placeholder figure. It’s likely to be much bigger.
The start-up raised a total of $175 million since 2005, culminating last year with an $85 million round that valued it at a reportedly $2 billion.

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Taming the Cloud Data Beast – Information Privacy & Security in the Cloud

Navigating the complex web of regulatory and compliance requirements related to the processing and storage of sensitive enterprise data in the cloud is a huge challenge for business. The cloud is borderless – so how do you cover your business risk and security requirements when your SaaS application requires your data to move out of your control and into the cloud?
In his General Session at Cloud Expo New York PerspecSys CEO David Canellos highlights some of the data residency and privacy requirements that make cloud adoption a challenge for many businesses and explores, through the use of case studies, how some innovative organizations are tackling the problem and embracing the cloud.

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Enterprise Mobility and Cloud

There is an increasing demand for rendering rich content quickly on mobile devices due to the massive growth of such devices. In the past there have been silo applications that supported mobile devices, but a lot of that is being transitioned to the Cloud. The big advantage is that Cloud can handle all the key aspects of managing the data and security in a standard manner for many applications. Cloud services can provide the on demand and scalability capabilities to support such applications. Cloud services can also provide powerful capabilities to process the data and render useful information and hence processing and the deployment time may be significantly reduced. Adding Cloud to the mobile platforms is like having these platforms on steroids since they add an exciting new dimension to the management and storage of data.

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Why OpenNebula? Because It Simply Works!

“Because it simply works” is the most frequent answer to the question “Why would you recommend OpenNebula to a colleague?” that OpenNebula makes to its users in a short survey that tells them how they are doing. Other frequent answers are “Because it is easy to install, maintain and update” or “Because it is easy to customize”. “Rich functionality and stability” and “support for VMware” are also frequently mentioned by the survey respondents.

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