Cloud Expo New York: Executing Enterprise Clouds

For years, IT departments have organized their processes, employees, and business relationships around owning and operating the core IT assets in an enterprise. The current wave of cloud services can have a powerful effect on enterprise IT, with the potential for significant cost savings and operational efficiencies. To achieve these benefits, IT departments will have to integrate new ways of thinking about how IT resources are delivered.
In his general session at the 10th International Cloud Expo, Bill Lowry, Vice President, Cloud Services at Terremark, will discuss the major factors driving cloud adoption for the enterprise, relate how the adoption of cloud technologies is changing the way IT departments will operate, and review case studies showing how businesses have used cloud services to achieve these benefits.

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Cloud Transition – Assess Then Fly into the Clouds

There is great excitement about the cloud; however, it is important to conduct a full assessment as part of the Cloud Transition. It is very important to decide which applications will be moving to the cloud based on factors such as alignment with business requirements, cost savings, level of effort, available resources, benefits of the new solution, risks etc to determine business and functional benefits. Architecture and security aspects need to be thoroughly assessed, and factors such as interoperability, reliability, portability, storage, data transfer, sensitivity of data have to be evaluated. The initial and projected cost implications for services have to be monitored regularly since services that are cost effective initially may end up being more expensive down the road as more users are brought on board. As part of the assessment of cloud vendors, technology and cost aspects need to be looked into carefully and expectations should be documented in the service level agreements.

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cVidya Announces New Big Data Capabilities

cVidya Networks on Monday announced the addition of new capabilities for its IRIS and cVidyaCloud suites which enable CSPs to monitor and analyze data on a massive scale over distributed architecture for parallel processing to help maximize the value of telecoms big data. The announcement was made at cVidya’s 2012 user conference in Athens earlier this month.
Using these new capabilities, cVidya brings the power of Big Data to its pricing analytics application for Next-Best-Offer recommendation. OfferAdvisor, which is already deployed at leading operators, enables marketing managers and retention teams to offer the optimal offer or price plan to help decrease the retention costs of existing subscribers as well as identify up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. With these new capabilities, cVidya’s OfferAdvisor is a unique Next-Best-Offer application that analyzes structured data (such as actual subscriber usage) and unstructured or semi-structured data types (such as log files, clickstreams and text from e-mails) with new data sources to be added to the application capabilities in the coming months. Consequently, OfferAdvisor has an even more powerful and accurate recommendation engine, taking into account churn risk, ability to match price plans, and add-ons based on customer preferences and behavior (e.g. sport add-on for sports fans and one month of free audio books for commuters).

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A Fistful of Fears: Our Top Five Security Issues

If you work in information technology and you passed through the city of London over the last week it would have been hard not to notice the InfoSec IT security conference being held at the Earl’s Court exhibition center.
Logically, of course, certain themes and trends came out of this event, which (at a macroeconomic level at least) may provide some insight for chief information officers trying to analyse the state of their current security operation as they try to quantify the vulnerabilities that they may be harboring within their firm’s operational structure.

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Looking for the Right Answers in the Clouds at Cloud Expo New York

The age of Big Data is here. Organizations are no longer challenged to find enough data to answer the pertinent questions required for success in today’s dynamic business environment. Rather, companies are struggling to keep pace with the enormous volumes of data invading their organizations – leaving some wondering what can we do to “connect the dots” from the data that is buried in our IT systems.
Cloud Computing offers federal agencies, companies, and communities new solutions for consuming, storing, processing, and analyzing Big Data to find the right answers needed to accomplish the mission, gain competitive advantage, and collaborate in more meaningful ways.
In their session at the 10th International Cloud Expo, Jill Tummler Singer, CIO for the National Reconnaissance Office, and Jamie Dos Santos, President & CEO, Terremark Federal Group, will share perspectives on the Big Data challenge and how organizations can look in the clouds to discover the right answers. This session will feature collective results from a recent AFCEA International Cyber Committee white paper.

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Infinitely Virtual Announces VMWare vCloud Director Capability, Giving IT Pros Greater Control and Flexibility in Managing Applications

Infinitely Virtual, a provider of virtual server cloud computing services for businesses, today announced it has added VMWare’s vCloud Director to its hosting platform, giving IT managers more “self-service” options when needing to quickly reconfigure networking resources, move data between different clouds, or change virtual applications.

Integrated with Infinitely Virtual’s upgrade to VMWare’s vSphere5, VMware vCloud Director saves IT managers time and money by giving them more autonomy and control over important aspects of their virtual infrastructure.

“We recognize that IT managers want the scalability and relative low investment cost of employing cloud-hosted services,” said Adam Stern, Infinitely Virtual founder and CEO. “At the same time, we know they sometimes want the ability to make quick changes to applications or to migrate workloads between different clouds without having to go to the cloud service provider.

“Adding VMWare’s vCloud Director continues Infinitely Virtual’s mission to deliver the most flexible, cost-effective cloud-hosting services to our customers,” Stern said. “We host and manage the secure, cloud platform while our IT customers have increased autonomy to make application and networking changes as they wish. It’s a smart division of labor that advances our goal of enabling clients to use their virtual infrastructure as a growth engine.”

Customers deploying vCloud Director benefit from an exceptionally user-friendly interface that provides end-users with the tools to foster a self-service networking and creative cloud environment. The product saves IT professionals precious time, which they can then devote to other business-critical tasks.

Infinitely Virtual’s vCloud Director integration offers these advantages:

  • Gives IT professionals the ability to self-manage virtual applications
    (vApps) without the assistance of the cloud service provider,
    facilitating quick changes, or changes on short notice due to current
    business needs
  • Allows IT to upload vApps into a catalog which can be used at a later
    date, without involving the cloud service provider
  • Enables greater control in moving and distributing workloads between
    different clouds
  • Cuts network configuration time down to a matter of minutes, using
    automated features
  • Provides the ability to power up or power down at will – without the
    need to contact the cloud service provider every time
  • Manages the end-user’s own firewalls and allows them to change ports
    without requiring any workload from the cloud service provider
  • Facilitates changes in security due to changing department needs –
    changes that can be made on the fly.

“Businesses that move resources and retool network configurations on a regular basis will find vCloud Director to be exceptionally well designed for that purpose,” said Stern.

GraphOn Awarded Patent for “Multi-Homed Websites”

GraphOn Corporation, a developer of cloud application delivery and Web-enabling solutions, announced today that it has been issued a new patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

U.S. Patent 8,117,298, issued February 14, 2012, is directed towards an easily configurable Web server that has the capability to host (or provide a home for) multiple Web sites at the same time. This patent helps small companies or individuals create the same kind of Web presence enjoyed by larger companies that are able to afford the cost of multiple, dedicated Web server machines.

This patent protects GraphOn’s unique technology for “configuring” a Web server that has the capability to host multiple Web sites at the same time – called “multi-homing”. This multi-homing capability of the Web server provides the appearance to users of multiple distinct and independent servers at a lower cost. Functionally, a multi-homed Web server consists of, in effect, multiple virtual Web servers running on the same computer. The patent claims a design in which features can be readily added to one or more of the virtual servers. For example, a new software module having additional features or different capabilities might be substituted for an existing module on one of the virtual servers. The new features or capabilities may be added without affecting any other of the virtual servers and without the need to rebuild the Web server.

“We continue to recognize the vital importance of intellectual property in today’s marketplace,” stated Eldad Eilam, GraphOn’s interim chief executive officer. “We are pleased to add this new patent to our intellectual property portfolio, which helps to protect fundamental technology relating to both the Internet and GraphOn’s own products. Our portfolio now includes twenty-five patents, and more than 30 patent applications are pending. Our objectives include continuing to add significantly to our patent portfolio, maximizing the value of that portfolio, contributing technology to our current GO-Global product line, and providing opportunities for development of new products.”

Ops First Rule

It’s unlikely there’s anyone in IT today that doesn’t understand the role of load balancing to scale. Whether cloud or not, load balancing is the key mechanism through which load is distributed to ensure horizontal scale of applications. It’s also unlikely there’s anyone in IT that doesn’t understand the relationship between load balancing and high-availability (reliability). High-Availability (HA) architectures are almost always implemented using load balancing services to ensure seamless transition from one service instance to another in the event of a failure.
What’s often overlooked is that scalability and HA isn’t important just for applications. Services – whether application or network-focused – must also be reliable. It’s the old “only as strong as the weakest link in the chain” argument. An application is only as reliable as its least reliable component – and that includes services and infrastructure upon which that application relies. It is – or should be – ops first rule; the rule that guides design of data center architectures.

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Cloud Spectator Named “Media Sponsor” of Cloud Expo New York

SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Spectator has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON’s 10th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 11–14, 2012, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York.
Cloud Spectator offers cloud computing education to an enterprise audience; constantly analyzing this dynamic industry to keep information up-to-date, as well as providing custom reports to cloud providers.
Cloud Expo 2012 New York, June 11–14, 2012, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading Cloud industry players in the world.

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Indian Conglomerate Turns to Microsoft Azure

Essar Group is a large, Mumbai-based company with US$17 billion in revenues, operations in 25 countries, and interests in steel, energy, power, communications, shipping ports, logistics, and construction. It is also migrating toward the cloud with some of its Web-based apps with Microsoft Azure, according to company CTO Jayantha Prabhu.
“With Windows Azure, we don’t have to spend money on hardware and software, and we don’t have to spend time on administrative tasks related to infrastructure,” he says. “A scalable, well-defined platform gives us much fewer problems to solve and more time to focus on the overall experience of the application.”
Prabhu says the company “can obtain the benefits of both public and private cloud computing” with Azure, providing on-demand computing and storage when needed through Microsoft datacenters.
Essar has been working with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner MindTree to migrate four of its apps – reporting, visitor-management, and gate-pass systems – and values the flexibility it says it’s gained along with “a lower total cost of ownership compared with an on-premises solution,” according to Prabhu.

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