Changing Your Business Model with OpenStack

Cloud standards play an important role in the ability to develop and deliver innovative solutions. Businesses need to include standards in their strategy.
In a recent presentation to Managed Service Providers (MSPs), I stressed that embracing standards had to be on their list of strategic priorities. Cloud solution success is based on a successful assembly of services from multiple providers for which standards play a key role. Included on that list should be OpenStack, the hottest open source project in cloud computing that has drawn the investment and attention of leading IT vendors like AT&T, Dell, IBM, HP and RedHat. So, should you care about OpenStack?

read more

SanDisk Puts Money into Panzura

Panzura, the flash-based NAS start-up whose widgetry is used to store data off-premises in the cloud, has gotten a $25 million D round and the investors this time include SanDisk, the flash memory storage house, which kicked in enough to rate a board seat.
Panzura’s other investors include Meritech Capital, Matrix Partners, Khosla Ventures, Opus Capital and Chevron Technology Ventures.
Panzura makes files look like they’re stored locally together with stuff that is.
Its cloud partners include Amazon, Google, Dell, HP, IBM and Joyent.

read more

Cloud Security, PRISM, and IaaS Encryption Thoughts

Cloud security is again a top concern for citizens and organizations alike. NSA’s PRISM program, and the fact that information residing in multiple cloud-based services have been allegedly analyzed by the NSA, raises many questions around cloud security not only for SaaS consumer portals (such as Facebook, Gmail and more), but also for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud deployments such as Amazon Web Services. So far, it seems IaaS was not tapped as part of PRISM, but we are already hearing questions: how secure is the corporate information residing in Infrastructure as a Service, can the government lay its hands on that information without anyone knowing about it, and what can be done to keep control of our information in the cloud?

read more

Driving Efficiency with Converged Infrastructure

Excitement | Today was an exciting day! You received your shiny new Converged Infrastructure package from your leading technology partner. There was a buzz surrounding the delivery, everything was magical –  the unboxing of the huge crate, the wheeling of these beautiful package into your datacenter, the plugging in and having all the servers, storage arrays and network switches instantly blink at you. It was a sight to remember.

You know, your CI package is leading edge technology that will bring unprecedented agility and efficiency to your users. Authorized users will be able to request and receive IT resources in minutes, not days and the business leaders will be thrilled by your ability to push out exciting new applications quickly. It was only 4 weeks ago that you had approved the quote and here it was facing you.

And yet no champagne corks are hitting the ceiling.

Reality | As an IT professional …

Are You Ready for Change, Competition and Coopetition?

In the last MetraTech blog I introduced you to the Conferencing and Collaboration (C&C) market and highlighted the way in which C&C players uniquely approach the market. I challenged you to think about what was possible if IT didn’t have “no” in their vocabulary; to imagine the possibilities of empowering product management teams to conceive of and roll out new services; providing an enterprise sales team with the ability to negotiate tailored agreements with enterprise customers and partners; eliminating the need to worry about how the billing system could turn a tailored agreement based on usage, volume, product type, service bundle, region and just about any other metric into reality. We also discussed in another blog why service providers in so many verticals are unable to think about what might be possible in the present never mind the future. Many are faced with the very real challenge of a billing system that is not able to support their business needs, but the fear and risk associated with change often causes decision paralysis.

read more

Foxconn Looking for 3,000 Engineers for Firefox OS

Foxconn wants to hire 3,000 people to support the development of new devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs based on Mozilla’s Firefox operating system.
That’s three times the 500-1,000 engineers it initially said it wanted to develop HTML5 and cloud applications for the open source OS.
“There will be no budget limit for fostering software talent,” it now says.
It previously said it is “executing on a vision of eight screens, one network and one cloud” and “developing a brand new integrated approach to providing hardware, software, content, and services.”

read more

Rethink IT and Reinvent Business with IBM SmartCloud

On today’s Smarter Planet, enterprises are turning to the cloud to revamp existing business models and manage an unprecedented rate of change. In fact, the number of enterprises moving to cloud computing will double within the next few years as they seek to transition IT from a cost center to a strategic center of business innovation.
In this 12th Cloud Expo General Session, Dr. Angel Luis Diaz, VP of Software Standards, Cloud Labs & HiPODS for IBM Software Group, discusses how the IBM SmartCloud family, including PureSystems, helps enterprises optimize their traditional IT environments while driving rapid business innovation through new engagement models. In addition, he also illustrates through specific client examples the value of open standards initiatives like OpenStack and TOSCA, and how they are crucial to an interoperable and agile cloud computing infrastructure.

read more

AppScale Commoditizes Public Cloud Services

AppScale Systems, a newly surfaced start-up that has its own AppScale Cloud Platform, an open source runtime system for web applications and mobile application back-ends, just introduced its first commercial product, ScaleSafe, which automates failover and migration of cloud apps and data that use Google App Engine services for their implementation.
AppScale was started by Woody Rollins, the founding CEO of Eucalyptus Systems, and Chandra Krintz, the University of California, Santa Barbara professor who happens to be married to Rich Wolski, another Eucalyptus founder now on its board.
AppScale’s mission is to commoditize public cloud services beginning with those in Google App Engine, the public cloud Platform-as-a-Service that simplifies writing, deploying and scaling applications and mobile app back-ends so developers can focus on their app rather than worry about its underlying systems and services.

read more

Five Fundamental Data Security Tips

Data security is no joke. Whether composed of clients, patient, or business information, your data is the lifeblood of your business, and can be one of, if not the most, important parts of achieving success. With so many threats facing your data, both in and out of the cloud, the scale of achieving data security can become overwhelming. Here are a few recommendations for getting your data safe and sound.

Recognize the anatomy of a data breach: You need to understand exactly what impact will a breach have on your business. This varies from company to company, department to department. For example, if an online blog has a data breach, the impact criticality of that may be fairly low. Some user accounts might be exposed, but critical information has not been exposed. Compare this to the impact of data breach on a healthcare company (with its volumes of patient data) – you can see quite a significant difference in terms of how the data breach will impact an organization.

read more

Email, Privacy, Strong Cryptography and the NSA Whistleblower

There has been quite a buzz around the power of the alleged NSA eavesdropping considering the insights that the NSA Whistleblower, Edward Snowden, presented to the American public.
The NSA Whistleblower exposed how our digital identities are being captured, stored, analyzed, and categorized, allegedly by NSA, as well as companies that publicly state that they store and analyze your data (Facebook, Linkedin, Google email, etc.). The power of the NSA system, according to Snowden, is that they aggregate your digital communications across telephone, internet, web, mobile app, and email data.

read more