Jelastic and WHMCS Collaborate

Jelastic, Inc., has announced support for the WHMCS billing system in its software solution for hosting service providers. Because of the collaboration, hosting service providers can bypass billing system integrations, allowing them to experience more rapid, turnkey cloud platform deployment, simplified management and increased ROI.
Jelastic’s Platform-as-Infrastructure for hosting service providers provides a turnkey cloud solution that provides the features of PaaS and IaaS combined. Hosters can quickly offer an enterprise-class scalable cloud to their customers looking to develop and deploy PHP, Java or Ruby applications.

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After Google and Amazon slash their cloud prices, Microsoft follows suit

Microsoft has announced price cuts on its compute facility by up to 35% and its storage by up to 65%, days after Google and Amazon Web Services did likewise.

Perhaps this is the least surprising news of the year – Amazon’s price cuts being the second least surprising. That said, everyone suspected Redmond’s cloud announcement wasn’t going to be just renaming Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure.

In a blog post, Azure general manager Stephen Martin outlined the price changes yet added there were two other key factors at play; innovation and quality.

“Innovation and quality will prove far more important than commoditisation of compute and storage,” he wrote. “Vendors will ultimately extol their track records for building and running services far more than their prices and SLAs.”

Regardless, even if the prices aren’t that important they’re being outlined here, being handily compared to the AWS stable …

Simplifying Identity Management in the Cloud Era

Identities are everywhere today. Much more than just providing access and auditing for on-premises applications and corporate desktops, organizations are now tasked with provisioning, managing and securing identities for applications running on-premises, in the cloud and on mobile devices. This can be challenging – seemingly forcing many organizations down the path of managing identities individually on an app-by-app basis or implementing complex federated security scenarios that are difficult to maintain.

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Making BYOC Work for Your Network

The proliferation of cloud-based applications for the enterprise grows each day, and more and more professionals have grown dependent on these apps as the consumerization of IT flourishes in today’s mobile enterprise. With the consumerization of IT, employees have become their own IT experts and demand that their IT departments add cloud services or enable them to use a particular app with the corporate network. IT departments, naturally, want to use the latest technologies to make the entire company more efficient and productive – and they see how the cloud can help accomplish this. What employees don’t often see is that there are roadblocks to rolling out a new service or enabling an app to work with the network. Everything from budget to security to integration issues may cause the IT department to turn down the requests. However, unlike in the past, employees now have the power and the means to just use these services anyway, without IT’s approval.

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How to Increase Productivity in the Cloud

To some in the industry and media, cloud based services are the greatest thing since the dawn of trading in stock in the coffee shops of London back in the 1600s. However, just like those early trades, the cloud does have its issues. Yes, it can help a business to grow, and help with the outreach and the recognition of a company, but at what cost?
If an organization does not choose its cloud partner correctly, then it could be leaving itself vulnerable to outage problems. This, in turn, will lead to productivity issues. But don’t misunderstand me. I believe in the cloud. I just do not believe in all the hype that surrounds it.

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Call for Papers for Cloud Expo 2014 Silicon Valley Opens

Despite the economy, cloud computing is doing well. Gartner estimates the cloud market will double by 2016 to $206 billion. The time for dabbling in the cloud is over!
The 15th International Cloud Expo, co-located with 6th International Big Data Expo and 4th International SDN Expo, 3rd DevOps Summit, 2nd Internet of Things Expo, and 3rd WebRTC Fundamentals Summit to be held Nov. 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, announces that its Call for Papers is now open.
Help plant your flag in the fast-expanding business opportunity that is The Cloud, Big Data, SDDC, DevOps, Internet of Things and WebRTC: submit your speaking proposal today!

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Are You Ready for a Project Management Office? Part 2 – Players and Pitfalls

By Nancy Mather, Director of Professional Services Operations, PMP

This is the second part of a series. Catch up with part 1 here.

Once you’ve made the decision you’re ready for a Project Management Office (PMO), it’s time to think about who you need for players. If you’re on the fence about a hire due to uncertainty of sustained business needs to support the hire, or due to the fact that you have found someone that might not have the exact experience you are looking for but you believe is the kind of person you want on your team, consider a contract position instead of a permanent hire. More than half of all PMO’s use contracts resources to manage projects.

Consider the reporting structure and if the PMO will manage the project managers. It’s important to try and keep PMO resources unified within the group. That doesn’t mean that there can’t still be a dotted line reporting structure to groups outside; however, try to keep the PMO together.  The team will gain great value from the consistency that comes from being part of a PMO. In addition, it will make it easier to keep processes and best practices consistent. Project Management team meetings can be a great forum for the team to share lessons learned.

Be on the lookout for functions that might take Project Managers away from their primary focus of project management. Project Managers are known to be detail-oriented and organized by nature. This can at times make them a catch all in the company for a variety of responsibilities, some of which might not need to belong with them. This could include things like:  resource scheduling, contract creation, negotiation, or other general administrative tasks.

Over the years, we have gone through my renditions of what functions our PMs hold.  Some functions we’ve moved to centralize, and others we have decentralized. Centralizing helped us increase efficiency in areas around contract writing and resource scheduling, and it decreased efficiency when it came to centralized billing. The key is to be open to change and recognize that there is not a one size fits all answer.

If project managing is not the primary role of the person that’s deemed the project manager, you could be setting yourself up to fail. We often see examples of IT professionals that wear a project management hat as needed in their organization. While some can do this effectively, others can get more hands on than needed and take on more of the leg work than needed. Just because someone is good in one role, it doesn’t mean they will automatically be a good project manager.

Executive buy-in is also a must. Without executive level support of the PMO, your PMO could be doomed to fail by not being valued or being dismissed as an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy. There must be executive buy-in that believes in the fundamental value of a PMO. In order for this to happen, the PMO must be aligned with the organization’s strategy. If the PMO doesn’t understand the company’s key drivers, it won’t contribute to the value.

Continual improvement is also key.  While a PMO should use best practices for consistency, it’s important to make sure that these practices are continually being looked at for refinement and continuous improvement. The PMO must be agile in the event that the needs of the business change.

By considering these things up front, it will help ensure that you are on the right path to successfully establishing a PMO. As always, our Project Management team is available to offer you professional advice any time!



Gigamon Selected by DISA to Provide Unified Visibility Fabric for Upgrade

Gigamon® announced on Tuesday the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has selected its GigaVUE-HD4, part of its flagship H Series line of solutions, as part of the Joint Regional Security Stack (JRSS), a component of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Joint Information Environment (JIE). Within the DISA’s security stack, the GigaVUE-HD4 will enable DISA to establish a higher intelligence management, analysis and security solution for their network infrastructure. The GigaVUE-HD4 nodes will be deployed to fifteen sites spanning the continental US and locations in southwest Asia, providing pervasive traffic visibility and manageability of DOD’s infrastructure leading to lower operational cost, reduced security risk and less downtime on this critical DOD network.

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Why organisations should consider cloud-based backup and recovery

Amrita Choudhury, Analyst, Software – Infrastructure Solutions

The last decade has seen massive growth in data volumes and there has been a corresponding seismic shift in the way in which organizations deal with data. While storage technology has become relatively affordable and improved, it has struggled to keep pace with the data growth.

Storage infrastructure expansion can be costly and is a continual process. Freeing up storage capacity is never an easy decision, with business requirements and regulatory compliance obliging organizations to have effective backup and disaster-recovery mechanisms in place.

Cloud-based storage has been a catalyst for major change in the backup and recovery arena. It also provides several benefits, including scalability, flexibility, accessibility, monitoring ease, and affordable pricing. Ovum believes that cloud-based backup and recovery is a viable proposition for many organizations, and could help mitigate one of the biggest headaches of IT departments and CIOs.

Using cloud for backup …

From outer space storage to the ‘Northern Bytes’: The best cloudy April Fool stories

It’s a tradition as old as the hills, from the BBC’s scoop on spaghetti trees in 1957 to Google’s Pokemon Maps earlier today. Not surprisingly the hype around cloud has prompted a few firms to try their own spoof stories on April Fool’s Day. Here are three of CloudTech’s favourites.

Digital Science, a technology division of Macmillan Science and Education, posted worrying findings this morning that “the computing cloud is drifting towards the North Pole.”

In a blog post entitled ‘Cloud computing suffers a major blow’, the company has evidence to suggest that “global warming and the changes thus caused in the Jet Stream pose a danger to ‘the cloud’.”

“Further disturbing reports are emerging about problems being created by unidentified data objects (UDOs) saturating ‘the cloud’,” the post reads. “This saturation could possibly result in difficulties with data storage.”

If this hasn’t tipped …