Category Archives: Channel

CRN’s “Power 100: The Most Influential Women of the Channel 2016”, Why Smart IT Leaders Connect with Maria Dinallo and Parallels

CRN’s “Power 100: The Most Influential Women of the Channel 2016”, Why Smart IT Leaders Connect with Maria Dinallo and Parallels Maria Dinallo, Parallels’ Senior Director of Channel Sales has been honored in CRN’s “Power 100: The Most Influential Women of the Channel 2016”. CRN Power 100 honorees were selected on the basis of their […]

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Cisco to resell Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry service alongside Metapod

Cisco corporatePivotal and Cisco are to jointly will jointly offer an enterprise cloud service designed to help developers work quicker.

A global agreement between the two will see Cisco partners resell Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry services blended alongside Cisco’s own Metapod offering. The selling point for the combined service is the promise that it will help companies set up cloud native applications quicker, from a wider choice of hosted, public and private clouds.

While Cisco’s OpenStack-based Metapod is designed to run on company premises the Pivotal Cloud Foundry is available to clients as an externally hosted system. Cloud Foundry’s main promise is to improve the productivity of developers, fine tune operations and provide IT systems with enterprise grade security, scalability and availability. Both system take different approaches to a common delivery goal, to help companies get their software to market faster.

Under the terms of the Cisco Solution Partner Program, which is part of the Cisco Partner Ecosystem, Cisco and third-party independent hardware, software and technology vendors integrate various IT systems and offer them to clients. As a Cisco Solution Partner, Pivotal has already been granted Cisco compatibility certification and offers 24X7 customer support.

Cloud Foundry has five major elements to its service. Microservices help developers to move faster by using composable services designed for independent deployment, scaling and recovery. Containers help create a flexible, secure and manageable workload which can be distributed and scheduled in order to create greater efficiency. Cloud Foundry’s Open Source is backed by contributions from over 40 members of the Cloud Foundry Foundation. A short software delivery cycle is the aim of the Continuous Delivery element of Cloud Foundry, while the DevOps element can provide a structured platform for app creation.

The integration of Cisco Metapod and Pivotal Cloud Foundry marries the top managed private cloud with the leading Cloud Native developer experience, according to Peder Ulander, Cisco’s VP of Cloud and Managed Services. The goal is to help customers “quickly and easily modernize their IT,” said Ulnder.

The combination of Metapod and Clod Foundry gives companies the clout of an enterprise but the stealth of an SME, according to James Watters, senior VP of Products at Pivotal. Enterprises can use the cloud service to build “next generation applications that rival that of Silicon Valley’s most renowned start-ups,” said Watters.

Exponential-e launches CloudPort automated cloud portal for the channel

Cloud and network provider Exponential-e has launched a cloud pricing portal, CloudPort, to help its sales channel partner providers run their cloud reselling businesses more efficiently.

The system aims to make it easier for dealers of cloud services to install and manage their accounts, with quicker installation times and a fine tuned sales process that could help Exponential-e’s partners win more deals. Dealers can use the portal to get access to live a quotation tracking system that is designed to create price protection for Exponential-e’s business partners.

Exponential-e owns a 100 Gigabit Ethernet Layer 2 VPLS Network and integrates with third party providers and bespoke applications for both enterprise and SME clients. By tapping into Exponential-e’s product portfolio and carrier network CloudPort gives resellers access to suite of enterprise cloud services, including cloud compute, storage, server replication, colocation, online backup, SIP, internet and networking circuits.

According to researcher IDC global spending on cloud computing infrastructure is expected to grow by 21 per cent year over year to $32 billion in 2015. CloudPort will empower partners to meet this growing customer demand for cloud services and channel partners will be able to seamlessly tap into Exponential-e’s cloud solution portfolio and build systems to order for their clients, according to Exponential-e CEO Lee Wade. “CloudPort is a game-changer in cloud service delivery for the channel,” he said.

Resellers will also be able to configure services in order to adapt them for customers, according to Exponetial-e’s Head of Channel Strategy Michala Hart. “We will work with our partners to incorporate additional functionality into this new automated portal in the coming year. The portal will continue to evolve providing new solutions and services to our partners, facilitating innovation,” said Hart. The system is due to go live on December 14.

Verizon and VMTurbo collaborate over smart cloud brokerage

cloud exchangeUS telco Verizon and control system maker VMTurbo have jointly created the Verizon Intelligent Cloud Control to help Verizon customers migrate workloads to the most suitable public cloud service.

The system works by calculating the enterprise customer’s performance and resource needs and matching them up to the most likely provider. The partners claim this is the first automated system of its kind on the market.

Existing cloud brokerages, they claim, have to manually recommend workload placement to public cloud service providers (CSPs). However Intelligent Cloud Control gives Verizon customers a system that automatically makes instant calculations on price, performance and placements, while taking in compliance considerations. It also makes all the sizing and configuration decisions needed in order to install and migrate workloads to public cloud providers.

Verizon claims the system will be easy to use with a single interface and detailed cost controls that will eliminate billing surprises. The system will also help end users keep on top of performance and compliance issues through rigourous cloud monitoring.

The ‘Verizon Intelligent Cloud Control powered by VMTurbo’ service will launch during the first quarter of 2016. Initially the service will include connections to Amazon Web Services, IBM SoftLayer and Microsoft Azure.

Verizon’s customers said they needed a better way to manage their risk when moving to the public cloud, according to Victoria Lonker, director of enterprise networking for Verizon. “We are removing the complexities and myriad trade-offs between price, performance and compliance in various public cloud services,” said Lonker, “now they can focus on the applications and services.”

VMTurbo’s Application Performance Control system is used by 1200 enterprises to guarantee Quality of Service for applications and to make full use of all resources in cloud and virtualized environments.

“Intelligent Cloud Control is different from today’s cloud brokers and managers as it factors in application performance and price,” said Endre Sara, VP of advanced solutions of VMTurbo.

SAP to become a Genband reseller as Kandy improves relationship in the cloud

SAP1Texas-based comms software specialist Genband has signed SAP as a global reseller of its comms platform-as-a-service (PaaS) Kandy. Under the terms of the arrangement, Kandy will be repackaged as the SAP Real-Time Communicator Web application by Genband.

The system is designed to help any sized enterprise to improve its workflow by improving its communications processes, making them simpler to use and more effective. This is achieved by making it easier for sales, service and business professionals to adopt the chat, videoconference and collaboration systems that are often under-used in many companies. By improving real time communications between customers and co-workers SAP says its cloud offering will makes its enterprise clients far more effective sales organisations.

SAP claims its Real-Time Communicator creates personalized engagement and helps them stand out from competitors through a superior customer experience. In its capacity as a reseller SAP has integrated Real-Time Communicator into the rest of its portfolio and embedded communications within its business applications, giving them presence, instant messaging, voice and video chat and conferencing. The Real-Time Communicator is integrated natively into SAP Cloud for Customer, and can be integrated with the SAP Hybris Commerce system.

Genband’s executive VP of Strategy and Cloud Services Paul Pluschkell said SAP, as the world’s top cloud player, is the ideal reseller partner to collaborate with. “Integrating with SAP creates a powerful customer experience that empowers customers to work smarter and more efficiently,” said Pluschkell.

The combination creates dramatic improvements in productivity for clients said Nayaki Nayyar, senior VP of Cloud for Customer Engagement at SAP. Managing vital relationships helps make the experience richer, more contextual and highly efficient, said Nayyar. SAP is reselling Genband because it has created an advanced market offering and the only one that could help SAP launch new offerings across its applications. “Genband’s technology performance leadership, global presence and comprehensive product portfolio, all factored into our decision to select this platform,” said Nayyar.

Red Hat launches software defined storage systems that run on commodity hardware

redhat office logoOpen source software vendor Red Hat has launched a portfolio of open, software-defined storage systems which will cut costs by running on commodity hardware. The systems will be sold through a variety of sources across Red Hat’s sales channel.

The logic of selling Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage system through different channels is to widen the scope of opportunity for Red Hat’s partners, it said. The technology will be made available to any participants in the Red Hat Connect for Business and Red Hat Embedded programmes, as well as all Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Providers from 2016.

Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage are open source, software-defined storage systems designed to cater for rapid expansion. They will run on commodity hardware and have durable, programmable architectures the vendor said.

Each is suited for different types of enterprise workloads and similarly enterprise customers will be able to mix and match the Red Hat partners whose skill sets are suited to the technical and vertical market conditions.

Red Hat Advanced and Premier partners are authorised to sell Red Hat Storage solutions, but only if they meet the training requirements for their region’s partner programme via the Red Hat Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN). Having qualified, however, the resellers can be kept motivated as they benefit from competitive and flexible pricing models. Further service incentives come from opportunities to earn additional margin and recurring revenue.

Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage subscriptions are scheduled to be available to partners through the Red Hat Embedded Program by the end of 2015. Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage are scheduled to become available to Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Providers in 2016.

Training and certification, marketing and sales programs, and technical content for Red Hat Storage solutions will be available to certified partners in the Red Hat Connect for Business Partners portal.

“By making Ceph Storage and Gluster Storage enterprise-procurement friendly, Red Hat is positioning itself as a formidable IT storage supplier,” said Ashish Nadkarni, program director at analyst IDC.

Avnet launches Cloud Marketplace with AWS and IBM as key clients

Money cloudGlobal distributor Avnet has launched a cloud shop and unveiled both IBM and AWS as headline partners.

The Avnet Cloud Marketplace is described as ‘the latest evolution’ in Avnet’s cloud offering. Avnet said it is incorporating all the insight gained from running 900,000 workloads in public, private and hybrid clouds in the past two years and making that wisdom available to its partners.

The shop offers top brands like AWS and IBM, with flexible payment models and a cloud management toolset. Avnet said its unique angle is that it allows partners in the US and Canada to offer cloud-based services to their customers through both consumption and subscription-based models. Channel partners will be able to create branded storefronts to offer complete solutions to their customers. Avnet’s Cloud Marketplace customers include VARs, ISVs, MSPs, systems integrators (SI), technology manufacturers and end users. The Marketplace will help them rollout services quicker, according to Sergio Farache, senior vice president of Avnet’s Solutions and Strategy business unit in the Americas.

“This is how Avnet helps partners use next-generation technologies and evolve,” said Farache.

The Avnet Cloud Marketplace is based on Avnet’s digital distribution strategy, where a combination of digital tools, processes and services can simplify the cloud and service provisioning.

Meanwhile, Avnet has announced that IBM’s cloud services Softlayer and Bluemix will be provided through its portal. IBM’s Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) will help developers integrate applications more rapidly while its Software-as-a Service (SaaS) offering will make cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security applications available to Avnet’s channel partners.

Avnet will also offer IBM Business Partners some educational and training resources to further expand their cloud expertise. On November 6th Avnet revealed that packaged solutions powered by AWS, such as backup and disaster recovery solutions that integrate NetApp and Veritas software with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Glacier, will be offered to its channel. These offerings will make it easier for Avnet’s US and Canadian resellers, AR and service provider partners to sell the full range of AWS.

Microsoft Azure to become a Red Hat Enterprise Linux channel partner

redhat office logoA new Microsoft-Red Hat partnership could make hybrid cloud computing a lot easier and less binding, in a surprise move that sees Microsoft become a channel partner for an open source company.

The availability of Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux-based systems on Microsoft Azure was the key component of a joint announcement on Wednesday. Microsoft will offer Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the preferred choice for enterprise Linux workloads on Microsoft Azure.

The two vendors also announced plans to jointly tackle issues that commonly arise when enterprises, ISVs and developers try to build, install and manage applications on Red Hat software across private and public clouds.

Under the terms of the partnership Red Hat systems will be available natively to Microsoft Azure customers and Microsoft Azure will become a Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider. In return, Red Hat Cloud Access subscribers will also be able to bring their own virtual machine images to run in Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft Azure customers can now make full use of Red Hat applications such as JBoss Enterprise, JBoss Web Server, Red Hat Gluster Storage and OpenShift, Red Hat’s platform-as-a-service offering.

The two partners will jointly offer enterprise-grade support for hybrid computing set ups. The cross-platform, cross-company support will span both Microsoft and Red Hat offerings. In a new initiative, support teams from both vendors will be located on the same sites, in a bid to achieve the level of support cohesion the public cloud lacks, according to Red Hat.

The two partners will also work together to unify workload management across hybrid clouds. This will see Red Hat CloudForms interoperate with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager, As a result, customers should be able to manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux on both Hyper-V and Microsoft Azure. Extra support for managing Azure workloads from Red Hat CloudForms is expected ‘in the next few months’.

There will also be a level of collaboration on .NET for a new generation of application development options, Red Hat said. Developers will have access to .NET technologies across Red Hat offerings, including Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

“The data centre is heterogeneous, and the cloud is hybrid,” said Paul Cormier, president of Products and Technologies at Red Hat. “Together, we’re offering the most comprehensive support agreement for our mixed technologies to support customers.”

Advancing the cloud in South East Asia

Mike_MuddToday is the first day of Cloud South East Asia in Kuala Lumpur, and the attendance alone testifies to the enthusiasm and curiosity around cloud development in the region in general and in Malaysia in particular.

One great authority on the topic is the chair of today’s event, Mike Mudd (pictured), MD at Asian Policy Partners LLC. Following keynotes from the likes of Amazon Web Services and the Asia Cloud Computing Association, Business Cloud News sat down with Mudd to discuss the significance of cloud computing standards in the region, something touched upon by a number of speakers.

BCN: Hi Mike. It was pointed out today that there is a slight disparity between the enthusiasm for the cloud in South East Asia, and the pace of actual adoption in the region. What would you say the big impediments are?

Michael Mudd: Well there’s the general one which is what I’ve described as the ‘trusted cloud’. This encompasses two things. One is security, and the other is privacy. The other issue however is that, only really half of the region here has adequate data protection rules. Some have them on the books but they’re either not enforced, they’re enforced laxly, or they are only applicable to the private sector, and not applicable to government. This is quite distinct to privacy laws in say Europe, where it goes across all sectors.

In addition, in certain countries, they’re trying to say that you cannot send any personally identifiable information across borders. This is important when it comes to financial information: banks, insurance, stock exchange, this type of thing, as well as healthcare.

And are regional governments taking up the cloud in general?

Forward looking governments are. Singapore, Hong Kong to a certain degree – but there’s not an idea of a ‘cloud first’ policy yet. It’s still very much ‘hug my server, build my data centre etc..’

From the point of view of the regulators, particularly the financial services, to do their job they’ve got to be able to audit. And one of the things they consider important to that is being able to physically enter premises if required. Certain jurisdictions want to see servers. If the data is in the cloud, then that too is an issue, and something that has to be addressed.

Do you think that the new Trans-Pacific Partnership could provide a way out of this impasse?

What has been drafted to my understanding (though we’ve still got to see the details) in the TPP, is wording which will enable or should enable cross border data flows to work far more easily. Again it was only signed two days ago so we don’t know exact words. (Like all trade negotiations they’re done in confidence – people complain they’re done in secrecy but all are done in the same way.)

Why is this so important?

From the point of view of cloud computing, this is new. Most trade agreements deal with traditional things. Agriculture being the first trading product, manufacturing the second, the third being services, but the fourth one is the new one: trading data, trading information, flowing across borders.

It actually goes right back to the very beginning. Information’s always been important for trade: being able to have a free flow of information. I’m not talking about security or government: that kind of thing is always sensitive and will always be treated separately as it should be, but commercial information is very important. It’s the reason your ATM card works here as well as in London. That’s a cross border data flow of information!

Standards are only just emerging. We obviously have technical standards – their objective is to enable interoperability between disparate machines. Those kinds of standards have been around a long time – they’re based on industry protocols etc. What have starting to come up now are management standards, standards coming out now very specifically for cloud.

HP, CenturyLink buddy-up on hybrid cloud

CenturyLink and HP are partnering on hybrid cloud

CenturyLink and HP are partnering on hybrid cloud

HP and CenturyLink announced a deal this week that will see HP resell CenturyLink’s cloud services to its partners as part of the HP PartnerOne programme.

As part of the deal HP customers will have access to the full range of CenturyLink services, which are built using HP technology, including managed hosting, colocation, storage, big data and cloud.

“CenturyLink solutions, powered by HP, provide compelling value for organizations seeking hybrid IT solutions,” said James Parker, senior vice president, partner, financial and international, at CenturyLink. “CenturyLink complements the HP portfolio with a breadth of hybrid solutions for enterprises, offering customers the ability to choose the services that make the most sense today, while retaining the flexibility to evolve as business demands shift.”

HP said the move will help CenturyLink expand its reach new customers, with HP exploiting new opportunities to build hybrid cloud solutions for existing customers.

“As businesses map out a path to the cloud, they need flexibility in how they consume and leverage IT services,” said Eric Koach, vice president of sales, Enterprise Group, central region, HP.

“HP cloud, software and infrastructure solutions help CenturyLink and HP enable clients to build, manage and secure a cloud environment aligned with their strategy, across infrastructure, information and critical applications,” Koach said.

Since splitting up HP has bifurcated its partner programmes into the PartnerOne programme for service providers and the Helion PartnerOne programme, the latter of which largely includes services providers building solutions on top of OpenStack or Cloud Foundry.