Safe Driving in the Cloud: A "Black Box" for Cars

When an aircraft crashes, investigators are able to retrieve useful information about what went wrong from the flight data recorder, more commonly known as the black box. (The data recorder itself is actually not black, not until it’s retrieved from charred remains.) Statistically speaking, plane crashes are rare occurrences compared to car crashes, so why not install a black box for cars?

That’s exactly what Japanese telemetrics company Crew Systems developed: a driving data recorder for cars and trucks. A big market exists for these in Japan, since businesses with more than five vehicles are required by law to produce daily reports on the driving habits of their drivers.

read more

Cloud Expo New York Speaker Profile: Greg O’Connor – AppZero

With Cloud Expo 2012 New York (10th Cloud Expo) now just eight weeks away, what better time to introduce you in greater detail to the distinguished individuals in our incredible Speaker Faculty for the technical and strategy sessions at the conference…

We have technical and strategy sessions for you every day from June 11 through June 14 dealing with every nook and cranny of Cloud Computing and Big Data, but what of those who are presenting? Who are they, where do they work, what else have they written and/or said about the Cloud that is transforming the world of Enterprise IT, side by side with the exploding use of enterprise Big Data – processed in the Cloud – to drive value for businesses…?

read more

Leveraging the Cloud for Spatial Analytics at Cloud Expo New York

We all know that cloud computing can save time, money, and apparently all but does your laundry for you, but what are its real-use applications?
In her session at the 10th International Cloud Expo, Victoria Kouyoumjian, Senior Business and Technology Strategist at Esri, will showcase multiple use cases of geospatial solutions that leverage the cloud computing deployment models to provide better government transparency, stakeholder engagement, and save lives … (really). Based on professional experiences, she will also address the top issues to consider when navigating business in the cloud.

read more

How Green is Your Cloud Provider?

Watch CloudViews Unplugged

Watch the latest edition of CloudViews Unplugged – a monthly video blog analyzing the top cloud news stories.

Cloud News

  • Rackspace will offer a production version of their OpenStack open-source cloud platform beginning on May 1st, according to this GigaOM blog. Rackspace and NASA launched the OpenStack cloud project in 2010 and since then, HP, Cisco, Dell, IBM, Red Hat and others have contributed to the project.
  • Is the cloud really green? A recent report by Greenpeace suggests that it depends on who your cloud provider is and the way in which they are consuming electricity. According to this NPR blog, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon Web Services all rely heavily on coal, while Google, Yahoo, and Facebook continue to move toward renewable resources for their clouds.
  • Microsoft announced its largest cloud deal to date with the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), according to this InformationWeek article. Microsoft will provide online service and software to 7.5 million students and professors maintained by the AICTE.
  • As an alternative to Vblock, EMC announced an all-in-one private cloud system this week, according to this PCWorld article. The VSPEX platform gives channel partners the ability to offer enterprises custom systems with applications that meet their customer’s needs.
  • The media and entertainment industry has taken the bull by the horns when it comes to cloud computing. At the conference for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in Las Vegas, technology vendors are showcasing their cloud-based solutions that radically change the delivery and sharing of video content. Read more about what Forrester Research reported on the demand for cloud services in the media industry in this ZDNet article.

Feature article

Private Cloud ROI – More Examples Wanted

By George Hulme, Independent Writer

We’ve discussed the potential benefits of private cloud a number of times. Organizations have talked about the ability to maintain full control and transparency over their systems that they believe is necessary to attain the level of security that they want.

Sometimes, as was the case with game maker Zynga, their private cloud helps them to reach the level of business agility that they need. However, we’re also starting to hear more about how private clouds can also be more cost effective, especially when done by organizations that have the people with the right skills and experience in place. Read the full article.

Cloud Views

  • Is the future of cloud open-source? In this PCWorld blog, Thor Olavsrud details observations from Red Hat’s Bryan Che on why many companies are choosing open-source cloud.
  • The war wages on between open-source and proprietary cloud. In this ITWorld blog, Brandon Butler comments on a recent blog post by VMWare that defends the benefits of their private cloud and takes a jab at the open-source solutions available in the market.
  • Want to learn how the Cloud Commons® Ecosystem can help build your business? This white paper on Cloud Commons outlines how solution providers leverage the ecosystem to engage prospects, create compelling cloud services offerings, and bring them to market.

MSP Corner

  • Are MSPs becoming a little too comfortable with cloud? In this MSPmentor blog, Joe Panettieri suggests that while MSPs are enjoying huge growth from cloud, they should be keeping their eyes open for new cloud opportunities.
  • PEER 1 Hosting announced the deployment of Nimsoft Unified Manager this week in order to provide its customers with monitoring capabilities, according to this article at the WHIR.
  • Will price competition from large companies lead to the extinction of lifestyle MSPs? In this MSPmentor article, Jessica Davis examines the current MSP market and the impact that cloud is having on the industry. 

Upcoming Cloud Events

read more

Orange Launches Cloud-based Telepresence Service

Orange Business Services is enhancing its video services portfolio with Telepresence Pass, a new cloud-based offer that delivers a financially attractive, flexible and scalable solution for its enterprise customers.

Telepresence Pass is an easy-to-adopt and future-proof solution that allows companies to benefit from:

  • a Telepresence infrastructure in the cloud
  • a fully managed service with end-to-end quality guarantees
  • a monthly subscription fee

Telepresence Pass is a simple way for enterprises to harness the benefits of immersive videoconferencing across their companies and with their business ecosystems. Because Telepresence Pass is available as a service, customers do not need significant investments in equipment or in the management of their solution.

“Our ambition is to make video available to enterprises wherever they are, with no limitations,” said Vivek Badrinath, CEO, Orange Business Services. “The key is to offer customers many video collaboration options so that they can choose the solution that best suits their business needs.”

Telepresence Pass joins a wide-ranging portfolio of video services offered by Orange Business Services and is backed by a supportive network environment, extensive conferencing experience, and an overall strategy that enables enterprises to get the most out of their video investments.

“Of all applications, video is probably the most unforgiving,” said Nicolas Roy, head of Network Solutions Business Unit, Orange Business Services. “The Group continues to invest approximately €750 million per year for international network backbone and related IT infrastructure to ensure the coverage, bandwidth and quality required for an excellent video experience.”


F5 Showcases its BIG-IP Solutions for System Center 2012 and Private Cloud

F5 Networks, Inc is demonstrating its F5 BIG-IP solutions for Microsoft private cloud deployments at the Microsoft Management Summit 2012, held this week in Las Vegas. During the event, F5 is emphasizing BIG-IP compatibility with System Center 2012 to help organizations maximize cloud benefits and productivity.

“F5 cloud computing solutions provide customers with a flexible foundation to dynamically provision services and tap the full value of cloud deployments,” says Calvin Rowland, VP, Technology and ISV Alliances at F5. “We’re excited to connect with customers at this event and share our cloud vision and products, which are key building blocks for private cloud environments. For over a decade, F5 and Microsoft have worked together to bring superior IT solutions to our customers. And with our close collaboration on Microsoft private cloud solutions, we’ve extended the value of this relationship.”

Using the BIG-IP system, customers can build dynamic data centers that eliminate deployment barriers and lay the framework for long-term, sustained efficiencies. For the Microsoft private cloud, F5 solutions help organizations unify their network architectures and consolidate their management environments. Together, BIG-IP products and System Center 2012 provide a clear view into how applications are performing over the network. This gives customers the ability to update and optimize configurations to increase performance, scale, automation, flexibility, and security.

Further, the updated F5® Monitoring Pack for System Center helps customers optimize resource utilization by discovering available BIG-IP devices and surfacing health statistics within System Center 2012. As administrators shift the allocation of resources, the BIG-IP system is automatically updated to ensure that the network is in sync with changes to computing and storage resources.

“System Center 2012 enables the private cloud, and the F5 Monitoring Pack for System Center gives customers the added strengths of F5’s BIG-IP solutions,” said Mike Schutz, General Manager, Product Marketing, Windows Server and Management at Microsoft. “Customers need the key components of their private cloud infrastructure to work well with each other, and the deep compatibility of System Center 2012 with F5’s BIG-IP platform can help increase efficiency and reliability while helping reduce operational expenses.”

Cost Effective, Automated, Flexible Cloud Control

BIG-IP solutions for Microsoft private cloud take advantage of key features and technologies in BIG-IP version 11.1, including F5’s virtual Clustered MultiprocessingTM (vCMP™) technology, iControl®, F5’s web services-enabled open application programming interface (API), administrative partitioning and server name indication (SNI). Together, these features help reduce the cost and complexity of managing cloud infrastructures in multi-tenant environments. With BIG-IP v11.1, organizations reap the maximum benefits of conducting IT operations and application delivery services in the private cloud.

BIG-IP solutions for Microsoft private cloud also include:

  • F5 Monitoring Pack for System Center, which provides two-way
    communication between BIG-IP devices and the System Center management
    console. Health monitoring, failover, and configuration
    synchronization of BIG-IP devices, along with customized alerting,
    Maintenance Mode, and Live Migration, occur within the Operations
    Manager component of System Center.
  • The F5 Load Balancing Provider for System Center, which enables
    one-step, automated deployment of load balancing services through
    direct interoperability between the Virtual Machine Manager component
    of System Center 2012 and BIG-IP devices. BIG-IP devices are managed
    through the System Center user interface, and administrators can
    custom-define load balancing services.
  • The Orchestrator component of System Center 2012, which provides
    F5 traffic management capabilities, takes advantage of workflows
    designed using the Orchestrator Runbook Designer. These custom
    workflows can then be published directly into System Center 2012
    service catalogs and presented as a standard offering to the
    organization. This is made possible using the F5 iControl SDK, which
    gives customers the flexibility to choose a familiar development
    environment such as the Microsoft .NET Framework programming model or
    Windows PowerShell scripting.

Availability

The F5 Monitoring Pack for System Center and the F5 PRO-enabled Monitoring Pack for System Center are now available. The F5 Load Balancing Provider for System Center is available as a free download from the F5 DevCentral website. The Orchestrator component of System Center 2012 is based on F5 iControl and Windows PowerShell, and is also free.


Alert Logic Threat Manager for Amazon EC2 Now Available on AWS Marketplace

Alert Logic, a provider of Security-as-a-Service for the cloud, has announced that Alert Logic Threat Manager for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is among the first security solutions available directly through Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace. Participation in AWS Marketplace represents a major change in how customers acquire Alert Logic’s network security services. Customers seeking vulnerability assessment and intrusion detection can quickly provision Alert Logic Threat Manager for Amazon EC2 and immediately and cost-effectively start protecting their infrastructure running on the AWS platform.
Alert Logic Threat Manager for EC2 is available as a utility service and billed on an hourly basis. It is a Security-as-a-Service solution that provides subscribers the ability to automatically aggregate and correlate anomalous behavior patterns to quickly identify threats and attacks to their network by leveraging Alert Logic’s patented expert system, which includes 7-Factor Threat Scenario Modeling used to identify incidents. As described in the recent Alert Logic State of Cloud Security Report, Spring 2012, this system is used to observe billions of security events annually and verify the tens of thousands of security threats that require a response.

read more

New AWS Marketplace Offers Pre-Configured Software for the AWS Cloud

Image representing Amazon Web Services as depi...

Amazon Web Services today launched AWS Marketplace, an online store that makes it easy for customers to find, compare, and immediately start using the software and technical services they need to build products and run their businesses. Visitors to AWS Marketplace can use 1-Click deployment to quickly launch pre-configured software and pay only for what they use, by the hour or month, while benefiting from the scalable, flexible and on-demand features of AWS. With AWS Marketplace, software and Software as a Service (SaaS) providers with offerings that run on the AWS Cloud can benefit from increased customer awareness, simplified deployment, and automated billing. AWS Marketplace features a wide selection of commercial and free IT and business software, including software infrastructure such as databases and application servers, developer tools, and business applications – available from popular vendors such as 10gen, CA, Canonical, Couchbase, Check Point Software, IBM, Microsoft, SAP AG, and Zend, as well as many widely used open source offerings including Drupal, MediaWiki, and WordPress. To get started with AWS Marketplace please visit: https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace.

AWS Marketplace simplifies many of the traditional challenges software and SaaS companies face, such as acquiring customers, developing distribution channels, and billing for their software. With AWS Marketplace, a simple listing process makes it quick and easy to add products and expose them to AWS’s hundreds of thousands of active customers. Product prices are clearly stated and charges appear on the same bill as a customer’s other AWS services. Customers can quickly deploy products found in the marketplace and software providers can easily add billing to their products by specifying hourly or monthly charges, without undertaking costly code changes. Billing is managed by AWS Marketplace, relieving sellers of the responsibility of managing customer accounts and processing payments, and leaving software developers more time to focus on building great software.

“AWS Marketplace brings the same simple, trusted, and secure online shopping experience that customers enjoy on Amazon.com’s retail website to software built for the AWS platform, streamlining the process of doing research and purchasing software,” said Terry Hanold, Vice President of New Business Initiatives, AWS. “AWS Marketplace makes it even easier to run software on AWS because you can find a wide variety of AWS ecosystem providers’ solutions, in one place, where much of the work involved in building and deploying solutions on top of AWS has already been done for you by these solutions providers.”

AWS is the leading cloud platform with a fast growing ecosystem of providers building solutions on top of the platform.

“Zend Application Fabric enables developers to confidently deploy fast, elastic and dependable PHP applications,” said Zend CEO Andi Gutmans. “AWS Marketplace makes it simple for our customers to access Zend on the AWS cloud and pay only for the infrastructure needed to run their applications. By providing customers a single invoice for combined software and server capacity, businesses can operate more effectively than ever before.”

“AWS Marketplace provides companies like ours an opportunity to easily reach new customers,” said Carolee Gearhart, SAP’s National Vice President of OEM & Strategic Partner Group for North America. “We expect our customers will benefit from SAP’s robust BI functionality, while taking advantage of the quick deployment capabilities provided by AWS Marketplace.”

Customers can browse AWS Marketplace or learn more details about its features and benefits of AWS Marketplace by visiting https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace.


Cloud Expo New York: Embracing the Mobile Cloud from Start to Finish

As workers continue to demand business apps on their connected devices, the mobile cloud will play a key role in changing the enterprise IT landscape forever. The mobile cloud provides users with the ability to go beyond the capabilities of their smart devices by offering unlimited data storage, processing services and other functions not native to the devices – typically through the intermediary of mobile apps.
In his session at the 10th International Cloud Expo, Faraz Syed, President, Keynote DeviceAnywhere, will discuss how, to make it work, companies must plan for the whole application life cycle from development and testing through to monitoring, or risk failing to realize the potential of the mobile cloud.

read more