Category Archives: Collaboration

IBM helps clients modernise VMware workloads with speed

IBM has rolled out IBM Cloud for VMware as a Service, a combination of IBM’s hybrid cloud strategy and VMware capabilities that is helping global clients and partners modernise their workloads and expedite time to value in hybrid cloud environments. The update builds on IBM’s 20-year partnership with VMware, expanding upon one of the broadest… Read more »

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VMware and Equinix expand global cloud services offering

Equinix and VMware have enhanced their global relationship to deliver new digital infrastructure and multi-cloud services. At VMware Explore 2022 Europe in Barcelona today, the companies unveiled VMware Cloud on Equinix Metal, a new distributed cloud service that will deliver a more performant, secure, and cost-effective cloud option to support enterprise applications. The service will… Read more »

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Informatica extends Microsoft partnership to help companies operationalise AI

Enterprise cloud data management specialist, Informatica, has been named as an initial partner of the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform Partner Ecosystem. Microsoft announced the launch of this ecosystem during its Microsoft Ignite 2022. This initiative represents an investment both companies are making towards helping enterprises truly operationalise AI with trusted and governed data. By bringing… Read more »

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Cisco reports 3% growth for Q3 and sets targets on IoT market

Cisco corporateCisco has reported 3% year-on-year growth for Q3, topping $12 billion for the quarter, with its security business leading the charge, though the team have reconfirmed IOT, software cloud and collaboration markets are priorities for the future.

The security portfolio demonstrated revenue growth of 17% while deferred revenue grew 31% driven by the ongoing shift from hardware to more software and subscription services. The Collaboration portfolio grew 16%, while the team were also confident in the performance of its next generation data centre portfolio. The ACI platform grew revenues approximately 100%, exceeding a $2 billion annualized run-rate.

“We delivered strong Q3 results against the backdrop of the Macro environment that continues to be uncertain,” said CEO Charles Robbins. “Despite this uncertainty we executed very well, with revenue growth of 3%. The operational changes we continued to make will further enable our customers to leverage strategic role to network as they transform their businesses to become digital.”

Regionally, the America’s accounted for a 4% lift, whereas EMEA and APJ were slightly less at 2% and 1% respectively. The emerging markets demonstrated healthy results for the business, as BRICs increased by 4%, Mexico by 4%, China up 22% and India up 18%. The team highlighted while there was good growth in the public and service provider segments, the enterprise was not as positive as the team pointed towards pressure driven by macro uncertainty as the reasoning.

The quarter also saw Cisco as one of the more active players in the M&A market, completing five acquisitions over the course of the quarter. The $1.4 billion acquisition of Jasper Technologies now makes Cisco the largest cloud based IOT service platform in the industry, the team claims. Cisco also completed the acquisitions of Acano, Synata, Leaba and CliQr during the period, the latter a $260 million orchestration platform to help customers simplify and accelerate their private, public and hybrid cloud deployment. Cisco had already integrated CliQr with its Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and Unified Computing systems (UCS) prior to acquisition.

“These acquisitions are clearly focused on our key growth areas including IOT, software cloud and collaboration as well as continuing to strengthen our core,” said Robbins.

The IoT market has been a long time target of Cisco, with the Jasper deal adding to the ParStream acquisition last year. The acquisition offered the opportunity for instant analysis of masses of data at the network edge with minimal infrastructural or OPEX repercussions, the company claimed.

Microsoft Partnering With Accelerators To Give Startups Free Cloud Computing Credits

Microsoft has begun to partner with startup accelerators to gift startups that qualify for their BizSpark Plus program free cloud computing on their Azure platform. Beginning July 1, these startups will receive $10,000 a month in credits for one year. They will be able to apply through accelerators or incubators such as Techstars, ERA, MassChallenge, Seedcamp, and 1871.

Startups can use these credits to help alleviate stress related to cloud services. This includes Microsoft’s App Service (a set of tools designed to power mobile, Web and other applications) as well as infrastructure services like virtual machines and high-level services like Azure Machine Learning.

 

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In addition to the Azure credits, startups get access to free software like Office and Visual Studio, which is supported by Microsoft Ventures, a division of the company that works with startups. Startups that qualify for the BizSpark Plus program can also receive up to $750 in Azure credits from BizSpark’s own system.

Getting growing companies to use their products drives Microsoft’s core business growth. Many other cloud service providers, such as Amazon Web Services, also offer similar programs. In order to qualify for this program, startups must be less than 5 years old, be privately owned and have less then $1 million in annual revenue.

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Government Agencies Adopting The Cloud At A Faster Rate Than Before

In a new report from Forbes Insights, partnering with Microsoft, strong evidence is pointed towards government agencies reaching a tipping point when it comes to adopting the cloud. Many government groups are heading towards a cloud-first orientation rather than just dabbling with the technology. The amount and type of cloud installation in this setting is expected to grow exponentially.

 

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Moving data over to the cloud has many benefits, including lower costs and higher efficiency and security, and though there was a cloud-first policy implemented back in 2010, agencies and groups have been very slow to adopt it. Cloud services account for a mere 2% of all IT spending in federal agencies.

 

Agencies have been moving slowly, testing the waters to make sure that the benefits the cloud claims to present are actually happening. Now that they have seen positive results, attempts are being made to employ the cloud in other, more in-depth implementations, such as mission-critical applications.

 

Agencies and groups on the state, county and even city level have also begun to implement cloud technology to better their services. For example, the City of Miami implemented a cloud-backed mobile and Internet application that allows for better scheduling.

 

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CERN and Rackspace Team Up Again

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and managed cloud provider Rackspace have been working together since 2013 when Rackspace created an OpenStack-based hybrid cloud set-up for CERN. Now, the two organizations are working together again to create a multi-cloud, collaborative work environment for CERN’s global research teams.

 

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So far, the reference architecture and operation models have been created in order to better manage the cloud environments. Identity authentication tools have also been made to cover multiple OpenStack clouds. This model allows the data obtained at CERN to be shared with all of their overseas research teams.

 

The amount of data collected when the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is running is on the petabyte scale, and all of it flows and is stored through OpenStack. The easier this data can be shared among CERN’s researchers and with less technology the better.

 

To make sure this system flows properly and efficiently, Rackspace has a full time research fellow on location at CERN to provide assistance with design and implementation issues that come up among its OpenStack cloud environments. The open-source software is also used to manage the data center resources that power the LHC, which reportedly produces more than 30PB of data per year.

 

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Using open-source software instead of proprietary software keeps costs low while keeping flexibility high. This is a plus for research labs all over the world, especially those who are under-funded.

 

The next phase of this partnership is creating standard templates to speed up the creation of OpenStack clouds so that CERN researchers have access to the data sooner.

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HP Cannot Compete As Public Cloud Service Provider

One year ago HP thought it would be competing with Amazon, Google and Microsoft to become the leader in cloud services. HP has re-branded and re-launched their cloud services many times, the most recent being their Helion service. However, the customer base is practically non-existent.

 

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Last year they acquired Eucalyptus, an open-source vendor that was marketed as being Amazon Web Service compatible. This deal made no sense, and just added to HP’s gloomy cloud history. Though they are ceding the public cloud, they are still selling servers. Their largest customers are cloud companies or cloud behemoths. For other companies, HP hopes to build smaller cloud systems in ways that they can also utilize Amazon, Microsoft and other services.

 

For example a company could use HP computers to create content and Microsoft to handle email or heavy workloads on information. Salesforce.com is cloud platform used to share information.

 

HP was the leader in selling computer services to business, so it looked like selling computing in a new way would be easy for them. However, due to the scale of public clouds, with more than a million servers on each one, being difficult to learn it is very hard for newcomers to enter the market.

 

Enabling companies to create their own software applications is an important aspect of corporate technology, and is an area where HP seriously lacks. HP has put their engineers and sales people together to become better acquainted with each others services in order to promote the sharing of assets and collaboration.

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IBM’s Internet of Things + Partnership With The Weather Channel

Last fall, IBM announced their Internet of Things (IoT) Foundation service on its BlueMix cloud-based platform. This news was overshadowed by the announcement this week that they plan to invest over $3 billion to build a dedicated IoT unit consisting of over 2,000 consultants, researchers and developers over the course of the next four years.

 

Along with this news, IBM announced that they are building a cloud-based platform to assist clients and partners to enhance real-time data and insights from various sources directly to business operations. In a separate announcement they said they would be partnering with The Weather Channel for an IoT service, as The Weather Channel is adding IBM as its cloud services provider.

 

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The IoT foundation already has offered developers a set of APIs to simplify data access from Internet-connected devices. The new service includes IoT Cloud Open Platform for Industries (new analytics services offered directed at developing and delivering vertical industry IoT apps for cloud customers), BlueMix IoT Zone (new IoT services to support integration of IoT data into cloud-based apps) and the IoT Ecosystem (expanding partnerships with existing chip, device and industry partners to confirm the secure and easy integration of data solutions and services to their cloud platform).

 

The Weather Company, parent company of The Weather Channel, runs its weather-data-services-platform on Amazon only. They capture more than 20TB of data per day in order to drive their predictions accurately. The use of IBM’s cloud platform shows how the cloud market is heating up. The CIO/CTO of The Weather Company says they believe in multi-cloud stories, so cloud-based businesses or applications need to be built in an agnostic manner. This is the reason why they have been on a three-year journey to integrate IBM’s SoftLayer to power opportunities beyond what AWS could do alone.

 

The data from the Weather Channel’s WSI (B2B) will be made available to IBM IoT ecosystem customers so that they can make decisions about supply chains and customer buying patterns with accurate up to minute forecasts. IBM creating a dedicated business unit means that they can bring more focus and scale IoT opportunities. IBM feels that it is the right time for IoT to become the mainstream source of innovation across various industries.

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Microsoft and Ford’s New Cloud Based Partnership

Microsoft and Ford have worked together in the past to bring us Sync: a revolutionary technology that shifted a long standing reliance on hardware-based in-dash content and brought in an era of being able to access a portable device for entertainment. The original Sync system was way before the age of the cloud, and it was basically used to access music on iPod devices and take calls through Bluetooth.

 

Sync was the first software-based system, meaning it could be upgraded and features could be added later on. Other companies tried to follow suit, and the second generation Sync MyFord Touch system fell short of expectations. For the newest version of Sync, Sync 3, Ford teamed up with QNX. Many saw this as Ford ditching Microsoft, but they recently announced that they are working together on the Ford Service Delivery Network powered my Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform.

 

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This network is not going to rely just on Wi-Fi, and will include a built-in modem that can connect with the cloud and smartphone applications. This leverages the existing MyFord and MyLincoln smartphone apps.

 

Though Ford was the first to introduce this innovative technology with the original Sync, a lack of embedded connections in its cars has meant that Ford is already being left in the dust by automakers like Tesla who take advantage of over-the-air update capability. The new embedded modems will allow the new system to do exactly this.

 

The new capabilities of this Delivery Network will be in select vehicles by the end of the year, and will begin to be implemented in most vehicles by the end of next year. There is not yet a pricing structure, but the price of it is not subscription based and will be included in the price of the vehicle. However, additional features and new services that will be added in the future will most likely be a pay as you use or pay as you go sort of model.

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