Monday, 13 December 2010

Cloud computing 'could boost EU'

Widespread adoption of cloud  computing could give the top five EU economies a 763bn-euro (£645bn; $1tn) boost  over five years, a report has said.

The CEBR said it could also create 2.4m jobs. The technology gives software  and computing power on demand over the net.
But experts warn that cloud computing can be very disruptive to business, and  companies could end up "disillusioned".
"Nothing kills a new technology better than a poor user experience," said  Damian Saunders of Citrix.

Friday, 10 December 2010

It's Called Cloud Computing Not Cheap Computing

The debate between private and public cloud is ridiculous and we shouldn’t even be having it in the first place.

There’s a growing sector of the “cloud” market that is mobilizing to “discredit” private cloud. That ulterior motives exist behind this effort is certain (as followers of the movement would similarly claim regarding those who continue to support the private cloud) and these will certainly vary based on whom may be leading the charge at any given moment.

Reality is, however, that enterprises are going to build “cloud-like” architectural models whether the movement succeeds or not. While folks like Phil Wainewright can patiently point out that public clouds are less expensive and have a better TCO than any so-called private cloud implementation, he and others miss that it isn’t necessarily about raw dollars. It’s about a relationship between costs and benefits and risks, and analysis of the cost-risk-benefit relationship cannot be performed in a generalized, abstract manner. Such business analysis requires careful consideration of, well, the business and its needs – and that can’t be extrapolated and turned into a generalized formula without a lot of fine print, disclaimers, and caveats.

But let’s assume for a moment that no matter what the real cost-benefit analysis of private cloud versus public cloud might be for an organization that public cloud is less expensive.

So what?
If price were the only factor in IT acquisitions then a whole lot of us would be out of a job. Face it, just because a cheaper alternative to “leading brand X” exists does not mean that organizations buy into them (and vice-versa). Organizations have requirements for functionality, support, compliance with government and industry regulations and standards; they have an architecture into which such solutions must fit and integrate, interoperate and collaborate; they have needs that are both operational and business that must be balanced against costs.

Did you buy a Yugo instead of that BMW? No? Why not? The Yugo was certainly cheaper, after all, and that’s what counts, right?

IT organizations are no different. Do they want to lower their costs? Heck yeah. Do they want to do it at the expense of their business and operational requirements? Heck no. IT acquisition is always a balancing act and while there’s certainly an upper bounds for pricing it isn’t necessarily the deciding factor nor is it always a deal breaker.

It’s about the value of the solution for the cost. In some infrastructure that’s about performance and port density. In other it’s about features and flexibility. In still others it’s how well supported it is by other application infrastructure. The value of public cloud right now is in cheap compute and storage resources. For some organizations that’s enough, for others, it’s barely breaking the surface. The value of cloud is in its ability to orchestrate – to automatically manage resources according to business and operational needs. Those needs are unique to each organization and thus the cost-benefit-risk analysis of public versus private cloud must also be unique. Unilaterally declaring either public or private a “better value” is ludicrous unless you’ve factored in all the variables in the equation.
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Thursday, 9 December 2010

Cloud Computing Acquisition: Cisco To Acquire LineSider

"Cloud computing represents a significant opportunity for Cisco customers to create more effective business models and increase the operating efficiency of the network," said Jesper Andersen, senior vice president of Cisco's Network Management Technology Group (NMTG), as Cisco this week announced its intent to acquire privately held LineSider Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of network management software that "helps customers build the network services necessary to securely create and deploy cloud computing infrastructure."
"With the acquisition of LineSider," Anderson continued, "Cisco will gain a key component to helping customers make this shift."
Based in Danvers, MA, LineSider will be bringing to Cisco advanced network management software that integrates both physical and virtual network services with a policy-based approach and makes networks more flexible and responsive to change. This - said Cisco in an announcement - will enhance its ability to rapidly provision network services.

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Google and Its Cloudware Win Largest Federal Site Yet

GSA expects the deal, plucked out from under Microsoft, to cut its costs in half over the next five years

Google has won the General Services Administration (GSA) over to Gmail and Google Apps for Government.
The GSA, which is sorta like the federal government's quartermaster corps, said it's the first federal agency to move e-mail to a cloud-based system agency-wide.
It expects the deal, plucked out from under Microsoft, to cut its costs in half over the next five years and save it $15 million.
It will bring Google another 15,000 seats.
The agency said the widgetry better suits its mobile work force and is "in step with the administration's ‘cloud first' strategy."
The order is worth $6.7 million to Unisys which partnered with Google, Tempus Nova and Acumen Solutions. Unisys will provide the services and implement Google's software. It will tear out IBM's Lotus Notes and Domino software.

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F5 Gets More Cloud-Friendly

F5 is making file virtualization more cloud friendly with the introduction of  software that translates storage protocols, making it possible to store files in  public or private cloud networks using a range of technologies.ARX Cloud Extender software runs on servers that sit between F5's ARX file  virtualization appliances and storage networks that may use different protocols  than are used by the devices the files are being sent from, the company says.

So if CIFS files are being stored in an Iron  Mountain (IRM) Virtual File  Store service cloud, the ARX Cloud Extender will make the protocol translation.  The software can handle any NSF or CIFS implementations as well as Iron Mountain  VFS and NetApp (NTAP) StorageGrid.

The software is expected to be available by the end of the year. F5 isn’t releasing pricing.

F5 is also opening up an application programming interface to its ARX appliance, which will enable customers to get new functionality from the devices. For example, using the API, a script could be written to compile the changes to a file or storage system since an application last scanned it. When
the application scans for an update, the script would feed it just the changes since the last scan rather than having the application scan the whole system itself, a more time-consuming option.

The API will be provided to customers as part of their maintenance contracts for the ARX, the company says.

F5 is announcing a virtual version of its ARX appliance that can be sold to OEMs to be bundled with  other products such as WAN optimization gear or file servers. Also, customers interested in an ARX
could readily download a trial comply of ARX to test before deciding whether to buy, the company says.
The virtual version supports VMware (VMW) virtual environments and will cost less than the ARX appliance, but F5 wouldn’t say how much it costs. It's available in the first quarter of next year, and comes in three models the 500, 2000 and 4000 for varying capacities.
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