Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Citrix Virtualization Offers Big Savings in Academic Computing

Citrix Systems announced that Montgomery Independent School District (ISD), located north of Houston, Texas, has implemented a multi-phased program to modernize and virtualize their academic computing systems using Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix XenServer. The first phase of Montgomery ISD's implementation utilized XenServer to virtualize and consolidate their servers in a central datacenter; phase two, now under way, expands that deployment to standardize on desktop virtualization district-wide with XenDesktop. The school district has already realized significant savings in time, energy, money and personnel resources, and expects to expand these savings further in the future.  

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Amazon invites bidding wars in the EC2 cloud

Amazon may have made a name for itself as an online retailer and pioneer in e-book sales, but the company has also attracted a following for the cloud computing services it offers. The company has to maintain a large server footprint to handle things like the holiday gift rush, and at least some of that undoubtedly goes idle during slower times, so the company uses its excess capacity to offer users access to virtual hardware and storage that's cheap and can be scaled rapidly. Now, the company is adding an additional degree of flexibility that should increase the appeal on the "cheap" side of that equation: spot pricing for compute capacity.

The idea behind the EC2 service is pretty simple: users can create a customized operating system image—the company supports Windows, Solaris, and various Linux distributions—and then pay to run virtually on hardware at one of three Amazon data centers. Users can pay more to get more memory, more cores, and the like. If demand increases suddenly, it's possible to simply throw more instances at the problem, which enables users to rapidly scale without maintaining idle hardware during the times it's not needed.

Monday, 28 December 2009

OpSource + Mezeo = Secure Cloud Storage

Mezeo Software today announced that OpSource Cloud will offer the Mezeo Cloud Storage Platform, enabling OpSource Cloud users to enjoy online sign-up and immediate provisioning of cloud storage service, speeding enterprises' cloud deployment and offering flexible, secure storage options to help ISVs differentiate themselves. The Mezeo Cloud Storage Platform will be available to OpSource Cloud users in the first quarter of 2010.
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What Lies Beneath – Technologies Critical to Successful Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing and its ability to process the needs of multiple users with shared resources in a dynamic and transparent fashion doesn't happen by chance. The underlying technologies and their ability to provide elasticity, scalability, and automation, while protecting data in motion, data at rest and data in process are critical to a successful Cloud Computing implementation.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

CloudShare Comes Out of Stealth

CloudShare, formerly IT Structures, has come out of stealth today with marquee customers and a proven cloud-based technology platform for sales engineers and trainers. CloudShare customers have already delivered over one million VM demo, PoC (proof of concept) and training hours to date, representing over six quarters of consecutive double-digit usage growth for CloudShare.

This early success demonstrates the practical, revenue-oriented, immediately useful nature of the CloudShare platform. CloudShare's platform gives solution providers and ISVs selling software or appliances a simple way to deploy multiple, independent copies of their existing fully built hands-on demo or training environment in the cloud, in minutes versus the days or weeks typically associated with on-site delivery of such enterprise-class systems.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Symantec Offers Cloud Computing Security

Symantec announced it is offering its next-generation security and enterprise-class storage management solutions through the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). Symantec Endpoint Protection and Veritas Storage Foundation Basic are now available on Amazon EC2. Businesses can leverage the Symantec solutions to add additional protection to their Windows servers in the cloud with comprehensive threat prevention and manage their cloud storage online with a single toolset that delivers reliability, scalability and high performance.

Monday, 21 December 2009

BT & Cisco Cloud Mates

BT and Cisco said Wednesday that they are launching a global cloud-based IP telephony service as part of BT's Onevoice UCC portfolio, starting in the UK. BT is building out the underlying virtualized infrastructure. It will be the first global offering based on Cisco's Hosted UC services as the platform for collaborative voice communications. Cisco said that companies that are tightly managing their capital expenditure will be able to step into converged communications "by consuming their IP telephony, voicemail, conferencing and unified messaging technologies on a utility-based, per-user pricing model." BT will move into EMEA and the US next year followed by Asia-Pacific.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Cloud Computing Startup Lands $10M

A way for organizations to instantly deploy multiple, independent copies of their existing demo or training environments in the cloud. The company says its ability to raise a significant round of funding at a higher valuation than its previous round -- in a down economy -- reflects the stability of the company and the value it provides. "CloudShare has taken all the necessary steps to solidify its market position and prepare for future growth.

We are impressed by the team and track record CloudShare brings to the table, and are immensely pleased to be backing a company that we believe is not only capitalizing on cloud computing, but using it in the right way to benefit business users," said George Zachary, partner at Charles River Ventures. CloudShare customers, which include such industry leaders as VMware, Cisco, SAP and more, have already delivered over one million VM demo, PoC (proof of concept) and training hours to date, representing over six quarters of consecutive double-digit usage growth for CloudShare. This early success demonstrates the practical, revenue-oriented, immediately useful nature of the CloudShare platform.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

SAP To Compete with Salesforce

Reuters managed to run into SAP EVP John Wookey at a user meeting in Boston and get him to say that the German company means to take on by the middle of next year with some software it's built from the ground up. Wookey told the wire service the venture should be profitable by this time next year. SAP will host the multi-tenant SaaS software à la Saleforce. It will initially target its existing customer base.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The Big News This Year Is Cloud Computing

The big news in IT this year has to be Cloud Computing. Like the result of a Gremlin fed after midnight, Cloud Computing turned into the Stripe of the IT world. As pundits and vendors raced to gain mindshare as a means of priming the economy-dulled sales pipeline, IT buyers were caught trying to figure out, "is this the next great frontier, or am I going to look like an ass for recommending yet another useless acquisition?" Interestingly, cost is not the major driver behind these offerings, but instead access to compute resources on demand that don't require up-front capital expenditure.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Salesforce CEO Writes Cloud Computing Book CEO Marc Benioff has written a book with Carlye Adler called Behind the Cloud that tells an insider's story of the company's step-by-story journey from the drawing board to billion-dollar concern. Just out a few weeks and on a few bestseller lists for business books it's also available on Amazon's Kindle e-book reader and as an audiobook. Benioff figures it can be a user's manual. His proceeds from the book are supposed to go toward the Foundation.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Why Microsoft Azure Should Matter To Businesses

I'll make a prediction that 2010 will be the most exciting year yet for cloud computing, and that's partly related to Microsoft's ramp-up of Azure. Anyone attending's Dreamforce conference last month understands the potential of cloud platforms for rapid application development. And this is all coming together at a time when IT shops need to quickly and cheaply turn out innovative new applications for the business.

To recap, Microsoft on Wednesday created a new commercial unit, the Server & Cloud division, as it prepares to launch the Windows Azure cloud services platform on Jan. 1. It also announced a three-year partnership with storage and virtualization vendor NetApp to help companies develop private clouds if they don't want their clouds hosted by Microsoft.

To understand Microsoft's potential in this area, look what's happening at The company drew more than 15,000 people to Dreamforce last month, largely due to growing interest in Starry-eyed entrepreneurs were there hoping to make money off of apps they've built on, which are hosted in's data centers. Demand for this type of thing is growing. I talked to several CIOs who were delighted—bordering on ecstatic—that their IT teams could so quickly develop apps on

So here's the deal: The cloud vendor ( hosts the servers, and already provides the core application logic. Using their programming tools, developers quickly write applications that run on the platform. Then they pay the vendor a monthly fee to use the app for as long as they want to. One example is RehabCare, which built an iPhone app for patient admissions on within several days.

Microsoft Azure appears to be very similar. The servers, the maintenance, and the core application logic are already there, hosted by Microsoft. If Microsoft does this right, it could be a great alternative to, say, spending months on .Net development of an app that has become obsolete to the business by the time it's finished. And Microsoft's partners, if they're wise, will understand the opportunity here.

This can apply to private clouds, too. If the IT department can act as a cloud service provider, business divisions can react more quickly to apps they need right now. Think of all the potential customer apps with the enormous growth of consumer smart phones. Some of these apps will be experimental. The key is to quickly develop, test it out, and let go of things that don't work.

Fast, cheap, easy. It's exactly what businesses need as they pull out of this recession and fight for market share. Cloud computing as a development platform is mind-numbingly obvious.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Demand for IT Managed Cloud Services

Lower Cost Drives Cloud Services Growth

Business technology has gone through several major changes over the decades. Each transformation brought new ways to perform work -- it also allowed some organizations to leapfrog over their less-agile competition.

"Today's CEO concerns provide an advanced look at what will become CIO priorities in six to 18 months," said Jorge Lopez, vice president at Gartner, Inc. The focus for the IT agenda in the face of economic uncertainty and risk is flexibility, and renewed business agility.

According to Gartner's assessment, CIOs need to ensure that their IT operations are ready for the ongoing challenges and shifts that are sure to emerge.

Defined as the ability to achieve financial and strategic plans, effectiveness gives enterprises the flexibility to meet challenge with change. So, how will CIOs improve effectiveness to meet new economic and operational challenges?

Business Imperative for Cloud-based Services
IT leaders are increasingly being asked to move all non-strategic IT functions to the cloud; to develop IT core competencies and skills to manage virtual resources; and to embrace new applications that capitalize on cloud computing, collaboration, mobility and social media.

Worldwide cloud services revenue will reach $56.3 billion in 2009, a 21.3 percent increase from 2008, according to the latest study by Gartner. The market is expected to reach $150.1 billion in 2013.

Much of the cloud computing news centers on systems infrastructure as a service (IaaS). In 2008, these services accounted for only 5.5 percent of the overall cloud services market and are forecast to reach 6 percent in 2009.

"Cloud-based infrastructure services are expected to see significant adoption through 2013," said Ben Pring, vice president at Gartner. "This segment probably has the largest range of possible outcomes, depending on how aggressively cloud computing is embraced."

Cloud application services, evolving from software as a service (SaaS) offerings, were almost twice as large as the market for systems infrastructure and will continue to show strong growth.

Lower Cost Drives Cloud Services Growth
Over the next five years an increasing array of application functionality will become available as IT managed cloud services -- to supplement those current cloud applications.

"The IT market trends for the next couple of years remain highly uncertain. While short-term growth is expected to be inhibited, the potentially lower cost of cloud services is attractive to customers and will drive growth for these offerings," said Mr. Pring.

Given that backdrop, what new demand are you experiencing for cloud-based services? Are you reaching out to service providers, to learn more about their evolving on-demand service offerings?

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Tesco sparks iPhone price war with £20 a month contract

An iPhone price war has been triggered with news Tesco is to sell the iconic device on a £20 a month contract. The entry of Tesco into the iPhone market means that the cheapest way of buying and running one amounts to £462 with a one year contract. This is made up of £222 for one of the original 3G models with an 8GB memory and 12 monthly payments of £20.

Over 18 months, the figure would be  £582, which is some £43 cheaper than the equivalent deals from current iPhone providers. The supermarket is taking on established mobile phone networks, Orange and O2, in the battle for sales in the crucial Christmas trading period. The pressure to cut prices will be turned up in the new year when Vodafone will also start offering the iPhone. Currently, both Orange and O2 insist on customers signing up for a minimum 18 months for those who buy the iPhone on a contract basis.

This means the cheapest way of buying and running an iPhone 3G works out at £624.98 with Orange. That is a handset price of £96.50 and a monthly charge of £29.36. The price with O2, which originally had exclusive rights to sell the iPhone when it was first launched in November 2007, works out at  £625.73 for a similar deal.

Mobile phone handset prices and tariffs are notoriously complex, which means making a like for like comparison is virtually impossible for consumers.

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The Largest Sale of Cloud Computing Company in 2009

Compuware’s $295 million cash acquisition of Gomez realized $93 million for Dolphin investors, a 770 percent return

Dolphin Equity Partners recorded one of the largest single returns for limited partners among venture capital investors in 2009 and the largest sale of a privately held Cloud Computing company with its fourth-quarter sale of longtime investment Gomez Inc. to Compuware Corporation (NASDAQ:CPWR), firm President Richard Brekka said at today’s annual limited partner meeting.

Compuware’s $295 million cash acquisition of Gomez realized $93 million for Dolphin investors, a 770 percent return. Dolphin was Gomez’s largest shareholder and first invested in the company in 2000, when it saw an opportunity to build on Gomez’s nascent Web-performance monitoring assets and its then-pioneering delivery via the Software as a Service model.

“Dolphin is committed to looking for long-term investment opportunities that have huge potential payoffs, especially among SaaS technology providers,” Brekka said. “With our hands-on approach to helping find and support the right management teams, we’ve been able to create some truly innovative companies that have delivered real returns for our investors.”

The Gomez acquisition is the latest in a series of increasingly high-quality exits for Dolphin portfolio companies over the past few years, including Enpocket (sold to Nokia in 2007) and MaxPreps (sold to CBS in 2007).

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Cloud Computing Risk Assessment Report

I've been traveling so there is a bit of a back log of news. In case you missed this, The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), working for the EU Institutions and Member States has released a Cloud Computing Risk Assessment report. ENISA is the EU's response to Information security issues of the European Union. As such, it is the 'pacemaker' for Information Security in Europe.

ENISA supported by a group of subject matter expert comprising representatives from Industries, Academia and Governmental Organizations, has conducted, in the context of the Emerging and Future Risk Framework project, an risks assessment on cloud computing business model and technologies. The result is an in-depth and independent analysis that outlines some of the information security benefits and key security risks of cloud computing. The report provide also a set of practical recommendations.

A few highlights of the report include:

- The Cloud's economies of scale and flexibility are both a friend and a foe from a security point of view. The massive concentrations of resources and data present a more attractive target to attackers, but cloud-based defences can be more robust, scalable and cost-effective. This paper allows an informed assessment of the security risks and benefits of using cloud computing - providing security guidance for potential and existing users of cloud computing.

- Scale: commoditisation and the drive towards economic efficiency have led to massive concentrations of the hardware resources required to provide services. This encourages economies of scale - for all the kinds of resources required to provide computing services.

- Architecture: optimal resource use demands computing resources that are abstracted from underlying hardware. Unrelated customers who share hardware and software resources rely on logical isolation mechanisms to protect their data. Computing, content storage and processing are massively distributed. Global markets for commodities demand edge distribution networks where content is delivered and received as close to customers as possible. This tendency towards global distribution and redundancy means resources are usually managed in bulk, both physically and logically.

STANDARDISED INTERFACES FOR MANAGED SECURITY SERVICES: large cloud providers can offer a standardised, open interface to managed security services providers. This creates a more open and readily available market for security services.

LOCK-IN: there is currently little on offer in the way of tools, procedures or standard data formats or services interfaces that could guarantee data, application and service portability. This can make it difficult for the customer to migrate from one provider to another or migrate data and services back to an in-house IT environment. This introduces a dependency on a particular CP for service provision, especially if data portability, as the most fundamental aspect, is not enabled..

ISOLATION FAILURE: multi-tenancy and shared resources are defining characteristics of cloud computing. This risk category covers the failure of mechanisms separating storage, memory, routing and even reputation between different tenants (e.g., so-called guest-hopping attacks). However it should be considered that attacks on resource isolation mechanisms (e.g.,. against hypervisors) are still less numerous and much more difficult for an attacker to put in practice compared to attacks on traditional OSs.

MANAGEMENT INTERFACE COMPROMISE: customer management interfaces of a public cloud provider are accessible through the Internet and mediate access to larger sets of resources (than traditional hosting providers) and therefore pose an increased risk, especially when combined with remote access and web browser vulnerabilities.

Read the Complete Report Here

Monday, 7 December 2009

Big Data on Grids or on Clouds?

Now that we have a new computing paradigm, Cloud Computing, how can Clouds help our data? Replace our internal data vaults as we hoped Grids would? Are Grids dead now that we have Clouds? Despite all the promising developments in the Grid and Cloud computing space, and the avalanche of publications and talks on this subject, many people still seem to be confused about internal data and compute resources, versus Grids versus Clouds, and they are hesitant to take the next step. I think there are a number of issues driving this uncertainty.

Grids didn't keep all their promises
Grids did not evolve (as some of us originally thought) into the next fundamental IT infrastructure for everything and everybody. Because of the diversity of computing and data environments, we had to develop different middleware (department, enterprise, global, compute, data, sensors, scientific instruments, etc.), and had to face different usage models with different benefits. Enterprise Grids were (and are) providing better resource utilization and business flexibility, while global Grids are best suited to complex R&D collaboration with resource sharing. For enterprise usage, setting up and operating Grids was often complicated and did not remove all the (data) bottlenecks. For researchers this characteristic was seen to be a necessary evil. Implementing complex applications on supercomputers has never been easy. So what.

Grid: the way station to the Cloud
After 40 years of dealing with data processing, Grid computing was indeed the next big thing for the grand challenge R&D expert, while for the enterprise CIO, the Grid was a way station on its way to the Cloud model. For the enterprise today, Clouds are providing all the missing pieces: easy to use, economies of scale, business elasticity up and down, and pay-as you go (thus getting rid of some capital expenditure). And in cases where security matters, there is the private Cloud, within the enterprise's firewall. In more complex enterprise environments, with applications running under different policies, private Clouds can easily connect via the Internet to (external) public Clouds -- and vice versa -- forming a hybrid Cloud infrastructure that balances security with efficiency.

Different policies, what does that mean?
No data processing job is alike. Jobs differ by priority, strategic importance, deadline, budget, IP and licenses. In addition, the nature of the code often necessitates a specific computer architecture, operating system, memory, storage, and other resources. These important differentiating factors strongly influence where and when a data processing job is run. For any job, a set of specific requirements decide on the set of specific policies that have to be defined and programmed, such that any of these jobs will run just according to these policies. Ideally, this is guaranteed by a dynamic resource broker that controls submission to Grid or Cloud resources, be they local or global, private or public.

Friday, 4 December 2009

CSC Signs Record Cloud Deal with Royal Mail

Britain's hidebound state-owned Royal Mail is getting a cloud. Yup, CSC is supposed to provide 30,000 of its employees with access to newfangled web-based services using Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), part of Microsoft Online Services. CSC will also provide first line helpdesk support. The new contract is described as an industry first: CSC is the first Microsoft service provider to win a cloud deal of this size.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Secure Access to SaaS Applications

Static passwords replaced by two-factor authentication for applications in the cloud 

25 November 2009: With the growing demand for web-based SaaS applications, UK-based Signify has extended its two-factor authentication (2FA) hosted services to provide secure access to cloud-based applications such as and Google Apps. While 2FA is becoming the de-facto standard for remote access to server-based business applications, most SaaS solutions including and Google Apps still only provide authentication with static passwords that can be easily compromised.

In addition, the new Signify SaaS Login component of the service allows users to identify and authenticate themselves just once for access to all their network or cloud-based applications using a single set of two-factor authentication credentials. This increases the level of protection for corporate applications and data in the cloud by providing fast and convenient token or tokenless authentication.

"With the growing popularity of corporate SaaS applications such as and Google Apps that present access to potentially sensitive data in the cloud, it is an anomaly that most enterprises still rely on just a user name and password for authentication," said Dave Abraham, CEO at Signify. "SaaS Login is designed to fill in this security blind spot with strong two-factor authentication and comply with industry policies and guidelines that increasingly specify 2FA for remote access. Many organisations do not realise that this includes access to SaaS applications."

Using the SAML (Security Assertion Mark-up Language) authentication protocol, the new SaaS Login component integrates Signfy's 2FA hosted services with SaaS applications. This enables users to log in using their existing two-factor token-based or tokenless credentials. Once logged in securely, Signify then allows easy 'one click' sign-on to each cloud or SaaS application, without requiring further authentication.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Are you thinking about investing time and money in the Cloud ?

We hear the buzz words echoing around the industry on a regular basis, Social Networking, Twitter, Facebook, iPhone and most interesting (to me anyhow) Cloud Computing. I've been in communications for almost 20 years and have embraced and sold many different technologies. Does anyone recall ICL DRS6000's or IBM AIX platforms ? Mainframes serving terminals ? Wyse 50's in Green, Amber or even White (that was the back colour of the screen itself, not a colour screen god forbid!). 
Technologies evolve and find their own niche or become the norm in a very short space of time if the time is right. Wyse (as an example) evolved from a green screen manufacturer into a provider and innovator of thin client solutions forging partnerships with Citrix and microsoft to become one of the major players in a new paradigm Server Based Computing. Cloud based Computing is simply one rung up the ladder from the server by putting the server in the Internet. It's simply yet another evolution in the world of communications and IT.

I read an article today stating that Cloud Computing will bring forth a 'Sea Change' in IT in the coming months and years. I believe we're already travelling through this change and the problem is we're all not getting it quick enough ! Technology changes, it does not wait for us to understand it and adopt, it forges ahead and expects us to take notice or pass it by... Everyone, from the one man start up to the latgest Enterprise needs to understand what Cloud Computing can do for their business because it will save everyone a vast amount of time, energy and money. Let's not lose out to our competitors as they sell Cloud solutions to our clients, let's embrace the space and innovate alongside the 'sea change' which is in play. 

Cloud Distribution are about helping partners jump on the bus, build a portfolio of solutions for their clients and start making money out of this next buzz word. The futures bright, the futures cloudy :-)

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Cloud Distribution - OpSource Cloud

Cloud Distribution partners with OpSourceCloud - The Global Enterprise IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) leader

Kudos to Amazon for kick-starting the move to Cloud computing. But now you want to get serious about adopting the Cloud and you need a grown up enterprise-class solution. You need OpSource Cloud. As a reseller with clients asking "what is this cloud stuff all about?" you need to respond with a coherent, effective story. Cloud Distribution and OpSource are the story to tell.

What Amazon EC2 want's to be when it grows up

OpSource Cloud combines the best of Amazon like features with the security, performance and control your development projects and production applications require. You need professional features like private networks, dedicated configurable firewalls, configurable servers with burstable CPU and passwords for multiple users with role based permissions. And OpSource delivers these grown up features and more - all standard and all available on a no commit basis.
OpSource Cloud, the first Cloud to bring together the flexibility, availability and community of the public Cloud with the security, performance and controls the enterprise demands. Emphasizing security, OpSource Cloud provides every user with a Virtual Private Cloud within the public Cloud, allowing them to determine their own degree of public Internet connectivity.

Promotion - 25% off OpSource Cloud IaaS

Provision, deploy and manage Enterprise-Class Cloud operations from anywhere, anytime. Sign up for an OpSource Cloud account with Cloud Distribution and save 25% on retail pricing. Use promotion code CDT01.

Visit the OpSource Web Site

Cloud Distribution - OpSource Cloud

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Real-World Cloud Computing Applications

In this article, we will see some examples of real-world Cloud Computing applications: Coca-Cola Enterprises uses a Cloud-based system to streamline operations with merchandisers in the field; Nasdaq uses Amazon's S3 Cloud Service to deliver historical stock and mutual fund information, rather than add the load to its own database and computing infrastructure; Animoto, a small start-up which decided to use Amazon's Cloud Services, was able to keep up with soaring demand for its service and scale up from 50 instances to 3,500 instances over a three day period.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Tesco to offer iPhone in the UK

Supermarket giant Tesco has joined a growing number of UK firms offering Apple's popular iPhone.

A spokesperson for the firm said that it hoped to offer the phone "in time for Christmas". Although Tesco has not revealed tariffs, the spokesperson said that its prices were "competitive". In September, it was revealed that O2 had lost its exclusive deal to sell the phone, which had been in place since its launch in 2007. Both Vodafone and Orange have signed deals to sell the phone.

Orange has already begun selling the touchscreen whilst Vodafone will offer it from early 2010. Orange said it had sold more than 30,000 handsets on its first day. Tesco Mobile is a joint venture with O2. It offers phones on both contract and pay as you go tariffs from its stores around the UK. O2 has offered the iPhone in the UK for more than two years. Its popularity allowed the firm to win subscribers from other networks, according to analysts. Earlier this year, O2 said it had sold more than 1m of the phones. All of the firms will offer the iPhone 3G and the newer iPhone 3GS.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

High-Performance Unified Threat Management

Ambitious UK 'Start-Up' Answers Small Business Demand  

NetPilot's UTM Range Boasts Industry's First On-Board 3rd Generation SSL VPN

Bristol-based NetPilot Internet Security (NIS) has today unveiled its advanced range of Unified Threat Management solutions which benefit organisations from 25 to 500 users with the highest possible level of end-to-end security, compliance and access controls whilst not compromising performance. The NetPilot Guardsman, Vanguard and Globemaster appliances incorporating SSL VPN Plus™ provide outstanding throughput that exceeds IPSec and can even exceed wire speed performance. NetPilot's are the only UTM appliances available with SSL VPN Plus™, powered by Neoaccel.

"Small and mid-sized businesses depend upon fast IP links, but many security manufacturers struggle to meet these demands with solutions that take too much time to process traffic," commented Jamie Pushman, Director of Sales and co-founder at NIS. "The trend toward greater cloud computing is pushing computing resources even further away from users, increasing the need for strong encryption and policy enforcement from endpoint to endpoint, and increasing the strain upon performance and uptime. However, our unique OEM agreement with international industry leaders Neoaccel puts our UK customers at a distinct advantage. The NetPilot platforms' comprehensive UTM capabilities inspect traffic for all major threats, while SSL VPN Plus™ optimises the connection."

The NetPilot range scales from the 25-user Guardsman S2025 right up to the 500-user Globemaster R2500. All come fully loaded with a range of advanced features including minimum 40GB solid-state storage (up to 160GB for the R2500), on-board SSL VPN Plus™, and a full range of UTM components including email anti-virus (Clam or Sophos depending on bundle purchased), email policy filtering, advanced firewall, anti-spam and URL filtering. All but the smallest appliances also feature anti-spyware, browsing anti-virus and IDS.

SSL VPN Plus™ supports RSA, Citrix, reverse proxy, RADIUS and AD, and comes with comprehensive user-based access controls, data leakage prevention, and full log/audit reporting as standard. Its self-installing Java agent also eliminates costly remote client management issues.

Prices (including UTM Standard bundle) start at £895 plus VAT. The NetPilot appliances are also available at base units providing firewall and VPN functionality only.
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Friday, 27 November 2009

SugarCRM on Windows Azure Cloud Computing Platform

SugarCRM today announced that it will offer its CRM applications on Windows Azure to enable its customers and value-added resellers to benefit from the real-time scalability, high availability and on-demand infrastructure of Microsoft Corp.'s cloud platform for web applications and services. "With Windows Azure, Microsoft has built a true cloud computing platform going well beyond the simple hosted infrastructure that most service providers offer today," said Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM.

"Windows Azure enables SugarCRM value-added resellers to create and deploy unique solutions for customers around the globe. This new service is another key component of the Sugar Open Cloud, the SugarCRM cloud strategy for delivering simple, affordable CRM anywhere based on customer need. Sugar on Windows Azure combines the most user-friendly CRM application on the market with a highly available, scalable and secure cloud computing platform."

The process for making SugarCRM applications available on Microsoft Windows Azure was simple and straightforward, taking just a couple weeks of development time. This rapid implementation period was enabled by the strong native support the Microsoft Azure platform delivers for PHP, the programming language in which Sugar is written.

"We are pleased to have SugarCRM running on Windows Azure," said Doug Hauger, general manager of Windows Azure at Microsoft Corp. "The ease by which SugarCRM was able to offer its CRM services demonstrates how the openness of the Windows Azure platform allowed it to deliver Web applications using its tools of choice."

Windows Azure is an Internet-scale cloud services platform that is hosted in Microsoft data centers. It provides an operating system and a set of developer services that can be used separately or together. Windows Azure offers a scalable infrastructure with a pay-as-you-go pricing model that enables customers to pay for the service as they consume it, rather than buying and managing on-premises technology.

SugarCRM provides CRM cloud applications designed to run in any computing environment, including cloud platforms such as Windows Azure, partner clouds provided by SugarCRM partners such as BT and Tata Communications or in private clouds managed directly by SugarCRM customers. SugarCRM is delivering the Sugar Open Cloud because customers demand control and flexibility around how their CRM applications are managed and first generation CRM SaaS providers create risk for customers by locking them into a set of monolithic and inflexible services.

Microsoft and SugarCRM began working together in 2006 to deliver Sugar applications on top of Microsoft technology. SugarCRM supports IIS as well as Active Directory, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Office Outlook and Microsoft Exchange Server. The two companies have continued to collaborate as part of the Interop Vendor Alliance. In August, SugarCRM announced Sugar Community Edition on the Microsoft Web Platform, a framework for developing, deploying and hosting Web applications.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Cloud AntiVirus Company Secures $2 Million in Funding

Immunet, developer of next generation AntiVirus technologies, announced today that it has raised $2 million in an oversubscribed Series A round led by Altos Ventures with participation from Atlanta-based TechOperators. Ho Nam, General Partner of Altos Ventures, has joined the board of Immunet. Immunet launched Immunet Protect, its first product, in August 2009. Immunet Protect is the first free, cloud-based antivirus application focused on protecting your community. Immunet Protect harnesses the growing power of social networks with its community sharing features and "Collective Immunity(TM)" technology to protect personal computers from virus threats.

Upon installing Immunet Protect, users immediately become protected members within the "Immunet Community" (at 20,000 users and expanding rapidly). The Immunet Community leverages the collective knowledge of threats gathered from its users to defend ALL members in real time against thousands of new threats created every day.

Immunet's defenses grow stronger with every new user that joins the Immunet Community. This provides users with a natural incentive to share the product through its community-sharing features, which use Facebook Connect, Google Mail, Yahoo Mail and regular email.

"Immunet Protect is unlike any antivirus software on the market because it is the first product focused on protecting an individual's own community," says Immunet Founder and CEO Oliver Friedrichs, a former Symantec and McAfee security veteran and entrepreneur. "Immunet Protect acts as a shield for entire communities, and that shield becomes stronger with each new user and each new threat that is detected. We want to spread the goodness of antivirus protection with Immunet Protect and allow our users to do so easily. We encourage users to 'Get Immunet Protect Before You Connect' "

"Immunet combines the collective intelligence of the Immunet Community with the power of social networks to create a powerful application that users have a common incentive to share for the greater good for all users," said Ho Nam of Altos Ventures. "We look forward to working with the Immunet team to support the viral growth of applications in the cloud AntiVirus space over the coming year and are excited to have them in our portfolio."

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

MindTouch Goes Cloud

MindTouch, the open source alternative to Microsoft SharePoint, today extended its popular enterprise collaboration platform to the cloud. The new offering makes it easy for business power users with no programming knowledge to mashup data from existing enterprise systems into real time charts, graphs, reports and tabular data.

MindTouch Cloud allows companies to replicate the features and functionality of MindTouch 2009 Standard in seconds with the swipe of a credit card and without a call to their IT department.

"MindTouch has essentially built an open source, cloud-enabled SharePoint that is accessible to non-programmers," said Sam Ramji, Vice President of Strategy at Sonoa Systems, a provider of analytics, management and cloud governance solutions for APIs and cloud services. "The more I look at what they've done, the more I realize they've built a business platform more than a technology platform."

The new platform is the company's first foray into cloud computing and is the first SaaS-based solution to give organizations the ability to easily collaborate across data from multiple enterprise systems and web applications.

Never before have non-programmers been able to so easily overlay critical data from commonly used enterprise systems, SugarCRM, support ticketing, accounts payable, ERP-- all within an easy to use collaborative environment. Pricing for the company's new SaaS offering starts as low as $7 per user per month.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

New Approach Needed to Cloud Security

Arguably the greatest barrier to businesses taking full advantage of cloud computing is the issue of security. Recent high-profile breaches of the cloud (the attack on Twitter being perhaps the most publicized) have only served to heighten concerns. It's true; the potential consequences of a breach of cloud security are catastrophic, and this knowledge has served to make the debate rage even more fiercely.

A cloud security issue within an organization has the potential to be a major business crisis, and against a backdrop of heightened public awareness of data loss and privacy issues such as ID theft, it's understandable.

read more

Monday, 23 November 2009

How the Enterprise Cloud Will Affect the Datacenter

There are a variety of applications that support numerous business lines across an enterprise. These applications exhibit a wide range of operational characteristics as they service the diverse business demands. That diversity is the key to business success, but it has consequences. Ask an enterprise application architect about how IT should run a data center and you will find that the range of behaviours exhibited across the portfolio of applications cannot be run on one set of standard platform configurations. Most critical applications have extreme operational requirements that require specialised adjustments to operating environments.

Ask any data center manager about accommodating those different application behaviours and they will tell you the proliferation of platforms makes it impossible to contain costs, manage complexity or maintain reliability, especially for those critical applications.

Ask any business executive about how business is running and they will tell you that applications cost too much to develop, run and maintain. They cannot correlate growth to investment in IT.

Offering IT as a service requires a paradigm shift in technology, operational processes and thinking about how business demand – manifested by applications – affects the use of all data center resources. Enterprise Cloud Computing enables IT as a service and is the next phase in data center evolution to solve this spiralling dilemma. The question is, how does business successfully operate this expensive investment?

The Enterprise Cloud combines a series of evolving and maturing technologies with associated techniques that make it easier to leverage the power of distributed processing while minimising the complexity and difficulty associated with such distribution. The location of compute, network and storage resources required to operate applications becomes transparent through virtualisation and dynamic allocation. Applications are serviced by pools of infrastructure services that do not have to be dedicated to an application. This fluidity is supported by advances in resource monitoring, advanced security and faster networking. The promise of cloud computing is providing significantly improved user experience, while balancing cost and efficiency – three critical pillars that must be satisfied for a business to succeed. But IT promises rarely live up to the hype, and the reason is simple: IT typically builds such projects with little input from the business on growth and general usage.

The cloud, even with all its new technologies, is not magic. It is an operating environment that needs to be designed to perform optimally. The design must start top-down, with business requirements taking into account:

• How the business operates;
• What are the peaks, cycles and key operating drivers; and
• How vital is availability, or processing massive throughput?

The typical IT response has been to design from the bottom up. In a sufficiently large enterprise, the answer will be yes for many requirements questions, but not for all the applications, nor for all lines of business. In the absence of that knowledge, the answer has been to design from the bottom up, resulting in an overengineered operating platform, which increases cost and complexity while causing data center sprawl to swell, thus reducing reliability.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

NTT Uses OpSource to Compete with AT&T’s Cloud

When Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT), the world's biggest telco, took a piece of the $10 million E series funding going into OpSource earlier this year, the pair reportedly didn't know they would be going into the cloud business together – or that it would be on the same day that AT&T told people to stand by because it was about to launch an Infrastructure-as-a-Service that looks a lot like Amazon.

Carriers like NTT and AT&T can give cloud-craving enterprises a warm and cuddly, hesitancy-overcoming feeling because of the way they have with security, availability and performance - and their ability to make production clouds cheaper than Amazon can because they can cut a deal on outbound connectivity. And Amazon can't run a security check on who's using its cloud the way carriers can to make the metaphor safer.

So now OpSource is piggybacking on NTT America, a subsidiary of NTT Communications and one of Google's main networking suppliers that provides enterprise hosting, managed networks and IP networking services worldwide, in the name of the enterprise public cloud adoption.

 NTT America is kicking in its secure data centers and Tier 1 global IP network as the underpinning of the OpSource Cloud, starting in America and eventually branching out.
According to OpSource CEO Trib Ryan, it's unlikely NTT will pick up another girl to dance with - let alone take home.

Friday, 20 November 2009

ScaleMP’s Talking BIG Clouds

ScaleMP, which builds SMP machines for HPC by aggregating multiple x86 blades into a single virtual x86 system, has become one of the cloud people.

It's adding some widgetry called vSMP Foundation for Cloud, currently in beta, to its vSMP Foundation line. It enables the dynamic, on-the-fly aggregation of x86 servers into big SMP virtual systems - sort of like what 3Leaf is doing - but ScaleMP uses virtualization for the server aggregation and the software is cloud-specific, meant for provisioning and re-provisioning large virtual-machine resources - large memory capacity and high memory bandwidth, say - mostly in private clouds.

It can currently aggregate 16 Nehalem-based x86 servers and create a virtual SMP machine with up to 128 cores and 4TB of main memory. Not your run-of-the-mill cloud ware. It doesn't need a cluster file system and can be used to create virtual machines on a per job, per project or per customer basis. The company says it eliminates the need to deploy dedicated shared memory systems.

It integrates with systems management and provisioning tools and supports any programming model (serial, throughput, multi-threaded or large-memory) without machine boundary.

ScaleMP founder and president Shai Fultheim says, "vSMP Foundation enables organizations to run large workloads in their cloud that previously required dedicated hardware infrastructure. This will result in increased cloud utilization, offering incredible return on investment."

The company has also enhanced its underlying vSMP Foundation for SMP product with what's called Direct Connect 2 (DC2) technology, which targets entry-level customers by aggregating up to four Intel systems using point-to-point InfiniBand connectivity.

Without needing an InfiniBand switch, the cost of virtual SMP implementations can fall by as much as 20%.

visit our website @

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Rackspace Cloud Biz Doubles

Budding cloud merchant Rackspace Hosting came in with better-than-expected net revenue of $162.4 million for the September quarter, up 17.4% year-over-year and up 6.8% sequentially. Earnings were up 45.3% year-over-year to $7.6 million or six cents a share and up 8.8% quarter-over-quarter.

Managed hosting revenue increased to $147.1 million, up 6% sequentially. Cloud revenue increased to $15.3 million, up 17% from the previous quarter. The company said its cloud business now represents ~10% of its total net revenues, up from 5% this time last year.

Total server count increased to 54,655, up from 52,269 servers and total customers increased to 80,944, up from 70,803 in Q2.
Capital expenditures were $46.7 million, including $28.7 million for purchases of customer gear, $4 million for data center build outs, $5.4 million for office buildouts and $8.5 million for capitalized software and other expenditures. These capex costs hurt.
Rackspace expects to have total capex of ~$185 million for the year, including $110 million for customer gear, $35 million for data centers, $15 million for office space, and $25 million for capitalized software and other.

It's got $103 million in the bank and $58.5 million in debt. Employment is up to 2,730 people.

visit our website @

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

SecuCloud Chooses OpSource to Help Secure Enterprise Data

OpSource announced that SecuCloud has successfully deployed OpSource On-Demand to bring its business-critical database security and compliance solution to the enterprise. SecuCloud offers a comprehensive and automated database security and compliance solution that is designed from the bottom-up to meet the specific needs of each company or enterprise.

SecuCloud chose OpSource On-Demand to provide the infrastructure of the new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) version of this solution because of OpSource On-Demand's unmatched reliability, security and partner-friendly reputation.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Riverbed in talks to acquire Expand Networks

Riverbed in talks to acquire Expand Networks: Advanced negotiations are for a deal at $30-40 million, after the WAN optimization start-up raised $85 million.

Shmulik Shelah and Ron Steinblatt
Nov 16, 2009 (Globes - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Sources inform "Globes" that Riverbed Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD) is in advanced negotiations to acquire Israeli start-up Expand Networks Ltd. for $30-40 million.

visit our website @

SuccessFactors Joins EuroCloud as Founding Member

Today SuccessFactors, Inc. the global leader in business execution software , added its weight behind Europe's first ever Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud services business community, EuroCloud. Led by Pierre-Jose Billotte, President and Founder of the French ASP Forum, with a team of SaaS and cloud computing players from the UK, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, with discussions under way in ten other countries including Germany, Italy, Poland and the Ukraine, EuroCloud gathers together leading SaaS vendors, enablers, integrators and industry experts to share best practice, and facilitate expansion of their respective businesses across the continent.

As one of the market's leading cloud-computing vendors, SuccessFactors recently unveiled its Business Execution (BizX) Software suite, which enables companies to bridge the gap between strategy and execution. The Business Execution Software suite empowers the C-level and human resources professionals alike to tie the performance of their people directly to overall business goals and execute more effectively everyday.
"With capital budgets under pressure, customers are demanding more cost effective alternatives to on-premise systems, fuelling the growth of cloud computing. As a company, we are at the forefront of that growth and innovation," said Tom Fisher, Vice President Cloud Computing, SuccessFactors. "SuccessFactors is one of the leading vendors spearheading the cloud-computing adoption model with more than five million users globally as demand for cloud computing continues to mature and grow at the enterprise application level. The EuroCloud initiative is a fantastic opportunity to create a regional cloud services community, influence other existing communities on the financial and operational benefits of the cloud, and harness the huge potential market across Europe."

According to industry analysts IDC, worldwide IT spending on cloud services will grow almost threefold, reaching US$44.2 billion by 2013 (IDC eXchange, "IDC's New IT Cloud Services Forecast: 2009-2013" -,October 5, 2009)

Monday, 16 November 2009

Orange sells 30,000 iPhones on first day

Orange sells 30,000 iPhones on first day

Mobile phone company breaks O2's two-year exclusive grip on the Apple handset in the UK Orange sold more than 30,000 iPhones within hours of becoming the first network to break O2's two-year exclusive grip on the Apple handset in the UK.

The mobile phone company, which lost out to O2 on the original deal at the last minute, reckons the level of sales reached by 4pm is a new first-day record for a British mobile phone launch. As well as the network's own shops, the device is being sold through independent retailers Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U. Coincidentally the latter today launched a rather eye-catching and potentially controversial new festive look for its website.

Nestled alongside the latest handset deals, is a dishevelled-looking cartoon Santa Claus with his Y-fronts around his knees, urinating against the Phones4U logo. On another part of the site, Santa can be seen smoking a cigarette surrounded by what appear to be beer cans.

The screens of the handsets shown on the site as "the hottest phones at the coolest prices", meanwhile, depict scenes including a fight between two snowmen, which appears to culminate in decapitation, garrotted turkeys and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer's severed head.

"In keeping with the rest of our 'Great Deals 4 Popular People' advertising campaign we have decided to use some tongue-in-cheek and light-hearted imagery on our website and in our stores to support our seasonal promotions this year," said a Phones4U spokesman.

"This imagery will continue to change throughout the campaign to keep it fresh and interesting. The aim of the campaign is to engage with our target audience of 16 to 24-year-olds and reinforce our unique tone of voice through fun, anti-kitsch advertising that challenges the stereotypical portrayal of the holidays you see on the high street."

In contrast, the launch of the iPhone on Orange is being backed by a far more sober multimillion pound advertising campaign by the network, which is owned by France Telecom. Rather than focus on price Orange is basing its attempt to lure customers onto its network on the promise that it has better coverage than any of its rivals. In fact there is hardly any difference between the cost of the iPhone on Orange and the existing cost of the device with O2.

Vodafone will also be selling the device in the UK, but not until the start of next year. Speaking after the company's first-half results on Tuesday, however, Vodafone's chief executive Vittorio Colao refused to say whether the business will undercut its rivals in the race to attract British iPhone users. "You don't expect me to tell you two months in advance what we will do in the UK," he said. "The only thing I can tell you is if Orange customers are unhappy they can go into red shops."

The Top 150 Players in Cloud Computing

SYS-CON's Cloud Computing Journal Expands Again Its List of Most Active Players in the Cloud Ecosystem

A robust ecosystem of solutions providers is emerging around cloud computing. Here, SYS-CON's Cloud Computing Journal expands its list of most active players in the fast-emerging Cloud Ecosystem, from the 'mere' 100 we identified back in January of this year, to half as many again - testimony, if any further were needed, to the fierce and continuing growth of the "Elastic IT" paradigm throughout the world of enterprise computing.

Read on here -

visit our website @

Friday, 13 November 2009

Cloud Computing & Political Correctness

I woke this morning to read David Lithicum's article "How to kill the cloud: Claim it's about job loss," originally published at

Here is my initial thought: are you kidding me ? David's theory is that the adoption of Cloud Computing would be far more "acceptable" (aka politically correct) if we didn't have executives like Unisys's Richard Marcello saying: "We were able to eliminate a whole bunch of actually U.S.-based jobs and kind of replace them with two folks out of India to serve a 1,200-person engineering organization."

To be fair, I think David is a really brite guy and he correctly observes that technology innovation often sets forth unrealistic expectations when it comes to realizing cost reductions and other benefits. But to read this: "The message here is that the cloud computing industry needs to think a bit about what it's saying in the promotion of cloud computing. Some of the "cloud computing experts" are sending wrong and inaccurate messages. In other words, they're not helping." What are they not helping ? Don't you believe that enhancing the quality of systems and reducing the expense of deploying them for the benefit of customers isn't at the core of innovation ? Isn't that what its all about ? For those who don't think so I suggest a view of Danny Devito's Larry the liquidator speech from the movie Other People's Money below. Amen, you just heard a prayer - the prayer for the "dead".

Bottom line is that the IT world along with players in a variety of industries are at peril because the value paradigms they are operating around are no longer relevant to the market. Its only a matter of time until a combination of forces including globalism, technology advancements and mega cultural shifts turn over their proverbial apple carts. David do you honestly believe that the "press" people get around the "truth" (being that reengineering significant aspects of business models via cloud computing will eliminate vast segments of the job market and redeploy them abroad) will stop this revolution ? Perhaps it would help advance our industry to be more transparent about obsolesence, change, and continuing to get an increasing share of a shrinking market.

read more

visit our website @

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Trust and Reliability in Cloud Computing

Vordel, a provider of governance products for Cloud Computing and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) announced at VordelWorld, its annual user conference in Dublin, Ireland, the release of the Vordel Cloud Service Broker. The Vordel Cloud Service Broker aggregates and manages multi-domain services. This creates a trusted environment for enterprises to leverage the benefits of Cloud Computing.

Organizations who wish to use Cloud services in conjunction with their own SOA and those of their partners face major issues related to reliability and trustworthiness. One significant challenge is aggregating services from multiple domains including Public, Private and Community Clouds - into coherent composite services and applying policies to them. The Vordel Cloud Service Broker solves this multi-domain problem by registering services from all three domains into a single repository – the multi-domain registry repository - enabling monitoring, management and policy enforcement. Additionally, the Vordel Cloud Service Broker offers value-added services such as caching, acceleration, and transformation saving enterprises time and money while creating a trusted and reliable environment.

Gartner commented that “The future of cloud computing will be permeated with the notion of brokers negotiating relationships between providers of cloud services and the service consumers. In this context, a broker might be software, appliances, platforms or suites of technologies that enhance the base services available through the cloud. Enhancement will include managing access to the services, providing greater security or even creating completely new services.”1
Vordel CEO, Vic Morris, speaking about the company's Cloud Service Broker news said "Trust is a major barrier to Cloud adoption particularly among enterprises. It's clear that many organizations see the value of incorporating Cloud Services into their IT infrastructure, but they also have concerns about the reliability and performance of these services outside their domain of control. The Vordel Cloud Service Broker addresses these issues by providing a trustworthy and reliable onramp to Cloud services allowing businesses to monitor and manage them in the same fashion as their own internal services. This means that composite applications can be built in a completely seamless fashion offering users full visibility, trust and control".
Key valued added services provided by the Vordel Cloud Service Broker include:
Multi-Domain Registry Repository
The Multi-Domain Registry (MDRR) aggregates together services across domains. These domains include not only Cloud providers such as Amazon and Google, but also local on-premises services, and business partner services. In this way, all of the services on which a business depends are managed in one place. This becomes a single point at which compliance to Service Level Agreements, compliance to privacy and security mandates, and usage statistics can be viewed.
Analytics for visibility
Organisations require a record of how they are using Cloud Computing, not least because they will be billed for this usage. The Vordel Cloud Service Broker provides an independent audit trail of Cloud service usage. Analytics of Cloud Computing usage includes not only raw usage information, but also information about service quality, patterns of usage over time, and identity of users. In this way, an organization can understand how they use Cloud Computing.
Content Analysis
All content sent to Cloud services must be analysed for leaked data, in order to enable Data Loss Prevention. In addition, content-level threats must be detected and blocked. This includes application-level attacks at the API and payload level.
Caching protects the enterprise from latency associated with connecting to the Cloud service. Cloud Service Broker’s cache saves the organization money by allowing some requests to be serviced by the broker itself, removing the need for a (billed) connection up to the Cloud provider.
Vordel Cloud Service Broker allows developers to link together local applications with Cloud-hosted applications. The local applications may be accessed via Web Services interfaces, via database calls, via message schemes such as MQ or JMS or simply via the file system.
Content transformation
Content sent to the Cloud service may need to be transformed, for example in order to mediate between different versions of applications. In addition, many Cloud services use REST API interfaces whereas internal services may use SOAP, JMS or older technologies such as COBOL. Vordel’s technology includes an accelerated transformation engine which allows data to be transformed at speed.
SLA Monitoring
Vordel Cloud Service Broker complements the Cloud Service providers by offering a comprehensive Service Level Agreement monitoring to monitor the response time of the Cloud service, and the entire transaction throughput time.
Traffic Throttling
Throttling is the “surge protector” of Cloud Computing. If an application makes a high number of calls to a Cloud service then a Cloud Service Broker can deflect a portion of the calls to back-up service, newly provisioned for this purpose.
Event Alerting
Events such as Cloud outages must be alerted, so that remedial measures can be put into place.
Extensibility 3rd Party Valued Added Services
Organizations may wish to add their own value-added services from 3rd party sources, or indeed add their own pluggable modules.

Vordel Cloud Service Broker will be available in Q1 2010.

visit our website @

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Expand Networks Revamps UK Channel Strategy to Support Growing Market Demand for Advanced WAN Optimisation

Slough, UK. –November 11th 2009 – Expand Networks , the leader in optimising WANs for branch office consolidation and virtualisation, today reveals its revamped channel strategy for the UK market in light of the continued and growing success of its channel partners in key market areas including server-based computing, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), virtualised and cloud based IP infrastructures and satellite based communications.

To better support its partners and enable them to take advantage of these burgeoning market opportunities Expand has overhauled its distribution model with the appointment of three new value-add distribution partners – Cloud Distribution, CDG UK and Sematron – and plans to continue its aggressive reseller recruitment programme over the coming months.

Newly formed Cloud Distribution will focus on the WAN optimisation requirements of virtualised and cloud-based IP infrastructures as more and more organisations move toward the web as a delivery platform for applications and services. Expand’s Virtual Accelerator solution is ideal for these environments with a unique ability to be deployed on virtual machines as a virtual appliance as well as being able to accelerate virtualised applications and Expand Network’s Mobile Accelerator Client, with unique HIVE technology, is a key innovation that will help maximise this market opportunity.

The relationship with CDG UK, a current Expand partner across other European territories, will be extended into the UK market with a focus on server-based computing and VDI where Expand’s Accelerator appliance and Virtual and Mobile Accelerators enable the delivery of applications and services to distributed enterprise environments.

Finally, Sematron will focus on the growing area of satellite based communications where Expand has a unique solution to overcome the latency challenges faced when delivering data services over satellite links. “WAN Optimisation is a key enabler for many of today’s major enterprise IT initiatives,” explains Adam Davison, VP Corporate Sales & Marketing, Expand Networks. “Having aligned our go-to-market focus earlier this year we have seen a growing appetite within the channel for our solutions, as WAN Optimisation becomes increasingly recognized as something of a recession-bucking technology.

We are seeing tremendous market success and company growth and needed to restructure our channel model and strategy to better support this.” “These distributor signings lay the foundations of an energised channel strategy that will support our resellers in meeting the changing business initiatives of the UK enterprise, both now and into the future.

Expand has worked hard to place itself among the top players in the market and to further establish this leadership, we require a high-quality channel, that is fully committed to our solutions. With CDG, Cloud Distribution and Sematron on board, we all share a common goal focused on delivering strategic solutions to meet key enterprise initiatives. This collaborative approach, underpinned by strong sales support and value adding services will ultimately allow our partners to benefit from the best margins available," concludes Davison.

visit our website @

Secure Enterprise Clouds

Big news on the Cloud Standards front, I was just informed that the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) - JTC 1 have formed a new Subcommittee (SC) at their Plenary last week that includes working groups for SOA and Web Services as well as a Study Group for standardization of cloud computing. (This information has not yet been made public, my source has indicated that I am allowed to share this)

The scope will include Standardization for interoperable Distributed Application Platform and services including Web Services, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), and Cloud Computing. SC 38 will pursue active liaison and collaboration with all appropriate bodies (including other JTC 1 subgroups and external organizations, e.g., consortia) to ensure the development and deployment of interoperable distributed application platform and services standards in relevant areas.

Similar to other ISO initiatives each member country that’s interested in participating in this group will come up with their own structure to provide feedback on work items and establish voting positions, including the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) who will be the US TAG.

Administrative support and leadership of SC 38 will be provided as follows:

The US National Body will serve as Secretariat for the SC and its Working
Groups, and Dr. Donald R. Deutsch from the US National Body will serve as the Chair for the SC. The National Body of China will provide Ms. Yuan Yuan as the Convenor of the Working Group on SOA. The US National Body will provide the Convenor of the Working Group on Web Services. The National Body of Korea will provide Dr. Seungyun LEE as the Convenor of the Study Group on Cloud Computing. The National Body of China will provide Mr. Ping ZHOU as the Secretary of the Study Group on Cloud Computing.

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Tuesday, 10 November 2009

World's first iPhone virus changes your wallpaper... to a picture of Rick Astley, hacker claims

Any iPhone estate should investigate - to ensure their iPhone's are protected from this security risk. A 21-year-old Australian claims to be the first hacker in the world to infect the iPhone with a virus. It spreads between phones with each call but the damage extends to changing the device's wallpaper - to a photo of Eighties pop star Rick Astley famous for his hit Never Gonna Give You Up. Sydney student Ashley Towns said he wanted to raise the issue of security, adding: 'What I've done has shown that anyone can easily hack into an iPhone.' iphone rick Attack: The virus infects iPhones with a picture of 80s pop star Rick Astley He added: 'The virus pretty much exploits people's laziness in not changing their password.' Rick Astley is a popular choice for mischievous computer users. Video-sharing website YouTube has spawned the phenomenon of 'Rickrolling', where a person provides a weblink to an innocent-looking topic but this actually takes the user to a video of Rick Astley singing 'Never Gonna Give You Up.' Mr Towns' virus can only infect iPhones which have been 'jailbroken' by their owners - an action that allows phone owners to install applications on their phones which have not been approved by Apple. Telecommunication experts warn that jailbreaking phones can stir Apple's wrath and that of telephone companies, but there have been few complaints of owners being punished by having their service discontinued. Mr Towns said that after jailbreaking their iPhones people should always change their password because all iPhones use the same password. He said that somebody with more malicious intent could have done anything - broken into a phone to read SMS messages, search through emails and view contacts and photos. 'I'm unaware whether I'm breaking any laws by starting the virus,' said Mr Towns. 'I've been informed that I may have broken some, but not being a lawyer I don't know. 'The virus itself is not malicious and is not out to hurt people. It's just poking fun and hopefully waking people up a little.' He is certain it's the first virus of its kind in the world - 'especially the first that spreads from phone to phone.' He has no idea how many people his virus has affected so far, but he knows that in the initial stages it struck around 100 iPhones. Mr Towns wants to assure users that apart from changing the wallpaper, the virus is not harmful and is quite easy to get rid of. Anyone whose iPhone is infected, he says, need take only a couple of minutes to remove the Rick Astley photo by changing the phone's password and deleting a few files from the phone. The message, he says, is for people to change their passwords whenever they do something new on their iPhones - or the instrument could be struck with a far more dangerous virus than the one he has spread. Read more: visit our website @

Security and Compliance in the Cloud

Terry Woloszyn, Founder of PerspecSys, emphasized security and compliance in his session at the 4th International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo, held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Nov. 2 – 4. In his session – "Addressing Data Privacy, Residency, and Security when Adopting Cloud Applications" - focused on new technologies and techniques that allow sensitive data to appear to be in the cloud, but really remain behind the enterprise firewall.

Woloszyn emphasized that "there should be a segregation of the data and the functionality. All the business sensitive date should be behind the firewall."

read more

Monday, 9 November 2009

Secure Enterprise Clouds

There is so much waste in the data centers of Fortune 1000 companies today that a CIO – as an officer of the company – could be considered in breach of their fiduciary duty to stockholders given the dollars in question. Of course that requires costs transparency, so sadly most are safe for now. It seems that every new technology innovation brings the promise of greater efficiencies and cost savings but in reality tends to leave a mess of ‘legacy’ infrastructure on the floor that results in a net higher TCO than the CIO had in the first place.
So what does this have to do with Cloud Computing? While there is no shortage of companies trying to ply their wares as the ideal enabler for Cloud, I am surprised by the lack of attention from vendors that have the most to gain – the Cloud providers themselves. If I put on my CIO shoes here are the things I care about:
  1. Business/IT synchronicity,
  2. Mitigation of risk,
  3. Leverage of new technologies/approaches to reduce the cost of delivering the IT services that the business requires.
Those three items, in that order of priority, are what I need to do to keep my job. Cloud, as a new delivery paradigm, certainly offers the potential to help with #1 and impact #3…but right now when I look at #2 most of the Cloud offerings make it worse, not better. Let’s be real here – if I pursue the Cloud offerings from IBM, Savvis, or Sun/Oracle I’ll feel more comfortable that my concerns about risk mitigation are addressed, but at the expense of the cost savings and business flexibility that prompted me to consider it in the first place. And as for the Google & Amazon offering...I’ll commend Amazon’s latest twist of a Virtual Private Cloud as a step in the right direction, but personally I’m still not going to bet my job on it.

Why can’t highly capable organizations like IBM make this easy for me? I mean, they have the software, services, and outsourcing (Cloud delivery) capabilities to make this easy for me. Why don’t they?

Here’s a thought: how about a Cloud vendor that provides the software tools and services to allow me to set up my own Cloud internally? And better yet, provide remote management capability to help me run it. Heck, while we’re running down the wish list I want the tools deployed locally to allow me to deploy remotely in your Cloud. Even better still – because I’m a suspicious, risk adverse CIO – how about you just offer that “run in my Cloud” as a scenario for Disaster Recovery? I like the sound of that…run in my data center under my control, with Cloud-like attributes to improve business relationships via responsiveness and reduced cost…best of all with my Vendor absorbing the cost and risk of guaranteeing Disaster Recovery. Now that’s a service I’d sign up for.

Sound like utopia? Guess what (IBM, Sun, Savvis, Amazon, Google, et al)…there’s a latecomer to the Cloud party called Unisys that’s offering this today. Why aren’t you?

visit our website @

Friday, 6 November 2009

Cradle to Grave Smartphone Management for the Enterprise

There is about to be a sea-change in the UK Enterprise Mobility space. Apple's iPhone
- until now exclusively on O2 - will be available to Orange and Vodafone customers
in the next 90 days.

What does this mean to the channel ? Every Enterprise will now be considering a
move from their present mobile platform to iPhone and both Orange and Vodafone will
be pushing hard for them to adopt it.

However, neither of these operators (or O2 for that matter) can deliver a management
platform which secures, manages, backs up and controls the iPhone as well as all
 other major Smartphone platforms such as Windows Mobile, Symbian & Blackberry
(with Android and PalmPre coming soon).

We do. It's called MobileIron and it's available now from Cloud Distribution.

Q - Do you have Enterprise clients who are considering Apple's iPhone for corporate
deployments ? If so, we'd be happy to provide evaluation accounts for you to impress
them with the cradle to grave provisioning, backup, security and management MobileIron

To find out more, please visit our web site:


Introducing MobileIron

MobileIron is the only Enterprise platform which is able to provide 'cradle to grave'
device management across all of the major Smartphone platforms including;

* Apple iPhone
* Microsoft Windows Mobile
* Blackberry
* Symbian (in Beta)
* Google Android (Q1 2010)

Smartphones in the enterprise introduce new challenges not addressed by traditional
laptop mobility strategies.

High cost: The mobile expense line is exploding. Both the business and end users
 demand smartphones. Carrier costs are spiraling upward, and getting them under
control is a difficult policing effort at best.

Poor visibility: Any data on a laptop can also live on a smartphone. Companies lack
a clear view of their data and application exposure. Massive aggregate storage on
such easily lost units is a security timebomb.

Too many platforms: There is no industry standard for smartphone operating systems.
BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, iPhone, Symbian, and Android are all here to stay. Single
platform strategies will not allow companies to keep pace with innovation and end-user

Consumer-driven: Consumers, not IT, drive the smartphone market. As employee-owned
phones start accessing company data, security and privacy become a difficult balancing

The MobileIron Virtual Smartphone Platform is the first solution to combine data-driven
central management of smartphones with deep visibility into real-time usage and
cost drivers. It is a simple-to-install appliance that plugs into your corporate
 network and lets you quickly gain control of your smartphone operations. Smartphone
data moves to the cloud, giving IT, finance, and end users full visibility and control
of smartphone operations through a central window.


Free MobileIron Partner trial

Please contact Greg Harris on 01635 800412 to reserve a FREE MobileIron trial today
or email him @


Best regards
Cloud Distribution Ltd

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Key Considerations for Cloud Networking

Every enterprise has a unique network infrastructure for accessing servers and allowing applications to communicate between components.  Various layers support the management of network addressing, deliver critical services, and ensure security.  The infrastructure includes specific addressing (sub-nets), address services like DHCP/DNS, identity and directory services like LDAP, and firewals and routing rules – all reflecting the specific requirements and evolution of the given enterprise.

Clouds are not different from the enterprise in this respect; they have unique networking infrastructures that support complex and flexible multi-tenant environments.  Remember that the cloud providers have to control their networking so that they can route traffic within their infrastructure.  More important, their design is completely different from your enterprise networking architecture, design, and addressing.  This is not a problem if you’re doing something stand-alone in the cloud because you don’t care what the network structure is as long as you can access it over the internet.  However, if you want to extend your existing networks and use your existing applications, there are serious discontinuities that have to be addressed.
First, you have to deal with addressing.  The typical cloud provider will assign you a block of addresses as part of your cloud account.  For example, Flexiscale and GoGrid essentially give you get a block of assigned addresses that you can attach to the servers you create.  In some cases these are external addresses (meaning that they are public addresses that can be accessed from the internet), while in others, they are internal. 

In either case, they are not assigned as part of your addressing.  This means that even if you manage to connect these resources to your data center, you need to build new routes and alter your services to allow these “foreign” addresses into your system. Amazon originally took a different approach by providing a dynamic system where an address is assigned every time a server is started.  This made it hard to build multi-tier applications, requiring developers to design systems able to pass changing address information between application components.  The new VPC offering partially solves this problem for connecting to the Amazon cloud, although some key challenges remain.  Other cloud providers are investigating similar networking capabilities.

The next major issue with networking in the cloud is data protection.  In your data center, there is a secure perimeter defined and developed by your IT organization that is comprised of firewalls, rules, and systems to create a protected environment for your internal applications.  This is important because most applications need to communicate over ports and services that are not well protected and certainly not safe for general internet access.  Since applications are developed for the protected environment of the data center, it can be dangerous to move them unmodified into the cloud.  Under normal circumstances, the application owner or developer has to build protection on a per-server basis and enact corporate protection policies.

The loss of control of the infrastructure mentioned earlier has additional implications – in most clouds you can’t control the physical interface level.  That is, in addition to assigned IP addresses, you get MAC addresses assigned to you as well.  These addresses can change every time a server is started which means that the identity of the server (and associated IP addresses) cannot be based on this familiar attribute.
All of these networking issues are at play whenever enterprise applications require the support of your data center infrastructure – things like identity services, naming services, and access to internal databases and other resources.  Because of this, your cloud resources need a way to connect to your data center, of which the easiest approach is a VPN.  In building this solution, you need to design for routing to the cloud and provide a method for cloud applications to “reach back” to the applications and services running in your data center. Ideally, this connection would allow Layer-2 connectivity because a number of services require this level to function properly.

To wrap up this segment, networking, like storage, is a very important part of your IT infrastructure, and the cloud adds a number of interesting new variables to the design and operation of your data center environment.  What’s needed is a well-constructed architecture and a good understanding of the limitations imposed by the cloud if you want to integrate successfully with the public clouds.  Today, this can be a major barrier to cloud adoption since enterprises are understandably reluctant to re-architect their network environments or become knowledgeable about the complexities of each cloud provider’s underlying infrastructure.  When designing your cloud strategy, make sure to select a migration path that addresses these issues and protects you from costly engineering projects and cloud risks.

Original Article -

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Google energy monitor arrives in UK

Google energy monitor arrives in UK

Online tool allows householders to monitor energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, thereby reducing consumption and saving money. Google may be best known for helping you find things on the web, but the online search company's latest move is a bid to make futuristic low-energy eco-homes a reality.

Launching for the first time in the UK today, Google Powermeter is an online tool that allows householders to monitor their home's energy use and greenhouse gas emissions via the web, and so reduce their consumption and save money.

Already being trialled in the US, the free energy-monitoring service uses new smart meters, or an add-on clip for conventional meters, to send electricity consumption to a personalised iGoogle web page. Users will be able to check their energy use anywhere in the world via a computer or mobile phone.

The idea is that householders will be persuaded to stop overfilling kettles, switch appliances off standby and turn off unused lights after being confronted with their daily energy use. Studies by organisations including the government's Energy Saving Trust have suggested such energy monitoring leads people to cut their bills by 3-15%, potentially saving the average UK household £75 a year.

Google Powermeter is itself free, but will initially be available to British homeowners either by buying a gadget called AlertMe Energy or switching to first:utility, a small energy supplier. AlertMe's device works using a broadband hub and a clip for your electricity meter. It can be bought from today for £69 with a £3 monthly subscription fee. First:utility customers will have to wait until next month to try the service.

Powermeter works by showing graphs of a user's energy consumption over time – by day, week or month – and comparing it to their previous usage and regional averages. Ben Coppin, an employee at AlertMe who has trialled it for the last six months, said using the software had led him to switch off an unnecessary immersion heater that was costing £300-400 annually, and to halve his tumble dryer's energy use by switching from its highest setting to its lowest.

Jens Redmer, director for business development at Google, said Powermeter's value came from "immediate feedback". He told of testers in California discovering pool pumps they hadn't used for years but that were draining energy, and one woman who saved her apartment from burning down by detecting a burning toaster while at work and alerting a neighbour.

Redmer added that a social element could be a next step for the service, which keeps users' energy usage private. "In the future, one new feature could be friendly competition – why can't I challenge my friends to say I'll save 10% over a year, and then trigger alerts when they're falling behind, so I could ping them to encourage them?"

Pilgrim Beart, the founder and CEO of AlertMe, said: "Many consumers feel they can't protect themselves from rising energy costs or do anything to stop climate change. However, more than a quarter of all energy use happens in our homes and this gives consumers the power to monitor, control, and reduce the energy they use." Heating and power for UK homes account for 27% of the UK's carbon footprint.

Powermeter's move into the UK puts it a step ahead of Microsoft's rival project, Hohm, which is in a US-only beta trial and works by creating an online dashboard of energy data from partnered utility companies. Unlike Google's software, it covers both electricity and gas use, and you can enter your usage manually.

Enthusiasts have previously developed kits using open-source code that allow homes to post their energy usage to Twitter, and several companies sell energy monitors – such as the OWL and Wattson – which show real-time electricity consumption on wireless handheld displays. One such gadget available in the US, the TED 5000, already works with Powermeter.