May 2015

Is Cloud-Based Simulation Affordable Enough to Dominate the Start-up Market?

Grazed from Engineering. Author: Shawn Wasserman.

SimScale appears to be the latest to target its CAE tools to individual consultants and small companies. These users will have access to the web-based simulation platform, training and support from SimScale’s team of consultants. "Engineering simulation is now available not just for the largest companies, but for start-ups,” said David Heiny, managing director of SimScale.

“CAE simulation can help start-ups bring their designs to reality more quickly than ever before. The start-ups that we are working with are creating a wide range of projects, including structural mechanics and thermodynamics designs." The key features from SimScales’s product are similar to other cloud-based simulation offerings:...

4 predictions for the immediate future of cloud computing

Grazed from InfoWorld. Author: David Linthicum.

Predictions tend to be more of an end-of-the-year activity, but I took some time to write down a few ideas and their likely outcomes based on patterns in the market that we can currently see. Here are a few to consider. There will be more market convergence around Google, AWS, and Microsoft. This is as easy to call as the sunset. Enterprises moving to public clouds are largely going with these three companies.

Moreover, the big three are placing their technology bets in cloud computing right now, and this will continue for the foreseeable future. Many thought this would be race of a dozen or so public cloud providers, but the market has taken care of most of them. Indeed, smaller cloud providers, such as Rackspace, could not keep up with the investment and have moved to a narrower and more niche-oriented focus...

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Connecting animals to the cloud could help predict earthquakes

Grazed from Author: Yijun Yu.

The recent earthquake in Nepal demonstrated yet again how difficult it is to reliably predict natural disasters. While we have a good knowledge of the various earthquakes zones on the planet, we have no way of knowing exactly when a big quake like the 7.8-magnitude event in Nepal will happen.

But we know that many animals seem able to sense the onset of such events. We could use powerful computers to monitor herds of animals and make use of their natural instincts to provide forewarning of natural disasters. Immediately before an earthquake, herds of animals often start to behave strangely – for example suddenly leaving their homes to seek shelter. This could be because they detect small, fast-travelling waves or because they sense chemical changes in ground water from an impending earthquake...

6 cloud sourcing archetypes

Grazed from ComputerWorld. Author: Stanton Jones.

What does a typical enterprise cloud services buyer look like? It’s a tricky question to answer. Cloud services are everywhere: in the data center, in development teams, in shared services organizations on manufacturing floors. It’s also delivered in many different ways: as software, as infrastructure that behaves like software and as business processes supported by cloud software. Complicating matters further, what one buyer may call cloud another may call a rack of dedicated, virtualized servers, making the line of demarcation between “cloud” and “traditional” very blurry.

Regardless how one chooses to define this boundary, cloud is permeating just about every corner of the enterprise, and the buyers that are driving this transformation are as varied as the functions they represent. However, buying “archetypes” are starting to emerge. Here are six of the most common:...

Salesforce Acquisition: 'End Of Beginning' For Cloud

Grazed Forbes. Author: Jason Bloomberg.

In the days since a Bloomberg article let slip that CRM +0.47% might be on the block, there has been no end of punditry regarding potential suitors. Oracle is the most likely – except it’s not. Salesforce’s Benioff had lunch with Microsoft’s Nadella – only perhaps it was dinner. IBM IBM +0.88%,, or perhaps even SAP are in the mix. Only it’s not SAP. Apple anyone?

The more interesting question, however, isn’t who, it’s why. Oracle ORCL +0.96% and Microsoft MSFT +0.06% are looking to beef up cloud computing operations, according to a Reuters article. It certainly couldn’t be because Salesforce has a booming business, as it lost $263 million in 2014, with no turnaround in sight...

HP Brings New Storage Capabilities to OpenStack Kilo for Cloud Computing

Grazed from FineChannel. Author: Editorial Staff.

HP on April 30 announced it has made multiple contributions to the OpenStack Kilo release, including new converged storage management automation and new flash storage technologies to support flexible, enterprise-class clouds. Drivers such as data growth, software-defined data center technologies, and the Internet of Things continue to fuel cloud adoption.

Enterprises are deploying OpenStack technology to overcome private and public cloud challenges, including costly vendor lock-in, lack of control or customizability, and inability to scale applications for the cloud, according to HP. As a testament to the company’s ongoing commitment to open source cloud technology, HP is a Platinum Founding member of the OpenStack Foundation and a key contributor to multiple OpenStack projects, including funding, code, reviews, testing, and training...

Cloud Computing: With Apple at Its Side, IBM Grasps for a Shiny New Future

Grazed from Wired.  Author: Jessi Hempel.

On a recent morning in downtown Manhattan, IBM’s Virginia Rometty and Apple’s Tim Cook sit on a small riser, each leaning back slightly with legs crossed. Between them sits Taizo Nishimuro, an older Japanese man with heavy black orthopedic shoes and an elegant cane. Nishimuro helms the Japan Post, a company that owns the country’s postal service, a bank, and its largest life insurer.

We are gathering to hear the trio make an announcement that, just by virtue of their attendance, must be important.  But it also feels a bit curious: what could be this important?  The venue is IBM’s new global headquarters, a 12-story glass tower designed by the Pritzker-Prize winning architect Fumihiko Maki. It sits just across the way from Facebook’s Silicon Alley outpost in Astor Place, eight blocks south of Google’s New York offices...

Cloud Computing: Threat Assessment

Grazed from CFO.  Author: David M. Katz.

In a February editorial about the buildup of cyber attacks between the United States and Iran, The New York Times quoted President Obama’s observation that, compared with conventional weaponry, cyberweapons provide “no clear line between offense and defense.” For example, getting into the enemy’s networks to exploit its weakness and disable its ability to attack you is both offense and defense.

Citing “major banks, Sony Pictures Entertainment, [and] an electrical utility,” the newspaper observed that such recent examples reveal that even corporate computer systems once considered impregnable are vulnerable to attack.  In the borderless world of information technology, in fact, computer-security specialists and corporate risk managers have begun working on the assumption that it’s impossible for companies to keep their networks completely free from penetration...

Cloud Computing: Layer 4-7 network orchestration - Are we there yet?

Grazed from TechTarget.  Author: Jessica Scarpati.

Networks have developed a middle-child syndrome over the years.  Ever since the first server virtualization platforms allowed systems administrators to easily spin up or decommission virtual machines (VMs) within minutes, the data center solidified its place as the golden child, representing agility and efficiency in infrastructure. It paved the way for cloud computing, putting more pressure on IT to be responsive to dynamic environments.

While virtualization soon seeped into other parts of IT like storage and desktops, the network was largely ignored. Although Layer 4-7 appliance vendors released virtualized versions of their products -- virtual firewalls, virtual load balancers, virtual WAN optimization controllers and so forth -- their primary focus was on reducing expenses, not improving agility. Networking as a whole remained frozen in hardware governed by static architectures, and most attempts to innovate focused on moving bits faster...

Cloud Computing: IoT - Device-Focused or Service-Focused?

Grazed from SysCon Media.  Author: Editorial Staff.

Everyone’s talking about the Internet of Things recently, but one topic I don’t see addressed much is the difference between Service-Focused IoT and Device-Focused IoT. The concept of “The Internet of Things” has always been about vast, heterogeneous networks of small, limited-purpose devices. However, there is a growing need to further differentiate IoT into the two delivery models.

In my previous blog, I discussed how hardware manufacturers are able to leverage IoT and recurring revenue to further lock in customers, increase lifetime value, and raise exit barriers around their services. However, these examples all require the service provider to also be some sort of hardware manufacturer. Nest (the popular smart thermostat company) is fantastic, but you must buy a Nest-branded device in order to leverage Nest cloud services...

Are Microsoft, VMware and Red Hat better value than OpenStack distributions?

Grazed from ComputerWorld.  Author: James Henderson.

Are Microsoft, VMware and Red Hat better value than OpenStack distributions for total cost of ownership?  That’s the key question circulating the cloud market following the launch of 451 Research’s latest Cloud Price Index, billed as one of the most rigorous and comprehensive analysis of the cost of cloud computing.

According to findings, the typical cost of small-scale enterprise private clouds powered by VMware, Red Hat and Microsoft are all within half a cent of each other at about US$0.10 per virtual-machine hour while OpenStack distributions cost, on average, $0.08 per VM hour, a 20 percent saving...

How to optimize app performance in multi-cloud environments

Grazed from NetworkAsia.  Author: Editorial Staff.

Cloud service providers (CSPs) serving a growing a customer base must be prepared to tackle challenges that are inherent in widespread cloud adoption and optimize their service performance. One key success factor is interconnection – the ability to connect to customers, networks and each other in an instant.

This year, tactical cloud computing benefits, such as elastic capacity, utility pricing and deferred capital investments, are no longer enough, according to Frost & Sullivan’s Stratecast practice. Enterprises will seek out providers that support greater end-to-end performance, visibility, and accountability to help drive their strategic goals...

New Cloud Security Certification In A Maturing Industry

Grazed from CloudTweaks. Author: Editorial Staff.

Cloud security certification is getting a new dimension. At the RSA conference earlier this month the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and (ISC)² announced a new cloud security certification: Certified Cloud Security Professional, or CCSP for short. (ISC)² is most famous for its flagship certification: Certified Information Systems Security Professional or CISSP. More than 100,000 professionals maintain this certification and it is widely recognized. The Cloud Security Alliance pioneered the cloud security field a few years ago, and runs the CCSK (Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge) programme. The CCSP body of knowledge covers 6 domains:

  • Architectural Concepts and Design Requirements
  • Cloud Data Security
  • Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Security
  • Cloud Application Security
  • Operations
  • Legal and Compliance...

Cloud Computing: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on IT transformation, Amazon, and being a 'Windows company'

Grazed from Fortune. Author: Barb Darrow.

We live in strange times. Companies are increasingly running applications on computers owned and operated by another company. Employees tend to look upon their colleagues in information technology as more of a nuisance than an asset. Satya Nadella thinks his company can help make sense of it all.

On Monday, at Microsoft’s Ignite conference in Chicago, the chief executive will directly address those tech professionals who make sure email gets where it needs to go and that corporate databases keep chugging along. To them Nadella will issue a reminder that even though many dollars budgeted for technology are now flowing to marketing or other corporate departments, that doesn’t mean IT spending is down overall or that the need for tech specialists has evaporated. Quite the contrary...

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Top tools to manage cloud apps

Grazed from NetworkWorld. Author: Susan Perschke.

Once moved to the cloud, applications become more challenging to manage. Cloud app performance management and performance monitoring tools help identify bottlenecks and other performance metrics. Good tools can help determine if bottlenecks are isolated to the application itself or if there are system-wide issues with a particular provider.

The most granular tools can even do a deep-dive into the app to see if individual processes, such as database queries, are running optimally. For this review, we tested four commercial products, Exoprise CloudReady, AppNeta, ThousandEyes and Dynatrace. We focused mainly on ease of deployment, day-to-day management, overall features and cost...

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Can Microsoft convince IT pros to make the tricky transition to the cloud?

Grazed from Fortune. Author: Barb Darrow.

Given the hype, you might think that all applications and data in the universe are now sitting in someone’s cloud. But you would be wrong. The corporate world is at the beginning of the cloud computing era and tons of applications—especially those at the largest businesses—still run in server rooms or data centers operated by the companies in question.

And, that fact, along with pre-existing relationships with information technology (IT) pros who manage all of it, give Microsoft MSFT -0.08% a big advantage over born-in-the-cloud providers, according to CEO Satya Nadella. Thousands of companies run Microsoft SQL Server databases, SharePoint file sharing, Exchange email, System Center management, and other services on their premises...

Cloud Computing: Cisco chief John Chambers steps aside after 20 years

Grazed from FT. Author: Richard Waters.

Cisco Systems on Monday brought the curtain down on one of Silicon Valley’s longest-running chief executive acts as it announced that John Chambers would step aside after 20 years. However, in an unusual division of power that leaves him at the centre of the networking equipment company’s leadership, Cisco said Mr Chambers would stay on as full-time chairman.

Mr Chambers, who built Cisco from a small maker of internet routers into the world’s biggest networking equipment company, will hand the chief executive title to Chuck Robbins, head of the company’s global sales division, on July 26. In an apparent attempt to head off concerns about what his involvement would be in the company’s management after the reshuffle, Cisco said Mr Chambers would “devote his time to supporting Robbins”, as well as dealing with the company’s customers and governments around the world...

Google Backs Alternative To Docker, Cloud Computing's Next Big Thing

Grazed from Wired. Author: Cade Metz.

FOR MANY, DOCKER is the next big thing in cloud computing. But some big names—most notably Google—are now backing an alternative to this enormously-influential technology. In December, one of Docker’s earliest supporters, the Silicon Valley startup CoreOS, unveiled an open source project called Rocket.

CoreOS founder and CEO Alex Polvi felt that Docker had strayed from its original mission, and with Rocket, he and his colleagues hoped to bring that mission back to the fore. Five months later, Google has put its considerable weight behind this effort, officially joining the Rocket open source project and rolling the technology into one of its cloud computing tools...

Researcher Develops New Cloud Security Method for Mobile Users

Grazed from Author: Editorial Staff.

A UC Merced researcher has come up with a new, super-efficient encryption system for smart phones that lets users secure data being sent to and retrieved from the cloud. Encrypting data on your phone or tablet — including pictures, documents and videos — protects against the kinds of leaks and hacks that seem to be in the news almost every week. But those devices have energy and storage limits, and encryption systems can be costly.

In the Cloud LabOpens a new window at UC Merced, graduate student Mehdi Bahrami, who works with Chancellor’s Professor Mukesh Singhal in the School of Engineering, devised a new lightweight data privacy method for mobile clients to store data in one or multiple clouds without using a lot of a mobile device’s resources...

Cloud Revolution, Predicted In 1961, Marches Forward

Grazed from InformationWeek. Author: Sean McGrath.

It may surprise you to learn that the roots of cloud computing were planted well before the term made it into everyday speech. J.C.R. Licklider, one of the key developers of ARPANET, envisioned a global network capable of computation, while Professor John McCarthy said at MIT's centennial celebration in 1961:

"Computing may someday be organized as a public utility just as the telephone system is a public utility. Each subscriber needs to pay only for the capacity he actually uses, but he has access to all programming languages characteristic of a very large system … Certain subscribers might offer service to other subscribers …