June 2016

BSS in the Cloud

Grazed from PipeLinePub. Author: Dr. Andy Tiller.

Today’s operators have spent decades building their networks and upgrading their IT systems to support more and more users looking for an increasing number of data-driven applications. At the heart of these systems is the BSS, the IT infrastructure managing the business processes that support the customer-facing applications. These include billing, CRM and customer analytics – all the touchpoints that can drive differentiation and have a direct impact on an operator’s brand value. So it’s understandable that operators perceive a high risk in transforming their BSS systems. And yet, that’s exactly what is needed as operators seek to respond to the threats and opportunities of the new digital economy.

Behind the scenes, a potential solution to reduce the risk and increase the speed of BSS transformation is starting to emerge. Most IT-literate consumers are already familiar with cloud-based services, from Office 365 and Salesforce to iCloud and Dropbox. Now many operators are taking note of the benefits of cloud computing as a potential way to transform their BSS systems faster and with less risk...

Cloud Computing: Microsoft Establishes Venture Fund for Early-Stage Startups

Grazed from eWeek. Author: Pedro Hernandez.

Microsoft is on the lookout for early-stage startups whose technologies complement its own cloud-first ambitions. The Redmond, Wash., technology giant on May 30 announced the formation of Microsoft Ventures, a formalized venture fund that will enable the company to finally address a gap in its corporate investment strategy.

"In Microsoft's history of engaging with and supporting start-ups, we've done a lot of investing, but not a lot of early stage. Because we would often invest alongside commercial deals, we were not a part of the early industry conversations on disruptive technology trends," admitted Nagraj Kashyap, corporate vice president of Microsoft Ventures, in a May 30 announcement. The new group will provide Microsoft with "a seat at the table," he added...

Top 5 Things to Know about Storing Information in the Cloud

Grazed from BusinessWorld. Author: Editorial Staff.

Although the idea of storing information in the cloud is far from new, many people still wonder about the wisdom of storing corporate data on something so ethereal. Ironically, many business people have a strong opinion about the dangers of using the cloud that is not based on fact or personal experience. In truth, using the cloud can free up your business from many of the limitations associated with on-premise infrastructures. Here are five things you should know about storing information on the cloud to give you a balanced perspective on cloud computing.

1. Cloud security

While a provider might provide cloud security measures like anti-malware, intrusion prevention, a host firewall, integrity monitoring, and log inspection, you still have to do your part to ensure that your data is secure. Unfortunately, many Don’t know what to make of technology and are often unaware that security measures require user participation. It’s up to you to define the level of privacy you consider important and you do have to follow through on security measures like using the two-step verification method that involves sending an SMS code to your mobile phone...

Cloud Computing: Salesforce Will Acquire Demandware For $2.8 Billion In Move Into Digital Commerce

Grazed from Forbes. Author: Alex Konrad.

As Salesforce continues to branch out into new types of cloud computing customers, it’s willing to pay steep prices to buy what it can’t build. The latest proof is Salesforce’s announcement on Wednesday that it’s agreed to acquire Demandware, a digital commerce company that had gone public in 2012, for $2.8 billion.

Shares in Demandware had closed trading on Tuesday at $48, meaning Salesforce agreed to pay a 56% premium, or about $1 billion, to snag the company that includes Design WIthin Reach, L’Oreal and Marks & Spencer as customers. The acquisition will create a new product line for Salesforce’s cloud software called the Commerce Cloud...

Agencies open up to OpenStack

Grazed from FedScoop. Author: Wyatt Kash.

Three out of four government IT professionals in a new poll say their agencies are now using cloud computing services. The new survey also found that a significant portion of the respondents have favorable perceptions about the cost, security and ease of deploying the popular open source software platform, OpenStack, for their on-premises cloud computing initiatives.

The findings indicate that open source technology, like OpenStack, is coming into wider use within government agencies, with about one-fourth of government respondents reporting that their agencies currently use open source technology for their on-premises cloud services. The technology manages large clusters of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter as an alternative to using proprietary cloud software...

Cloud Computing: Everyday quantum computing is years off - so why are some firms already doing quantum encryption?

Grazed from ZDNet. Author: Tina Amirtha.

Phone companies around the world are working to protect their customers' data from a threat does not yet exist: large quantum computers. Although the arrival of these advanced machines could be as far off as 15 years, telecoms companies are already implementing new quantum encryption algorithms.

These firms are preparing for the possibility that quantum computers will one day scale sufficiently to break through even the most sophisticated of today's encryption barriers. The most common quantum encryption method utilizes a technology called quantum key distribution, which can be implemented on existing fiber-optic connections...

The future of AWS’ cloud: Infrastructure as an application

Grazed from CloudTech. Author: Thomas Rectenwald.

Infrastructure as code has defined the last five years of systems engineering, and will likely define the next five. But as we became better and better at manipulating infrastructure with declarative languages, we started to look beyond JSON to find more full-fledged, dynamic programming languages to create and configure cloud resources. In many ways, this movement is mimicking the evolution of web development as web ‘sites’ became web ‘applications’; in a few years, systems engineers will be coding infrastructure applications, not hard-coding declarative templates.

What is CloudFormation?

Amazon Web Services’ infrastructure as code (IaC) offering, CloudFormation, enables engineers to manage infrastructure through the use of declarative templates, utilising the data format language, JSON. The value of this approach is tremendous. Templates can be checked into a source code management system, linted and validated using tools and IDEs...

Oracle: Whistle-blower Complaint Highlights Opaque Cloud Bookings, Says Citi

Grazed from Barrons. Author: Tierman Ray.

Shares of Oracle are down $1.57, or 4%, at $38.69, following reports late Wednesday that the company is being sued by a former accountant who claims the company tried to falsify its revenue from cloud computing. Reuters’s Jonathan Stempel, Yasmeen Abutaleb, and Sarah McBride report that a former senior Oracle accountant, Svetlana Blackburn, has filed a complain in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the former executive, claiming she was fired on October 15th of last year after she took exception with the company’s request that she “make Oracle Cloud Services’ results look better” by “adding millions of dollars of accruals for expected business ‘with no concrete or foreseeable billing to support the numbers’,” adding that executives above her added accruals on their own." Oracle released a statement following the article, attributed to Oracle communications director Deborah Hellinger, stating it will sue her:

We are confident that all our cloud accounting is proper and correct. This former employee worked at Oracle for less than a year and did not work in the accounting group. She was terminated for poor performance and we intend to sue her for malicious prosecution. In a note to clients today, Citigroup’s Walter Pritchard, who has a Neutral rating on Oracle, writes that looking at the complaint, it will keep alive some concerns about the opaque nature of Oracle’s cloud results:..

Read more fromt the source @ http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2016/06/02/oracle-whistle-blower-complaint-highlights-opaque-cloud-bookings-says-citi/

Cloud Computing: Oracle Falls on Lawsuit Alleging Accounting Irregularities

Grazed from Zacks. Author: Editorial Staff.

Shares of Oracle Corporation fell 3.97% in yesterday’s trading session, after the company was named in a lawsuit by a former employee. On Wednesday, Oracle’s former senior Finance Manager, Svetlana Blackburn filed a lawsuit against the company. Blackburn alleged that the company had terminated her service when she resisted some manipulative accounting practices in Oracle’s cloud-computing business.

Oracle in its defense stated that “We are confident that all our cloud accounting is proper and correct. This former employee worked at Oracle for less than a year and did not work in the accounting group. She was terminated for poor performance.” However, Blackburn, a certified financial analyst, claimed that she had received a positive performance review just a couple of months before she was fired in Oct 2015...

Selling Cloud - Why it’s time to change the sales compensation

Grazed from ARNNet. Author: Moheb Moses.

There’s a belief that sales people are coin-operated (i.e. they work purely on extrinsic rewards like their pay packet). While this may be true for some, my experience is that the best sales people are driven by intrinsic goals and rewards (achieving results, recognition, helping customers) with an understanding that the money will follow.

Good compensation plans reward success while enabling companies to weed out non-performers. But, equally, they should reward sales people for doing the right thing. There are countless stories of compensation plans that had unintended consequences from innovative sales teams finding shortcuts...

Amazon Web Services storm outages serve as a warning of cloud risk to businesses

Grazed from AFR. Author: Paul Smith.

Australian businesses have been warned they need to spread the risk in their cloud computing operations across different regions after the Sydney storms on Sunday knocked out the operations of numerous Amazon Web Services customers. The ferocious storms that hit NSW, left AWS clients including Domino's Pizza, Foxtel, The Iconic, Stan and Domain without websites or key systems for hours.

It served as a warning that sending systems to the cloud, rather than hosting them on-premise did not remove the risk of costly failures. The failure represents a major embarrassment for the company, which generated $US2.57 billion revenue in the latest quarter, based largely on the fact that it is perceived as being hugely reliable...

Intel Announces Xeon E7 v4 Processors For Mission-Critical Computing And The Cloud

Grazed from HotHardware. Author: Marco Chiapetta.

Back in March, Intel launched its Xeon Processor E5 v4 family of products, based on the Broadwell-EP core. We had the chance to evaluate a dual Xeon E5-2697 v4-based system with a total of 36 cores (72 Threads) and detailed some of the changes and new features in Broadwell-EP. As powerful as that 36-core system was, the E5 v4 family is not Intel’s top-end server offering. That designation belongs to the Xeon E7 v4 product family being announced today, which typically features more cores, more cache, and support for additional sockets.

Back in March, Intel launched its Xeon Processor E5 v4 family of products, based on the Broadwell-EP core. We had the chance to evaluate a dual Xeon E5-2697 v4-based system with a total of 36 cores (72 Threads) and detailed some of the changes and new features in Broadwell-EP. As powerful as that 36-core system was, the E5 v4 family is not Intel’s top-end server offering...

HPE edging out Cisco in cloud infrastructure space, argues research

Grazed from CloudTech. Author: James Bourne.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Cisco continue to battle it out for supremacy in the cloud infrastructure market with HPE having the slight advantage, according to the latest note from Synergy Research. The note, which assesses the most recent Q1 data, sees Cisco just ahead of HPE and Dell in public cloud hardware, but HPE more dominant in the private cloud hardware space, capturing more than 20% of the overall market.

In cloud software, Microsoft has more than 40% share and is streets ahead of nearest competitor VMware, but given the relatively nascent size of the market sees the Redmond giant in third place for the overall poll. Even though both HPE and Cisco gained market share in the previous quarter, HPE slightly widened its advantage, according to Synergy...

AWS Sydney's outage shows the value of a walk in the cloud

Grazed from The Register. Author: Simon Sharwood.

To understand the lessons of this week's Amazon Web Services outage in Sydney, which took down the local AWS cloud for a few hours, take a walk down Huntley Street, Alexandria, an unlovely street in a light industrial suburb. Huntley Street is interesting because its footpaths are riddled with an unusual concentration of telecoms duct covers that hide the wires and fibres bringing data into the Equinix data centre around the corner.

Another feature of Huntley Street is a bridge, currently under repairs, over a stormwater drain that feeds into a waterway called the Alexandria Canal. The Canal is at sea level, so Huntley Street is maybe a meter or two above the water. It's almost certainly below the hundred-year flood line. When Equinix opened the data centre it knew about the canal and the hundred-year line, because it told us servers there are all five metres off the ground so they don't get wet in a really big wet...

Cloud Computing: IBM Launches Data Science Experience

Grazed from CloudAwards.net. Author: Editorial Staff.

IBM has launched the Data Science Experience, a cloud-based development environment for data scientists. The project is available on IBM’s Bluemix cloud platform and is designed to deliver near real-time, high-performance analytics. Which will give scientists the opportunity to access and provide developers with “insight-driven models”.

The new project follows the introduction, in May, of IBM Quantum Computing. The experimental cloud-enabled quantum computing platform was designed to usher in the next level of computing power.

Helion Cloud Suite redefines HPE hybrid cloud strategy

Grazed from TechTarget. Author: Ed Scannell.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise hopes it has found a way to update the venerable HP Way for the new computing age, extending a helping hand for users navigating a hybrid cloud strategy. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) rolled out a handful of cloud-based offerings at its annual HPE Discover conference here that make it easier to deliver, integrate and manage a mix of applications that work with a range of cloud-based infrastructure -- and catch up with some of the company's heavyweight competitors.

The HPE Helion Cloud Suite lets IT shops deliver and manage applications from traditional on-premises to virtualized to containerized apps across a range of infrastructure environments. Unveiled were:

  • The new Helion CloudSystem 10 suite is a hardware-software bundle to help IT shops build and deploy cloud environments for a number of workloads...

Cloud Computing: AWS launches Migration Competency list of approved partner ecosystem

Grazed from CloudTech. Author: James Bourne.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched AWS Migration Competency, a list of more than 30 long-standing partners in cloud delivery, consulting, mobility and more to help customers with deeper migrations. With the AWS Partner Competency Program, which has validated that each partner has demonstrable expertise in helping enterprise customers migrate applications and infrastructure to AWS, the IaaS giant aims to reduce the complexity of adoption, with delivery partners including Cognizant and Accenture among others.

Kate Miller, AWS strategic communications manager, wrote in a company blog post: “Workload migration is a key milestone of the customer journey on AWS, and helping customers map out a clear and comprehensive migration strategy is a top priority in which AWS Partner Network partners can provide enormous support...

Cloud Computing: BitTitan Raises $15 million in Funding to Accelerate Rapid Growth

Grazed from MSPMentor. Author: T.C. Doyle.

Cloud services innovator BitTitan is taking a big step forward this week with the acceptance of a $15 million in Series A funding. The investment from TVC Capital and Tao Capital Partners marks the first time that BitTitan, which was formed in a basement nine years ago, has accepted seed money form outside sources.

The company plans on using the investment to fuel expansion overseas and help accelerate the development of its cloud services enablement platform, MSPComplete. “Our founders have literally thrown would-be investors out of our lobby previously, but decided now is the right time to accept investment that will help propel our company forward,” said Rocco Seyboth, vice president of product and marketing at BitTitan...

IT priorities 2016: Cloud initiatives drive IT spending

Grazed from ComputerWeekly. Author: Cliff Saran.

There appears to be strong correlation between moving to the cloud and cutting costs, according to the Computer Weekly IT priorities 2016 survey of 142 IT professionals and managers. The survey showed that 50% of those asked said they would be increasing spending on cloud computing, while 37% confirmed they would be decreasing their hardware investments.

As previously reported by Computer Weekly, in the UK and Ireland 38.4% of respondents named server virtualisation as their top investment area. And although 23% of those asked said they would be investing in more staff, 35% claimed they would be cutting their headcount, suggesting pressure remains in IT to reduce costs...

Cloud Computing: IBM takes Watson to Asia

Grazed from BusinessCloudNews. Author: Jamie Davies.

IBM has opened a new research centre in Singapore as it aims to expand its cognitive computing offering Watson into the Asian markets. The Watson Centre will be located in IBM’s current office at Marina Bay Financial Centre will help commercialize the cognitive, blockchain and design capabilities through partnering with local organizations and co-creating new business solutions.

The company claims the new centre will act as a hub for almost 5,000 IBM cognitive solutions professionals in the Asia Pacific region. Although countries like Japan and China would be considered more mature in their adoption of cloud and next generation technologies, there are numerous others who are in the early stages of adoption...