Cloud Services

Spectra Precision Launches Central Cloud Service, New Software Versions

Grazed from GPSWorld. Author: Editorial Staff.

Spectra Precision introduced a new cloud computing service for Spectra Precsion applications. The company also announced new road modules for version 5.5 of its Survey Pro software and for Spectra Precision Survey Office. The announcements were made at InterGeo 2014, being held this week in Berlin.

Spectra Precision Central. A dedicated cloud computing service for Spectra Precision survey applications, Spectra Precision Central offers survey teams in the field and office the ability to rapidly exchange survey and project data with team members when and where it is needed...

Cloud Computing: Q&A - Meet Microsoft's new Azure CTO, Mark Russinovich

Grazed from PCWorld.  Author: Joab Jackson.

Earlier this month, Microsoft quietly appointed software architect Mark Russinovich as chief technology officer for its Azure cloud computing platform, formalizing a role he’s been executing for the past several years.  It was a smart appointment not the least because it may help ease any remaining concerns of system administrators reluctant to take on Microsoft’s cloud platform as part of their job duties. Among the Microsoft faithful, Russinovich has serious geek credibility. If Russinovich is behind the gears at Azure, it must be O.K.

Russinovich has long been one of the most popular speakers at Microsoft’s Build and TechEd technical conferences, thanks to his clear, cogent explanations of the company’s technologies. Russinovich joined the company in 2006, after Microsoft purchased his enterprise software company, Winternals Software, which offered a line of Windows repair tools that many found superior to Microsoft’s own...

Swagger 2.0 Connects APIs and Cloud Services

Grazed from Dr.Dobbs. Author: Adrian Bridgwater.

Reverb Technologies has announced its Swagger 2.0 API interface and coordinated one of the "largest ever" open standards workgroups in the API space, combining contributions from nearly 500 companies. "Swagger effectively solves the age-old challenge of machine-to-machine communication, which has become increasingly complicated with cloud computing," claims the company.

With Swagger, developers can connect mobile devices to literally thousands of Swagger-enabled web services. The Swagger specification, first released in late 2010 by Wordnik (a property of Reverb) has been the most successful API interface effort to date. Historically, WSDL, WADL, and WADL 2.0 aimed to perform similar tasks but (says Reverb) were "plagued with complexity" — and had limited adoption across different programming languages and frameworks...

HP offers OpenStack services offerings

Grazed from ZDNet.  Author: Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.

So, you think OpenStack is perfect for your company's cloud-needs, but you just discovered that finding OpenStack-savvy architects, designers, or even just administrators is like looking for the perfect New York style pizza... in San Diego.

As Tom Norton, HP's vice president of Helion Professional Services, said in a statement, "OpenStack technology is gaining traction in the enterprise, but the lack of in-house OpenStack expertise can be a barrier to realizing the technology’s full potential."...

Cloud Host Linode Adds Professional Services Support Option

Grazed from TheVarGuy.  Author: Christopher Tozzi.

As SSD cloud hosting and storage provider Linodecontinues to redefine itself, its latest move is the introduction of a "Professional Services" option that adds full deployment and management off-loading to the company's customer service offerings.

Professional Services is a fee-for-service support option designed to allow enterprises to hire Linode staff to perform work on their clouds. "Should a customer not have the time, expertise, inclination or staff-bandwidth to tackle essential sysAdmin duties, Linode can be enlisted to implement them," the company said...

The cognitive cloud? IBM rolls out Watson-as-a-service

Grazed from FedScoop. Author: Greg Otto.

People who use cloud computing on a regular basis are familiar with the suite of “as-a-service” options: Infrastructure-as-a-service, Software-as-a-service, Platform-as-a-service. IBM is ready to introduce another: Watson-as-a-service. IBM announced last week it has moved its cognitive computing system into the cloud to form the Watson Discovery Advisor, allowing researchers, academics and anyone else trying to leverage big data the ability to test programs and hypotheses at speeds never before seen.

Since Watson is built to understand the nuance of natural language, this new service allows researchers to process millions of data points that would normally be impossible for humans to handle. This ability can reduce project timelines from years to weeks or days. “We’re entering an extraordinary age of data-driven discovery,” said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president for IBM Watson Group, in a release...

Microsoft's Cloud-Computing Service Azure Experiencing Outage

Grazed from Bloomberg. Author: Jack Clark.

Key components of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Azure cloud-computing service are currently unavailable for users around the globe. The world’s biggest software maker said today that Azure, which lets businesses access computing resources and run programs via the Internet, is undergoing a service interruption in at least six of its major components in multiple data centers around the world.

Azure, which competes against rival businesses from Google Inc. and Inc., also experienced some outages in August. It’s unusual for cloud outages to affect more than one data center at once, and this is Microsoft’s most severe Azure interruption since some storage tools went offline in February 2013...

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Amazon makes an undisclosed investment in cloud services company Acquia

Grazed from GeekWire.  Auhor: Tricia Duryee.

Amazon has made a rare investment in Acquia, a Burlington, Mass.-based digital marketing company that operates on Amazon’s cloud services.  The undisclosed investment piggybacks on a $50 million round closed in May from major investors, including Sigma Partners and New Enterprise Associates.

In all, the company has raised more than $100 million over several rounds of funding.  The company said the money will be used to help deliver an open cloud platform for content, community and commerce.  Investments made directly by Amazon, and not Jeff Bezos, are fairly infrequent. Recent examples include small investments in e-commerce companies in China or India...

What's a cloud services broker, and why do you need one?

Grazed from CIO. Author: Chris Carroll.

The proportion of cloud services purchased through cloud brokers is growing, and Gartner predicts it will soon make up a substantial portion of cloud purchases. The appeal of a cloud broker is obvious: It allows the enterprise to leverage specialized expertise to provision expensive and complicated services. But what is a cloud services broker (CSB), and why do so many companies need one? What’s the impact of CSBs on IT, and should brokering the cloud be done externally or can it be as an internal IT function?

The Role of a Cloud Services Broker

As organizations continue to turn to cloud computing, the demand for specialized expertise to provision the optimal cloud offerings for enterprise business and technical requirements is rapidly increasing. This has led to the swift emergence of CSBs, who help the enterprise with all things cloud: from evaluating cloud service providers to negotiating contracts and documenting cloud vendor deliverables...

How free cloud services become free, currency-mining, DDoS-attacking botnets

Grazed from Gigaom. Author: Derrick Harris.

It’s no secret that the cloud has the potential to be a hacker’s paradise, chock-full of all the password-cracking computing power a trove of stolen credit cards can buy. Surely, though, this type of bad behavior can’t be carried out without any direct financial investment. After all, the free tiers on most cloud computing services are pretty minimal — a single core (probably fairly weak) and maybe a few gigabytes of storage. What can anyone do with that? A whole lot, if they’re clever.

At the Black Hat security conference this week, a pair of professional penetration testers, Rob Ragan and Oscar Salazar of Bishop Fox, showed how they built a functional 1,000-node botnet by stringing together resources from a variety of services. They used it to mine some Litecoin and could have done a whole lot more if they weren’t trying to minimize harm to other cloud users (by being noisy neighbors) or cloud providers (by driving up power bills)...