Cloud Services

Cloud Computing: Box to offer usage-based pricing, file conversion service

Grazed from Stephen Lawson.

As it heads toward an estimated $250 million initial public offering, cloud storage and collaboration provider Box is thinking outside, well, itself. The nine-year-old company introduced an alternative to its traditional per-user pricing on Wednesday, as well as its first service that doesn't rely on customers storing their data with Box.

Box has built its business on giving enterprises a place to store files for easy access and sharing by employees, partners and customers. It claims 25 million users. They can tap into the platform through Box's own software or integrate it with desktop and mobile applications using APIs (application programming interfaces)...

Military Green Lights Amazon Cloud Services for Defensewide Use

Grazed from NextGov. Author: Aliya Sternstein.

The Pentagon has authorized Amazon Web Services to rent computing space to all Defense Department components, company officials announced on Wednesday. The decision was based on past security tests conducted through the governmentwide Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, as well as an evaluation of additional Defense-specific protections.

Any contractor hoping to sell government agencies cloud services must pass FedRAMP by June. Approval signifies a system is safe for use governmentwide and comes with a reusable set of documented tests to prove it. Some agencies that determine FedRAMP protections, such as, perhaps, antivirus scans, do not meet their security needs can add more controls. The Pentagon is one such customer...

Cloud Computing: Windows Azure Will Be Renamed Microsoft Azure in April

Grazed from eWeek. Author: Pedro Hernandez.

It's official. Microsoft dives headlong into the cloud era by leaving Windows behind, even if in name only. Windows Azure, Microsoft's suite of cloud computing services, will soon float on without being bogged down by its sometimes divisive PC-era brand. The software giant officially announced on March 25 that beginning in early April, its cloud computing platform will be renamed to Microsoft Azure.

"This change reflects Microsoft's strategy and focus on Azure as the public cloud platform for customers as well as for our own services Office 365, Dynamics CRM, Bing, OneDrive, Skype, and Xbox Live," stated Steven Martin, general manager for Windows Azure, in a brief blog post. Microsoft will institute the change on April 3, day two of the company's upcoming Build conference in San Francisco, noted ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley in her March 24 report...

Google Cloud Platform Live - Blending IaaS and PaaS, Moore's Law for the cloud

Grazed from GoogleCloudPlatform. Author: Editorial Staff.

Today, at Google Cloud Platform Live we’re introducing the next set of improvements to Cloud Platform: lower and simpler pricing, cloud-based DevOps tooling, Managed Virtual Machines (VM) for App Engine, real-time Big Data analytics with Google BigQuery, and more.

Industry-leading, simplified pricing

The original promise of cloud computing was simple: virtualize hardware, pay only for what you use, with no upfront capital expenditures and lower prices than on-premise solutions. But pricing hasn’t followed Moore's Law: over the past five years, hardware costs improved by 20-30% annually but public cloud prices fell at just 8% per year...

Defense Department Deploys Secure Cloud Service

Grazed from InformationWeek. Author: Henry Kenyon.

The Department of Defense (DOD) is rolling out a new cloud computing service as part of its ongoing efforts to trim IT costs and provide more streamlined services to its military and civilian users. The service, called MilCloud, provides an integrated suite of capabilities, including the ability for users to configure infrastructure resources and manage applications on a self-service basis.

Developed by the Defense Information Systems Agency, the DOD agency responsible for managing the military's communications infrastructure, MilCloud represents the latest effort by DOD to reduce IT costs. But DISA officials also claim the service will provide agencies with more flexibility and control over how they manage their computing environments...

Microsoft woos small enterprises with Azure cloud platform

Grazed from BusinessLine. Author: Venkatesh Ganesh.

Satya Nadella has fired his first shot to take on competitors like Amazon, Google and SAP by wooing Indian businesses with its Azure technology. The newly appointed boss of the world’s largest software maker has outlined his vision for taking on competition by getting Indian enterprises and small businesses to adopt cloud computing through its Azure technology platform.

In line with this, the company announced its hardware trade-in scheme for SMBs in India through which these businesses can sell their old hardware for monthly credits that can be redeemed for using Windows Azure software. “We are at a pivotal time in our industry and users are relying on cloud and mobile computing technologies,” said Nadella, addressing more than 500 delegates through a video message at the Windows Azure conference recently...

Four Key Trends that will Impact Cloud Services in 2014

Grazed from BoxFreeIT. Author: Aimy Chen.

Large companies new to cloud computing favoured cloud services that provided more business value than just cost savings, strong security and customer support, technology research firm Ovum reported. “The conversation is now about how cloud can more precisely prove its business value once actually implemented within an enterprise – beyond providing near-term return on investment (ROI) and cost savings,” said the “2014 Trends to Watch: Cloud Services” Ovum report.

Vendors needed to collaborate with clients about a mix of in-house resource development and outsourced services in other areas. For example, a business might use public cloud storage for archived data and in-house storage for operational files. Enterprises contacted in the survey indicated they were considering moving more quickly to invest in infrastructure-as-a-service and software-as-a-service (IaaS and SaaS)...

2014 Cloud Trends Outlook - Future of Cloud Services

Grazed from TalkinCloud. Author: Asher Baig.

We talk about the “cloud” today just like we used to talk about the “Internet” back in 1996. Now the Internet is an integral part of our lives and we hardly even use the word—we talk about the applications and services it enables, such as web applications and services (we get more of our information from the Internet than anything else), instant messaging and Internet telephony.

Cloud is going through the similar rapid adoption. Cloud adoption is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 40 percent per year. Three years from now we won’t even talk about the “cloud”—we'll talk about the applications and services it enables, such as Office 365, Google Apps,, BCDR, mobility and file sync and share...

Cloud Services And The Hidden Cost Of Downtime

Grazed from NetworkComputing. Author: Frank J. Ohlhorst.

As any networking professional knows, downtime costs money. However, few know exactly how much money downtime costs. Estimates, calculations, and incidentals are all open to interpretation. This creates a lot of uncertainty. Cloud computing is a good tool to use here. Many IT pros are turning to cloud-based technologies to mitigate the cost of downtime. However, is the viability of a cloud migration backed by facts or based on suppositions?

The assumption that cloud services can reduce downtime is founded on the belief that third-party providers deploy all sorts of continuity technology that all but guarantees uptime. That belief, coupled with service-level agreements (SLAs) that make promises about limiting unscheduled interruptions in service, can give you a sense of security. The real question becomes whether that sense of security is false or justified -- and, more importantly, whether a value can be assigned to it...

Cloud Computing: Red Hat to take on Microsoft with .NET hosted service

Grazed from ITWorld. Author: Joab Jackson.

Challenging Microsoft's Windows Azure on its own turf, Red Hat is ramping up services that would offer Microsoft .NET and SQL Server capabilities on its OpenShift platform as a service (PaaS). Code to enable the Microsoft services is being provided by Uhuru Software, a company started by a number of former Microsoft executives and engineers that specializes in rendering Microsoft software as cloud services.

The Microsoft services will not be available immediately, and Red Hat has not set a date for when the capabilities will be ready, either on OpenShift itself, or as part of OpenShift Enterprise, a package for running OpenShift services within an enterprise, said Joe Fernandes, who leads product management for OpenShift...