Monday, August 22, 2011
Here we are, it's another week and the Cloud keeps rolling.
- Sprint to launch Cloud services this year. Unlike it's rivals Verizon who bought themselves a "Cloud Service Provider" in Terremark, Sprint intend to offer their services from their existing datacenter capacity and will be offering collaboration software services as well as infrastructure as a service. There's no word yet on what the software offerings will be, but Sprint's customers are apparently crying out for this kind of thing "it's the no 1 topic of conversation" according to Paget Alves, Sprint's head of Business Markets. Choice and competition in the markets is always a good thing and will make sure that ALL of the providers continue to 'up their game! http://cnet.co/oio3v0
- Azure is to get cheaper for smaller organisations. Microsoft has announced that, as from 1st October, the price of the extra-small compute-hour will be reduced by 20%. Good news, but also announced is the new that all compute time will reported at the small compute-hour level. This does seem a little confusing but the easy way to think about this is that 1 small compute-hour will equal 3 extra-small compute hours for billing purposes and that customers will now be able to switch between the models based on their requirements. Over all this is designed to get more and smaller developers interested in using the Microsoft Platform for application delivery. http://bit.ly/pRbV1v
- It's the week of the Could operating Systems – or so it seems. Nimbula have launched their Nimbula Director as "the first Cloud Operating System able to run geographically distributed clouds, meanwhile Joyent believe that their CoudOS - which interestingly they've released into Open Source – is the "only modern OS". Now both of these systems have adopted KVM as the underlying hypervisor which makes them attractive for migration and adoption, but I'm still reserving judgement on the viability of these in the broader market. We'll have keep an eye on the new tech emerging though, you never know it might just work! Nimbula announcement http://zd.net/nGgx86 Joyent details: http://joyent.com
- Amazon continues to add to it's AWS portfolio. VPC – Virtual Private Cloud – is one, although I'm not really to happy with that choice of words.. And AWS GovCloud is another. GovCloud aims to provide US-centric services capable of being used by Federal Government agencies and departments. It's funny but I'm sure that GovCloud is already out there somewhere…
- An Office365 outage was caused by "a networking interruption" and scuttlebutt is saying that it was some Cisco kit which failed – although no-one is confirming or denying that! Microsoft are offering a 25% refund to customers affected but he 3-hour service outage and assure them that "the datacenter's networking facilities have been remediated". Now I keep saying that this is all good, solid learning experience and things can only be improved as a result, but really.. They aren't making our lives easier are they?! http://zd.net/oL2ciu
- And Finally! Yes I've another "and finally" cloud story for you.. An airport was closed this week when what was believed to be a UFO was seen overhead. The perceived threat turned out to be… well of course it was a cloud. A punch-hole cloud in fact, usually cause by aircraft transiting a layer of trapped water vapour – over an airport! Who'd've thunk it!! http://exm.nr/pxWqKr
TTFN – Out!
Monday, July 11, 2011
This week a post-vacation bundle of Cloud News. Security is becoming THE hot topic in discussion at the moment with recent intrusions, attacks and outages causing some justified pause for thought. My views? The services are getting better, but as the adoption level grows so does the 'value' of these platform to the muppets who want to either prove a point or make a buck or several off our data. I had an exchange on a LinkedIn group with a consultant who has taken the position that the legal aspects of security (standards, compliance, etc) offer no protection to organisations but simply provide recourse AFTER things go wrong. Cynical perhaps, but he's out there talking to organisations and providing advice on adoption so we have challenges out there!
- eWeek have put together a top ten ways to enforce security. I'm not sure they are actually the top ten ways, but they are a useful list for discussion and to use as a basic checklist in initial discussions on the topic. http://bit.ly/qZR72z
- Aurora is out there, but O365 integration is coming soon. The "Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials" product – I think Aurora is a little more catchy – is out there for small businesses to take on. The idea is that it's a server core with either local of cloud-based add-ons available (think CRM, email etc online and security and local policy management locally) however the O365 add-on which will ease the complexity of integrating the environments is scheduled for a 'fall' release. http://zd.net/nR0Bq4
- Many have cited a lack of relevant and portable applications for the slow uptake of Platform services link Azure. Microsoft have started to address this at the developer level with "Lightswitch" a Visual Studio product allowing rapid LOB application development for both local and Cloud deployment. http://zd.net/l699rC
- For those with an interest in forward looking reports, the Radicati group have produced a Cloud Security 2011-2015 report covering all kind of stuff. It must be good at they are asking $2,500 for it! http://bit.ly/m3uVGa for those with deep budgets and a significant interest.
- Security through separation. SplitSecure takes transactions and splits them into sensitive and non-sensitive elements, keeping the sensitive stuff locally and shipping the rest out for processing using cloud compute. This actually sounds like a nice idea! http://bit.ly/ktTlLj
Monday, June 06, 2011
It's been a bit quiet out there in terms of meat, but here are my picks of the week.
- An interesting piece about architecting for failure. This echoes the approach we've taken in our presentations and discussion which is that 'Cloud' DC's are statistical universes and that failure should be expected and mitigated as Business-As-Usual not a critical event. http://bit.ly/lxHumH
- Big business too (and SERIOUS business at that) is also significant in infrastructure services adoption and implementation. NYSE have announced their own IaaS platform for financial organizations to use. This is a nod of confidence towards Cloud Services generally. VMware picked this on up with their vCloud Director sitting at the heart of things. http://onforb.es/kq3UUQ
- PaaS doesn't get a lot of press, typically because it's not exactly interesting to most people. Those for whom it is of interest though will also be interested to see that the Scala programming language (as used by Twitter and Foursquare) and the Lift framework are to be supported by the Cloud Foundry PaaS platform. http://rww.to/lQBh0D
- Finally, Charles Babcock over at information week is disappointed that business execs aren't looking far enough ahead with their Cloud Service adoption strategy by limiting their scope to Private Cloud deployments. Using a recent survey conducted on behalf of Avanade he makes some interesting points about security including those organizations who've pulled back because of breaches or risks. There's some decent stats to be gleaned out if this too. http://bit.ly/mJEzWW
That's all for now, clear skies!
Thursday, June 02, 2011
The Department of Labour has released an RFI to gather indusctry information ahead of a proposed migration of some 21,000+ email users to a 'Cloud' service solution. Email is one of the three services the DoL has advised the OMB it will be moving to the Cloud, the others being web hosting and email archiving.
Currently each of Labours nine major departments operates it's own IT infrastructure and has Microsoft Exchange Server (either 2003 or 2007) implemented, it's these systems which the RFI sets out to replace.
See the RFI on FBO.gov
Monday, May 30, 2011
Yes, it's that time again when you all get my view of the weeks Cloud News.
- SharePoint and Hybrid Cloud Storage. The storage company behind this, StorSimple, seem to have devices and solutions which work for SharePoint and Exchange. I found these genuinely interesting and, I think, my first exposure to "Cloud storage" solutions which had a focus. http://bit.ly/kyb94K
- Veeam tools coming to Hyper-V. Veeam have, until now, been primarily associated with VMware in terms of visualization platform support. This has now changed with the introduction of their backup and replication solution for Hyper-V. This is good in a couple of way, firstly is shows hoe Hyper-V is growing in terms of significance in the eyes of other vendors and secondly, the Veeam solution gives the Microsoft DPM team a shove to continue to enhance and improve that product too. There isn't a huge amount of information around, but there is a video here http://bit.ly/ixuBcj which explains things a bit
- Rackspace are, once again, proving to be real leaders in delivering 'Cloud' services. This time they're launched Hosted Virtual Desktop based on the Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop solutions. I don't often pull quotes out into bullets like this but this one was significant… "… Rackspace got the customer up and running with 8,000 virtual desktops in about three weeks, and that the customer has plans to host 40,000 virtual desktops with Rackspace" Full story at http://bit.ly/kZm4Fx
- Cloud services mean more office space! This is a 'benefit' I'll admit I've never had in my list, but I'm sure it's quantifiable in some cases! A move to the adoption of Cloud services means that office space can be freed up for more 'productive' purposes that housing servers and there associated kit. Interesting perspective! http://bit.ly/jbj3sX
- Privacy of data held on cloud services is now being examined before the Senate as a Bill has been proposed to require a search warrant and just cause to be established before data can be accessed. I'm sure this will be much discussed before it's passed, but it's an interesting item if you're involved in data privacy. http://bit.ly/j9lCMz
- The need for solid, standardized education on Cloud is growing. Organizations ARE confused and I'm afraid Microsoft's "to the Cloud" ad's get another beating in this article. http://bit.ly/jwTZ3Q The great thing about this is, we've been doing the right things and already have the right language to use!
More next time!
Monday, December 13, 2010
Last Thursday (December 9th, 2010) The White House announced plans to restructure IT by consolidating federal government data centers and applications, and adopting cloud-first policy. The document, titled "25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology Management", covers many important subjects such as existing datacenter consolidation; development of shared services; adoption of cloud services and technologies; better IT program and project management, including human resources related issues; etc. In this blog post I would like to concentrate on cloud technology related issues. Overall, the plan serves as a strong endorsement of cloud technologies, highlighting their economic benefits as well as flexibility and speed with which cloud based services can be deployed. I would like to bring the following excerpts from the plan to your attention:
- Shift to “Cloud First” policy. Each agency will identify three “must move” services within three months, and move one of those services to the cloud within 12 month and the remaining two within 18 months.
- The three-part strategy on cloud technology will revolve around using commercial cloud technologies where feasible, launching private government clouds, and utilizing regional clouds with state and local governments where appropriate.
- When evaluating options for new IT deployments, OMB will require that agencies default to cloud-based solutions whenever a secure, reliable, cost-effective cloud option exists. To facilitate this shift, we will be standing up secure government-wide cloud computing platforms.
- Each Agency CIO will be required to identify three “must move” services and create a project plan for migrating each of them to cloud solutions and retiring the associated legacy systems. Of the three, at least one of the services must fully migrate to a cloud solution within 12 months and the remaining two within 18 months.
- Federal, state, and local governments will soon have access to cloud-based Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings. GSA’s IaaS contract award allows 12 vendors to provide government entities with cloud storage, virtual machines, and web hosting services to support a continued expansion of governments’ IT capabilities into cloud computing environments. (1)
- The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) E-mail Working Group, formed in June 2010, has begun to identify and develop the set of baseline functional and technical requirements for government-wide cloud email solutions... Within 12 months, GSA will utilize these requirements to stand up government-wide contract vehicles for cloud-based email solutions.
(1) More information about the various services being offered will be available here. And here's the link to the press release that outlines vendors selected - http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/193441. By the way, there seems to be a small discrepancy - while CIO's plan references 12 vendors, GSA's press release only indentifies 11:
- Apptis Inc. partnered with Amazon Web Services
- Autonomic Resources partnered with Carpathia, Enomaly, and Dell
- CGI Federal Inc.
- Computer Literacy World partnered with Electrosoft, XO Communications and Secure Networks
- Computer Technologies Consultants, Inc., partnered with Softlayer, Inc.
- Eyak Tech LLC
- General Dynamics Information Technology partnered with Carpathia
- Insight Public Sector partnered with Microsoft
- Savvis Federal Systems
- Verizon Federal Inc.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Awesome news and a great addition to the Cloud Services Ecosystem!
The Microsoft Office Division is unveiling the brand for the next version of BPOS, Office 365, now via Webcast at: News Webcast Tuesday, October 19, 8.00 a.m.–8.30 a.m. PST, Live via Webcast: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/office