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Cloud Brokers: #1 Cloud Revenue Opportunity?, Free EC2 for Beginners

This Week in Cloud

Feature Article
The first 200 servers are the easy part: private cloud advice and why IT won’t lose jobs to the cloud

By Jay Fry, CA Technologies

The recent webcast that featured James Staten of Forrester Research and Bert Armijo of CA Technologies and offered some glimpses into the state of private clouds in large enterprises at the moment. I heard both pragmatism and some good, old-fashioned optimism -- even when the topic turned to the impact of cloud computing on IT jobs.

Read the full article for some highlights worth passing on, including a few juicy quotes (which are always fun).

Cloud News

  • At Gartner Symposium last week, Gartner analyst Darryl Plummer talked about the need for cloud brokers, which would serve as an intermediary to facilitate transactions with cloud vendors, helping to reduce risk and providing SLAs. This ZDNet article says that Gartner expects cloud service brokers to be the largest revenue growth opportunity through 2015 and identifies some key reasons why the brokerage model makes sense.
  • Amazon Web Services is offering new customers a free ‘instance’ of its Elastic Compute Cloud Service for a year. This Datamation article provides more detail.
  • Google and VMware are collaborating to enable enterprise software developers to more efficiently build, deploy and manage applications in a cloud environment, according to this Web Host Industry Review article.
  • OpenStack, an open-source cloud computing initiative kick-started by NASA and Rackspace, and supported by more than 35 technology vendors, issued its first software release, named Austin. More detail can be found in this ServerWatch article and this The Register article.
  • IBM has introduced new cloud security services, including security assessments, an application service that tracks where sensitive data is in the application environment, and hosted and SaaS-based offerings for vulnerability assessment, security event and log-management services. This Business Edge blog and this Information Week article provide more detail.
  • Last week, Microsoft released cloud-based Office 365 in limited beta. Office 365 is a rebranding of the company’s Business Productivity Online Suite, which consolidates Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online onto a unified cloud platform, according to this eWeek article. This PC Magazine blog offers a play-by-play of Steve Ballmer’s keynote and Q&A at last week’s Gartner Symposium.

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Cloud Views

  • IDC released a report that cites 27% percent growth in the use of public cloud services and says that “we are ‘crossing the chasm’ with public cloud services moving from just early adopters to early mainstream organizations.” For more detail, read this Server Watch article.
  • According to this SearchCloudComputing article, Netflix is the largest commercial operation in the cloud as well as the biggest online distributor of streaming video. This video shows a Netflix presentation to the Silicon Valley Cloud Computing Group and includes information about their cloud architecture, their use of Amazon EC2 and Nimsoft to monitor their cloud environment and practical guidance about how to overcome cloud computing objections.
  • This Forbes article describes a few interesting cloud implementations. The City of Miami uses the Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform to host a computing-intensive mapping application of its 311 municipal information service. Varian, a scientific instruments company, leveraged Amazon EC2 to design a spectrometer in a single day, instead of the six weeks it would have required with traditional methods. 3M launched a web-based application using Microsoft data centers that enables graphic designers to upload logos and other visual designs and map the ‘hot spots’ that attract people’s eyes.
  • This Barron’s article explores the impact of enterprises’ faster-than-anticipated adoption of cloud computing on vendor revenue streams. A quoted analyst, Walter Price Jr., postulates that we could be heading for “another nuclear winter in tech spending.” HP, Dell, Oracle, Cisco and IBM are cited as the companies with the most to lose in the coming transition to cloud computing.

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