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This Week in Cloud, March 10, 2011

VMware acquires WaveMaker, two new cloud platforms announced, how the LandsEnd CIO made his case for cloud, and more…

Feature Article
Leveraging the Cloud to Accelerate IT Renewal

By Vaughan Merlyn, Vaughan Merlyn Consulting

The Convergence of Consumer IT and Business IT
Information and technology are becoming ever more central to what a company (or government, or any organization) does and how it does it. IT for the consumer world (think iPhones, iPads, Kindles, Facebook, eBay, and so on) and IT for the business world are converging. After all, business people are consumers, their customers are consumers, and how we navigate our personal lives spills over into our business lives and vice versa. And as the new workers join the workforce, they do so with an IT literacy and a set of expectations about how they will work, collaborate and communicate. Read the full article.

Cloud News

  • VMware acquired WaveMaker, a start-up that enables users to build Java cloud applications without having to write code. Applications can be created using WaveMaker’s visual-development tool and then deployed to the user’s cloud of choice, according to this GigaOm blog.
  • Two new offerings pitched as cloud platforms were released this week: GigaSpaces introduced the Cloud-Enabled Application Platform to help enterprises launch highly scalable applications in its private cloud and to help ISVs offer their solutions as multi-tenant systems. Read this Information Week article for more detail. Also, Xen.org released the Xen Cloud Platform, an open source server virtualization platform, according to this Cloud Computing Journal article.
  • Rackspace announced a services division called Cloud Builders to deploy its OpenStack operating system and provide training and certification services as well, according to this ZDNet article.
  • A new survey of IT professionals from IDG research and sponsored by CA Technologies showed that many believe cloud computing is responsible for elevating the role of IT. Respondents noted that they expect IT to focus less on owning and operating infrastructure and more on business strategy and innovation. The survey listed new job titles appearing as a result of cloud, and highlighted a shift to a supply chain model for running IT.
  • SalesForce.com has launched Service Cloud 3, to allow companies to engage with users on Twitter, Facebook and through blogs, such as automatically creating a case out of individuals’ status messages for follow-up by a customer service agent. Read this ZDNet UK article for more info. Meanwhile, eWeek reports that SAP, Oracle and Microsoft are all pursuing similar social CRM strategies.

Cloud Views

  • This Information Week article chronicles how Steve Cretney, the CIO of LandsEnd effectively made the case for cloud, winning over a reluctant staff and skeptical finance team.
  • Microsoft Azure crowned fastest cloud service: After comparing the response times delivered by 13 cloud service providers with the same complex e-commerce application transaction, CloudSleuth found that Microsoft’s Windows Azure performed best. Information Week reports that the top 5 providers (which included Google AppEngine, GoGrid, Amazon EC2 and Rackspace) were all within 0.8 second of each other.
  • This report posted on Cloud Commons benchmarks the network performance of Rackspace regions in the U.S. and between local clients and U.S. regions, and details the data transfer costs associated with Rackspace.
  • This Bloomberg Businessweek article characterizes the cloud market as a war between Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google (which it dubs the superpowers of the cloud) and traditional infrastructure companies IBM, HP, Oracle, EMC, AT&T and Verizon.
  • In this blog, GigaOm analyst Paul Miller argues that private clouds are a short-lived phenomenon and that, ultimately (be it in 2 years or 10), public clouds will win in the enterprise.

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CloudCommons is an independent online community of IT professionals, analysts, technology providers, and industry experts. Members can ask questions, learn from experts, and find the latest cloud-related news. Cloud Commons offers a forum to contribute and discuss best practices and successes, as well as research vendor solutions. Sponsored by CA Technologies, Cloud Commons has been growing steadily since its launch in May of 2010.

Hosted on Cloud Commons is the Service Measurement Index (SMI). Led by Carnegie Mellon University, SMI encompasses a growing consortium of members. SMI compiles user-submitted ratings of cloud services and scores them relative to other services of the same type. Ratings include metrics such as: quality, agility, risk, cost, capability, and security.

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