This Week in Cloud

CloudCommons 2012

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Cloud News

  • HP is planning to launch a mega cloud service to rival Amazon Web Services offerings. The new offerings will combine PaaS, IaaS and SaaS and will provide a full array of platforms, infrastructure and applications along with professional services, according to this Channelnomics article. This blog in the New York Times offers more detail on the service offerings, which are scheduled to launch within 2 months.
  • Microsoft’s post mortem into the recent Azure outage was caused by a security mechanism that didn’t recognize Leap Day, which set off a series of false hardware failure notices, according to this Information Week article. This eWeek article shares lessons learned from the glitch. Net net: Each enterprise needs to manage its own system as if it were all on-premises -- including all VPN networks, remote offices and devices, clouds and/or cloud services within it.
  • This article in Computerworld discusses the burgeoning market of SaaS vendors. Interesting takeaway from a general partner at Commonwealth Capital Ventures: It’s hard to know exactly how many new SaaS companies are growing out there because many startups are staying private longer because of the economy. Meanwhile, this ZDNet article describes SaaS moves by Oracle and SAP, but shares a concern that in the rush to the cloud, the offerings being promoted are largely a series of point applications rather than an integrated whole.
  • By 2015, consumer cloud services that allow users to store, synch, stream and share content over the Internet will be integrated into 90% of consumer devices, Gartner predicts in a research report cited in this Network World article.
  • Reuven Cohen, founder of the Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum, which fizzled in 2010, is looking to breathe new life into the group, according to this PCWorld article. This blog by Cohen highlights some of the struggles the group had faced (the post followed an uproar after the group signed on to the controversial Open Cloud Manifesto.

Feature article

Is your private cloud “flat-lined”?

By Mark Lukianchuk, CA Technologies

I recently spoke with a partner and we both agreed that there seems to be too much focus on building out private clouds and not enough in actually filling them up. Why does this matter?

First, the promise (and premise) of cloud computing is that an organization should be able to leverage a private cloud infrastructure as fully as possible, and through the magic of elasticity, burst out to public clouds as necessary. However, many organizations are still not comfortable with the idea of public cloud infrastructure, so everything remains in the private cloud. Therefore, the old adage of "buying big" applies just as it did with the traditional data center. As a result, a private cloud may have way too much capacity for day-to-day operations. Second, many IT teams still can't seem to figure out what to put into a private cloud. Read the full article.

Cloud Views

  • This Network World article identifies five signs that you’ve lost control over your cloud apps and you may need to invest in improving identity and access management: end users start sticking Post-It notes with password info, employees leave the company but access isn’t removed, managers aren’t approving data access for new employees, nobody is monitoring cloud-based applications, you’re losing accounts to the new employer of a salesperson who left your company.
  • Identity management in the cloud emerges as a hot-button issue for CIOs. This Network World article describes what organizations including Sallie Mae, American Red Cross and CUNA Mutual Group are doing to bolster security as they adopt cloud-based applications.
  • This Computerworld article explores what cloud computing means for IT jobs. Research cited: Microsoft & IDC studies saying that cloud will create 14 million jobs internationally (but these aren’t just IT jobs, they are jobs spread around the world across all industries). Also cited is a CSC report that concluded that 14% of companies reduced their IT headcount after deploying a cloud strategy and that 20% increased IT staff. In many cases, the impact involves a shift of responsibilities, rather than wholesale hiring or cutting.
  • IT execs understand the value of cloud services and videoconferencing tools, but are concerned about the strain those services put on network bandwidth, according to research published by Network Instruments. Read more detail in this Computerworld article.

MSP Corner

  • This MSPmentor article covers business continuity selling and planning essentials for MSPs.
  • CloudWords has launched OneTM, a unified cloud-based translation management memory solution to help businesses communicate worldwide, according to this Talkin’ Cloud article. The service could be useful for MSPs and VARs that offer website design and deployment services, unified communications services and applications that need localized language support.

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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.

ThisWeekInCloud is Cloud Commons weekly newsletter listing the industry events we felt worthwhile reading about. Read them here or subscribe to have it delivered to you inbox as email or as RSS Feed.