Consolidation coming to collaboration in the cloud

Posted by Mike Vizard on Nov 25, 2014 8:30:00 AM

For as long as almost anyone can remember anything to do with collaboration in the cloud has been fairly fragmented. But with the unfurling this week of separate cloud services from Cisco and IBM it’s apparent that a long overdue wave of consolidation of collaboration services is finally in the offing.

With the launch of Project Squared, Cisco is the furthest along in terms of delivering an offering that IT service providers can broadly implement. In the case of Cisco, the company is leveraging its Webex collaboration service base to create a new cloud service that allows end users to share messages, post files, and start voice and video calls. Files are rendered in the cloud and are immediately viewable alongside messages with no downloading of files required.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

AWS announcements at re:invent put competitors on notice it's not standing pat

Posted by Ron Miller on Nov 20, 2014 8:57:00 AM

Amazon's head of AWS Andy Jassy was asked about his deep-pocketed rivals, Microsoft and Google last week, and he made it clear he wasn't concerned about their money because in his view AWS could hold its own. He went so far as to say that some day, AWS would make more money for the Amazon empire than Amazon.com. All chest beating aside, AWS certainly let their rivals know they will continue to build out the product and the others can, well, bring it on.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology, Cloud Trends

The private cloud has always been a contradictory notion

Posted by Ron Miller on Nov 13, 2014 10:14:00 AM

Yesterday at AWS re:Invent, AWS Senior VP of Web Services Andy Jassy quoting IDC in his presentation, said "by 2020 the distinction between private and public cloud will disappear." It got me thinking where the notion ever came from in the first place.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

A tale of two cloud markets

Posted by Mike Vizard on Nov 5, 2014 8:46:52 AM

Many cloud service providers are convinced that when it comes to the pricing of cloud computing services, it’s a race to the bottom. But a new survey of 550 IT professionals conducted by Peer 1 Hosting, a provider of hosted IT services, suggests that at least half of the customers surveyed are wary of cloud hosting services that are priced too low.

Under the heading of "you get what you pay for," half of the respondents said they would not switch hosting providers for a less expensive option. Over 50 percent said they would eschew a price cut if it meant a reduction in the quality of the service being provided. In fact, both security and customer services ranked highest in terms of what IT professionals are looking for from their hosting providers.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Standards for the cloud: what's on the horizon?

Posted by Alan Earls on Nov 3, 2014 8:46:00 AM

The cloud has a reputation as a place of freedom. Little or no commitment, on demand service, and low to moderate costs for end users are its hallmark. Although, there’s a lot of complexity lurking in the cloud, and that fact has a number of groups working to develop standards that can help make the cloud more predictable, secure, and flexible.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Data sovereignty issues make the cloud a global endeavor

Posted by Mike Vizard on Oct 29, 2014 8:30:00 AM

One of the primary benefits of cloud computing is that it is supposed to centralize access to applications in a way that should reduce IT infrastructure costs. As it turns out, legislation around the globe is actually turning cloud computing into a global exercise for distributed systems.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Red Hat Declares Client-Server Computing Era Over

Posted by Ron Miller on Sep 25, 2014 9:00:00 AM

666727475_6c1ac1e577_zFor years, Red Hat has been the face of enterprise Linux and with it, one of the leaders in client-server computing, and while the company has clearly been shifting its focus over the last couple of years to cloud computing, it has been a company caught between two worlds. It appears that's about to change.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Cloud API Battle Enters a New Phase

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 16, 2014 10:10:00 AM

With the acquisition of Eucalyptus by Hewlett-Packard the whole debate over APIs in the cloud just got a whole lot more nuanced.

Eucalytpus got its start by promoting the adoption of private clouds based on the same APIs that Amazon Web Services (AWS) uses in its public cloud service. The basic idea is that in a hybrid cloud computing world it would be simpler to move workloads between private and public clouds if they shared the same API.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Celebrity nude photo hack proves little about cloud security

Posted by Ron Miller on Sep 3, 2014 8:38:00 AM

As though to prove that news breaks, even over a holiday weekend, word leaked Sunday about a huge release of celebrity nudes apparently taken from their iCloud accounts. For what it's worth, several of the hacking victims have suggested these are Photoshopped fakes, but whatever the truth, there remain many unanswered questions about how this could have happened. One theory that's been circulating suggests it was an iCloud hack.

And while Apple looks into the matter, and if it's at fault, it announced it closed a hole in the Find my iPhone tool where brute force protection was not implemented. This hack was published shortly after the photo release and Apple closed it shortly thereafter.

Other theories have suggested that it was a simple case of guessing passwords or using phishing schemes to gain access to accounts. That could account for one or two accounts, but it’s hard to imagine that all these starlets fell for a phishing scheme or use simple passwords.

All that said, there is so much we still don't know, but before you use this for your anti-cloud rant, step back, take a deep breath and understand this isn't necessarily a case of lax cloud security so much as proof of the sheer relentlessness of hackers.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Navigating the nuances of cloud pricing models

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 27, 2014 9:15:55 AM

For all the hype surrounding the cloud, the number of pricing options relating to how infrastructure as a service (IaaS) actually gets consumed has been fairly limited. In general, organizations could either commit to consume a specific amount of resource per month or be billed by the hour. Both approaches have significant drawbacks in terms of actually delivering what the customer really wants and what the cloud service provider needs to be be profitable.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology