Gartner 2015 IT Spending Forecast Creates Cause for Pause

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jan 27, 2015 10:08:15 AM

Theoretically at least, a flood should lift all boats. But when it comes to IT services, the weight of that boat might make a significant difference.

Buried inside a new report from Gartner that forecasts that worldwide IT spending will grow 2.4 percent to $3.8 trillion in 2015 is some news that may give IT service providers reason to exercise caution. While the 2015 forecast is for a 2.4 percent increase in spending, that growth rate represents a significant drop from the 3.9 percent growth rate that Gartner had previously forecasted.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology, Cloud Trends

MSP reinvention: Why you shouldn’t settle for success

Posted by Achmad Chadran on Jan 20, 2015 10:54:13 AM

You’ve built up a healthy business helping entrepreneurs get the most of their IT. Your clients find solid value in your services and pay their bills on time (for the most part). Your people are diligent, creative, and thrive on collaboration.

Congratulations. You’re a star.

Still an opportunity exists for you to pursue new levels of customer enthusiasm and company growth.

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Topics: Innovation and Ideas, Business Development, Cloud Industry and Technology, Buyer Targeting, Differentiation

Leveraging Shadow IT

Posted by Ron Miller on Jan 15, 2015 11:25:05 AM

I'm willing to bet that the prevailing wisdom among many CIOs is that Shadow IT is a problem where employees are using unauthorized applications and putting the company at risk. They see it as something to be controlled, but if they were to look at it a bit differently, they might find their workers actually could be pointing them to some viable solutions.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Can Big Data help you manage your IT infrastructure?

Posted by Alan Earls on Jan 12, 2015 4:20:52 PM

Big data has garnered a lot of attention in recent years for its supposed ability to magically turn mountains of data into actionable business information. Hadoop NoSQL and Cassandra and a host of other emerging tools and techniques have made sifting data an ever-more-manageable task.

Now, some are wondering if all the streams of operational data produced by IT operations could be similarly parsed and mined.

It is both the expansion in scale and the heterogeneity of IT-generated data that is encouraging the big data approach. With thousands of virtual machines to monitor, it can be difficult to predict just what a new application added to the environment will mean in terms of security, performance, or compliance.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology, Cloud Trends

Cloud Computing drives concentration of data center co-location services

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jan 6, 2015 8:43:27 AM

The rise of cloud computing appears to be driving a wave of ongoing concentration across the traditional data center co-location market. A new report from 451 Research finds that six percent of the vendors providing these services now account for half the $25 billion in revenue being generated.

According to the latest data culled from a Datacenter KnowledgeBase (DCKB) created by 451 Research that spans 3,685 individual data centers from 1,086 global data center companies, the top 10 players account for 28 percent of the $25 billion in revenue and the top 60 players account for 52 percent of the $25 billion in revenue.The report finds that more than 1,000 additional companies generate the remaining 48 percent of revenue.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Application monitoring– Where the rubber meets the road

Posted by Alan Earls on Dec 22, 2014 8:30:00 AM

Users – and customers – care about one thing; they want their familiar and trusted applications to perform well and predictably. In the cloud, that’s usually not such a tall order. But there are plenty of exceptions.

That’s the focus of Application Performance Monitoring – born in the data center, but increasingly at home in the cloud. Cloud APM sees to the monitoring of resources that support actual applications, just like an on-premise APM. In the cloud particularly, the goal is often to identify user experience problems so that performance issues can be identified and cured.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Why performance monitoring is critical in a cloud-virtualized world

Posted by Alan Earls on Dec 15, 2014 9:09:00 AM

The old saw that says you can’t manage what you can’t measure applies just as much in the virtualized world as it does in traditional environments. But practice and tools are still in catch up mode.

Indeed, for a long time, IT pros could fly by the seat of their pants – looking at a range of indicators to get a sense of what was happening inside the server. But virtualization makes that a practical impossibility –there’s simply too much to going on. As a result, monitoring practices – especially server monitoring and the tools that support it – have been evolving.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

Solid state storage– Nice to have or must have?

Posted by Alan Earls on Dec 9, 2014 8:30:00 AM

For most organizations, solid-state drive (SSD) technology is still on the horizon rather than in the data center. But as costs have come down, the benefits of solid-state have become more compelling for some. The reason for the appeal of SSD is the perception of higher performance as compared to spinning disk drives, which generally seem to be supported by experience and the idea that solid-state is safer than an electro-mechanical spinning disk when it comes to the risk of data loss – a point that is not quite as simple to define, as will be discussed.

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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

OpenStack— Almost ready for prime time?

Posted by Alan Earls on Dec 1, 2014 9:54:00 AM

OpenStack is on a lot of minds these days. The “free” open-source cloud computing software platform has attracted substantial support since its launch in 2010 as a joint project of Rackspace Hosting and NASA.

Frequently employed as an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), OpenStack’s solution consists of several interlocking “projects” that focus on interrelated aspects of IT to control pools of processing, storage, and networking resources throughout a data center. Users manage their solution through a web-based dashboard, command-line tools, or a RESTful application programming interface (API).


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Topics: Cloud Industry and Technology

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