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

AWS announcements at re:invent put competitors on notice

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