Tag: cloud computing

IBM takes aim at cloud entrepreneurs

IBM logoB2B startups are being given the chance to get up to $120,000 worth of credit if they buy into the IBM cloud.

The company said it wants to provide entrepreneurs with “instant infrastructure” to launch businesses and use their resources to code, build, scale and bring their products to market.

IBM is also offering the startups the chance to connect into its enterprise client base which, it said, are always looking to startups to help them with their own problems.

The global programme includes access to BM’s Bluemix platform that includes over 75 runtimes and services. Bluemix provides integration with Twitter, high speed data transfer tools, application health and performance monitoring services and database as a service (DaaS).

IBM estimates that by 2016 a quarter of all apps will sit on the cloud and 85 percent of new software is built for the cloud.

Entrepreneurs are also being offered technical support and consulting using IBM’s 43 “Innovation Centres”, and incubator space in Silicon Alley.

IBM signs deal with Chinese cloud giant

Executives from Tencent and IBMA major Chinese IT player – Tencent Cloud – has signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate with IBM to bring Software as a Service (SaaS) for various industries.

Both firms will concentrate on emerging small and medium enterprises in healthcare and other fields.

Tencent Holdings is one of the major providers of internet services in mainland China, and its Cloud division sells to enterprises and developers a number of offerings.

Taosang Tong, a senior executive VP of IBM said: “Tencent has a stable and reliable cloud computing platform, while IBM has abundant industry expertise aimed at the enterprise.”

Nancy Thomas, a managing partner at IBM China said the two companies will bring scale and cost benefits of cloud computing to Chinese enterprises.  “The industry dimension makes this especially appealing for businesses,” she said.

Financial considerations were not disclosed.

Cloud wreathed in mist, myths

clouds3While cloud computing is touted by every vendor and his dog as the panacea for all IT ills, the whole subject is still befogged by myths and mystery.

That’s what market research company Gartner thinks, anyway.  In a recent report it said cloud computing is “uniquely susceptible to the perils of myths due to the nature, confusion and hype surrounding it”.

No one really knows what it is, said David M. Smith, a VP at Gartner.  “In the cloud means where the magic happens, where the implementation details are supposed to be hidden. So it should be no surprise that such an environment is rife with myths and misunderstanding.”

The first myth in the mystery is that not all cloud service pricing is coming down.  Companies can’t assume that the cloud always saves money.  The second assumption made is that the cloud is the be-all and end-all of IT, and using cloud services isn’t necessarily the answer to cutting costs.

Many companies don’t even have a cloud strategy and are just obeying the diktats of their CEO – who probably doesn’t have a clue about what cloud is anyone.  And cloud computing is not one thing – instead cloud services are broad and need to be analysed for their relevance.

People tend to think of cloud computing as less secure than having your data on servers in your premises.  But there’s evidence that security breaches are more likely to happen here than in trusted cloud services.

Data centre outsourcing, data centre modernisation and data centre strategies are not synonymous with the cloud.

Still confused? It’s hardly surprising, is it?

IBM brings in the clouds

Pic Mike MageeBig Blue said it has released or is just about to release a slew of cloud and Big Data analytics to the IT party.

It said that Cognos Business Intelligence, SPSS predictive analytics and Watson Analytics will soon be available on its Cloud marketplace. Currently the Cognos offering is in beta, and won’t be ready for action until the first quarter of next year.  And SPSS Modeller won’t be available for another 30 days.

What’s the Cloud marketplace?  It’s one place you can go to, or in IBM speak it’s “the digital front door to cloud innovation”.

Big Blue said that 25 percent of new business analytic installations will be as subscriptions to cloud analytic or application services by next year.

IBM wants a slice of that lucrative cake.

The giant said that it has five answers to five common problems for businesses including understanding customers, understanding operations, security, compliance and data warehouse modernisation.

Amazon invests in German datacentres

amazonsMany people might think that Amazon is where you buy your books, your Hue lights and your CDs but behind the scenes it is  becoming a major player in the datacentre business.

And now, according to the Financial Times, Amazon will build several datacentres in Frankfurt in a bid to allay customers’ fears that their data is housed in places where security and privacy are not as high a priority as in Germany.

The FT reports that the EU has much stricter data protection laws than other territories.  And, of the EU countries, Germany has the best privacy control.

A senior VP of Amazon Web Services told the FT that many of its German customers would prefer to have their data held locally. Although a figure hasn’t been placed on the German infrastructure investment, it’s believed that such a project will require a multimillion dollar investment.

US providers like Google, Rackspace and others compete with Amazon but are based in the USA.  Amazon is believed to generate revenues from its cloud business amounting to over $5 billion during 2014.

BT: business doesn’t trust the cloud

Every silver has a cloudy liningA survey commissioned by BT showed that 70 percent of businesses worldwide are adopting storage and web apps in their organisations.

But they’re far from confident about cloud security, the survey revealed.

Over three quarter of the IT decisions makers surveyed said security is the main problem about using cloud services.  Half of the respondents said they were “very” or “extremely” anxious about security surrounding their cloud services.

Half think enterprise cloud apps and services are too expensive. Half think trusting third parties a problem while as many as 40 percent think all cloud services are inherently insecure.

Why is BT interested in this? Well, you’ve guessed it –  BY has its own portfolio of cloud products and services which is – yes, you’ve guessed it again, inherently secure.

The survey was carried out for BT last July with 640 IT decision makers in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and other countries.  The companies each has 1,000 plus employees.

IT as a service makes the grade

Clouds in Oxford: pic Mike MageeA survey performed by Canalys says that 96 percent of respondents, mostly based in the distribution and reseller segments,  said they now offer “IT as a service”.

That includes managing customer assets on premises, or using hosting or public cloud services.

Vendors use the channel to sell their products and while reselling products is the most important set of sales for two third of channel partners, these types of sales are growing.

Rachel Brindley, research director at Canalys said that 58 percent of the firms surveyed think that managed services is more profitable than just selling software and hardware.  And by 2017, two third think IT as a service will represent more than a quarter of revenues.

But the channel isn’t stuck in the cloud. They fear that cloud providers will bypass their traditional value added businesses.

“Vendors developing go to market strategies for the cloud must ensure they are not increasing competition with their established partners but recognise this is typically delivered as part of a hybrid IT offering,” said Alex Smith, senior analyst at Canalys.

Watson becomes a Sherlock

ibm-officeIBM formally announced Watson Analytics and, somewhat modestly, said it was its biggest announcement in a decade in analytics.

The software is a natural language based service that gives access to predictive and visual analytic tools for business.

The first version of Watson Analytics includes a version of its cloud service for desktops and mobiles.  The service allows access to data warehousing services.

IBM said Watson brings together self service analytics capabilities on the cloud and refine it, discover insights, predict outcomes, visualise results, create reports and allow collaboration with other people.

The company claims that using natural language lets people ask the right questions and get results that can be read and manipulated.  They can then refine their questions.

IBM, Intel gang up on cloud

Clouds in Oxford: pic Mike MageeIntel and IBM said they will work together to improve security for cloud computing.

IBM said “SoftLayer” will be the first cloud venture giving bare metal servers using Intel cloud technology that will give security and monitoring down to the microprocessor level. Intel TXT is built for larger enterprises including governmental agencies, financial services companies and healthcare organisations.

The premise is that as large corporations move to a cloud and data centre model, they want to be sure that the computers are as secure as those managed on their own sites.

SoftLayer is an IBM company that provides a global cloud platform built to scale.  100,000 devices are under management, while 18 data centres in Europe, Asia and the USA are in that web too.

IBM customers will buy SoftLayer servers that have a trusted platform module installed.  Intel TXT will let such customers build trusted computing pools of IT resources in the cloud.

SoftLayer belongs to the Intel Cloud Technology programme and uses Xeon E5-2600 V2, Xeon E3-1200 V3 and Xeon E5-4600 microprocessors.

Russia insists that data is kept at home

Clouds in Oxford: pic Mike MageeThe Russian government has enacted a law which means that all cloud data must be kept within the confines of the country.

The move will mean that if US cloud operators want to work in Mother Russia they cannot send the data to their main warehouses in the US or EU.

Bill number 553424-6  specifies that “when collecting personal data, including information and telecommunications network, the Internet, the operator must ensure that record, systematisation, accumulation, storage, updated, modified, removing the personal data of citizens of the Russian Federation, in databases, of information located in the territory of the Russian Federation.”

On the face of it, it looks like the Russians are protecting their citizens from being spied on by the evil US spooks, but it also makes it easier for the government to spy on its own citizens.

Russia Today said the law could provide businesses with some major headaches.  Airlines, for example, rely on hosted software and software-as-a-service providers are not going to be keen to have to build new data centres.

The law comes into force on September 1st, 2016, giving Russian companies plenty of time to set something up.  It could be a boom time for local hosting companies.

Crucial launches upgrade push

Fond Memories by Raimundo de Madrazo y GarretaMemory company Crucial is making a bid to get people to upgrade their PCs via a survey it conducted.

Crucial polled 1,300 people in the UK, aged between 18 and 70. The survey was aimed at people working from home.

According to Crucial, the biggest barriers to working from home were difficulty accessing work files (36%); too many general distractions (33%); loneliness (28%); slow running computers (23%); poor broadband connections (17%); lack of space (13%); slow computer start up (13%) and poor access to email (10%).

The implication is that if people upgraded their memory on the PCs, their computers would run more efficiently.  Extra memory, however, doesn’t cure loneliness and lack of space. And as 36 percent complained about inability to access work files, it just goes to show that cloud computing has a way to go.

Big Brother is worth more money

orwellplaqueCCTV equipment is set to grow by over 12 percent during 2014.

That’s according to report from IHS, which said that revenues in 2014 for video surveillance equipment will be worth $15.9 billion, compared to $14.1 billion in 2013.

Niall Jenkins, a research manager at IHS said 2014 will show strong demand for fixed dome and 180/360  degree network camera products.

There are other trends afoot –including police forces need to manage crowdsourced video surveillance data.  2014 will be an important year for thermal camera technology, while there will also be more emphasis on audio capabilities.

Governments need to go cloud busting

cloudbustA report from Gartner said that by 2017 public cloud offerings will account for over 25 percent of government business services, not counting defence and security.

But CIOs need to get themselves into the debate on public cloud sourcing, and kick of sourcing strategies with politicos.

By 2017, predicted Gartner, 35 percent of government shared service organisations will be managed by private sector companies. Public private partnerships are already embracing infrastructure as a service but governments will move to integration and software as a service.

And, Gartner predicts, by 2017 as many as 60 percent plus of government open data programmes that do not use open data internally will be discontinued.

And if you’ve a job in government software development, mind your back, because at least 25 percent of such jobs will be axed while governments hire data analysts from outside.  Data analysis is now a high priority.

Capita signs on the Microsoft dotted line

datacentrebatteriesMicrosoft has signed up Capita to its global Cloud OS Network.

And Capita, as a result, has introduced a private cloud product called Capita Productivity Hub – yu can get it using the existing Capita Private Cloud infrastructure.

It lets UK customers using Outlook, Lync, Sharepoint, Word, Excel and Powerpoint to increase productivity, Capita claims.

The apps are used in a secure setting with data held in Capita’s UK data centres.

Microsoft man Maurice Martin said his firm is offering people the ability to use hybrid stuff working with local service providers like Capita.

Rackspace peers into its crystal ball

crystalballA VP at Rackspace has spread out his tarot cards and given his prediction on how the market will shift in 2014.

According to Nigel Beighton, VP of technology, the division of cloud computing into public and private clouds will be disrupted by the emergence of specialist cloud providers. They’ll target specific markets including finance, telecoms and retail – there will also be more application specific cloud based stuff – including cloud computing for CPU monitoring.

Platform as a Service is over hyped, thinks Beighton, but DevOps will be a better way of helping software development.

Mr Big Data will receive close care and attention from big tech vendors who will “take the time and complexity” out of operations and there will be consolidation of NOSQL technologies.

The NSA revelations will mean that we’ll see investments in better encryption – and that should allay some peoples’ concerns about cloud based platforms and systems.

Finally, Beighton believes that in 2014 everyone will go nuts about DevOps and that means developers and IT departments will have to work closer than ever before.

ChannelEye predicts that before 2013 comes to a close, we will see more predictions about what is going to happen next year.