Tag: Cloud

Cloud Distribution expands into Blackberry security

Samsung Browses BlackberryCloud Distribution has developed its relationship with BlackBerry to take on board the vendor’s latest security products.

The distributor has been flogging BlackBerry Workspaces for three years but will now add the vendor’s Secure platform to the portfolio.

Blackberry is getting out of the mobile hardware business and into software and last month stepped up its cybersecurity services to protect privacy and data assets and also help customers gain GDPR compliance.

Cloud Distribution, sales director Adam Davison said that his outfit was building on its Workspaces relationship with BlackBerry.

He added that it would be using its Altitude Marketing programme to make sure partners were given support around the Secure platform.

“There is a full schedule of joint marketing campaigns and initiatives underway to help partners stimulate interest and accelerate pipeline growth”,  he said.

Richard McLeod, vice president of global enterprise software channels at BlackBerry, said that the expanded relationship was all part of its commitment to the channel and efforts to reach out to more resellers.

“The expanded relationship with Cloud Distribution signifies our continued investment in strategic partnerships with industry leaders, enabling us to enhance our channel partner ecosystem and provide business customers with the best possible experience within their respective market”, he said.

“Cloud Distribution’s security specialists have proven they can address challenges in today’s complex and sophisticated business environments”, he added.

 

Cloudy UKFast has a stake in Reconfigure start-up

56f884651f7b35416b9b4ca955d350b3--pom-pom-mobile-cloud-mobileCloud firm UKFast is taking a stake in a start-up which accelerates the processing abilities of servers.

Reconfigure.io is based in Manchester, with a 13-strong global team, including developers in the US. The move makes UKFast the largest single investor in Reconfigure.io’s current funding round.

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones said that it was an exciting investment for UKFast and for the future of the internet.

“There are only so many times you can launch a new chip with increased processing power or add more cores. Reconfigure.io is unlocking the technology that supports growth in virtual reality, big data and machine learning. There is an incredible future ahead for these guys.”

UKFast is committed to speeding up the internet and Reconfigure.io is facilitating the technology to make that happen.

“We’ll be looking to use it in our products as we look to integrate greater use of AI and machine learning. Reconfigure.io is set to make a huge difference to a lot of businesses”, he said.

Field-programmable gate arrays can perform several tasks at the same time, providing speed enhancements over the same code running on traditional CPUs. Reconfigure.io lets users programme FPGAs with Go – a simpler programming language than more complex code.

Common applications for FPGAs include AI and machine learning, cloud monitoring, data analytics and the Internet of Things.

Reconfigure.io CEO Rob Taylor said that he is looking forward to building a working partnership and creating the next generation of computing infrastructure.

“We aim to bring on investors who add value to our business and having this relationship with UKFast opens many major doors”, Taylor said.

 

Reseller cloud skills thin on the ground

Every silver has a cloudy liningResellers peddling cloud services are finding it hard to get skilled staff.

Beancounters at intY at its recent CloudFest event found that 51 percent of resellers  felt that they had been given a competitive edge by selling cloud services. But a third said there was a lack of skilled staff to help support sales of cloud solutions . Another third admitted they did not have enough people on the ground to support their sales plans.

intY COO Craig Joseph said: ” The lack of skills in both sales and support of cloud services presents a double threat. Resellers who can’t offer a convincing and seamless cloud solution to their customer’s risk being forced out of the marketplace completely, and missing out on the potentially huge revenue streams to come from cloud computing. We believe that it is our duty as a value add distributor to help our resellers upskill their staff and give them the tools they need to succeed in the market.”

The result findings are confirming what even big players like Cisco are noticing. While everyone and their dog wants to have a cloud compontent to their business there are too few people out there who know what one really is and how to build it for customers.

Cloudy ANS banked £60 million

56f884651f7b35416b9b4ca955d350b3--pom-pom-mobile-cloud-mobileCloud and managed service provider ANS saw sales grow 35.7 percent in its last financial year, taking it to a revenue of £60 million.

For the full year ending 31 March, 2017 ANS recorded a revenue of just under £62.7 million, while adjusted EBITDA rocketed over 80 percent to £12.3 million.

The growth was driven partly by the integration of Eison, which ANS acquired in 2016 and ANS’ cloud readiness assessment services.

ANS has been attempting to shift from low-margin sales to higher-margin services and drew 70 percent of its profit from cloud and services.

The company hit on a wizard wheeze of providing a service to tell clients what applications can live in the cloud as they are, which ones they need to eradicate and replace with a new app, and those should not be cloud-based.

Its customers instead of doing a straight tech refresh, are including cloud whether it is a small or large percentage.

This year ANS become an Amazon Web Services Advanced Partner, as well as a Microsoft Gold Cloud Partner.

Some 30 percent of ANS’ gross profit is still related to traditional hardware sales from customers who are buying a degree of cloud and services as no customers have been buying only hardware.

ANS saw a healthy year with Cisco, and some hefty managed WAN and LAN wins.

It has won a small number of large managed LAN deals, and traditional on-premise network projects.

ANS has now entered the third quarter of its current financial year and is already seeing a number of the cloud readiness assessment customers take up full projects with the MSP, at a quicker faster rate than was expected.

Lack of Cloud demand is a barrier to partners

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudCustomers are not demanding cloud services enough in Europe according to market watcher Context

Context’s ChannelWatch Survey of 8,500 resellers said that a lack of customer demand is the biggest barrier for partners when considering whether to offer cloud services.

Nearly half of resellers globally have been preparing to sell cloud services this year, but others are put off by the amount of investment required to get started.  Nearly 35 per cent of respondants branding this the biggest barrier.

Security fears was rated the next biggest blocker – selected by 19 per cent of respondents.

European partners are lagging behind their Japanese and American counterparts when it comes to offering cloud services, Context said. Vendor-branded services to be the preferred entry choice to cloud for partners, thereby mitigating any concerns over security by relying on the vendor’s own solutions.

Adam Simon, global managing director at Context, said: “As demand increases, so will the need for distributors and vendors to train their reseller partners.”

Over half of those surveyed thought back-up to be the biggest cloud opportunity, followed by storage and business applications.

Cloud will see double digit growth this year – claim

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudThe crack team of divination experts at Gartner Group are predicting that cloud services will see double digit growth this year thanks to strong SaaS and IaaS sales.

By the end of the year, cloud services revenue is predicted to reach $260 billion which is an 18.5 percent year-on-year increase.

The highest growth will come from IaaS offerings, which are projected to grow 36.6 percent in 2017 to reach $34.7 billion and SaaS revenue will grow 21 percent in 2017, to hit $58.6 billion.

Research director at Gartner Sid Nag said that the acceleration in SaaS adoption can be explained by providers delivering nearly all strains of application functional extensions and add-ons as a service. Pretty thrilling, eh?

“This appeals to users because SaaS solutions are engineered to be more purpose-built and are delivering better business outcomes than traditional software. SaaS is also growing faster in 2017 than previously forecast, leading to a significant uplift in the entire public cloud revenue forecast”, he said.

He added that strategic adoption of PaaS offerings are also outperforming previous expectations, as large enterprises are becoming confident that PaaS will be their primary form of application development platform in the future.

“This accounts for the remainder of the increase in this iteration of Gartner’s public cloud services revenue forecast.”

Gartner predicts that the total market will be worth $411.4 billion by 2020. That’s a lotta dosh and very thrilling!

 

It is not all about the cloud, claims NEC

56f884651f7b35416b9b4ca955d350b3--pom-pom-mobile-cloud-mobileNiman’s resellers were told that the world still needed hardware and to stop obessing about the cloud.

NEC sales director Andrew Cooper told the assembled throngs at an NEC communications platform launch gig that while digital transformation was underway the world still needs lots of gray boxes with flashing lights.

Copper said: “A digital transformation is under way but we should all take our head out of the cloud and keep our feet firmly on the ground. Profit is still the most important driver in business.”

He was showing off the SL2100 system, but found the hardware versus cloud debate was getting out of hand

“Without [profit] you don’t exist. It’s about what tangible business benefits can be delivered rather than the method of delivery. The way we consume technology is changing and NEC remains at the forefront,” the Cooper told the assembled throng.

Cooper said according to industry analyst MZA, an estimated 88 percent of the UK’s sub-100 extensions are premises-based. He said that there was still plenty of life in traditional comms-based platforms. Its demise has been greatly exaggerated and it remains the dominant force. Maybe Andrew Cooper should talk to Amazon and develop a habit called ‘being thrilled’.

 

 

Public cloud expands

cloudGartner  Group has been shuffling its tarot cards and reached the conclusion that worldwide public cloud services continue to rise, which will reach $260 billion for the year 2017.

The market research firm said that strong SaaS and IaaS performance is driving growth for the calendar year. The latest report projected the market to grow by 18.5 per cent year-on-year to total $260.2 billion, up from $219.6 billion last year.

Gartner research director Sid Nag said the final data for 2016 showed that software as a service (SaaS) revenue was far greater in 2016 than expected, reaching $48.2 billion.

“SaaS is also growing faster in 2017 than previously forecast, leading to a significant uplift in the entire public cloud revenue forecast.”

He said: “Strategic adoption of platform as a service (PaaS) offerings is also outperforming previous expectations, as enterprise-scale organizations are increasingly confident that PaaS will be their primary form of application development platform in the future. This accounts for the remainder of the increase in this iteration of Gartner’s public cloud services revenue forecast.”

SaaS revenue is expected to grow 21 percent in 2017 to reach $58.6 billion, as the acceleration in SaaS adoption can be explained by providers delivering nearly all application functional extensions and add-ons as a service.

The highest revenue growth will come from cloud system infrastructure services (infrastructure as a service [IaaS]), which is projected to grow 36.6 percent in 2017 to reach $34.7 billion.

Gartner still expects growth to even out from 2018 onwards, because it has obtained mainstream status and maturity. Gartner expects 70 percent of public cloud services revenue to be dominated by the top 10 public cloud providers through 2021.

Huawei launches a mobile cloud

56f884651f7b35416b9b4ca955d350b3--pom-pom-mobile-cloud-mobileHuawei is launching its own Mobile Cloud service.

The Chinese company promises that the service will allow consumers to backup and restore their data and phone settings wirelessly, synchronise and easily transfer data across Huawei mobile devices, as well as store and access files safely using Cloud Drive. Subscribed users to the Huawei Mobile Cloud will receive 5GB of free cloud storage.

From September onwards, the Huawei Mobile Cloud update will be gradually rolled out on the Huawei P10, P10 Plus, P10 lite and Nova 2, with other models to follow in due course. All photos and videos taken with the camera, screenshots and screen recordings can be automatically backed up to Cloud. Users can simply access them from their browser at cloud.huawei.com or from the Gallery App on their device.

Data can also be automatically synchronised across all Huawei mobile phones, so it’s quick and easy to access Contacts, Calendar, Wi-Fi and Notes using the Huawei ID. This data can also be managed through the Cloud Web Portal. At launch, Huawei Mobile Cloud will offer 5GB of free cloud storage and there will be the option to upgrade and purchase more storage plans from 2018 onwards.

Security conscious consumers will be safe in the knowledge that all data is stored exclusively within the EU on European servers, in compliance with EU Data Protection and Privacy Laws. All the services have been designed with user privacy in mind and the Huawei Mobile Cloud Services are certified by CSA Star.

Huawei Western Europe’s consumer business  president of Walter Ji, said: “The launch of Huawei Mobile Cloud highlights our commitment as a business to creating a more convenient mobile experience for our users, all the while assuring them that their data can easily be backed up and restored, as well as remaining secure. All files and photos stay within EU servers and we have local Legal, Security and Privacy expert teams in EU, to give users complete peace of mind.”

 

Veritas cuddles up to Microsoft

friends15Veritas’ Las Vegas conference showed how close the outfit has got to Microsoft Azure.

Mike Palmer, executive vice president and chief product officer at Veritas, told the assorted throngs at the firm’s Veritas Vision conference that its customers are adopting cloud at an “unprecedented pace”, but Veritas customers are finding it tricky.

“Those customers have a legacy of applications, many of which were built 20 or 30 years ago and eventually evolved. Now they are moving into the public cloud, but they are struggling with how to make that pivot”, he said.

“These struggles include how to build native applications and how to manage deploying applications in a global environment. They also continue to struggle with visibility of data, particularly around data which is regulated.”

Palmer said regulations such as GDPR are seeing companies need to form data retention policies where in the past they had data deletion policies.

“Our customers are struggling and we know that all the technology transformation that is happening is driving a lot of these concerns, but that is also driving a lot of opportunity for us and our partners”, added Palmer.

However, the conference also heard how close Veritas was getting to Microsoft. Mark Russinovich, CTO of Microsoft Azure at Microsoft, claimed the partnership with Veritas worked due to the vendors’ joint understanding of the enterprise space.

“We are working closely with Veritas around the integration of its technology with Azure so they can produce a high-performing and secure product. We have go-to-market plans together and we also have mutual channels that work together.”

Veritas has announced 360 data management expansions for Veritas and Microsoft Azure customers. These include plans for business continuity and disaster-recovery readiness, hybrid cloud scale-out storage optimisation and data visualisation across disparate sources.

 

UK Civil Service falling behind in cloud adoption

hero-33008Despite the myths, the UK government is not so well organised when it comes to cloud adoption according to a new report.

Beancounters at Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) and UKCloud have added up some numbers and discovered that the public sector has a fair way to go to really claim it is committed to using hosted services.

This finding is against the common perception that the public sector was an example of a market that has embraced cloud.

The reports findings show that there is much more to be done to get hosted services being used more widely.

CIF and UKCloud have revealed that a lack of leadership and problems getting hold of skilled staff have meant that apart from engaging with some easy projects the vast majority of the public sector has not got very far on its cloud journey.

CIF findings were fairly encouraging in terms of 82 per cent of public sector organisations having adopted cloud services, which was up from 62 percent last year.

But adoption remains fairly shallow and when pressed those quizzed for the research came up with several reasons why they had been holding back, including budget, an aversion to risk and not having access to skilled staff.

CIF chief executive Alex Hilton said that the take-up of cloud computing within the UK public sector has been a story of consistent growth, and the overall adoption rate of has more than doubled since we first started charting the cloud market seven years ago.

“This growth is thanks, in no small part, to the efforts of the Government Digital Service (GDS) to accelerate the sector’s move to digital services and the launch of G-Cloud,” he said.

“But while comfort with cloud is clearly increasing, and public sector organisations are achieving a wide range of benefits as a result of their use of cloud services, for many organisations, penetration cloud services remains relatively shallow,” he added.

UKCloud CEO Simon Hansford, who criticised the public sector for sticking to low hanging fruit.

“Many of the migrations that we have seen to date in the public sector have targeted the so-called low hanging fruit – typically virtualised applications that can simply and easily be shifted into the cloud. While this is a good start, to unlock the full potential of cloud and digital transformation, organisations need to tackle the complexity inherent in many processes, overcome the cultural barriers to adoption and seek to breach departmental silos,” he said.

“In many areas, this will require them to rethink the way that services are delivered and then truly embrace an agile, cloud-native approach while radically changing their internal operations. I hope that, with the right assistance from the industry, we will see more progress along this path when we come to reveal next year’s research findings”, he added.

Cloud giants headed towards per-millisecond billing

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudThe cloudy giants like Amazon, Microsoft and Google are moving towards per-millisecond billing.

Microsoft and Google already have adopted the billing method and now Amazon has gone the same way – at least for some of its services.

Amazon’s move to introduce per-second billing for some of its services forms part of a wider industry trend and could inspire similar moves by other cloud players, according to partners.

The cloud giant has announced that it will begin billing some forms of Linux instance of its EC2 and EBS services in one-second increments, bringing it into line with public cloud rivals Microsoft Azure and Google.

Amazon’s partners were happy as it seems to be part of an inexorable trend towards ‘per-millisecond’ pricing in the cloud world.

The feeling is that the world will get used to the idea and other cloud companies to follow this trend.

AWS will be able to provide sustained usage discounts, which is one remaining area where competitors claim they are cheaper.”

It appears to customers because they can reduce their TCO for workloads in cloud which in turn increases the appeal of moving new or more workloads to it.

Per-second is very helpful when running very heavy workloads, but a lot of the very large migrations to the cloud are just datacentre migrations where the private cloud providers like IBM play.  It will be less interesting to some customers.

 

Huawei wants to build cloud alliance

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudHuawei wants to build “one of the world’s five clouds”, and take on the public cloud giants Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google and IBM.

Huawei’s rotating and spinning CEO Guo Ping said the cloud is a cornerstone of the intelligent world.

Talking to the assembled throngs at Huawei Connect 2017, in Shanghai, China. Ping pointed to Huawei’s “long-term, strategic investment in public cloud”.

Ping said the vendor was partnering with carriers Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Telefonica internationally to provide public cloud services. This would work with partners “99 percent of the time” to bring its products to the non-Chinese market.

He compared the new “cloud alliance” to airlines’ partner alliances, “which take passengers wherever they need to go in the world.

“These telcos have established trust and relationships with governments and large enterprises. That’s the model we will build on. Huawei has never taken shortcuts and we never will… It’s the same for Huawei Cloud. We will work with partners to build a cloud alliance.”

Ping believes Huawei differs from its rivals in that it doesn’t look to monetise its customers’ data.

“In 2015 we launched our cloud strategy and we said our public cloud wouldn’t touch the customer’s applications or data. We commit to that again, that without the consent of the customer, Huawei Cloud won’t monetize their data. “We won’t turn their data into our own and profit from it.”

Zheng Yelai, president of Huawei Cloud BU and IT product line, admitted Huawei wasn’t yet “the best player, but we are the fastest moving player making progress. Huawei is not a great talker about ideas, but we are a great doer in making them happen”,  he said.

Microsoft makes more money from clouds

lightning-cloudMicrosoft is starting to make significant piles of cash from its cloud thanks to the efforts of its channel.

This year Office cloud revenues surpassed traditional licences for the first time and Richard Ellis, Microsoft Office Division lead, says much of the impetus behind the growth in the company’s cloud business has been driven by the success of its cloud solution partner (CSP) programme.

“The CSP framework is a great example of the huge opportunity for partners,” he says, “giving them the ability to bill, invoice and provide managed service and support to Office 365 customers using our infrastructure. It allows partners to set their own pricing, their own support contracts and work with ISVs to add value.”

There are 35,000 CSP partners globally and the number is growing at the rate of 6,000 a month. “CSP is enabling partners to grow their revenue share with customers,” Ellis claims, revealing that CSP partners enjoyed 10 percent year on year average revenue per user growth.

Ellis said most partners were aware of Vole’s shift to the cloud and are taking advantage of it. “It’s for every partner to assess what their own services are and what their value proposition is to their customers. That’s always been crucial and it will be crucial going forward. Partners need to be very clear what value they are adding.”

Google offers second tier cloud

MI0002204246Search engine outfit Google is offering a cheaper and cheerful version of its GCP cloud network.

While it will have lower specs than the real deal, Google insists that it matches those offered by its public cloud competitors.

Writing in his bog, Google’s SVP of technical infrastructure  Urs Hölzle, said that the search engine was the first major cloud provider to offer a tiered network service, breaking its Google Cloud Platform (GCP) into a Premium Tier and a Standard Tier.

“Over the last 18 years we [have] built the world’s largest network, which by some accounts delivers 25 to 30 percent of all internet traffic. You enjoy the same infrastructure with Premium Tier. But for some use cases, you may prefer a cheaper, lower-performance alternative. With Network Service Tiers, you can choose the network that’s right for you, for each application.”

The Standard Tier is available at a lower rate because it uses ISP networks to deliver traffic to a user’s cloud applications, rather than its own private network – which is used for the likes of Google Search and YouTube, Google said.

Google is unlikely to find many takers to opt for the lower standard, but that the move will be used to market the high performance of its network. The move is being touted in the channel as clever marketing.

Google lags in the size and number of datacentres but it can say its rivals don’t have the same quality.