Tag: Cloud

Alibaba launching a London datacentre

banner_220x220The dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn claiming that the Chinese retailer Alibaba is launching a London datacentre.

The rumours are based  on  information displayed on a newly added landing page, where the outfit said it offer flexible compute services from £30.87 a month from its new London region as it bids to take on AWS, Azure and Google in the UK.

Under the heading ‘London is Calling’, Alibaba trumpets the fact that “an Alibaba Cloud datacentre is coming to the UK”, although stops short of confirming a launch date.

Alibaba is not commenting further but the evidence does seem to have legs. It seems to suggest that Alibaba is gearing up from a real battle for the clouds in the UK.

Alibaba operates 18 cloud regions globally, 14 of which are in China and Asia-Pac. Two are situated in the US, a country Alibaba is reportedly struggling to crack. Its only European region, Frankfurt, serves continental European customers.

Featured products for the London region include flexible computing, storage, networking, database and security.

In its latest quarter ending 30 June 2018, Alibaba claims its cloud computing business grew by 93 percent year on year to $710 million.

 

Rackspace ramps up its channel

Cloudy outfit Rackspace said that its year-long spruce up of the channel is continuing and it needs more partners.

It said that it is in a position to provide its partners with a wide number of options to take out to customer, across public, private and hybrid cloud environments, and as a result has seen its base increase.

At the moment it is contacting traditional VARs looking to take steps into the cloud as well as providing options for those looking to add more options for their customers looking at a multi-cloud strategy.

John Coulston, Director of Partners & Alliances, Rackspace, EMEA, said that it was building and investing more in the channel.

“We are definitely looking for more partners and have a significant growth target for our channel”, he added “We have pretty big aspirations in the channel space.”

 

Kicking Pat leans on the Channel

banner_220x220Kicking Pat Gelsinger claims his Cloud Provider Program has established a “meaningful” area of revenue for VMware.

The VMware Cloud Provider Programme attributed more than 30 percent to the vendor’s revenue stream, which rose 12.5 percent to US$2.17 billion.

Gelsinger, who is the CEO of VMware, said that there has been a consistency to that area of VMware’s that “shocked” everyone.

“There was a prevailing view in the industry that the big cloud guys – AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform will eat up everybody. The result has been an area of consistent and steady growth for us, and increasingly, we’re being seen as the technology source for all other clouds. Clearly the mega guys are building much of their own technology, but all of the other cloud providers are increasingly relying on VMware’s technologies as the base for building off their cloud”.

Most of that revenue in the past has been driven from vSphere, Gelsinger said and the offering was now gaining more traction for NSX, vSAN and vCloud Director.

“We’re also working to make that program, a great channel for other services. CloudHealth and VMC on AWS will be resold through those channels as well. We’ll be putting more of our products focus through that business relationship. That I believe will be the biggest aspect of our long term growth.”

Gelsinger highlighted many areas of growth opportunities within network with NSX and storage with vSAN, saying VMware was just getting started.

Microsoft to jack up prices

banner_220x220Software King of the World is feeling a bit short in the money department and thinks that the best way to remedy this is to jack up its prices on a range of on-premise and cloud products in October, the vendor has confirmed in a blog post.

The changes include a 10 percent increase in Office 2019 commercial prices, while the price of Windows 10 Enterprise will also be raised.

Microsoft said the changes will be implemented in October, with a preview set to be available in September.

Writing in his bog, a SpokesVole said: “On 1 October 2018, we will adjust pricing for our licensing programmes and make price adjustments to on-premise and cloud products.

“These changes will highlight the benefits of our pricing for a cloud-first world, help us move from a programme-centric to a customer-centric pricing structure, and create more consistency and transparency across our purchasing channels.”

It appears that the changes will simplify Microsoft’s licensing offering but on the downside prices will rise with Voles  Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) partners may be the most affected.

 

Inoapps provides Scottish Legal Aid Board’s cloud

indexThe Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) has ‘gone-live’ with Oracle Cloud. The move which, is in line with the Scottish Government’s Digital Strategy for Scotland means that it is the first public body to make this transition.

SLAB is responsible for managing legal aid in Scotland and enables people, who would otherwise be unable to afford it, to get help for their legal problems. Running efficient IT systems is an important element in delivering this successfully.

At SLAB’s Edinburgh HQ, Oracle Platinum Partner Inoapps has now implemented finance (ERP), i-expenses, and procurement in the Cloud, including sourcing and invoice scanning. Following shortly will be Oracle Cloud HCM and Payroll. This will also be the first public sector implementation of Oracle Payroll Cloud in both Scotland and the UK.

John McLeod, Head of Information Systems at SLAB, said: “We chose Inoapps to drive our implementation as it is a proven and award-winning Cloud adopter with a successful track record in delivering multi-pillar Oracle Cloud implementations. What impressed us was the strength of their implementation team, as well as their change management capabilities and the strong alliance with Oracle. There was also a willingness to listen to and interpret our needs in partnership.

“By consolidating financial, HR and payroll processes into one system, we hope to achieve far greater visibility of these activities across the organisation. This, combined with the improved reporting capabilities available in Oracle Cloud, should lead to improved insight and decision-making.”

Graeme Hill, Director of Corporate Services at SLAB, notes: “By embracing cloud technology, we hope to achieve greater system stability and lessen the need for internal specialist expertise.”

Inoapps is experiencing successful expansion across multiple sectors and the consultancy’s credentials in delivering best-in-class Oracle solutions within the public sector continue to develop from strength to strength.

Commenting on the implementation Andrew Norris, Head of Inoapps’ European Business said: “We’re very pleased to add SLAB to our growing list of public sector clients. We understand that, across the board, the sector is under mounting pressure to pursue a Cloud First agenda to streamline processes and achieve cost efficiencies. The nature of our Oracle Cloud solutions and Managed Services is highly transferable across many industries, and together with over a decade’s experience in Oracle and our status as Oracle’s Cloud First Partner of the Year, this has been instrumental in us securing ongoing work within the Public Sector.”

The SLAB implementation started in June 2017 with an initial launch for Finance in the Cloud in December 2017 followed by HR and Payroll being live by the end of September 2018.

HFX releases more cloudy solutions

PAY-Lion-King-cloud-MAINHFX is lifting the kimono on its latest flexitime and workforce time management gear at the CIPD HR Software and Recruitment Show.

New for 2018 is HFX’s cloud-based Imperago Time & Attendance (T&A), which is an all-in-one SaaS package that covers software, hardware, support and maintenance on a pay as you go basis with no upfront capital outlay. Imperago T&A built for companies across all vertical sectors with 200 employees and above, particularly for those with shift-based workers.

Also on show will be HFX’s Imperago Flexitime Management solution for public sector and local government organisations.

HFX’s latest Imperago EveryOneCloud connects people and devices and logs time, supporting workforce planning and Time & Attendance solutions, enabling organisations of all sizes to monitor their staff and productivity.

The idea is to knock up a cloud solution, EveryOneCloud within minutes, with no need for servers, software installation or heavy up-front costs. It integrates with and sends data to T&A, Payroll, Student Attendance and Workforce Management solutions – including rostering & shift management.

HFX will be publishing a series of Practical Guides on How to Improve Productivity which will cover everything from capturing hours worked, devising the best working patterns, meeting customer demand and coping with peaks and troughs, to improving staff engagement through providing more flexible working.

Nick Whiteley, Managing Director of HFX commented: “Once organisations can harness technology to view staff working hours, they have the data to investigate inefficiencies and improve productivity. Our series of papers on the topic of Improving Productivity, provide practical guides tackling different aspects of staff productivity in easily actionable, bite-sized chunks that focus on quick wins, to gain buy-in and engagement from staff, management and the board.”

 

Oracle creates “self-driving” cloud services

two-clouds-1385018843_27_contentfullwidthOracle released three more autonomous cloud services which it is calling “self-driving” database and development platforms – which we assume cannot crash into any cyclists on a dark night.

The three new products are Oracle Autonomous Analytics Cloud; Oracle  Autonomous Integration Cloud and Oracle Autonomous Visual Builder Cloud. The trio of products comes two months after Oracle unleashed its Autonomous Data Warehouse

The batch of autonomous services all uses machine learning to provide intelligent patching, upgrading, tuning, and resource scaling, which Oracle sees as a cunning plan to beat Amazon Web Services.

Amit Zavery, executive vice president for Oracle Cloud Platform, told the assembled throngs at a media launch that all three new services “give customers the ability to build applications as well as get analysis inside the data quickly and easily”.

The analytic cloud service provides customers with pre-built models they can use to drive deeper analysis of their data and better optimisations, Zavery said.

The integration cloud service recognises the proliferation of SaaS across the enterprise, and the challenges in connecting diverse platforms and solutions, Zavery said. That product uses machine learning to understand different elements inside an integration flow and quickly connect them. It comes with pre-packaged connectors to products from Salesforce, Workday and SAP, he said.

Oracle’s visual builder service is geared for would-be developers without much, if any, coding skills. The autonomous functionality will make the low-code platform even easier for them to rapidly create and extend desktop and mobile apps, Zavery said.

In June, Oracle is expected to release another significant database offering—the OLTP database—as an independent cloud service.

The company has said by the end of summer customers will see Express and NoSQL autonomous databases, along with a layer of other autonomous services pairing databases with analytics, data management and visualisation tools.

Schneider Electric announces cloudy Smart-UPS

two-clouds-1385018843_27_contentfullwidthSchneider Electric has released APC Smart-UPS with SmartConnect intelligent cloud management for its UK & Ireland channel.

The outfit claims it is the first cloud-enabled uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for distributed IT environments and enables businesses, unusually small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that have limited IT staff and resources, to manage the health of their UPS systems.

SmartConnect uses the Schneider Electric cloud-enabled EcoStruxure IT architecture to gather and send data about the health and status of a customer’s UPS devices including battery replacement, warranty renewal and UPS performance notifications.

It also provides a secure, cloud-based web portal where customers can view the status of their UPS, accessible from any internet-connected device, send customisable automatic notifications, firmware notification updates and advanced troubleshooting support through an easy-to-use remote monitoring interface.

It can be deployed right out of the box without any configuration required – making it easy for even non-technical users to install.

SmartConnect cloud-powered technology also enables managed service providers (MSPs) to expand their offerings to deliver remote UPS monitoring for SMB clients. This provides MSPs with a more significant opportunity to serve their customers through value-added power infrastructure services better while generating new revenue streams – all with minimal effort and no additional cost.

Connected APC Smart-UPS with SmartConnect is one of the latest products available as part of Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure IT Data Center Management as a Service architecture. The foundation of EcoStruxure IT is built on intelligent, connected solutions that leverage data-driven insights to simplify the maintenance and operation of IT physical infrastructure by improving performance operation, enabling remote visibility and monitoring, and providing expert services capabilities.

IBM speeds up cloud access

ibm-officeBiggish Blue has launched new Cloud Object Storage services to speed up how documents get onto clouds.

Writing in his bog Philip Buckellew, general manager of Cloud Object Storage at IBM, said that the new service would speed data transfer and gain ‘instant insights’ from that data.

Through a partnership with Aspera, IBM is previewing the new high-speed data transfer option; it claims that transfer rates are as much as five hundred times faster than standard HTTP/FTP.

“Businesses have moved 100TB of data in 24 hours over a 10Gbps network”, Buckellew wrote in his blog.

Aspera’s direct-to-cloud technology, which protects data in transit, is built into IBM’s Cloud Object Storage.

 

Barracuda snaps at inflexible Cloud licensing pricing

Barracuda-1Barracuda has snapped at a failure by suppliers to provide customers with a menu of payment options for cloud services.

In new research, Barracuda found that if pricing and licensing models were not flexible enough they risk being a factor that can hold back further adoption in cloud services and  41 percent of organisations felt that firewall pricing and licensing was inappropriate for the cloud and that was an issue.

More than 73 percent felt that they wanted flexible pricing options that included pay-as-you-go and metered. Only 23 percent were happy paying for cloud-based security tools in the same way they had always paid in the past.

Barracuda director business development EMEA Chris Hill said that it looked closely at licensing models to make sure it could provide customers with choices.

“We are an on-premise firewall provider as well, and the cloud is very different so a lot of our time and research has been digging into why that is and what the customers are thinking and you can’t do the same thing in the cloud as you do on-premise,” he said.

“There are different ways of buying your stuff in the cloud, and we make sure that we can adapt to the different consumption models that there are in the cloud,” he added.

Hill said that bring-your-own licenses, meter billing and other models were emerging and vendors needed to keep a close eye on the way users wanted to pay for services.

When cloud first emerged most vendors tried to use their traditional licensing approaches but that had come under pressure, and more flexible methods had been needed.

“The thought process has gone from not paying for the physical box anymore but for what they use and that allows, in turn, the chance to utilise some of the features of the cloud, with the chance to deploy more than you could on-premise in a distributed world”, he said.

“Pricing models have helped the users with flexibility, and we have adapted to make sure we can sell that way. One of the biggest bottlenecks is people worried about the licensing models in the cloud. They have the technology they love on-premise and want to be able to do the same in the cloud but realise they can’t afford to do what they are doing there if they follow the same model and that is a blocker”, he added.

 

Dell talks up on-premise clouds

michael-dell-2Grey box shifter CEO Michael Dell said that software-defined data centre on-premises solutions are more cost effective compared to the public cloud.

He said that when you automate and modernise the infrastructure, software-define everything, and move up to the platform level on predictable workloads, an on-premises solution is much more cost-effective.

Public cloud vendors have built software-defined/automated IT services creating an attractive interface for developers; those great technological advances are “not unique to the public cloud.

The idea of automating and software-defining everything, and autonomous infrastructure operations of is occurring all across the computing spectrum. It’s happening in the private clouds; it’s happening at the edge, arriving at the distributed core, public clouds, Software-as-a-Service, managed services – everybody’s going in that direction, Dell said.

Dell said the issue of the public vs private cloud is a workload-dependent discussion. He pointed to Dell Technologies’ massive deferred revenue growth as evidence of the rise of on-premises private cloud/hybrid cloud momentum.

Solution providers said they could typically deliver on-premises private cloud/software-defined data centre solutions for enterprises that are at minimum 40 percent cheaper than public cloud.

 

UK first to see VMware and Amazon Web Services (AWS) partnership

krayVMware and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have launched their European partnership and the UK the first market to go live.

VMware Cloud on AWS was first announced in 2016 and puts VMware’s private cloud available on AWS’ public cloud infrastructure. It has been kicking around the US since last year, and the UK is the second market to see it.

It gives VMware partners the ability themselves to extend using native AWS service capabilities. So far two partners have signed up for the programme, one of which is Softcat.

The launch sees VMware expand its Solution Provider and Cloud Provider programmes to include VMware Cloud on AWS, and release a new competency for the service.

VMware said that its partnership with AWS shows its belief that there is “no question” hybrid cloud will ultimately rule.

AWS that the public cloud vendor expects the “vast majority” of workloads to run in the public cloud eventually.

VMware Cloud for AWS will soon be available in other European markets, with a launch in Germany set to take place soon.

 

Big clouds swamp smaller players

Every silver has a cloudy liningAmazon, Microsoft, IBM and Google are doing well as spending on cloud infrastructure services increases, but it looks like lesser players are not having such a good time.

According to figures from Synergy Research, spending on cloud infrastructure services in Q4 2017 jumped 46 percent from the final quarter of 2016, beating the growth rates achieved in the previous three quarters.

But all this was due to aggressive growth from Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Alibaba efficiently shutting out smaller cloud providers.

AWS is ranked first, followed by Microsoft, IBM, Google and then Alibaba. The next ten providers have a combined market share of less than 20 percent.

John Dinsdale, chief analyst and research director at Synergy Research Group, said as demand for cloud services blossoms, the leading cloud providers all had things to be pleased about and they are setting a fierce pace that most chasing companies cannot match.

“Smaller companies can still do well by focusing on specific applications, industry verticals or geographies, but overall this is a game that can only be played by companies with big ambitions, big wallets and a determined corporate focus”, he said.

Cloudy Robots creating a storm

lightning-cloudNew research from MarketsandMarkets claims that robots using cloud technologies will see market growth at a CAGR of 28.1 per cent from 2017 to 2022.

According to the report, Cloud Robotics Market by Component (Software and Services), Service Model (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS), Application, Deployment Model (Public, Private, and Hybrid Cloud), End-User (Verticals and Third-Party Users), and Region – Global Forecast to 2022, the market will grow from $2.2 billion  (£1.6 billion ) in 2017 to $7.5 billion  (£5.4 billion ) in 2022.

MarketsandMarkets says the spread of cloud technology, combined with broad spectrum use of wireless technologies, the growth of the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence (AI) development and machine learning offerings will be the biggest drivers for the cloud robotics space.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) will be the fastest growing segment “because it enables enterprises to develop, run and manage software and tools without the hassle of maintaining and updating the hardware and software infrastructure”.

“…enterprises of all sizes are globally adopting the PaaS segment because of its simplicity, scalability and reliability. In addition to this, PaaS applications have a high adaptability rate, due to their latest features, such as easy upgradation,” MarketsandMarkets said.

Manufacturing will be the largest vertical in 2017. It pointed to the industry using robotic technology to drive operational efficiencies and cut costs.

The report added: “Manufacturers are benefiting from robot simulations, which are increasing the efficiency of production processes, quality control, predictive maintenance and product innovation. It helps companies in reducing the production time, as well as the costs associated with it.”

In addition to IBM, Microsoft, Google and Amazon Robotics, MarketsandMarkets also names U.S. firms CloudMinds, Hit Robot Group and Tend, Canada’s C2RO, UK’s Ortelio, Japan’s Rapyuta Robotics and Singapore’s V3 Smart Technologies as key players to watch.

 

 

Turbonomic strikes co-sell deal with Microsoft

two-clouds-1385018843_27_contentfullwidthHybrid cloud automation outfit Turbonomic has announced that it has earned Co-Sell Ready status through the Microsoft One Commercial Partner Programme.

Turbonomic’s Co-Sell Ready status from Microsoft will assist the outfit as it supports punters as they accelerate their Microsoft Azure migration and, once in the cloud, optimise the whole lot. Turbonomic will collaborate with Microsoft field sales teams on targeted customer opportunities and related account planning activities.

Turbonomic enables SMART (self-managing and real-time) workloads while maintaining compliance policies across public and private clouds.

The Microsoft Azure Co-Sell Ready program, initiated in 2016, provides comprehensive sales and marketing support for select partners, like Turbonomic. The program aligns Microsoft’s large, global salesforce with partners like Turbonomic to help Azure partners drive new business. To be eligible, companies must submit customer references that demonstrate successful projects, meet a performance commitment, and pass technology and sales assessments.

Jennifer Heard, Senior Vice President, Cloud Partnerships at Turbonomic said: “Microsoft Azure is a trusted partner in the enterprise, and we are thrilled to align Turbonomic’s go-to-market with Microsoft through our new Co-Sell Ready status. Turbonomic is helping organisations achieve their IT transformation goals by safely accelerating and optimising their Azure public cloud migration and ongoing investment.”

Cheryl Miller, Vole’s General Manager, Worldwide One Commercial Partner Go-to-Market said, “Microsoft’s sales and marketing investment in the Co-Sell Ready program demonstrates our commitment to supporting partners’ go-to-market efforts and success, like Turbonomic. We are happy to welcome Turbonomic as one of our new ISV partners, and for the company to leverage Microsoft programs and tools to help our joint customers accelerate their migration to, and optimise their deployment of, Microsoft Azure.”