Tag: Cloud

EU gives its cloud to BT, IBM, Accenture and Atos

Eu-flag-vector-material2The European Commission has announced BT, IBM, Accenture and Atos will get most of the contracts to supply its new cloud services.

Contracts were broken out into three “lots,” covering a private cloud setup, public cloud setup, and platform-as-a-service, for which it will pay $38.5 million.
The whole lot will be platformed by Telecom Italia which is a bit unfortunate. That outfit is under resourced and its mobile arm TIM just adopted the iChing hexagram for “standing still” as its logo.waiting

It is unusual that Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Amazon and none of the other big cloud outfits managed to get their paws on the EU’s clouds.

The Commission said that all the systems will be physically located within the European Union, the Commission noted, “to be compliant with EU data handling requirements” basically it means that the US will not be able to steal it.

According to the announcement, the contract will “enable the Commission to follow the ceaseless pace of today’s technological race.”

The EU hopes that use of cloud services will help it come up with future improvements to how it works, such as using “Big Data.”

The private cloud service will provide computing and storage facilities through a private network link connected to the EC’s data centres, and will be hosted by a single provider. The public cloud infrastructure will be run over the public internet. And the public platform-as-a-service will include both operating systems and database services run over the cloud.

The first cloud services should appear this year.

Oracle predicts explosion of born-in-the-cloud partners

oracleOracle has claimed that the launch of its new Cloud Programme will see an “explosion” of born-in-the-cloud partners coming to the firm.

Dubbed the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), the programme has launched yesterday and is Oracle’s first cloud-focused partner scheme.

There are four accreditations: Cloud Standard, Cloud Select, Cloud Premier and Cloud Elite.

Cloud Standard requires partners to have a certain cloud specialisation and the benefits are focused on moving these partners to the next level, Cloud Select.

Cloud Select has a $2m cloud-revenue requirement and partners have to designate sales and marketing resources. The benefits of this level include MDF funds, Oracle’s cloud discounts and more visibility at Oracle cloud events.

The Cloud Premier level has a $6m cloud-revenue requirement and partners must have hired number of certified cloud specialists. The benefits include dedicated account managers, sales training and enhanced partner visibility.

The Cloud Elite has a $20m cloud-revenue requirement and for the Global Cloud Elite level this rises to $40m. The benefits include increased go-to-market support with free cloud environments for development tests and demos.

Oracle hopes the programme would help migrate existing partners and attract new types of channel players. It thinks that it opens the partner programme up to the regional “born-in-the-cloud digital natives” that have ruled out Oracle because it did not really fit into their structure.

These cloud resellers are often focused on the mid-market which is not an area Oracle has been involved. Oracle’s not having a cloud programme. But with the OPN programme, and Oracle’s drive into the mid-market, he expects to see a flurry of this new type of partner coming to the vendor.
Oracle has more than 800 UK partners and when asked how many more resellers it wants to recruit more with its new OPN programme.

Cisco releases new tool in cloudy push

Cisco Kid Desperate to provide a better cloud package, Cisco has released a new monitoring tool.

On the face of it Cloud Consumption as a Service, which monitors how employees use third-party software is a bit of a yawn, however it could make Cisco a little more useful to its partners who can flog it on the basis that it will solve a lot of complicated regulations around the privacy of data.

It  helps companies manage software employees might download and use independently, for example email programs like Google’s Gmail or file-storage services like Dropbox.

While the services, which IT professionals dub “shadow IT,” provide convenience for employees, they can create headaches if they expose vulnerability to malware attacks, eat up bandwidth, or fail to comply with laws.

Shadow IT is creating a growing corporate challenge. Most companies with over 5,000 employees estimate around 90 such services are deployed around their computer infrastructure, but the actual number is typically over 1,200, according to Cisco executive Bob Dimicco.

Of those, more than 40 fall in the high-risk category.

Cisco plans to bill monthly at a cost of $1-$2 per employee, will help Cisco expand its offerings in the fast-growing business area of cloud services.

Cisco  has been trying to beef up its offerings catering to the increasingly Internet-based technology culture at many companies. It has introduced products like Cisco Meraki, which controls routing and security over the Internet, and Cisco WebEx, which offers Internet-based video conferencing and similar products.

Many companies, including Cloudability, Netskope and Skyhigh, offer services similar to Cisco’s cloud consumption service, but Cisco says its product goes beyond the others because it offers more details on usage and about each individual third-party app provider, such as if it complies with relevant regulations.

 

 

Oracle user groups back licensing policy

oracleWhile Oracle has been blasted by the Campaign for Clear Licensing for its Byzantine approach, two Oracle user groups have backed it.

Earlier this week CCL called for the supplier to make its software licensing more cloud friendly and slammed Oracle’s approach to measuring successful software licence sales.

John Matelski,  president of the Independent Oracle Users Group, noted in a blog: “I was extremely surprised and dismayed to learn that there are still those in the customer community that would suggest their relationship with Oracle is predominantly hostile and filled with deep-rooted mistrust – particularly when it comes to licensing and audits.

“Oracle is not just a solutions provider, but rather they are a partner in helping promote the success (or failure) of every organisation they do business with – for me, failure is not an option!”

Debra Lilley, a member advocate and board member of the UKOUG, wrote in a blog post: “Users are very passionate when they feel wronged and immediately after an audit there can be a lot of shouting, and we hear of audits that happen in the last quarter and are then seen as revenue generating.

“The discussions need to be outside actual audits, with less emotion. Oracle License Management Services (LMS) are trying to engage more with customers. Mark Hurd recently talked about employing 10x more staff whose only role is to improve relationships with customers. This is something user groups have asked for repeatedly, so let’s give them the chance to demonstrate the payback to customers.”

 

2016 could be the year of the public cloud

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudA battery of reports suggests that more companies are going to push data onto the public cloud this year.

Public cloud setups are being suggested as a good idea for resellers to push on startups and software test and development, but now they are making its way into the corporate data centre and enterprise.

A recent IDC study reveals that spending on public cloud IT infrastructure will increase by nearly 30 percent to $20.5 billion in 2015 and now a Dimensional Research survey, released by Cloud Cruiser, a provider of software solutions for hybrid cloud analytics, finds that more companies are committing to public clouds for enterprise applications.

They are particularly interested in ERP and CRM all of which means good business for cloud services providers.

One of the stranger findings is that all this is taking place with very little information available about cloud costs and consumption.

It is looking like channel players need to provide “solutions” that help customers gain greater usage visibility and cost transparency into their public cloud investments and, if they pull it off, they could be laughing all the way to the bank.

Adobe’s cloudy subscription flowers

Cloud computing - photo Mike MageeAdobe’s cloud-based subscription model is doing wonders for its bottom line.

The outfit reported a profit that topped market expectations for the ninth straight quarter on strong subscriber growth for its Creative Cloud package of software tools, which includes Photoshop.

More than 833,000 subscribers signed up for Creative Cloud in the fourth quarter ended Nov. 27, more than the 678,200 additions analysts were expecting.

Creative Cloud includes graphic design tool Photoshop, web design software Dreamweaver and web video building application Flash, among other software.

Adobe, which has seen strong growth from Creative Cloud, has been nimble enough to attract users other than enterprises and professionals to the software suite.

More than half of its customers subscribe to the highest-priced full Creative Cloud while the rest subscribe to individual products. Photoshop Lightroom was the fastest growing.

Apparently this is because it is attracting new users from hobbyists and consumers and people that would never buy the Creative products before.

San Jose-based Adobe has been switching to web-based subscriptions from traditional licensed software to enjoy a more predictable recurring revenue stream.

Revenue from its digital media business, which houses Creative Cloud, jumped 35 percent to $875.3 million.

Revenue from its digital marketing business, which offers tools for businesses to analyze customer interactions and manage social media content, rose 2.3 percent to $382.7 million.

Total revenue rose to $1.31 billion.

Despite the 21.7 percent increase in fourth-quarter revenue only matching analysts’ estimates, a much lower 3.4 percent bump in total operating costs also helped Adobe’s profit beat estimates.

Adobe’s net income soared to $222.7 million, or 44 cents per share, in the quarter, from $88.1 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier.

 

IBM makes Clearleap into cloud expansion

cloudBiggish Blue’s push into the cloud has continued with its purchase of the cloud-based video service provider Clearleap.

Clearleap owns a video platform which can be scaled in a big way and is used by leading media and entertainment companies.  It will be integrated into the IBM Cloud platform. The combined technologies will provide enterprises with a fast, easy way to manage, monetize and grow user video experiences, and deliver them securely over mobile devices and the Web, according to IBM.

Steven Canepa, general manager of IBM’s Global Media & Entertainment Industry division said in a a release that mixing Clearleap with IBM’s analytics and hybrid cloud capabilities will deliver new video solutions that will fundamentally change communications across every industry.

This is the sixth planned cloud-based company acquisition by Big Blue in as many months. In November, IBM revealed plans to purchase cloud-based software developer Gravitant  whose platform CloudMatrix allows companies to adopt a multi-sourced cloud operating model by making it simpler to create, manage and order a multi-cloud IT environment from a single console. Also in November, the company bought Cleversafe, a developer of object-based storage software and applications.

In October, IBM bought The Weather Co.’s B2B, mobile and cloud-based Web properties. The purchase would bring together IBM’s cognitive and analytics platform and The Weather Co.’s cloud data platform, which handles 26 billion inquiries to its cloud-based services each day, according to a release.

IBM wants  to buy Compose which provides database as a service offerings targeting the Web and mobile app developers.

HP Enterprise to name Microsoft’s Azure cloud partner

Cloud computing - photo Mike MageeThe former maker of expensive printer ink, HP Enterprise, has selected Microsoft’s Azure as its preferred public cloud partner.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman said HPE will officially unveil the partnership with Microsoft at the HPE Discover Conference in London next week.

She said that Vole shared HP’s view of a hybrid IT approach for enterprises, and sees an opportunity to simplify hybrid infrastructure.

“Microsoft Azure will become a preferred public cloud partner. HPE will serve as a preferred provider of Microsoft’s infrastructure and services for its hybrid cloud offerings,” she said.

HP said it will shut down its HP Helion Public Cloud offering effective January 21, 2016 and generally “doubling down” on its managed and virtual private cloud offerings in the wake of the public cloud exit. Whitman claimed this move played to HP’s strengths in private and managed cloud.

“We will continue to extend our cloud infrastructure leadership and integrate the public cloud element for our customers through a strategic, partner-based model,” she said.

Whitman did not say what this deal might have on HPE’s relationship with Amazon Web Services.

Word on the street is that HPE will provide support for AWS’ popular public cloud simply because it has to.

NetApp claims customers trapped in clouds

Every silver has a cloudy liningNetApp is rubbing its paws with glee as its rivals lock their customers into their cloud services.

The company told its Insight technical conference in Berlin that there was gigantic opportunity for it to help customers who are struggling with rival tech firms who make it hard to leave their cloud services.

The storage vendor said many cloud offerings may look good on paper but become problematic and this gives it and its channel the chance to better serve those customers.

Joel Reich, NetApp’s senior vice president for product operations told a media press conference that cloud providers were using techniques that hark back to the 1970s.

“Most service providers will be glad to help you get into their cloud, but they’re not that helpful in trying to help you get out of their cloud. If you were to look at one of the popular backup applications for cloud, it costs  little to archive your data in something like Amazon Glacier, but it costs exponentially more to get it out.”

This goes back to proprietary computer operating systems where it was someone’s goal to actually try to lock you into that proprietary operating system, Reich said.

Lock-ins were used by some cloud providers means customers have a hard time moving between services if and when a provider’s technology, price or strategy changes.

He said such tactics are actually a great selling point for his firm because customers really don’t want this lock in. They want to make the right choice for their business, not one that is based on one set of technologies that a particular cloud vendor has in play.

Microsoft rethinks Euro cloud products

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEOMicrosoft thinks it has a cure for its customers’ poor attitude to cloud security.

Vole has a problem in flogging cloud based products because many users are worried that they are effectively giving their data to the US government.

Top Vole Satya Nadella believes he has devised a formula that will hand US internet and cloud computing companies a new lease of life in Europe.

He has announced moves to build new data centres in Germany under a “trustee” model. The new facilities will house Microsoft customer information, but will be operated by a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, the German telecoms group.

What this will do is put data beyond the reach of the US government — after all the Germans can be trusted not to hand over anything to the Americans.

Nadella said this means that Microsoft is adopting gold-plated privacy standards, while showing a path forward for other US cloud companies including Google, Oracle and Amazon.

He said he is merely responding to the reality that the original vision of the global “public cloud” is dead. This imagined individuals and companies being able to access their data anywhere in the world from any device, but with big tech groups building the underlying infrastructure wherever they were able to most cheaply and efficiently.

Paul Miller of Forrester Research has warned that many will see the move as proof that American companies cannot be trusted to hold the most sensitive data of European customers.

“That was a mythical way to think about it. In technology, sometimes you over-emphasise the silver bullet….” he says. The cloud “will take a different shape than it has in the past. That’s what we want to shape.”

Microsoft to build Azure UK data centre

Every silver has a cloudy liningSoftware giant Microsoft is building a new UK data centre for its Azure cloud – the announcement follows something similar from AWS.

Vole wants its cloud services based in the UK beginning in 2016 and AWS will have it ready by the by the end of 2016 (or early 2017).

Vole is behind AWS in cloud services but the distance between the pair is huge.

Setting up in the UK makes a lot of sense. London’s status as a financial hub makes it attractive market for cloud vendors, and having a local region (composed of multiple data centres) mimimises latency.

Microsoft is a US corporation there may be circumstances when the US government can demand access to data. This is less likely to be possible if the data is kept in a local data centre.

If the US does succeed in getting court orders for the data stored in Europe chances are the EU would ban American companies running data centres. This would be too much of a political hot potato for the US government which is currently attempting to re-negotiate its safe-harbour status in Europe having lost it due to its spying antics.

Microsoft has the Ministry of Defence signed up as its first customer, which is probably why it has to have the data kept within the UK.

The department will be migrating to a “private instance” of Office 365, hosted partly by HP and in part by the new UK Azure region.

Cloud channel will not have long to wait for US data pact

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudThose resellers who sell cloud services for US companies in the EU will be relieved to discover that the US is close to coming up with a new “Safe Harbour” deal.

Safe Harbour was a fast-track process that US companies could use to comply with European data protection law, which prevents EU citizens’ personal data being transferred to non-EU countries deemed to have insufficient privacy safeguards.

The EU Courts have struck down the current “Safe Harbour” laws because the US clearly was taking European data.

US. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said that the “Safe Harbour 2.0” agreement currently being negotiated would meet European concerns about the transfer of data to the United States.

“A solution is within hand. We had an agreement prior to the court case. I think with modest refinements that are being negotiated we could have an agreement shortly. The solution … is Safe Harbour 2.0, which is totally doable.”

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova told a parliamentary committee this week that she hoped to have made progress on “intensive technical discussions” with her U.S. counterparts before a visit to Washington DC in mid-November.

Pritzker admitted that it was costing small and medium-sized US businesses that depend on Safe Harbour a lot of dosh. But that is the price you pay when your government believes that it can spy on whoever it likes.

HP gets off of its public cloud

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudThe maker of expensive printer ink, HP is calling it quits on its public cloud offering.

The Helion Public Cloud will be abandoned next year as the vendor is more interested in private cloud products and rather scared of its chums Microsoft and Amazon.

HP has been denying that it will close Helion for six months, but the signs were there. In April, HP executive Bill Hilf said that HP no longer saw public cloud as a priority and that it made “no sense” for HP to go head to head with the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

He backtracked on this statement and said that HP would continue running Helion which operates  one of the largest OpenStack-based public clouds. Writing in his bog, Hilf confirmed what he denied six months ago and that Helion Public Cloud is doomed.

Hilf said HP has made the decision to “double down on our private and managed cloud capabilities” and confirmed that HP will “sunset” Helion Public Cloud on 31 January 2016.

Public cloud remains relevant to HP as part of its hybrid cloud strategy, but the vendor will now work with multiple partners such as Amazon to satisfy its customers’ public cloud needs.

“In order to deliver on this demand with best-of-breed public cloud offerings, we will move to a strategic, multiple partner-based model for public cloud capabilities, as a component of how we deliver these hybrid cloud solutions to enterprise customers,” Hilf said.

“Therefore, we will sunset our HP Helion Public Cloud offering on 31 January 2016.”

HP has been getting closer to Amazon of late as part of its hybrid delivery with HP Helion Eucalyptus. It has also worked with Microsoft to support Office 365 and Azure, he added.

“We also support our PaaS customers wherever they want to run our Cloud Foundry platform – in their own private clouds, in our managed cloud, or in a large-scale public cloud such as AWS or Azure,” Hilf said.

HP invested more than $1bn in its cloud business over two years when it unveiled its Helion range of OpenStack-based cloud products and services last May so it looks half that money was lost.

Walmart takes on Amazon with open source cloud

ASDA1US retail giant Walmart is looking to an open source cloud to turn the tables on Amazon.

Walmart, which owns Asda, saw its shares fall 10 percent this week following news that the company will grow just three to four percent over the next three years, with profit dropping 12 percent in 2017.

Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley blamed rising wages, and the increased cost of training staff. It’s not until 2019 that revenue will grow again.

Walmart is still bigger than Amazon in terms of revenue, but after 18 years, Amazon.com’s market value stands at $254.8 billion. Walmart this week managed to wipe more than $21 billion off its value, down to $213.9 billion.

This is where the cloud comes in. Walmart is creating WalmartOne, which runs on the open source OneOps cloud computing code.

OneOps is Walmart’s own cloud platform, with the company claiming it changed the way its engineers developed and helped shaped how Walmart launched new products to customers.

This week WalmartLabs said OneOps will be released to the world as open source, with the source code being uploaded to code repository GitHub by Christmas.

This means that Walmart is taking the fight to Amazon Web Services by giving developers a chance to avoid vendor lock-in, a situation in which companies are stuck to contracts and technologies supplied by one cloud provider.

King added that by making the platform open source, OneOps will drive competitors to “compete based on price, customer service and innovation.

Google and Amazon will win cloud wars

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudBeancounters from Forrester believe that the future of cloud computing belongs to Amazon and Google.

Analyst John Rymer says “public cloud services,” which is where the future lies and even Dell’s EMC purchase can’t change that.

Amazon and Google now offer their own infrastructure to the rest of the world as cloud computing services. This will be bad news for Microsoft which is bigger than Google at the moment.

Forrester’s report, which draws on interviews with vendors and customers across the market, looks exclusively at “public cloud services” rather than private clouds.

Rymer and Forrester now call the public cloud a “hyper-growth” market. Its new report predicts that this market will grow to $191 billion by 2020. That’s 20 percent more than they predicted in their previous report, back in 2011.

“The adoption among cloud among enterprises, which is really where the money is, has really picked up steam. It’s a big shift. The cloud has arrived. It’s inevitable.”

The report encompasses a wide range of services, like Amazon’s EC2, which serves up virtual machines where you can run practically any software you want and Microsoft Office 365, a suite of pre-built and configured software applications you can tap into via the ‘net.

It said that companies like Amazon and Microsoft and Google continue to expand across all these areas. Amazon just introduced a sweeping array of new services last week.

According to the report, “cloud platform services” like Amazon EC2, where you can build and run your own software, will be a $44 billion market by 2020. Meanwhile, back-end business services will reach $14 billion, and cloud software applications will hit $131 billion.

“A lot of businesses are now saying: ‘I want to move my operational application, back office applications, into public clouds. That’s a big deal. In the past, so many people said: ‘I’m never going there.’ Now they’re actually working at it.”

The public cloud won’t take over the whole IT market, Rymer says, but this is where the big growth lies. According to Rhymer, software-as-a-service offerings such as Office 365 are growing the quickest at the moment.

The biggest winner here will likely be Amazon because it has a massive customer base and they’re been at it longer.

Amazon has revealed that its cloud operation is now a $4.6 billion business, and the company expects it to grow to $6.23 billion by the end of the year. The next-biggest player is Microsoft. In April, Redmond said it’s on track to reach $6.3 billion in revenue this year, including sales of its Office 365 and its Dynamics customer relationship management service. Google, in many respects, has a technical lead on Amazon and Microsoft, but it was slower to market. IBM, with its acquisition of a company called SoftLayer is also a presence.

Services from Google and IBM may not grow as quickly as Amazon’s. But they will grow. It’s where the world is moving, the report said.