Tag: Cloud

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.”

Microsoft helps cloudy upstarts

56f884651f7b35416b9b4ca955d350b3--pom-pom-mobile-cloud-mobileSoftware king of the world Microsoft has launched a new programme to help UK startups grow.

Vole is spending  $500 million to support Microsoft for Startups globally, with part of that money being used to help early stage firms in this country.

Microsoft UK scheme helps with sales, access to new community spaces, Office 365 and Dynamics 365  and includes development tools, technical support and a share of $120,000 in free Azure credits.

Writing in the company blog, Volish corporate vice-president of Growth and Ecosystems Charlotte Yarkoni said that she was jolly excited to announce Microsoft for Startups which will deliver access to technology, go-to-market and community benefits that helps startups grow their customer and revenue base.

“We are committing $500 million over the next two years to offer joint sales engagements with startups, along with access to our technology, and new community spaces that promote collaboration across local and global ecosystems. Startups are an indisputable innovation engine, and Microsoft is partnering with founders and investors to help propel their growth.”

Microsoft’s global network of 40,000 sales representatives and hundreds of thousands of partners will also help startups in the programme.

Their goal is to “drive adoption of Microsoft cloud solutions into companies of all sizes and industries worldwide. The programme provides dedicated resources to prepare startup marketing and sales teams to effectively sell their cloud solutions to enterprise organisations in partnership with Microsoft’s global sales organisation and partner ecosystem”,  she said,

Countries differ on cloud data protection

56f884651f7b35416b9b4ca955d350b3--pom-pom-mobile-cloud-mobileA new study penned by the Gemalto and Ponemon Institute shows that significant gaps are emerging between countries on attitudes towards data protection in the cloud

The study reveals regional disparities in adoption of cloud security: German businesses almost twice as likely to secure confidential or sensitive information in the cloud (61 percent) than British (35 percent), Brazilian (34 percent) and Japanese (31 percent) organisations.

Half of the global outfits believe that payment information (54 percent) and customer data (49 percent) is at risk in the cloud.

Over half (57 percent) think using the cloud increases compliance risk.

The report said that while the vast majority of global companies (95 percent) have adopted cloud services, there is a wide gap in the level of security precautions applied by firms in different markets. Organisations admitted that on average, only two-fifths (40 percent) of the data stored in the cloud is secured with encryption and key management solutions.

The findings organisations in the UK (35 percent), Brazil (34 percent) and Japan (31 percent) are less cautious than those in Germany (61 percent) when sharing sensitive and confidential information stored in the cloud with third parties. The study surveyed more than 3,200 IT and IT security practitioners worldwide to gain a better understanding of the key trends in data governance and security practices for cloud-based services.

Germany’s lead in cloud security extends to its application of controls such as encryption and tokenisation. The majority (61 percent) of German organisations revealed they secure sensitive or confidential information while being stored in the cloud environment, ahead of the US (51 percent) and Japan (50 percent). The level of security applied increases further still when data is sent and received by the business, rising to 67 percent for Germany, with Japan (62 percent) and India (61 percent) the next highest.

Crucially, however, over three quarters (77 percent) of organisations across the globe recognise the importance of having the ability to implement cryptologic solutions, such as encryption. This is only set to increase, with nine in 10 (91 percent) believing this capability will become more critical over the next two years – an increase from 86 percent last year.

Despite the growing adoption of cloud computing and the benefits that it brings, it seems that global organisations are still wary. Worryingly, half report that payment information (54 percent) and customer data (49 percent) are at risk when stored in the cloud. Over half (57 percent) of global organisations also believe that using the cloud makes them more likely to fall foul of privacy and data protection regulations, slightly down from 62 percent in 2016.

Due to this perceived risk, almost all (88 percent) believe that the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will require changes in cloud governance, with two in five (37 percent) stating it would require significant changes. As well as difficulty in meeting regulatory requirements, three-quarters of global respondents (75 percent) reported that it is more complicated to manage privacy and data protection regulations in a cloud environment than on-premise networks. France (97 percent) and the US (87 percent) finding this the most complex, just ahead of India (83 percent).

The study found that there is a gap in awareness within businesses about the services being used. Only a quarter (25 percent) of IT and IT security practitioners revealed they are very confident they know all the cloud services their business is using, with a third (31 percent) confident they know.

Gemalto Data Protection CTO Jason Hart said: “While it’s good to see some countries like Germany taking the issue of cloud security seriously, there is a worrying attitude emerging elsewhere. This may be down to nearly half believing the cloud makes it more difficult to protect data when the opposite is true.

“The benefit of the cloud is its convenience, scalability and cost control in offering options to businesses that they would not be able to access or afford on their own, particularly when it comes to security.

“However, while securing data is easier, there should never be an assumption that cloud adoption means information is automatically secure. Just look at the recent Accenture and Uber breaches as examples of data in the cloud that has been left exposed. No matter where data is, the appropriate controls like encryption and tokenisation need to be placed at the source of the data. Once these are in place, any issues of compliance should be resolved.”




Oracle sees dark clouds ahead

lightning-cloudDatabase outfit Oracle has reported a strong second quarter thanks to an increase in cloud revenue, but is not seeing such a bright future.

Second quarter revenues were up six percent to $9.6 billion compared with last year’s second quarter. Net income was up 10 percent to $2.2 billion.

Total cloud revenues were up 44 percent to $1.5 billion but such growth is unlikely to continue, and some analysts are concerned that something is lurking below the surface.

Despite the strength of cloud revenue in the second quarter, Oracle’s cloud growth is forecast to slow in the current quarter to 21 to 25 percent, which is one of the factors that unsettled the market.

Changes are happening within Oracle and its methods of revenue gathering. There has been more take-up of unlimited licence agreements which could be a precursor to cloud migration and BYOL, and has helped slow the new licence revenue decline from 19 percent last year to a flat year and $1.3 billion revenue.

Larry Ellison, Oracle CTO, said the vendor will soon deliver its autonomous “self-driving” database.

“The new artificially intelligent Oracle database is fully automated and requires no human labour for administration. If a security vulnerability is detected, the database immediately patches itself while running.

“No other system can do anything like this. Best of all, we guarantee the price of running the Oracle Autonomous Database in the Oracle Cloud is less than half the cost of running a database in the Amazon Cloud.”



Cloud cost models are inaccurate

Darts-missCloud cost models tend to be based on “inaccurate assumptions,” leading customers to see less savings than expected, according to a new report

Analytics platform provider TSO Logic has added up some numbers and penned a report with the catchy title of “Economics of Cloud Migration”. It thinks that user assumptions include believing a cloud provider’s hardware is similar to hardware being deployed on premises. The report hints that public cloud platforms may be newer with better price and/or performance.

The report says that there are too many assumptions around hardware pricing leading to customers saving less than expected or, sometimes, finding out that moving to the cloud is actually more expensive.

“Customers assume that hardware pricing is basically the same for on-premise and cloud platforms when in reality public cloud providers benefit from massive economies of scale and often create custom hardware and software configurations”, the report says.

The report adds that customers tend to think their current on-premises resources are balanced and that their datacentres are using power efficiently, when this may not be the case.

According to the vendor, the biggest oversight, however, is customers’ use of “incomplete ‘direct match’ methodologies when projecting cloud costs”.

“Baked into many cost models is the assumption that current on-premise resources are sized appropriately and that cloud instances should be provisioned exactly as they are provisioned on-premise. Most on-premise workloads – more than 80 percent – are currently overprovisioned.”

The vendor encourages a “right-sized match” approach where provisioning is conducted using historical utilisation patterns and only for cloud resources that workloads require. It claims that through this approach, customers see an annual savings of at least 30 percent with the cloud.

TSO Logic CEO Aaron Rallo, said: “Organisations have tried to manually map their current environments to cloud, yet accelerated change and the sheer number of cloud compute options makes that impossible now.

“Once you factor in modern compute capabilities, new service offerings and underused resources, organisations can slash their estimated cloud bill by… 36 percent, empowering them to focus on their core business with faster go-to-market execution and improved customer experience.”


Cloud access security brokers could be the latest thing

Cloud TV-videomind-ooyala_1Analyst outfit Gartner claims that more than half of large enterprises will be using a cloud access security broker (CASB) by 2020.

The analyst is predicting a sixfold increase over the next two years, because big business want to protect their burgeoning cloud infrastructures.

Only 10 percent of large enterprises are employing the products of a CASB vendor right now. But the CASB market itself has seen mass consolidation over recent years – with Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, Symantec and Palo Alto Networks all acquiring CASB vendors to enter the space.

Gartner puts as the CASB market leader as Sky High Networks, which was recently acquired by McAfee.

It provides a gateway between an organisation’s on-premise infrastructure and a cloud provider’s infrastructure.

Gartner said the demand for CASB products will stem from a “need to secure the significantly increased adoption of cloud services and access to them from users both within and outside the traditional enterprise perimeter”.



Hybrid cloud set to grow

PAY-Lion-King-cloud-MAINHybrid cloud will take on greater importance during 2018, enabling added hybrid adoption growth.

Beancounters at analyst Technology Business Research (TBR) have added up some numbers and divided them by their shoe size and penned a report with the catchy title “2018 Cloud & Software Predictions: The only known certainties — Death, taxes and changes in the cloud market.”

The report found that the key driver for the development is the increasing complexity of cloud environments and integration.

The report stated that management headaches related to cloud implementations have been growing as the scale and scope of solutions expands, and integration across clouds and on-premise environments undoubtedly magnifies these challenges.

“While the desire for solutions that can be portable, fully integrated and flexibly delivered has never been higher, the management of workloads being implemented into sprawling hybrid environments will remain the bottleneck for how much additional hybrid adoption will occur in 2018”,  the report said.

“In addition to driving innovation at the tools and platforms level, the hybrid will increase demand for services engagements. The skills needed to deploy and manage hybrid solutions, from technology and complexity perspectives, are distinct issues that customers need to address as part of their hybrid implementation.”

Customers not only have to grapple with how to manage and control cloud solutions within their organisations and manage cloud solutions at scale and during integration with other IT assets.

“For these reasons, cloud vendors, and more importantly, their services partners, will play a critical role in the successful implementations of hybrid solutions and broader hybrid environments for their joint end customers.”

The majority of customers looking to include services as part of their hybrid implementations also seek to engage with partners from the start. Of the customers TBR surveyed as part of its Hybrid Cloud Customer Research, 52 percent indicated they are working with an SI or broker to complete their initial hybrid purchases.

TBR some attributes that must be inherent in hybrid included being a multivendor and integrated solution.

“Similarly, it must meet customer objectives to create cohesive environments to share data across elements to promote those much-desired strategic business initiatives and outcomes.

“Due to the increasing complexity of hybrid environments and the need for customisation, partners that can integrate multivendor solutions will be highly sought after in hybrid purchasing cycles,” the report said.

IAR gets under Amazon’s bonnet

amazonsIAR Systems has announced support for newly launched Internet of Things (IoT) Microcontroller Operating System, Amazon FreeRTOS.

Together with Amazon Web Services (AWS), IAR Systems provides developers with easy access to  pre-integrated development tools for developing and debugging embedded and IoT-connected applications based on Amazon FreeRTOS.

Amazon FreeRTOS provides tools that developers need to quickly and easily deploy a microcontroller-based connected device and develop an embedded or IoT application without having to worry about the complexity of scaling across millions of devices.

Based on the FreeRTOS kernel, Amazon FreeRTOS includes software libraries which make it easy to securely connect devices locally to AWS Greengrass, directly to the cloud, and update them remotely. For new devices, developers can choose to build their embedded and IoT application on a variety of qualified microcontrollers from companies collaborating with AWS and IAR Systems, including Microchip, NXP, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments.

Amazon Web Services Principal Engineer Richard Barry said that AWS is pleased to be teamed with IAR Systems to provide developers with access to a high performance, pre-integrated set of development tools for developing and debugging connected applications.

“Software development is becoming ever more complex and critical and the need to have access to the right tools to help developers create, optimize and debug their code is paramount.”

IAR Systems Product Manager Lotta Frimanson said that FreeRTOS is widely used among our customers and the new capabilities added by AWS will enable them to take their development of connected applications to the next level.

“AWS and IAR Systems solutions provide easy access to high-performance and integrated tools that can enable developers to focus on the innovative and differentiating parts of their application.”


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.