Tag: Cloud

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.

Google partners have another Cloud product

LOD_Cloud_Diagram_as_of_September_2011Google is adding another product in its range of big data services on the Google Cloud Platform today.

Dubbed the Cloud Dataproc service, the product is in beta, but Google Beta products normally stay that way for years.

The service sits between managing the Spark data processing engine or Hadoop framework directly on virtual machines and a fully managed service like Cloud Dataflow.

This allows the partner to orchestrate data pipelines on Google’s platform.

Dataproc users can create a Hadoop cluster in under 90 seconds and Google will only charge 1 cent per virtual CPU/hour in the cluster. It is top of the usual cost of running virtual machines and data storage, but you can add Google’s cheaper preemptible instances to your cluster to save a bit on compute costs. Billing is per-minute, with a 10-minute minimum.

Users can set up ad-hoc clusters when needed and because it is managed, Google will handle the administration for them.

It is compatible with all existing Hadoop-based products, and it should be a doddle to port existing workloads over to Google’s new service.

Some punters want total control over their data pipeline and processing architecture and are more likely to want to run and manage their own virtual machines. Dataproc users won’t have to make any real tradeoffs when compared to setting up their own infrastructure.

Cloud no panacea as Citrix tries to sell itself

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudIt would appear that tacking “cloud” onto your product list is not proving to be a panacea for IT company woes.

Citrix, a US cloud computing company, is making a final attempt to sell itself as a whole before it embarks on asset sales, according to people familiar with the matter.

Citrix, which had attracted the interest of private equity investors before it agreed in July to give a man called Elliott a seat on its board of directors, is having new conversations with buyout firms.

Apparently the outfit is looking to hardware makers like Dell who might want to create a product and cloud package.

Citrix announced in July it would explore strategic alternatives for its GoTo family of products, including videoconferencing and desktop sharing service GoToMeeting. However, a sale process for these assets has not started yet because Citrix wants to see if it can still sell itself at a satisfactory valuation, according to the sources.

If Citrix does not sell itself it will sell or spin off its GoTo products, and other methods to asset strip itself.

Citrix provides communications software and networking solutions for businesses. It reported net income of $251.7 million in 2014, down from $339.5 million in 2013.

Earlier this year, Elliott called on Citrix to sell some units, cut costs and buy back shares to make up for six years of underperformance. In addition to the GoTo business, Elliott has called for Citrix to explore the sale of NetScaler, which helps speed up Web-based applications.

Elliott clinched a deal with Citrix in July that gave Jesse Cohn, one of its senior partners, a seat on the company’s board. Citrix also said it would start a search for an independent board member, mutually agreeable to Citrix and Elliott.

It also said at the time that Chief Executive Mark Templeton was retiring and that it would search for a new CEO.

Earlier this month, Citrix said it would repurchase up to an additional $500 million of its common stock.

 

 

 

Ubuntu is the cloud king

cloud 2Ubuntu is more than twice as popular on the Amazon cloud as all other operating systems combined, according to a new analysis.

According to the Cloud Market which looked at operating systems on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Ubuntu has approximately 135,000 instances. In second place is Amazon’s own Amazon Linux Amazon Machine Image (AMI), with 54,000. Windows is third with 17,600 instances.

By dominating AWS, Ubuntu is the most popular cloud Linux.

Ubuntu has been available on HP Cloud, and Microsoft Azure since 2013. It’s also now available on Google Cloud Platform, Fujitsu, and Joyent.

Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, is also putting considerable efforts behind OpenStack for the private and hybrid cloud. Indeed, Canonical has also worked with Microsoft to bring Windows Server to OpenStack and with Oracle to bring Oracle Linux to the Ubuntu take on OpenStack.

Apparently, 53 percent of all production OpenStack clouds are running Ubuntu. CentOS is far in the back with 29 percent.

Autodesk slumps thanks to cloudy subscription model

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudThe software subscription model is taking a beating after the maker of computer-aided design (CAD) software, Autodesk cut its full-year profit and revenue forecast for the second time this year, sending its shares down seven percent.

Autodesk also reported lower than expected quarterly revenue as its licensing revenue declined because of the company’s shift to a cloud based subscription model.

The company said it expects revenue of $2.47 billion-$2.50 billion for the year. In May, the company forecast 2016 revenue growth of two to four percent, compared with fiscal 2015, implying revenue of $2.56 billion to $2.61 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $2.59 billion.

Chief Executive Carl Bass said during a conference call said that the company had updated its revenue outlook based on a greater than expected portion of its sales shifting from perpetual licences to new subscription types.

Subscriptions bring in less money upfront as payment is spread over the entire period of use unlike traditional packaged software, but typically ensure more predictable recurring revenue.

However, the company maintained its full-year forecast for billing growth and net subscription additions.

The company’s licensing and subscription revenue, which accounts for nearly half of its total revenue, fell 17 percent in the second quarter ending July 31, from a year earlier.

The company reported a net loss of $235.5 million, or $1.04 per share, for the second quarter, compared with a profit of $31.3 million, or 13 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenues fell 4.3 percent to $609.5 million, missing the average analyst estimate of $612.4 million.