Cloud Computing

Simply put, Cloud Computing is where applications, storage and computing power are provided over the Internet instead of locally on a single computer or network and are utilized as a service rather than a product—like electricity, you use what you need and pay by the meter. Broadly speaking, to be considered Cloud Computing an application’s data and core processing functions would be hosted/stored and managed online ("in the cloud") and accessible from any PC, laptop or mobile device with a network connection in real-time; and you would pay for computing resources as you utilize them. So, in short, Cloud services are provided via the Internet and on a consumption-based pay-as-you-use model. These services are typically established with short-term contracts and without up-front expenditure. However, Cloud Computing can be private and therefore internal in nature such as when a large enterprise builds its own Private Cloud.

More eruditely it is defined by The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as "a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.” NIST's working definition of cloud computing has long been the de facto definition.

Cloud Computing has become a viable option because large amounts of storage and processing power have become ubiquitous and cheap—it's now cost-effective for companies ("Cloud providers") to build huge data centers where computing and software can be provided remotely on an enormous scale and rented out like a utility service. Thus, "in the cloud" actually means that within these huge data centers applications and associated data are installed on one or many powerful computers called servers that reside within specially adapted buildings. The facilities that house these data centers are like warehouses filled with banks of servers in cabinets called racks that have powerful air conditioning systems to keep the servers cool and highly resilient power and Internet connections. And the biggest beneficiary is the small and medium business sector which now has access to the same expensive technologies as enterprises, without owning them, but simply paying for them according to use.

Lastly, companies that implement the Cloud effectively gain a faster time to market for applications, the flexibility to deal with changes in business demand and a friendlier environment for testing new initiatives, as software and infrastructure can be scaled up or down depending on changing needs and requirements. Cloud computing can help businesses optimize the resources they have at hand, reducing the cost and complexity of their data center, while putting the right amount of computing power at the fingertips of every employee, no matter where they are or when they need it. Cloud-enabled companies can achieve strong efficiency gains because the Cloud's inherently open architecture gives them the ability to add new features and functions quickly and easily, and to reduce the maintenance costs for their IT architecture; consequently, this allows them to focus more on their primary business objectives and to compete in new and innovative ways. Moreover, the absence of initial capital expenditure allows companies to much more freely move to alternative Cloud solutions if the current one is found not to be the best fit.

The cloud offers a myriad of capabilities and benefits that meet business and computing challenges across a spectrum of companies and user groups. However, all clouds share the following:

Pooled Computing Resources – Every cloud pools physical and virtual resources -- notably storage, processing, memory, network bandwidth, and virtual machines -- enabling resources to be dynamically activated and de-activated on demand. Generally, users don’t control or even know the exact location of the resources. However, they can often choose a deep level of abstraction -- such as a high-availability domain or a service that meets regulatory requirements around data location.

Network-Centric – Regardless of its flavor, each implementation of cloud computing is network-centric. All services are delivered over a network and accessed through such basic tools as lightweight web protocols.

Agile Provisioning of Resources – Every cloud is able to activate or deactivate resources quickly and easily. In some cases, users enjoy self-service, enabling them to provision such capabilities as server capacity and storage over the Internet, via web applications or web services.

Rapid Allocation of Resources – Resources are rapidly and elastically allocated to meet computing demands – meaning they can be scaled up or down in minutes for maximum efficiency. All clouds use pre-set policies to manage the allocation, while the best ones adjust resources automatically.

Pay-Per-Use Pricing and Metering – Public cloud providers charge on a pay-per-use basis, also known as utility pricing. Such metering of services (notably storage, CPU usage, bandwidth, and so on) is also used by private and hybrid clouds, although those clouds typically do not charge users but leverage metering to gain insight into usage patterns, capacity planning, and other purposes.

Also referred to as the three major layers, here are the three primary types of Cloud Computing —

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

In the IaaS model, a provider delivers a computer infrastructure (typically a heavily virtualized environment) as a service. Clients pay a metered rate for servers, software, data-center space and network equipment. IaaS is at the other end of the cloud spectrum from SaaS . In this scenario, you want to maintain control of your software environment, but you don't want to maintain any equipment. You don't want to have to buy servers and put them in a climate-controlled room or any of that. Instead, you go to an IaaS provider and request a virtual machine.

Notable examples:  Amazon Web Services, HP CloudSystem, AirVM, CloudBasic, Microsoft Azure

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

The PaaS model provides services -- middleware, such as application servers and databases -- layered on top of an IaaS foundation. Typically, PaaS adds another level of abstraction that unburdens developers and operators of certain tasks. Developers write their application to a more or less open specification and then upload their code into the cloud where the application is hosted and automatically scaled without the developer having to worry about it overly.

Notable examples:  IBM Cloud, VMWare vCloud, Microsoft Azure

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

SaaS is probably the best known and easiest-to-grasp model of cloud computing as it involves the direct consumption of an application by end-users rather than by developers or operators. There is no inherent relationship between a hosted application and the nature of the infrastructure on which it runs. However, SaaS applications can and often do run on cloud infrastructure and middleware. As alluded to, SaaS is really geared toward the end users in your organization and doesn't take much to get started. The provider figures out how many resources to devote to your use of the application. The provider figures out the servers, the virtual machines, the network equipment, everything. You just point your browser at it.

Notable examples: PGi GlobalMeet, HyperOffice, Intermedia, Mailprotector, Microsoft Office 365, Carbonite, Mozy

Cloud computing comes in three main deployment models: public, private, and hybrid. However, there are also community and combined models.

Public Cloud: Here, a company owns and operates the cloud infrastructure or platform, and sells cloud services to the general public and organizations. Customers access the services via the Internet and are billed on pay-per-use basis. Well-known examples of public cloud services are Google Mail & Apps and Amazon Web Services.

Private Cloud: In this case, an organization owns its own cloud and uses resources which are dedicated to that organization. The operation of the cloud takes place behind the internal firewall or behind a third-party’s firewall. This type of cloud is managed by the organization or a third-party, and can exist on-premises or off-premises. A private cloud shares many of the characteristics of public cloud computing including resource pooling, self-service, elasticity and pay-by-use delivered in a standardized manner with the additional control and customization available from dedicated resources.

Hybrid Cloud: As its name suggest, a hybrid cloud blends the public and private cloud models, and provides a high degree of interoperability between a private cloud and a public cloud implementation. The hybrid model is favored by companies that want to own and operate a cloud infrastructure sized for routine loads but like the flexibility of renting extra capacity to handle load spikes.

Community Cloud: In this deployment, several organizations with similar requirements and issues share the infrastructure and its cost. Common issues are security, compliance, and industry-specific concerns.

Cloud Awareness Course eLearning by ITpreneurs

The Cloud Awareness eLearning Course is a 4 hour interactive experience for those who require a basic understanding of cloud computing and cloud computing concepts.

Description:

The Cloud Awareness course provides a 4 hour, interactive, online learning experience. This self-paced elearning course is ideal for those who require a basic understanding of the virtualization and cloud computing concepts in a time-efficient manner. The course has been designed for learners who need this basic awareness as a general interest — as part of a larger program initiative — as opposed to the full certification Virtualization and Cloud Essentials courses.

Audience:

The Cloud Awareness course will be of interest to:
• IT and business executives who want to receive an overview of the concepts and the significance of virtualization and cloud computing.
• IT and business staff who need a brief overview and awareness of the virtualization and cloud computing concepts.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:
• Understand the common terms and definitions of virtualization and cloud computing and be able to give examples.
• Understand the technical capabilities and business benefits of virtualization and cloud computing and how to measure these benefits.
• Describe the landscape of different types of virtualization and understand the different types of clouds.
• Illustrate how key application features can be delivered on virtual infrastructures.
• Explain typical steps that lead to the successful adoption of virtualization technologies.
• Understand the similarities and differences between cloud computing and outsourcing.

Course Student Material: Online, self-paced instructional material available for 90 days.


This excellent eLearning course is available from us (SCR) for $99. Please call us or email sales@sitescomputer.com if you are interested in buying one or more licenses.


Microsoft Future Decoded Event: Key Announcements by CEO Satya Nadella - News18

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 07:05:00 GMT


News18

Microsoft Future Decoded Event: Key Announcements by CEO Satya Nadella
News18
The two-day event, held between February 21 and 22, is claimed to bring together 1,500 business and government decision makers to engage in conversations on how technology can empower people and organisations. The conference was also addressed ...
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella as it happened: Skype Lite app, Project Sangam and moreThe Indian Express

all 128 news articles »

Google rents Nvidia graphics chips in its cloud for machine learning - SiliconANGLE (blog)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 05:56:56 GMT


SiliconANGLE (blog)

Google rents Nvidia graphics chips in its cloud for machine learning
SiliconANGLE (blog)
Google Inc. is touting the beta test of a new cloud service that lets customers rent Nvidia Corp. graphics chips running in its data centers to do machine learning and other computing-heavy workloads. The program, launched Tuesday, allows Google cloud ...

and more »

Amazon GameLift Supports Unreal Engine, Unity, and Custom C# and C++ Engines

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:34:51 +0000

Developers can now use Amazon GameLift with their preferred game engine. Whether it’s Amazon Lumberyard, Unreal Engine, Unity, or custom C# and C++ game engines, developers can leverage Amazon GameLift as a simple, fast, cost-effective tool for hosting dedicated game servers. The Amazon GameLift SDK download contains C# and C++ support and a prebuilt Unreal Engine plugin that accelerates and simplifies integration into Unreal Engine game servers. 

AWS Config Rules Supports New Managed Rules

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 22:40:13 +0000

AWS Config Rules now supports seven new managed rules, which are predefined rules that AWS Config uses to evaluate whether your AWS resources comply with common best practices. 

AWS Config Rules Available in Europe (London) Region

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 22:40:09 +0000

AWS Config Rules is now available in the Europe (London) AWS region.

Google to Allow MRC to Audit YouTube Ad Performance Metrics

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 14:11:00 -0800

The Media Rating Council will audit and accredit data that YouTube provides to advertisers about how their display and video ads fare on the video sharing platform.

Kubernetes Is Generally Available on Azure Container Service

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:28:00 -0800

The open-source container deployment and orchestration technology is now officially supported on Microsoft's Azure Container Service.

Amazon Elasticsearch Service now supports additional instance types and up to 30 TB EBS capacity per domain

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 20:51:20 +0000

Amazon Elasticsearch Service now supports M4, C4, and R4 instance types. M4 and R4 instances provide improved compute performance at lower prices than the previous generation of M3 and R3 instances. With the C4 instance type, you can benefit from better cost effectiveness for workloads that have high indexing requirements. Additionally, on the newly supported instances, Amazon Elasticsearch Service offers increased EBS volume size up to 1.5 TB per node. The increased volume size allows you to store up to 30 TB in a single Amazon Elasticsearch Service domain using EBS-backed data nodes, which is triple the previous limit. For Provisioned IOPS SSD volumes, we have also increased the maximum to 16,000 IOPS to support the most demanding workloads. This release also offers operational enhancements that reduce the time required for performing cluster updates and snapshots, typically by more than 50%.

Amazon QuickSight now supports Scheduled Refresh of SPICE data

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 20:44:36 +0000

You now have the ability to automatically update SPICE (Super-fast, Parallel, In-memory, Calculation, Engine) datasets in Amazon QuickSight based on a schedule. You can specify the Time Zone, the Time of Day, the Frequency (Daily, Weekly, or Monthly), and the Starting Date for your SPICE dataset refresh. This capability eliminates the manual process of updating SPICE datasets and allows you to easily share dashboards with up-to-date information. Scheduled refresh is now available in Amazon QuickSight for all supported AWS, cloud and on-premises data sources, for both new and existing datasets in all regions. For more information, see the AWS Big Data Blog post on Scheduled Refresh.

Amazon Can Take Oracle Database Share as It 'Up-Sells,' Says CLSA - Barron's (blog)

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 17:58:00 GMT


Barron's (blog)

Amazon Can Take Oracle Database Share as It 'Up-Sells,' Says CLSA
Barron's (blog)
Lee, who has an Outperform rating on Amazon stock, and a $950 price target, bases his comments on feedback from CLSA's analyst on IT services, Lou Miscioscia, and on a phone call he had with Miscioscia and consulting/services firm Cloud Technology ...

and more »

Capgemini signs deal with Horizon Nuclear Power - Cloud Computing Intelligence (registration) (blog)

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:27:37 GMT


Cloud Computing Intelligence (registration) (blog)

Capgemini signs deal with Horizon Nuclear Power
Cloud Computing Intelligence (registration) (blog)
... state of the art security operations centre which will be delivered from its Inverness-based Security Operations Centre; and the creation of a fully scalable cloud platform which will have the ability to scale up based on the business's future ...

and more »

Amazon Athena supports querying AVRO data, is available in the US East (Ohio) region and integrates with Looker.

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 01:31:27 +0000

Customers can now use Amazon Athena to query data stored in Apache AVRO. AVRO is a data serialization system with support for rich data structures, schemas and binary data format. Click here to learn more about using AVRO with Athena. We also added support for the OpenCSV Serde, which allows you to process CSV files with customized separator, quote and escape characters. 

AWS Marketplace Self-Service Listings Now Lets Software Vendors Edit Existing Products

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 21:25:45 +0000

Today, AWS Marketplace released new feature enhancements to the Seller Self-Service Listings feature, a web-based interface that lets AWS Marketplace software vendors manage their product listings through the AWS Marketplace Management Portal (AMMP). Starting today, software vendors that have product listings in AWS Marketplace can use Self-Service Listings to make changes to their Amazon Machine Image (AMI)-based product listings, including updating product metadata, uploading new versions, making changes to instance types and pricing, and more. In addition, Self-Service Listings allows vendors to create new AMI-based or SaaS Subscriptions product listings.

Microsoft forms cloud partnership with Flipkart, Amazon's top rival in India - SiliconANGLE (blog)

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:27:22 GMT


SiliconANGLE (blog)

Microsoft forms cloud partnership with Flipkart, Amazon's top rival in India
SiliconANGLE (blog)
Microsoft Corp. today announced a new partnership that will make its Azure cloud computing service the exclusive platform for Indian retail juggernaut Flipkart. According to Microsoft, Flipkart's first goal is to implement Azure for its computing ...
Flipkart-Microsoft combine can't beat Amazon's cloud offerings, say analystsHindu Business Line

all 190 news articles »

Amazon CloudWatch adds Alarms on Dashboards

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 17:12:31 +0000

Amazon CloudWatch introduces Alarms on Dashboards, a new feature that enables customers to bring metrics and alarms together on a dashboard. This new feature can help you stay better informed about important changes in your AWS resources and metrics with more informative dashboards that integrate alarm conditions.

'Booth babe' ban a welcome move for cyber security conference - WRAL Tech Wire

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:56:08 GMT


'Booth babe' ban a welcome move for cyber security conference
WRAL Tech Wire
Editor's note: Tony Rice is a Senior Information Security Engineer at Cisco and a contributor to WRAL.com on astronomy topics. SAN FRANCISCO - I joined over 43,000 others in San Francisco last week at one of the largest annual events in cyber security ...

and more »

Microsoft's Asia head sees 'huge' opportunity in China, the future in cloud computing - CNBC

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 04:51:00 GMT


CNBC

Microsoft's Asia head sees 'huge' opportunity in China, the future in cloud computing
CNBC
In a study released by Microsoft on Monday, 78 percent of Asia Pacific decision-makers surveyed said cloud computing was crucial in their digital transformation strategy. The findings of the company's Asia Digital Transformation Study also ... test and ...
Gartner Says Worldwide Sales of Smartphones Grew 7 Percent in the Fourth Quarter of 2016Gartner

all 76 news articles »

Microsoft's Azure SQL Database Threat Detection Available in April

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 17:36:00 -0800

Microsoft is kicking off several security-themed products to provide customers with attack-resistant cloud services and new capabilities.

AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM) Supports Inline Swagger and AWS CloudFormation Intrinsic Functions

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 22:19:42 +0000

The AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM) has introduced several new updates to improve your serverless application development. AWS SAM extends AWS CloudFormation to provide a simplified syntax for defining the Amazon API Gateway APIs, AWS Lambda functions, and Amazon DynamoDB tables needed by your serverless application. It is available under Apache 2.0.

SAP Updates S/4HANA Cloud to Help Enterprises Make Smarter Decisions

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 13:56:00 -0800

SAP S/4HANA Cloud gets a machine-learning boost that will enable customers to make informed decisions from mountains of ERP data.

Dell EMC Announces it Will Launch Hybrid Cloud on VxRail Appliances

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 13:51:00 -0800

Dell EMC reports selling more than 8,000 VxRail nodes to more than 1,000 customers since VxRail appliances launched last February,

How MSPs Are Enabling Strong Adoption of Azure Cloud Services

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 11:14:00 -0800

NetEnrich issued a survey showing that managed service providers are helping enterprises make the transition to Microsoft's Azure Cloud platform.

AWS Schema Conversion Tool Exports from Oracle and Teradata Data Warehouses to Amazon Redshift

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 23:43:50 +0000

We are pleased to announce that the AWS Schema Conversion Tool (SCT) can now extract data from Teradata and Oracle data warehouses for direct import into Amazon Redshift. Amazon Redshift is a fast, fully managed, petabyte scale data warehouse that was designed for the cloud from the ground up. AWS SCT will run an analysis of your data warehouse, automate the schema conversion, apply the schema to the Amazon Redshift target and extract your warehouse data, regardless of volume. You can use Amazon S3 or Amazon Snowball to move your exports to the cloud, where Amazon Redshift can natively import the data for use.

AWS Marketplace Metering Service Now Supports 14 Regions with the addition of US East (Ohio), Canada (Central), and EU (London)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 21:57:06 +0000

AWS Marketplace Metering Service is now available in the US East (Ohio), Canada (Central), and EU (London) regions. AWS Marketplace Metering Service enables customers to purchase software from select AWS Marketplace vendors that price by the usage within an Amazon Machine Image (AMI), rather than a flat hourly, monthly, or annual fee for running the AMI. These pricing dimensions better enable customers to pay for only what they need when running software projects. As with other AWS Marketplace products, usage is aggregated at the end of the month, along with other AWS products, and charged as part of an existing AWS bill.

AWS Config Rules Adds AWS CloudFormation Templates and a Test Mode for Rule Authoring

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 21:16:30 +0000

AWS Config now provides ready-to-use AWS CloudFormation templates for all managed rules and supports a new test mode to check the functionality of custom Config rules.

Google Releases Beta Version of Cloud Spanner Database Service

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 16:50:00 -0800

Google has started beta tests of its Cloud Spanner database service that combines SQL and NoSQL technologies to optimize the performance of large-scale cloud applications.

Verizon Negotiates Price to $4.55B for Yahoo Transaction

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 14:57:00 -0800

Despite Yahoo's security issues, Verizon plunges ahead with the deal in order to expand its multi-channel advertising reach using Yahoo and AOL assets.

Amazon AppStream 2.0 now supports federated access using SAML 2.0

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 21:24:44 +0000

Amazon AppStream 2.0 now supports federated sign-in using SAML 2.0. Users can sign in to AppStream 2.0 using their existing credentials, and start streaming applications. As an administrator, you can use your existing user directory to control end-user access to applications available via AppStream 2.0. You can quickly add or remove access for users or groups, restrict access based on user locations, and enable multi-factor authentication. You can enable federated access and controls via any SAML 2.0 compliant identity provider such as Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services, Okta, Ping Identity, and Shibboleth.

Improve AWS services' security with multi-factor authentication (MFA) using AWS Microsoft AD

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 20:22:25 +0000

You can improve the security of your sign in to AWS services, such as Amazon WorkSpaces and Amazon QuickSight, by enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) when using AWS Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory (Enterprise Edition), also known as Microsoft AD. Enabling MFA helps improve the security of your applications because users must enter a one-time passcode (OTP) in addition to their Active Directory (AD) user name and password. AWS Microsoft AD supports both virtual and hardware MFA OTP tokens.

Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) Enables Live Volume Modifications with Elastic Volumes

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 20:22:24 +0000

Today we are introducing the Elastic Volumes feature for Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS). This new capability allows you to modify configurations of live volumes with a simple API call or a few console clicks. Elastic Volumes makes it easy to dynamically increase capacity, tune performance, and change the type of any new or existing current generation volume with no downtime or performance impact. You can streamline and automate changes using Amazon CloudWatch with AWS Lambda. With Amazon EBS you can provision the capacity and performance you need today with the confidence that you can make modifications in the future as your business needs change.

AWS Key Management Service (KMS) now supports tagging of keys

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 20:21:43 +0000

AWS Key Management Service (KMS) is a managed service that makes it easy for you to create and control the encryption keys used to encrypt your data. Starting today, you can tag KMS keys to better organize how keys are used, and to track your KMS costs in the cost allocation report more easily. You can tag a key at the time of key creation or after the key is created.

Microsoft, KPMG Opening Blockchain Innovation Centers

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 11:57:00 -0800

The companies team up to establish Blockchain Nodes in Frankfurt and Singapore, with a New York location to follow, to help create new blockchain-based solutions.

Amazon Chime Takes Aim at WebEx, Skype in Online Conferencing

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 11:55:00 -0800

Amazon has disrupted many established business with cloud platform and online retailing services. Now it is taking on online conferencing with Amazon Chime.

Amazon API Gateway Integration with AWS Step Functions

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 18:27:36 +0000

Amazon API Gateway now integrates with AWS Step Functions, allowing you to call Step Functions with APIs that you create to simplify and customize interfaces to your applications. Step Functions makes it easy to coordinate the components of distributed applications and microservices as a series of steps in a visual workflow. You create state machines in the Step Functions Console or through the Step Functions API to specify and execute the steps of your application at scale. API Gateway is a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale. With just a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, you can create an API that acts as a “front door” to Step Functions. You can use an API to start Step Functions state machines that coordinate the components of a distributed backend application, such as a web application that tags and resizes uploaded photos, or verifies new users upon registration. You can also integrate human activity tasks in the steps of your application, such as an approval request and response, and make serverless asynchronous calls to APIs of services you use in your application.

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Wix.com, Salesforce.com and Attunity - Yahoo Finance

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 15:03:27 GMT


The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Wix.com, Salesforce.com and Attunity
Yahoo Finance
In the matter of just a few years, “the Cloud” has evolved from the new feature that your grandmother just can't quite seem to understand to one of the main factors driving growth in the computing sector. Cloud computing is now an essential focus for ...

and more »

Google's Cloud Endpoints Now Offered in General Availability

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 17:05:00 -0800

Google announces general availability for Cloud Endpoints and its Java and Python Endpoints Frameworks for App Engine.

Salesforce Service Cloud Einstein Uses AI, Machine Learning, Mobile

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 13:38:00 -0800

Salesforce’s Service Cloud Einstein mobile app uses artificial intelligence to help contact centers respond more efficiently to customers.

What Prolonged Instapaper's Cloud Content Archive Service Outage

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 10:58:00 -0800

Content archiving service Instapaper was knocked offline for a full day; the company is working to give users access to their entire archive contents.

With Spanner database service, Google raises the stakes in cloud computing - SiliconANGLE (blog)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 18:23:11 GMT


SiliconANGLE (blog)

With Spanner database service, Google raises the stakes in cloud computing
SiliconANGLE (blog)
Databases are a crucial foundation for cloud computing, because all applications are built atop them. One reason Oracle remains dominant in databases is that it's very hard to move data off one brand of database to another. If Google can woo ...
Google Launches Public Beta of Managed Database Service Cloud SpannerTalkin' Cloud
Google Cloud Platform Blog: Introducing Cloud Spanner: a global database service for mission-critical applicationsGoogle Cloud Platform Blog
Cloud Spanner | Automatic Sharding with Transactional Consistency at Scale | Google Cloud PlatformGoogle Cloud Platform
Google Cloud Platform
all 43 news articles »

Announcing Amazon Chime: Frustration-free online meetings with exceptional audio and video quality

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 05:10:28 +0000

Amazon Chime is now available to all customers. Amazon Chime is a modern, fully-managed communications service from AWS that makes it easy for you to communicate with people inside and outside your organization using voice, video, and chat. With Amazon Chime, online meetings are easier and more efficient, crystal clear audio and high definition video keep you focused on the discussion, and the service is designed to work seamlessly across desktops and mobile devices. Because Amazon Chime is a managed service that runs on AWS, it doesn’t require you to deploy or maintain complex infrastructure and software. And you benefit from the security that comes with a data center and network architecture built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations. 

Microsoft Bolsters Security on Windows, Office and Azure Cloud

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 15:55:00 -0800

Microsoft adds several new capabilities, product offerings and analytics tools to help customers thwart modern cyber-security threats.

Box CEO Offers Perspectives on AI, Machine Learning at Work

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 12:18:00 -0800

NEWS ANALYSIS: Storage and data protection have come from far behind the other key components of IT--computing and networking--to catch up in terms of innovation.

AWS Direct Connect announces support for Link Aggregation

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 18:27:04 +0000

We are excited to announce support for 1G and 10G Link Aggregation Groups (LAG). Customers in US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Northern California), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), Canada (Central), South America (São Paulo), Asia Pacific (Mumbai), and Asia Pacific (Seoul) regions can start using LAG to link existing connections on the same AWS device, or request new connections. Users who wish to purchase multiple ports, but treat them like a single managed connection can now use our LAG feature to do just this. In addition to ordering and managing bundles, you can now see when your ports fall on the same router so you can manage your network availability.

New Quick Start deploys an architecture that supports HIPAA Phase 1 and 2 on the AWS Cloud

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 22:08:55 +0000

This new Quick Start deploys a standardized environment that supports compliance with the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The Quick Start was built by AWS solutions architects and compliance experts who have migrated and deployed workloads that are within scope for HIPAA compliance. It supports the technical controls within the 52 statutes of HIPAA Phase 1 and the 180 statutes of HIPAA Phase 2.

AWS CloudTrail Simplifies Data Events Configuration

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 19:37:38 +0000

The AWS CloudTrail console now allows you to separately add data events and management events logging options, making it easy to customize your CloudTrail configuration. With data events logging, you can record all API actions on Amazon S3 Objects and receive detailed information such as the S3 object level API activity, AWS account of the caller, IAM user role of the caller, time of the API call, IP address of the API, and other details. With management events logging, you can record operations that occur on your AWS accounts and resources, such as administrative actions to create, delete, and modify EC2 instances or IAM activities.

Ubuntu version of AWS Deep Learning AMI Now Available

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 19:06:42 +0000

You can now easily run deep learning in the cloud at any scale on Ubuntu version 14.04 using the Deep Learning AMI hosted on the AWS Marketplace. In addition to the Amazon Linux version, the 64-bit AMI offers an Ubuntu image designed to provide a stable, secure, and high performance execution environment for deep learning applications running on Amazon EC2. It includes popular deep learning frameworks such as MXNet, Caffe, Tensorflow, Theano, Keras, CNTK, and Torch, as well as packages that enable easy integration with AWS, including launch configuration tools and many popular AWS libraries and tools. It also includes the Anaconda Data Science Platform for Python2 and Python3. The AWS Deep Learning AMI is provided at no additional cost beyond the Amazon EC2 hours used.

To learn more, read the details in the blog post and begin using the Deep Learning AMI for Ubuntu on the AWS Marketplace, today!

AWS CloudFormation Adds Support for AWS Step Functions

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 18:34:47 +0000

Starting today you can provision AWS Step Functions resources using AWS CloudFormation. AWS CloudFormation simplifies provisioning and management on AWS. You can create templates for the service or application architectures you want, and have AWS CloudFormation use those templates for quick and reliable provisioning of the services or applications.

Amazon Redshift now supports encrypting unloaded data using Amazon S3 server-side encryption with AWS KMS keys

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 18:03:05 +0000

The Amazon Redshift UNLOAD command now supports Amazon S3 server-side encryption using an AWS KMS key. The UNLOAD command unloads the results of a query to one or more files on Amazon S3. You can let Amazon Redshift automatically encrypt your data files using Amazon S3 server-side encryption, or you can specify a symmetric encryption key that you manage. With this release, you can use Amazon S3 server-side encryption with a key managed by AWS KMS. In addition, the COPY command loads Amazon S3 server-side encrypted data files without requiring you to provide the key. For more information, see COPY and UNLOAD in the Amazon Redshift Database Developer Guide.

AWS Service Catalog Introduces Support for YAML-formatted AWS CloudFormation Templates

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 21:43:46 +0000

You can now create Service Catalog Products using YAML-formatted AWS CloudFormation templates (YAML Version 1.1) in addition to JSON-formatted templates. This allows template creators to choose the format they feel most comfortable working in to describe AWS infrastructure. YAML-formatted CloudFormation templates follow the same anatomy as existing JSON-formatted templates.

Rackspace CEO confirms layoffs in blog post - KENS5.com

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 22:46:41 GMT


WOAI

Rackspace CEO confirms layoffs in blog post
KENS5.com
Rackspace CEO Taylor Rhodes announced on his company blog on Tuesday that the San Antonio-based cloud computing and hosting company will lay off 6 percent of its workforce. "Rackspace today initiated layoffs that will cut our U.S. workforce by about 6 ...
Rackspace is cutting 6% of its workforceNetwork World
Hard Things: Cutting Current Costs to Invest in Our Future - Rackspace BlogRackspace Blog

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WebOffice Alternative – Hundreds of WebEx WebOffice users migrate to HyperOffice as End-of-life date approaches

Thu, 15 May 2014 20:07:38 +0000

As the Nov 30, 2014, end-of-life date draws near for Cisco’s WebEx WebOffice, scores of WebOffice users looking for an alternative have approached us. Many of these customers were on WebEx WebOffice for years, and are in the difficult position of not only having to find an alternative, but also find a way to safeguard [...]

So what really is HyperOffice?

Thu, 20 Mar 2014 20:55:24 +0000

While collaboration is something everyone in a business undertakes everyday, the word “collaboration”, due to its inherent abstractness sometimes doesn’t convey much to the listener. As a developer of collaboration software, this is a challenge we have faced at HyperOffice, and gotten better at overcoming over the years. In that ongoing effort, the following graphic [...]

Service Provider Leverage in Emerging Collaboration Markets

Tue, 11 Feb 2014 18:20:43 +0000

The Collaboration Market The rapidly growing cloud market and the significant shifts in the voice and data services marketplace have created unprecedented challenges and opportunities for service providers. While the challenges presented to service providers are numerous and of strategic significance, in the interest of brevity, I will focus on opportunities specific to cloud collaboration. Business OTT [...]

Finding the best metaphor for social business software

Mon, 21 Oct 2013 18:21:56 +0000

We are all suckers for memes and metaphors. A great metaphor helps us instantly grasp a difficult concept, rolls easily off the tongue, and encourages us to share the idea with others. Metaphors are invaluable in our world of software, where we need to convey technical concepts to an audience which is not tech savvy. [...]

Your “What intranet software…” questions answered

Tue, 03 Sep 2013 22:15:57 +0000

This post answers common questions people have about the capabilities of an intranet software, and explains how HyperOffice can serve many of these needs. This is part 3 of the “What..” series. You can find parts 1 and 2 here and here. What are the benefits of an intranet software? You might want to look at my [...]

Your “What online document sharing software….” questions answered

Fri, 30 Aug 2013 15:42:17 +0000

Continuing from my last post (about the common questions about project management HyperOffice features answer), this post is about common document sharing questions that our document management capabilities answer. Do you have any of the following questions? What is a cloud based document management software like Sharepoint, but cheaper and simpler? HyperOffice has been called a “Sharepoint [...]

Your “What online project management software…” questions answered

Thu, 29 Aug 2013 20:19:25 +0000

I was going through Quora today, and I came across multiple questions related to online project management software, the answer for which was quite simply, HyperOffice. That gave me the idea of doing a post where I explain how HyperOffice features answer common questions people ask about an online project management tool. So here goes.. What [...]

Email and Knowledge Management: It’s like keeping a fish in a kennel

Wed, 21 Aug 2013 22:11:49 +0000

At its heart, knowledge management is all about the ability to capture the knowledge created in an organization, and making it available to everyone in the company today, and in the future.  Every document, presentation, contact, or even message created in a company represents this knowledge, which might be of use to someone else in [...]

Service Providers vs. OTT Vendors: Who will win the battle of cloud data? (Infographic)

Mon, 05 Aug 2013 17:27:19 +0000

Communications Service Providers are reaching the tail end of an era of unprecedented profits driven by mobile voice and messaging revenues. Those days are over. The strategic dynamics of the market are in the middle of a paradigm shift where communications are increasingly data centric – VOIP, M2M messaging, social messaging, file sharing etc. There is [...]

Mathematical Collaboration with MathType and HyperOffice

Mon, 01 Jul 2013 18:01:40 +0000

If Newton were still alive, he would have trouble communicating his ideas online. Sure, he could have described his laws, but at soon as he tried typing out the equations, they would have looked like this: F = G[m1*m2/r(2)] As you can see, communicating online is not amenable to mathematical equations. That’s where MathType comes in. MathType [...]

The “Cloud” is changing the way we consume, share and use digital information because it makes access to information and computing power easier, faster and more affordable. We can help you understand and benefit from this rapidly growing and evolving IT transformation. As a broker of Cloud services, we offer sound advice on Cloud solutions and Cloud migration services, management of Cloud systems and Cloud provider relationships, and of course, procurement. The many excellent vendors of Cloud Computing services that we can help you utilize are shown below. Click on any scrolling icon to learn more about the solutions they provide. And be sure to check with us for best pricing; we are able to provide you with better pricing than the full retail prices you will see on many of these vendors' web sites.

Cloud Computing Vendors
  • 2X
    2X

    [Saas] The 2X LoadBalancer allows you to easily load balance RDP/ICA sessions between Windows Remote Desktop Services/Windows Terminal Services or Citrix terminal servers and provide fault tolerance. In addition, for remote users, back-end terminal servers can be hidden, only allowing access to the gateway machine(s), significantly increasing terminal server security.

  • Amazon Web Services
    Amazon Web Services

    [IaaS/PaaS/SaaS] Amazon Web Services provides a highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that powers hundreds of thousands of businesses in 190 countries around the world. AWS provides a massive global cloud infrastructure that allows you to quickly innovate, experiment and iterate. Instead of waiting weeks or months for hardware, AWS can instantly deploy new applications, instantly scale up as your workload grows, and instantly scale down based on demand.

  • aplicor
    aplicor

    [SaaS: CRM/ERP] Aplicor offers a hosted, integrated, wireless and CLOUD-based CRM software suite which includes Sales Force Automation, Marketing Automation, Project Office and Customer Support. They also offer a full cloud business suite by combining full CRM functionality with ERP for financial management – all in a seamless CLOUD business suite.

  • Awareness Technologies
    Awareness Technologies

    [SaaS: device monitoring] Awareness Technologies was founded in 2002, originally to provide software tools for national intelligence agencies, but shifted its focus five years ago to building the most practical and powerful security software for businesses and consumers including laptop theft protection software, web-filtering software and computer-usage monitoring software.

  • Bitdefender
    Bitdefender

    [SaaS: security] Security for Virtualized Environments by Bitdefender is the first comprehensive security solution for virtualized datacenters. The solution protects virtualized Windows, Linux, and Solaris systems. Its unique architecture enables it to be leveraged in any virtualization offering.

  • CGS
    CGS

    [SaaS: email archiving] Unlimited Mailbox from Computer Generated Solutions (CGS) is a powerful and flexible policy-based archive system that leverages your existing email storage environment and offers a better way to lower costs, reduce complexity, boost user productivity and meet regulatory requirements.

  • CloudProviderUSA
    CloudProviderUSA

    [IaaS] CloudProviderUSA's infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud solution provides organizations with the flexibility to establish and scale server resources instantly. Create, scale and delete cloud servers on-demand on with their secure, high performance and easy-to-use cloud platform. Server usage is charged per hour, and is billed monthly in arrears.

  • DocumentLogistix
    DocumentLogistix

    [SaaS: document management] Document Logistix helps companies to understand and implement document management strategies. Integrate all your existing document management systems with Document Manager. Their document management solutions range from bulk document scanning and imaging systems to workflow and secure archiving software.

  • HyperOffice
    HyperOffice

    [SaaS: collaboration] A comprehensive cloud collaboration toolset - business email, document management, intranet/extranet workspaces, shared calendars/contacts, project management, web forms, database apps, Outlook integration, and mobile sync.

  • Intermedia
    Intermedia

    [SaaS: hosted Exchange/collaboration/VoIP] Intermedia is the premier provider of cloud services to small and mid-sized businesses. Delivered from Intermedia secure datacenters, these services include hosted Microsoft Exchange email, VoIP telephony, instant messaging, file management, security, backup, support for the full range of smartphones and tablets, and more. The company's proprietary cloud infrastructure assures high reliability, and a certified support team is available around the clock.

  • ipConfigure
    ipConfigure

    [SaaS: surveillance] A leading developer of enterprise IP video surveillance solutions, ipConfigure offers a variety of products - all of which leverage a browser-based interface and are capable of seamlessly supporting unlimited cameras, locations and users in a centralized or distributed architecture. ipConfigure offers Enterprise Surveillance Manager, License Plate Recognition and Gigapixel Wide Area Surveillance solutions.

  • ITpreneurs
    ITpreneurs

    [SaaS: Cloud training] The ITpreneurs cloud computing curriculum supports knowledge transfer of the latest cloud terminology and trends. From Cloud Awareness that provides a high-level overview of Cloud Computing to the Cloud Essentials and Virtualization Essentials courses which are more in-depth, to the Cloud Challenge business simulation.

  • LEADMASTER
    LEADMASTER

    [SaaS: CRM] LeadMaster is an affordable web-based lead management system that provides sales and marketing solutions which enable companies to close the loop between marketing and sales and provide top-notch Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

  • mailprotector
    mailprotector

    [SaaS: email] Mailprotector offers Cloud-based email security, management and hosting including hosted Exchange. Their solutions are simple, effective and affordable.

  • MessageSolution
    MessageSolution

    [SaaS: email/file archiving] MessageSolution empowers today's organizations to effectively manage electronically stored information (ESI) and corporate intelligence where the ultimate goal is to comply with industry and government regulations, respond more quickly to electronic discovery, reduce storage costs, optimize email server functioning, or prepare for disaster recovery.

  • Microsoft Office 365
    Microsoft Office 365

    [SaaS] With Microsoft Office 365, you can get your work done securely and communicate real-time from almost anywhere. Combining Office with Office 365 unlocks the full potential of Office 365 as the best solution for productivity, collaboration, communication, and worry-free IT. Includes world-class, familiar tools including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote on your computer.

  • Mozy
    Mozy

    [SaaS: offsite backup] Mozy is the world's most trusted online backup service for consumers and businesses with more than 3 million customers and 80,000 business customers backing up 90 petabytes of information to multiple data centers around the globe. Mozy is backed by VMware and EMC Corporation.

  • NetLib
    NetLib

    [SaaS: SQL security] NetLib is a leading provider in database security for large, medium and small businesses, organizations and agencies. Protecting valuable databases and sensitive data is important to maintain business stability for our customers, as well as for the growing areas of compliance.

  • OC4
    OC4

    [SaaS: enterprise email] OC4 offes a fully managed enterprise eMail offering that is secure, fast, and reliable. Their offering includes integration with corporate directory, anti-spam / anti-virus, encryption (network and data), 24X7 Help Desk, and Service Level Agreements of 99.9%.

  • Reflexion
    Reflexion

    [SaaS: email/collaboration] Reflexion provides a range of hosted email services that are differentiated by their ease of implementation and use, their unique features and effectiveness and their affordability. Reflexion Total Control (RTC) is a hosted email security service that blocks spam, viruses and volume-based attacks before it reaches the corporate network. Reflexion Archiving, Discovery and Recovery (RADAR) provides businesses with a complete, searchable email archive.

  • Saddle Ranch Digtal
    Saddle Ranch Digtal

    [SaaS: digital signage content] Saddle Ranch Digital provides interactive and dynamic digital signage. Their process allows them to focus on your specific objectives and goals to build a fully optimized solution. With the combination of cutting edge software and hardware technologies, award winning customized content, complete content management and a team of experienced professionals, we can help you get the most return out of your digital signage investment.

  • SEEBURGER
    SEEBURGER

    [SaaS: large file transfer] SEE FX is a secure Web portal that empowers business people to transmit large and/or sensitive files. Business people create, manage and track secure files of any type and size, inside/outside the company firewall. IT has centralized control for compliance, audit, security purposes.

  • SiteLock
    SiteLock

    [SaaS: website security] SiteLock helps online business combat malware, hackers, and blacklisting with comprehensive website security. SiteLock makes website protection and business reputation management easy.

  • Sonian
    Sonian

    [SaaS: email/file archiving] Sonian, the pioneer in Cloud Powered Archiving and Search, offers it's archiving solutions at a fraction of the cost and complexity of other approaches. With over 11,000 customers across diverse industries and embedded into offerings from other cloud innovators; Sonian is the future of Archive and Search in the Cloud.

  • Storage Online
    Storage Online


  • ThinkGrid
    ThinkGrid

    [SaaS: e-mail/IaaS] ThinkGrid Hosted E-mail solution allows businesses to use Microsoft Exchange with no on-premise technology investment and provides enhanced redundancy, anti-spam, anti-virus and ease of management. Their cloud platform, the "ThinkGrid", is a scalable, redundant and geographically balanced infrastructure which underpins all of their service offerings, and is managed by their leading control panel technology.

  • Trend Micro
    Trend Micro

    [SaaS: security] As a global leader in cloud security, Trend Micro develops Internet content security and threat management solutions that make the world safe for businesses and consumers to exchange digital information. With more than 20 years of experience, they are recognized as the market leader in server security for delivering top-ranked client, server, and cloud-based security solutions that stop threats faster and protect data in physical, virtualized, and cloud environments.

  • Viewpath
    Viewpath

    [SaaS: project management] Viewpath's primary product is an online project management solution developed to provide anywhere-access to projects and dramatically simplify the day-to-day management of projects and events. Viewpath was designed to bridge the gap between complexities of Microsoft Project and makeshift solutions like spreadsheets to make it easier than ever for businesses of all sizes to manage projects, events and activities efficiently.

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