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.


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.


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 if you are interested in buying one or more licenses.

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Bypass Data Center Outsourcing Competition Smartly with Intelligent Automation Services

Mon, 24 Sep 2018 11:41:48 +0000

Currently, data center outsourcing (DCO) providers spend 70% to 80% of their IT budget on operations and maintenance of data centers. However, clients increasingly expect year-over-year improvements in service quality and performance, coupled with multiyear price reductions. These market conditions

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FCW Insider: Sept. 24 - (blog)

Mon, 24 Sep 2018 07:59:49 GMT (blog)

FCW Insider: Sept. 24 (blog)
As expected, the Defense funding bill includes some caveats to Pentagon plans to move quickly into cloud computing. The final conference report from House and Senate appropriators orders the Pentagon to submit reports on cloud budget accounting to ...

The Women to Watch: No. 6, MUFG's Ranjana Clark - American Banker

Mon, 24 Sep 2018 02:00:19 GMT

American Banker

The Women to Watch: No. 6, MUFG's Ranjana Clark
American Banker
Clark is driving the bank's adoption of technology including process automation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and blockchain. See the most recent ... You have to learn on a dynamic basis, read blogs, and listen to podcasts. If a colleague ...

600 blogs - Toolbox (blog)

Sun, 23 Sep 2018 10:48:39 GMT

600 blogs
Toolbox (blog)
2011 had a lot of blogs about cloud computing and virtual user groups, as well as more about SharePoint. The SharePoint blogs were also published on the Medium Sized Business Blog, part of TechNet Blogs. I also had a serious look at tablets. And I ...

AWS AppSync Launches a Guided API Builder for Mobile and Web Apps

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 21:37:10 +0000

Today, we’re launching a new guided API builder for AWS AppSync. Before today, knowing GraphQL was a pre-requisite for building an AWS AppSync API. This is because, AWS AppSync is powered by GraphQL, a powerful API query language that allows your backend and applications to perform complex data fetching in a single round trip for efficient network operations. The “no-code” GraphQL API builder, we release in July 2018, was a step in relaxing this requirement. With today’s launch, we are making it even easier to create a powerful, serverless API for your mobile and web apps without any prior knowledge of GraphQL.

July 2018 Oracle Patch Set Updates (PSU) for 11g is Now Available for Amazon RDS for Oracle

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 18:49:41 +0000

Oracle Patch Set Updates contain critical security updates and other important updates. The July 2018 PSUs are now available for 11g on Amazon RDS for Oracle. To learn more about the Oracle PSUs supported on Amazon RDS, visit the Amazon RDS patch update documentation.

Amazon EKS Simplifies Cluster Setup with update-kubeconfig CLI Command

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 17:53:06 +0000

The AWS command line interface (CLI) now allows you to create a kubeconfig file during Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS) cluster creation with a single command.

AWS Amplify Adds Support for Securely Embedding Amazon Sumerian AR/VR Scenes in Web Applications

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 17:47:53 +0000

The AWS Amplify JavaScript library now supports Amazon Sumerian, enabling developers to securely embed virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and 3D scenes into web applications.

The Lagging Impact of Technology Advances on Productivity Growth - Wall Street Journal (blog)

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 16:49:00 GMT

Wall Street Journal (blog)

The Lagging Impact of Technology Advances on Productivity Growth
Wall Street Journal (blog)
First of all, we're in the early deployment years of major recent innovations, including cloud computing, IoT, big data and analytics, robotics, and AI and machine learning. Notes McKinsey: “The challenge of adoption in the current digital wave may be ...

Cloudflare Secures Time With Roughtime Protocol Service

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 06:38:00 -0700

As part of its Crypto Week series of announcements, Cloudflare debuts a new service to help organizations cryptographically secure time.

9 leading online database creators

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 12:54:39 +0000

You acknowledge the value of database apps; they are implemented in almost every business process. You also know that you don’t need an IT department or know to code to … Continue reading9 leading online database creators

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Online database apps examples you will make use of in your company

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 12:53:44 +0000

We have all heard about web databases or database applications; some know what they are and create them for their companies’ diverse needs; others think they understand what they are, … Continue readingOnline database apps examples you will make use of in your company

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Eight New Technologies That Are Changing Video Production

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 03:24:00 -0700

Technologies that are transforming data centers in other sectors are enabling television and video teams to produce, edit, finish and deliver clearer, crisper and more lifelike content faster and at lower cost.

Amazon EC2 R5 and R5d instances now Available in 8 Additional AWS Regions

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 02:39:24 +0000

Starting today, Amazon EC2 R5 instances are available in the Asia Pacific (Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo), Europe (Frankfurt, London), US West (N. California), Canada (Central), and GovCloud (US-West) AWS regions. This is in addition to the US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), and Europe (Ireland) AWS regions where R5 instances were already available since July 25th, 2018.

Amazon EC2 Spot Console Now Supports Scheduled Scaling for Application Auto Scaling

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 00:16:29 +0000

Amazon EC2 Spot Console now supports scheduled scaling for Application Auto Scaling, enabling you to plan scaling activities based on predictable workload patterns. Using the Spot Console, now you can create scheduled actions for your Spot Fleet request to scale the capacity up and down at specified times.

When you create a scheduled action, you can specify when the scaling activity should occur, the minimum capacity, and the maximum capacity. At the specified time, Auto Scaling scales your Fleet based on the new capacity values. You can create scheduled actions that scale one time only, or that scale on a recurring basis.

Support for scheduled scaling in the EC2 Spot Console is now available in all public AWS regions. You can learn more about this feature by reading the documentation page and learn about Spot Instances here.

AWS CloudFormation coverage updates for Amazon API Gateway, Amazon ECS, Amazon Aurora Serverless, Amazon ElastiCache, and more

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 23:30:42 +0000

Newspaper headlines: 'Your Brexit's broken' and 'May humiliated' - BBC News

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 23:00:06 GMT

BBC News

Newspaper headlines: 'Your Brexit's broken' and 'May humiliated'
BBC News
According to the Daily Telegraph, the Times and the Guardian, Theresa May was "humiliated" by European leaders in Salzburg, who unanimously rejected her Chequers plan for Brexit as "unworkable". The Metro sums up their response as "Nein Nein Nein".

and more »

Amazon Aurora Parallel Query is Generally Available

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 21:55:41 +0000

Amazon Aurora Parallel Query is a feature of the Amazon Aurora database that provides faster analytical queries over your transactional data. It can speed up your queries by up to 2 orders of magnitude, while maintaining high throughput for your core transactional workload. Read about it on the AWS Blog.

AWS Database Migration Service Makes It Easier to Migrate Cassandra Databases to Amazon DynamoDB

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 20:44:52 +0000

AWS Database Migration Service (AWS DMS) and the AWS Schema Conversion Tool (AWS SCT) make it easier for you to migrate your Apache Cassandra NoSQL databases to Amazon DynamoDB. Using AWS DMS and the AWS SCT, you can now migrate your Cassandra databases to DynamoDB and then replicate ongoing changes to your DynamoDB tables. After you have migrated a Cassandra database, you can benefit from the consistent, single-digit millisecond latency at any scale of DynamoDB.

Migrating from Cassandra to DynamoDB enables developers to focus on building products rather than managing and maintaining database infrastructure. The DynamoDB serverless provisioning model eliminates the need to overprovision database infrastructure. In addition, DynamoDB does not require specialized resourcing or licensing. As a result, customers run their DynamoDB-backed applications with up to a 70% TCO savings compared with Cassandra. Finally, DynamoDB global tables, backup and restore, and encryption at rest provide developers similar functionality as Cassandra, but with the benefits of these capabilities being easier to implement and without overhead or downtime.

Plan Your Migration with AWS Application Discovery Service Data Exploration

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 18:23:06 +0000

AWS Application Discovery Service (ADS), which helps enterprise customers plan migration projects by gathering information about their on-premises data centers, launched a Data Exploration feature. This new feature allows you to easily query data that ADS agents pull from your on-premises servers in one single location, giving you the opportunity to better assess and plan for your migration project.

Live Streaming on AWS Now Features AWS Elemental MediaLive and MediaPackage

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 18:13:46 +0000

AWS has updated Live Streaming on AWS, a solution that automatically provisions the services necessary to build a highly resilient and scalable architecture that delivers your live video content worldwide. The solution now leverages the broadcast-grade features of AWS Elemental MediaLive to ingest your input feeds and transcode your content into two adaptive bitrate (ABR) HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) streams. MediaPackage packages those streams into HLS, Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH), and Microsoft Smooth Streaming (MSS) formats that are distributed through Amazon CloudFront. The solution also includes a demo HTML preview player that you can use to test the solution.

Amazon SageMaker Now Supports Tagging for Hyperparameter Tuning Jobs

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 16:11:23 +0000

Amazon SageMaker now supports tagging for hyperparameter tuning jobs. With this new capability, customers can now add one or more tags to a tuning job that is launched with Automatic Model Tuning.

Talari, Nuage Take SD-WAN Connectivity to the Multicloud

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 09:10:05 -0700

Both networking companies roll out platforms designed to make it easier for enterprises to connect branch offices with multiple cloud and SaaS providers.

Support for TensorFlow and S3 select with Spark on Amazon EMR release 5.17.0

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 12:58:58 +0000

You can now use TensorFlow 1.9.0, the popular machine and deep learning framework, and S3 Select with Apache Spark on Amazon EMR release 5.17.0. Tensorflow libraries can be combined with big data processing engines like Spark on EMR to speed up the model training process by parallelizing the tuning of training parameters. The trained model can then be broadcast to all the nodes of the cluster to perform distributed inference on a large amount of data that are too big to run on a single node. TensorFlow on EMR is packaged with TensorBoard, a visualization tool, that helps you visualize and debug the flow of tensor graph in real-time, understand the effects of your design choices, and further optimize your model. TensorFlow builds on EMR vary by the instance type you use for your cluster.

With EMR release 5.17.0, you can use S3 Select with Spark. This feature allows your Spark application to selectively query a subset of data from a large object in S3. This improves performance by reducing the amount of data that needs to be transferred to and processed by the EMR cluster. Additionally, with this release, you can configure JupyterHub on EMR to save and persist notebooks directly to S3. You can also use the upgraded versions of Apache Flink 1.5.2, Apache HBase 1.4.6 and Presto 0.206.

You can create an Amazon EMR cluster with the release 5.17.0 by choosing the release label “emr-5.17.0” from the AWS Management Console, AWS CLI, or SDK. You can select TensorFlow, Flink, HBase, and Presto to install these applications when you launch your EMR cluster. Please visit the Amazon EMR documentation for more information about EMR release 5.17.0, TensorFlow 1.9.0, S3 Select with SparkFlink 1.5.2, HBase 1.4.6, and Presto 0.206.

Amazon EMR release 5.17.0 is now available in all supported regions for Amazon EMR.

You can stay up to date on EMR releases by subscribing to the feed for EMR release notes. Use the RSS icon at the top of the EMR Release Guide to link the feed URL directly to your favorite feed reader.


Visualize This: How to Make the Most Effective Use of Data

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 04:02:00 -0700

Data visualization helps people put data in understandable context. When executed well, data visualization can cast light on connections and insights that otherwise would have gone unnoticed.

Amazon ElastiCache for Redis adds read replica scaling for Redis Cluster

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 00:00:14 +0000

Amazon ElastiCache for Redis adds support for adding and removing read replica nodes for Redis Cluster, the sharded Redis. Now you can easily scale your reads and improve availability for your Redis Cluster environments without requiring manual steps or needing to make application changes. Amazon ElastiCache previously already supported adding and removing read replicas for unsharded Redis (non-Redis Cluster mode).

Amazon S3 Announces Selective Cross-Region Replication Based on Object Tags

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 20:04:37 +0000

Amazon S3 Cross-Region Replication (CRR) now supports object filtering based on S3 object tags. This allows you to identify individual objects using S3 object tags for automatic replication across AWS Regions for compliance and/or data protection.

Amazon EC2 G3 Instances are Now Available in the Canada (Central) AWS Region

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 19:28:49 +0000

Starting today, Amazon EC2 G3 instances are available in the Canada (Central) AWS Region.

Rising Star Scality Launches Zenko Open-Source Cloud Management

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:05:00 -0700

A new data management package called Zenko 1.0 is the industry’s first and only cloud-native multicloud data controller. It was developed entirely with open source code.

Vertical Markets That Desperately Need an Edge Networking Strategy

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 03:35:00 -0700

This eWEEK Data Point article examines challenges that businesses across vertical markets face when it comes to the network and how an effective edge strategy can alleviate those concerns.

How New IBM Cloud Service Will Detect Bias in AI

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 01:40:00 -0700

Big Blue’s Trust and Transparency service also will help mitigate bias and show businesses how their AI systems reach their decisions.

AWS Server Migration Service Adds Support for Migrating Larger Data Volumes

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 22:43:16 +0000

AWS Server Migration Service now supports migrating on-premises virtual machines with data volumes of up to 16 TB. This enables customers to migrate their large databases and content management servers to AWS using the simplicity and ease of use that Server Migration Service provides.

Save time and money by filtering faces during indexing with Amazon Rekognition

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 21:41:06 +0000

Amazon Rekognition is a deep learning-based image and video analysis service that can identify objects, people, text, scenes, and activities, as well as detect any inappropriate content. Using Amazon Rekognition’s new face filtering feature, you can now have control over the quality and quantity of faces indexed for face recognition, thus saving on cost, reducing development time, and improving face recognition accuracy.

Amazon RDS for MySQL and MariaDB now Support M5 Instance Types

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 19:57:56 +0000

You can now launch M5 instances types when using Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) for MySQL and Amazon RDS for MariaDB. Amazon EC2 M5 instances are the next generation of the Amazon EC2 General Purpose compute instances. M5 instance offers a balance of compute, memory, and networking resources for a broad range of database workloads. 

AWS Storage Gateway Is Now Available as a Hardware Appliance

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 19:29:16 +0000

AWS Storage Gateway is now available pre-installed on a hardware appliance, which you can buy directly from, and manage from the AWS console. The appliance is based on a Dell EMC PowerEdge server with a validated configuration, and provides you an additional deployment option to the existing VMware ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V or Amazon EC2 virtual machines available today.

Amazon Elasticsearch Service now supports encrypted communication between Elasticsearch nodes

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 18:25:02 +0000

Amazon Elasticsearch Service now supports node-to-node encryption, enabling organizations to host sensitive workloads with stringent security and compliance requirements. The node-to-node encryption capability provides an additional layer of security by implementing Transport Layer Security (TLS) for all communications between Elasticsearch instances in a cluster. It ensures that any data you send to your Amazon Elasticsearch Service domain over HTTPS remains encrypted in-flight while it is being distributed and replicated between the nodes. Node-to-node encryption complements existing features provided by the service such as HTTPS client to cluster encryption, at-rest encryption, and Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) based network-level security and isolation for node-to-node communication. All certificates are deployed and rotated automatically by the service throughout the life of the domain, without any additional operational overhead. 

Google Whitepaper Explains Cloud Data Deletion Process

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 10:56:01 -0700

DAILY VIDEO: Google releases details on its cloud data deletion process, and mobile carriers join together for the Project Verify authentication effort.

The Data Lake Solution Now Integrates with Microsoft Active Directory

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 17:52:31 +0000

The AWS Solutions team has updated the Data Lake Solution, an automated reference implementation that deploys a highly available, cost-effective data lake architecture on the AWS Cloud along with a user-friendly console for searching and requesting datasets. The solution now includes a federated template that allows you to launch a version of the solution that is ready to integrate with Microsoft Active Directory.  

Burned by Data Losses, Companies Increasingly Turn to Cloud for Backup

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 08:46:09 -0700

Seeking to avoid the loss of data triggered by natural disasters or cyber-threats, companies are more likely to incorporate the cloud into their backup/recovery plans.

Salesforce Updates Collaboration Suite by Adding Quip Slides, AI

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 03:46:00 -0700

By adding slides to presentations that already include documents, spreadsheets and a chat function, Quip Slides offers a single application that enables teams to better collaborate and get work done faster, Salesforce said.

FCW Insider: Sept. 18 - (blog)

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 07:40:14 GMT (blog)

FCW Insider: Sept. 18 (blog)
In an investment note, Citi Research advised clients that a split of the $1 trillion company into retail and cloud computing made sense from both a financial and a regulatory point of view. According to an article on CNBC, the cloud computing arm would ...

Amazon WorkSpaces now lets you track login events using Amazon CloudWatch Events

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 21:42:11 +0000

You can now use Amazon CloudWatch Events to view, search, download, archive, analyze, and respond to successful logins to your Amazon WorkSpaces. With this release, you can monitor client WAN IP addresses, Operating System, WorkSpaces ID, and Directory ID information for users’ logins to WorkSpaces.  

Deploy WordPress High Availability by Bitnami with New AWS Quick Start

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 20:05:02 +0000

This Quick Start deploys WordPress High Availability by Bitnami, which includes WordPress with Amazon Aurora, in a highly available environment on AWS in about 40 minutes.

Why Software-Defined Perimeters Outflank VPNs for Secure Remote Access

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 11:45:00 -0700

With an increasing number of employees working from coffee shops, airports and home, and the cost of breaches increasing the security concerns created by perimeter-based VPNs, organizations are looking closer at alternatives such as SDPs, which use a zero-trust paradigm to overcome these issues.

SaaS vendor scoring tool

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 13:20:42 +0000

We’ve just built a simple tool to help you discern about what SaaS provider to choose. It’s a simple Google Spreadsheet that calculates the average score that goes from 1 … Continue readingSaaS vendor scoring tool

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FCW Insider: Sept. 17 - (blog)

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 02:22:40 GMT (blog)

FCW Insider: Sept. 17 (blog)
A leading government cloud provider, Amazon is also widely seen as having pole position in the much-contested race to deliver $10 billion in DOD cloud computing infrastructure via the JEDI acquisition. The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee will vote ...

Google Releases Details on Its Cloud Data Deletion Process

Fri, 14 Sep 2018 12:49:14 -0700

The new whitepaper is part of an ongoing effort by Google to be more transparent about its cloud operations.

Cisco Aims to Make Security Foundational Throughout Its Business

Fri, 14 Sep 2018 12:29:00 -0700

VIDEO: Gee Rittenhouse, SVP and GM of Cisco's Security Business Unit, discusses how his company is extending cyber-security capabilities across all aspects of the business.

Amazon Aurora with PostgreSQL Compatibility Supports Minor Version 9.6.9

Fri, 14 Sep 2018 16:21:59 +0000

Amazon Aurora with PostgreSQL compatibility has been updated to version 1.3 in support of Release 9.6.9 of the PostgreSQL database. This release includes reliability and performance improvements, along with a number of bug fixes.

Google Announces Stackdriver Workspaces for Monitoring Cloud Resources

Fri, 14 Sep 2018 07:31:54 -0700

Organizations can use it to organize and manage data pertaining to workloads running on Google, on-premises and third-party cloud environments, the company says.

Cloud-Native Applications at Risk From Zero Touch Attacks

Thu, 13 Sep 2018 08:48:00 -0700

Twistlock set up a honeypot with vulnerable applications to see what would happen and was quickly attacked by automated botnets looking to exploit unpatched vulnerabilities.

Salesforce Reveals New Low-Code App Tools for Lightning Platform

Thu, 13 Sep 2018 06:22:40 -0700

Now available in pilot, Lightning Object Creator and Lightning Flow Builder do things like turn spreadsheets into apps, automate processes for customer or employee UX and add new layers to processes, such as accepting credit card payments or adding a video player.

Google Outlines Incident Response Process for Cloud Customers

Thu, 13 Sep 2018 03:30:00 -0700

The four-phased approach is designed to quickly identify incidents, mitigate damage and restore services, the company says.

#eWEEKchat Sept. 12: Why Voice UI Eventually Will Enable Everything

Tue, 11 Sep 2018 11:30:00 -0700

Voice UI is that big red “easy” button, as popularized by OfficeMax, and easy is always best. How are we going to handle the proliferation of chatbots, smart speakers and talking cars going forward?

Google's Cloud Access Transparency Logs Now Generally Available

Tue, 11 Sep 2018 05:35:00 -0700

Google Cloud Access Transparency Logs give organizations a way to keep an eye on any access to their cloud data by Google engineers and administrators.

Unravel Data: Product Overview and Analysis

Tue, 11 Sep 2018 03:14:00 -0700

Unravel Data guarantees the reliability and performance of apps, maximizes cost savings (across storage, compute and users), and claims to improve productivity in a self-service DataOps environment.

Microsoft Access databases examples for common business needs

Mon, 10 Sep 2018 19:55:41 +0000

You may know Microsoft Access as the most famous software to build database apps. It represents an absolutely versatile tool to create any number of applications that work with relational … Continue readingMicrosoft Access databases examples for common business needs

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AT&T Makes First Mobile 5G Millimeter Wave Data Transfer

Mon, 10 Sep 2018 03:18:00 -0700

Telecom names additional 5G cities and announces Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung as major 5G equipment suppliers.

How Alternative DBs are Disrupting the Conventionals in 2018

Fri, 07 Sep 2018 04:19:00 -0700

NEWS ANALYSIS: As AWS has scaled out, it now perceives a need for new-gen functionality inside DBs that are easier to manage, not as expensive to maintain, and more flexible in integrating and moving workloads.

Google-Cisco Hybrid Cloud Offering Now Generally Available

Fri, 07 Sep 2018 04:10:00 -0700

Organizations can use this hybrid cloud service to develop, deploy and manage applications more easily and securely across on-premise and cloud infrastructures, Google says.

China Tariffs Threaten Cloud Costs - Wall Street Journal (blog)

Thu, 06 Sep 2018 22:13:15 GMT

Wall Street Journal (blog)

China Tariffs Threaten Cloud Costs
Wall Street Journal (blog)
The latest round of tariffs, announced last month, applies levies of up to 25% on many key components of cloud computing, from motherboards to memory modules and coaxial cables, hitting both U.S. cloud providers and users, the Washington-based ...
Quick Take: Your Primer on Trump's China Tariffs | U.S. Chamber of CommerceU.S. Chamber of Commerce
US And China Impose Fresh Tariffs As Trade War EscalatesNPR
Trump Administration Threatens Even Higher Tariffs On ChinaNPR
Roc-lon® Performance Fabrics, Rockland Industries, Inc.
all 1,546 news articles »

Why Self-Service Analytics Has Gone Backward--and What To Do About It

Thu, 06 Sep 2018 05:33:00 -0700

Compared to where IT was a few years ago, effective and easy-to-navigate self-service analytics has become much more difficult to achieve. Kelly Stirman explains why and what enterprises can do about it.

Juniper Networks, Ericsson Expand Partnership for 5G Management

Wed, 05 Sep 2018 12:01:00 -0700

Complete end-to-end 5G solution brings together best-of-breed radio access, IP transport and security portfolios to simplify service providers’ next-gen mobile networks.

Watchdog Group Bypasses Google Controls to Buy Divisive Political Ads

Wed, 05 Sep 2018 05:20:00 -0700

Google's measures to prevent foreign actors from spreading political disinformation are not working, the watchdog group Campaign for Accountability says.

Avere vFXT File System for Azure Cloud Goes Into Public Preview

Wed, 05 Sep 2018 04:45:00 -0700

Previously available for Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform, the Avere vFXT clustered file system is now arriving for Azure.

Atlassian Launches Jira Ops for Incident-Response Management

Wed, 05 Sep 2018 03:29:00 -0700

The company describes Jira Ops as a hub for modern incident management, because many response teams need a central control to find the right tools and practices to solve new-gen issues.

The Misleading Power of Internet Metaphors - Scientific American (blog)

Wed, 05 Sep 2018 06:56:54 GMT

Scientific American (blog)

The Misleading Power of Internet Metaphors
Scientific American (blog)
In our digital, networked world, metaphors that become memes (such as "cloud" computing, "smart" tech and the “Internet of Things") can be powerful tools for techno-social engineering humans—meaning that that they shape conversations and beliefs about ...

FASB updates guidance on cloud computing costs - Compliance Week (blog)

Fri, 31 Aug 2018 15:33:23 GMT

FASB updates guidance on cloud computing costs
Compliance Week (blog)
The board learned that existing rules were not explicit on how to account for fees paid by a customer in a cloud computing or hosting arrangement that includes a software license, which led to companies developing different approaches. FASB's Emerging ...

How to build your own Intranet for free in less than a day – no coding skills required

Fri, 31 Aug 2018 14:48:05 +0000

Remember the days when building sites and portals seemed like a hugely complex task? Web developers used to be magicians for all of us and we were wondering how they … Continue readingHow to build your own Intranet for free in less than a day – no coding skills required

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IT Science Case Study: How Walmart Embraced Test Automation, Open Source

Fri, 31 Aug 2018 04:23:00 -0700

As part of an initiative to improve customer e-commerce experiences and developer productivity, the Walmart team adopted continuous testing best practices using Selenium and Test Armada.

Qualcomm, Netgear Team for Mesh WiFI Smart Speaker

Thu, 30 Aug 2018 05:56:00 -0700

This could be the start of a trend that may accelerate in the 5G era, as the symmetrical distribution of wireless connectivity becomes key to delivering cognitive smart office and home experiences.

6 Things About Work Management System Your Boss Wants To Know

Fri, 03 Aug 2018 17:43:44 +0000

Nowadays, companies are eager to track and optimize everything. Well, they can do that know since digital technologies bring absolute real-time traceability. We don’t talk just about front office operations … Continue reading6 Things About Work Management System Your Boss Wants To Know

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Intranets and Document Sharing – Do they go together?

Thu, 02 Aug 2018 20:45:26 +0000

Companies —big and small— have a need to store, manage, and share documents online. The question about whether to go digital or not is a foregone conclusion by now. Today’s … Continue readingIntranets and Document Sharing – Do they go together?

The post Intranets and Document Sharing – Do they go together? appeared first on .

Is the corporate intranet dead?

Thu, 02 Aug 2018 14:36:42 +0000

All over the Internet, there are blog posts and authors sentencing intranets to death. Is this true? (maybe, why not?). Most of these —somehow— biased blogs express the opinion that … Continue readingIs the corporate intranet dead?

The post Is the corporate intranet dead? appeared first on .

Slack vs. Microsoft Teams vs. a comparison between world-class business chat apps

Tue, 31 Jul 2018 22:03:37 +0000

Recently, Microsoft Teams announced a free plan, raising the attention of those companies looking for business chat solutions and those that already use Slack. The market evolvement is aggressive and … Continue readingSlack vs. Microsoft Teams vs. a comparison between world-class business chat apps

The post Slack vs. Microsoft Teams vs. a comparison between world-class business chat apps appeared first on .

10 Internal communications tools and channels you didn’t consider before — and how Intranets remain as the hub of collaboration

Tue, 31 Jul 2018 11:22:45 +0000

When companies grow their nominee they start having challenges they didn’t have before: it’s harder to know what each individual is doing and corporate communication becomes blurry and complex. As … Continue reading10 Internal communications tools and channels you didn’t consider before — and how Intranets remain as the hub of collaboration

The post 10 Internal communications tools and channels you didn’t consider before — and how Intranets remain as the hub of collaboration appeared first on .

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

    [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

    [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

    [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

    [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

    [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

    [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

    [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

    [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

    [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

    [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.


    [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

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

  • 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

    [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

    [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

    [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

    [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.


    [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

    [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

    [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

    [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

    [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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