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Feature Article

Pragmatic Cloud: Private Clouds Deliver No Value (part 2)

By George Watt

People who live in glass houses should throw dashboards.

In Part I of this series, I discussed some of the challenges and value (or lack thereof) perceptions facing private cloud providers ending with the question "what can be done" to address those.  As is likely apparent, there are many things that might be done to address this, and selection of the most appropriate strategies is certainly dependent upon your situation.  In this post, I will focus on some simple approaches that are likely broadly applicable. Read the full article.

Cloud News

  • Software AG has bought Java-performance expert Terracotta in order to develop an open-source based cloud application platform that will rival offerings from Oracle, VMware and IBM. Read more in this blog by GigaOm’s Derrick Harris.
  • Despite the recent Amazon Web Services outages, Oracle announced that it has selected AWS as the cloud platform for a Relational Database Service based on Oracle. Amazon is offering hourly pricing without any up-front fees or long-term commitments, as well as the option to buy Reserved Database Instances under one- or three-year terms, according to this NewsFactor article. This offering comes on the heels of a previous database-as-a-service announcement from salesforce.com.
  • While the battle for business-cloud clients between Google and Microsoft has gotten vicious, analyst numbers suggest that each company’s share of the quickly growing market is about even. Read this eWeek article for more info.
  • MuleSoft launched a cloud-based integration-platform-as-a-service offering geared toward SaaS providers, integrators and telcos. Mule iON is designed to help cloud-based software providers bring customers onboard more quickly through rapid integration of applications, services and data across the enterprise and clouds, according to this Connected Planet article.
  • VMware launched a federated sign-on service for cloud applications. VMware Horizon App Manager extends internal user directories to cloud services without disclosing user names or passwords. Read more in this PCWorld article.
  • In this blog, Derrick Harris speculates whether Cisco’s recent announcement with NetApp (a partnership that directly competes with its Virtual Computing Environment joint venture with EMC and VMware) means that Cisco is “tired of getting the short end of the vBlock stick.”

Cloud Views

  • This Computerworld article describes four basic approaches to calculating virtualization and cloud costs: activity-based costing, tiered pricing, service costs vs. infrastructure costs and weighting. The article also cites some interesting data about how organizations currently report the cost/benefit of cloud and virtualization projects.
  • In this CIO article, Bernard Golden outlines the core competencies CIOs must focus on in order to transition to become a ‘cloud service provider’ to the business. The basics include: consumer self-service, application abstraction from specific infrastructure and infrastructure funding separate from applications. Additional requirements include: support for applications with highly variable load and resource use, automated operations, capacity planning and high utilization.
  • This CIO Insight slideshow titled Gartner’s Cloud Computing Outlook 2011 sizes the cloud market ($112 billion over the next six years), describes the top accelerating factors for cloud, lists the enterprise functions most likely to be outsourced, predicts the impact cloud will have on the culture of IT organizations and more.

MSP Corner

  • This ZDNet article covers ‘The five keys to building a successful cloud services business.’
  • This MSPMentor article describes how Transent is partnering with MSPs to help customers move from in-house email servers to cloud-based messaging.
  • Microsoft and Citrix are partnering to offer Desktop-as-a-Service solutions for SMB customers. Read more in this TheVarGuy article.
  • MSPAlliance has launched an educational program for cloud and managed service providers, according to this TheWHIR article. The courses will focus on processes and procedures from various business models, operating metrics and standards and includes a green IT certification.
  • HP introduced its Network Management Center 9.1 with specific features aimed at MSPs and cloud computing, including multi-tenancy groups and security groups, and the ability to support public, private and hybrid cloud environments. Read more in this Channel Insider article.

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CloudCommons is an independent online community of IT professionals, analysts, technology providers, and industry experts. Members can ask questions, learn from experts, and find the latest cloud-related news. Cloud Commons offers a forum to contribute and discuss best practices and successes, as well as research vendor solutions. Sponsored by CA Technologies, Cloud Commons has been growing steadily since its launch in May of 2010.

Hosted on Cloud Commons is the Service Measurement Index (SMI). Led by Carnegie Mellon University, SMI encompasses a growing consortium of members. SMI compiles user-submitted ratings of cloud services and scores them relative to other services of the same type. Ratings include metrics such as: quality, agility, risk, cost, capability, and security.

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