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IBM Launches Federal Cloud Innovation Center in D.C.

Center will bring IBM’s cloud computing research efforts closer to federal agencies to develop specialized technologies

Cloud computing's profile just took a leap in the polls.

IBM announced the opening of a new Federal Cloud Innovation Center dedicated to helping federal agencies and other public-sector organizations advance the adoption of cloud computing across the government.

The new IBM Federal Cloud Innovation Center in Washington, D.C., will bring IBM's cloud computing research efforts closer to federal agencies to develop specialized technologies and methods for building mission-ready clouds, Big Blue officials said. Moreover, the IBM center will draw on the cloud computing expertise of more than 500 IBM professionals aligned to the center along with IBM's global network of more than 37,000 cloud industry experts, according to an article on eWEEK.com.

These experts include IBM researchers, IT infrastructure architects, software developers and consultants with deep industry knowledge in managing major transformation projects across the federal government as well as implementing cloud solutions. IBM said the key focus of the center will be to work with the government to explore further the adoption of open standards for cloud computing across the federal government.

Open standards in cloud computing provide integration, break down barriers between clouds within government, and drive workload portability. IBM is a significant contributor to OpenStack, cloud standards and other open protocols that can help ensure that different providers' clouds will have accessibility. IBM brings unique implementation capabilities on top of the open-source code for agencies looking to quickly and securely deploy open technologies in their cloud computing environments.

Cloud Computing: Transforming Cities
Cloud computing would like to be your neighbor.

Cloud technology's impact is expanding beyond the consumer world. It's transforming civic life too whether by making basic services - from municipal water systems to city permit systems - run more smoothly or helping cities react in real time to problems big and small, according to an article on WashingtonPost.com.

The cloud is helping empower citizens, getting them involved in making cities better places to live. By streamlining its tech operations onto the cloud, Honolulu was able to quickly dish up a string of new smartphone apps for city residents, including one that lets folks report urban problems, such as broken traffic lights, and another that allows commuters to check traffic cameras to pinpoint exactly when their bus will arrive.

The rise of the cloud comes at a good time for budget-conscious cities and municipalities. Rather than pouring their own resources into new data centers, communities can turn to pay-as-you-go cloud services as an efficient, effective way of consolidating data and programs from different government agencies.

But the cloud's appeal goes far beyond simple cost savings. By compiling into one system all the key data and applications that are now siloed away, cities create a foundation for rolling out new services for citizens and employees, gathering and sharing urgent, useful information, and layering on new technologies, such as sensors, analytics, and mobile apps, which can help make their communities safer and more livable.

Cloud Computing Storage to Grow
It's a big world out there, and the cloud would like to store it.

Cloud computing storage is on the rise, and that's creating new vendor offerings in the market. A new survey found that the United States is the largest revenue generator in the worldwide cloud-based storage market. The growth of acceptance of the cloud to digitally store information has created better choices for mid-size firms aiming to implement the cloud at an affordable price point, according to an article on Midsizeinsider.com.

Global research firm TechNavio recently released its official forecast of the cloud storage market. The results show that the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 36 percent until 2016. Out of all the global regions, North America is considered the largest adopter of cloud computing storage technologies. The highest enterprise adopters include the manufacturing sector and the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector. Companies in the fields of retail, health care and entertainment will also be implementing cloud storage at an aggressive pace in the future.

The report called out the emergence of mobile technologies, including tablets and smartphones, as a growth factor. Additionally, TechNavio concluded that the overall cloud storage market has seen more vendors offering services, which is resulting in a decreased cost for services.

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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