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Feature Article

Looking forward or backward? Cloud makes you decide what you want IT to be known for

By Jay Fry, CA Technologies

Cloud computing is all about choice. I've heard that a lot. What most people mean when they say this is that there are suddenly a whole bunch of places to run your IT workloads. At Amazon using EC2 or at Rackspace? At ScaleMatrix or Layered Tech? Or inside your own data center on a private cloud you’ve created yourself?

But there are some more fundamental choices that cloud seems to present as well. These choices are about what IT is going to be when it grows up. Or at least what it’s going to morph into next.

Here are 3 big decisions that I see that cloud computing forces IT to make, all of which add up to one, big, fundamental question: will IT define itself as an organization that looks toward the future or back into the past? Before you scoff, read on: the answer, even for those eagerly embracing the cloud, may not be as clear as you think. Read the full article.

Cloud News

  • NYSE Technologies has launched a cloud service offering aimed at financial industry customers. Built on technology from EMC and VMware, the Capital Markets Community Platform will host applications including electronic trading, market data analysis, algorithm testing and regulatory reporting and will also provide cloud-based versions of proprietary NYSE services, according to this InformationWeek article. In this blog, GigaOm analyst Derrick Harris describes some use cases for the offering, and comments on the significant cost savings this cloud could yield to large and small firms alike.
  • News from CloudExpo: Not to be overshadowed by Apple’s iCloud announcement, lots of cloud vendors made announcements at this week’s CloudExpo show in NYC. For more highlights, read this article on Cloud Commons which covers the infiniCloud from Logicworks, an Abiquo and UShareSoft partnership, an API portal from Layer 7, RightScale’s myCloud private cloud offering, Cloud-in-a-Box offering from ScaleMatrix and Telx’s launch of cloud connection centers.
  • This Computerworld article identifies 10 SaaS companies to watch. On the list: Antenna Software, Cloud9 Analytics, CVM Solutions, Exoprise Systems, GageIn, Host Analytics, KnowledgeTree, LiveOps, Reval and Taleo.
  • Harris has opened a new cloud data center that it says has enough protective measures to make a multi-tenant public cloud as secure as enterprise data centers, according to this Information Week article. The company plans to offer IaaS services from its new data center.
  • VMware has acquired Socialcast, a social communications platform that can tie into CRM and ERP systems. Read this TechCrunch article for more detail.

Cloud Views

  • In this Network World article, Beth Schultz provides six tough questions you should ask your next IaaS vendor.
  • In this InfoWorld article, David Linthicum explores why ‘The cloud won’t save you money, and that’s OK.’
  • CA Technologies published a Cloud Leaders iPad app that features Q&A profiles and videos of cloud thought leaders and cloud service providers.
  • IT is increasingly being bypassed in cloud implementations: this Computerworld article published the results of a survey of C-level executives and business unit leaders. 20 percent of respondents had gone around IT to provision cloud services (why? 61% said it was easier, 50% said it would be faster, and 60% said that the policies to prohibit such actions aren’t real deterrents). On a related topic, this WindowsPro article explores ‘Is cloud computing really killing IT pro jobs?’ (read why Sean Deuby thinks it won’t).

MSP Corner

  • This BSM Info Cloud article summarizes key takeaways from the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit. Ingram Micro’s goal is to serve as the channel’s leading cloud aggregator. Later this year, it will enable MSPs and other partners to purchase and deploy cloud services through a simple ‘shopping cart’ experience. Ingram Micro also announced partnerships with eight new companies: Cisco, Siemens, SherWeb, N-Compass, Symantec, VMware, BMC and Trend Micro. This CRN article offers details on what services from these new partners will be included in the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace when it launches.
  • ScaleMatrix will be offering OnRelay mobile cloud exchange solutions in a cloud environment. OnRelay offers a convergence solution so that companies can replace desk phones with mobile phones. Read this MSP Mentor article for more. As noted in the CloudExpo news item, ScaleMatrix also announced a Cloud-in-a-Box solution that will help companies get a public, private or hybrid cloud service up and running in hours. The Cloud in a Box solution packages ScaleMatrix hardware with the CA 3Tera AppLogic cloud platform. This Hosting News article has more.
  • RightScale launched the Multi-Cloud Marketplace, an app store that will include RightScale and third party templates for cloud deployments. RightScale deploys applications in one of several public clouds and its customers are primarily users of Amazon’s EC2 and RackSpace cloud services. For more, read this Information Week article.

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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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