Posts tagged ‘Google’

Google signs five deals for green powering its cloud services

Google-officeCloud service giant Google has announced five new deals to buy 781MW of renewable energy from suppliers in the US, Sweden and Chile, according to a report on Bloomberg.

The deals add up to the biggest-ever purchase of renewable energy ever by a company that is not a utility, according to Michael Terrell, Google’s principal of energy and global infrastructure.

Google will buy 200 megawatts of power from Oklahoma-based Renewable Energy Systems Americas’s Bluestem wind project. From the same US state another 200 megawatts will be contributed by Great Western wind project run by Electricite de France. In addition, Google will also power its cloud services with 225 megawatts of wind power from independent power producer Invenergy.

Google’s data centres and cloud services in South America could become carbon free when the 80 megawatts of solar power that it has ordered from Acciona Energia’s El Romero farm in Chile comes online.

In Scandinavia the cloud service provider has agreed to buy 76 megawatts of wind power from Eolus Vind’s Jenasen wind project to be built in Vasternorrland County, Sweden.

In July, Google committed to tripling its purchases of renewable energy by 2025. At the time, it had contracts to buy 1.1 GW of sustainably sourced power.

Google’s first ever green power deal was in 2010 when it agreed to buy power from a wind farm in Iowa. Last week, it announced plans to purchase buy 61 megawatts from a solar farm in North Carolina.

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Google and Why the New Standard for Modern Applications is a Non-Relational Database Deployed in the Cloud #CloudWF

Guest Blog with MongoDB

Google and Why the New Standard for Modern Applications is a Non-Relational Database Deployed in the Cloud

Author: Kelly Stirman, VP of strategy at MongoDB

It’s positively raining cloud stories. Sorry. Cloud puns are so over…cast. Regardless, recent months have seen some interesting developments in the high stakes game for control of the foundational layer of your application stack i.e. what database you use and where it’s deployed. In early May Google released Cloud BigTable as a managed NoSQL database. Two weeks later Gartner released its  Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (Cloud IaaS) report.

While unrelated, the two announcements both shine some light on our path to a new, cloud-rich future. While the aspiring cloud giant Google gave further validation, if it were needed, that  NoSQL databases deployed in the cloud are the new standard for modern applications.

You see, the workload from modern applications is quite different from what it’s been in the past. Building your own data centre and installing a relational database was fine when you could predict the size, speed and type of data. Applications in 2015 are a different breed. The growth of social, mobile and sensor data has dramatically altered the way we approach development. Developers can’t tell in advance what any of this will look like in the final production version of their application, let alone future iterations.

Many organisations are already overcoming this by deploying non-relational databases on commodity hardware in the cloud. This approach lets companies gear up for massive scale and gives them enough flexibility to incorporate new data types that will support business processes and provide operational insight.

Google’s BigTable and Gartner’s Magic Quadrant

Google’s announcement highlighted two things. One: the big infrastructure players are looking to diversify and find new ways to wring revenue from the big data stack. Two: BigTable’s release illustrated that all major data innovation is happening away from relational data models.  Relational databases aren’t going anywhere fast, but they are challenged by the requirements of modern applications. In particular the trickiest of the three Vs of big data – variety of data types. BigTable is yet another database-as-a-service offering that is designed to be deployed on the vendor’s own cloud infrastructure, see also Amazon and Microsoft.

From one cloud provider’s announcement, we now look at a broader view of the industry from Gartner. This is from the introduction to the Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide report[1]:

The market for cloud IaaS is in a state of upheaval, as many service providers are shifting their strategies after failing to gain enough market traction. Customers must exercise caution when choosing providers.

The report went on to explain that ‘all the providers evaluated are believed to be financially stable, with business plans that are adequately funded. However, many of the providers are undergoing significant re-evaluation of their cloud IaaS businesses’. In other words, some vendors may not be in it for the long haul.

What it means for you

As well as diversification into database services, the cloud competition is also sparking a healthy price war. Just a few days after the Magic Quadrant was released Google announced it was slashing prices by as much as 30%. Microsoft and Amazon are also fond of aggressive pricing as they try to eat as much market share as possible.

Which brings us back to Google’s launch of NoSQL database-as-a-service BigTable. The release came on the back of Microsoft’s recent Azure DocumentDB announcement and, of course Amazon’s own DynamoDB offering. As the competition for cloud infrastructure drives margins down, the big players are looking up the stack to drive revenue and it’s clear NoSQL technology is one of the most attractive areas.

Though it’s worth pointing out that these as-a-service database offerings generally come with a very narrow set of features. For example Cloud BigTable is a wide column store with a simple key-value query model. Like some other NoSQL databases, it is limited by:

  • A complex data model which presents a steep learning curve to developers, slowing the rate of new application development
  • Lack of features such as an expressive query language (key-value only), integrated text search, native secondary indexes, aggregations and more. Collectively, these enable organisations to build more functional applications faster

Ultimately the cloud providers can relieve users of some of the overhead of running a database but they still will have to deal with the complexity of mastering data models and working around key-value query limitations.

Out of the chaos it’s becoming clear that a non-relational database hosted in the cloud, is going to be the predominant way modern companies deploy applications. Each customer will have varying demands of control. Some will want everything ‘as-a-service’, others will want full control over how and where their database runs and security on each layer of the stack. In the modern world of cloud-ready, non-relational databases, you have more choice than ever. That choice can also bring a risk of vendor lock-in, if you select an offering that is tied to one specific platform, no matter how ‘web-scale’ that platform claims to be.

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[1] Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide, Lydia Leong et al, May 18, 2015

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MongoDB will be exhibiting at the Cloud World Forum taking place on the 24th & 25th June 2015.

Kelly Stirman is Vice President of Strategy at MongoDB, speaking at the Cloud World Forum on the 25th June at 10.35 in Theatre A: Keynote – Building Business in the Cloud on ‘Escaping Cloud Cuckoo Land: 5 Tips for Making Success a Reality in the Cloud.’

REGISTER YOUR FREE EXHIBITION PASS HERE.

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Winning with the Internet of Things

Guest Blog with Fujitsu RunMyProcess

Winning with the Internet of Things

shutterstock_265601099Over the last 20 years we have seen successive innovations drive the influence of the Internet into new areas, connecting new kinds of resources, digitizing new interactions and opening up opportunities to challenge the underlying beliefs on which a range of industrial and social activities were based.

Every additional expansion has brought the emergence of new industry leaders – e.g. Amazon, Google, Facebook or Uber – who have used the expansion in connectivity to look at the world with fresh eyes.

Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) promises to drive the boundaries of the Internet further out than ever before, providing connectivity to potentially billions of everyday objects.  The sensors and actuators these objects embed will transform our understanding of real world events and enable us to simultaneously manipulate digital and physical environments in real time.  As connectivity penetrates the real world and transforms the potential of even the smallest and most mundane of everyday objects, huge new opportunities to transform customer experiences across a combination of digital and physical spaces will emerge.

But how do you become a winner in this new environment?  How do you maximize the benefits of these new information sources?  How do you leverage the newly connected things in combination with all of the other digital and human resources that already exist?  How do you go fast enough to stay ahead of the competition?  We believe that there are three principles that can help you drive a successful IoT strategy.

The Internet is the platform

Our first principle states that you can only achieve the full potential of the IoT by stressing the “Internet” over the “Things”.  Despite many waves of technology hype over the years, straightforward connectivity has been the most fundamental driver of transformational change.  It is therefore critical to base your IoT initiatives on existing Internet and Web standards at different layers, leveraging the ubiquitous protocols and patterns of the Internet to maximize connectivity potential and support open innovation.  Protocols such as Bluetooth smart, low power IPv6 and the constrained application protocol (CoAP) are bringing open, web-like access to smart objects while maximising their lifetime through sensible optimisations.

Think small to go large

Our second principle states that meaningful and disruptive innovation on the Internet has rarely been achieved in a top down, centrally planned fashion.  It is the open, chaotic and Darwinian nature of the Internet that has enabled such a high tempo of innovation.  Many discussions of the IoT, however, start with huge, complex and monolithic predictions of smart energy, smart agriculture, smart manufacturing, etc., which are on a scale that has little relevance to your business and which therefore cannot be grasped in terms of the small, actionable steps that you can take to start delivering value today.

To become a winner with the IoT you should ignore large, top down discussions and instead focus on rapidly delivering small, measurable improvements in individual activities and processes relevant to your business and its customers.  The technologies and platforms of the IoT are so low cost and easy to engage with that starting many small experiments is the best way to discover the potential value for your specific business.  In this sense successful approaches to IoT will need to leverage simple technologies and approaches that lower the barrier to entry for each individual case and which do not require the aggregation of many dubious business cases to provide a justification for large scale capital investment.

Connect value in the cloud

Our third principle states that the value of the IoT is meaningless unless you can seamlessly integrate and leverage the data it produces in a way which creates value at scale – for your customers, for your business or for society as a whole.  It’s not about individual sensors or smart devices; it’s about the way in which you combine them with other systems and people to rapidly deliver and evolve compelling, digitally transformed processes and activities.  The IoT should not be seen as a separate technology category – and yet another silo – but simply as an extension of the resources available to you in innovating and optimising your wider digital business processes.

For these reasons a high productivity platform as a service focused on rapid process transformation and integration is an ideal place to unlock the value of the IoT in combination with the wider digital environment.  By abstracting away low level technology, such platforms leave you free to focus on the rapid creation of valuable new digital flows which easily connect the people, systems and sensors necessary to deliver, test and scale systems which transform value for your customers and colleagues.  Most importantly using a high level platform as a service will enable you to deliver, test and scale your new processes faster than competitors who get bogged down in low level technology management of infrastructure and middleware.

And the winner is…

The IoT is bringing huge new opportunities to integrate information spanning the physical and digital worlds, opening up a whole new set of activities for digital disruption.  While grandiose concepts and technical language can make the subject seem overwhelming, use of these three principles can put you in a position to experiment and deliver at extremely low cost.

To prove the point we recently used our own principles to experiment with ways of improving the response to cycling accidents, connecting wearables, sensors, cloud services and mobile devices within a new digital flow.  By using CoAP, focusing on the improvement of a specific outcome and using our PaaS to connect across the whole environment we were able to help a small partner create significant value in just a few days.

The first key step to winning with the IoT is therefore to actually move; the low cost of experimentation and importance of gaining insight into this disruptive new area all make it critical to start shaping your future now – otherwise someone, somewhere will shape it for you.

Ian Thomas

ian thomasIan Thomas is a Fujitsu strategist and thought leader currently serving as Chief Marketing Officer of Fujitsu RunMyProcess.

Ian is an active writer and contributor to both Fujitsu thought leadership content and to external peer-reviewed conferences.  Most recently he has published a range of papers on the evolution of the Web and on the convergence of the Internet of Things, cloud and social infrastructures.  In this context he has also delivered a number of invited talks in various events around the world.

Fujitsu Run My Process

Fujitsu Run My Process is our Visionary Sponsor at Cloud World Forum, taking place on the 24th – 25th June 2015 at Olympia Grand in London.

Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of all the knowledge and networking opportunities presented by EMEA’s only content-led Cloud exhibition.

Register for your FREE exhibition pass here!

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80% of banks to replace core systems “within five years” #CloudWF

Four out of five banks believe they will have to replace their core banking system in the next three to five years, with nearly 90% in favour of including SaaS or cloud based services as part of the infrastructure, according to a new survey of senior bank executives.

In the report, Invigorating Banking, sponsored by fintech firm Five Degrees and carried out by Finextra Research, the results revealed strong support for core system replacement and renovation. Some 83% of respondents believe their bank’s existing core technology can no longer support its needs. A further 89% believe that it is inevitable that banks rapidly modernise processes and IT to avoid losing market share.

“You cannot become a digital bank without core systems renewal; you cannot renew core systems without using cloud for data management; you need to consolidate data in the cloud to be able to perform effective data analytics; and when you’ve renewed core systems through the cloud to perform data analytics, then you can innovate,” said Chris Skinner, report contributor and independent financial consultant.

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Many banks planned to respond by working with new technology providers, even where these have fewer customer references, so that the bank can ensure that it implements standard service oriented architecture (66%). A slim majority of banks still believe that IT is a unique selling point and will continue to rely on their own in-house development teams for niche technology that fits the bank’s strategy (61%). However, banks were split down the middle on whether to stick with their current technology provider, following its migration and upgrade process even if it would not provide the benefits of newer SOA technology (50% versus 50%).

There were also geographical differences in how the banks planned to respond to these challenges. While support for new cloud based platforms was strong overall, it was lowest in western Europe, where only 51% were strongly in favour, versus Asia Pacific, where the equivalent figure was 76%. Yet , across all banks, 97% believe that the bank needs to be able to offer new financial products and services faster.

On others areas there was virtually unanimous agreement. Some 97% of respondents agreed that security must be improved for customers due to the increasing risks associated with multi-channel technology. Likewise, overwhelming majorities supported the need to equip bank staff and customers to a higher level of self-service (97%). Unsurprisingly, 82% agreed with the statement that customers prefer an excellent mobile channel over a branch nearby.

However, there is still a place for face to face dialogue. Responses were strongly divided over whether customers prefer an efficient virtual dialogue over a personal one to solve financial matters (52% in favour, 48% against) – suggesting that banks are far from confident that the branch can be done away with entirely.

A number of obstacles to modernisation were identified in the report. One of the biggest was the difficulty of getting a sponsor at boardroom level (71%). Another was regulation: 67% believe their bank is too busy with regulation and compliance to think about innovation and modernisation. Yet at the same time, regulation also appears to be prompting change, since 92% of respondents believe that modernising their systems and processes is necessary to comply with constant regulatory change.

The threat of new entrants and disruptive competitors rate highly in the responses. Some 77% of respondents recognise new market entrants such as Google and Apple as a real threat that could steal their customers. Most respondents (56%) also felt that the digital only banks like Moven, Simple and Frank are a serious threat. However, the presence of new challenges is not necessarily seen as entirely negative – fully 88% of banks believe that new market entrants have a positive effect on the traditional banking scene by keeping banks focused.

Source: Banking Tech

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The Cloud World Forum will take place at Olympia Grand in London on the 24th – 25th June 2015.

It will feature 300+ speakers, many of whom represent the financial sector, including Thomas Naylor, CIO, Salamanca Group; Oliver Bussman, Group CIO, UBSJohn Finch, CIO, Bank of England and many more.

Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of all the knowledge and networking opportunities presented by EMEA’s only content-led Cloud exhibition.

Register for your FREE exhibition pass here!

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Telco Cloud: IT News, Trends and Predictions for 2015 #telcocloud

Telco Cloud. 
28-29 April 2015
Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, London

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Ovum reveals telcos must invest in the flexibility and agility of their IT estates in 2015

The telecoms industry is showing signs of recovery due to the positive economic scenario, and telecoms will be one of the top industries for IT spending in the next 12–18 months, according to global analyst firm Ovum.

Based on Ovum’s latest Telco IT Trends to Watch report*, telco IT budgets are on the rise, with a lot of investment directed at either optimizing network assets and infrastructure or improving service quality and the customer experience.

Trends to watch for telco IT in 2015:

A brighter economic outlook and voracious demand for high-quality content and services on smart devices has renewed telco interest in the value they provide from a customer perspective and the quality of the customer experience.
Omni-channel engagements will inform investment in CRM strategies for sales, marketing, and operations. Relevance and content of services, packages, and customer care will be a differentiator.
Outsourcing engagements between telcos and IT service providers will intensify.

Read more

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Telco Cloud 2015 Outlook

Analyst Opinion By DIMITRIS MAVRAKIS

WHAT ARE THE KEY DRIVERS/OPPORTUNITIES FOR SERVICE PROVIDERS THAT ARE CONSIDERING NFV? CONVERSELY, WHAT ARE THE KEY CHALLENGES?

The biggest opportunity driving CSPs to adopt NFV or SDN is the ability to operate a more efficient and cost-effective network. Also, NFV and SDN make it much easier and faster to create and deliver services. The biggest argument for NFV is that it enables network components to make the transition from hardware to software. In other words, components now run on commoditized hardware platforms that might even be in the data center (standard computing platforms or COTS equipment).

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL Q+A

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CompTIAs 5th Annual Trends in Cloud Computing

In the five years that CompTIA has been studying cloud computing, the topic has shifted from a potential game-changer to an essential ingredient of modern IT. IDC estimates the public cloud market to have reached $45.7 billion in 2013, and they expect it to grow at 23% CAGR through 2018. On the private cloud side, IDC estimates that worldwide spending on hosted private cloud services will surpass $24 billion by 2016…

READ MORE .
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Cisco throws its hat back into the enterprise collaboration ring

CISCO, Telco Cloud Forum’s Principal Sponsor is working on a new offering for the enterprise collaboration market: Project Squared – a mobile-first, virtual meeting room for teams. Project Squared is still an early work in progress, but the vendor is hoping that customers will like what they see and not defect to the likes of Microsoft, Google, or Citrix, all of whom have competing offerings in the realtime communication and collaboration market. The offering is delivered by the Cisco Collaboration Cloud.

READ MORE.

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Industry News

Verizon has promised rolling upgrades to its cloud platform that don’t impose downtime or require customer intervention following the latest update period, which lasted nearly two days.

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Telco Cloud Forum 2015 Event Brochure now available #telcocloud

The Telco Cloud Forum 2015 brochure is here! View the full speaker line-up, 70% of whom are Brand New to the agenda – bringing fresh insights and new topics to discuss!

The full agenda is now available covering all the crucial and essential topics for 2015: MODEL CLOUD, VIRTUAL CLOUD, GO TO MARKET CLOUD and SECURE CLOUD.

We are also delighted to announce our early confirmed sponsors/exhibitors and Host Operator Telefonica.

telco cloud agenda

Early Confirmed Sponsors:

Sponsors telco cloud

Telco Cloud 2015 brings top cloud experts from:

  • Operators such as: Telefonica, Orange Group, Hutchison Global Communications, Verizon, Telecom Italia, CenturyLink, Deutsche Telekom, BT Global Services
  • OTT such as: Google and Amazon Web Services
  • Enterprises such as: Tesco, Odeon & UCI Cinemas, ABANCA, Nordea Bank

Secure your FREE pass today and join the Only Event For Telco Cloud Providers and Their Channel Partners!

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Telstra Selects AppDirect to Power its Business Apps Marketplace #cloudasia

Collaboration with Australia’s Largest Telco Enables One-Stop Shop for Millions of Small Businesses to Find, Buy and Manage Apps

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., October 28, 2014 – AppDirect, the cloud commerce service company, announced today a major collaboration with Telstra — the largest telecommunications and information services company in Australia with a global presence that spans 230 countries — to power the new Telstra Apps Marketplace. The Telstra Apps Marketplace provides a one-stop shop and management portal for customers to find, buy, and use today’s best business apps. The new marketplace is live today and features two applications from Box and DocuSign.

“We’re very proud to work with Telstra to continue to push the boundaries of innovation in cloud services. Telstra was the first in its market to drive cloud services for its customer base and is continuing this leadership across its large global service footprint and among its well-established network of resellers. Working with Telstra, we’ve had the opportunity to not only power its new marketplace but provide a full scope of monetization and management services that make it incredibly easy to engage and benefit from cloud services,” said Daniel Saks, co-CEO of AppDirect. “AppDirect’s vision has always been to create a world where businesses have easy access to the technology tools they need to thrive. By collaborating with Telstra, we’ve been able to bring this ideal to life for millions of Australian small and medium businesses.”

New features for customers

The AppDirect-powered Telstra Apps Marketplace will deliver new features and capabilities, including faster on-boarding and go-to-market availability for new applications, as well as real-time updates so customers have access to the most up-to-date products. By logging into the Telstra Apps Marketplace, customers can use it as a central hub to manage their apps, including Box and DocuSign, and can also easily access and browse a catalog of specifically curated business apps and related services. Box is a cloud file sharing and collaboration app that lets businesses securely share and access important business files and documents, whether it’s the latest invoice for a customer, project proposal or pitch presentation. With access to DocuSign, businesses can quickly, easily and securely collect and transact business information and sign documents anytime, right from the marketplace. Telstra will continue to onboard more business applications over the coming months and migrate apps from Telstra’s previous platform in 2015.

Will Irving, Telstra Business Group Managing Director said, “Telstra wants to help businesses be the best that they can be, moving to cloud based business and mobile apps gives them greater flexibility, enhancing the ability to work on the move and reducing administration, leaving them more time to work on what matters most – their core business. Working with innovative providers such as AppDirect, we can deliver a simple online experience for our customers that will make it easy to find and use the right apps for their business.”

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