Posts tagged ‘public cloud’

The State of the Cloud: Already Everywhere, and Lots of Room to Grow #CloudWF

Guest Blog with Equinix

Enterprise cloud usage is nearly universal, but there’s still significant room for cloud growth.

That sums up one of the key findings of RightScale’s 2015 “State of the Cloud Report.” The survey of 930 technical professionals indicates the enterprise has moved past its initial cloud skittishness and is getting quite comfortable investigating what the cloud can really do.

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The survey showed 93% of respondents have adopted cloud, roughly the same as the prior year. Hybrid cloud is also the preferred strategy of 58% of respondents, compared to 30% who are public cloud-only and 5% who are private cloud-only.

One key difference from 2014 is that 38% of cloud users are now classified by RightScale as “cloud explorers,” compared to 25% just a year ago when “cloud beginners” was the biggest category. “Cloud explorers” already have multiple projects and applications in the cloud and are looking to expand and improve their cloud use.

The survey also found plenty of room for cloud expansion, with 68% of enterprise respondents reporting that less than a fifth of their applications are currently running in the cloud. Most respondents (55%) also report that another fifth of their applications are already built on cloud-friendly architectures.

Here’s more of what we found most interesting in the State of the Cloud report:

Going public, staying private

Public cloud is being used by 88% of organizations, while 63% are using private cloud. But private cloud is still carrying a heavier workload, with 13% of enterprises running more than 1,000 virtual machines (VMs) in the public cloud and 22% running more than 1,000 virtual machines in private cloud. The survey also indicated enterprises are expecting to grow public cloud workloads more quickly.

Central IT gets more cloud comfortable

The survey authors note that in 2014, business units envisioned a more limited role for central IT in cloud purchasing decisions, likely because they felt central IT was generally too cautious. But central IT’s view of the cloud may be evolving. The survey indicated central IT concerns about cloud security have dropped, with 41% now reporting it as a significant challenge, compared to 47% a year ago. In addition, 28% of central IT respondents report public cloud as the top priority in 2015, compared to 18% in 2014.

More of the same

Respondents cited the same cloud benefits and challenges in 2015, but in many cases mentioned them more frequently. For instance, “greater stability,” “faster access to infrastructure,” and “high availability” were again the top three benefits, but each was cited by a greater percentage of respondents:

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A similar pattern was seen when respondents were asked about cloud challenges. “Security,” “lack of resources/expertise” and “compliance” again appeared as major concerns, but were referred to by a greater percentage of respondents, compared to last year:

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Learn more about how Equinix can help your enterprise realize cloud benefits and meet cloud challenges.

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Equinix will be at the Cloud World Forum on Stand D170, taking place on the 24th – 25th June 2015. Don’t miss their session on ‘An Expedition through the Cloud’ in the Employee Experience Theatre at 10.35am on Day 2.

REGISTER YOUR FREE EXHIBITION PASS HERE.

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The channel must embrace cloud to build for the future #CloudWF

Channel-300x240With cloud acceptance growing, more and more businesses are dipping their toes in the water and trying out cloud based services and applications in a bid to work smarter and lower IT expenditure. But with recent research suggesting that four in ten ICT decision-makers feel their deployment fails to live up to the hype – more needs to be done to ensure cloud migration is a success.

This is where the channel has a vital role to play and can bridge the knowledge gap and help end-users reap the benefits that cloud technology can provide.

With the cloud becoming a mainstream solution for businesses and an integral part of an organisation’s IT strategy, the channel is presented with a huge opportunity. Offering cloud services to the market has the potential to yield high revenues, so it’s vital that the channel takes a realistic approach to adopting cloud within its portfolio, and becomes a trusted advisor to the end user.

We have identified three key reasons why resellers shy away from broadening their offering to encompass cloud for new and existing customers. A common barrier is a simple lack of understanding of the cloud and its benefits. However, if a business is keen to adopt this technology, it is vital that its reseller is able to offer advice and guidance to prevent them looking elsewhere.

Research by Opal back in 2010 found that 40 per cent of resellers admit a sense of ‘fear and confusion’ around cloud computing, with the apprehension to embrace the technology also extending to end users, with 57 per cent reporting uncertainty among their customer bases. This lack of education means they are missing out on huge opportunities for their business. A collaborative approach between the reseller and cloud vendor will help to ensure a seamless knowledge transfer followed by successful partnership and delivery.

The sheer upheaval caused by offering the cloud will see some resellers needing to re-evaluate their own business models and strategies to fulfil the need. Those that are unaccustomed to a service-oriented business model may find that becoming a cloud reseller presents strategic challenges as they rely on out-dated business plans and models that don’t enable this new technology. However, failing to evolve business models could leave resellers behind in the adoption curve, whilst their competitors are getting ahead. Working with an already established partner will help resellers re-evaluate their existing business plans to ensure they can offer cloud solutions to their customers.

Resellers are finding it challenging to provide their customers with quick, scalable cloud solutions due to the fact that moving existing technology services into cloud services can be time consuming, and staff will be focused on working to integrate these within the enterprise. However, this issue can easily be resolved by choosing a trusted cloud provider, and in turn building a successful partnership.

Although resellers will come across barriers when looking at providing their customers with cloud services, these shouldn’t get in the way of progression. In order to enter a successful partnership with a cloud provider, there are some important factors resellers should consider before taking the plunge.

Scalability

Before choosing a prospective partner, resellers need to ensure it has the scalability and technology innovation to provide a simple integration of current IT services into the cloud. Recent research has proved that deploying cloud services from three or more suppliers can damage a company’s business agility. UK businesses state a preference for procuring cloud services from a single supplier for ease of management. It’s important to make sure the chosen provider has the ability to provide one fully encompassed cloud service that can offer everything their customers require.

Brand reputation

Choosing a partner that offers not only a best-of breed private, public and hybrid cloud solution, but also has the ability to provide the reseller with a branded platform will give an extra layer of credibility to the business for not only existing customers, but future ones as well. Resellers are more likely to choose a cloud provider that gives them control over the appearance, as well as support and access to infrastructure of the cloud platform.

Industry experience

It’s vital to ensure the cloud provider has extensive industry experience and knowledge with a proven track record in order to meet the required criteria of scalability and performance. The partner must have the knowledge in order to educate and offer advice to the reseller. If they are able to do so, the reseller can therefore pass this knowledge on to their own customers.

By not offering the cloud, resellers will miss out on vast opportunities and in turn, lose potential revenue as well as new and existing customers. The channel must now embrace the cloud and take advantage of the partnerships available in order to succeed.

Written by Matthew Munson, CTO, Cube52

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ISO 27018 and protecting personal information in the cloud: a first year scorecard #CloudWF

ISO 27018 has been around for a year – but is it effective?

Source: Business Cloud NewsData-protection

A year after it was published,  – the first international standard focusing on the protection of personal data in the public cloud – continues, unobtrusively and out of the spotlight, to move centre stage as the battle for cloud pre-eminence heats up.

At the highest level, this is a competitive field for those with the longest investment horizons and the deepest pockets – think million square foot data centres with 100,000+ servers using enough energy to power a city.  According to research firm Synergy, the cloud infrastructure services market – Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), Platform as a Services (PaaS) and private and hybrid cloud – was worth $16bn in 2014, up 50 per cent on 2013, and is predicted to grow 30 per cent to over $21bn in 2015. Synergy estimated that the four largest players accounted for 50 per cent of this market, with Amazon at 28 per cent, Microsoft at 11 per cent, IBM at 7 per cent and Google at 5 per cent.  Of these, Microsoft’s 2014 revenues almost doubled over 2013, whilst Amazon’s and IBM’s were each up by around half.

Significantly, the proportion of computing sourced from the cloud compared to on-premise is set to rise steeply: enterprise applications in the cloud accounted for one fifth of the total in 2014 and this is predicted to increase to one third by 2018.

This growth represents a huge increase year on year in the amount of personal data (PII or personally identifiable information) going into the cloud and the number of cloud customers contracting for the various and growing types of cloud services on offer. but as the cloud continues to grow at these startling rates, the biggest inhibitor to cloud services growth – trust about security of personal data in the cloud – continues to hog the headlines.

Under data protection law, the Cloud Service Customer (CSC) retains responsibility for ensuring that its PII processing complies with the applicable rules.  In the language of the EU Data Protection Directive, the CSC is the data controller.  In the language of ISO 27018, the CSC is either a PII principal (processing her own data) or a PII controller (processing other PII principals’ data).

Where a CSC contracts with a Cloud Service Provider (CSP), Article 17 the EU Data Protection Directive sets out how the relationship is to be governed. The CSC must have a written agreement with the CSP; must select a CSP providing ‘sufficient guarantees’ over the technical security measures and organizational measures governing PII in the Cloud service concerned; must ensure compliance with those measures; and must ensure that the CSP acts only on the CSC’s instructions.

As the pace of migration to the cloud quickens, the world of data protection law continues both to be fragmented – 100 countries have their own laws – and to move at a pace driven by the need to mediate all competing interests rather than the pace of market developments.

In this world of burgeoning cloud uptake, ISO 27018 is proving effective at bridging the gap between the dizzying pace of Cloud market development and the slow and uncertain rate of legislative change by providing CSCs with a workable degree of assurance in meeting their data protection law responsibilities.  Almost a year on from publication of the standard, Microsoft has become the first major CSP (in February 2015) to achieve ISO 27018 certification for its Microsoft Azure (IaaS/PaaS), Office 365 (PaaS/Saas) and Dynamics CRM Online (SaaS) services (verified by BSI, the British Standards Institution) and its Microsoft Intune SaaS services (verified by Bureau Veritas).

In the context of privacy and cloud services, ISO 27018 builds on other information security standards within the IS 27000 family. This layered, interlocking approach is proving supple enough in practice to deal with the increasingly wide array of cloud services. For example, it is not tied to any particular kind of cloud service and, as Microsoft’s certifications show, applies to IaaS (Azure), PaaS (Azure and Office 365) and SaaS (Office 365 and Intune). If, as shown in the graphic below, you consider computing services as a stack of layered elements ranging from networking (at the bottom of the stack) up through equipment and software to data (at the top), and that each of these elements can be carried out on premise or from the cloud (from left to right), then ISO 27018 is flexible enough to cater for all situations across the continuum.

Cloud-licenses-1024x528Indeed, the standard specifically states at Paragraph 5.1.1:

“Contractual agreements should clearly allocate responsibilities between the public cloud PII processor [i.e. the CSP], its sub-contractors and the cloud service customer, taking into account the type of cloud service in question (e.g. a service of an IaaS, PaaS or SaaS category of the cloud computing reference architecture).  For example, the allocation of responsibility for application layer controls may differ depending on whether the public cloud PII processor is providing a SaaS service or rather is providing a PaaS or IaaS service upon which the cloud service customer can build or layer its own applications.”

Equally, CSPs will generally not know whether their CSCs are sending PII to the cloud and, even if they do, they are unlikely to know whether or not particular data is PII. Here, another strength of ISO 27018 is that it applies regardless of whether particular data is, or is not, PII: certification simply assures the CSC that the service the CSP is providing is suitable for processing PII in relation to the performance by the CSP of its PII legal obligations.

Perhaps the biggest practical boon to the CSC however is the contractual certainty that ISO 27018 certification provides.  As more work migrates to the cloud, particularly in the enterprise space, the IT procurement functions of large customers will be following structured processes in order to meet the requirements of their business and, in certain cases, their regulators. In their requests for information, proposals and quotations from prospective CSPs, CSCs now have a range of interlocking standards including ISO 27018 to choose from in their statements of requirements for a particular Cloud procurement.  As well as short-circuiting the need for CSCs to spend time in writing up detailed specifications of their own requirements, verified compliance with these standards for the first time provides meaningful assurance and protection from risk around most aspects of cloud service provision. Organisations running competitive tenders can benchmark bidding CSPs against each other on their responses to these requirements, and then include as binding commitments the obligations to meet the requirements of the standards concerned in the contract when it is let.

In the cloud contract lifecycle, the flexibility provided by ISO 27018 certification, along with the contract and the CSP’s policy statements, goes beyond this to provide the CSC with a framework to discuss with the CSP on an ongoing basis the cloud PII measures taken and their adequacy.

In its first year, it is emerging that complying, and being seen to comply, with ISO 27018 is providing genuine assurance for CSCs in managing their data protection legal obligations.  This reassurance operates across the continuum of cloud services and through the procurement and contract lifecycle, regardless of whether or not any particular data is PII.  In customarily unobtrusive style, ISO 27018 is likely to go on being a ‘win’ for the standards world, cloud providers and their customers, and data protection regulators and policy makers around the world.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………Visit the 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 you free exhibition pass here.

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Exclusive Interview with Goran Car, Head of Strategic Business Unit and CTO, ComCloud in Combis #telcocloud

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We interviewed our speaker Goran Car, Head of Strategic Business Unit and CTO ComCloud in Combis, on trends and development which are shaping Cloud market today and tomorrow.

THE INTERVIEW


What is the latest telco cloud project you are working on? Please tell us more about it.

Our Cloud solution ComCloud is a telco oriented, comprehensive and modular Cloud solution which provides facilities for automated provision of Cloud services and infrastructure management via self-service portals.

We are in the process of finishing a project for HT Eronet in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one incumbent telecom within EU. Both are Public Cloud projects with Marketplace and SSO enablers and basic IaaS services. In coming months it will be extended with additional services and different SaaS offerings.

Within the projects we tried to give the most that Cloud can give, taking into account customer wishes, of course.

For more information visit my lecture ‘Where Have All the Marketplaces Gone’. I will talk about best practice examples, guidelines and ideas how to utilize marketplace, as the most common centerpiece of Cloud selling strategies, in the best, most appealing and market-specific way, how to utilize marketplace in geographically-bound markets and how to make successful go-to-market strategy and maximize potential of Cloud services.

What telcos need to work on to provide best-in-class cloud?

We believe that user experience is crucial. Customer must be provided with best-in-class experience. Consumer is conditio sine qua non.

Consumerization is a very well-known trend, but it must be taken to next level in providing (business) Cloud services. Seamless integration of Marketplace and services, responsive web, subject-action relationship instead of classic action-subject web are all crucial elements for providing modern Cloud services. Technology is available to everybody, so what we feel will drive future Cloud business are experience and bundled offers.

We were thinking about trends and we have developed a solution which offers extensive customer experience, enabling service providers to efficiently distribute their Cloud services, and users to effectively self-manage them. Customers are thus able to manage their resources more promptly and thoroughly in order to adapt expenses to their actual needs. At the same time, the system provides service providers with an opportunity to expand into new markets more easily, removing all physical barriers which prevented them to do so until now.

What do you think is going to be the next big ‘thing’ in the telco cloud market?

I believe that there will be greater way of interworking, both between different Cloud services and customer’s internal IT. Moreover, customers will have the possibility to move between services more easily and configure more than one service together in greater solution.

For instance, we are experimenting with setting up virtual network service, being able to connect different services by usage of self-service portal.  It is important to constantly think of the needs of end users and to think innovatively.

What is your favorite book or film about the future of technologies?

It might not be so much about future of technology, but I really like Brian Green’s “The Elegant Universe”. It sets a theory, that when and if proved and detailed, it can open a completely new view on building things and technology that was once considered impossible.

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Goran Car will held a lecture ‘Where Have All the Marketplaces Gone’ on Wednesday, 29th of April, at 12:40 in Ballroom, Radisson Blu Portman, London.

Exclusive Interview with Liam Quinn, IT Director of Richmond Events

1c061f4Session: Cloud as a Utility: Working Seamlessly Across Public & Private Clouds

When: 24th June 2015, 12:05 – 12:25

Where: Employee Experience Theatre

Liam Quinn is IT Director of Richmond Events, pioneers of the one-to-one, pre-scheduled strategic business forums, aiming to match buyers with sellers.

We took a few minutes with him to talk about the challenges and status of Cloud specifically in the events sector, and the importance of SaaS versus IaaS and PaaS.

The interview…

So just to kick off, what do you feel are the unique challenges you face in the events sector?

Our challenges really are two-fold.  The first one we have is the fact that there’s an explosion of technology at the moment within the industry. The challenge lies in trying to work out what is good, helpful technology that’s going to enhance the experience of our attendees, and filter out the stuff which is really a lot of hype or, good today but maybe not very useful in the future.

In terms of our part in the industry, being a multinational organization, we’re operating events in four different countries to a consistent and very similar model.  So trying to make sure that we have the right technology in place that can support all four different business models is a challenge.
In terms of cloud technology specifically, how do you see the status of it in your sector in 2015? Do you feel it differs from other sectors? 

It’s hard to believe we’re very different to anyone else, but that may be a naïve way of looking at it.  I think the cloud is impacting the sector in two ways.  First of all, there are many software solutions that are being developed at the moment and being pushed within the marketplace, which are very cloud-based. So the economies of scale are there, and the price per event or price per attendee is very low. These systems are utilizing the cloud model in order for these software solutions to be implemented across every event organizer who wishes to use it.

The second place, which is where we come in and a lot of our foreign competitors, is whereby people are trying to consolidate their internal IT systems in order to provide a much more cost effective base for providing IT support to the business itself.
Leading on from that, would you therefore say SaaS is more imperative than IaaS or PaaS specifically for the events sector?

I think from a third-party solution perspective, most of the solutions being used are SaaS.  I don’t think event organizers want large IT teams, or want to be developing their own software.  So there’s a lot of software out there.  What they want is to consume it in any way they desire, in any location and that’s why they’re looking for software solutions available that they can just tap in, log in to, and work for their event.  We differ from that slightly in that all our systems are actually bespoke written for ourselves.

Download the full interview here!

Join Liam at the Cloud World Forum at London’s Olympia on the 24th of June for his session: Cloud as a Utility: Working Seamlessly Across Public & Private Clouds.

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

Register for your FREE exhibition pass here!

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Public Sector Cloud World Forum: full programme announced

cloud-ps-468x60The Cloud World Series team is delighted to announce that the full brochure and agenda for Public Sector Cloud World Forum is now available to download.

Building on the knowledge, experience and contacts of the Cloud World Forum team, the agenda has been specifically designed to take you on a journey through a Cloud adoption strategy. Day one of the event consists of a top-level European Commission keynote session, and National Government case studies and panel debates (with participation from the CIOs of the Dutch and Austrian governments, and Tony Singleton OBE, G-Cloud Director), with the following headline themes.

  • European Commission official keynote address on cloud computing in the public sector
  • Latest updates on the UK’s G-Cloud Programme
  • Applying commercial world best practice to government cloud implementations
  • Utilising cloud solutions for societal applications including education, culture and science
  • Leveraging cloud for data management and sharing and in research and university institutions

Day two is all about practical implementation, packed with Local Authority CIO case studies, and data, regulation and privacy briefings. The headline themes of the day are:

  • Making the business for cloud in terms that will help achieve buy-in
  • Managing the architectural and operational challenges of a local authority cloud migration
  • When things go wrong! Strategies for surviving cloud vendor failure
  • Why do some public sector organisations avoid cloud? What are their concerns and how do you overcome them?
  • Security, governance and data protection considerations in public sector cloud

Download the complete brochure and agenda here.

Interested in sponsoring?

The event offers complimentary passes to public sector organisations, and we are already taking plenty of senior-level bookings. So don’t miss out on this opportunity to network with and learn from some of the leading lights in public sector IT, giving you the contacts and knowledge to apply to your Cloud infrastructure plans when you return to the office. Register today, and we can’t wait to see you in December.

Exclusive Interview with Agenor Leão, CIO, Natura #cloudlatam

The Cloud World Forum Latin America 2014 is fast approaching. In the run up to the event, we caught up with Agenor Leão, CIO at Natura, to get his views on the cloud computing market:

Exclusive Interview with Agenor Leão, CIO, Natura about the cloud computing market:

AGENOR LEAO1. How do you think the IT industry has changed over the last 5 years? What is the greatest challenge that the IT Director faces these days? How has Cloud Computing affected this change?

In recent years the technology industry has changed enormously since the advent of the internet and the exponential growth in mobility. Smartphones and tablets today provide the creation of large-scale connections between people and organizations, who exchange information at all times. Technological developments made it economically viable to process in real time this large amount of information, supported by cloud computing. This, in turn, expanded processing capacity and use of technology by businesses of any size and sector of activity, a reality that was restricted to owners of large data-centers. The great technological innovations of recent years came in the hands of small businesses – the famous startups – made possible by the factors set out above, making the traditional leaders of the IT industry attentive observers and sometimes, buyers of these small businesses.

Within this context, IT leaders within organizations face great challenges, focused on two main aspects:
– The first is that technology areas leave the traditional role of supporter, in which the main responsibilities were limited to the automation of processes and information generation, to a new role as a “booster” and “new business generator” for organizations;

–  The second is that the existing capacities in the market today will facilitate the use of technology by the organization, not restricting the scope to the solutions brought solely by the company’s technology area, which assumes the position of a trusted advisor and coordinates the use of technology through new paradigms, such as “software as a service”, instead of trying to control its use.

Balancing these two aspects and sustaining the business through traditional operations demand, in fact, a negotiation skill and an ability to be ahead of the market, becoming a “proposer” of solutions, instead of the traditional role of “demander” of business areas.

Obviously, the spread of cloud computing, linked to other factors exposed previously, contributes greatly to this scenario, since the flexibility, speed and scalability obtained with the use of the cloud create an environment of innovation which, in turn, makes possible the technological innovation in players previously unviable, whether in the IT industry, whether in their own companies users of technology.

It is up to the companies and, particularly, the areas of technology, to appropriate the facilities that are available to re-invent themselves, building value for your business through good opportunities created by technological innovation.

Read the full interview here.
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