CIA claims its Amazon Web Services cloud is at ‘final operational capability’

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It was one of the most fascinating battles of 2013: who would win the lucrative CIA cloud computing contract? Two horses were in the race, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and IBM; and it was the former who eventually came out on top despite appeals from the latter.

Now, according to CIA chief information officer Doug Wolfe, the AWS cloud has attained “final operational capability”.

As...

By James Bourne, 27 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, Government, IaaS, Infrastructure, Private.

Salesforce delivers another billion dollar quarter, $5bn in annual revenue, shares skyrocket

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Cloudy software provider Salesforce has announced its latest financial results, with $5.37bn (£3.46bn) in total annual revenue and another billion dollar quarter.

The results were in line with Wall Street’s expectations, with earnings per share at $0.14 and a year on year growth of 26.1%.

It certainly seems a long way since 2009, when Salesforce’s first billion dollar annual figures arrived, and late 2013, when the first billion dollar quarter arrived. CEO Marc...

By James Bourne, 26 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: SaaS , Salesforce, Software.

The hype around cloud computing has been justified, say enterprises

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85% of respondents in a Tata Communications survey say that cloud computing had lived up to industry hype in their experience, with 23% saying cloud had exceeded their expectations.

Increased productivity was the most popular benefit according to 69% of those polled, with better access to data (65%) and reductions in costs (63%) also highly cited. 83% of respondents admitted they experienced benefits they weren’t expecting to see.

The report added to the plethora of...

By James Bourne, 26 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Adoption, Enterprise, Hybrid, Infrastructure, Private, Public.

Most UK employees unaware of employers’ cloud computing policy, claims research

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The majority of UK office workers are in the dark about their employer’s cloud computing policy, and even if they do know they’re likely to ignore it, according to research published by Trustmarque.

The report’s findings, of over 2000 employees, saw the growth of cloud applications used in the workplace, be it approved or through shadow IT, continue to grow, meaning security and compliance fears grow with it. It’s a similar finding to

By James Bourne, 24 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Adoption, Applications, Enterprise, Software.

Microsoft offers 100GB of OneDrive storage to Dropbox users

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Users of Dropbox can take advantage of 100GB of free OneDrive cloud storage though a Microsoft promotional deal.

This latest storage giveaway from Microsoft appears available for all, unlike the US-only Bing Rewards scheme announced earlier in February. Yet it’s an interesting play to get more users to sign up for OneDrive, which is already free and unlimited to Office 365...

By James Bourne, 23 February 2015, 1 comment. Categories: Infrastructure, Software, Storage.

Cloud making inroads into the capital markets sector, report finds

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Slowly but surely, capital markets and investment companies are clearly understanding the benefits of cloud computing, with infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and data management as the most popular options.

That’s the verdict of a report from TABB Group, based on data from 66 buy-side and sell-side firms. The adoption figures are relatively low – only 23% of companies questioned say they’re comfortable using the public cloud, while two thirds said security concerns...

By James Bourne, 23 February 2015, 1 comment. Categories: Adoption, IaaS, Infrastructure, Public.

Federation of Small Businesses warns of continued security fears for SMBs in the cloud

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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found nearly two fifths of small businesses are sceptical about the benefits of cloud technology when compared against security risks.

The survey, which was conducted in association with Verve and polled over 1200 SMB professionals, found 59% were using cloud services of some description, and of those, the biggest worry was a risk of data being lost, stolen or damaged, cited by 61% of respondents.

55% were worried about not being able to...

By James Bourne, 20 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Data & Analytics, Data Loss, Data Management, Security.

Google Cloud Platform goes down for two hours after connectivity issue

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Google has resolved an issue with Google Compute Engine whereby its platform went down for two hours.

The network issue where instances in ‘multiple zones’ lost connectivity first began at 2259 US Pacific time (0659 GMT), with Google first issuing an update on 2346.

“The problem with network connectivity in Google Compute Engine is resolved as of shortly after 0100 US/Pacific,” a Google status page explained....

By James Bourne, 19 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: PaaS, Platform, SLA.

Rackspace posts solid financial results, continues to bang drum for managed cloud services

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Rackspace has announced solid fourth quarter financial results, with adjusted EBIDTA at $165m, up 25% year on year, and net revenue up 16.4% from Q413.

Net income for the fourth quarter was $36.9m, up 5.1% year on year, while return on capital in the quarter went up to 15.5% from 9.6% in 2013.

The company’s primary USP in 2014 was its Managed Cloud portfolio,

By James Bourne, 19 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Economy, Hybrid, IaaS, Infrastructure.

DevOps adoption rises and hybrid cloud strategy deepens in new study

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The RightScale 2015 State of the Cloud report has found DevOps adoption increase year on year in enterprises, as well as a continued push towards a hybrid cloud strategy.

The survey, of 930 respondents, found 82% of enterprises want a multi-cloud strategy; 55% want to pursue hybrid cloud, compared to 13% multiple public cloud and 14% multiple private. This is up from 74% and 48% respectively the previous year. “Hybrid cloud is (even more) the strategy of choice for...

By James Bourne, 18 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Hybrid, Infrastructure, Research.

IBM launches Spectrum Storage for hybrid cloud, invests $1bn in software defined storage

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IBM has launched IBM Spectrum Storage, a new storage portfolio which adds a layer of intelligent software to store each piece of data at the optimal cost maximising performance and security.

The tech giant has also put more than $1bn of investments into its storage software portfolio over the next five years.

Software defined storage is an interesting area, where the programming that controls storage-related tasks is decoupled from the physical storage. It’s not to everyone’s taste,...

By James Bourne, 18 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: SaaS , Software, Storage.

Box partners with Microsoft to enable collaboration through Office

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Cloud storage provider Box has joined the Microsoft Cloud Storage Program, integrating with Microsoft Office to enable businesses to seamlessly access content across devices and platforms.

The new collaboration includes enabling users to open, edit and save documents back to Box directly from Office for iOS, and is available today for free, with integration with Office Online arriving later this year.

“We’re excited to deepen our commitment to openness in the enterprise...

By James Bourne, 17 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Enterprise, Software, Storage.

Microsoft becomes first vendor to adopt latest international cloud privacy standard

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Microsoft has announced it is the first major cloud provider to adopt the ISO/IEC 27018 standard, claimed as the world’s first international standard for cloud privacy.

The standard, which was published by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) last year, sets out to establish “commonly accepted control objectives, controls and guidelines for implementing measures to protect...

By James Bourne, 17 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Data & Analytics, Data Management, Data Sovereignty, Privacy.

Want to pick up the right cloud storage for your business? Leviathan offers a few ideas

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Risk management consulting provider Leviathan Security Group has released a whitepaper discussing the issues in choosing local and cloud storage, as well as potential vulnerabilities and risks.

The paper on the value of cloud security, and vulnerabilities in storage, assumes three scenarios, based on small, medium and large businesses, and outlines solutions based on their business needs:

  • For a small consultancy scenario, the nature of their work means they are unlikely to connect back to the office during the work day, although many will...

By James Bourne, 13 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Data & Analytics, Data Loss, Data Management, Storage.

Google launches PerfKit, open source benchmarking tool for cloud performance

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Google has announced the launch of PerfKit, an open source cloud benchmarking tool aimed at aiding developers evaluating performance features.

The search giant claims it has worked with over 30 leading researchers, companies and customers in developing this tool, as well as educational institutes: Stanford and MIT will be having quarterly discussions on default benchmarks and settings on the back of this development.

Google claims PerfKit is unique because not only does it report on...

By James Bourne, 13 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Platform, SLA.

AWS remains most popular enterprise cloud service, according to Skyhigh report

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) remains the most popular enterprise cloud service, according to the latest quarterly report from Skyhigh Networks, while the number of cloud services used by firms continues to rise.

According to the report the average employee uses 27 apps at work, while the average number of cloud services in use per company was 897 in Q414, which compares favourably against 831 in Q3 and 626 in Q413. The biggest rise in app type was development, which saw a 97% spike in...

By James Bourne, 12 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, Collaboration, SaaS , Salesforce, Software.

Gartner analyst muses on why so many are upset with their private cloud

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According to survey figures released by Gartner, 95% of attendees at the analyst house’s Datacentre Conference in Las Vegas are unhappy with their private cloud deployments.

The 140 respondents were given six potential options to explain what was going wrong with their private cloud, alongside a ‘nothing is going wrong’ option. 31% cited a failure to change the operational model, 19% said it was simply doing too little, and 13% cited...

By James Bourne, 11 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Infrastructure, Private, Research.

Microsoft gives $500k of Azure credits, Office 365 subscriptions to Y Combinator startups

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Microsoft is giving $500,000 (£328,000) of free Azure hosting credit to Y Combinator (YC) startups, according to YC president Sam Altman.

The Redmond giant will also be offering YC firms in the Winter 2015 batch and beyond three years of Office 365 subscription, access to Microsoft developer staff, as well as one year of CloudFlare and DataStax enterprise services.

In a blog post published on February 9, Altman notes the company “[doesn’t] want to leave software...

By James Bourne, 11 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Adoption, IaaS, Infrastructure, Microsoft.

Microsoft offers 100GB of OneDrive storage for US Bing Rewards users

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It seems Microsoft can’t give away enough cloud storage at the minute: US-based users of Bing Rewards can grab 100GB of free OneDrive storage for two years.

Bing Rewards, as you’d expect, is an incentive-based service that allows users to collect points the more they use Microsoft’s search engine which can then be exchanged for rewards such as e-gift cards. However according to Windows...

By James Bourne, 10 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Infrastructure, Microsoft, Software, Storage.

Microsoft releases how-to guide for hybrid cloud implementation

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Microsoft has released a series of instruction guides for setting up hybrid cloud environments, including putting together a SharePoint intranet farm and a web-based line of business application in a hybrid cloud.

The tech giant cites a lack of previous resources in this field as the reason for putting pen to paper – while there is plenty of content out there for creating a test environment in a cloud-only virtual network, for instance, hybrid environments have scant documentation in...

By James Bourne, 09 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Hybrid, IaaS, Infrastructure, Microsoft.