Zscaler gets £24m VC fund for increased cloud security

Zscaler, the SaaS cloud security company, has for the first time received venture capital investment to the tune of £24 million ($38m), mainly from Lightspeed Venture Partners.

The San Jose startup was traditionally funded internally, but according to Zscaler the money will be used to “further accelerate its go-to-market strategy, and further develop its cloud security offering with a high emphasis on mobility”.

In other words: it’s not because Zscaler needs the cash, more upgrading...

By James Bourne, 30 August 2012, 0 comments. Categories: SaaS , Security.

Citrix survey: Is the cloud confusing?

A survey from Wakefield Research for virtualisation experts Citrix has shown that, for consumers, many Americans are unaware of what ‘the cloud’ entails.

32% of respondents stated that cloud was “a thing of the future”, while 95% of those surveyed who thought they weren’t using the cloud actually were, for such simple tasks as online banking and social networking.

The research, which garnered responses from over 1000 American nationals, found some surprising and eye-opening...

By James Bourne, 29 August 2012, 0 comments. Categories: Adoption, Consumer, Research.

Gartner: cloud, mobility, open source at heart of app dev market

According to analyst house Gartner, the global app development market is going to hit £5.7 billion ($9bn) by the end of the year, a 1.7% upturn on 2011.

As their latest report, entitled ‘Market Trends: Application Development Software Worldwide’ notes, this will come as a result of the cloud significantly altering the landscape in terms of deploying, designing and testing apps.

Asheesh Raina, Gartner principal research analyst, said: “Application modernisation and increasing agility...

By James Bourne, 22 August 2012, 1 comment. Categories: Developers, Enterprise, Mobility, OpenSource.

Does copyright law spell trouble for the cloud?

A recent report from the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has questioned whether current copyright legislation in the country is stunting the growth of cloud computing.

The ALRC particularly mused whether any modifications to the current law should contain exemptions for cloud services or not.

Kim Weatherall, legal academic, was cited in the report stating a belief that technology-specific exemptions could impede cloud services further.

The report, entitled “Copyright and the Digital...

By James Bourne, 21 August 2012, 0 comments. Categories: Big Data, Compliance, Research.

KPMG: Why is the SaaS cloud market expanding rapidly?

A new report from consultants KPMG has shown that software as a service (SaaS) is expanding rapidly, and the threat of a double dip recession is purportedly driving cloud adoption.

It’s a reasonable enough assumption – companies moving to the cloud often do so in the hope of reducing cost, after all – and it appears SaaS is the best model with which to achieve that aim, although there are still some worries for CIOs to consider.

The key factors that are driving growth in the global SaaS...

By James Bourne, 15 August 2012, 2 comments. Categories: Research, SaaS , Security.

Are companies spending more and more on the cloud?

According to analysis from research firm Frost and Sullivan, over half of Australian companies using cloud computing services are spending 10% of their budget on the cloud.

Further research revealed that 70% of Australian enterprises in the cloud are looking to boost their services “significantly” in the next 12 months.

The overall research into Australian business showed:

  • 53% of companies using cloud computing services spend more than one tenth of their IT budget on cloud solutions
  • 31% spend more than 20% of their budget on the cloud
  • Perhaps...

By James Bourne, 14 August 2012, 0 comments. Categories: IaaS, Migration, SaaS , Security.

Rackspace looks further to the cloud after strong results

Rackspace has announced that they are incorporating their commitment to open source cloud into their official company branding.

The hosting provider is using the tagline “the open cloud company” as part of its logo, reaffirming their belief in the cloud.

This comes after their strong second quarter results for 2012, which included a yearly increase of 29% on net revenue, up to $319 million (£204.1m), up 5.9% from the previous quarter.

Rackspace’s net income grew 43% year on year to...

By James Bourne, 09 August 2012, 0 comments. Categories: OpenSource, Public, VMware.

Ponemon study: trends with transferring data to the cloud

A new report from Ponemon Institute has shown that 82% of companies have already transferred, or plan to transfer confidential data into the cloud.

The report, entitled ‘Encryption in the Cloud’ and sponsored by security experts Thales, aims to examine current trends and perceptions with storing sensitive information in the cloud.

Broken down, the survey of over 4000 IT professionals across five continents revealed that 49% of respondents had already overseen a transfer of data to the cloud; 33%...

By James Bourne, 08 August 2012, 1 comment. Categories: Adoption, Big Data, Migration, Storage.

Writer’s iCloud hacked as Wozniak calls cloud “horrendous”

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is hardly sitting on the fence with his opinions on the cloud

Speaking after a performance of Mike Daisey’s monologue “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs”, Steve Wozniak was in uncompromising mood concerning his thoughts on cloud computing.

Wozniak reportedly told the packed theatre audience: “I think [cloud’s] going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years”.

Five years is a long time. According...

By James Bourne, 06 August 2012, 2 comments. Categories: Hacking, Security.

Gartner: cloud makes the IT world go round

Cloud, social, mobile and information are the new ‘Nexus of Forces’ with cloud at the apparent epicentre

The convergence of four IT forces – cloud, social, mobile and information – has formed what analyst house Gartner has described as a new “Nexus of Forces” which will become the paradigm for the future of IT.

The research firm predicts that while the four ‘forces’ are currently disruptive as they are, combined they will tear up old enterprise IT models.

Cloud...

By James Bourne, 02 August 2012, 1 comment. Categories: Forecasts, Scalability, Vendors.

Consumer cloud storage ever-present in the enterprise

The popularity of storage products such as Dropbox is infiltrating into enterprise as users go against company policy to utilise cloud-based storage.

According to a recent report from social business network Spiceworks, 33% of organisations said that their staff was using personal storage products.

The report, entitled ‘The Cloud Barometer’, aims to give insight into SMEs and their usage of cloud-based file sharing software. Spiceworks...

By James Bourne, 01 August 2012, 0 comments. Categories: Enterprise, Storage.

Three strikes and out? Microsoft, Twitter, Google clouds suffer

It’s been a pretty heavy week for the cloud, with three major providers suffering outages of varying severity, giving us another reminder that no cloud is perfect.

Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud was down across Western Europe for approximately two and a half hours, with a flag on the Azure service dashboard stating:

“We are experiencing an availability issue in the West Europe sub-region, which impacts access to hosted services in this region. We are actively investigating this issue and...

By James Bourne, 27 July 2012, 0 comments. Categories: Consumer, SLA.

Moving to the cloud makes great financial sense, says IDC

A detailed study from the International Data Center (IDC) has shown that companies who use the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud make substantial savings over time.

The report, titled ‘Business Value of Amazon Web Services Accelerates Over Time’ and commissioned by AWS, saw the research house interview representatives from 11 organisations which had deployed AWS onto their services.

According to IDC, after three years enterprises should expect to see three and a half times their investment in AWS;...

By James Bourne, 26 July 2012, 0 comments. Categories: IaaS, Infrastructure, Research.

HP's Cloud Object SLA: 99.95% uptime or your money back

The cloud uptime debate rumbles on with Hewlett Packard promising their Cloud Object storage service will have at least 99.95% availability, with customers receiving service credits if it’s down.

The credits, as one would expect, increase the longer the cloud is down.

Customers who experience between 99.95% and 99.9% uptime get 5% of their bill credited; anything above 99.5% gets one tenth credited; while 99.0% gets one fifth of their bill back and if the Object Cloud is down more than 1% of the time,...

By James Bourne, 20 July 2012, 0 comments. Categories: OpenSource, Public, SLA, Storage.

What are the 7 challenges facing federal cloud computing?

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that, while the US ‘Cloud First’ enterprise project is making tangible progress, there are seven cloud lessons for the public sector.

The report, subtitled “progress made but future cloud computing efforts should be better planned”, charts the progress of Cloud First – a federal policy which exhorts agencies to find a cloud-based IT solution whenever logistically possible.

Things appear to have moved forward since...

By James Bourne, 16 July 2012, 0 comments. Categories: Enterprise, Infrastructure, Research, Security.

Gartner research: Enterprise cloud vital to IT spend

Recent research from analyst house Gartner has forecast a slight increase in global IT spend from 2011, with public cloud services and telecoms leading the way.

Telecoms continues to have the largest numbers in terms of IT spend, with nearly half of the overall spend ($1.7tn) accounted for in that sector, put down to net connections in emerging markets and multiple connected devices in more mature markets.

The cloud highlights of the research were:

  • Overall IT spend is predicted to go up to $3.6tn this...

By James Bourne, 10 July 2012, 0 comments. Categories: Enterprise, Forecasts, Public.

Cisco's backtrack on Connect Cloud - taking privacy for granted?

Cisco has been forced to apologise for what Home Networking Vice President Brett Wingo described as “confusion and inconvenience” following the rolling out of their Connect Cloud system.

The issue concerns a cloud-based update Cisco made to their Linksys EA2700, EA3500 and EA4500 firmware which had originally been rolled out automatically to users’ routers.

The update took many users by surprise, and they weren’t best pleased...

By James Bourne, 09 July 2012, 0 comments. Categories: Adoption, Security.

Dating site dumps Amazon EC2: “100% uptime a required SLA”

The storm which accounted for Amazon’s cloud outage over the weekend has resulted in one company ditching the AWS system over fears of further unavailability.

From 2300 EST on June 30 users of several high profile sites such as Pinterest, Netflix and Instagram were unable to access content, with AWS “investigating connectivity issues”. The issue was resolved by 0054 EST on June 31 but updates on power restoration appeared...

By James Bourne, 06 July 2012, 0 comments. Categories: Architecture, Economy, Industry, Migration, SLA.

Public cloud on increase in India – in line with wider trends?

The past few days have seen a variety of cloud-oriented news come from the Indian market and reveal some intriguing trends. What are the highlights?

  • The cloud market in India is on the verge of being worth $1bn, according to consultants Zinnov
  • Public cloud – a hitherto nascent market in India – has increased significantly and should only go higher
  • Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) “have started taking advantage of the cloud” in terms of economic benefit yet exercises caution overall

The report from Zinnov, entitled...

By James Bourne, 05 July 2012, 0 comments. Categories: Private, Public, Trends.

What trends can be taken from Cisco’s UK cloud adoption research?

Research recently published by Cisco Systems has revealed that cloud usage in the United Kingdom and Ireland is becoming increasingly mainstream.

Cisco, who recently brought out their cloud networking app, found a number of interesting results in their ‘CloudWatch Summer’ report:

  • Nine tenths of those polled saw the cloud as an important process – up 38% from last year
  • Nearly a third see cloud as being critical to their company – up 24% from last year
  • Security is less of a concern...

By James Bourne, 03 July 2012, 0 comments. Categories: Adoption, Forecasts, Research.