Category Archives: Business of cloud

Network Design for the Modern Data Center

imagesAs new technologies evolve, Datacenter infrastructure is becoming more complex. It has led to incompatible framework and consoles throughout network, storage and server. If you are looking for more simplicity and flexibility then you can go for modular design, which also lets IT architects make changes to building blocks when required.

New traffic patterns call for new designs

It’s time you let go of the conventional tree structure to keep up with data center traffic. Any-to-any storage/server mesh means traffic doesn’t have to move from north to south before moving from east to west. Specialized storage switches like Fiber channels can be used by companies in order to link storage devices and servers. To make the most of efficiencies of scale, you can think of consolidating your storage networks with that of your data center. It also ensures that number of siloed networks that require a lot of maintenance can be reduced too.


Manual provisioning of data center is becoming tricky, but automating it with the tools can be difficult as well. That’s because errors creep up on account of network complexity. Three or four-tier network structure has a lot of potential errors that just can’t be accounted for. Assessing how traffic flows in each switch and how it can make a difference to packet delay and loss might be a tough ask as well. There are new challenges with cloud computing and virtualization too, which is why your network should evolve and rise up to them. Otherwise you are faced with more problems than solutions.

Commodity Hardware has its benefits

Low-cost commodity hardware running distributed software came into the picture as Google enhanced its web search and cloud services. This strategy ensures that you can scale fast without having to make huge investments. Data centers of the yore have to shell huge amounts to upgrade their software after every few years. But commodity hardware offers them the same advantages as cloud providers. You have a distributed software layer, which means resources from all clusters of commodity nodes can be abstracted. As a result you get an aggregate capacity that’s better than the most powerful monolithic approaches.

Enhanced flexibility

Compartmentalizing unique technology capabilities into various silos only makes things harder for management. Another problem with that is in every separate silo you have to manage the scale out operations individually. These are just some of the issues with regular data centers, which are not easily scalable besides being more rigid as well. In today’s times there have been several advancements in technology and it has necessitated frequent updating of skills amongst siloed teams. In fact it’s imperative for them in order to manage their responsibilities. That’s why silo based infrastructure is becoming increasingly difficult to manage.

Hybrid Clouds

Public clouds have their merits because they offer storage, resources and Internet-accessible compute for different users. That’s the reason they have become integral to businesses’ IT strategy. You can pick applications that work well in public clouds; for example, infrastructure as a service. It’s particularly true for applications with unpredictable demands that work better because of the global elasticity they get. Their ability to offer self-service resources means public clouds work well for developers of applications who require quick access to computing and storage abilities too.

Focus on service continuity

User expectations have changed with consumerization and your disaster strategies cannot only be reactive. Unauthorized cloud-based services seem tempting in case there are any interruptions to contend with. That’s why it’s important for admin to make sure there is 100% availability, which can ensure continuity in service. Focusing on recovery when problems arise is just not good enough. That leads to data centers that have to be re-architected. You also have to keep round trip times low and have a lot of bandwidth as well. Applications architectures can be passed on through different sites and data centers, which allow them to scale globally. Moreover their up-time is increased and they perform more efficiently.

End users can be empowered

Data centers have to be more reliable today and modernizing them will ensure that you can keep up with the demands of consumerization. Compute-intensive VDI systems and existing virtualized enterprise applications can also be dealt with a lot better.

Let Software Drive

Data centers today have to have latest software capabilities, but the problem is that they are rigid and often run by field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) or application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). It means admin can have new services without adding hardware, which offers flexibility while you save costs. Scalability, up-times are improved too.


Enterprises have to stay competitive to adapt to latest changes in business environment. Data computing and storage capacity should be increased while having the provision of adding new capabilities easily.

About the author

Ramya Raju is a freelance writer/web designer from India. His web site is

Ubercloud Announces Technical Computing Marketplace and Appstore

In this video from ISC’14, Wolfgang Gentzsch announces the new Ubercloud Technical Computing Marketplace and Appstore.

Two years ago the UberCloud started its free HPC Experiment which today has attracted more than 2,000 organizations and individuals from computational fluid dynamics, finite element material analysis, multi-physics, chemistry, life sciences, biology, finance, big data, and the HPC community. Today, UberCloud announces the addition of its Marketplace and Appstore, where engineers and scientists can discover, try and buy the computing power and expertise they need for their computational and data-intensive tasks.”

Read the Full Story.

In related news, the Second Ubercloud Compendium of Case Studies is now available for download.

Global Music on Demand Market to Grow Says a New Research Report at

Sandler Research has issued a report detailing the surge in desire for on demand music from various devices. The report says a big portion of the increase is due to the escalation of offerings in music from social media platforms.

“Cloud computing provides consumers with legal access to music online and is rapidly being adopted by firms because it enhances portability, enabling subscribed users to access digital content stored in remote servers irrespective of the devices used. Listening to music, initially, was only possible using devices such as iPods. But the current scenario is witnessing consumers switching to an access-based approach, which consists of subscribing to digital music libraries stored in the cloud.

Please read the Press Release.

OpenStack Delivers the Future of Cloud with Robust Open Source Features

Over at Talkin’ Cloud, David Darrough reports that leading open source cloud solutions provider, OpenStack, is showing the way into a cloud-based future with superb offerings in storage, compute and networking.

“The goal of the OpenStack Foundation is to serve developers, users, and the entire ecosystem by providing a set of shared resources to grow the footprint of public and private OpenStack clouds, enable technology vendors targeting the platform and assist developers in producing the best cloud software in the industry.

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Guest Post: Virtualizing Datacenter Storage with EMC ViPR

The way that we store data has changed and the need for a single solution that lets you pool all of your datacenter storage resources into a self-sustaining storage mechanism has presented itself. EMC ViPR lets you achieve the goal of grabbing virtual datacenter hard disk on demand. This free flow of storage space allows utilities and datacenter applications to function without restriction. It is important to note that just because a datacenter is virtualized, it doesn’t mean that the corresponding cloud is a private cloud.

How does Software Defined Storage work?

Storage solutions such as ViPR pool together storage resources and allow them to be accessed abstractly from within the network. A provisioning controller exists to handle requests while a self-service panel is available for users to request additional storage resources. A reporting component gives administrators up to the minute data on what is being using and how it is being used. The last component of software defined storage is the automation component, which can be setup with triggers that allow for more storage resources to be made available as needed.

Key features of using Software Defined Storage such as EMC ViPR

Change on Demand: Do you manage a dynamic pool of server resources? Perhaps these resources have needs that change rapidly? Using a software defined storage system would allow your organization to provide storage space on a scale that matches your business model.

APIs: APIs can help your existing tools interact cohesively with a software defined storage solution. EMC ViPR provides robust APIs that allow developers to specifically code using the framework provided. This allows organizations to flawlessly integrate with the Storage as a Service platform.

Diverse Storage Options: Regardless if you currently use file, block or object storage, a solution like EMC ViPR can help you pool these resources into an on-demand solution. This centralized approach helps administrators easily add storage into the Storage as a Service solution from a diverse array of vendors. This storage can then be queried when needed.

Can Storage as a Service really help?

EMC ViPR allows organizations to keep their existing infrastructure in place. Vendors such as EMC realize that organizations sometimes have millions invested in private cloud datacenter solutions. Instead of reinventing the wheel, EMC ViPR allows you to keep your existing infrastructure. These solutions allow you to abstract server storage resources and use them as needed within your environment. EMC ViPR doesn’t require you to tailor your existing infrastructure. The dynamic private datacenter storage solution is designed to compliment and enhance what you have already built out in your datacenter.

Author Bio:

Natalie Lehrer is a senior contributor for CloudWedge. In her spare time, Natalie enjoys exploring all things cloud and is a music enthusiast. Follow Natalie’s daily posts on Twitter: @Cloudwedge, or on Facebook.


CoolIT Systems Announces New Split Flow Design

CoolIT has announced receiving a patent for the company’s Split Flow Heat Exchanger technology.  The patent allows for greater cooling design while using less energy overall.

“This is a key patent for the company that adds significantly to our IP portfolio,” said Geoff Lyon, CEO & CTO of CoolIT Systems. “The invention relates to a compact method of delivering coolant through an opening over a central section of micro-channels resulting in a superior level of performance.  This patent strengthens CoolIT’s position with our proprietary technology giving us a tremendous advantage in the market.”

Read the Press Release.

Open Source Big Boys Join Forces to Offer Private Cloud Platforms

Over at GreatResponder, Mark Dallas writes that Canonical and Mirantis have come together to offer to offer a cloud computing platform based on OpenStack and Ubuntu.

“While providing the details of this collaboration, the VP of Cloud Alliances at Canonical, Mr. John Zannos said, “As the leading provider of scale out and open cloud solutions we are committed to interoperability and freedom from vendor lock-in. We support Ubuntu in the Ubuntu OpenStack distribution and, as part of this strategic relationship with Mirantis, will support Ubuntu in Mirantis OpenStack. This collaboration will further encourage adoption of OpenStack in the enterprise, and working together is a testament to our belief in interoperability and customer choice.”

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Leadtek Reveals Complete Cloud Computing Solutions at Computex

“For the first time, Leadtek will reveal its complete integrated video surveillance products which are vastly different from its competitors. Leadtek’s video surveillance solutions are the first in the industry to support SIP communication protocol. They include SIP IP phone, IP camera, SIP network video recorder (NVR), alarm devices and central management systems (CMS). This means that Leadtek’s video surveillance solutions can immediately integrate with existing SIP communication systems embedded in communities and organizations. The whole system is also connected to users’ video phones, whereby they can watch video surveillance footage by connecting their SIP video phones to any NVR.

Read the Press Release.

HP is Looking for a Senior Software Engineer – Cloud User Interfaces in our Job of the Week

Hewlett-Packard in Sunnyvale, CA is looking for a Senior Software Engineer – Cloud User Interfaces in our Job of the Week.

“HP Public Cloud (HPPC), is the division within HP delivering public cloud services (IaaS, PaaS, etc). We are a primary consumer, deliverer, and contributor to the OpenStack cloud infrastructure project and our services in HP Public Cloud are built on the OpenStack platform. Our goal is to provide the next generation of open source cloud infrastructure, platform services and cloud solutions for developers, ISVs, and businesses of all sizes.

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Is CAD Based in the Cloud a Viable Option?

Over at Cadalyst, Alex Herrera argues that the flexibility, scalability and elasticity of cloud computing really does offer the end user in the CAD environment many excellent options.

“Server-based computing (SBC) is back in the IT limelight. Granted, it has taken a different shape than in the past, and marches under several different banners: cloud computing, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), client consolidation infrastructure (CCI), and hosted virtual desktops (HVD), to name a few. But while they may differ in implementation, they share one fundamental goal: to move the data and heavy computation and rendering away from distributed desktops and toward a central resource, accessible by many users rather than one. Not only does general operating system (OS) and application processing happen on the server, so does rendering, with image pixel data transmitted from host to client.

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Meridium is looking for an IS Administrator – Cloud in our Job of the Week

Meridium in Roanoke, VA is looking for an IS Administrator – Cloud in our Job of the Week.

“This position at Meridium will report to the Director of IT and Security and will take a key role in maintaining and enhancing internal systems. Along with troubleshooting issues and providing internal support to the Meridium team. The IS administrator will work with the Director of IT and Security and other SR IS Administrators as well as support the entire Meridium team.

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Atos Acquires Bull in Bold Move to Bolster Cloud Computing Capabilities

Over at Binary Tribune, the staff has reported that IT services provider, Atos, has purchased Bull for $844 million to bring them to the HPC market as well as shore up its cloud and Big Data offerings.

“The Chief Executive Officer of Atos SE – Mr. Thierry Breton, who was also part of the Bull’s team in the period from 1993 to 1997, said in the statement, which was cited by Bloomberg: “Bull’s highly recognized teams in advanced technologies such as high computing power, data analytics management, and cybersecurity ideally complement Atos’ large scale operations.”

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Softchoice First in North America to Launch End-to-End FlexPod Solution

Softchoice, based in Toronto, Canada, has announced a top-to-bottom approach to FlexPod services via what it calls its FlexPod Accelerator+ offering.

“Given the widespread popularity and success of FlexPod, we saw a need for companies to fast-track their adoption of the solution,” says Aaron Brooks, Director of Innovation at Softchoice. “FlexPod Accelerator+ helps clients build a converged infrastructure that increases IT’s ability to quickly scale and support the deployment of applications and data, and prepares them for a hybrid infrastructure.”

Read the Press Release.

Guest Post: Artmotion CEO Mateo Meier on PRISM Scandal, Security and the Swiss Data Center

Mateo Meier

Artmotion is one of those companies whose name doesn’t portray what it does. Mateo Meier lends his time to find out more about a company whose level of secrecy and its close connections to some of the world’s biggest banks and tobacco companies are a credit to the culture of neutrality of the Helvetians.

Swiss banks are known to be governed by stringent laws, which also are a derivative of the nation’s privacy legislation, and now – thanks to the PRISM scandal – the country is fast becoming the ideal location for those turning their back on the cloud, says Mateo Meier, director at Artmotion, Switzerland’s biggest offshore hosting company.

As a result of the recent leaks of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programme (PRISM), which sparked growing concern over data privacy, businesses are now turning to Switzerland for their data hosting needs.

Swiss hosting companies are seeing growth because privacy in Switzerland is enshrined in law. As the country is outside of the EU, it is not bound by pan-European agreements to share data with other member states, or other non EU countries. Artmotion, for example, has witnessed 45 per cent growth in revenue amid this new demand for heightened privacy.

Until now, the PRISM scandal has focused on the privacy of the individual, but surveillance undertaken by the NSA and Britain’s own GCHQ has spurred corporate concern about the risks associated with using American based cloud providers. Neelie Kroes, the European Commission Vice President went on to state that “the NSA scandal has had a chilling effect in Europe; businesses are worried about their resources being controlled by someone else.” It is especially troubling for businesses with data privacy issues, such as banks or healthcare organisations with ‘secret’ research and development needs.

However, the scandal has unearthed significant risks to data for businesses, as well as for their customers. With US cloud service providers, the government can request business information under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act without the company in question ever knowing.

The desire for privacy has therefore seen a surge in corporations turning to ‘Silicon’ Switzerland to take advantage of the country’s renowned privacy culture. Mateo Meier said: “Unlike the US or the rest of Europe, Switzerland offers many data security benefits. For instance, as the country is not a member of the EU, the only way to gain access to our data hosted within our Datacentre is if the company receives an official court order proving guilt or liability. This procedure applies to all countries requesting any information from a Swiss datacentre.”

About Artmotion

Founded in 2000, Artmotion specialises in secure IT solutions located in Switzerland, with a focus on data centre and server offerings. The company’s services attract an international clientele looking to benefit from Switzerland’s central location, respect for confidentiality and tax advantages. Strong demand for these solutions has helped Artmotion record an annual growth rate of over 45 per cent.


HP is looking for a Systems Engineer – Cloud Computing in our Job of the Week

Hewlett-Packard in Raleigh, NC is looking for a Systems Engineer – Cloud Computing in our Job of the Week.

“The Systems Engineer II will work at the client site and is required to support CBP with the development and testing of software applications. The developer shall assist with Requirements determination and documentation as well as the system design and documentation of the design.

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Microsoft Acquires Lord of the Rings Cloud Provider–GreenButton

Over at The Next Web, Jon Russell reports that Microsoft has taken on Azure partner, GreenButton, in attempt to boost its high performance computing as well as Big Data presence. The company, based in New Zealand, was used by The Lord of the Rings producers to handle massively scalable compute processing in the cloud.

GreenButton provides ‘on-demand’ cloud solutions, based around a high-intensity cloud burst technology — for example, customers can use its products to run high performance computer, or big data analytics in the cloud. The premise is that GreenButton saves them the pain of investing in and maintaining high-intensity hardware and network resources that are traditionally required to carry out these tasks.

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Intuit is Looking for a Staff Software Engineer (Cloud – AWS) in our Job of the Week II

Intuit in Mountain View, CA is looking for a Staff Software Engineer (Cloud – AWS) in our Job of the Week II.

“CTO Dev provides the  plug-and-play services, components, tools and service infrastructure to help maximize developer productivity company-wide. Our mission is to promote innovation, share synergies, leverage data assets, drive network effects and help every BU at Intuit delight their customers.

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ShopKeep Garners $25 Million in Venture Funding to Help Small Business POS Needs

ShopKeep, the small business Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) POS specialist, has raised $25 million in its third round of funding. As the competition heats up in the space, the company looks to use the largess to improve its software and go after new markets.

“With the rapid growth of Shopkeep and competitors like Boston-based Leaf, which raised $20 million earlier this year, it’s clear that cloud computing is really making an impact on the business technology industry. By building software which runs remotely, rather than on a servers located in a store, these startups can dramatically reduce costs, opening up new markets and erasing much of the maintenance and service fees that drive a large portion of legacy firms’ revenue.

Read the Full Story. Borrows Amazon’s Mayday Idea and Creates SOS

Over at ITworld, Chris Kanaracus reports that has implemented an SOS approach inspired by AWS’s Mayday feature.

“Mayday allows HDX users who find themselves stumped to simply touch a button and be connected to a support representative via video chat. The upcoming Salesforce1 Service Cloud SOS provides an SDK (software development kit) that companies can use to embed a similar button into any native iOS or Android mobile application, said Larry Robinson, vice president of product management.

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Press Release: Eucalyptus Executives Invited to Speak at Leading Open Source and Cloud Computing Conferences

Eucalyptus Systems has announced that the company will be discussing its open source, AWS-enabled private and hybrid cloud solutions in several upcoming shows.

“Eucalyptus Systems provides progressive IT organizations in enterprises and technology businesses with the leading open source software for building AWS-compatible private clouds. Eucalyptus supports industry-standard AWS APIs, including EC2, S3, EBS, ELB, Auto Scaling, CloudWatch, and IAM. By providing an open source platform for cloud computing, Eucalyptus is dedicated to the success of its active and rapidly growing ecosystem of customers, partners, developers and researchers.

Read the Press Release.