Microsoft Service Outage Raises New Cloud Reliability Concerns
The recent outage of Microsoft’s Azure Cloud Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) has reopened a persistent question about the reliability of Cloud services.
Microsoft’s most recent service disruption is just the latest evidence that Cloud alternatives are not immune to problems. Last year’s Amazon Web Services debacle was far worse and lasted much longer.
Yet, overall the uptime record of all the major Cloud service providers is far greater than most enterprise data centers. And, the leading Cloud vendors are generally better at keeping their customers informed about the status of their services than inhouse IT departments have been.
But, no service provider can achieve 100% uptime. Therefore, it is important for IT and corporate decision-makers to fully understand the potential pitfalls and put in place a series of back-up and recovery capabilities to minimize the short-term and long-term impact on their business.
The vulnerabilities associated with … Read More »
New ADP Growth Reflects Rising Acceptance of Cloud Services Among SMBs
For years, I’ve been pointing to ADP payroll services as a model for successfully delivering data-sensitive, shared services that should give corporate decision-makers in small- and mid-size businesses (SMBs) greater confidence in the new generation of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions emerging in the market.
For a while, ADP was hesitant to assume the mantle of major SaaS vendor. But, it has recently embraced the concept of the Cloud and is actively promoting its Cloud-based services. In fact, ADP is now happy to use the growth of its Cloud-based services as an important indicator of the growing acceptance and adoption of a widening array of ‘on-demand’, business service alternatives.
Last week, ADP announced that over 3,600 organizations are now using ADP’s Workforce Now® Express Payroll service which was introduced only 12 months ago. The company said it has seen nearly 50 percent sales growth … Read More »
Managing Hybrid Clouds
I had an opportunity to speak to the Mid-Atlantic CIO Forum at Towson University last week about new strategies and tactics for fully capitalizing on today’s Cloud alternatives. Because the group is composed of CIOs primarily from mid-size and large-scale enterprises with a lot of custom built applications and systems already in place, their biggest challenge is determining how to integrate the latest Cloud services into their legacy operations. Managing ‘hybrid’ Clouds is becoming a common challenge.
I had spoken to this group a couple of years ago when the concept of Cloud computing was just emerging. At that time, they were primarily interested in better understanding what the concept meant and why they should consider it. Like many CIOs, the attendees of this session are now trying to determine where, when and how to deploy Cloud services to meet their … Read More »
How Mid-Sized Organizations Can Leverage Business Intelligence and Analytics in the Cloud
Despite some skepticism from industry analysts about the ability of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors to deliver viable business intelligence (BI) solutions a few years ago, today’s Cloud-based analytic tools are increasingly demonstrating that they can quickly generate tangible benefits to organizations of all sizes, especially mid-market companies.
The growing interest in Cloud-based analytics is easy to understand given the escalating pressures facing businesses contending with rising customer expectations and intensifying competitive. Businesses not only have to synthesize a widening array of internal and external data sources, they must also make timely and useful analysis available to an increasingly dispersed workforce so they can make better day-to-day business decisions.
The Cloud is the perfect enablement platform for analytic tools to respond to these demands. THINKstrategies sees the Cloud responding in three ways.
First, every leading Cloud solution includes a basic set of analytic tools to satisfy … Read More »
IBM to Speak at Cloud Channel Summit November 7
IBM has become the latest company to agree to speak and sponsor the Cloud Channel Summit, hosted by THINKstrategies, the Cloud Computing Showplace and Rising Tide Media on Monday, November 7.
IBM joins a growing list of sponsors, partners and speakers participating in the one day forum focused on building successful channel relationships in the Cloud. Other Summit sponsors include GoodData, Safenet, SoftServe, AppDirect, Agilis Solutions and Scribe Software.
The Cloud Channel Summit will take place at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. It will bring together senior executives from leading Cloud Computing vendors and their channel company counterparts to share industry best practices and innovative ideas for building profitable and successful channel partnerships in the Cloud.
The Cloud Channel Summit will kickoff with a keynote presentation by Google’s Director of Channels and Business Development, Stephen Cho, entitled, “Making Rain in the Channel: New Opportunities in Cloud Computing.”
IBM’s participation in the Cloud … Read More »
Microsoft Moves to the Clouds
Today’s official launch of Microsoft Office 365 squarely positions the company as the latest major contender seeking to win a share of the rapidly growing Cloud Computing marketplace.
Although Microsoft has been saying that it is “All In” and funding a TV ad campaign which has made the catchphrase “To the Cloud” popular, Microsoft 365 represents the company’s boldest offering to date. The company has been watching its Office suite suffer attacks from Google Apps for years. In fact, Google Apps are quickly becoming the basic productivity suite of choice for most new college graduates entering the workforce.
Many of these new entrants to the workforce are forgoing email altogether by relying more on Facebook, Twitter and text to communicate. In response to these trends, Salesforce.com is pushing its Facebook-like Chatter communications platform as a dramatic switch from traditional email.
IBM is also attacking the … Read More »
Cloud Parade Ambushed by Amazon Outage
Plenty of has been written about last week’s disruption of Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) which took hundreds of organizations offline, including many rapidly growing start-ups and evolving aspects of enterprise operations.
(The best I’ve read summarizing the questions raised and lessons to be learned as a result of the AWS outage was by my friend Phil Wainewright.)
After suggesting at the beginning of last week that recent issues surrounding Google could derail the rapid growth of Cloud Computing services, it is obvious that Amazon’s problems must be added to the list of sobering events which will certainly cause many entrepreneurs and enterprise decision-makers alike to re-think their Cloud strategies and deployment tactics.
Google’s support issues, combined with Amazon’s service availability problems, clearly make real two of the three greatest fears which IT and business decision-makers face when considering the widening array of Cloud alternatives. The third primal fear … Read More »
Cisco's Flip Cam Failure and the Consumerization of IT
Cisco Systems’ decision this past week to shut down its Flip video camera business generated plenty of attention because of its implications on multiple levels for the networking company and the IT industry. Here are a few of my perspectives on the meaning of this event and the lessons to be learned.
Cisco deserves credit for the boldness of its acquisition of Pure Digital, the maker of the Flip camera, in 2009 and its equally brave decision to walk away from the over $590 million investment (acquisition, development and marketing costs) in a two year span. It had hoped to use the Flip camera and other home entertainment products as catalysts for additional consumer demand for its network connectivity capabilities and its service providers’ transmission services. Although Cisco didn’t sell as many Flip cameras as it hoped, it certainly can be credited to contributing the rise in video transmission … Read More »
Dancing in the Clouds With the Elephants
The recent flurry of major vendor announcements regarding their new Cloud Computing initiatives, latest acquisitions and offerings clearly shows that the “Cloud Rush” is in high gear.
Here’s a quick list of the announcements which have caught my attention over the past few weeks in chronological order since HP unveiled its Cloud ‘vision’ last month, and my views regarding their significance,
Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire newScale, 03/29/11 – Cisco Systems has been pushing into the ‘new data center’ environment for a while with its Unified Computing solutions. It acquired newScale to improve its provisioning capabilities to make it a more viable Cloud vendor for enterprise customers and service provider partners.
Salesforce.com to Acquire Radian6, 03/30/11 – Now that Salesforce.com has succeeded in popularizing its Chatter social networking capabilities, it wants to give its customers the necessary tools to monitor, manage and measure the effectiveness of these … Read More »
HP Shoots for the Clouds
HP’s new CEO, Leo Apotheker unveiled the company’s latest corporate strategy yesterday with plenty of fanfare, but little flourish.
The theme of his talk and HP’s new mantra is providing “connectivity” to the Cloud to move “Everyone On”.
While the picture he painted of this new world order and HP’s strategic response covered all the bases, there are still plenty of pieces which must come together in order to make it a reality.
Apotheker’s ‘vision’ was certainly well-conceived and his presentation was well-scripted. No one can argue with his view that,
“We see clearly a world in which the impact of cloud and connectivity is changing not only the user experience, but how individuals, small businesses and enterprises will consume, deploy and leverage information technology.”
I would also agree that “HP is well positioned to be the trusted leader in addressing this opportunity.” But, it faces plenty of problems capitalizing on this opportunity.
Apotheker’s … Read More »