January 2014


Last week, HCL Technologies and CSC announced a new partnership in the application modernization space, targeting corporate IT customers who want to move their legacy applications to the cloud.

outsourcingThe move was a surprise to some IT outsourcing industry watchers since $4.8 billion dollar HCL had long pitched itself as a cost-effective alternative to the likes of the $13.5 billion CSC. “These two companies have often gone head-to-head for major contracts,” says Hansa Iyengar, sourcing and vendor management analyst with Forrester Research.

But changing market dynamics have brought the two together. Together, the companies will first focus on the financial services industry, building a joint banking center of excellence with delivery centers in Bangalore and Chennai, India.

HCL Joins Forces With CSC to Deliver Value-based Low-Cost Services

Noida, India-based HCL, which has focused on infrastructure services, gets access to a larger customer base, CSC’s BizCloud private cloud offering, and a stronger foothold in the applications space. Falls Church, Va.-based CSC will get a new channel for its cloud platform and access to cheaper resources offshore, the lack of which has long been a competitive disadvantage for the largely onshore-focused provider. And both companies will seemingly increase their opportunities to cross-sell their products and services.

Cloud Gazing: 3 Security Trends To Watch

29 Jan 2014, Posted by admin in Blog

Cloud computing continues to break barriers and deliver new types of workloads and content. Just look at how many users are connecting via the Internet. Statistics show us that a typical user accesses two to three devices every day. If you work in tech, I have no doubt that this number is even larger.Lock background

The security environment around cloud continues to evolve as well. The days of the PC, as we all know, are coming to an end. With so much more information traversing the cloud, the focus has shifted from endpoint security to delivering applications, data, and a great user experience. But this leaves open questions about how we keep all of this data secure, provide a powerful end-user experience, and still maintain information integrity.

The complexities of the cloud are becoming much more evident as enterprises seek to add this technology into their datacenters. Regardless of the ultimate goal, be it public cloud, private cloud, or a hybrid-cloud integration, datacenter engineers face numerous challenges — ranging from security to performance to service provisioning.Cloud-growth

However, there is one challenge that transcends all of the services offered: end-to-end data packet transport.

Simply put, a successful IT service, whether it’s local (LAN), cloud (WAN), or otherwise, ultimately relies on the efficient movement of data packets across the infrastructure elements. Without this part of equation, services are unreliable or, worse, unusable. For IT, neither is acceptable for line-of-business or customer service applications.

However, reliability and consistency are not new challenges for the enterprise. Improving both of these has been a challenge since day one of computing. That brings up another question — basically, what exactly has changed to bring core networking reliabilities back to the forefront of IT services?

CenturyLink Eases Cloud Foundry Deployments

24 Jan 2014, Posted by admin in Blog

CenturyLink, a telco cloud service supplier, is capitalizing on its acquisition of Tier3 to better compete with Amazon, Microsoft, and Google in the race to attract developers. Developer activity tends to produce repeat cloud business. Some would even say vendors must attract developers or die.  EngineYard, Heroku, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google have already demonstrated their chops in platform-as-a-service. Now CenturyLink is making it easy to launch a version of the Cloud Foundry developer’s platform on its CenturyLink Cloud.Century_Link_logo

CenturyLink now supports Bosh, open-source software that makes it simpler to deploy Cloud Foundry, PaaS sponsored by VMware. Bosh is another open-source project that grew out of the original Cloud Foundry effort; it’s sponsored by Pivotal, the spinoff from VMware and EMC. Tier3 supported Cloud Foundry implementation using Bosh on its provisioning site before it was acquired by CenturyLink in November; now CenturyLink is doing the same thing. It can provide a copy of the Bosh command line, familiar to its users, in its Micro-Bosh server, which in turn will deploy a ready-to-go version of Cloud Foundry. One restriction: the Micro-Bosh server works only with Ubuntu Linux.

Fully a quarter of businesses are moving data out of the US as a result of revelations about the scope of data gathering by the US National Security Agency, claims Canada-based cloud hosting PEER 1 Hosting.3892

Some qualifications apply: The survey behind the company’s assertion doesn’t cover 25% of all businesses. It describes findings from a 10-minute survey of 300 small companies — 250 employees or less — based in the UK and Canada.

When the sample is confined to just Canadian companies, 33% say they plan move data out of US datacenters. Evidence of that exodus isn’t extensive: PEER 1 was able to point to one client, iDigital, that has been dealing with data flight.

Matt McKinney, managing director of iDigital, an 85-person cloud hosting provider based in British Columbia, Canada, said in a phone interview that privacy is particularly important to Canadians, noting that the country has been aggressive in dealing with online privacy through its regulatory agencies.

Verizon: Major Apps Move Cloudward In 2014

20 Jan 2014, Posted by admin in Blog

Expect to see leading brand-name enterprise apps become more cloud-based in 2014 as cloud services do a better job of securely supporting hybrid cloud environments. This will give enterprises more confidence to move more core apps into the cloud, a top Verizon Terremark executive predicts.cloud-apps-100047416-large

John Considine, CTO, Verizon Terremark, says the consumerization of IT is gathering steam and putting greater pressure on IT departments to deliver more functionality and do so at lower cost, thus increasing the attractiveness of pay-as-you-go cloud-based solutions. At the same time, Considine says, cloud service providers such as Verizon are getting better at providing secure cloud connections and easier transitions to cloud services, as well as supporting hybrid cloud environments.

These factors will combine to make 2014 a big year for cloud adoption, Considine says. He is among those telecom execs who have admitted that cloud adoption thus far has been slow, but believes it will still pick up steam, because the underlying trends will continue. (See Enterprises Not Rushing to Embrace Cloud.)

I regularly hear people, including many that should know better, predicting that in just a few years we’ll evict all the hard drives from our data centers as SSDs become less expensive than spinning disks. While the decline in SSD prices has been dramatic over the last year or so, I’m betting that hard drives will still be going strong in 2020.Intel-SSD-520-LSI-RAID

Today, if you shop carefully online, you can buy a general purpose enterprise SSD, such as Intel’s DC S3700 for about $2.65/GB or a read oriented drive like the Intel DC S3500 for $1.30/GB. By comparison, a 4TB nearline SATA hard disk such as Western Digital’s RE or Seagate’s Constellation cost under $400 or $0.09/GB. Interestingly, consumer/laptop SSDs are well below the magic $1/GB level with Crucial’s M500 selling for about $0.59/GB — about what hard drives cost in 2005.

Over the past few years, flash memory prices have fallen at an average of 35% a year. Hard drive prices declined at a similar rate or even greater rate in the past, but the trend has flattened out of late. In part, this is a one-time perturbation caused by the flooding in Thailand two years ago, which caused a shortage of both drives and drive components. Prices have just recently returned to their pre-flood levels as the drive vendors have re-filled their supply and distribution channels.

Google Opens Data Centers in Asia

15 Jan 2014, Posted by admin in Blog

Google opened its newest data centers earlier this month in Taiwan and Singapore, setting up the Internet giant to capitalize on one of the Internet’s fastest growing regions.0405-google-china-asia-taiwan-data-center_full_600

“While we’ve been busy building, the growth in Asia’s Internet has been amazing,” Joe Kava, the company’s VP of data centers, wrote in a Dec. 10 blog post. “Between July and September of this year alone, more than 60 million people in Asia landed on the mobile Internet for the first time. That’s almost two Canadas, or three Australias.”

That’s not all. Cloud computing also has emerged as a technology platform for business and consumers alike, and that’s made it increasingly important for companies like Google to put their data centers close to potential customers.

“There’s tremendous demand for data and content from anyone providing a cloud, and at some point latency and throughput can only be addressed through close-by, local presence,” Jeff Boles, senior analyst at Taneja Group, said via email. “These leading cloud providers have pole-vaulted their capabilities ahead so rapidly that they can get the right data to any of their data centers, irrespective of where it was originally stored, so these localized data centers are growing in importance for these strategic providers.”

3 Ways Enterprise IT Will Change in 2014

13 Jan 2014, Posted by admin in Blog

The holiday season is a great time to look back at the year, with an eye toward what we in the ever-changing world of information technology can expect in 2014. These three trends warrant your close attention in the new year.VizardAccentureEnterpriseIT00

In Light of NSA Revelations, companies Will Be Wary of the Cloud

For most businesses, 2013 was the year of the cloud. Companies that still hosted their email in house would in large part move that expense and aggravation to someone else. Microsoft SharePoint and other knowledge management solutions could be run in someone else’s datacenter, using someone else’s resources and time to administer, thus freeing your own people to improve other services or, gasp, work directly on enhancing the business.

But then Edward Snowden came around in June and started to release a series of damning leaks about the United States National Security Agency’s capability to eavesdrop on communications. At first, most folks weren’t terribly alarmed. But as the year wore on, the depth of the NSA’s alleged capabilities to tap into communications – both with and without service provider knowledge – started to shake the faith of many CIOs in the risk/benefit tradeoff for moving to cloud services.