The Daily Cloud: Force.com to help with yet one more IT thing you hate

Everyone reading this just winced in mental agony once they saw those words, as nothing helps productive and enthusiastic workers quite giving them a group of dumb rules to follow to urge anything doneSalesforce.com is pitching the service as to how to point and click on your way through creating call center scripts, service bibles, development guidelines than on, a sort of "Visio for your hell desk job." Ariel Kelman, vice chairman of platform product marketing at Salesforce.com, said the technology came from Informavores, an information technology degree purchased by the acquisition-happy Software as a Service (SaaS) giant last year. 

The price starts at $50 per user per month for the Enterprise edition, which seems steep until you realize there are only a couple of people in any organization with the facility to ruin your day so conclusively by changing the way you've got to try to EVERYTHING.
 s a strategy to form life easier for those people will probably pan out, since the merchandise, as demonstrated to SearchCloud may be a very different beast than standard business process management (BPM) and workflow tools. You winced again, didn't you! Admit it. Also, information technology schoolsSalesforce.com has presumably used Visual Process Manager to form a terrific support script for itself, sort of a snake eating its own tail.

Kelman said the service is all a part of Salesforce.com's plan to take in every end-user interaction with a computer and host it for them. What we're really trying to try to do is move every app to the cloud," he said. Obama finally enacts change…in IT
After months of backtalk against President Obama, it seems that his administration has finally caused the change. Unfortunately, for those clamoring for health care reform and troop withdrawal within the Middle East, the change is in IT. It seems that Federal CIO Vivek Kundra's commitment to cloud computing may become a reality in any case . With the federal looking to chop back on its massive glut of knowledge centers, the newest federal budget mandates that after evaluation in 2010, cloud computing solutions are going to be deployed across the govt. IT shops and consultants working within the space say that "rank and file feds are getting resigned that clouds are in their future." Change -- it is so far more fun just to speak about...The Daily Cloud: Amazon and Microsoft butt heads on cloud pricingAmazon quick to strike against Azure

Amazon Web Services has fired another broadside within the cloud pricing wars by lowering outbound data transfer prices by $0.02 per gigabyte. the general public cloud giant is keen on lowering prices; last fall, virtualization technology it cut rates across the board for users in Europe to match costs within the U.S. It now matches or betters new competitor Windows Azure across the board.AWS now charges $0.15/GB for data transferred out of 1 region into another. Other charges remain as they were -- $0.15/GB for general storage fees on Simple Storage Service (S3) and $0.10/GB to transfer data into AWS. Inbound transfer fees, however, are on hold until June, which mirrors Azure's discount on inbound data transfer, also in effect until June. But AWS has much flexibility in pricing. it's ready for Microsoft or the other potential rival willing to poke their head over the parapet. Redmond has the advantage in the platform, as more people use Windows-related products to compute than anything, but Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO, says his company is best at delivering goods to customers faster and cheaper than anyone.

Let's not forget Google either, because the company is essentially making a gift of App Engine and other goods because all of its cloud services are accompanying its ad revenue. SearchCloudComputing.com has much and an honest seat within the wings to observe the fun as price war continues to heat up. Azure adds key NTFS support with new Azure Drive Microsoft Azure has announced the new Windows Azure Drive, which mimics network drives during a Windows environment. This move will bring a sigh of relief to any user who reflexively gropes for his or her [insert random letter] drive at every turn. With support for NTFS and SMB protocols, many existing Windows applications can now interact with Azure storage without a hiccup. We predict this is often will become a bedrock feature employed by almost every Azure customer overnight. It's another tread on the thanks to Microsoft's stated goal of "Windows within the cloud." Linux geeks everywhere may now reach for his or her heartburn medication.


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Now that Azure costs money, will people buy it? Microsoft Azure now costs real money Microsoft Azure is out of the testing phase and has finally begun to bill users for its Platform as a Service cloud offering. Priced roughly within the "pennies per hour" Amazon Web Services model, Azure has generally been met with cautious approval from users and analysts. Enterprises that need to pay money for the service could also be a tougher sell, despite Microsoft discounting the road price on data transfers until June. Here are the details: Compute = $0.12 / hour Storage = $0.15 / GB stored / month Storage transactions = $0.01 / 10K Data transfers = $0.10 in / $0.15 out / GB ($0.30 in / $0.45 out / GB in Asia) Azure is that the most innovative part of Microsoft's general shift focused on services over straight software sales, but it is a late arrival to a celebration started by Google. Google has occupied more and more of Redmond's attention in recent years, gobbling up revenue and markets Microsoft overlooked. Google App Engine, Azure's nearest rival, boasts thousands of active users and is release to a particular level of use, which presents an irreducible argument for users.

Having to compete with Google must be a touch frustrating for Microsoft at times: Google apparently doesn't actually need to charge money for love or money, and that they are with great care perky all the time. MeriTalk calculates cloud costs for feds, helps rein in gov spending MeriTalk, the govt IT network, today announced a Federal Cloud Computing Savings Calculator. This calculator may be a free online tool that lets federal agencies quantify potential cloud savings…or lack thereof. The calculator provides agencies with a read on their various cloud model options -- private, community, and public -- and therefore the suitability and financial impact of their cloud model choice. And if the calculator forecasts but promising results? Well, just like the Magic 8 Ball says, ask again later. M Squared offers cloud consulting, joins millions doing the same M Squared says it provides cost-effective, on-demand consulting services to companies looking to extend top-line growth, boost operational efficiencies and improve market position. And who wouldn't want that!?

"With cloud consulting, we've taken our existing model of user-driven pricing and operation to the subsequent level," said Marion McGovern, founder, and CEO of M Squared Consulting. there have been no details within the handout on what level exactly, but we assume it is a high one. Other companies offering cloud consulting include IBM, CSC, HP, Oracle/Sun (sort of), Cisco, Microsoft, Terremark, AT&T, Savvis, Rackspace, Dell, EMC and everybody else within the technology market. Amazon hooks up with XML search startup Mark LogicAmazon.com has added XML search and data handling technology to its Amazon Web Services (AWS) slot machine of cloud-friendly services, via partner Mark Logic Inc.Mark Logic pitches its technology at organizations with very large collections of knowledge and lets them build search and query applications very quickly, without the utilization of traditional relational databases to arrange and index the info .software as a knowledge center appliance, with an onsite installation that puts it on the brink of the masses of knowledge it uses. Virtualizing its flagship XML Server for AWS and letting users deploy it themselves for a small fraction of ordinary license fees won't appear to be a sensible move, but analysts aren't fazed.

"It's actually a very good move," said Melissa Baxter, vice chairman of content and digital media technologies for IDC. She said that Mark Logic has proven its technology over the last several years and hit a critical mass of huge, paying customers -- Edmunds.com and therefore the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Database, among others -- and interest in "unstructured data" technologies and cloud are running very high. Mark Logic is offering its XML Server running on an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) and also making it available as a VMware machine image for virtualized users preferring to remain in-house. Storage and servers have gotten cheap and, consistent with Baxter, enterprises are sitting on ever-increasing mountains of data unable to suit into a standard database application that they need to place to use. including cloud computing, which suggests firms do not have to take a position capital in IT projects, and therefore the opportunity looks good. People's attitudes about crunching huge data sets have really changed – that's partly [due to] cloud," she said.


What Mark Logic brings to the table


Mark Logic's software takes advantage of XML, nearly ubiquitous lately in media files, documents, sites, and knowledge sets, to sort and return results on masses of data without having to load the info into an electronic database first. For the acceptable information sets, that removes a huge chunk of operational overhead to managing and using data. A batch of Microsoft Office files, as an example, are often sorted and queried to return results as if all the content had been indexed into a database, without having to vary the files in any way. Baxter said that Mark Logic's partnering with Amazon will let users experiment with the technology and said that the move is low-risk for Mark Logic. They did not have to take a position heavily to use Amazon, and that they charge on top of Amazon's regular fees. On Amazon's side, users will put data in S3 and doubtless stick around, albeit they do not use Mark Logic a touch bit. they do not stand to lose albeit usage is extremely low, and developers can experiment with having a huge investment in their data centers.

Mark Logic's John Kreisa, the director of industry solutions, said the startup, which remains venture-funded, has around 200 customers. He added that the largest data set using Mark Logic clocks in at around 150 terabytes, in which the character of their technology is in sync with virtualization and cloud. XML may be a key standard for many web-based applications at now, and Mark Logic's querying engine may be a distributed, "shared nothing" application that's designed to let many servers add concert. Shared nothing" DBMS, also called Multiparalell Processor (MPP) engines are coming increasing into vogue, with companies like Netezza, Vertica, Teradata and IBM's DB2 leading the charge to require advantage of cheap servers and mass amounts of loose data. While DB2, which dates back to the primary implementations of SQL and also includes native XML support, maybe a primary competitor to Mark Logic, the firm prefers to style itself as a replacement for Oracle, which frequently comes off badly in performance comparisons to next-generation DBMS. Kreisa said that Mark Logic Cloud Services, which now contains Mark Logic server bundled into an AMI, will run from $2.00 per hour to $14, counting on the sort of EC2 instance used. The VMware image are going to be sold under the prevailing software license model, which Kreisa has said is comparable in price to Oracle.