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Application Apathy: the way to Diagnose and Treat it

By Amar Nandha, Head of Application Performance Management (APM) Practice, Easynet Global Services

Apps for business or consumer use, across any device, are changing the way we experience content. Enterprise applications like CRM systems, content management systems, VDI, procurement applications, and unified communications jostle for priority on the network, despite there being many rooms for all. Often we've to attend for applications to open, reload an application as it’s running slowly, or get rudely thrown out of an application within the middle of a bit of labor. Whether supported by the company network or hosted within the cloud, the golden rule is this: where there are apps, there has got to be application management.

Whether supported by the company network or hosted within the cloud, the golden rule is this: where there are apps, there has got to be application management.

Killer Apps 2013, the newest research commissioned by Easynet Global Services and Ipanema Technologies, looks at this in a bit more detail. The researchers questioned 650 companies in Europe and therefore the US, all with quite 1000 employees, to seek out out how well their applications were performing across their networks during a business environment.

The results were concerning:

Almost 80% of respondents experienced problems with their applications in terms of delay over the last 12 months.

66% of companies relied on response times to inform how well an application was performing, and 42% believe user complaints.

Many folks are just resigned to the very fact that we’ll experience delays, leading to what we call ‘application apathy’. But even losing just 5 minutes each day costs a business 1% in terms of productivity, so this isn’t just annoying, it’s costly too.

These performance issues mainly affect business-critical applications like ERP, CRM, and VDI, but almost 30% found that video applications and unified communications frequently suffer in terms of performance.

The other concern which emerged from the research was that these performance issues were still common despite investments being made in bandwidth to beat them. It’s logical to think that the more applications on a network, the more bandwidth is required, and this is often only likely to extend because the diversity and power of applications expand. The research reflects this with 84% of respondents reporting that their companies’ bandwidth requirements are growing by a minimum of 10% per annum.

It isn’t almost bandwidth though: it’s about making what you've got, work harder, making your network for the fast transmission of content become ‘application-aware’. Without this, it’s like having a satnav without traffic updates: you'll get where you would like, but not necessarily the simplest or fastest way, so you’re just not making the foremost of the cash you’ve spent. Intelligence on how a network is running, which applications are slowing it down, when and why, gives companies the power to form decisions that may massively improve the way they operate, nudging them ahead of competitors to realize that all-important competitive edge.

The solution? Businesses need intelligence on their networks at an application level, and that they need performance guarantees for every application.

Smart Application Assurance

Ultimately, managing applications and infrastructure are very complicated. The multiplication of applications means networks and applications are tougher to manage than ever before.

Companies need the power to watch what's happening as applications flow across their network. they have the power to watch, control, prioritize, and maximize the worth these applications deliver. When things do fail it’s the power to understand pro-actively before users even notice.

Easynet’s Smart Application Assurance (SAA) solution enables this.

We can determine what applications are flowing where, when, and how. We then work with the enterprise to make business-appropriate benchmarks, enabling application-specific performance levels to be set. Should performance dip, our service teams can identify this before there's a significant impact on the business and therefore the customer is instantly contacted? Our regular consulting process, our uniquely proactive approach, and our response guarantee all significantly reduce application issues while simultaneously empowering the enterprise.

Smart Application Assurance delivers an end-to-end service for assuring application performance:

One-hour ‘Smart Response’ SLA

Intelligent issue identification

Assured application roll-outs

Continuous consultancy

Auditing and discovery

Dynamic control and prioritization

Improved communication

This value is often applied to both existing Easynet Global Services customers and customers who have networks and infrastructure with other providers starting from MPLS to the Internet and mobile 3G based connectivity.

Migrating some applications to the cloud works for many businesses, but wherever your applications sit, confirm you’re smart about the journey they’re taking.

Excerpt: Amar Nandha of Easynet Global Services asks why we accept sub-standard performance from our applications and explains Easynet’s solution. Apps for business or consumer use, across any device, are changing the way we experience content. Enterprise applications like CRM systems, content management systems, VDI, procurement applications, and unified communications jostle for priority on the network, despite there being much room for all.

A Swiss Army Knife for the Cloud

By Alessandro Sorniotti, cloud security scientist, IBM Research – Zurich

In the late 1990s, few people quite recognized the big potential of the online or how it might transform the way we live and work. information technology degrees

 Cloud computing is similarly at an early inflection point today, and that we are staring up at a “hockey stick” shaped growth curve. In fact, consistent with Gartner Research, quite 60 percent of all enterprises have adopted some sort of cloud computing this year.

But even with the expansion, the cloud’s potential as a business innovation tool still remains virtually untapped since most organizations see the cloud as an IT tool. But the truth is different. the thought of tapping into pools of computing resources has firmly caught hold and is becoming more and more a part of the general vernacular of the c-suite including CIOs and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) who got to drive new revenue opportunities using technology that will be activated at a moment’s notice. As a side note it’s estimated that by 2017, CMOs will spend more thereon than CIOs.

IBM has invested quite $6 billion in additional than a dozen acquisitions since 2007 to accelerate cloud and to supply higher value offerings that give these line of business leaders the expertise rich solutions they have. And today we are adding a replacement technology from IBM Research into this portfolio called Intercloud Storage or “cloud of clouds toolkit”.

Cloud of Clouds

Some of the most important hurdles to cloud adoption are reliability, security, and vendor lock-in. If a cloud is hacked, goes out of business or an influence failure occurs it might be devastating for a business. On the flip side, if the seller decides to extend its rates or fails to satisfy certain obligations the client might want to modify to a different vendor.

The main idea behind the intercloud is that its security and reliability exceeds that of the only clouds that make it.

An approach to remedy this example is predicated on what we call an intercloud or “cloud of clouds”. the most idea behind the intercloud is that its security and reliability exceeds that of the only clouds that make it.

Let’s take security as an example. The platform of a cloud provider is typically treated as one security domain, typically built using homogeneous components with little internal diversification. The intercloud provides heterogeneity by leveraging multiple administrative and security domains, which is vital for building intrusion-tolerant systems.

The intercloud concept is implemented on top of multiple, separate cloud providers, for instance using Softlayer, an IBM company; Amazon, or Microsoft. the thought is that if one fails for whatever reason the opposite takes over, transparently to the user.

Developed at IBM’s lab in Zurich, the “cloud of clouds toolkit” is essentially the “Swiss army knife” for cloud and intercloud storage, providing data replication and dispersal, encryption, integrity protection, and compression for quite 20 supported cloud storage backends.

Through the “cloud of clouds toolkit”, we've opened the gates to the intercloud for a variety of IBM storage systems; in our prototypes, single files, whole filesystems, or snapshots of volumes are often migrated, protected, or shared on the cloud(s) — independent of the seller. InterCloud Storage explicitly addresses space efficiency, data synchronization, and metadata coordination when storing data redundantly on object storage. Once a cloud fails, the back-up cloud immediately responds and ensures data availability — transparently to the user. No synchronization or communication among cloud clients is required thanks to the innovative approach that adds redundancy and tolerates failures.

Lastly, InterCloud Storage features a modular, layered, and highly configurable design. Layers are switchable and may be adopted to a spread of various configurations (single-, multi-cloud, etc.). The implementation and use of layers in InterCloud Storage are transparent to the client.

For more details on the patent-pending algorithms within the cloud of clouds toolkit read this published paper titled “Robust data sharing with key-value stores”.

InterCloud Storage will begin pilot testing in early 2014.

Excerpt: Alessandro Sorniotti of IBM unveils the InterCloud Storage – a cloud of clouds toolkit promising seamless migration and backup across clouds.. within the late 1990s, few people quite recognized the big potential of the online or how it might transform the way we live and work. Cloud computing is similarly at an early inflection point today, and that we are staring up at a “hockey stick” shaped growth curve. How will IT Trends affect CSPs and consumers in 2014?

It looks like it's that point of year again… the annual rehash of the year that was and therefore the jostling for pre-eminence in predictions for the year which approaches.

So allow us to heave ourselves onto that creaking bandwagon and take a glance at which IT trends are likely to affect our marketplace over the subsequent twelve months…

Trend #1: Continued growth of social and mobile

It seems almost too obvious to mention… up to now, it's driven the world growth both in terms of cloud-based Apps and platforms, like Facebook, and cloud-based service providers (since smaller SaaS providers and new entrants have looked to IaaS to enable initial growth without the necessity for giant capital expenditure).

Threats: Most analysts report an enormous surge within the number of companies and marketers investing or getting to invest in mobile and social as how of driving consumer engagement with their brand. it's possible, however, that rather than that specialize in better-leveraging established cloud-based platforms and utilizing emerging cloud-based bespoke App development and hosting services, this investment is going to be diverted to developing and hosting bespoke Apps in-house.

Opportunities: While business in some quarters has been slow to react, consumers are busy embracing the cloud. this alteration has been powered by both software and hardware-driven changes. it's expected that this year, Smartphone and Tablet use will overtake that of the normal desktop. Consumers are now using multiple devices, and no single device is that the primary hub – instead, their primary hub is that the personal cloud. additionally, the increasingly complex demands of mobile users would require a commensurate growth of server-side computing and storage capacity.

Trend #2: Increasing scope of the “Internet of Things”

Again, a driver for increasing amounts of server-side computing and storage capacity. For me, the opportunities are exemplified by the high-tech vending machines SAP Hana demoed earlier this year. These machines use a Smartphone to transmit transaction data to the cloud for analytics, including inventory management. If the customer has the associated App installed on his or her Smartphone, then a profile is going to be built up over time supported purchase history, feedback, and promotional take-up.

high-tech vending machines […] use a Smartphone to transmit transaction data to the cloud for analytics, including inventory management.

Threats: during this instance, SAP Hana is offering a full-service solution so, while it leverages ‘Cloud’ technologies, this particular example serves more for instance how traditional software/ hardware/ service vendors are moving to require advantage of the new business model. While this could be great for consumers, it means an increasingly competitive marketplace for existing CSPs.

Opportunities: on behalf of me, this instance highlights the new opportunities that exist for organizations who are ready to think creatively about the type of solutions consumers want or may benefit from. For those willing to re-imagine traditional solutions, opportunity abounds.

Trend #3: Big Data

Big Data has been a subject for several years now, but expanding consumer engagement initiatives and therefore the internet of things will only increase the pressure on organizations of all types.

Threats: Compliance may be a key driver to stay data onsite. Plus, the shrinking rack space/ performance ratio alleviates a number of pressure from organizations. It could even be argued that the large data issue is primarily a chance for providers of study solutions.

It could even be argued that the large data issue is primarily a chance for providers of study solutions…

Opportunities: The ever-increasing demands for the storage, backup, and archiving of knowledge and therefore the additional processing power required for analytics exerts a continued pressure on organizations. In testing economic conditions, where the tendency is to kick big Cap Ex spending into the long grass, Iaas and AaaS appear as if a beautiful thanks to meet short-term demands.

Trend #4: Increasing awareness of Software Defined Networks

Software-Defined Networking has been touted because the last step within the virtualization process – enabling data centers to be truly abstracted from the physical.

Threats: the most threat here is one among skills shortage. For CSPs providing IaaS solutions, if SDN does live up to its promise of helping organizations to effect better management of their existing infrastructure, it's going to also pose problems, because it stalls organizations’ moves towards supplementary external capacity.

SDN should also facilitate improved granularity of knowledge flow metrics, which brings the potential for improved monitoring and security, possibly making cloud solutions more attractive to some.

Opportunities: As infrastructure becomes dynamically configurable, flexible provision offered by cloud-based XaaS becomes more desirable. SDN should also facilitate improved granularity of knowledge flow metrics, which brings the potential for improved monitoring and security, possibly making cloud solutions more attractive to some. call center technology it's led some analysts to suggest that enterprises should be designing private cloud services with a hybrid future in mind. This strategy is going to be viewed more positively as standards for infrastructure programmability and data center interoperability more fully emerge.

Trend #5: the large freeze?

In 2013, Facebook opened its first data center outside the USA, in Lulea, northern Sweden, making tons of noise about its green credentials because it did so. also as running on renewable energy from local hydro-electric schemes, the info center’s sub-arctic location has meant it can operate with approximately 70% less mechanical cooling capacity than the typical data center. With Iceland now also promoting itself as a cooler, greener data center location are we set to ascertain a migration of provision to colder climes?

Threats: What could also be excellent news for the environment could also be bad news for fewer competitive data centers located in warmer climates and handling higher energy costs. Additional market disruption can also evolve from Facebook’s decision to share data center efficiency knowledge through the Open Compute program paving the way for low-cost imitators in economies like China and India to duplicate these operating efficiencies, with green energy potentially coming from solar and wind sources; greater competition from lower operating costs will force all players to require increasingly efficiency-driven energy management initiatives.

What could also be excellent news for the environment could also be bad news for fewer competitive data centers located in warmer climates and handling higher energy costs.

Opportunities: the shortage of warm days isn’t the sole consideration when building data center cooling systems; air moisture levels also can impact energy consumption dramatically, so there's something positive for UK sites! If increasing energy efficiency, reduced operational costs, and open standards for data center operation and interoperability are the results then we will only all benefit within the end of the day.

Trend #6: Consolidation within the market place?

Back in July, the BVP Cloud Computing Index announced that the highest 30 Cloud Technology companies within the US had a market capitalization value of quite $100 Billion – claiming the figure demonstrated Cloud had ‘come of age’.

Threats: This spending on Cloud remains just a little drop by the IT ocean. Gartner figures suggest the worldwide annual $30 Billion spend on SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS is simply 2% of an overall global annual IT spend of $1,370 Billion. AWS may now dominate IaaS and arguably PaaS provision, but Microsoft, Google, IBM, VMware, et al. are now vying for market share. it's yet to be seen whether this competition will cause an expansion of the general market or redistribution of market share.

Data from the Synergy Research Group suggests the Cloud computing market grew by 47% year on year…

Opportunities: The BVP Index remains heavily dominated by SaaS and doesn’t appreciate privately-owned Cloud businesses. Data from the Synergy Research Group suggests the Cloud computing market grew by 47% year on year (up to Q2 2013).

What factors are getting to be decisive in 2014 for your business? How does one see the market developing? What predictions does one bring subsequent 12 months?

What’s Driving the African Cloud Computing Boom?

Given the very fact, that cloud computing is such a replacement technology, and indeed many of us within the world aren't even conversant in it yet, one doesn’t really associate it with a neighborhood of the world that's most ordinarily mentioned because of the Third World.

But the recent growth of the cloud in one particular African country indicates clearly that the continent is moving forward with its instigation of cloud computing on a theatre-wide basis.

African Cloud and Internet activity hotspots

A report in the week has indicated that more businesses in Nigeria are going to be using cloud-based services than in South Africa by the top of 2014, with Nigeria also apparently shooting past Kenya within the same list within the process. this is often consistent with a survey that has recently been administered by the American multinational networking company, Cisco, with some assistance from World Wide Worx.

The Cloud in Africa: Reality Check 2013′ research study found that already half of South Africa’s medium and large-sized businesses are using the cloud, as against 48 percent in Kenya and 36 percent in Nigeria. But this is often expected to vary rapidly within the next few years, as 44 percent of the Nigerian businesses surveyed indicated that they expect to adopt the cloud by the top of 2014. This compared to only 16 percent in South Africa and 24 percent in Kenya.

Cisco indicated in their report that there's a broadband revolution spreading through Africa like wildfire, which the shortage of conditioned thinking thereon matters within the continent would stand the cloud in good stead within the content within the coming years. of these polled, over 90 percent had no security concerns about the cloud, which might probably differ somewhat to an equivalent figure among Western companies, albeit the adoption and take from the cloud is steadily increasing across the Western world.

It is perhaps hard for those folks within the West to imagine Nigeria rapidly embracing the cloud, but news seeping out of the state in recent weeks has indicated that this is often emphatically the case. Just weeks ago, it had been reported widely that Computer Warehouse Group Plc, a Nigerian technology company, was seeking to boost capital via the stock market so as to completely restructure the company’s business toward cloud computing, and faraway from traditional hardware and software. Computer Warehouse Group is seemingly getting to become the most important cloud-computing provider in Africa by 2015.

in announcing the news, the corporate spoke enthusiastically about being a “trailblazer” in cloud computing, and also stated that they expected many computing firms in Nigeria, and across the entire African continent, to imitate once they’d witnessed how successful Computer Warehouse Group’s plan had been.

It was reported in accordance with this that African computing companies are increasingly looking to the cloud to extend the profit margins. for instance, Dimension Data Holdings Ltd, a South African firm acquired the California-based OpSource in 2011 so as to catalyze its cloud operation. cloud computing technology The trend for African firms to maneuver into cloud computing has been exemplified by the recent growth within the industry in Nigeria, but it's by no means limited to the state that's expected to become Africa’s biggest cloud advocated within a few of years.